President's Message

Cr Linda ScottTaking your calls to Canberra – This week we met with Local Government Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie and Shadow Minister Stephen Jones MP to take up the case for significantly increased federal funding for local governments. See ALGA’s federal election priorities.

Local governments across Australia receive a mere three per cent of federal taxation revenue, yet we support 33 per cent of Australia’s infrastructure: we need a fair share for local government. If you haven’t met with your local federal and state election candidates to urge them to support our 2019 NSW Election Priorities, please do so and share on social media!

PLANNING ADVOCACY WIN: Liberal/National commitment – We’ve had a long-fought for win this week, with the NSW Government announcing it will establish an independent building commissioner to oversee responsibility for the safety and quality of construction. A stronger regulatory framework for the building industry and tighter regulation of private certifiers is well overdue. We will continue to advocate for the Opposition to also support this important reform.

PLANNING ADVOCACY WIN: Labor Commitment – Our pre-election advocacy on planning issues is paying off with NSW Labor announcing it would ban spot rezoning by developers if it wins government, but maintain the right for councils to conduct spot rezonings. Read more.

This important reform to the NSW planning system will return more planning control back to councils and communities, and improve focus on a better strategic planning system for the public good. See 2019 NSW Election Priority #4. 

ROAD FUNDING ADVOCACY WIN: LGNSW has also long fought for increased road and transport infrastructure funding, and thus welcomes NSW Labor’s commitment to a $900 million funding boost for rural and regional roads if elected. Long-term underinvestment in rural and regional roads has created a $1.7 billion investment backlog and, if this $900 million announcement represents new funding, it will help plug that gap. Read more in our media release and see 2019 NSW Election Priority #3.

Liberal/National commitment on mobile phone coverage – We welcome NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s promise this week to use the proceeds of the sale of Snowy Hydro to build mobile phone towers so that regional NSW becomes ‘black-spot free’.

YOU’RE INVITED: Recycling campaign - Thousands of NSW residents have responded to our Save Our Recycling campaign survey with early results showing strong support for a statewide plan funded by the waste levy. If you haven’t already done so, please urge your council to sign up and pass a mayoral minute. To join the campaign, you’re invited to join us at The Mint, Sydney, on 6 March 2019 for our Save Our Recycling Election Summit. Find out more and register online.

Photos: (left to right): LGNSW Board Director Regional Rural Cr Phyllis Miller and President Linda Scott with Shadow Minister for Local Government Stephen Jones; meeting with Local Government Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie in Canberra.

Linda Scott in Canberra


Renew Our Libraries Campaign – Share the Love

Despite Library Lovers’ Day this week, NSW libraries are still looking for love from political leaders.

Commitments have been received from the major parties to provide around $60 million in new funding over four years from 2019 – but our target is double that!

Further, funding needs to be ongoing and protected by legislation, so libraries don’t face another crisis in 2023.

As it stands, the NSW Government’s contribution to public libraries is well below that of other states and this has been the case for more than 40 years.

LGNSW is encouraging councils to keep campaigning.

There are only a few weeks left until the election and we need to keep talking about the need for proper library funding.

You can do this by:

As the election draws closer, we’ll be adding further materials to the Renew Our Libraries resources page to help you campaign for the public library funding your council deserves.


Climate Change Grants Closing Soon

Councils can apply for grants ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 through the Increasing Resilience to Climate Change program until Friday 1 March 2019.

Delivered by LGNSW in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the program provides funding to address climate change risks and vulnerabilities facing NSW councils.

A total of $1,100,000 is available in round 1 for projects to be delivered within two years.

Grants ranging from $30,000 and $120,000 are available to individual councils, while grants ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 are available for regional projects across several councils.

Find out more and apply online.

Photo: Village Bay Close inundated by lake water May 2015, Greg D. Jones, Lake Macquarie City Council.


New Music Festival Licence

A new licence for music festivals being developed by Liquor & Gaming NSW may have implications for councils that regulate or organise events. 

The new music festival liquor licence will be implemented from 1 March 2019 for ticketed music festivals with more than 2000 participants per day.

LGNSW understands organisers of music festivals scheduled for March can apply now for a limited licence - special event. After 1 March, all applications for music festivals must be made under the new scheme

In a message for music festival organisers this week, Liquor & Gaming NSW said the new scheme was designed to ensure events with a poor track record or heightened risk face greater oversight.

For festivals determined as safe/low risk, licence conditions, including police and health requirements, will not be significantly different to previous years.

The self-assessment tool to determine risk, that was circulated to some festival organisers, is under review.

For more information visit the Liquor & Gaming NSW website and the Event Safety Management Plan Checklist for music festivals.

Email: The NSW Government music festival team.


Darkinjung Delivery Framework

The NSW Government has released the Darkinjung Delivery Framework – a set of planning measures to assist the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council better utilise its land.

Darkinjung is one of 120 Local Aboriginal land councils (LALCs) in NSW established under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.

The Act enables LALCs to acquire and manage land as compensation for historic dispossession and in recognition of their ongoing disadvantage.

The framework includes:

The framework is a pilot project which may be extended to other LALCs in NSW.

Further information is available on the DPE website.


Example Local Strategic Planning Statement

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has developed an example local strategic planning statement, based on a fictional regional area, to help councils prepare their own statements.

Local strategic planning statements (LSPSs) are a new requirement as part of changes made to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 last year.

They will set out:

  • the 20-year vision for land use in local areas
  • the special characteristics that contribute to local identity
  • shared community values
  • how growth and change will be managed in the future.

The example is not a template that councils are required to adopt. Councils may base their LSPSs on the example or develop a different structure to suit their individual circumstances.

For further information email Ruth Murphy, Principal Policy Officer, NSW Department of Planning and Environment, or call 02 8217 2002.


Safety Management Systems Information Sessions

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is holding a final round of free, information sessions on safety management systems.

Amendments to chain of responsibility laws introduced in October last year – aligning them more closely with workplace health and safety – require all parties in the chain to reduce risks related to the safety of transport tasks.

The sessions will explain recent changes to chain of responsibility laws, the impact on organisations and how safety management systems can help minimise risks.

Register for sessions via the links below:

Places are limited to two per council/business


Update to RMS Restricted Access Vehicle Network Maps

NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has updated its online restricted access vehicle network maps.

The maps provide information on enforceable network restrictions and routes for heavy vehicles in NSW.

To provide feedback email RMS.

For more information email Sanjiv Sathiah, LGNSW Senior Roads and Transport Policy Officer or call 02 9242 4073.