Presidents Message

Cr Linda Scott

A focus on council childcare – On your behalf LGNSW met with Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell to discuss ways local and state government can work together to express our strong joint concerns over the federal government’s recent cuts to funding for states and territories for the regulation of the National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care. This funding will cease from 1 July 2018.

In NSW, 52 councils directly provide more than 300 early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, making up 8 per cent of all NSW ECEC services. In some local government areas, our council childcare services are the only ones available – and budget cuts may threaten the viability of these services.

Cr Linda Scott and Minister MitchellWe strongly welcome that the Minister is prepared to work with us on this. In more good news, the Minister confirmed our advocacy about the state government’s legacy funding had been heard, and that councils should soon receive letters confirming the next year of funding. Please contact Elizabeth Robertson, Policy Officer, LGNSW, for further information.

Addressing the critical importance of roads – I was honoured to deliver the opening address at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Local Roads Congress in Sydney on Monday. Under the theme ‘Roads as Critical Infrastructure’, congress considered the challenges we face in maintaining and funding local roads, and managing the demands placed on it by communities and other road users. Read more in congress’ communiqué.

This week NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet called upon councils to reduce parking fines on local roads. Parking fines provide a fair and reasonable disincentive to those who breach restrictions designed to manage congestion and road safety. Of course, it will be up to individual councils to decide whether or not to reduce fines in their areas.

I urge members to write to the Premier and Treasurer before the budget to let them know this is an important local government issue, not a political one (as the Treasurer suggested in Parliament this week). See our media release.

Key role for councils in short-term holiday letting – The NSW Government’s announcement this week giving local government a meaningful role in the management of home sharing outside Greater Sydney is welcome, but there is more to do. Short-term holiday letting in rural and regional NSW will be automatically capped at 365 days, but councils will be given the power to reduce the cap if needed. In Sydney, a maximum 180-day cap will apply.

The impact of this issue differs across NSW, and LGNSW has always argued that councils are best placed to determine the caps that best balance economic development via short-term accommodation, with rental affordability and local public amenity. Read more.

Cross-border issues – Surrounded by Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and surrounding the ACT, cross-border council issues are always a priority for us at LGNSW. On your behalf I met with NSW’s Cross-Border Commissioner James McTavish this week to raise the unique issues our border councils face.

I am pleased he has agreed to meet with us regularly in order for us to ensure he is updated and acting on all council issues – please contact Shaun McBride to keep us updated on the cross-border issues in your area.

Get ready for the LGNSW Water Management Conference 2018 (Armidale, 3-5 September). Book now to secure your place at the leading water conference in NSW. Read more

Finally, it is with sadness that we note the passing of John Warrington AM this week. John was one of the associations’ longest serving employees, retiring as Director Industrial Relations. We extend our condolences to John’s family.


Local Government Week Awards Evening 2018


Don’t miss Local Government Week’s signature event – the Local Government Week Awards Evening 2018 (Sydney, 2 August) as we recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of councils and individuals in the sector.

The following awards will be presented:

Clint Paddison, one of Australia’s most in-demand comedians, will act as master of ceremonies for this year’s event.

Tickets are available online ($143 each or $1,330 for a table of 10). Book by Monday 23 July (if not sold out prior).

For further information visit the LGNSW website.

LGNSW thanks elite sponsor Statewide Mutual for its support.


LGNSW Water Management Conference 2018


Register now to secure your place at NSW’s leading water management conference (Armidale, 3-5 September).

The LGNSW Water Management Conference provides topical information on water policy, water management and issues associated with water supply, and sewerage services provided by council-owned and operated local water utilities.

The Conference themes include:

  • The future of urban water reform – A panel discussion with representatives from Infrastructure Australia, the Productivity Commission, University of New England and the CENTROC Water Alliance.
  • The role of local elected representatives in water management – A facilitated session with the key industry regulators.
  • Technology and innovative infrastructure solutions – Case studies on new and emerging technologies, and local infrastructure.
  • Water quality and sustainable water management – Discussion on how to implement a preventive risk-based approach, manage sustained periods of drought and find options for domestic water supply in non-reticulated areas.
  • Managing risks in the water industry – Encompassing strategic, workforce and workplace risks.

Find out more and book online.

To share this article with colleagues who may be interested in attending the conference, click on the links below.


Get Ready for NAIDOC Week


With a month to go until NAIDOC Week (8-15 July), communities are busy preparing activities to encourage both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This year’s theme Because of Her We Can acknowledges the contribution of Indigenous women as leaders and social change advocates for law, justice and education.

Councils are encouraged to get involved. Visit the NAIDOC Week website for ideas on how to celebrate, and to download the 2018 poster, logos and banner.


Excellence in the Environment Awards


Your council can gain recognition for outstanding achievements in managing and protecting the environment by entering the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards.

The awards celebrate programs, projects and people across 15 categories including the Sustainable Infrastructure Award, which is new this year.

Join us for the awards forum and ceremony in Sydney on 3 December. The ceremony culminates in the presentation of the prestigious local sustainability awards – one for overall council performance and one for an individual council staff member or elected councillor.

The overall winner receives an overseas study tour or a professional development program for staff, valued at $10,000, while individual winners receive a weekend away at an eco-focused venue.

Awards are for projects undertaken between January 2017 to May 2018.

Each award has three divisions based on a council's population:

  • less than 30,000
  • 30,000 - 70,000
  • more than 70,000.

Adam Spencer, former ABC Radio Sydney presenter, author and sustainability advocate will be master of ceremonies for the evening.

For more information and to enter visit the LGNSW website.

Entries close 5pm Monday 30 July 2018.

LGNSW appreciates continued support from sponsors including: the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Local Government Super, NSW Ministry of Health, Water Directorate, Department of Primary Industries, NSW Roadside Environment Committee and WolfPeak.

For more information email Denise Anderson, Senior Policy Officer – Environment, LGNSW or call 02 9242 4056.


New Infrastructure Australia Report Released

Infrastructure Australia has released a new report in its infrastructure reform series, Making Reform Happen.

The report calls on the Australian Government to provide financial incentives to states and territories in return for delivering agreed infrastructure reforms.

The report includes modelling of the impact of reform in the urban water sector.

Importantly, the report makes no recommendations to privatise non-metropolitan water utilities. In realtion to privatising metropolitan water supply, the report states that the Australian Government has noted that this is a matter for state and territory governments.

LGNSW wrote to Infrastructure Australia earlier this year, objecting to the suggestion that local water utilities be privatised and will continue to strongly advocate this position.