President's Message

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Meeting with the Premier – Today I met with and presented the Premier with your motions carried at our recent conference, taking the concerns and ideas for reform to the peak decision maker in our State. Thank you for your ideas for change! I expressed my commitment to working with her to achieve outcomes for all our NSW Councils and Shires, and I am pleased to say she is also strongly committed to working with LGNSW.

The Premier listened to our concerns about the need for Councils to understand the details of changes to Joint Organisation implementation before they sign up, and we look forward to working with her government to secure this. I am looking forward to meeting with the Opposition Leader, Deputy Premier and other Minsters and Shadow Ministers in coming weeks. If there are issues I can raise on your council’s behalf, please get in touch. 

Auditor General’s Report – We all know councils’ reporting frameworks, determined by the NSW Government, need to be changed. That’s why I welcomed the release yesterday of the Auditor General’s report – Council Reporting on Service Delivery. The Auditor General has recommended the Office of Local Government develop a clearer reporting system that focuses on outcomes rather than outputs – one that allows residents and ratepayers to easily understand the value their councils are delivering. This is a big win for LGNSW, which has long called for a better reporting system.  We strongly endorsed the recommendation that the NSW Government adopt the findings of the 2016 IPART ‘Review of reporting and compliance burdens on Local Government’ to reduce the overall reporting burden on councils. Read more.

Nominations for skills-based Board for Local Government Procurement – LGNSW is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified applicants to fill a number of positions on the Board of Local Government Procurement (LGP). Established in 2006, LGP is responsible for achieving best value for money in the procurement of goods and services primarily for local councils in NSW. Read more.

Regional strategic alliance – Blue Mountains, Penrith and Hawkesbury councils have initiated a new a regional strategic alliance. LGNSW met with alliance representatives on Wednesday to discuss common goals. Congratulations!  

New model code of meeting practice – The NSW Office of Local Government has invited comment on the new draft model code of meeting practice for councils. LGNSW is examining the content of the new code and will prepare a response on behalf of the sector. Members are encouraged to contribute to the submission - and we would love to hear from you! Read more

Tourism conference – I’m looking forward to attending the annual LGNSW Tourism Conference that is coming up soon (Parkes, 12-14 March). Topics include short-term letting and tourism marketing. I hope to see you there. Find out more and register.

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LGNSW Tourism Conference

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Now in its 14th year, the LGNSW Tourism Conference 2018 is coming soon to Parkes (12 – 14 March).

The theme of this year’s conference ‘Tourism: It all adds up!’ acknowledges the brand of co-host Parkes Shire Council and the mix of attractions, events, heritage, and natural landscapes offered in their region.

    This year’s program addresses the latest changes in the tourism industry including:

    • innovation in staging, running and attracting business events
    • short-term letting
    • effective marketing.

    There will also be important updates on destination management plans for regional networks, the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program and a presentation on the Go NSW Equity Fund.

    For more information visit the LGNSW website, email the LGNSW Events Team or call 02 9242 4000.

    Register online.

    The 2018 conference is supported by strategic sponsor Destination NSW, elite sponsor Office of the Environment and Heritage, premier sponsor Service NSW, AVIC sponsor The Tourism Group, and distinguished sponsors Leonard’s Advertising, HomeAway and Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW.

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    Local Government Procurement Board Vacancies

    Applications are now being sought from eligible, suitably qualified persons who wish to be considered for appointment to the Board of Local Government Procurement Pty Ltd (LGP).

    Local Government NSW is seeking expressions of interest from suitable applicants to fill a number of positions on the Board of Local Government Procurement. Established in 2006, Local Government Procurement is responsible for achieving best value for money in the procurement of goods and services primarily for local councils in NSW. Further information can be found on the LGP website.

    Five people will be appointed to the Board; a chair and four members.

    The terms of appointment will commence by 1 July 2018. Initial appointments will be for two or three years.

