President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

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. 

CENTROC meets at LGNSW's offices in Sydney.

 

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Nominate Your Council for the AR Bluett Memorial Award

Gain prestige and recognition for your council and staff by entering this year’s AR Bluett Memorial Award.

The awards, held annually since 1945, are widely regarded as the greatest accolade a council can receive. They recognise relative progress by member councils of LGNSW, meaning each council receives due consideration for its achievements regardless of size or resources.

They also include the Stephen Ward Scholarship, a grant of up to $2,500 made to at least one employee from each of the award-winning councils to undertake further study, personal development or research.

There are two categories: city and regional councils, and rural councils.

Enter via LGNSW's awards portal between 1 June to 31 July 2019.

For more information, email Les McMahon, AR Bluett Award Trust Chairman or call him on 0412 303 719.

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Drought Outlook and Water Availability: Information Sessions

The Department of Industry – Water (DOI Water) and WaterNSW are hosting a series of public information sessions in drought-impacted regions. 

The forums will provide the latest information for water suppliers, irrigators, farmers, businesses and the broader community. They will also provide updates on surface and groundwater availability and proposed management measures if the dry conditions persist. 

DOI Water and WaterNSW are inviting councils to attend the forums and to help spread awareness of them within their local communities.   

 

The next sessions will be held in:

  • Finley – Monday 3 June 2pm-4pm
  • Deniliquin – Tuesday 4 June 10am-12pm
  • Hay – Tuesday 4 June 2.30pm-4.30pm
  • Colleambally – Wednesday 5 June 9.30am-11.30am
  • Griffith – Wednesday 5 June 1.30pm-3.30pm
  • Gunnedah – Thursday 6 June 1pm-3pm
  • Walgett – Friday 7 June 10am-12pm

This continues the series of sessions that began in February.

Full details (and videos, presentation slides and feedback from previous sessions) are on the DOI website.
 

 

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Call for Nominations - Sydney Water Customer Council

LGNSW is seeking nominations from councillors for appointment to the Sydney Water Customer Council

The customer council is established under Sydney Water’s Operating Licence 2015-2020. Membership is drawn from organisations representing different types of customers. The council advises Sydney Water on the interests of those customers and the wider community in relation to the range and standard of services it provides. 
 

LGNSW’s representative on the customer council represents those councils in Sydney Water’s area of operation (metropolitan Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, and the Illawarra). 

In accordance with the council’s charter, nominees must satisfy the following criteria:

  • an interest in water related issues
  • an interest in customer service
  • an ability to report their views and those of the wider community to Sydney Water
  • an ability to give feedback from the council meetings to their member agency and the wider community when appropriate and where possible
  • a commitment to work within the philosophy of the council charter.
     

Membership is up to three years. Meetings are held quarterly, usually at Sydney Water's head office (1 Smith Street, Parramatta) and typically last around four hours. 

Sitting fees are paid and travel expenses are reimbursed.

Councillors wishing to nominate are required to submit a brief statement addressing the selection criteria and a short resume.

Nominations must be submitted by email to LGNSW by Friday 21 June 2019. 

For more information, please contact Mark Hely.
 

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Green Globe Awards Nominations are Now Open

Nominations are now open for the NSW 2019 Green Globe awards for leadership, commitment and innovation in sustainability. 

Nominations are now open for sustainability leaders and environmental champions, including local government. 

There are 12 award categories celebrating people and projects creating a sustainable future for NSW.

Those of particular interest to councils are: 

  • Built Environment
  • Climate Change Leadership
  • Community Leadership
  • Natural Environment 
  • Public Sector Leadership, and 
  • Sustainability Champion.

For details and to enter, visit the Green Globes website

Nominations close 10 July.
 

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CICA Crane Information Day

The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) is organising a crane demonstration day, as a professional development opportunity for NSW road managers. 

The day will provide the opportunity to see first-hand how cranes perform, to learn about crane operations, community impacts, and how to best manage road access requirements.

The event will be held from 10am–2.30pm on 19 June at Liebherr Australia, 1-15 James Erskine Drive, Erskine Park. 

More details, and register.

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National Heavy Vehicle Law Review Issues Paper 2

The National Transport Commission has begun its review of the National Heavy Vehicle Law.

The commission is inviting stakeholders to provide their views on the law until February 2020. LGNSW will make submissions on each of the eight proposed issues papers.

The second issues paper has now been published, focusing on fatigue management. Feedback is due by 16 August 2019. 

LGNSW is seeking feedback and input from members to inform its whole-of-sector submission. Councils are also encouraged to submit independently.

For information or to provide input, please email Sanjiv Sathiah, LGNSW Senior Policy Officer, Roads and Transport, or call 02 9242 4073.

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Local Government State Award – Seeking General Manager Input

LGNSW is due to commence negotiations with local government unions for a new award to replace the Local Government (State) Award 2017.

Consistent with past practice, LGNSW has established an award working party to assist during the negotiations.  Late last year we sought expressions of interests from suitably experienced general managers and human resources professionals to be on the working party. A number of positions on the working party remain unfilled and general managers wishing to join may still do so.  Email Adam Dansie, Senior Manager Industrial Relations LGNSW, or call 02 9242 4140.

The role of working party representatives includes collecting and disseminating sensitive award-related information (for designated regions), suggesting award variations for inclusion in an employers’ log of claims, and providing feedback on union logs of claims and on proposed award variations.  

The working party meets in Sydney approximately every three months. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for 5 June, 4 September, and 4 December 2019.

For further information, contact LGNSW’s Industrial Relations Unit on 02 9242 4142 and ask to speak with an Industrial Officer.
 

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IPART Determination - Valuer General’s Final Prices for Valuation Services

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released its final decision on the maximum prices that the Valuer General can charge NSW councils for land valuation services over the next six years.  

Land valuations are supplied to councils to use in their calculation of rates. 
 

Councils will pay differing amounts per property valuation, depending on their zones:

  • Country - $7.51
  • Coastal - $6.40
  • Metro - $5.90
  • City of Sydney - $12.21


The prices are in aggregate 4.5% lower than those proposed by the Valuer General.

Read the LGNSW submission and the IPART Determination.

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