President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

FEDERAL ELECTION PRIORITIES – With 15 days until the Federal Election, if you haven’t already done so, please make sure your council moves to endorse the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) 12 key federal election asks and that you take all necessary action to support this advocacy.  

We are asking the incoming government to:
1.    Repair federal funding to local government
2.    Realise the productive potential of Australia’s freight routes
3.    Boost safety on local roads
4.    Promote equitable access to community services
5.    Protect communities from the impacts of natural disasters
6.    Support communities with their climate change response
7.    Promote healthier communities
8.    Foster Indigenous well-being and prosperity
9.    Support communities on their digital transformation journeys
10.    Strengthen Australia’s circular economy
11.    Support local government’s current work in addressing affordable housing and homelessness issues, and
12.    Address the South Australian road funding anomaly

See the ALGA All Politics is Local website which contains comprehensive information on each of the above, plus some terrific materials for mayors, councillors, and communication teams (including infographics, media release templates and messaging guides). 

KEEP CAMPAIGNING FOR FAIRER FUNDING – Also, a reminder to keep supporting the national campaign for fairer federal funding – specifically an increase in financial assistance grants from 0.55 to one per cent of total Commonwealth revenue. Councils need proper funding, especially as they must manage 33 per cent of the nation’s infrastructure with just three per cent of total public sector tax receipts.  Make sure you have a look at the council advocacy kit and act now.  Email Kylie Yates, LGNSW Advocacy Director, with questions or feedback or to let us know if you adopt a council resolution.
 
LOCAL STRATEGIC PLANNING STATEMENTS –  We have been formally advised that Planning Minister Rob Stokes is still considering our request to extend the deadline for submitting local strategic planning statements, and appreciates the urgency of this issue, particularly for metropolitan councils. We will advise members as soon as a decision is communicated to us.  If you have any questions, please contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Jane Partridge

RECOVERING ROADS TO RECOVERY FUNDING – We’re calling upon the federal government to fix a shortfall in Roads to Recovery funding announced in this year’s budget. The base funding for the next five years was increased. However, the total program funding is $700 million less than it was for the previous five year program.  If you have any examples of ways in which this impacts your local area that may assist with our advocacy on your behalf, please email LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, Sanjiv Sathiah.

PREPARING FOR CONFERENCE & SAVE THE DATE– Our Policy Review Working Committee met yesterday to review updates to LGNSW’s position statements, based on feedback from member councils – including through conference resolutions. This is an important piece of work, particularly in the lead up to the 2019 LGNSW Annual Conference. Please save the date (14-16 October 2019) and note that you can book accommodation and travel via our website or email our events team for information.  Please start thinking about motions your council might put forward as we will call for them soon.
 
Next week I will be on the road again and am looking forward to hosting a summit in Temora and also meeting up independently with several other councils in the region. 

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Local Government Week 2019: Plan Your Events

It’s time to start planning for this year’s Local Government Week (29 July - 4 August). 

The 2019 theme is Your Council

A record number of councils took part last year and LGNSW encourages all councils to host events and activities during the week. 
 

As you start thinking of things to do, have a look at last year’s Twitter feed for ideas and inspiration. 
 
Logos and posters are now available on the LGNSW website, and more resources will be added over the coming weeks. You can also promote on social media by using the hashtag #LGWeek2019.

For further information, email Karen Rolls or call 02 9242 4050. 
 

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Asbestos - Standards for Managing Construction Waste in NSW

The Standards for Managing Construction Waste in NSW set out new management requirements for waste facilities, designed to improve the detection of asbestos contamination in construction and demolition waste generated in the metropolitan levy area. 

This initiative is part of wider construction waste reforms to reduce exposure to asbestos for all of those involved in or impacted by the construction waste supply chain in NSW. 

Further details are available on the EPA website.  
 

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Strata Community Environment and Engagement Award

Strata Community Australia (NSW) invites nominations from strata schemes that are working to reduce their impact on the environment through sustainability projects or by using products and services that have positive environmental outcomes. 

Projects and initiatives could include:


•    reduced water and electricity consumption
•    sustainable food production
•    enhanced biodiversity
•    active transport

All nominees in the category receive a complimentary SCA annual membership valued at $100 and finalists will be invited to attend a gala dinner and awards event in July.

Apply online by 31 May.
 

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Grants to Celebrate National Carers Week

Grants of up to $300 are available to carer support groups and organisations to plan events and activities for carers during National Carers Week.

Councils are encouraged to apply or to promote the grants to local organisations in the lead up to Carers Week, Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 October.

The events acknowledge anyone caring for a family member or friend and gives them a break from the responsibilities of their caring role.

See the Carers NSW website for more information and to apply before 21 June.

For more information, email the Carers NSW comms team or call 1800 242 636.


 

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Heavy Vehicle Reform – Seeking Council Experts

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LGNSW is seeking subject matter experts in NSW councils to help inform submissions on national heavy vehicle reform.

Councils are invited to contribute to current and upcoming reviews relating to the following national heavy vehicle (NHV) projects:
 

•    the National Heavy Vehicle Law Review
•    the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy
•    the National Heavy Vehicle Access Strategy; 
•    the Productivity Commission Inquiry into National Transport Regulatory Reform
•    Heavy Vehicle Delegations Project; and 
•    the Implementation of the Oversize Overmass Inquiry Recommendations.

Each of these reform programs has significant implications for councils, their communities and road infrastructure. Council input is vital in helping to shape better outcomes for local communities, industry and the economy.

If you have staff in your council who can provide expert advice on these issues, please contact Sanjiv Sathiah, Senior Policy Officer, Roads and Transport or call 02 9242 4073.
 

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Local Government Remuneration Tribunal Annual Report and Determination

The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal has handed down its 2019 Annual Report and Determination on the fees payable to councillors and mayors.

The Tribunal granted a 2.5 per cent increase in the fees payable to councillors and mayors, which is the maximum allowable increase under the Government’s wages policy.

The increase takes effect on and from 1 July 2019.

The Tribunal did not undertake a broad review of the categorisation of councils and considered only those requests where an individual submission was made. The Tribunal considered ten requests for re-categorisation having regard to the case put forward and the criteria for each category. 

None of the councils that sought re-categorisation were successful. However, the Tribunal noted that some of the councils seeking to be moved are likely to meet the criteria for re-categorisation in future determinations in the medium term.

The Tribunal will next consider the categorisation model, the criteria applicable to each group and the allocation of councils in detail in 2020.

For further information, contact the LGNSW Industrial Relations Unit on (02) 9242 4142 and ask to speak with an industrial officer.
 

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