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.
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.