President's Message

Cr Linda Scott WIN: EXTENSION FOR HARMONISING RATES – We’re pleased to see Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock listening to our calls on behalf of amalgamated councils to allow more time for the harmonisation of rates across former local government area boundaries to ensure newly elected councillors can take a view about future rates after the 2019/2020 elections. 

In response to our advocacy, the Minister has introduced legislation this week giving amalgamated councils an extension until after the 2020 local government elections to undertake the complicated process of harmonising rates across old boundaries. 
Other amendments introduced will: 

  • raise the threshold value for council tendering arrangements to $250,000  
  • allow some functions to be shared or delegated by agreement to fellow councils, that may be better resourced or have particular expertise  
  • extend the cut-off dates by which councils need to decide whether to outsource administration of the 2020 local government elections to the Electoral Commission.

We look forward to the Minister allowing us more time to consult with members on future Acts. 

Should you have questions or concerns about the new Bill, please contact Shaun McBride, Chief Economist, LGNSW.

WIN: EXTENSION FOR LOCAL STRATEGIC PLANNING STATEMENTS – Thank you to the Minister for Planning and Public Places, who has this week agreed to our request to grant an extension for metropolitan councils to exhibit and finalise Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPSs). 

Metropolitan councils now have until 1 October to start exhibiting draft LSPSs and until 30 March 2020 to finalise them, although councils already on track to exhibit by 1 July should do so. Regional councils must have their LSPSs in place by 1 July 2020.  
Unfortunately the Minister has not amended the overarching timeline for metropolitan councils who have received funding to deliver their LEPs by July 2020.  
While we would all have preferred this extension sooner, we welcome this move as it acknowledges the consultation process councils undertake to complete quality LSPSs. 

Please contact Jane Partridge, LGNSW Planning and Transport Strategy Manager, with any questions. 

REGIONAL ROADS REVIEW ADVOCACY – We’re advocating for NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, Paul Toole, to give us the powers to join him in approving the members and terms of reference for his Road Classification Review. 

We had a constructive meeting with Minister Toole this week, in which we welcomed the government’s commitment to this review, which will ask councils about which local roads councils want to hand back to the State – and which they want to keep – as part of the government’s promise to take back 15,000km of local roads to reduce cost-shifting impacts.  

In light of our evidence that roads are the largest contributor to cost shifting in most areas of NSW, we advocated for this review and it is a great advocacy outcome for councils. However, this review must honour the spirit of the government promise – to benefit councils – and we look forward to the Minister agreeing to our request that LGNSW be given a concurrence role for appointments to, and terms of reference for, this government review.

To ensure your local road, cycleway, public transport or pedestrian matter is on our agenda for the next meeting with Minister Toole, please contact Jane Partridge.

SAVE OUR RECYCLING - LGNSW’s submission ahead of the State Budget on 18 June, repeats our call for the NSW Government to reinvest 100 per cent of the Waste Levy to develop a modern, smart, resource recovery and recycling industry right here in NSW. As a first step, the budget must provide for a $100m increase in the allocation of the waste levy to waste management and recycling, commencing in 2019-20 and progressively increasing over the forward estimates. While we welcome the NSW Government’s commitment to develop a 20-year waste strategy, we’re disappointed it has failed to commit any additional funds toward implementing the strategy or building the required infrastructure. We value your continued advocacy on this vital issue and thank Coolamon, Newcastle and Warren councils for recently pledging their support. Please consider passing our mayoral minute if your council hasn’t already done so. Contact LGNSW’s Environment Strategy Manager Susy Cenedese for more information or to share your council’s action. 
SEEKING EXCELLENCE IN THE ENVIRONMENT – Nominations are open for this year’s LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards – the leading environmental awards for local government. Councils are encouraged to share their outstanding achievements in protecting and managing the environment. Find out more
UPCOMING MINSTERIAL AND OTHER MEETINGS – I will be meeting with the Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey, and the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, Bronwyn Taylor in coming weeks. 

Please contact Kylie Yates, Director Advocacy LGNSW, if you would like us to raise any issues on your council’s behalf.

Photo: Meeting with NSW Minister for Regional Roads and Transport, Paul Toole.

Minister Toole



Embedding Engagement Within Councils – Seminar

Canterbury-Bankstown Council and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) are hosting a free seminar, Embedding Engagement Within Councils, for community engagement, communications and planning staff (Bankstown, Tuesday 25 June 2019).

