President's Message

Linda Scott

CELEBRATING YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS – A huge congratulations to all our winners of this year’s Local Government Week Awards, revealed last Thursday during a wonderful event showcasing the brilliant work councils are doing across NSW. 

R H Dougherty Awards

Winners – Upper Hunter Shire, Bathurst Regional, Port-Macquarie Hastings, Mid-Western Regional, Bega Valley Shire, Tweed Shire, Bland Shire, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional and Randwick City, Rous County councils and George McCormick from Walgett Shire Council for outstanding individual contribution.

Highly commended – Parkes Shire, Inner West, City of Canada Bay, Cessnock City, Edward River Shire, and Waverley councils.

Planning Awards

Winners – Coffs Harbour City and North Sydney councils, with individual leadership awards for Elizabeth Lambert of Lake Macquarie City Council and Monica Cologna of Cumberland Council.

Highly commended – Byron Shire, Cessnock City, Inner West and Randwick City councils.

Leo Kelly Arts and Culture Award

Winners – Snowy Valleys, Bathurst Regional, Mosman and the City of Canada Bay councils.

Youth Awards

Winners – Brewarrina Shire, Forbes Shire, Walgett Shire and Camden councils.

And see our media release.

ADVOCACY WIN: ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR JOINT ORGANISATIONS (JOs) – Following LGNSW working together with joint organisations, we welcome the NSW Government’s commitment for $1.95m in additional funding to support them. The package includes one-off grants of $150,000 for each JO for projects to address regional priorities. While this is welcome, we are continuing to advocate for councils who wish to join JOs to have choice about who to they are working with, and a clear mechanism for councils to leave JOs, should they choose to. We are also advocating for ongoing funding to ensure JOs are successful over the long-term. To discuss further or raise any issues, contact LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride

Also, LGNSW is holding a forum in Sydney from 1-2 October 2019, to bring together JOs, regional organisations of councils and regional/rural councils, with the aim of identifying common goals and building a stronger platform for future collaboration. Contact LGNSW Member Value Manager Vanessa Bolzan by tomorrow (Friday 9 August) if you would like to be included in the working group.
SUPPORTING INNOVATION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Councils are encouraged to submit ideas for new research that advances innovation in local government under the second round of LGNSW’s Research and Innovation Fund. LGNSW has allocated seed funding of $50,000 this year, with the intention to leverage this investment by selecting projects of broad sector application that will attract council, industry and university partners. As this is a new scheme in its second year, we strongly encourage you to speak to LGNSW Service Development Consultant Jennifer James before applying. Find out more.
HELP SHAPE THIS YEAR’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE AGENDA – We can’t wait to see you all at this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference! This is your chance, with the motions you submit, to shape our policy and advocacy for the year ahead. For councils yet to submit motions for the 2019 LGNSW Annual Conference, we ask that you do so by midnight on Monday 19 August 2019 to assist with conference deadlines. In line with LGNSW rules, the latest date motions can be accepted for inclusion in the business paper is midnight on Monday 16 September 2019 (to allow for printing and distribution). Find out more and see our Motion Submission Guide on the LGNSW website, or contact LGNSW Policy Officer Elle Brunsdon
COUNCIL VISITS – Thanks to Northern Beaches, Warrumbungle, Bathurst and Cowra councils for hosting us this week, shaping the work we do.
LGNSW WATER MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE – With drought at the forefront of our minds, this year’s Water Conference will be central to our work to support affected NSW councils. Register online and I look forward to seeing you there. 

Photos: Visits to Bathurst, Cowra, Warrumbungle, and Northern Beaches councils.

Bathurst Council visit




WarrunbungleNorthern Beaches


LGNSW Research and Innovation Fund 2019/20 – Expressions of Interest

Councils are encouraged to submit ideas for new research that advances innovation in local government under the second round of LGNSW’s Research and Innovation Fund.

The fund aims to fill gaps in the evidence base, explore emerging issues, promote informed discussion and debate, and encourage the development of research capacity within the sector.

LGNSW has allocated seed funding of $50,000, with further contributions encouraged from council, industry and university partners.

