Local Government NSW Summits reach the Hunter
I had the pleasure of listening to mayors, councillors and council staff in the Hunter this week while in the region for our latest council summit. It was wonderful to congratulate representatives of Hunter Region Joint Organisation – part of the original trial of JOs – on their first ‘official’ meeting as a JO.
More than ever, councils across NSW are working together on key regional strategic priorities, from financial sustainability to recycling to infrastructure maintenance.
Thanks to the terrific crew from Maitland City Council for hosting the summit and to those councils we visited – Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Maitland. The Far West summit is next, to be hosted by Cobar Shire Council on Tuesday 3 July. Visit the LGNSW website to find out more about upcoming summits.
Keeping up the pressure on recycling
We called out the NSW Government’s announcement this week of a ‘new’ grant for councils affected by the Chinese National Sword recycling crisis. Sadly, as many of you have told us, the $9.5 million package announced on Monday isn’t new money, but is rather part of the $47.5 million rescue package announced back in March, which itself was funding already allocated under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative.
The announcement follows a disappointing state budget which chose not to reinvest a surplus of dollars from the waste levy to address immediate waste and resource recovery challenges.
New waste levy figures
As you have asked us to, Local Government NSW will continue to call for this growing waste levy, collected from industry and councils and handed to the NSW State Government, to be returned to councils to manage waste each year. Only 18 per cent of what councils contributed was given back to local government to manage waste.
Nominate your council for environment awards
There are many excellent examples of councils using innovative ways to solve waste issues and with nominations opening this week for the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards, now is the time to showcase your achievements.
Last year’s winners included Hunter JO (for its work to reduce food waste on university campuses) and Canterbury Bankstown Council (for its project to recover and recycle problem waste materials from multi-unit dwellings).
Awards will be presented across 15 categories including the new Sustainable Infrastructure Award, the prestigious Local Sustainability Award for overall council performance and the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability, recognising the achievements of an individual.
For more information visit the LGNSW website.