    As a minimum, applicants must demonstrate how they meet at least two of the following criteria:

    • working knowledge and/or commercial experience in strategic procurement and supply chain management
    • experience as a CEO, senior executive and/or director
    • extensive working knowledge or understanding of the NSW local government sector.

    Applicants must also demonstrate knowledge or experience in two or more of the following areas:

    • developing business strategy and strategic planning
    • board governance and obligations under the Corporations Act
    • financial management, auditing and accounting
    • risk management and compliance
    • formal training in governance or as a director.

    If you wish to apply for one of these positions you must complete the application form and address the essential criteria as well as demonstrate relevant knowledge and/or experience as listed above. Visit the LGNSW website for further information about the positions and to download an application form.

    Completed application forms and resumes must be sent via email to Magdalena Przybylo or by mail to Magdalena Przbylo, Executive Assistant, Local Government NSW, Level 8, 28 Margaret Street, SYDNEY 2000. Applications close midnight 23 February 2018.

    Short-listed applicants will need to be available to attend an interview in the week commencing 26 March 2018.  After having read the information pack, applicants with further enquiries may email Susan Budd, Senior Manager Governance and Culture, Local Government NSW, or call her on (02) 9242 4005.

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    Environmental Development and Allied Professionals Conference

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    The 2018 Environmental Development and Allied Professionals Regional Conference will take place in Mudgee from 11-13 April.

    Co-hosted by Mudgee Regional Council, the conference is aimed at a range of environmental development professionals including building surveyors, town planners, accredited certifiers, environmental health surveyors and development engineers from local government, state government and the private sector.

    Full details of the program, including the registration form, are available on the Environmental Development and Allied Professionals website.

    For further information email Alan Lindsay, Secretary EDAP or call 0419 619 761.

    Photo: Mudgee Region Tourism

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    New Code of Meeting Practice Model for Councils

    The NSW Office of Local Government is seeking feedback on its new draft model code of meeting practice for councils.

    LGNSW is preparing a sector-wide submission and councils are invited to make comments or submissions to be included in this. Councils can make their own submission to the Office of Local Government if they wish.

    Submissions close on Friday 16 March 2018.

    The draft Model Code of Meeting Practice proposes a uniform set of meeting rules for councils across the state to ensure more accessible, orderly, effective and efficient meetings.

    To contribute to LGNSW’s submission, email comments to Bruce McCann, LGNSW Legal Officer by 28 February 2018.

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    Remediation of Land SEPP

    The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s proposed Remediation of Land state environment planning policy is open for comment until 31 March 2018.

    SEPP 55 (Remediation of Land) is being reviewed as part of the NSW Government’s broader SEPP review program.

    The associated contaminated land planning guidelines have also been revised and are on exhibition.

    The Remediation of Land SEPP is intended to:

    • provide a state-wide planning framework for the remediation of land
    • require consent authorities to consider the potential for land to be contaminated when determining development applications
    • clearly list the remediation works that require development consent
    • introduce certification and operational requirements for remediation works that can be undertaken without development consent.

    The explanation of intended effect, guidelines and FAQs can be viewed, and submissions made, via the Have Your Say website.

    LGNSW is also preparing a sector-wide submission. To contribute, email Susy Cenedese, LGNSW Strategy Manager Environment with any comments or copies of your council’s draft submission by 16 March 2018.

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    Historic Houses Association Conference

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    Planners and heritage specialists in local government may be interested in attending the Historic Houses Association of Australia’s inaugural conference at Sydney Conservatorium of Music (5-6 April).

    Local government plays a vital role in the conservation of historic properties.

    The conference will feature expert presentations, panel discussions and case studies from local and international heritage experts on:

    • technical and legal issues
    • tax concessions for owners
    • commercial activities including tourism opportunities.

    It will also include presentations from state and local governments on the vital role they play in the conservation of heritage properties.

    Find out more and register.

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    New Round of Circulate Grants Now Open

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    The NSW Environment Protection Authority is offering grants ranging from $20,000 to $150,000 to promote the recovery of commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition waste.

    Salvaged material can be used for other commercial, industrial or construction processes.

