President's Message

Cr Linda ScottSave Our Recycling; let’s reuse in NSW – Our Save Our Recycling campaign is gaining traction with an increasing number of councils pledging support during their first meetings of 2019 – thank you! If your council hasn’t joined yet, please do so by endorsing our template mayoral minute at your next meeting. For more information email Susy Cenedese, LGNSW Environment Strategy Manager.

Calling for secure aged care and home support services – About 100 councils deliver aged care services with the support of state and federal government, but with NSW Government funding redirected to the NDIS since June 2018 and federal aged care funding not committed beyond June 2020, councils face uncertainty. With no clear indication of what funding will be available after this date, councils have told us they are grappling over how to plan and budget for services. We’re also concerned that the cost of filling gaps in service provision will fall on councils.

In response, we are ramping up our advocacy in this area and need real examples to bring it to life. Please contact Chris Maclean, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, to provide case studies of services in your area which are under threat or to discuss your concerns. A range of resources (including guidelines and templates) to help councils plan for the future are available on the LGNSW website.

Last chance to register for the election debate – There’s been a huge response to the upcoming Local Government Debate with an overwhelming majority of leaders accepting our invitation to speak. The event, to be co-hosted by LGNSW and the Country Mayors Association of NSW at Parliament House, Sydney, on 8 March, is the perfect opportunity to engage with candidates and parties on a range of important topics and call upon them to commit to our 12 Election Priorities to improve liveability in our communities. Register today and submit a question for the leaders.

Apply for a Cr Dixon Memorial Scholarship – If you know an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillor or council employee who could benefit from a scholarship to undertake study, professional development or research, please encourage them to apply for this year’s Cr Dixon Memorial Scholarship. Read more. 

Refocusing the NSW planning system – On Thursday, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment presented to LGNSW Board members and staff on Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPS). Introduced during changes last year to the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the statements place greater emphasis on the strategic planning role of councils. The Institute of Public Policy and Governance at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is offering a series of free workshops for councillors and staff, starting later this month, to explain the LSPS process and councils’ obligations. Email UTS to find out more and register. Sessions can also be arranged on request and I especially urge those in regional areas to take these up.

LGNSW Board – Your Board held its first meeting of 2019 in Sydney today. For a full summary of proceedings, see our Weekly item.


Board Meeting Report

The LGNSW Board held its first meeting of 2019 in Sydney today.

The Board noted:

  • New Chief Executive Tara McCarthy will begin at LGNSW on 21 February 2019 and will travel to her first council visits in Western NSW following the Western Division Conference in Bourke.
  • The assurance review currently being undertaken into Ryde Council by the Greater Sydney Commission to provide advice to the Premier on planning and development in the Greater Sydney region. The process is expected to be extended to other local government areas and LGNSW is monitoring this issue closely.
  • Our upcoming Local Government Debate on 8 March at the NSW Parliament, with a wide range of speakers accepting our invitation to attend. Submit a question for the leaders.
  • The launch of our NSW Election Priorities 2019, calling upon all parties and candidates to act on 12 priority areas to improve liveability and help councils deliver better infrastructure, services and outcomes for communities and the need for all members to raise these issues with their members of parliament. If you haven’t already done so, please arrange meetings with your local state candidates to ask them to commit to our LGNSW priorities.
  • A recent letter from NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton responding to our concerns about the 29 councils affected by the NSW Environment protection Authority’s decision to disallow mixed waste organic material on agricultural land, and on plantation forests and mining rehabilitation land until further controls can be developed. LGNSW has strongly advocated for councils to be eligible to receive the first compensation round funding, alongside industry, and will continue to do so.
  • A wide range of recent meetings including with the NSW Early Childhood Education Minister Sarah Mitchell to call upon the NSW Government to commit to ensuring all three and four-year-old children in NSW have access to affordable, high quality learning for at least two days a week.
  • A presentation to the Board this week by NSW Department of Planning and Environment Deputy Secretary Alison Frame and Executive Director Felicity Greenway on Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPS). The Institute of Public Policy and Governance at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is offering a series of free workshops for councillors and staff, starting later this month, to explain the LSPS process and councils’ obligations. Sessions can also be arranged on request. LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott urged members, especially those in regional areas, to take this up. Email UTS to find out more.

Cr Scott reminded the Board that councils have until 28 February to offer feedback on the federal government’s proposal to amend the Australian Citizenship Code. LGNSW is preparing a submission which will also be shared with Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) in advance as our contribution to the sector’s national contribution. To provide input to our submission contact Damian Thomas, LGNSW Strategy Manager.

