President's Message

Linda Scott with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock


TAKING YOUR CONCERNS TO THE PREMIERFollowing our big advocacy win on the emergency services levy last week, we sat down with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock on Wednesday to find a better, long-term solution to providing a fully-funded workers’ compensation scheme for NSW firefighters without penalising communities in need of council services.

FOUR CORNERS: REPRESENTING OUR SECTOR IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON SHODDY APARTMENTS AND BUILDING CERTIFICATIONS This week’s 4 Corners program not only showed the extent and complexity of the problem of building certification and inspection schemes across eastern Australia, but also raises questions about the role of local and state governments in dealing with the issue.

It’s incredibly disappointing that 20-odd years of warnings by our sector have been ignored, and the heartbreaking circumstances that are impacting on families and individuals as a result.

The problems have become so systemic there is no easy fix: many councils are not sufficiently resourced to assume responsibility for inspections and certification, and the problem will not be resolved by yet another cost shift.

Last Friday, I appeared on your behalf at the Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee’s Upper House Inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes and called for commitment and funding from the NSW Government to comprehensively address all the fundamental issues and concerns with building regulation. See our submission on the Parliament of NSW website. To raise any issues your council is experiencing with building regulation contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport Jane Partridge.

The Premier reiterated her commitment to working with LGNSW on the IPART Review of Rates, and a range of other advocacy issues we are pursuing on your behalf.  Share your thoughts with LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride (ESL) or Director Advocacy Kylie Yates (IGA).

SUPPORTING YOUNG INDIGENOUS TALENT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT– We’re delighted to announce that Courtney McEwan – a promising young Indigenous trainee Business Service Officer from Nambucca Shire Council – is the winner of this year’s Councillor Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship. I thank the family of the late Cr Pat Dixon, who showed such magnificent leadership in her region and beyond, for working with LGNSW to continue her legacy of supporting Indigenous-elected representatives and staff. And congratulations to Courtney as she continues her professional development with a Certificate III in Business. Look out for the for the opening of applications for next year from early 2020.

POLITICAL REPRESENTATION ACROSS THE SPECTRUMThis week we visited Parliament House to meet with Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst and with Shadow Minister for Active Transport Jo Haylen MP about the impact of feral cats on native wildlife – an issue put forward for discussion at our Annual Conference in October – and the role of active transport options in creating liveable communities.

COUNCIL VISITSThanks to Armidale Regional Council for hosting us to discuss all things Water, recycling and election costs.

Photos: Meeting with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock (top); visit to Armidale Regional Council (below).

Linda Scott visits Armidale Regional Council



NSW Building Commissioner

David Chandler OAM – who has more than 40 years’ experience in the building and construction industry in Australia and the Asia Pacific – has begun his new role as NSW Building Commissioner.

If you would like to contribute towards creating a more confident, customer-facing construction industry, the commissioner is keen to hear your suggestions.

Visit the NSW Customer Service website for more information and contact details.

LGNSW has long called for reform of the building regulation and certification system and is seeking a meeting with Mr Chandler to outline our concerns.

We’re keen to hear examples of issues councils are experiencing with building regulation. To discuss, contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport Jane Partridge.

View recent submissions relating to building regulation on the LGNSW website.


Notice of Election for Office Bearers and Board of Directors

Nominations for Office Bearers and the Board of Directors of Local Government NSW open on 22 August 2019.

The election is being conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

A copy of the election notice and nomination form has been forwarded to all ordinary members by post and is also available on the LGNSW website.

Nominations must reach the Returning Officer via the lodgement method(s) stipulated in the election notice no later than 12:00pm (AEST) on 16 September 2019. 

For further information visit the LGNSW website or contact AEC Returning Officer Anthony Carey on 02 9375 6361 or via email.


Graffiti Removal Day

It’s time to ‘Love Where We Live’, with councils across NSW being encouraged to get support this year’s Graffiti Removal Day (Sunday 27 October) – a NSW Government initiative to inspire people to volunteer to remove and prevent graffiti in their neighbourhoods.

Graffiti vandalism costs NSW more than $300 million each year.

Creating murals is a great way to prevent graffiti, so organisers are asking community groups to design and produce murals over regularly-vandalised sites, with a $1000 prize up for grabs for the best one.

Councils are encouraged to:

  • promote the event on websites and social media platforms
  • work with local community groups to nominate clean-up sites
  • encourage people to volunteer.

All material required to participate is provided free of charge by the NSW Government.

To find out more visit the Graffiti Removal Day website.

Photo: Mayor of Georges River Council Cr Kevin Greene taking part in a community event during last year's Graffiti Removal Day.


Cultural Diversity Grants

Councils can apply for grants of up to $10,000 under the NSW Government’s Celebrating our Cultural Diversity program for events that bring people together, showcase the benefits of cultural diversity and promote social cohesion and community harmony.

For more information and to apply visit the Multicultural NSW website.

The closing date for applications is 20 September 2019.


Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grants

Applications are open for the NSW Government’s Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grants, which aim to improve vocational outcomes for Aboriginal people.

The grants promote diversity and innovation in the NSW workforce by subsidising salaries, development and support costs for Aboriginal employees in councils or in public service agencies.

There are three categories:

  • Permanent Employment: $30,000 - $40,000 to support permanent employment
  • Temporary Secondment: $20,000 - $40,000 to support temporary positions up to 12 months
  • School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships: $10,000 one-off payment.

For further information contact Elsa Dixon Program Manager Mitch Lowrie or visit the Training Services NSW website.


National Child Protection Week

The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) invites councils across Australia to support National Child Protection Week (1-7 September).

