President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

Sharing ideas and setting our policy direction – I’m excited to be heading to Albury (October 21-23) for the 2018 LGNSW Annual Conference – our flagship event of the year. As well as hosting the Premier, Minister and Shadow Minister for Local Government, around 100 motions are up for debate – the opening one from Bourke, being just one of several drought-related motions. We’ll also debate financial sustainability of councils, waste and recycling, climate change, superannuation, train services, infrastructure and planning policy. For more details download the Business Paper. See you there!

Celebrating the progress of women – Next month (November 2018) marks 100 years since the NSW Parliament passed the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918, enabling women to practise as lawyers and stand for election to the legislative assembly and for local government. I’m looking forward to seeing local governments around the state celebrate the historical contributions of the hundreds of women who have been elected to local government in NSW, including many mayors.

Seeking reforms to planning to benefit local governments – We met with Planning Minister Anthony Roberts this week and, in response to our request, we were pleased that his department will review the State and Regional Development SEPP as part of its overall SEPP review program. This is a positive result, following our advocacy on the legislative framework for state significant development. We also discussed short term residential accommodation and the Kaldas review of decision–making in the planning system. For more information or to ensure we are raising issues important to your council at future meetings, please email Jane Partridge, Senior Policy Officer, LGNSW.

Supporting councils to address climate change – Our next Building Resilience to Climate Change workshop will be hosted by Parkes Shire Council on 21 November. Come along and find out what councils are doing to minimise the impacts of climate change at a local level. Read more.


Remembrance Day


This year’s Remembrance Day on Sunday 11 November, marks the centenary of the armistice that ended fighting during the First World War.

From a population of around 4.5 million, some 416,000 Australians enlisted for service. Tragically, more than 60,000 never returned home.

Today, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for every Australian to reflect on those who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, and to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of our defence personnel.

Councils can raise awareness and participation in their communities by encouraging people to wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance and to stop at 11am on 11 November to observe a minute’s silence.

The federal government, in consultation with states and territories, has developed a nationally-consistent brand.

Branding resources and guidelines, as well as factsheets, can be accessed on the Anzac Centenary website.

For information email the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


Building Resilience to Climate Change Workshop – Parkes

LGNSW, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and Parkes Shire Council are hosting a free workshop to showcase Building Resilience to Climate Change projects in Parkes on 21 November.

Topics will include climate risks to infrastructure, dealing with extreme heat and land-use planning. Councils are invited to attend along with representatives from OEH, Local Land Services and other NSW agencies. See our website for more information, or email Denise Anderson, Senior Policy Officer, LGNSW.

Register online.


Aboriginal Land Clean Up and Prevention Program

The fourth round of funding under the NSW Environment and Protection Authority’s Aboriginal Land Clean Up and Prevention Program is open until 30 September 2019.

Local Aboriginal land councils and organisations working in partnership with them are encouraged to apply for grants ranging from $10,000 and $75,000 for projects that:

  • reduce the impacts of illegal dumping on Aboriginal land through clean up and prevention activities
  • build and maintain collaborative approaches and partnerships to help manage and reduce the occurrence of illegal dumping
  • integrate deterrence, surveillance and monitoring measures and community education to prevent illegal dumping activities on Aboriginal land
  • incorporate cultural activities that enable Aboriginal people to care for Country, engage in knowledge sharing and gain skills and employment in land management.

For more information email Yuling Du or call 02 9995 5596.


Organics Grants


The NSW Environment Protection Authority is inviting applications for three Love Food Hate Waste grant programs – Love Food Communities, Food Donation Education and Organics Market Development.

Councils, non-government organisations, community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and education services are among those eligible to apply.

  • Love Food Communities – grants of up to $250,000 for up to five NSW towns, cities or regions to plan and deliver a two-year, whole-of-city approach to food waste prevention. Expressions of interest close on 19 November 2018. Successful applicants will be invited to develop detailed project plans (funded up to $20,000) with final applications due by 18 March 2019. For information email Sarah Chen or Elizabeth Craggs, EPA, or call 02 9995 6926/6890.
  •  Food Donation Education (round two) – grants of up to $200,000 are available to support education activities, such as community engagement, training or collaboration, that result in more donated food being distributed to people in need. Applications close 3pm, 8 November 2018. For more information email Matteo Balatti or Sian McGhie, EPA, or call 02 4908 6868/6876.
  • Organics Market Development (round three) – grants of up to $200,000 are available for projects that improve market demand for compost processed from source-separated organics. Applications close 4 pm, 22 November 2018. For more information email Annie Kavanagh or Jannie Higginson, EPA, or call 02 9995 6874/6895.



