ADVOCACY WIN: LONG-AWAITED IPART REPORTS RELEASED – On Friday we welcomed the release of three key reports by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) – one which reviews the local government rating system and two which relate to reporting and compliance functions. We’re particularly pleased to receive IPART’s independent acknowledgement of the cost-shifting burden carried by councils, and recognition there is no single solution to the challenges our sector faces. For more see our media release.
We are grateful to Greens MLC David Shoebridge, who brought the issue of delayed reports to a head by foreshadowing moves to call for the rating review to be put before the Upper House.
I’m pleased Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has written to us seeking feedback, which (together with comments from councils, communities and others) will be considered by the NSW Government in finalising its response to the reports and I’m encouraged by the Minister’s commitment to consult with the sector and work towards strengthening local government across NSW.
While we will continue to advocate for the Government to reverse their decision that several of IPART’s recommendations are not up for discussion, (including outdated rating exemptions for profit-making private health providers), we welcome that the issue of flexibility for individual councils to choose whether to calculate rates on capital improved value (essentially the market value of a property), or unimproved value (land only) is open for debate.
To find out more and make a submission visit the Office of Local Government website. To ensure your feedback is reinforced through our sector-wide advocacy, please email a copy of your submission to LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride.
NEW PARLIAMENTARY GROUP TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT – The formation of a new Parliamentary Friends of Local Government group was announced by Blacktown Mayor and MP Stephen Bali during the second reading of the Local Government Amendment Bill 2019 in the NSW Parliament last week. In welcoming the group (which held its first meeting last Thursday) Mr Bali highlighted the need for state and local government to work together to ensure funding is available to provide services for growing communities.
HELP SHAPE OUR ADVOCACY PLATFORM – Our online portal for submitting motions for this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference is now open! This is your opportunity to steer our advocacy direction at the leading policy-making event for our sector.
Members are encouraged to read the Annual Conference 2019 Motions Submission Guide to find out more about the submission and assessment process, as the Board have introduced some changes this year.
Thank you to so many of you who have contributed so much to our actions and outcomes achieved following resolutions made at last year’s conference. See full details in our Action Report, which continues to be updated.
I’m excited to find out which issues will top the agenda this year, and look forward to seeing you from 14 to 16 October in Liverpool for the conference.
UPCOMING MINISTERIAL AND OTHER MEETINGS – I will be meeting with Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronwyn Taylor, Emma Hurst MLC (Animal Justice Party), and the Premier and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock in coming weeks. Please contact Kylie Yates, Director Advocacy LGNSW, if you would like us to raise any issues on your council’s behalf.
STATECOVER BOARD: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS – Expressions of interest are being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors wishing to be considered for appointment to the Board of StateCover. Information packs are available from Bilyana Milenkovski at LGNSW. Read more.
Photo: Greens MLC David Shoebridge and LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott.