President's Message

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This week I know you will join me in celebrating that the Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, has confirmed that forced mergers are in the past, and she wants the sector to work with her on the next steps in the reform we need to thrive.

We look forward to doing so. Do you have an example of what needs to improve in local government law or regulation? We would love to hear from you.

LGNSW Board meeting – I was pleased to welcome your new LGNSW Board to our first meeting today and elect the LGNSW executive. Your new Board is raring to go and eager to make a difference for our sector. Your new executive comprises myself, vice-presidents Cr Lindsay Brown and Cr Angelo Tsirekas, Treasurer Cr Marjorie O'Neill, Immediate Past President Cr Keith Rhoades, Cr Darriea Turley, Cr Phyllis Miller, Cr Khal Asfour and Cr Karen McKeown. Other board members are: Cr Ruth Fagan, Cr Paul Harmon, Cr Rod Kendall, Cr Marianne Saliba, Cr Ben Shields, Cr Lesley Furneaux-Cook, Cr George Greiss, Cr Julie Griffiths, Cr Mazhar Hadid, and Cr Michael Regan.

The Board considered a post-event report on our recent annual conference. The majority of the 90 motions discussed at conference were carried. We’re working hard to progress these resolutions, writing to relevant ministers, undertaking further advocacy as required and will record progress in the conference action report on the website. We also endorsed a number of LGNSW submissions, and discussed plans for regional meetings and new, open process for committee appointments for all NSW mayors and councillors. Read more.

Premier’s road safety plan – Congratulations to Leeton Shire Council! As a result of their motion to conference, LGNSW have been calling for the extension of rumble strips as an effective and active road safety measure. We’re delighted that rumble strips have been incorporated in the Premier’s road safety plan (conference motion 10, Leeton Shire Council). The NSW Government has pledged to roll out 1600 kilometres of rumble strips and 300 kilometres in targeted safety works, such as flexible, wire-rope barriers to help prevent run-off road and head-on crashes on the road network. Other measures include the expansion of the mandatory alcohol interlock program to include all mid-range drink driving offenders and allowing camera technology to enforce mobile phone offences.

Debt recovery – Our key concerns regarding the State Debt Recovery Bill 2017 have also been heard and acted upon. The bill enables government bodies, including councils, to use Revenue NSW for debt recovery. A large proportion of council debt is currently contracted out to private firms and our main concern was that it would become mandatory to use Revenue NSW. In a letter to LGNSW this week, Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello gave an assurance that the NSW Government has no intention to mandate the use of Revenue NSW for debt recovery within the local government sector. We will be working with Revenue NSW and the industry as the bill is progressed.

Cr Linda Scott

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Board Meeting Report

The new LGNSW Board, elected during our recent annual conference in December, met for the first time today.

President, Cr Linda Scott, welcomed members, saying it was a great honour to serve as the President of LGNSW, paid tribute to Immediate Past President Keith Rhoades for his many years of service, and congratulated the new Board members on their election.
Cr Scott said the first few weeks had been positive, including meeting with the Premier to pass on conference motions, beginning negotiation of the memorandum of understanding, and expressing changes on joint organisation timing and the need to proceed with agreed reform.

The Board elected four directors – Cr Darriea Turley, Cr Phyllis Miller, Cr Khal Asfour and Cr Karen McKeown – who will join the President, Immediate Past President, the vice-presidents and the Treasurer on the Senior Executive Group.

The Board discussed several submissions covering topics like interim restaurant authorisations, cemeteries and crematoria regulation, waste and recycling, biodiversity, environmental planning and assessment, the Greater Sydney Region Plan and the Future Transport Strategy 2056.  All LGNSW submissions are available online.

A report on 2017 Annual Conference was presented. The vast majority of the 90 motions decided at conference were carried, with only eight lost.  LGNSW is raising resolutions in writing with relevant ministers and where further advocacy is required progress will be recorded in a conference action report.  

In a post-conference survey, 87 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied and delegates reported that the main benefits of attending were: gaining a broader perspective on local government issues, meeting others in similar roles, and sharing information and ideas. Keynote speakers, conference motions, ministerial addresses and concurrent breakout sessions were all rated highly.
The board also discussed and agreed to hold regional summits this year. Keep an eye on the Weekly for further updates.

The next meeting of the LGNSW Board will be held on Friday 6 April 2018.

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NSW Road Safety Plan Released

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LGNSW has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Road Safety Plan 2021. 

The plan aims to cut fatalities by at least 30 per cent by 2021 and has a long-term goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries.

There are six priority areas:

  • saving lives on country roads
  • liveable and safe urban communities
  • using roads safely
  • building a safer community culture
  • new and proven vehicle technology
  • building a safe future.
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LGNSW particularly welcomes $125 million earmarked for the Saving Lives on Country Roads program, but seeks clarification about how much of this will go to local councils for council-managed and regional roads.