    Grants are being offered under the Circulate Program which has diverted more than 50,000 tonnes of this type of waste from landfill to date.

    Councils, businesses, not-for-profit organisations, industry bodies and product stewardship groups are encouraged to apply under Round 3 for a share of grants totalling $2.5 million.

    The funding is part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, which is providing $802 million over eight years to stimulate new investment and transform waste and recycling in NSW.

    For more information and to apply, visit the Environment Protection Agency website.

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    Asbestos Blueprint Update

    The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its revised Asbestos Blueprint, a guide outlining the roles and responsibilities of government agencies in asbestos regulation.

    The review is being managed by the Heads of Asbestos Co-ordination Authorities (HACA).

    Local government plays an essential role in asbestos regulation in the areas of contaminated land, development assessment, emergencies and incidents, naturally occurring asbestos and waste management.

    As a member of the HACA, LGNSW has been working extensively to ensure councils’ roles and responsibilities are clearly outlined and communicated in the new Asbestos Blueprint.

    It is important that all councils also review the Asbestos Blueprint to ensure it accurately reflects and promotes their valuable role in the community.

    If you have any questions please email Daniel Adler, LGNSW Asbestos Project Manager, or call him on 02 9242 4128.

    To review the revised Asbestos Blueprint, visit the Have your say website and submit your comments before 5pm on 2 March 2018.

    For more information on the submission process email the HACA Secretariat or call
    13 10 50.

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    Biodiversity Reforms Workshops

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    The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, in partnership with the Office of Local Government, is offering workshops to local and state government officers who will be involved in implementing Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 reforms.

    The workshops will include Biodiversity Offset Scheme training for councils.

    Up to three training places are available free of charge to staff working in development assessment and approvals. Additional positions are available for a fee. 

    Registrations are open for the following sessions:

    • Orange, 15-16 February
    • Ballina , 21-22 February
    • Southwest NSW (location TBC), 28 February-1 March.

    Or register your interest for training to be held in your area.

    Photo: copyright OEH.

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    Civil Construction Market Program Open

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    Grants of up to $150,000 are now available to promote recycling waste from civil construction projects.

    The Civil Construction Market Program aims to reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste being sent to landfill, reduce the amount of material being stockpiled and to promote innovative resource recovery activities in the NSW Civil Construction sector.

    A total of $2.5 million is available in Round 1.

    Eligible applicants include organisations with an ABN, including local government, consultants, contractors and waste service providers.

    The funding is part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative.

    Full details can be found on the Civil Construction Market Program website, or email the NSW Environment Protection Authority at infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au for more information.

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    Regional Automated Vehicle Trials

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    Transport for NSW is seeking partners for automated vehicle trials in regional NSW.

    Councils, transport operators, universities and businesses are being asked to partner with leading technology providers and researchers to develop projects that address transport needs in regional areas.

    Seed funding is available for a number of automated vehicle technology tests in regional NSW from the second half of 2018.

    Visit the Smart Innovation Centre website for more information and to view a schedule of regional collaboration events being held this month or contact Transport for NSW at smartinnovationcentre@transport.nsw.gov.au

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    Drone Operations Mentoring

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    LGNSW has introduced a mentoring program to help councils buy and use drone technology.

    The equipment, operations and associated legislation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or drones, can be complex. The LGNSW customised mentoring program offers support and in-house training to councils in four optional areas:

    • Equipment sourcing and program establishment
    • Classroom tuition, including flight rules, operations planning, weather forecasts, battery management, RPAS aircraft performance, safety and risk mitigation
    • RPAS flight training and hand-over to nominated pilots
    • Annual support – refresher training and equipment checks.

    Download the RPAS Operations Mentoring Program brochure.

    LGNSW has also opened registrations for introductory Drone Operations in Local Government half-day courses in Port Macquarie (7 March 2018), Shoalhaven (21 March 2018), Newcastle (9 May 2018), The Hills, Sydney (23 May 2018), Albury (7 June 2018) and Orange (14 June 2018).

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