Happy New Year and welcome to the first Weekly of 2018! I trust you had a restful and enjoyable break over the holiday season.
Action on Joint Organisations – Councils have been given until 28 February to advise the Government if they will join a Joint Organisation (JO). The Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, has written to councils with information on the process, maps of the planning regions and nomination forms.
Councils in the far west have been encouraged to nominate to form their own JO within their planning region and to talk to other councils in their region to determine the membership of the JO. LGNSW understands more information to support councils is being prepared, which is very welcome. If your council needs more advice on this issue, please contact Jill Gallagher at LGNSW.
Blue Mountains City Council asbestos issue – Just before Christmas, the Minister for Local Government advised Blue Mountains City Council she would not suspend its elected body over concerns about asbestos management. I strongly welcome this outcome. After considering Council’s submission, the Minister foreshadowed she would issue a Performance Improvement Order (PIO) instead. This is a much better outcome as it a more targeted response to the Minister’s concerns. LGNSW notes that Council is a willing participant in the Minister’s PIO. We will continue working with BMCC closely on this issue and will continue to support them in any way we can. Members are reminded that LGNSW has a dedicated Asbestos Policy Project Manager to assist with asbestos-related matters. Contact Daniel Adler to find out more.
Plan for 2018 – New Year is the perfect time to plan ahead and mark key dates in your diary. LGNSW runs regular events for elected members and local government staff. These include our annual finance summit, good governance forum, HR conference, employment law seminar, water management and tourism conferences, planning events and of course our annual conference. Many of these have now been scheduled and others will be soon. Keep an eye on the save the date column in this newsletter (bottom right).
LGNSW also runs excellent, competitively-priced training programs designed specifically for the sector. Upcoming courses are also listed in this newsletter or we can come and present courses to your council or region.
International Women’s Day Luncheon – LGNSW’s first major event for 2018 is the International Women’s Day Luncheon on Thursday 8 March at Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney. Come along and celebrate the leadership of women in local government, both staff and elected officials, who are making a positive difference in their communities. I’m delighted to announce that special guest for the luncheon is author and columnist Anne Summers AO; a dynamic speaker who brings great authority and credibility to the subject of the position of women in the 21st century. Read more and register. I hope to see you there!
Tourism Conference – The LGNSW Tourism Conference is coming up soon (12-14 March, Parkes). This annual event provides a valuable opportunity for events and economic development professionals, as well as elected representatives, to learn from each other, hear from industry experts and gather the latest tools, tips, trends and knowledge in destination marketing. I’m looking forward to attending, and hope you can too. Read more.
Local Government Week – Consider planning something for Local Government Week (30 July - 5 August) if you are not already doing so. During this week, many councils hold events and open days or run other initiatives to raise awareness of their vital role in communities. To see what councils did last year, check out the twitter conversation #LGWeek2017. The more councils that get involved, the stronger the message will be.
And thank you for your correspondence and messages of congratulations, support and suggestions for my presidency and our year ahead. I’m looking forward to visiting many of you over the next 12 months and progressing our agenda in 2018.
It’s shaping up to be another busy year with much work ahead for our sector!
Cr Linda Scott, LGNSW President