President's Message


Happy New Year and welcome to the first Weekly of 2018! I trust you had a restful and enjoyable break over the holiday season.

Action on Joint Organisations – Councils have been given until 28 February to advise the Government if they will join a Joint Organisation (JO). The Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, has written to councils with information on the process, maps of the planning regions and nomination forms.

Councils in the far west have been encouraged to nominate to form their own JO within their planning region and to talk to other councils in their region to determine the membership of the JO. LGNSW understands more information to support councils is being prepared, which is very welcome. If your council needs more advice on this issue, please contact Jill Gallagher at LGNSW.

Blue Mountains City Council asbestos issue – Just before Christmas, the Minister for Local Government advised Blue Mountains City Council she would not suspend its elected body over concerns about asbestos management. I strongly welcome this outcome. After considering Council’s submission, the Minister foreshadowed she would issue a Performance Improvement Order (PIO) instead. This is a much better outcome as it a more targeted response to the Minister’s concerns. LGNSW notes that Council is a willing participant in the Minister’s PIO. We will continue working with BMCC closely on this issue and will continue to support them in any way we can. Members are reminded that LGNSW has a dedicated Asbestos Policy Project Manager to assist with asbestos-related matters. Contact Daniel Adler to find out more.

Plan for 2018 – New Year is the perfect time to plan ahead and mark key dates in your diary. LGNSW runs regular events for elected members and local government staff. These include our annual finance summit, good governance forum, HR conference, employment law seminar, water management and tourism conferences, planning events and of course our annual conference. Many of these have now been scheduled and others will be soon. Keep an eye on the save the date column in this newsletter (bottom right). 

LGNSW also runs excellent, competitively-priced training programs designed specifically for the sector. Upcoming courses are also listed in this newsletter or we can come and present courses to your council or region.

International Women’s Day Luncheon – LGNSW’s first major event for 2018 is the International Women’s Day Luncheon on Thursday 8 March at Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney. Come along and celebrate the leadership of women in local government, both staff and elected officials, who are making a positive difference in their communities. I’m delighted to announce that special guest for the luncheon is author and columnist Anne Summers AO; a dynamic speaker who brings great authority and credibility to the subject of the position of women in the 21st century. Read more and register. I hope to see you there!

Tourism Conference – The LGNSW Tourism Conference is coming up soon (12-14 March, Parkes). This annual event provides a valuable opportunity for events and economic development professionals, as well as elected representatives, to learn from each other, hear from industry experts and gather the latest tools, tips, trends and knowledge in destination marketing. I’m looking forward to attending, and hope you can too. Read more.

Local Government Week – Consider planning something for Local Government Week (30 July - 5 August) if you are not already doing so. During this week, many councils hold events and open days or run other initiatives to raise awareness of their vital role in communities. To see what councils did last year, check out the twitter conversation #LGWeek2017. The more councils that get involved, the stronger the message will be.

And thank you for your correspondence and messages of congratulations, support and suggestions for my presidency and our year ahead. I’m looking forward to visiting many of you over the next 12 months and progressing our agenda in 2018.

It’s shaping up to be another busy year with much work ahead for our sector!

Warmest wishes,

Cr Linda Scott, LGNSW President

FitNSW 2018


Active Living NSW invites council staff and councilors to attend FitNSW 2018, a free conference showcasing built environment and planning initiatives that encourage physical activity (15 March, Sydney).

The half-day event will bring together professionals from health, planning, transport and industry.

The conference is particularly relevant for:

  • local and state government elected officials
  • planners, architects and social planners
  • engineers and transport professionals
  • parks, leisure and recreation professionals
  • health promotion and public health officers.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University
  • Lucinda Hartley, urban designer and social entrepreneur
  • Amy Child, associate at Arup.

FitNSW 2018 will be held at the Aerial UTS Function Centre, Ultimo.

Register online.

For more information email Vanessa Burow.

International Women’s Day Luncheon 2018

Anne Summers AO, acclaimed author and columnist, will be the guest speaker at LGNSW’s inaugural International Women’s Day Luncheon (Thursday 8 March, Sydney).

Come along and celebrate the leadership of women in local government, both staff and elected representatives, who are making a positive difference to their communities.

