A message to government: stop cost shifting – I was joined by Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, former Mayor of Ashfield Lucille McKenna and Councillor Mark Drury in Ashfield on Monday for the release of LGNSW’s latest cost shifting research, which shows ratepayers are being forced to pick up the tab for local infrastructure and services to the tune of $820 million each year.
I urge you to use this new research to talk about the local impacts of cost shifting in your local area – and call on your local representatives to commit to stopping cost shifting onto local governments in NSW.
We all know that state and federal governments often force councils to assume responsibility for infrastructure, services and regulatory functions without providing sufficient supporting funding; and the problem is growing in NSW.
The waste levy is the single, biggest contributor – of the $727 million collected last year only 18 per cent of councils’ contribution was returned to them to manage waste. Other big-ticket cost-shifts include public library funding, pensioner rate rebates and managing regulatory burdens. See our media release.
LGNSW acting on alternative waste ban – The new state government ban on mixed waste organics that prevent material produced from alternative waste treatment plants being used as a soil improver to land continues to be a huge issue for 29 councils in NSW. These councils face bearing the costs of the NSW Government shutting down these recycling facilities overnight, adding additional burdens on top of the impacts of the national sword crisis for these communities.
LGNSW is urging affected councils to ensure they send a representative to our workshop in Blacktown on Monday and let LGNSW know the cost and other implications of the government’s decision for your council and communities. Please contact Susy Cenedese, LGNSW Environment Strategy Manager on 02 9242 4080 for more information.
Reminder: urgent action needed to receive funding under container deposit scheme – It is vitally important that councils who want a share of the refund from containers found in kerbside recycling enter into an agreement with their material recovery facility by 30 November or they will miss out on container deposit monies for their community. The 30 November deadline is non-negotiable and has been written into the regulation.
LGNSW successfully fought hard to ensure councils could get a share of the profits under this scheme, so please make sure your council doesn’t miss this important opportunity.
Sharing our expertise interstate – On Wednesday, LGNSW Environment Strategy Manager Susy Cenedese shared our insights on the rollout of the NSW container deposit scheme during a workshop in Perth, hosted by the Government of Western Australia. It’s a great testament to LGNSW’s advocacy and expertise in this area that we were invited to attend – and we’re committed to sharing our skills to boost local governments nationally.
Mayoral support – Mayors can learn about current issues facing our sector and mayoral roles and responsibilities at the upcoming LGNSW’s Mayors’ Weekend (Sydney, 24-25 November). We also offer a free, confidential mentoring service enabling new and returning councillors and mayors. Find out more.
Finally, it was great to visit Mosman, Waverley and Liverpool councils this week to hear their views and find out how we can help them.
Until next week!