Councils and libraries are key players in creating safe harbours that promote child wellbeing and keeping children safe.

The NAPCAN website outlines ideas to get involved and a range of resources including:

  • logos, banners (for websites and email signatures)
  • suggested social media posts featuring children’s artwork from the National Child Protection Week art competition
  • display posters for download
  • activities for children
  • event ideas and advice.

Visit the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect’s website to download the resources and get started.

Staff and elected representatives are also reminded also that Cumberland Council is hosting a free Child Protection in a Local Government Setting Forum on 5 September during child protection week.



Working with Community and Culture – Forum

Council managers and officers are invited to a free forum to discuss the practicalities and legalities of creating cultural places for communities in the face of changing demographics and rising populations (Bankstown Sport Club, 19 September 2019).

Presented by Bartier Perry Lawyers, the forum will explore:

  • procedural fairness
  • land use
  • construction disputes
  • environmental planning policies.

Keynote speaker Michael Rose (Chairman of Committee for Sydney and the Institute for Global Development at the University of NSW) will discuss how councils can help create places for communities to connect and flourish.

Register online by 12 September.

Please extend this invitation with your colleagues using the share links below.


Remove Hate from the Debate

The NSW Government and Multicultural NSW have launched a website to help build community resilience by empowering young people with the tools and techniques they need to counter divisive online hate speech.

Further information is available on the Remove Hate from the Debate website

NSW Councils undertake a range of activities to support multicultural communities and promote social cohesion, including: assisting culturally and linguistically diverse communities to participate in their local community; refugee resettlement and services for newly arrived migrants; participating in and supporting Harmony Day; and holding citizenship ceremonies and cultural events.

Councils are encouraged to promote the website in their communities using the information and resources available.


Fixing Country Roads Grants

Transport for NSW has opened a new round of grants totalling $150m under the Fixing Country Roads program.

Councils are encouraged to apply for grants to repair and upgrade local and regional roads to improve connectivity and movement along key freight corridors.

Projects can include road repair and strengthening, sealing of unsealed roads, road widening and construction of new roads.

Councils can submit their own applications or partner with other local government areas on larger projects.

For more information and to apply visit the Transport for NSW website.

The current round closes on 10 October 2019.


Road Safety Grants

Councils and community groups can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 to implement small-scale, local programs in their communities to increase road safety awareness under round five of the Community Road Safety Grants Program.

Applications must address identified local issues and align with the NSW Road Safety Plan 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to read the grants guidelines before applying online by 15 September 2019.

For more information email the grants team or call Aboriginal Partnerships Officer Natasha Davies on (02) 8265 7372 or Partnerships Manager Craig Wharton on 02 8265 8011.


Temporary Traffic Management Information Sessions

Transport for NSW will hold a series of information sessions across the state from next week to update senior council managers and industry stakeholders about upcoming changes to temporary traffic management guidelines.

Each three-hour session will provide an overview of the changes to traffic control at worksites and temporary traffic management, how local road authorities might be affected and what actions might be required.

Sessions will be held between 28 August and 23 October in Cobar, Dubbo, Canberra, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Lismore, Paramatta, Shoalhaven and Wagga Wagga.

Book online.

Email Transport for NSW Standards and Innovation Senior Manager Nicola Boyce for more information.

IPART Local Government Report Consultation

The NSW Government is seeking feedback on the final reports from three local government reviews by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

These include:

  • a review of the local government rating system (submissions close 13 September)
  • a review of reporting and compliance burdens on local government (submissions close 25 October)
  • a review of local government compliance and enforcement (submissions close 15 November).

For more information on the consultation program and to view the final reports visit IPART’s website.

The government has released a brief interim response ruling out several recommendations, while a number of other recommendations have already been implemented through other reforms.

LGNSW is preparing a submission on the review of the rating system and is seeking input from councils.

The submission will reinforce and build on our submission in response to IPART’s draft report.

Please email comments to LGNSW Senior Policy Officer Mark Hely by 9 September 2019. Alternatively, councils are encouraged to send copies of their submissions to LGNSW.

For further information, or to discuss previous submissions, contact LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride.


Local Government Procurement Conference

Local Government Procurement (LGP) is gearing up for its annual conference this year in Doltone House, Pyrmont, from 24-25 October 2019.

Themed ‘The Matrix of Supply Chain – Connect the Moving Parts’, this year’s event will bring a practical approach to identifying and understanding the varied and different supply chains that currently exist within local government.

The LGP conference is the premier procurement conference for local government in NSW, focusing on sourcing and managing goods and services to achieve strategic objectives for councils.

New this year (and concurrent to the main session) LGP will hold a session for local government engineers wishing to improve supply and procurement in their roles.

To view the full program and register, visit the LGP website (early bird rates available until 30 August).

Contact: Local Government Procurement Events Team or call 02 8270 8743.


Local Government Procurement Awards

If you know a procurement professional or group who is making a difference in their community, please consider nominating them for this year's Local Government Procurement Awards.

The awards recognise excellence and best practice in the field of procurement within the local government sector, with winners receiving a plaque and professional development training valued up to $2,500.

There are three categories:

  • Outstanding Procurement Professional of the Year – nominees must have a minimum of two years’ experience in procurement within NSW local government
  • New Procurement Professional –nominees must have less than two years’ experience in procurement within NSW local government
  • Sustainable Procurement Achievement – awarded to an individual or organisation that has demonstrated exceptional sustainable procurement work.

You can nominate yourself, another person or an organisation.

For more information and to make a nomination visit the LGP website.

The closing date is 20 September 2019.

The awards will be presented at the annual Local Government Procurement Conference dinner in Sydney on 24 October 2019.