Dear all, I trust you enjoyed a refreshing Easter break!
LGNSW Board working for members – I’m pleased to report our Board met today to discuss a packed agenda, working together to ensure LGNSW is delivering value and tangible outcomes to all our councils and members.
I reported to the Board on priority areas we have worked on to support councils, including recycling and waste, arts and live music, tourism and economic development, remuneration for mayors and councillors, and roads and transport.
The Board endorsed a variety of submissions on topics like the music and arts economy, joint organisations regulation, greener places policy, and the freight and ports plan. All LGNSW submissions are available online, and we’re working to ensure as many Board papers are made available to you all where we can. Read more.
Fighting for a fully-funded rate rebate for seniors – To coincide with the beginning of NSW Seniors Festival on Wednesday, I called for pensioner concessions on council rates to be increased and fully funded by the NSW Government.
NSW is the only state in which pensioner concessions on rates are not fully funded by the State Government. Local government absorbs the remaining cost to the tune of around $64 million each year, with some councils being asked to forgo up to $1 million in rates revenue.
LGNSW pushed hard at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Rating Review for the concession to be simultaneously increased and fully-funded, but the NSW Government has been silent since IPART lodged its report in December 2016. The fight continues. Read more in our media release.
Coastal management funding for councils – In welcome news, the NSW Government is making $83.6 million available to councils to help implement new coastal management legislation which came into effect this week.
The Coastal Management Act establishes a framework for the planning and management of NSW’s coastal areas, and includes provisions allowing councils to move towards the new arrangements over time.
The Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Planning will support councils through the transition with funding, operational guidance and technical advice. Find out more in the NSW Government’s media release.
Until next week!
Cr Linda Scott
P.S. We’re close to finalising dates for our council summits and more visits, and we look forward to being in touch soon to plan these with you.