President's Message

Linda ScottWe’ve had a busy week in the Far West attending the Western Division Conference co-hosted by Bourke Shire Council and visiting Warren, Bewarrina, Walgett, Coonamble and Gilgandra shire councils.

On Sunday, I was honoured to present the LGNSW Lifetime Achievement Award to former Warren mayor Rex Wilson OAM in recognition of his outstanding contribution to local government and his community, and for exceeding the expectations of the role, for more than 30 years.

WATER ADVOCACY WIN: Liberal/National commitment – NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair’s pledge during the Western conference, that local water utilities will not be privatised if a Liberal National Government is re-elected in NSW, is a big win for regional NSW and matches a commitment by Labor at the 2018 LGNSW Water Conference in Armidale. See #8 of our 2019 NSW Election Priorities and our media release.

CAMPAIGN WIN: In a clear sign that the major parties are responding to our Renew Our Libraries campaign Labor has announced an additional $500,000 boost to the much-loved Outback Letterbox Library Service, which delivers library materials to isolated communities in the Far West. Both major parties have made significant commitments on libraries, but they need to be doubled. Keep campaigning! See 2019 Election Priority #2.

COST SHIFTING WIN: We also welcomed an announcement by Peter Primrose at the Western Division Conference that NSW Labor will cover the costs associated with compulsory webcasting of council meetings, as required under the new model code of meeting practice and reiterated a promise to hold an inquiry into cost shifting if elected to government.

COMMUNITY ADVOCACY WIN: Liberal/National commitment – The NSW Government’s announcement that it will appoint the state’s first-ever Minister for Regional Youth if re-elected is welcome news. In partnership with Youth Action NSW, and supported by a conference resolution, we have been advocating strongly for the re-establishment of a dedicated minister for young people aged 12-25.

FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY WIN: We’re delighted NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has responded to the concerns of those councils threatened with reduced access to low interest T-Corp loans if they hold deposits with unrated banks, by committing to raise the issue with T-Corp. Contact Shaun McBride, LGNSW Senior Strategy Manager to discuss your concerns.

ROAD FUNDING WIN: Liberals/Nationals election pledge of $1 billion of additional funding for local roads and country bridges is great news for regional and rural councils. See 2019 NSW Election Priority #3.

Photos: Warren Mayor Milton Quigley (left), Carrathool Mayor Peter Laird (far right) and LGNSW President Linda Scott thank Minister Niall Blair for ruling out privatisation of council-owned water utilities; visit to Bourke Shire Council; visit to Walgett Shire Council; visit to Coonamble Shire; LGNSW President Linda Scott with Mayor of Cobar Lilliane Brady; Rex Wilson, LGNSW President Linda Scott, LGNSW Board Director Rural/Regional Cr Darriea Turley and Robynne Wilson; visit to Gilgandra Shire Council; visit to Brewarrina Shire Council.

Collage of council visits

 

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2019 Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government

The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government has been extended until Friday 29 March 2019, giving you more time to nominate our sector’s female, high achievers.

The awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the vital role women play in creating stronger councils and delivering the services communities expect.

Now in their 12th year, they recognise the positive work of senior staff as well as elected representatives, women in high profile roles, and those working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Categories are:

  • elected representatives (including mayors and councillors)
  • senior staff members
  • non-senior staff members
  • women in non-traditional roles
  • traineeships/apprentices.

The awards will be presented at an official function at Parliament House.

Visit the NSW Office of Local Government website to find out more and make a nomination.

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Regional Engineering Forums

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia NSW (IPWEA) will host a series of 12 regional forums – featuring presentations from industry experts on current issues, technical matters and local projects – between 4 March and 12 April 2019.

The forums will be particularly relevant for engineers, public works managers, consulting engineers, technical staff, councillors, general managers and contractors.

To find out more and register visit the IPWEA website.

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Affordable Housing Forum

Councils are invited to attend a free, affordable housing forum for local government, organised by the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (Sydney, Wednesday 6 March).

Topics and speakers include:

  • Potential affordable dwelling yields from a NSW inclusionary zoning scheme – Peter Phibbs, Head of Urban and Regional Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney and Karen Walsh, CEO, Shelter NSW.
  • Planning policy update – Deborah Brill, Director of Housing and Infrastructure Policy, NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
  • Housing need in Western Sydney –Tom Kehoe, Senior Project Officer, Community Housing Industry Association NSW.

For more information and to register download the program.

Contact: Email Joanna Forman or call 02 9690 2447.

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LGNSW Tourism Conference 2019

Registrations for this year’s LGNSW Tourism Conference (Crown Plaza Terrigal,17-19 March) close on Friday 8 March at 5pm.

The conference provides an opportunity for events, planning and economic development staff to hear from industry leaders, and find out what’s new in the world of tourism and destination marketing.

The theme – ‘Experience changes perceptions’ – relates to creating tourism experiences that will attract and sustain a local and visiting audience, investment, partnerships and content development.

Topics will include:

  • how to develop destination experiences for your local government area
  • how technology is reshaping visitor experiences
  • how to drive tourism and niche tourism opportunities.

There will also be updates from Destination NSW and the NSW Department of Industry and site visits focusing on food, wedding and environmental tourism.

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 further conference information, email Karen Rolls, LGNSW Administrative Officer Communications and Events or call 02 9242 4050.

Register online by 8 March.

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Oversize Overmass Vehicles Teleconference

The federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities will hold a teleconference for NSW councils on Friday 8 March, to discuss oversize, overmass vehicle movements.

The department is seeking feedback from as many stakeholders as possible regarding recommendations arising from the recent national inquiry into the industry and its governance.

To find out more and participate, email Sanjiv Sathiah, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer Roads or call 02 9242 4073.

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WaterNSW Customer Advisory Groups

WaterNSW is seeking nominations for membership of its customer advisory groups across rural and metro NSW, for the period from 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2022.

Advisory group members include WaterNSW customers from the regulated and unregulated streams, groundwater irrigators, stock and domestic water users, major water utilities, local water utilities, local government, environmental water users and Indigenous Australian water users.

Nominations are sought from the following areas:

  • Barwon-Darling
  • Border Rivers
  • Coastal-Hunter
  • Greater Sydney
  • Gwydir
  • Lachlan
  • Macquarie-Cudgegong
  • Murray-Lower Darling
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Namoi-Peel.

The groups provide an important forum for WaterNSW to gain feedback on its performance and service delivery from a broad cross-section customers.

For more information visit WaterNSW’s website.

Nominations close on Friday 29 March 2019.

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Sydney Water Customer Council

LGNSW is seeking nominations from councillors interested in joining the Sydney Water Customer Council.

The customer council includes members from key organisations that represent Sydney Water customers.

LGNSW is seeking nominations from councils where Sydney Water operates (i.e. the Sydney metropolitan area, which includes the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra).

Nominees must have:

  • an interest in water-related issues
  • an interest in customer service
  • ability to report their views and those of the wider community
  • ability to give feedback from council meetings to their member agency and the wider community
  • a commitment to work within the philosophy of the Customer Council Charter.

Membership is for a period of up to three years.

Meetings are held quarterly, usually at Sydney Water's Head Office in Parramatta.

Sitting fees are paid and travel expenses are reimbursed.

Councillors wishing to nominate are required submit a brief statement addressing the selection criteria and a short resume.

Nominations must be submitted by email to LGNSW by Friday 8 March 2019.

For more information email Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer.

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