In closing her report, Cr Scott reminded the Board that nominations for this year’s Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government are open and encouraged them to nominate all the great women they know.

The Board endorsed many LGNSW draft submissions on a wide range of issues including: Local Strategic Planning Statements; planning submissions; IPART’s review of valuation prices for land valuation services; Local Land Services’ travelling stock reserves plan; updating the 2009 National Waste Policy: Less Waste More Resources; draft NSW circular economy policy; NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) draft practice note on managing run-off from service station forecourts; Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Review; EPA draft asbestos waste strategy; the banking Royal Commission; ACCC AgStewardship Application for increased levy; and the NSW Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.

Cr Scott thanked staff for their work on such a high volume of submissions. LGNSW submissions are available online.

Cr Scott paid tribute to: former Mayor Ted Mack, the former long-serving Mayor of North Sydney, former member for the seat of North Shore and former federal member for North Sydney, who died in late 2018; and Greg Wright, who has resigned from his position as Administrator of Central Darling Shire Council.

The next LGNSW Board meeting will be held on Friday 5 April 2019.


ALGWA State and National Conferences

The Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) is gearing up for its national and annual conferences later this year.

With different conference themes and speakers, ALGWA members can benefit from attending both.

ALGWA NSW Conference, 4-6 April

Liverpool City Council will host the 2019 Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) NSW Branch Annual Conference at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (4-6 April).

The annual conference is an opportunity to take part in learning and networking to assist personal and professional development.

Women and men working, or interested, in local government are welcome to attend. The program will include speakers, workshops, social events, wellness activities and networking dinners to inspire women to make their mark, not only in the industry, but in all aspects of their lives.

This year’s keynote speaker, Jessica Rowe, will be supported by a line-up of inspiring women, including Avril Henry, Chloe Esposito, Janelle Nisbet, Leonie McKeon and Dr Neryl East.

Register online by Thursday 7 March 2019.

ALGWA National Conference, 15-17 May

Blacktown City Council will host the 2019 Australian Local Government Women’s Association National Conference at West HQ, Rooty Hill RSL (15-17 May).

The theme 'Celebrating 100 Years of Women', will focus on how far women in local government have come in the last 100 years.

Register online by Monday 15 April 2019.

ALGWA NSW supports and promotes women in local government through advocacy, advice and action.


Applications Open for 2019 Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors and council employees in NSW can apply for up to $5,000 to undertake further study, professional development or research through the Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was established in recognition of the late Cr Pat Dixon’s service and achievements in local government and her status as a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW. 

The scholarship provides assistance to the value of $5000 for one or more scholarship recipients every year.

Visit the LGNSW website to find out more and apply online by 31 March 2019.


Live Music Funding

Grants of up to $40,000 are available for live music events being held between 1 May 2019 and 31 December 2020 through Create NSW’s Music Now Contemporary Live Music Funding Program.

Events can be a one-off, a series or an annual program.

The funding program aims to encourage venues to hold more live music events, and increase audience participation and paid employment for artists.

Venues, promoters, or collectives of musicians can apply, as can organisations already receiving funding from Create NSW provided their projects sit outside core activities.

Applications close on 14 March 2019.

To find out more and apply, visit the Create NSW website.


LGNSW Tourism Conference 2019: Program Available

The program for this year’s LGNSW Tourism Conference (Crown Plaza Terrigal,17-19 March) is now available on the LGNSW website.

This year’s theme, ‘Experience changes perceptions’, focuses on enticing travellers to experience areas off the major highways and rural and regional towns.

Site visits will include an exploration of agritourism with visits to exciting local food and beverage producers; a visit to Bell’s at Killcare to learn how the Central Coast is positioning itself as a wedding destination; a bike ride along picturesque, shared local pathways; and an exploration of the revitalised Woy Woy waterfront.

The conference is a must-attend event for those involved in tourism, economic development, marketing, planning and event management.

Topics will include:

  • packaging tourism experiences to change destination perceptions
  • technology and marketing
  • drive tourism
  • product development and niche tourism opportunities. 

LGNSW has secured discounted room rates at Crowne Plaza Terrigal for delegates attending the conference. Find out more.

The 2019 conference is supported by strategic partner Destination NSW.

For more information, email Karen Rolls, LGNSW Administrative Officer Communications and Events.

Register online by 8 March.