During the panel discussion, participants will hear from councils about challenges they’ve faced, and strategies used to tackle them.

It will be a great opportunity for networking, learning from colleagues and finding new strategies to take back to your everyday work. 

To find out more and secure a place, email IAP2.


Nominees Sought for Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW Consultation Group

LGNSW is seeking nominations for two positions on a new Industry Consultation Group for Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW (CCNSW).

The group will provide advice to the CCNSW Board on strategic planning, key projects and matters of interest in the interment sector. 

Membership is predominantly aimed at an operational, senior management level to understand interment industry views. 

Group members will:
Provide advice and information

  • contribute to project planning and development and work collaboratively to develop recommended options and solutions
  • prepare for meetings and be well informed on issues before the group, and seek additional information if required, and
  • provide information in a timely manner and give reasonable notice of any matters to be proposed for discussion.

Nominees should:

  • represent local government-run cemeteries in NSW, and
  • preferably have experience in cemetery management.

For further information or to apply, email Elle Brunsdon, LGNSW Policy Officer, or call 02 9242 4082 by Friday 14 June 2019.

Applications should include your name, title, contact details, council and a short paragraph on your relevant experience. 


Excellence in the Environment Awards

Councils are encouraged to showcase their outstanding achievements in managing and protecting the environment by entering this year’s LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards.

The awards celebrate programs, projects and people across 16 categories, including two new categories, Environment Health Management and Towards Net Zero Emissions.

Awards are for projects undertaken between January 2018 to June 2019.

Each award has three divisions based on a council's population:

•    less than 30,000
•    30,000 - 70,000
•    more than 70,000.

Winners will be announced at an award forum and ceremony in Sydney on 3 December.

The ceremony culminates in the presentation of the prestigious local sustainability awards – one for overall council performance and one for an individual council staff member or elected councillor.

The winner of the Local Sustainability Award receives an overseas study tour or a professional development program for staff, valued at $10,000, while the Individual Sustainability winner receives a weekend away at an eco-focused venue.

Adam Spencer, former ABC Radio Sydney presenter, author and sustainability advocate will return as master of ceremonies.

For more information and to enter visit the LGNSW website.

Entries close 5pm Monday 29 July 2019.

Contact: LGNSW Senior Policy Officer Denise Anderson.

LGNSW appreciates continued support from sponsors including: the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Environment Protection Authority, Local Government Super, NSW Ministry of Health, Water Directorate, NSW Roadside Environment Committee, SafeWork NSW and WolfPeak.


Renewable Cities Forum

Local government professionals interested in renewable energy, zero-emissions transport and clean energy targets are invited to attend a free Renewable Cities Conference in Sydney on June 13-14. 

The two-day forum is run by Renewable Cities Australia.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will open the forum and will discuss City of Sydney’s progress towards net zero energy for multi-unit residential, office, hotel and mixed-use development buildings.

More information and register.


NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards

If you know an individual volunteer or team of volunteers that deserve recognition for their community service, consider nominating them for the 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. 

Launched in 2007 by the Centre for Volunteering, the awards celebrate the efforts of volunteers. 

More than 112,000 people from 470 organisations received awards and certificates last year.

Nominations can be made across seven categories:

•    young –  24 years and under
•    adult – 25 to 64 years
•    senior – 65 years and over
•    volunteer team
•    corporate volunteer (individual)
•    corporate volunteer (team)
•    excellence in volunteer management. 

Visit the Centre for Volunteering’s website for more information and to make a nomination. 

The closing date is 12 July 2019.


Community Resilience Innovation Program Grants

NSW councils can apply for a share of $1.5 million in grants through the Community Response Innovation Program (CRIP), for projects that increase all-hazard disaster preparedness and build community capacity and resilience.

Projects may be targeted towards entire communities or tailored to groups identified as being vulnerable to disasters.

Successful projects will address the priorities of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience including:
•    lead change and coordinate effort
•    understand risks
•    communicate with and educate people about risks
•    partner with those who effect change
•    empower individuals and communities to exercise choice and take responsibility
•    reduce risks in the built environment
•    support capabilities for disaster resilience.

Visit the Office of Emergency Management website for more information and to apply.

Applications close 23 July 2019.