CELEBRATING ABORIGINAL CULTURE AND ACHIEVEMENTS – It’s NAIDOC Week (7-14 July) and local communities across the state have been getting involved in events and activities to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It’s not too late to take part – to find out what’s happening in your area over the weekend, visit the NAIDOC Week website.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS – We’re delighted that Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope MLC will address participants at our upcoming Small Business Summit in Narrabri on Wednesday 24 July. NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs OAM is also presenting. Also, save the date now for two further summits this year (Lismore, 14 August and Sydney, 12 November) on the topic of Crown land management. To find out more and secure a spot, visit the LGNSW website.
ONGOING ADVOCACY, EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY – Our calls for the NSW Government to cover the first 12 months of the extra cost of the emergency services levy are continuing with Georges River and Port Macquarie Hastings councils among the latest to take action. To add your council’s voice, consider our draft mayoral minute and contact Senior LGNSW Policy Officer Mark Hely or LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride to share your action.
LGNSW WATER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE – We have just received confirmation that Minister for Water Melinda Pavey will attend our upcoming water conference, which is great news! With many councils across the state grappling with severe drought, this year’s conference will focus on the challenges involved in providing communities with safe water supplies. Early bird discounts close today. See full program details and book online
COUNTDOWN TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT WEEK – There are only a few weeks left before Local Government Week 2019 (29 July – 4 August) and we’d love you to join us for Local Government Week Awards Evening in Sydney on 1 August to celebrate the outstanding achievements of councils and individuals. Find out more and book online. We’re also putting together a toolkit with branded posters, website and social media collateral for you to use to showcase your council’s achievements under this year’s theme – Your Council. Stay tuned for more details.
ENTER LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARD – Nominations for this year’s AR Bluett Memorial Award – widely acknowledged as the greatest accolade a council can achieve – are open until 31 July. I encourage all councils to enter this year’s awards and gain recognition for their excellent achievements. Read more.
Get Ready for Local Government Week
If you’ve got community engagement ideas or events in mind, plan to hold them in Local Government Week (LG Week) from 29 July to 4 August.
It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your council, your people and achievements and highlight how closely you’re involved in your community.
LG Week continues to grow in popularity – last year 67 councils took part, an increase of 55 per cent on the previous year.
This year, we’re aiming for the support of the whole local government sector and we’ll be doing plenty to support you.
We’re putting together a toolkit with branded, customisable posters, website and social media collateral, in keeping with the 2019 theme Your Council, so watch this space.
We’ll also send examples of what councils did last year, to help kick start ideas and support you in your pitch to your general manager.
The key to success is to plan early and schedule events and other activities for each day of the week.
So, get ready for LG Week and get ready to celebrate Your Council.
A R Bluett Memorial Award
There’s still time for councils considering entering this year’s A R Bluett Memorial Award with entries open until 31 July 2019.
Widely considered the greatest accolade a council can receive, the awards recognise relative progress by member councils of LGNSW, ensuring every council receives due consideration for its achievements irrespective of size or resources.
There are two categories: one for city, metropolitan and major regional councils, and another for all other rural and country councils.
The awards 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.
StateCover - Call for Nominations for Non-Executive Director Positions
Expressions of interest are being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors wishing to be considered for appointment to the Board of StateCover Mutual Limited (StateCover).
The LGNSW Board nominates four representatives (LGNSW Councillor Directors) on the StateCover Board. The term of office for two of these directors expires at StateCover’s Annual General Meeting, on 20 November 2019. Each appointment will be for a three-year term, ceasing at the conclusion of the 2022 StateCover AGM.
To be eligible for appointment as an LGNSW Councillor Director, applicants must be a councillor of a council that is a member of LGNSW, and a councillor of a council member of StateCover.
StateCover Mutual Limited (StateCover) is an APRA-regulated specialised workers compensation insurer of NSW Local Government organisations, insuring some 94 per cent of eligible councils with a combined workforce of 32,000. StateCover is a mutual providing workers compensation, safety, and wellbeing services to its insured members.
Successful candidates must have a deep understanding of local government, and director experience and should also have knowledge of, and experience in long tail insurance or the broader insurance/finance sectors. Specialised skills and experience are also required in a number of the following areas: business strategy, risk management, finance, actuarial, investment, IT, governance, marketing and operating in an APRA-regulated environment.
Applicants should understand and agree to accept the time commitment involved (approximately 25 days per year) and the ongoing professional development requirements.
Councillors wishing to be considered for appointment as a LGNSW Councillor Director on the Board of StateCover must satisfy the requirements of its Fit and Proper Policy.
Information packs containing further details about the positions and the selection criteria must be obtained by prospective applicants and are available by emailing Bilyana Milenkovski at LGNSW.
Applications close Friday 19 July 2019.
Councils can apply for grants of up to $3m from the Environmental Trust, in partnership with the NSW Enironment Protection Authority (EPA), under the latest round of the Waste Less, Recycle More Organics Infrastructure grants program.
Grants can be used to fund equipment and infrastructure to reuse or recycle source-separated food and garden waste that would otherwise go to landfill.
Funding is also available for equipment to improve product quality and increase food donation, and a new stream for transfer stations is also open.
Grant projects are grouped into five streams, each with its own guidelines, application forms and assessment criteria.
This is the final round of the $14m extension to the Organics Infrastructure (large and small) grants program (2017-2021).
Applications close on 29 August 2019.
An information webinar will be held next Wednesday (17 July).
To find out more and register visit the EPA website.
Best Practice Asbestos Management for Councils Forum - Queanbeyan
LGNSW and Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council will host a free forum on best practice asbestos management for councils on 22 August 2019.
The forum will explore the role that councils play in the safe management and regulation of asbestos in their communities.
Building Regulation Inquiry
The NSW Upper House Public Accountability Committee inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes is underway.
The terms of reference include:
- the role of private certification in protecting building standards
- the adequacy of consumer protections for owners and purchasers
- the role of strata committees in responding to building defects
- case studies related to flammable cladding and the defects discovered in Mascot Towers and the Opal Tower
- the status and implementation of recommendations from previous building industry reports
- any other related matters.
The final report is expected by 14 February 2020.
Submissions close 24 July 2019.
The community will be invited to give feedback in an online questionnaire.
LGNSW is preparing a submission on behalf of the sector. To provide input, email Jane Partridge, Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport.
Professional Indemnity Insurance Rules Amended for Certifiers
Building certifiers in NSW can continue operating following amendments relating to professional indemnity insurance requirements.
The NSW Government has amended the Building Professionals Regulation 2007 to allow the Building Professionals Board to accept professional indemnity insurance policies with conditions or exclusions.
The amendments include a new section 14A.
Prior to the changes, certifiers were required to hold professional indemnity insurance without exclusions or conditions, as a pre-requisite for accreditation.
The amendment has removed this requirement that would otherwise make the policy non-compliant and prevent certifiers from being accredited to provide services.
The amendment is expected to be removed within 12 months, in anticipation that further reforms will be introduced to improve the insurance market situation.
For more information see the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson’s media release.
Plain English Guide to the Planning System
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is developing a plain English guide to the planning system, in response to a recommendation in the Kaldas review.
The department is seeking input on what should be covered in the guide, including frequently asked questions about the planning system and any specific needs you might have.
Submit your feedback via email to the department.