Councils, including joint organisations and regional organisations of councils are invited to:

  • Put forward ideas – eligible research fields for 2019/20 are water management, infrastructure, environment, economy and community/social. We will be inviting universities to engage with councils to scope projects that advance innovation. Expressions of interest are open until 25 September 2019.
  • Become a project partner - once applications close, our advisory committee will review projects based on the fund’s criteria. Short-listed projects will be announced at the LGNSW Annual Conference (Warwick Farm, 14-16 October) where applicants will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas and generate potential partnerships with other councils.

Following further consultation, the advisory committee will select the successful project in November 2019.

For more information visit the LGNSW website.

Contact: LGNSW Service Development Consultant Jennifer James.


Funding for Women’s Leadership Development

Scholarships are currently available for women working in local government to participate in professional development and leadership courses.

Grants ranging from $3,000 and $7,000 are available for the following Women and Leadership Australia programs: Advanced Leadership Program; Executive Ready; and Leading Edge.

All scholarships are partial grants to cover a percentage of the total fee and will be awarded subject to applicants meeting the selection criteria.

Expressions of interest close on 13 September 2019.

For more information and to apply visit the Women & Leadership Australia website.


NSW Rural Fire Service – Get Ready Weekend

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) is gearing up for Get Ready Weekend (14-15 September) – one of the largest events on its annual calendar with approximately 600 brigades taking part.

Get Ready Weekend enables people to meet their local firefighters, discuss risks and learn some of the simple things they can do to prepare for bush fire season.

It’s also a family-friendly event and a great opportunity to get involved in kids’ activities, climb aboard a fire truck, and see firefighting displays and specialist equipment.

With large parts of the state in prolonged drought and ongoing dry conditions forecast over the coming months, it’s more important than ever for residents to be vigilant and prepare their properties.

Councils can help support the event and raise awareness by promoting Get Ready Weekend 2019 on websites and social platforms.

For more information visit the RFS website.

A full list of events will be available from the beginning of August.

Contact the NSW RFS Get Ready Weekend Team via email or call 02 8741 5416.


Infrastructure Grants

Councils can apply for grants of up to $300,000 from the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling for a range of community infrastructure projects.

The funding can be used towards the cost of construction, alteration, renovation, completion and fit-out of buildings and community infrastructure including:

  • museums, art galleries, theatres, libraries
  • facilities that support the community suffering the impacts of drought
  • local sports ground facilities, public swimming pools or children's play areas.
  • welfare infrastructure to assist youth, mental health, disability, homelessness and domestic violence services.

Councils are required to match the funding requested.

Grants are available as follows:

  • arts and culture ($50,000 to $200,000 per project)
  • disaster readiness and community infrastructure ($10,000 to $200,000 per project)
  • sport and recreation ($100,000 to $300,000 per project).

To find out more visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website.

Apply online by 5pm on 26 August 2019.

Contact: Office of Responsible Gambling or call 02 9995 0992.


Child Protection in a Local Government Setting – Forum

Cumberland Council will host a forum during National Child Protection Week, focusing on the role councils play in child protection (5 September, Merrylands).

The forum will begin with a presentation from Cumberland Council on the measures it has taken to embed child protection across its organisation, followed by speakers from peak bodies with child protection expertise including:

  • Advocate for Children and Young People
  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Office of the Children’s Guardian.

Officers from all council departments are welcome to attend this important forum.

Entry is free but you must register online by 27 August.

Please note there is a maximum of two registrations per council.

For more information, contact Cumberland Council’s Children’s Services or call 02 8757 9327.


LGNSW to Appear at Building Regulation Inquiry

LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott has been invited to appear at the public hearings of the Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee’s upper house inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes. 

LGNSW supports previous reviews which have laid the groundwork for a comprehensive program of change across the building sector.

Rather than ad hoc and reactive reforms, we are calling for commitment and funding from the NSW Government to comprehensively address all the fundamental issues and concerns with building regulation.

For more information or to provide examples of issues your council is experiencing with building regulation, contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport Jane Partridge.


Asbestos Workshop for Councils

LGNSW, in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority, will hold a local government stakeholder workshop on behalf of the NSW Asbestos Coordination Committee (NACC) in Sydney on 3 September.

The newly-formed NACC (which replaces the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities) is developing the future direction for coordinated action on asbestos management and regulation across government and the community.

The upcoming workshop will be an opportunity for NACC to gain a local government perspective on asbestos management and regulation.

Spaces are limited so register your interest as soon as possible.