LOCAL GOVERNMENT WEEK: YOUR COUNCIL – Congratulations to all our NSW councils who have celebrated our success this Local Government Week 2019! I’m looking forward to recognising our sector’s achievements during this evening’s Local Government Awards in Sydney, and look out for a full list of winners in next week’s edition.
REJECTING INCREASED ELECTION COSTS – We’re urging the NSW Government to throw out a proposal by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to allow the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) to increase the amount charged to conduct an election by some 62 per cent. If adopted, some larger councils’ costs to run an election will increase by more than one million dollars in 2020. IPART says increasing the amount charged by NSWEC to run council elections will save taxpayers’ money, but the reality is communities will simply bear the burden of more cost-shifting.
The proposed IPART model also introduces a gap between the cost for city and country voters, meaning small rural councils would pay an average of $14.37 per elector, while large metropolitan councils would only pay $9.54. We’re committed to working with the Premier and Local Government Minister to find a better way for councils and communities to ensure fair and affordable local government elections in 2020. See our media release and to discuss further, contact LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride.
FACING THE CHALLENGES OF DROUGHT – There are only a few weeks left to register for this year’s LGNSW Water Conference, featuring an opening address by NSW Minister for Water Melinda Pavey and a site visit to the magnificent Hume Dam. With much of NSW in the grip of severe drought, this year’s event will provide a timely opportunity to connect with colleagues and share experiences. Register online today. Read more.
COUNCIL VISITS – It’s been another busy week visiting members and hearing local perspectives on the main issues facing our sector. Thanks to Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Oberon and Blue Mountains for hosting us this week.
UPCOMING MINISTERIAL AND OTHER MEETINGS – I am looking forward to meeting with Deputy Premier John Barilaro, and with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock in coming weeks. If you would like us to raise any issues on your council’s behalf, contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates.
Photos: Visits to Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Oberon and Blue Mountains councils.