President's Message


LGNSW planning advocacy - LGNSW welcomes agreement from the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) to our request to discuss the new planning assurance process underway at Ryde Council. With further local government areas flagged for assurance reviews, the discussions will go right to the heart of planning controls in this state, and the increasing interference of the NSW Government in council planning decisions. If you have questions or concerns about the Assurance Review process and what it means for your local government, please contact Shaun McBride, LGNSW Chief Economist.

This fight to halt the erosion of council planning rights continues throughout NSW, and LGNSW will next month host a Planning Campaign forum on the Central Coast. We will talk about plans afoot by the NSW Government to expand mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) to councils in regional urban areas such as the Central Coast and Newcastle. Details soon.

FRESH ADVOCACY PUSH: Fair remuneration for councillors – We’re pushing the NSW Local Government Remuneration Tribunal strongly for the maximum annual increase of 2.5 per cent for councillor fees, and this year have called on the tribunal to recommend superannuation for mayors and councillors, which is a basic right for elected federal and state parliamentarians and everyone else in the Australian workforce. This is a 2019 NSW Election Priority.

MEMBER OPPORTUNITY: LGNSW is opening more funding through the Flying-fox Grants Program from today. The funding – provided by the Office of Environment and Heritage and managed by LGNSW – totals $500,000 in 2019. Apply here.

National Drought Map and Farmhub


Farmers, their families and rural communities can easily access information on drought conditions and support using new online tools.

A National Drought Map (formerly known as the Drought Common Operating Picture) shows what is happening across Australia through visual displays of rainfall patterns, soil moisture, agricultural types and other industries.

FarmHub provides information on support services available through federal, state and local governments, and charities.


Guidance for NSW Cemeteries

The NSW Government has released guidance materials for cemetery operators to help them comply with new obligations under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013.

Councils manage most of the cemeteries in NSW, including those on Crown land, and conduct around 50 per cent of burials in NSW.

Changes to legislation in June 2018 allow cemetery operators to offer renewable interment rights for at least 25 years.

The offer and purchase of renewable interment rights is voulntary.

Perpetual interment continues to be available throughout NSW and existing burial rights are protected and remain on the same terms as originally granted.

The following are available on the Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW website:

  • Guide to interment rights in NSW
  • Guide to a cemetery operator’s register
  • Guide on record keeping: certificates and forms
  • Guide to Heritage Advisory Committees (for renewable interment rights)
  • Guide to references and terms used in the interment sector
  • Cemeteries and Crematoria Operator Code of Practice (voluntary)
  • General consumer guide on interment rights.

Templates and standard application forms are also available.

Operators have until 25 June 2019 to comply with the new requirements.

For more information email Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW or call 02 9842 8473.


LGNSW International Women’s Day Lunch 2019


A limited number of tickets remain for our upcoming International Women’s Day Lunch (Sydney, Friday 8 March).

Join us in the elegant surroundings of The Tea Room in the Queen Victoria Building to hear the award-winning author and journalist, Leigh Sales, talk about leadership, dealing with self-doubt and what truly matters in life.

Book online.

LGNSW members can enjoy a discounted rate when staying at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney. For more information visit the LGNSW website.

The event is supported by elite sponsor StateCover and distinguished sponsor News Corp Australia


2019 Flying-fox Grants Program

Photo: James Wainscoat - Unsplash

Councils can apply for funding through this year’s round of the Flying-fox Grants Program from today.

During 2019, $500,000 is available for councils to manage flying fox habitats as part of a broader program the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has entrusted LGNSW to deliver.

A stream to support communication, community engagement and educational activities has been introduced this year.

Funding is available under four streams:

  1. Implementing emergency flying-fox camp management measures where there are significant community impacts. Maximum grant size: $50,000.
  2. Preparing flying-fox camp management plans. Maximum grant size: $15,000.
  3. Implementing approved actions in flying-fox camp management plans. Maximum grant size: $50,000.
  4. Running communication, community engagement and education activities. Maximum grant size: $10,000.

Applications for stream 1 are open until 13 September 2019.

Applications for streams 2, 3 and 4 are open until 13 March 2019.

For full details and to download guidelines visit the LGNSW website.