Anne Summers is a dynamic speaker who brings unparalleled authority and credibility to the subject of the position of women in the 21st century. She has inspired a generation of young people to think differently about their country, their work, their families and their futures.

Join us on 8 March from 12.00noon - 3.30pm at Doltone House Hyde Park, 3/181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.

Book online. Tickets cost $200 including GST or $1,800 per table of 10.

Visit the LGNSW website for more information or email the LGNSW Events team.

LGNSW would like to thank Statecover Mutual Limited for sponsoring this event.

LGNSW Tourism Conference 2018

Don’t miss the annual LGNSW Tourism Conference, coming soon to Parkes (12-14 March).

The conference provides an ideal opportunity for events, marketing and economic development professionals to find out what’s new in the world of tourism and destination marketing.

Registrations are open. Early bird discounts are available until 22 January 2018 (group discounts are available).

The conference theme is ‘Tourism: It all adds up!’.

Highlights will include:

  • a half-day session and workshop for those in Accredited Visitor Information Centres
  • an address from Tourism and Major Events Minister Adam Marshall
  • a panel discussion on innovation in attracting business events to your destination
  • a presentation and interactive workshop on how to run an effective marketing campaign
  • a panel discussion - revisiting agritourism.

For more information, register online.

The 2018 conference is supported by official partner Destination NSW, elite, Office of the Environment and Heritage through the sponsor Heritage Near Me program, premier sponsor Service NSW, AVIC sponsor The Tourism Group, distinguished sponsors Leonard’s Advertising and Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW.

Awards for Sporting Clubs


Councils are encouraged to promote the Clubbies awards to sports clubs in their local areas.

Sponsored by Inside Sport and Sportscover in partnership with the Confederation of Australian Sport, the Clubbies awards offer $15,000 in awards across seven categories.

The awards recognise dedication, integrity and sportsmanship and are not necessarily made to the club or coach with the most wins.

Nominate online before 30 January.

New Guide to Support Settlement in Regional Australia


The commonwealth Department of Social Services has published a guide to help councils and regional communities to settle refugees.

The Guide to Supporting Settlement in Regional Australia provides councils with information on:

· the benefits of migration and regional settlement

· the challenges in settling refugees

· commonwealth settlement support

· additional local assistance

· building a welcoming community for refugees.

The guide also explores the unique challenges refugees face in regional Australia, the important role of councils in ensuring refugees and other migrants are welcomed into the community and case studies of initiatives for successful settlement.

Pat Dixon Scholarship Committee

LGNSW is inviting expressions of interest from Aboriginal councillors, to join the Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship Committee.

The late Cr Pat Dixon was a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed by local government and interested in serving on councils in NSW.

A scholarship in her name was established in 2002 with contributions from councils and NSW Government support.

The scholarship enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors and employees to undertake part-time university studies to further their community development, political or professional careers.

The scholarship is managed by a committee comprising the LGNSW President, an Aboriginal councillor, a representative of the Local Government Aboriginal Network and the LGNSW Aboriginal Policy Officer.

If you would like to be considered, please sending a brief email outlining your experience and interest to Margaret Kay, Strategy Manager Social and Community by 31 January 2018.

Mentoring for Councillors and Mayors


LGNSW offers a confidential mentoring service for elected representatives providing access to guidance and support from experienced and well-regarded ex-councillors and mayors.

This service is particularly useful for new mayors or councillors however it is available to all LGNSW members.

Mentors can provide valuable support through their deep knowledge of (often complex) local government issues and long experience in working with councils.

Participants have reported that the service has been particularly helpful when dealing with difficult issues.

See the LGNSW website for more information on the service and mentors or enquire by email.



There are a few remaining places in upcoming professional development programs offered by LGNSW in partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Foundations of Directorship (26-29 February) covers governance, finance, strategy and risk. This course is designed to help senior staff and elected representatives understand the fundamental elements of working on a governing body (such as a council) that is responsible for strategic direction and oversight of an organisation.

Governance Essentials for Local Government (20-21 March) is a two-day sector-specific course for councillors that addresses the role of the council and councillors, leadership, risk (issues for councillors) and an introduction to finance.

See the links above, enquire by email or call LGNSW Learning Solutions on 02 9242 4081 for more information or to register.