KEEPING THE GOVERNMENT TO ITS COMMITMENTS – Congratulations to re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. We look forward to working with the Australian Local Government Association and all of you to ensure we hold them to their commitments that affect our sector and communities.
The Australian Local Government Association’s election priorities remain central to continuing advocacy at a federal level, and we will continue to advocate for these when meeting with the re-elected Government. Read more.
PREPARING FOR THE STATE BUDGET – On your behalf, LGNSW is preparing a submission ahead of the June state budget. We will focus on the financial commitments the government made in response to our 12 election priorities and how they translate into funded programs, alongside the wide range of other priorities from resolutions from the 2018 annual conference. Should you have important points for us to raise or questions, please contact Mark Hely, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer.
CELEBRATING NATIONAL RECONCILIATION WEEK – It’s so lovely to see councils holding so many cultural and community activities to celebrate National Reconciliation Week 2019 (27 May to 3 June). This year we are commemorating two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the 1967 referendum to include Aboriginal peoples in the census and the anniversary of the High Court Mabo native title decision. This year’s theme is Grounded in Truth – Walk Together with Courage. Read more about local government’s involvement in our media release, help spread the word with these resources and mention @lgnsw on Twitter when promoting your events.
CHANGES AT LG SUPER – In line with our conference resolution, LGNSW is working to achieve a positive future for Local Government Super. We have introduced regular Board briefings from Local Government Super and welcome that they are recruiting for an independent chair and, soon after, a chief executive for the fund. In line with our new policy all appointments to the Local Government Super Board from Local Government NSW are recruited through a transparent, merit-based selection process open to all councillors of member councils, advertised in our newsletter.
We welcome that Local Government Super will also consult with members about the timing of contributions to the Defined Benefit Scheme and will offer choices about how they should be structured. As endorsed at the 2018 LGNSW Annual Conference, we have also asked Local Government Super to:
- undertake an independent review of the investment strategy for the Retirement and Defined Benefits Schemes, and
- cease requiring additional employer superannuation contributions in relation to employees belonging to the Retirement Scheme and Defined Benefit Scheme as soon as the liabilities and assets of those schemes are deemed to be fully vested and comply with the minimum acceptable risk level requirements set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
We will continue to work with all our associated entities to ensure transparency and best practice governance standards are upheld. If you have any issues or concerns, please contact Susan Budd, LGNSW Corporate Counsel & Company Secretary.
INQUIRY CLEARS BLUE MOUNTAINS COUNCIL OVER ASBESTOS CLAIMS – Congratulations to the elected representatives and staff at Blue Mountains City Council, who have been cleared of asbestos management issues after an inquiry prompted by former Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton. Commissioner Richard Beasley noted that the council’s process of engaging Clyde & Co and McCullough Robertson was prudent and appropriate, that there had never been a conflict of interest, and that the council’s response to the allegations of a conflict was reasonable and appropriate.
COUNCIL VISITS – Thank you to the mayors, councillors and staff from Parkes, Lachlan, Bland, Weddin, Forbes, and Cabonne councils (pictured) for meeting with us this week.