President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

This week, we represented you in Canberra for this month’s ALGA Board Meeting. The ALGA Board approved our national local government federal election advocacy plan, which makes the case for why we need one per cent of commonwealth taxation revenue. We will roll out campaign materials to you soon.

Local governments look after 33 per cent of the nation’s infrastructure with only three per cent of the total taxation revenue – we need urgent change.

If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to move a motion to endorse ALGA’s 2019 Federal Election Initiatives at your council and meet with your local federal candidates to help advance our sector’s national election priorities. 

RECYCLING WIN: Labor commitment – NSW Labor unveiled its waste policy last weekend, pledging to split new funding from the waste levy between environmental programs and a $140 million circular economy and jobs investment fund to be paid to councils over four years to develop our onshore recycling capacity. This follows a commitment from the NSW Greens and minor parties to our Save Our Recycling campaign objective. 

Now is the time for the Liberal-National Government to explain what they are going to do about the recycling crisis and the waste levy if elected. See our media release and watch our video of the recent recycling summit.

OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE WIN: Liberal/National commitment – We welcome a guarantee from the NSW Government, that if re-elected, before and after school care will be made available to all parents with children at public primary schools by 2021. They will also establish a specialist team to coordinate services and manage leases, easing the pressure many councils face in finding accommodation in, or near, schools. We call upon NSW Labor to make a similar commitment. 

ADVOCACY WIN: Liberal response – NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has provided a written response to our NSW State Election Priorities 2019 which includes:

  • confirmation of $60 million for public libraries over four years (we are asking for $94 million)
  • confirmation of $1 billion for local roads and country bridges
  • no move towards supporting Save Our Recycling’s objective
  • a commitment to rate pegging
  • confirmation that there are no plans to privatise local water utilities
  • a commitment to consider the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters to ensure amendments are implemented ahead of the September 2020 council elections.

Read the full response.

Watch our video of last week’s debate at Parliament House to catch up on the views of seven of NSW’s party leaders.

Supporting our councillors and staff – I was delighted to speak to elected and staff women from across NSW during the Women in Local Government Forum in Wagga Wagga, organised by Clr Vanessa Keegan.

Despite their valuable contribution to public service, women are still severely under-represented in leadership roles. In NSW we lag way behind other states, with only a little more than a quarter of our mayors, less than a third of councillors and less than a fifth of general managers being women.  

Thank you to Wollondilly, Camden and Wingecarribee shire councils for hosting us this week.

This Sunday we head to Gosford for our Central Coast Summit on independent hearing and assessment panels - you can still register online

The lively discussion with mayors from different regions, but shared concerns about the need to reform the NSW planning system, extends our work for you on Election Priority#4 

PS I’m looking forward to this year’s Tourism Conference, which begins on Sunday. 

Photos: Women in Local Government Forum; visit to Wingecarribee Shire Council; visit to Wollondilly Shire Council.

Wagga Wagga visit


WSingecarribee council


Wollondilly Council visit



ALGA National General Assembly – Call for Motions

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is calling for motions for its National General Assembly (Canberra, 16-19 June 2019).

This is an important opportunity for councils to influence the national policy agenda.

The primary focus of all motions should be to strengthen the capacity of local government to provide services and infrastructure in Australia.They must meet the following criteria:

  • be relevant to the work of local government nationally
  • be consistent with the theme of the general assembly
  • complement or build on the policy objectives of your state and territory local government association
  • be submitted by a council which is a financial member of their state or territory local government association
  • propose a clear action and outcome
  • not be advanced on behalf of external third parties that may seek to use the NGA to apply pressure to Board members or to gain national political exposure for positions that are not directly relevant to the work of, or in the national interests of, local government.

Motions should be submitted online by Friday 29 March 2019.

For more information call ALGA on 02 6122 9400 or visit the ALGA website.


Safer Communities Fund

Councils, preschools, schools and community organisations can apply for grants under round four of the Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund, for projects to protect children who are at risk of racial or religious intolerance.

Grants ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million are available for security infrastructure and engagement activities including:

  • installing CCTV cameras, lighting, fencing, bollards, alarms and swipe access
  • hiring security guards
  • social cohesion projects that reduce the chance of children being attacked or harassed due to racial or religious intolerance
  • community and youth engagement forums for those at risk of offending
  • staff training.

Projects must be completed by 31 March 2021.

Applications are open from Tuesday 19 March - Thursday 4 April 2019.


Waste 2019


Registrations are now open for Waste 2019 – Australia’s leading waste and resource recovery conference (Coffs Harbour, 14-16 May).

This year’s program features keynote addresses from industry experts, inspiring case studies, interactive workshops and panel discussions.

In addition to the main conference program, there are two pre-conference workshops – planning and best practice waste education and engagement projects and best practice waste management for local councils. Find out more.

For more information email Dawn Hallinan or call 02 6583 8118.

Register online.


Primary Production and Rural Development

The NSW Government has introduced a new framework for primary production and rural development.

Since 28 February 2019, provisions in five former agriculture-themed state environmental planning policies have been consolidated, updated or repealed, and new guidelines developed.

For further information visit the NSW Department of Environment and Planning website.


2019 Water Management Conference – Call for Presenters

LGNSW is calling for presenters for this year’s Water Management Conference (Albury, 2-4 September).

Councils, local water utilities, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders are encouraged to submit presentations and case studies, and other suggestions for the conference program, by Friday 26 April 2019.

Held annually, the conference provides a broad range of information from a local government perspective on water policy and regulation, water utility management, water security and quality, and service delivery.

Please refer to the presentation guidelines before you submit your proposal online.

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