Apply via the LGNSW application portal.

For more information email Chris Hudson, LGNSW Flying-Fox Project Manager.


Local Strategic Planning Statements

Training sessions to explain the local strategic planning statement process and councils’ obligations are being offered free of charge to councillors and council staff. 

Following changes to the Environment Planning and Assessment Act last year, all councils are required to prepare statements by 1 December 2019 (Sydney councils) and 1 July 2020 (regional councils).

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has partnered with the Centre for Local Government at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to deliver:

  • three-hour courses for councillors
  • two-day courses for council staff.

The next round starts later this month for councils in the Sydney’s western, south and central planning districts.

If your council is listed below, please register via the links provided, email UTS or call 02 9514 4738.

Western – Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Camden, Campbelltown, Penrith, Wollondilly:

South and Central – Blacktown, Cumberland, Parramatta, Burwood, Canterbury-Bankstown, Canada Bay, Georges River, Inner West, Sutherland, The Hills, Strathfield:

The department will finalise dates for other councils in the coming weeks.

For general information about local strategic planning statements visit the department's website.


Guide for Establishing and Managing Night Time Economy Uses

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released a new guide to make it faster and easier to establish a night time economy business.

    It includes:

    • a step-by-step guide to the approvals process, including development applications (DA) and liquor licences
    • common night time economy uses and corresponding land use definitions to guide applicants through the DA process
    • examples of council policies and processes from across NSW
    • relevant NSW legislation.

    For more information and to download the guide, visit the department’s website.


      Small Business Friendly Councils Conference

      Councils are invited to register for the inaugural Small Business Friendly Councils Conference (Sydney, 16-17 May 2019).

      Hosted by the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the conference builds on last year’s successful round table events and regional workshop programs.

      Mayors, general managers and economic development officers looking for exciting, new ways to build their local economies are encouraged to attend.

      The program includes:

      • presentations from LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott and futurist Mark McCrindle

      • workshops with placemakers Barrie Barton and Jo Kelly

      • masterclasses with local government champions including Bland Shire Council General Manager Ray Smith and the team behind the Parkes Elvis Festival

      • breakout sessions on retail activation, regional economies, and building digital capabilities

      • networking opportunities.

      See the full program.

      For more information and to register visit the NSW Small Business Commissioner’s website.

      Contact: Ben Lees, Principal Advisor, Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, or call 0429 942 213.


      Early Childhood Forum

      The NSW Children’s Services Forum will hold a free forum on Monday 11 February at Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney.

      NSW Minister and Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Kate Washington MP and a Greens party candidate have been invited to speak and there will be an opportunity to ask them questions.

      Numbers are limited so register online today.

      The NSW Children’s Forum is a group of children’s services providers and peak bodies.


      Level Crossing Minor Works

      Councils can apply for funding to carry out minor works to improve level crossing safety through Transport for NSW’s Level Crossing Improvement Program.

      Works can include:

      • signage
      • cross-hatching
      • engineering projects.

      For further information email Sanjiv Sathiah LGNSW Senior Roads and Transport Policy Officer or call 02 9242 4073.


      NVHR Heavy Vehicle Access Forum – Armidale

      The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will hold a free forum in Armidale on Tuesday 26 February to discuss Australia’s growing freight task.

      The forum will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders in the region to discuss this vital economic issue and find ways to keep communities strong and safe.

      For more information email Tim Hansen, NHVR Stakeholder Specialist.

      Register online.


      LGNSW Oversize Overmass Vehicles Survey

      LGNSW has extended the deadline for feedback on recommendations arising from the national Review of Oversize Overmass (OSOM) Access Arrangements. 

      The Hon. Michael McCormack, Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development has written to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) seeking endorsement of 12 out 38 recommendations arising from the review for immediate implementation.

      The federal government is seeking to implement recommendations: 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 13, 22, 27, 32, 34, 37, and 38.

      LGNSW is seeking feedback from councils, particularly on recommendations 22 and 38, via a short online survey, until the end of February.

      LGNSW is responding to ALGA on behalf of NSW councils.

      For further information, please email Sanjiv Sathiah, Senior Policy Officer Roads and Transport or phone 02 9242 4073.