Enquiries in relation to the Road Safety Plan 2021, partnerships or general road safety enquiries should be directed to the Centre for Road Safety at roadsafety@transport.nsw.gov.au.

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Western Lands Leasehold to Freehold Information

Crown Lands is conducting information sessions for eligible leaseholders across the western division on how to convert to freehold title. 

The sessions will provide information about eligibility, the application and assessment process, price and payment options under the Crown Land Management Act 2016.

The sessions will be held at:

  • Lightning Ridge Bowling Club - Mon 12 Feb, 6.30pm
  • Coomealla Memorial Club - Tues 27 Feb, 6.30pm
  • Balranald District Ex-Services Memorial Club - Wed 28 Feb, 6.30pm
  • Hillston Community Centre - Wed 7 Mar, 6.30pm
  • Cobar Bowling and Golf Club - Thurs 8 Mar, 6.30pm
  • Broken Hill Race Course - Thurs 5 April, 6.30pm

Email clwestern.region@crownland.nsw.gov.au for more information or call 1300 886 235.

Visit www.crownland.nsw.gov.au for information about the Crown Land Management Act 2016.

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LGNSW Tourism Conference

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Panel speakers at LGNSW Tourism Conference 2018 will address the topic, Destination Development: Bridging City to Country.

Speakers are:

  • Lorraine Elliott, founder and publisher of food blog Not Quite Nigella, who will answer questions on how blogging can be used to build and influence destination tourism.
  • Rose Wright, CEO, Destination Tweed, will present on linking agriculture, food and tourism sectors to create authentic experiences and co-speaker Linda Tillman, managing director, Tilma Group, and director of Australian Regional Tourism will present a case study on the development of Taste Riverina.
  • James Sweetapple, president of the F.O.O.D. (Food of Orange and District) Week Association.

The conference, in Parkes from 12-14 March 2018, carries the theme Tourism: It all adds up! and boasts a diverse program.  

Registrations can be made online. For more information visit LGNSW Tourism Conference 2018, email events@lgnsw.org.au or call the LGNSW Events Team on 02 9242 4000.

The conference is presented in conjunction with sponsor Destination NSW, industry partners and other sponsors. 

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Best Practice Asbestos Management Forum

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LGNSW and North East Waste will host a free forum on best practice asbestos management for councils at the Clarence Valley Environmental Learning Facility at Grafton Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery site (28 March).

Councils from the Northern East Region of NSW are invited to come along and meet with representatives from the Environment Protection Authority, SafeWork, the Office of Emergency Management, the Office of Local Government, North East Waste and LGNSW.

The agencies will give presentations on:

  • case studies on the management of asbestos by councils
  • asbestos management during emergencies
  • asbestos land contamination, asbestos waste management and illegal dumping of asbestos
  • management of asbestos risks within council workplaces
  • naturally-occurring asbestos
  • the Model Asbestos Policy for NSW councils.

The forum is of particular interest to council officers from the following areas:

  • asset management
  • emergency management
  • health, building and regulation
  • planning and development
  • properties and facilities management
  • waste management
  • work, health and safety.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the role councils play in the safe management and regulation of asbestos within their local government areas.

Register online.

To find out more contact Daniel Adler, LGNSW Asbestos Policy Project Manager by email or call 9242 4128.

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Infrastructure Grants

Councils are invited to apply for community infrastructure grants of up to $300,000 from Liquor & Gaming NSW.  

Grants can be used to cover costs of construction, buying capital equipment and professional fees.

Grants are available for:

  • sport and recreation ($100,000 to $300,000 per project)
  • arts and culture ($50,000 to $200,000 per project)
  • emergency preparedness ($10,000 to $200,000 per project)

Councils are required to match the funding requested.

Online applications must be received by 5pm on 19 February 2018.

Eligibility and assessment criteria are available on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website and in the Infrastructure Grants Program Guide.

Contact the Liquor & Gaming NSW Grant team by email or call 02 9995 0992.

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Choir Start-Up Funding

Creativity Australia is offering a limited number of $10,000 grants for community organisations to start With One Voice choir programs.

With One Voice choirs meet weekly, are led by professional conductors and perform at community and corporate events. They are set up and run by local volunteers, supported by Creativity Australia’s resources and materials. They are also licenced to raise funds to support local projects and initiatives.

Key aims of the program are to promote social inclusion, help people build supportive networks and to strengthen diverse communities.

Successful applicants will join a 12-month intensive mentoring program and will be eligible to apply for allowances of up to $2,500 for conductor travel to training workshops.

For advice about eligibility, contact Creativity Australia. (Please note: local and state government are not eligible).

Applications close on 2 March 2018.  For more information see the Creativity Australia Website.

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Library Lovers’ Day

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The Australian Library and Information Association has produced resources to help NSW council libraries promote Library Lovers’ Day on 14 February 2018.

Library Lovers' Day, coordinated by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), is an opportunity to raise the profile of the services libraries offer, and encourage people to reconnect with their libraries and share their love of literature.

