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.
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.