LGNSW BOARD WELCOMES FEDERAL SHADOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT MINISTER – Thank you to newly-appointed Shadow Federal Minister for Local Government Jason Clare MP, for attending last Friday’s Board meeting in Sydney (7 June) to hear about key issues facing the sector and how he can help raise these at the highest levels of government.
I have also held a really constructive conversation with our new Federal Local Government Minister, and former NSW Mayor, Mark Coulton MP. We look forward to welcoming him to a future LGNSW Board meeting. Read our Board report.
ADVOCACY UPDATE: EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY MOTION PASSED IN NSW PARLIAMENT – Your efforts to ensure the Government reverses their decision to impose significant new charges on councils via the emergency services levy are building momentum. A motion supporting our call for the NSW Government to cover the first 12 months of the extra cost of the emergency services levy was passed by the Legislative Council in Parliament last Thursday (6 June) following the introduction of a private members’ bill by Shadow Local Government Minister Peter Primrose.
Congratulations to those of you that have won media coverage on this issue, including Oberon, Kyogle and Clarence Valley councils.
WIN ON DROUGHT SUPPORT AND FOLLOW LIVE NSW BUDGET UPDATES – We welcome an announcement by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday, confirming that the upcoming State Budget will include $335m to extend emergency drought support and funding to stimulate investment in regional infrastructure, bringing the NSW Government’s investment in drought support to more than $1.8b.
We met with Minister for Water Melinda Pavey this week to seek more details on this announcement, and repeated our calls for councils to be key partners in the delivery of water infrastructure and drought relief. We welcome the Minister’s willingness to consider specific council issues when they are experiencing hardship through drought or in need of assistance with water issues, and we took the opportunity to raise a number of specific issues with her.
If you have an issue you need raised with the Minister, please contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates.
Members are invited to follow LGNSW’s live blog of the announcements relevant to local government on State Budget day next Tuesday (18 June).
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN NSW LOCAL GOVERNMENT – It was such a pleasure to see so many women showing leadership and breaking down barriers in local government last week at the 12th annual NSW Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government.
I congratulate LGNSW Board member, and Forbes Shire Council Mayor, Cr Phyllis Miller, who was highly commended, and also Cr Susan Price OAM (Moree Plains Shire Council), Cr Wendy Waller (Liverpool City Council), Cr Roslyn Harrison (Northern Beaches Council), and Cr Reena Jethi (The Hills Shire Council).
A special mention goes to Board member and Broken Hill City Council Mayor, Cr Darriea Turley for her role in establishing the awards many years ago.
LGNSW welcomes that Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock made clear her strong commitment to encouraging more women into local government, either as elected representatives or council staff, and we look forward to working with her to achieve this. Read more [link to article].
UPCOMING MINISTERIAL MEETINGS: Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women –I will be meeting with the Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronwyn Taylor next week. If you would like us to raise any issues on your council’s behalf, please contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates.
GEARING UP FOR OUR ANNUAL CONFERENCE – I’m very excited to have signed our written invitations to mayors, councillors and general managers this week inviting them to this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference (Warwick Farm, 14-16 October) and outlining important information on registration, voting and motions submission.
As you know, conference is the main policy-making event for our sector and your council’s opportunity to submit motions for debate and vote for your representatives on the LGNSW Board.
When submitting motions this year, members are encouraged to refer to our existing principles and positions on issues of importance as set out in the LGNSW Policy Platform. Stay tuned for further details!
LOCAL HEROES RECOGNISED – Congratulations to all those who were recognised for service to local government in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours, announced on Monday, including the following NSW recipients of the Order of Australia:
- Mr Peter Astridge
- Mr David Lawrence Borger
- Cr Ken Halstead, Wingecarribee Shire Council
- Cr Chris Holsten, Deputy Mayor, Central Coast Council
- Cr John Medcalf, Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council
- Cr Warren Polglase, Tweed Shire Council.
NSW recipients of the Public Service Medal for local government:
- Ms Glennys Louise James, Director Planning and Development, Assistant Chief Executive, Blacktown City Council
- Mr Craig Carlisle Moffitt, retired general manager, Murrumbidgee Council.
HELPING SHAPE OUR NATIONAL PLATFORM – Finally, I will be in Canberra this weekend for the Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA’s) National General Assembly, and hope to see many of you there!
ALGA’s A Fairer Share! campaign is calling upon the federal government for a fairer share of taxation revenue. ALGA has produced an updated advocacy kit for your use, containing letters, briefings, media kits and suggestions for social media and other ways in which you can communicate how such funding would make a difference locally.
Please contact LGNSW’s Director Advocacy Kylie Yates if you have questions or to let us know if your council takes action (or has already done so).
PS I’m getting ready to take part in this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout in Sydney (20 June) to support the many Australians who are experiencing homelessness. Please visit my fundraising page if you would like to support me.
Photo: LGNSW Board and Shadow Federal Minister for Local Government Jason Clare MP last week.