Australia’s libraries provide quality information services that support lifelong learning.

This year ALIA has sought love letters from prominent Australian authors on the place that libraries hold in their hearts, which have been used to create posters.

Share Library Lovers' Day stories on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #libraryloversday

For further information email Brendan Eichholzer or call 6215 8222.

Download posters and other material.

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COTA Power of Attorney Seminars

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Council on the Ageing NSW is running a series of power of attorney seminars with Sue Field, an associate professor specialising in legal issues for older people.

Power of attorney is the appointment of a substitute decision-maker to make financial and legal decision on your behalf, when you can’t or choose not to.

The seminars are free of charge but places are limited.

To find out more visit the Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA) website.

Upcoming seminars are scheduled for:

  • Newcastle, 27 February
  • Central Coast, 6 March
  • Coffs Harbour, 9 March
  • Bankstown, 27 March
  • Dee Why, 7 May.

Email COTA to register.

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Legionella Control Requirements

NSW Health public health units are seeking council feedback on new Legionella control regulations.

The proposed Public Health (Legionella Control) Regulation 2018 will require councils to:

  • receive certificates of completion for Legionella risk management plans and certificates of audit completion from occupiers of buildings with water cooling towers

  • maintain a register of water cooling systems within their local government area (LGA)

  • issue unique identification numbers for each cooling tower in their LGA.

Each identification number will include a three-letter acronym representing a council. Councils wishing to check their proposed acronyms should email LGNSW before 15 February 2018.

The amendments are expected to come into force in the second half of 2018. Information on the proposed changes is available on the NSW Health website.

NSW Health is also updating guidelines for councils. These and other updates will be posted on the NSW Health website.

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Water Industry Skills

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Local government water utilities are invited to provide feedback on a discussion paper about future industry skill requirements by 20 February 2018.

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) has published Water Industry 2018 Key Findings Discussion Paper. The paper summarises findings of recent industry intelligence gathering activities, overseen by the Water Industry Reference Committee, into issues likely to impact or affect water skills over the next few years.

Consolidated feedback will form the basis of advice to the Australian Industry Skills Committee on a proposed schedule of work to update the National Water Training Package (which details qualifications and units of competency for skills development in the water industry).  The schedule will be submitted to the Australian Industry and Research Committee in April 2018.

Email responses to Australian Industry Standards.  For further information call Klausch Schmidt, Industry Manager, Australian Industry Standards on (03) 9604 7223.

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Upcoming Procurement Training

Local Government Procurement offers training for council staff involved in purchasing or contract management activities.

Procurement for local government

Sydney CBD – 26 February 2018, LGP Office, Sydney. Register.

Coffs Harbor – 21 February 2018. Register.

Dubbo – 9 March 2018. Register.

This module provides a comprehensive overview of the purchasing function in the NSW local government sector, an understanding of the end-to-end procurement lifecycle and practical ways to apply principles within councils. 

Contract management essentials

Sydney – 13 March 2018.LGP Office, Sydney. Register.

Coffs Harbor – 21 February 2018. Register.

Dubbo – 9 March 2018. Register.

Learn the key rules of managing contracts in the local government sector and gain an insight into the essentials of contract management lifecycle, including procurement principles.

Nationally-recognised qualifications in procurement and contracting

If you or any of your team members wish to formalise workplace experiences or venture into the procurement and contracting space, including project management, register now for a suitable accredited qualification.

Local Government Procurement in association with Pro Leaders Academy, a registered training organisation, has the following nationally-accredited courses on offer:

  • Certificate IV in Procurement and Contracting (PSP40616)
  • Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP50616)
  • Advanced Diploma of Procurement and Contracting (PSP60616)
  • Certificate IV in Project Management Practice (BSB41515)
  • Diploma of Project Management (BSB51415).

For further information, view the online LGP training calendar, email LGP Training or call 02 8270 8709.

View the latest edition of LGP News distributed by Local Government Procurement.

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Local Government Capability Framework Resources

LGNSW has help available for councils implementing the Local Government Capability Framework.

The Local Government Capability Framework describes the knowledge, skills and behaviours (capabilities) expected of local government employees and elected members.

Guides

LGNSW has developed guides with practical advice on how to apply the framework to workforce management and development activities:

Online Tools

An online position description builder is available to councils to develop position descriptions using the framework.

PD in a Box is a free and confidential portal for councillors and mayors to assess their capabilities and create professional development plans. User names and passwords were emailed to all elected members on 15 December 2017. Contact learning@lgnsw.org.au if you cannot find your email.

Courses

LGNSW has scheduled half-day and full-day courses in Sydney. (They can also be delivered in regional areas on demand).

User Group

LGNSW will establish an online user group to enable a cross-council exchange of ideas and support in implementing the framework. Please email Sarah Artist, Senior Manager Innovation and Capacity, LGNSW, if you are interested in joining.

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