President's Message

Linda ScottA 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.

Linda Scott at Waverley and Mosman councils

 

Until next week!

 

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LGNSW International Women’s Day Lunch

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Leigh Sales, award-winning author, journalist and anchor of ABC’s flagship news and current affairs program 7.30, will be the guest speaker at LGNSW’s International Women’s Day Lunch (Sydney, Friday 8 March 2019).

Join us in the elegant surroundings of The Tea Room in the Queen Victoria Building to celebrate women in local government who are making a positive difference to their communities.

Leigh is an inspirational speaker who will talk about leadership, dealing with self-doubt and what truly matters in life.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural LGNSW International Women’s Day Lunch, we anticipate tickets will sell out fast, so book online now.

This event is supported by elite sponsor StateCover and distinguished sponsor Newscorp Australia.  Distinguished and networking sponsorship packages are available. Contact LGNSW Events Coordinator Denise Catt to find out more.

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LGNSW Planning Breakfast

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We’re excited to have NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts join us for our upcoming LGNSW Planning Breakfast to discuss maintaining open space for communities in the face of population growth and increased housing density (Sydney, 27 November).

Under the topic ‘Where will the children play?’ this latest event in our planning series will address open space priorities, including how they relate to NSW councils.

The expert panel will also include:

  • Fiona Morrison, Open Space and Parklands Commissioner, Department of Planning and Environment
  • A/Professor Linda Corkery, Acting Discipline Director, Landscape Architecture, Built Environment, University of NSW.

As the NSW Government attempts to meet its target of 61,000 housing completions every year, councils and their communities are demanding sufficient space to walk, run and play.

As densities increase and population growth continues, more open space will be needed, existing open spaces must be protected and governments are under pressure to ensure open space is used more effectively.

With land costs and space in Sydney at a premium, the forum will address how we can provide enough open space for our communities, protect existing green space and look at how needs are changing with more families living in apartments?

Come along and join the discussion.

Places are limited so register online today.

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Population Policy Panel

The NSW Government has appointed an expert panel to develop a population policy for NSW to address concerns about current high rates of population growth and pressure on infrastructure.

The members of the panel, which will provide advice to Premier Gladys Berejiklian within two months, are:

  • Jim Betts, CEO, Infrastructure NSW
  • Peter Shergold, Chancellor, University of Western Sydney
  • Carolyn McNally, Secretary, NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The panel will consider:

  • the current rate of population growth and infrastructure pipeline
  • how much time is needed for infrastructure to catch up with population growth
  • NSW’s role at upcoming discussions with the commonwealth regarding population and will
  • recommend next steps on the issue of population.

See the Premier’s media release for more information.

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Recycled Glass in Roads

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NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is encouraging councils to consider using recycled glass in local roads.

RMS manages more than 18,000 km of roads in NSW and is working with stakeholders to increase the amount of recycled content in the state’s roads.

While current RMS asphalt specification allows a maximum of 2.5 per cent of recycled glass to be used in all asphalt pavement layers, it’s not being used to any great extent across NSW.

To encourage the use of recycled glass in NSW roads as a substitute for virgin sand, RMS is developing a supply chain to provide the quantity and quality of recycled glass needed.

RMS is establishing demonstration projects and case studies to show the benefits, standards/specifications, testing regimes, life cycles and costs of using recycled glass sand in roads.

Email Jason Gordon, RMS, or call 02 8837 0410 to find out more.

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Renegotiation of the Local Government (State) Award

LGNSW will begin negotiations with local government unions early next year to agree to a new award to replace the Local Government (State) Award 2017.

As it has done in the past, LGNSW is establishing an award working party to assist in the negotiations.

We are seeking expressions of interests (EOIs) from suitably-experienced general managers and human resources professionals wishing to join the working party.

The role of working party members will include collecting and disseminating sensitive award-related information (for designated regions), suggesting award variations for inclusion in an employers’ log of claims and providing feedback on proposed award variations.

The working party will meet in Sydney approximately every three months with the first meeting scheduled for 6 March 2019.

Working party representatives will not be required to attend compulsory conference proceedings before the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales or formal award negotiations with local government unions.

To ensure the working party includes a mix of members from rural, regional, urban and metropolitan areas, covering as many regions as possible, LGNSW is aiming to appoint one to two representatives from each of the following regions:

  • Canberra
  • Central NSW
  • Far North West
  • Far South West
  • Central Coast / Hunter
  • Illawarra / Shoalhaven
  • Mid North Coast
  • Namoi
  • New England
  • Northern Rivers
  • Orana
  • Sydney (inner)
  • Sydney (outer/surrounds)
  • Riverina / Murray

Before submitting an EOI please consult with other general managers and human resource professionals in your region to agree your region’s representative(s).

Submit EOIs by email to Adam Dansie, LGNSW Senior Industrial Relations Manager by Friday 22 February 2019.

For more information call LGNSW’s Industrial Relations Unit on 02 9242 4142.

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