President's Message

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Like so many of you, I’m looking forward to the wonderful citizenship ceremonies, Aboriginal and community celebrations that Australia Day brings.

Road safety – With the exceptionally high holiday road toll, LGNSW representatives attended a special road freight industry council meeting on Tuesday to discuss recent heavy vehicle crashes and fatalities. As road manager for the 164,000km local and regional road network (about 90% of the NSW road network by road length) local government has a direct interest. The Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight has asked us all to identify all the things we can do to improve safety on our roads and reduce the road toll.

If you have ideas that need the support of the State or Federal Governments, please let us know so we can support your calls for change. Transport for NSW has posted a short video on its website illustrating just one of the challenges faced by truck drivers and others who share the roads every day – blind spots. Councils are strongly encouraged to share this video via their social networks. 

State Debt Recovery Bill 2017 – LGNSW met with representatives from the Australian Institute of Commercial Recovery (AICR) on Tuesday to discuss the NSW Government’s proposed state debt recovery bill. Among other things, the bill provides for the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) to recover debts for public authorities, including giving councils the option to use this service. We know a large proportion of council debt collection is currently contracted out to private firms, and we are advocating that is does not become mandatory for councils to use SDRO’s services. Please let us know if your council or shire has any other issues or concerns you wish us to advocate for on your behalf. The bill, which was introduced into parliament on 21 November, is awaiting its second reading in the Legislative Assembly.

Joint Organisations – LGNSW is continuing to advocate to senior government representatives for extensions for those councils and shires who require them, and that we continue to have strong concerns about signing up to be a part of a JO in the absence of any knowledge of the content of the governing regulation.

Western Region Road and Transport Advocacy – LGNSW supports the aims of the Draft Future Transport Strategy 2056 but has called on the government to commit to improved transport infrastructure and services in rural and regional areas of NSW to improve passenger and freight connectivity within regions and to other centres, including Sydney. This includes funding to address the increasing freight demands and impacts on our local and regional road network, improved local and regional road and rail-based public transport options, and road safety measures to address the road toll in regional areas. 

Urgent investment, planning and corridor protection is also required on projects such as the north-south inland rail line and the proposed Bells Line Expressway to address increased freight traffic and to streamline road connections between western and central west NSW and Sydney. LGNSW has also advocated for the ongoing viability of regional aviation services and council-managed regional airport infrastructure, and for continued regional airline access to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. 

Warmest wishes, 

Cr Linda Scott

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Welcoming Cities Symposium

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Welcoming Cities will hold its third national symposium in Adelaide on 23 March.

The symposium will consider the challenges and benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion, and leading practice in advancing social cohesion.

The program includes international, national and local experts, policy-makers and leaders. The guest speaker is Institute for Canadian Citizenship CEO Charlie Foran.

Representatives from all three tiers of government as well as peak bodies, NGOs, universities, and business are expected to attend.

Be quick, as early bird registration ($70) closes on Sunday. Visit the Welcoming Cities website for more information and to register.

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Local Government Procurement Board Vacancies

Applications are now being sought from eligible, suitably qualified persons who wish to be considered for appointment to the Board of Local Government Procurement Pty Ltd (LGP).

Local Government NSW is seeking expressions of interest from suitable applicants to fill a number of positions on the Board of Local Government Procurement. Established in 2006, Local Government Procurement is responsible for achieving best value for money in the procurement of goods and services primarily for local councils in NSW. Further information can be found on the LGP website.

Five people will be appointed to the Board; a chair and four members.

The terms of appointment will commence by 1 July 2018. Initial appointments will be for two or three years.

As a minimum, applicants must demonstrate how they meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • working knowledge and/or commercial experience in strategic procurement and supply chain management
  • experience as a CEO, senior executive and/or director
  • extensive working knowledge or understanding of the NSW local government sector.

Applicants must also demonstrate knowledge or experience in two or more of the following areas:

  • developing business strategy and strategic planning
  • board governance and obligations under the Corporations Act
  • financial management, auditing and accounting
  • risk management and compliance
  • formal training in governance or as a director.

If you wish to apply for one of these positions you must complete the application form and address the essential criteria as well as demonstrate relevant knowledge and/or experience as listed above. Visit the LGNSW website for further information about the positions and to download an application form.

Completed application forms and resumes must be sent via email to Magdalena Przybylo or by mail to Magdalena Przbylo, Executive Assistant, Local Government NSW, Level 8, 28 Margaret Street, SYDNEY 2000. Applications close midnight 23 February 2018.

Short listed applicants will need to be available to attend an interview in the week commencing 26 March 2018. After having read the information pack, applicants with further enquiries may email Susan Budd, Senior Manager Governance and Culture, Local Government NSW, or call her on (02) 9242 4005.

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Feedback Wanted for Inquiry into Music and Arts Economy

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LGNSW is seeking council input for its submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the music and arts economy in NSW.

The inquiry will report on the music and arts economy in metropolitan and regional NSW. Its terms of reference relate to policies that support music and arts; sustainability of permanent and temporary venue spaces; and red-tape reduction and funding.

Councils with input for the LGNSW submission should contact Sally Watterson (LGNSW Project Manager Arts and Culture) or Elizabeth Robertson (LGNSW Policy Officer responsible for tourism and night time economies).

Feedback is due by early next month (7 February). Submissions to the inquiry close on 28 February. 

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COTA NSW Consumer Reference Groups

Council on the Ageing NSW is seeking the views of people aged 50-plus during a series of consumer reference groups across the state in February and March.

By 2030, one in three people in NSW will be aged over 50, making issues for older people mainstream.

 

 

Policy staff from Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW) will host consumer reference groups to hear views on:

  • health and well-being
  • experiences of working and retiring
  • levels of community inclusion
  • housing choices
  • getting around in your community.

View schedule of events on the COTA NSW website.

RSVP for your local session.

Further session are being planned for Rockdale, Parramatta, Port Stephens, Bankstown, Bathurst, the Blue Mountains, Port Macquarie, Dubbo and Tweed Heads.

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Community Sharps Guideline Updated

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The NSW Ministry of Health has updated its community guideline for the management of sharps.

Sharps include needles, syringes, lancets and prickers that people use for self-administered healthcare and drug use.

The guideline has been updated in collaboration with councils and LGNSW to reflect existing legislation and practices. It helps councils assess and manage risks and reduce harm associated with the unsafe or inappropriate disposal of community sharps.

For enquiries, contact Senior Policy Analyst Brenda Currie at the Ministry of Health on 02 9461 7304.

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Agricultural Land Use Survey

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The Stage 2 report for the Right to Farm Agricultural Land Use Survey has been published on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.

The report features survey findings from 58 councils and eight in-depth council interviews.

This project, being undertaken by the University of Technology Sydney and NSW DPI, supports the Right to Farm Policy and enables NSW DPI to help councils manage and respond to agricultural land use conflict.

Another survey later this year will mark the final stage of the project.