BUDGET SUBMISSION: OUR ADVOCACY FOR COUNCILS – With the NSW Budget due to be handed to Parliament on 18 June, we’ve taken your motions and feedback to use to prepare a submission calling on the NSW Government to better support local government.
Our key requests include:
• Calling for the NSW Government to match federal Drought Communities Program funding by providing at least $1m for drought-affected councils;
• Reinvesting the NSW Waste Levy revenue into recycling and waste management;
• Allocating $300,000 per annum per joint organisation (JO) for three years;
• Committing to $19m to fund the increase in councils’ Emergency Services Levy for 2019/20;
• Investing $1b over four years in open space and recreation areas and $5m annually over five years to expand urban tree canopies in newly developed residential areas and regional urban centres;
• Allocating $13m to help councils comply with the requirements of the Crown Land Management Act;
• Investing $94m over four years in public libraries and for that funding to be indexed and ongoing;
• Investing $100m in forestry-affected council roads, and
• Committing $40m annually for a recurrent grant program to help the 20 most disadvantaged local government areas meet community needs.
See the full details in our submission on the website. Please feel free to use it to inform your own council’s own submission and other advocacy.
If you have any questions, please contact Shaun McBride, Chief Economist, LGNSW.
JOINT ORGANISATION ADVOCACY – We welcomed the Central NSW Joint Organisation (CENTROC) at your LGNSW office this week and met to ensure our advocacy is working well together on issues such as water, rural health, and the emergency services levy. I thank them for the generous invite, and look forward to continuing to work with CENTROC and other metropolitan ROCS and regional JOs to ensure our advocacy is coordinated, well informed and mutually supportive.
Together with all the joint organisations, we are advocating for the NSW Government to commit to funding each JO - $300,000 each year, for three years - in its forthcoming budget.
YOUR FEEDBACK FOR MEETING THE PREMIER – WHAT CAN WE ADVOCATE FOR? I’m looking forward to meeting with Premier Berejiklian to discuss her government’s welcome commitment for an intergovernmental agreement with Local Government NSW (LGNSW) to ensure regular engagement and contact with mayors and councillors, as well as the need for additional drought funding for councils and the government’s response to our calls for the Emergency Services Levy to be wholly funded by the NSW Government.
Are there issues you wish me to raise on your council’s behalf? Please contact Kylie Yates, Director Advocacy LGNSW, to tell us what you would like us to raise for you.
THANK YOU: ADVOCACY ON EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY HAVING AN IMPACT – THANK YOU to the huge number of councils joining our advocacy to call on the NSW Government to reverse the sudden and unexpected increase in the Emergency Services Levy.
Twenty-seven councils including Temora, Upper Lachlan, Hawkesbury, Richmond Valley, Lockhart, Cessnock, Greater Hume, Port Stephens, Canterbury-Bankstown, Ballina, Georges River, Kempsey, Junee, Cumberland and Coffs Harbour have now passed mayoral minutes, generated media coverage or raised awareness of how the significant hike will impact already cash-strapped councils and communities. From what we’ve heard, many more will follow shortly.
If your council hasn’t already done so, please consider our draft mayoral minute, and continue to keep the pressure up. Contact Mark Hely, Senior Policy Officer LGNSW or Shaun McBride for information or to advise of your council’s action.
NOMINATE FOR THE AR BLUETT MEMORIAL AWARD – Entries for the AR Bluett Memorial Award open tomorrow. The awards, which have been awarded annually since 1945 – are widely regarded as the greatest accolade a council can receive. Winners will be announced during LGNSW's annual conference in October. For more information and to enter visit the LGNSW website, or email AR Bluett Award Trust Chairman Les McMahon.
Photo: Meeting with members of CENTROC on Wednesday.