President's Message

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I hope you are settling back into the year! Below is a summary of our activities for the week. 

Joint Organisations (JOs) – A reminder that the NSW Government has given rural and regional councils a deadline of 28 February 2018 to submit nominations to form joint organisations to the NSW Office of Local Government. While a number of you have told us you are on track to meet the deadline, many have advised that the timetable imposed by the Government is problematic and you want to know more before committing to a JO proposal without having seen the regulations that will apply to them.

As you would all know, once a JO is formed it can’t be undone. Please let us know if you feel you are unable to meet the deadline, or any other concerns you have, and we will continue to advocate on your behalf. The network and funding allocations are expected be announced in March, with JOs proclaimed in April and operational by 1 July. Read more.

Easy to do Business – LGNSW met with NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs OAM this week to discuss regulatory reform, council engagement and the Easy to do Business program, which aims to simplify licensing and approvals for business owners. LGNSW is a part of the program’s steering committee.

Night time economies (NTEs) – The Night Time Economy Councils’ Committee held its first meeting of 2018 today. The committee, which comprises nine councils and LGNSW, was established last year to raise the profile of night time economy initiatives and share best practice approaches. An email network has been established for councils and master classes are planned for 2018. Email Elizabeth Robertson for more information.

Countering violent extremism – Today, LGNSW attended the first meeting of the NSW Community Engagement Network, chaired by the Commonwealth Government’s Countering Violent Extremism Centre (part of the Attorney-General’s Department). The Countering Violent Extremism program aims to combat the threat posed by home-grown terrorism and discourage Australians from travelling overseas to participate in conflicts. All Australian governments are being encouraged to contribute to a comprehensive national approach.

Bike Sharing – This week LGNSW met with representatives from bike sharing company Ofo Australia. Following its launch in City of Sydney and Waverley, Ofo plans to expand to other areas. 

International Women’s Day Luncheon – Don’t forget to book tickets for LGNSW’s inaugural International Women’s Day Luncheon on Thursday 8 March at Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney. Special guest speaker is Dr Anne Summers AO, leading feminist, editor and publisher, and former head of the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Anne has inspired a generation of young people to think differently about their country, their work, their families and their futures.Visit the LGNSW website to find out more.

Until next week!

Cr Linda Scott, LGNSW President

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Regional Joint Organisations

Interested rural and regional councils have until 28 February 2018 to submit nominations to form joint organisations to the NSW Government.

The Local Government Amendment (Regional Joint Organisations) Act 2017 commenced on 15 December 2017 allowing councils to voluntarily join new Joint Organisations (JOs) in their planning region.

To nominate, you need to:

  1. Identify your planning region according to the map provided in the information pack. Only councils in the Far West have the option to join JOs outside their planning region.
  1. Consult with councils in your preferred regional grouping to agree on JO membership, noting that each JO must have at least three member councils.
  1. Once the proposed membership is agreed, ensure each member council endorses the proposal by a resolution of council.
  1. By 28 February 2018, Submit your nomination via email. Include the resolution and a completed Forming a Joint Organisation – checklist.


Unlike a normal council resolution, the legislation provides a fixed 28-day period for councils to rescind such a resolution. As such, councils are also asked to undertake a further step, which may fall after 28 February:

  1. Twenty-eight days after the council’s resolution is made, the general manager should inform the Minister in writing that council’s resolution has not been rescinded.


The JO network and funding allocations will be announced in March, with JOs proclaimed in April and operational by July 1.

To answer queries and provide support in this process, Office of Local Government relationship managers are making contact with each council eligible to join a JO during January. Councils can speak with their Relationship Manager at any time by calling OLG on (02) 4428 4100.

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2018 Churchill Trust Fellowships

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Do you know of a council employee or elected representative who would benefit from a Churchill Trust Fellowship?

Established following Winston Churchill’s death in 1965, the trust honours Churchill’s memory by providing unique and highly-esteemed fellowship opportunities for Australians to travel overseas to conduct research in their chosen field.

The trust will be on the road in February and March conducting information sessions about Churchill Fellowship opportunities.

Fellowships provide valuable career development opportunities, including funding for overseas travel and research.

Information sessions will be held in Sydney, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Armidale and Albury. Bookings are essential.

Visit the Churchill Trust website for more information, including past fellowship winners, and to register.

Applications for fellowships open Thursday 1 February and close Friday 28 April 2018.

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Public Reserves Funding

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The NSW Government is making $17 million available in the next round of the Public Reserves Management Fund Program.

All Crown reserve managers, including councils, are encouraged to apply.

The program supports a wide range of activities that help maintain, protect and improve Crown reserves.

Applications for the 2018/19 round will open on February 5 and close on Friday 9 March.

Information on how to apply will be available at www.crownland.nsw.gov.au.

Find out more in Minister for Lands Paul Toole’s media release.

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Bin Trim Grants to Reduce Business Waste

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The NSW Environment Protection Authority is offering Bin Trim grants of between $50,000 to $400,000 to councils and other organisations to assist small to medium-sized businesses with waste assessments.

The Bin Trim business grants program aims to help 20,000 small to medium enterprises to reduce waste and increase recycling.

In the last round  $6,877,156 was awarded to 26 projects. 

Round 3 grants are now open. Councils, businesses, not-for-profits and state government agencies can apply.

As Bin Trim assessors, successful applicants will undertake free assessments, produce tailored action plans and provide support to businesses to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Businesses assessed through the Bin Trim business grants program will be able to apply for rebates for up to 50 per cent of the capital cost of equipment.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is running an information session (in Sydney CBD) and a webinar, on 23 January 2018. Register online using the links above.

For further information, visit the EPA website , email Simone Thomas or call 02 9995 6884.

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LGNSW Board Post-election Report

The election for office bearers and the Board of LGNSW was held on 5 December 2017 with the results for office bearers declared on 7 December 2017 and the results for directors declared on 8 December 2017.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has issued a post-election report identifying LGNSW rules that it found difficult to interpret or apply.

LGNSW is required to make an extract of the report available to members and must provide a response to the AEC later this month.

Within 30 days of responding to the AEC, LGNSW will make the response available to members.

For a copy of the post-election report please email Adam Dansie, LGNSW Senior Manager Industrial Relations or call 02 9242 4140.

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Dementia Friendly Communities Grants

Dementia Australia is offering 20 grants of $15,000 each to support community organisations and councils to develop dementia-friendly activities.

The grants aim to increase education and public awareness of dementia, support people living with dementia and improve levels of engagement with them.

Priority will be given to vulnerable groups, including projects focusing on cultural and/or language diversity.

Expressions of interest close on 24 January 2018.

Projects will be supported until June 2019.

Apply online.

For more information visit the Dementia Australia website, email Carol Vickers, Dementia Friendly Communities Program Manager or call her on 02 6278 8934.

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Drinking Water Catchment Pollution

The Audit Office of NSW is seeking councils’ views on the effectiveness of the regulation of illegal solid waste disposal and water pollution in drinking water catchments by the end of the month.

The Audit Office is assessing how effectively the Environment Protection Authority is performing its regulatory function in these areas.

Please send submissions via email by Wednesday 31 January 2018.

For more information see the Audit Office’s audit program webpage (scroll to Planning and Environment) and our Weekly article from 15 December 2017.

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