President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE CAMPAIGN – With the Federal Election to be held in 30 days, our Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has launched a campaign to increase the Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs) councils receive, from 0.55 percent of total Commonwealth revenue to one percent. 

Our councils must manage 33% of the nation’s infrastructure with just 3% of total public sector tax receipts.

All 537 local councils in Australia need this funding to maintain safe roads, improve sports grounds and local parks and upgrade local libraries.

The campaign, A Fairer Share, includes an advocacy kit with materials for councils to use. LGNSW strongly supports this campaign and, as Vice-President of ALGA, on your behalf I continue to advocate for ALGA to keep the pressure on the Commonwealth regarding this issue.  

If you haven’t done so already, please ensure your council passes a resolution to join this important campaign (a sample resolution is included in the kit, so your voice and the voice of NSW is heard at the Federal level). Please also ensure your council moves to endorse ALGA’s 12 key Federal Election asks, including better support for infrastructure, communities, recycling, indigenous communities, climate change and more.

If you have any questions, please email Kylie Yates, LGNSW Advocacy Director. And please do let us know if you adopt the council resolution in the advocacy kit or take other action to support the campaign.

ADVOCACY AND MEMBER VALUE UPDATE VIDEO – I wanted to give you a quick update on the work we’ve been doing at LGNSW and, importantly, the value we’ve been adding to you, our members. 

Watch below.

Linda Scott video

 

IPART REVIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION COSTS – As the costs of local government elections continues to rise, we welcome that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking written submissions on local government election costs.

The issues paper seeks responses to 15 key questions intended to assist IPART in recommending a costing methodology for determining the amount the NSWEC charges councils when it administers their ordinary elections.

LGNSW is preparing a submission in response to IPART’s issues paper and I encourage you to provide your feedback. To provide input, email Damian Thomas, LGNSW Strategy Manager, by Friday 3 May 2019. Read more

DROUGHT ASSISTANCE – Your Board members and I have heard from of you about the terrible impact drought is having on many of your communities, including that getting the right assistance is challenging. A reminder that all information about the drought and drought assistance can be found on the DroughtHub website. If there are other specific types of support/assistance your council might need, please email Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, with details and to assist with coordinating offers of assistance.

These and other issues will be discussed at the upcoming LGNSW Water Management Conference in Albury from 2-4 September.

EASTER ROAD SAFETY – LGNSW, along with police and the NSW Government, is calling on drivers to put safety first this Easter long weekend – and that means funding roads properly.

There has been an alarming increase in the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on the NSW road system, with speed, alcohol, drugs and distractions among the key risk factors.

In January this year, the NSW Government announced an injection of $182 million to boost road safety on country roads to install 113km of safety barriers, 3000km of rumble strips and 2800km of wide centreline to prevent run-off-road and head-on crashes. And during the state election campaign, the Liberals/Nationals committed an additional $1 billion for the maintenance of local roads and country bridges, which will also improve road safety and is great news for regional and rural councils. In the recent federal budget, the Australian Government announced an additional $550 million over the next 10 years for its Black Spot Program – this will see our state’s share increase from $23 million to $27 million a year, up from past levels of $13-14 million.

While we welcome these increases in funding, this is still short of recent recommendations in the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, which recommended the federal government commit to a minimum $3 billion-a-year road safety fund.

I wish you all a safe and happy Easter break.

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General Manager Remuneration Report

Councils can now order the annual NSW Local Government General Manager Remuneration and Legacy Report.

The report contains comparisons of general manager cost-to-council against those of:

•    all NSW councils
•    urban/rural councils
•    similar councils
•    Remuneration Tribunal determinations
•    Office of Local Government regions.

Cost-to-council includes the total amount of bonus payments, performance payments or other payments made to a general manager, the cash salary component of remuneration and fringe benefits tax paid by a council.

Reports have been delivered to councils that subscribe to LGNSW’s Analytics Package and are now in PDF format. They’re also available through our online reporting and analysis tool, Fathom.

Order a copy of the report or email Debra Law, Divisional Coordinator, LGNSW.
 

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2019 Water Management Conference – Call for Presentation Proposals

LGNSW is calling for presenters for the 2019 Water Management Conference, which will be held in Albury on 2-4 September. 

This annual event presents the most current and relevant information on water policy and regulation, water utility management, water security and quality and service delivery.

Councils, local water utilities, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders are now invited to submit proposals for presentations and case studies, and other suggestions for the conference program.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 26 April 2019

Proposals should be submitted using the Presentation Proposal Form

Download the guidelines for preparing a proposal.

If you have any questions or need further information, please email Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, or call him on 9242 4045.

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Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing Media Awards

Nominations are open for the 2019 Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA) Media Awards. 

MACA provides advice to the Minister for Ageing on matters relating to ageing and older people.

The awards seek to challenge negative stereotypes towards older people by highlighting examples of balanced and realistic media reporting on older people and ageing.

There are several categories of awards for which councils are eligible to apply.

Councils can nominate online.

For further information, contact the MACA Secretariat.
 

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Local Government Resilient Australia Award 2019 – Apply Now

Councils running projects designed to build community disaster resilience are invited to enter the Resilient Australia Awards.

The awards celebrate initiatives that build whole-of-community resilience to disasters and emergencies and recognise collaboration and innovative thinking.
 

Since 2000, the awards have showcased innovation and best practice across Australia, celebrating achievements that might otherwise go unseen and inspiring others to build greater disaster resilience in their own communities.

Find out more and apply online before 17 May 2019. 

For further information, email the NSW awards convenor or call 02 9212 9278. 

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Best Practice Asbestos Management for Councils

Councils are invited to attend a free forum on best practice asbestos management, hosted by Griffith Shire Council and the RAMJO Riverina Waste Group.

Topics include:
•    asbestos Management during emergencies and incidents
•    asbestos land contamination, asbestos waste management and illegal dumping of asbestos 
•    management of asbestos risks within council workplaces 
•    the Model Asbestos Policy for NSW councils
•    land contamination and remediation of land 

The forum is on Thursday 23 May at Griffith City Council Offices, 1 Benerembah Street, Griffith NSW 2680, from 11am to 4pm.

Find out more

Register online

For more information, email Daniel Adler, LGNSW Asbestos Policy Project Manager, or call him on 02 9242 4128.

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IPART review of local government election costs

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking feedback on an issues paper released this week as part of its review of local government election costs

Under the NSW Electoral Commission’s (NSWEC) current funding model, councils are required to meet the costs of conducting their elections, with the exception of some NSWEC services such as enrolment and non-voting services, which are provided by the NSWEC at no cost to councils.

Since 2011, councils have had the option to run their own election or enter into a contract with an election service provider (the NSWEC or a private provider).

The issues paper seeks responses to 15 key questions, to assist IPART in recommending a costing methodology for determining the amount the electoral commission charges councils. 

IPART will release a draft report on 25 June 2019. There will also be an opportunity to make submissions in response to the draft report before IPART’s final report is provided to the Minister for Local Government on 30 August 2019.

LGNSW is preparing a submission in response to IPART’s issues paper. To provide input, please review IPART’s issues paper and email your comments to Damian Thomas, LGNSW Strategy Manager, by Friday 3 May 2019. 

Submissions provided directly to IPART are due by 10 May 2019. 
 

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