President's Message

Cr Linda ScottAs tomorrow’s State Election approaches, I want to thank you for your hard work championing our 12 Election Priorities including libraries and recycling, as we push for better outcomes for our councils and communities.

NSW local governments have achieved so much change by speaking together as one voice.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WIN: Labor commitmentWe welcomed Opposition leader Michael Daley’s personal pledge to restore positive and constructive relationships between state and local governments by setting down a new intergovernmental agreement with LGNSW should Labor be elected this weekend. Election Priority #9.

The agreement with LGNSW will include commitments for the State Government to ensure:

  • consultation before introducing legislation affecting councils
  • regular meetings with the Premier and mayors
  • a commitment to allow councils that wish to de-amalgamate to do so.

We call upon the Premier to match this commitment. See our media release.

PLANNING ADVOCACY WIN: LGNSW joined Central Coast Council last Sunday for a forum on local planning panels where we continued our call for planning powers to be restored to communities. Election Priority #4.

My thanks to our host Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith, and our guest speakers Mayor of Hornsby Shire Council Phillip Ruddock, Deputy Mayor of Newcastle City Council Declan Clausen and LGNSW Board member and Mayor of Northern Beaches Council Michael Regan.

We welcomed Labor’s announcement to working collaboratively together on new planning reforms, including:

  • an end to developer-led spot rezoning
  • an end to ‘planned precincts’ introduced by the current NSW Government.


RECYCLING ADVOCACY PUSH: As part of our Save Our Recycling campaign, I delivered a petition with more than 12,000 signatures to Parliament House on Monday, calling upon the NSW Government to use 100 per cent of the waste levy to tackle the recycling crisis. Over the past few weeks both the Greens and Labor have announced comprehensive waste management policies while the Premier has remained silent on new commitments to recycling. The waste crisis affects us all – now is the time for leaders to act. Election Priority #1.

Youtube Video

 

LIBRARIES ADVOCACY PUSH: In an open letter to NSW political parties on funding libraries this week we outlined the overwhelming response to our Renew Our Libraries campaign. Since its launch in August 2018, 107 NSW councils and more than 12,000 public library supporters from the local community have signed up to support the campaign, emailed candidates and party leaders or signed our petition. There is now a bipartisan commitment to provide around $61 million over four years in new funding but the amount needs doubling and it needs to be ongoing. Our campaign continues. Election Priority #2.

Tourism focus – Thanks to everyone who attended our 2019 LGNSW Tourism Conference this week, including co-host Central Coast Council, and all the speakers and contributors. Presentations are available on our website.

And my council visits have continued this week – thanks to Cessnock, Upper Hunter, MidCoast, Dungog and Port Stephens.

Guidelines for temporary memorial management – In closing, I note the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday with great sorrow. Everyone has the right to be safe and acts of terror have no place in our communities. Our thoughts are with all those affected.

Yesterday, councils across NSW held events celebrating inclusiveness, respect and diversity to mark Harmony Day. Given events in Christchurch, this year’s theme – ‘Everybody Belongs’ – is timely. Communities often express grief through spontaneous memorials and councils have a role in managing these in a respectful manner. The Red Cross has developed guidelines for temporary memorial management which may help.

Until next week! 

Photos: LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott speaking at Michael Daley’s press conference this week; Dungog Council visit; MidCoast Council visit; Upper Hunter visit; Port Stephens visit; Central Coast IHAPs Summit.

Cr Linda Scott and Michael Daley

Dungog visit

MidCoast Visit

Upper Hunter

Port Stephens visit

IHAP Summit

 

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Community Heritage Grants

Grants of up to $15,000 are available to councils, libraries, museums, multicultural and indigenous groups, and community organisations through the National Library of Australia’s Community Heritage Grants program.

The grants help preserve locally-owned, but nationally significant, collections of materials that are publicly accessible including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs and audio-visual material.

Eligible projects include:

  • significance assessments of collections
  • preservation needs assessments of collections
  • conservation activities and collection management
  • training workshops.

Applications close 6 May 2019.

For more visit the National Library of Australia website.

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Cr Pat Dixon Scholarship – Applications Closing Soon

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NSW local government councillors or employees wishing to apply to the Cr Pat Dixon Scholarship fund must do so by 6pm on 31 March 2019.

The scholarship supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors and council employees in NSW to undertake further study, professional development or research, by providing funding of up to $5000 for one or more scholarship recipients every year.

It was established in recognition of the late Cr Pat Dixon’s service and achievements in local government and her status as a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in NSW.

Apply online.

For more information, email Elle Brunsdon, LGNSW Policy Officer, or call 02 9242 4082.

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Sustainable Procurement Forums 2019

This year’s Sustainable Procurement Forums will focus on how local government procurement can help tackle the current recycling crisis.

Presentations will include case studies on the use of recycled materials (particularly in roads), guidance on sustainable packaging and circular economy principles.

Social procurement and new modern slavery legislation will also be covered.

A small number of suppliers from the Sustainable Choice database will showcase their products and services.

Forums will take place in:

  • Waverton, Sydney – Wednesday 8 May
  • Wollongong – Tuesday 4 June
  • Dubbo – Thursday 20 June.

Find out more and register.

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Best Practice Asbestos Management Forum – Singleton

LGNSW and Singleton Shire Council will host a forum on best practice asbestos management for councils on Wednesday 1 May 2019.

The forum will explore the role that councils play in the safe management and regulation of asbestos in their communities.

Register online.

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

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Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2025

The NSW Government has released its first strategic plan to guide the planning and delivery of cultural infrastructure such as theatres, galleries, museums, libraries, archives, community halls, cinemas, public art and outdoor events spaces.

The plan aims to share the benefits of cultural infrastructure fairly throughout the state and recognises councils’ critical role in this process.

For more information visit Create NSW.

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NSW Ageing Strategy – Modified Sports Program

As part of its ageing strategy, the NSW Government has partnered with six state sporting associations to deliver opportunities for older people to stay active, healthy and involved in local community programs.

Modified sports give older people the opportunity to participate in lower-impact versions of a range of activities.

For more information on how councils can get involved or promote local activities, contact the associations below:

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Good Growth Housing Conference

The Community Housing Industry Association will host a Good Growth Housing Conference in Sydney on Monday 15 April.

The conference will discuss how to plan, build and fund our cities and regional centres now and in the future.

It will be of interest to those working in all tiers of government, the not-for-profit sector, the private sector and communities that are working towards sustainable growth and improved liveablility.

For more information and to register visit the Good Growth Housing Conference website.

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Local Strategic Planning Statements – Training for Councillors

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment, in partnership with the University of Technology, is offering a free training session on local strategic planning statements for councillors in the Greater Sydney Region (Sydney, 11 April).

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

Register online by 4 April.

For more information email the department.

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New Exemptions for Agricultural Vehicles

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is seeking consent for a new National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice.

The NHVR is required to obtain consent from all affected road managers (including councils) for the operation of agricultural vehicles and combinations under the new notice.

Draft versions of the notice, operator's guide and map are currently out for consent by road managers and councils should have received an email outlining the consent process along with an information pack.

The formal 28-day consent period ends on 5 April 2019.

Operation of agricultural vehicles and combinations under the notice can only commence once the consent period has finished and the notice published in the Australian Government Gazette.

The notice will replace the current access arrangements which vary from state to state.

In NSW, this means farmers will not need to apply for special permits to move agricultural vehicles up to 7.5 metres in width (currently, farmers are only able to move vehicles up to 6 metres in width) without applying for a special permit.

The changes are expected to reduce the administrative burden on both councils and the farming industry.

Visit the NHVR website for more information.

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