President's Message

Cr Linda Scott LGNSW BOARD MEETS – Your LGNSW Board met in Sydney today to advance our policy agenda and endorse key items for strategy and governance for the organisation. 

We congratulated Premier Gladys Berejiklian on her election, along with key appointments – Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environment Minister Matt Kean. 

We noted progress on our NSW Election Priorities 2019, now our LGNSW Advocacy Priorities 2019 with commitment from the elected government on more than half of our 12 priority issues.

We urged members to support ALGA’s 2019 Federal Election Initiatives ahead of the upcoming federal election on 18 May by moving a motion supporting the ALGA initiatives and meeting with local federal candidates to advance our national priorities.

We welcomed federal budget and opposition commitments, including significant investment in road funding, alongside key commitments from the opposition, particularly on funding for waste and recycling.

We congratulated those who have been awarded and recognised in NSW Local Government, including the election of our new Australian Local Government Women’s Association President, Clr Cassandra Coleman from Lithgow. 

The Board discussed key issues of concern to members, including:

  • advocacy for water considering the conditions in regional NSW
  • the significant restructuring of NSW public sector agencies, including the abolition of the Office of Local Government (OLG) and implications for NSW councils
  • our concern about Local Government Super contributions required by councils with short notice periods.  

The Board endorsed many LGNSW submissions on a wide range of issues including: the Alternative Waste Treatment Facility Processing Refund Protocol; Fire and Rescue NSW’s Fire Safety Guideline – Fire safety in waste facilities; the Private Native Forestry Review; proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code; the Streamlined Consumer Assessment for Aged Care discussion paper; and the review of the National Urban Water Utility Performance Reporting Framework.

Thank you to our members who have contributed to these submissions. Read more.

ADVOCACY UPDATE – I’m delighted we have secured bipartisan support for more than half of six of our LGNSW Advocacy Priorities 2019 and have definitive commitments on most of the others. Thanks to everyone who met with candidates and used our priorities to champion local government in the run up to the 2019 state election.

We’ve produced an update of key commitments secured so far. We’ll keep you updated on our progress as we continue to work with the Berejiklian government, the opposition and crossbenchers, to implement the commitments already given, and advocate for you and your communities.

COUNCIL VISITS CONTINUE – Thank you to the councils who hosted us for visits this week, including Snowy Valleys, Snowy Monaro and Queanbeyan-Palerang councils. Meeting members and hearing stories we can use to strengthen our value to you, and our advocacy, is a vital part of the work we do for you at LGNSW.  

CELEBRATING LOCAL GOVERNMENT SUCCESS – All councils are encouraged to enter the 2019 Local Government Awards. Presented during Local Government Week – from 29 July-4 August in 2019 – the awards celebrate the exceptional work being done by councils throughout the state. Winners will be announced on Thursday 1 August 2019. Read more. 

Councils are also encouraged to nominate staff for the NSW Public Service Medal, especially junior and mid-level staff who have gone above and beyond to achieve outcomes.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR SYDNEY WATER CUSTOMER COUNCIL – We are seeking nominations from councillors in the Sydney metropolitan area (including the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra) who are interested in joining the Sydney Water Customer Council. I urge councillors with an interest in water-related issues to consider applying. For more information and to apply, email Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer.

Photos: Council visits to Quenbeyan-Palerang, Snowy Monaro (Cooma) and Snowy Valleys (Tumut) councils.
 

Queanbeyan

Cooma

Tumut

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Board Meeting Report

The LGNSW Board met in Sydney today. 

The Board: 

  • Welcomed LGNSW Chief Executive Tara McCarthy to her first Board meeting.
  • Congratulated Premier Gladys Berejiklian on her election, along with key appointments – Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environment Minister Matt Kean.
  • Congratulated re-elected and newly elected state MPs including LGNSW Board Treasurer Marjorie O’Neill – and all candidates who contested the election including LGNSW Board members Karen McKeown and Darriea Turley.
  • Noted progress on our NSW Election Priorities 2019, now our LGNSW Advocacy Priorities 2019 with commitment from the elected government for over half of our 12 priority issues.
  • Urged members to support ALGA’s 2019 Federal Election Initiatives ahead of the upcoming federal election on 18 May by moving a motion supporting the ALGA initiatives and meeting with local federal candidates to advance our national priorities.
  • Welcomed federal budget commitments, including significant investment in road funding, alongside key commitments from the opposition, particularly on funding for waste and recycling.

The Board discussed key issues of concern to members, including:

  • advocacy for water in light of the conditions in regional NSW, 
  • the significant restructuring of NSW public sector agencies, including the abolition of the Office of Local Government (OLG) and implications for NSW councils, and 
  • our concern about Local Government Super contributions required by councils with short notice periods.

