President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

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the Government to reverse their decision that several of IPART’s recommendations are not up for discussion, (including outdated rating exemptions for profit-making private health providers), we welcome that the issue of flexibility for individual councils to choose whether to calculate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.

David Shoebridge and Linda Scott



Cemeteries & Crematoria NSW Board and Industry Consultation Group

LGNSW is seeking nominations from councillors for one position on the Cemeteries & Crematoria NSW (CCNSW) Board and two positions on the CCNSW Industry Consultation Group. 

CCNSW is a statutory agency supporting and regulating the interment industry, assessing interment needs and developing planning strategies for cemetery space, and providing information to the public. 

CCNSW Board 

Under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013, one member of the Board must be a person who has knowledge and expertise relevant to local government matters. The position is appointed by the Minister in consultation with the Office of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet, LGNSW and Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW.

The Board is responsible for strategic and regulatory oversight of the interment industry in NSW and for administering the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013

The appointment will be made by the NSW Cabinet and the position has remuneration of $5,000 per annum with reasonable travel expenses for the successful appointee also being covered by CCNSW.

The Board meets approximately 10 times per year and the term of appointment will be from the date of Cabinet approval until November 2020. 

Expressions of interest can be made by submitting a resume and contact details for two referees to LGNSW Policy Officer Elle Brunsdon.

The appointment will be subject to standard police checks.

The closing date is Friday 12 July 2019.  

CCNSW Industry Consultation Group

LGNSW is also seeking nominations from councillors for two positions on a new Industry Consultation Group for CCNSW, to provide advice to the Board on strategic planning, key projects and matters of interest in the interment sector. 

The consultation group is a senior management committee, appointed to ensure an industry-wide focus on current operational issues. 

Its role is to:

•    provide advice and information on matters for discussion
•    contribute to project planning and development
•    prepare for meetings, be well informed on issues and seek additional information if required
•    provide information in a timely manner and give reasonable notice of any matters for discussion.

Nominees should represent local government-run cemeteries in NSW.

Meetings are expected to be quarterly and should not pose a significant commitment in time.

Reasonable travel expenses may be covered by CCNSW. 

To apply, email your full contact details and a short explanation of your experience in cemetery management to LGNSW Policy Officer Elle Brunsdon by Friday 5 July 2019.  


StateCover - Call for Nominations for Non-Executive Director Positions

Expressions of interest are being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors wishing to be considered for appointment to the Board of StateCover Mutual Limited (StateCover). 


The LGNSW Board nominates four representatives (LGNSW Councillor Directors) on the StateCover Board.  The term of office for two of these directors expires at StateCover’s Annual General Meeting, on 20 November 2019.

Each appointment will be for a three-year term, ceasing at the conclusion of the 2022 StateCover AGM.  

To be eligible for appointment as an LGNSW Councillor Director, applicants must be a councillor of a council that is a member of LGNSW, and a councillor of a council member of StateCover. 
StateCover Mutual Limited (StateCover) is an APRA-regulated specialised workers compensation insurer of NSW Local Government organisations, insuring some 94 per cent of eligible councils with a combined workforce of 32,000. StateCover is a mutual providing workers compensation, safety, and wellbeing services to its insured members. 
Successful candidates must have a deep understanding of local government and director experience, and should also have knowledge of, and experience in long tail insurance or the broader insurance/finance sectors.

Specialised skills and experience are also required in a number of the following areas:  business strategy, risk management, finance, actuarial, investment, IT, governance, marketing and operating in an APRA-regulated environment. 
Applicants should understand and agree to accept the time commitment involved (approximately 25 days per year) and the ongoing professional development requirements. 
Councillors wishing to be considered for appointment as a LGNSW Councillor Director on the Board of StateCover must satisfy the requirements of its Fit and Proper Policy.
Information packs containing further details about the positions and the selection criteria must be obtained by prospective applicants and are available by emailing Bilyana Milenkovski at LGNSW. 
Applications close Friday 19 July 2018.


Draft National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019


The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its draft National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 and accompanying regulatory impact statement until 19 July 2019.

Proposed changes include: 

  • removing duplication of provisions now covered by other legislation
  • clarifying certain aspects of park management, including definitions
  • simplifying some provisions to ensure consistency with existing legislation and policy
  • reorganising content to improve flow and readability.

When finalised, the new regulation will replace the existing National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009 and is expected to be in place by 1 September 2019.

To view the draft regulation and have your say visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.


Reducing the Risk of Pollution from Service Station Run-off

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has released a guide outlining how service stations can better protect the environment from potentially polluted run-off from service station forecourts.

Service station forecourts are generally hard surfaces consisting of re-fuelling areas, parking bays, traffic and pedestrian access areas.

As water flows across these hard surfaces, for example during rainfall, it can collect residues of petrol, oil or diesel containing contaminants like petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, oils, grease, lubricants, coolants and dirt. 

The guide – Practice Note – Managing forecourt run-off from service station forecourts – provides guidance on planning and design, managing risks and treating potentially contaminated run-off before it reaches the environment.


Rail Interface Agreements

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator has written to councils outlining changes to the Rail Safety National Law which will come into effect on 1 July 2019.

The regulator has advised that managers of public roads who fail to enter into an interface agreement on the safe management of level crossings will be liable for maximum fines of $50,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.

To find out more visit the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator website


Heavy Vehicle National Law Workshop

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has organised a workshop for councils to inform its response to the current review of the National Heavy Vehicle Law (Aerial UTS Function Centre, Sydney, 3 July).

The review will have a significant impact on local government, so council participation in the workshop is strongly encouraged.

Email TfNSW to register.

Council staff are also invited to complete a short online survey by 15 July.

For more information see LGNSW’s submission to the first of eight consultation papers in the review.