Compost Facility Management


The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has developed a free, online training course covering everything facility workers and regulators need to know about managing an organics facility in NSW.

Over eight e-learning modules, the course covers the science of composting, operational management and process controls, environmental management, and regulations and legislation.

It has been designed to address different skill levels and experience, and includes animation, videos, interactive learning activities and assessment tasks.

The course offers council staff working in waste and recycling, the opportunity to learn more about contamination management, composting technologies and government regulations for applying compost to the land.

Register via the EPA’s Learning Management System.

For more information email Amanda Kane, Organics Manager, EPA.


Best Practice Asbestos Management for Councils

Warren Shire Council and NetWaste will host a free forum on best practice asbestos management for councils on 22 November 2018.

The forum will explore the role that councils play in safely managing and regulating asbestos in their communities.

Register online.

Visit our website for more information or email Daniel Adler, Asbestos Policy Project Manager, LGNSW.


Bush Fire Environmental Assessment Code Training

Council staff that issue hazard reduction certificates under the Rural Fires Act 1997 are invited to attend a training session on the updated Bush Fire Environmental Assessment Code.

Training sessions will be held at:

  • Dubbo Fire Control Centre, 13-14 November 2018
  • Coffs Harbour Fire Control Centre, 22-23 November 2018
  • Yass Fire Control Centre, 19-20 November 2018
  • NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) headquarters, Sydney Olympic Park (new building), 27 November 2018.

For more information and to register, email the RFS.


Early Learning Conference

Blacktown City Council will host a conference for early childhood educators at Rooty Hill RSL on Saturday 10 November 2018.

The conference, themed ‘Observe, think, innovate: Empowering educators’, will feature speakers Professor Alan Hayes and Gabrielle Sinclair, and six hands-on workshops covering risky play, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts, critical reflection, numeracy and literacy.

Book online.

For more information email Kids Early Learning Blacktown or call 02 9839 6868.


Regional Arts Stakeholder Forum

Council arts and cultural officers are invited to register for the 2018 Regional Stakeholder Forum, presented by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in partnership with Museums and Galleries of NSW, and Regional Arts NSW (Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 23 November).

This annual event is an opportunity for the regional museum sector to network with colleagues and attend talks on current issues.

There is a selection of breakout sessions this year. You must register for one of the breakout sessions to get a ticket for the full-day program.

Find out more and register online.


Women’s Week Grants

Councils are encouraged to apply for grants for events and activities that celebrate women during the state’s inaugural NSW Women’s Week (3-9 March 2019).

The grants provide opportunities to deliver education, mentoring and participatory activities that benefit local women and girls.

Funding is available across two categories:

  • up to $1,000 for small scale events and activities
  • $1,001 to $5,000 for larger scale events and activities.

Events and activities must promote at least one of the three priorities of the NSW Women’s Strategy 2018-2022 – women’s economic opportunity and advancement, health and wellbeing, and participation and empowerment.

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 12 November 2018.

For more information and to view the grant guidelines, visit the Women NSW website.


Equal Access to Public Toilets

Councils are reminded to check that accessible public toilets fitted with the Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK) system operate effectively.

The MLAK system, which is widely used in Australia at railway stations, council facilities and parks, uses a universal lock and key to allow people with disabilities to access public facilities 24 hours a day.

Accessible facilities should remain open (unless they are housing adult-changing facilities), consistent with the following:

  • Accessible toilets should be unlocked during daylight hours.
  • Accessible toilets should be unlocked when co-located with unlocked general entry toilets.
  • The MLAK system should alleviate the difficulty faced by people with disability in finding an accessible toilet that is open after hours.
  • The provision of MLAK keys is restricted to people with disability.
  • Required evidence for key allocations may include a copy of the applicant’s disability parking permit and those who have written authority from:
    • a doctor
    • a disability organisation
    • a local council or community health centre
    • centre management or building/toilet owner.
  • MLAK keys should be available for loan locally for overseas and other visitors.

The MLAK system allows councils to reduce inappropriate use after hours while still providing access to facilities for people with disability.

For more information email Chris Maclean, Senior Policy Officer, Ageing and Disability, LGNSW.