The Board endorsed many LGNSW draft submissions on a wide range of issues including: the Alternative Waste Treatment Facility Processing Refund Protocol; Fire and Rescue NSW’s Fire Safety Guideline – Fire safety in waste facilities; the Private Native Forestry Review; proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code; the Streamlined Consumer Assessment for Aged Care discussion paper; the review of the National Urban Water Utility Performance reporting Framework.

LGNSW submissions are available online.

The Board congratulated the following recipients of awards:

  • Mayor Rhonda Hoban, Nambucca 
  • Cr Douglas Hawkins, Liverpool Plains
  • Elaine Malicki, Ku-ring-gai
  • Graeme Kelly, United Services Union, and
  • Mick Savage from the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) for his 100th appearance and participation at the IPWEA forums awards, and
  • Cassandra Coleman on being elected President of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association.

The next LGNSW Board meeting will be held on Friday 7 June 2019.

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Local Government Week Awards 2019 – Entries Open

Make sure your council’s achievements are recognised by entering this year’s Local Government Week Awards.

Entries are now open in four categories, celebrating achievements in communication, arts, youth and planning.

All councils are encouraged to enter at least one of the following:


Enter online by Monday 3 June 2019.

The awards will be presented on Thursday 1 August at Swissotel Sydney, as part of Local Government Week.

For more information email Karen Rolls on 02 9242 4050. 
 

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Rapid Assessment Methodology and EcoRoadside Training

LGNSW will hold a training session for councils on conducting conservation value assessments of roadside areas using the rapid assessment methodology and capturing data using the EcoRoadside app (Parkes, 7 May, 9-4pm).

Participants will learn how to:
 

  • source and access existing information about roadside reserves, including maps, reports and databases
  • use the rapid assessment methodology to assess roadside reserves
  • use the EcoRoadside App to undertake field-based assessments.


Limited places are available at no cost to councils.

Register online.

For more information email Kathy Godfrey, LGNSW Council Roadside Reserves Project Officer.

This project is supported by the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust.
 

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Silica Symposium

Councils are invited to attend SafeWork NSW’s Silica Symposium 2019 to find out the latest in silica best practice from industry experts and health professionals (Sydney, 7 May).

Very fine particles of crystalline silica dust, which are 100 times smaller than a grain of sand (known as respirable crystalline silica), are harmful when inhaled into the lungs.

Airborne dust is most likely to occur when materials or products containing silica are cut, sanded, drilled or handled in any other way that creates fine dust.

Exposure to silica dust can lead to several serious illnesses such as:

  • silicosis – scarring of the lungs which can result in a severe shortness of breath and is not reversible; severe cases can be terminal or require a lung transplant
  • lung cancer
  • kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Adequate controls such as limiting airborne dust and using personal protective equipment can prevent hazardous exposures and illness in the workplace. 

Find out more and register online.
 

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Hoisting and Construction Activities in Public Spaces

The City of Sydney is seeking feedback on proposed new approval processes, controls and responsibilities when operating and working in public places.

The Draft local approvals policy and code of practice: hoisting and construction activities in public places provides information for property owners, builders and contractors.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

For more information email Peter Conroy, Standards and Policy Specialist, City of Sydney.
 

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Local Strategic Planning Statements Training

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), is offering free training sessions for councillors and council staff on preparing local strategic planning statements. 

Following changes to the Environment Planning and Assessment Act last year, councils are required to prepare statements by 1 December 2019 (Sydney councils) and 1 July 2020 (regional councils).

The next sessions will be held in Ballina on:

For more information or to express interest in a course for your area, email UTS.
 

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Small Business Friendly Councils Conference

The NSW Small Business Commissioner will host the inaugural Small Business Friendly Councils Conference in Sydney’s Swissotel from 16-17 May 2019. 

Under the theme ‘Supercharging your local economy’, the conference will include presentations by industry experts, case studies and networking opportunities.

Program highlights include:

  • How to plan for the future – a presentation on innovation, stimulating local economies and jobs of the future by demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle
  • A small business commissioners panel discussion including Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell.


Free registration is being offered to mayors and general managers.

See the full program and register online.

For more information email Small Business Friendly Councils.
 

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IPART Review of Prices for Land Valuation Services

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Triunal (IPART) is seeking feedback on its draft determination regarding the maximum prices the Valuer General can charge councils for the provision of land valuation services for the next six years – from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2025. 

LGNSW lodged a submission in response to IPART’s issues paper and the Valuer General’s pricing proposal and is now preparing a response to the draft determination.

To provide input, please review IPART’s draft report and determination and email comments to Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, by Wednesday 17 April 2019.
 

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