WIN: NSW GOVERNMENT REVERSES ESL BILL – Together, our sustained advocacy has again paid off this week, with the NSW Government announcing it will fund the first year of the emergency services levy price hike for all councils. Congratulations to everyone for their efforts to ensure our voices were heard.
Our thanks in particular to Acting Premier John Barilaro and Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock for our productive meeting last week prior to their announcement on Tuesday that the NSW Government will not charge councils the $13.6m increase this financial year.
The policy reversal removes levy increases of up to 25 per cent on local government to fund the extension of workers’ compensation coverage to firefighters diagnosed with one of 12 specific work-related cancers.
Our next priority is to sit down with the NSW Government to find a better, long-term solution, ensuring councils have a say and are protected from unexpected increases in the future.
Please let us know what your funding will now provide for your community and your thoughts on a way forward, to LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride.
YOUR BOARD – The LGNSW Board met in Sydney last Friday to progress key advocacy issues including recycling and the emergency services levy and to congratulate our recent Local Government Week award winners and recipients of public service medals. For a full rundown of proceedings read our Board meeting report.
UNPACKING CROWN LAND MANAGEMENT FOR COUNCILS – Thanks to Lismore Council who this week hosted us for the for the latest LGNSW summit on Crown Land Management and native title.
With councils managing almost 7,800 Crown reserves across NSW, and 35,000 land claims under assessment, it’s vital our voice is heard, and that we understand your support for, or concerns with , the process.
For those unable to attend, this summit will be repeated in Sydney on Tuesday 12 November. Register online. This event will be recorded for those who can’t attend either session.
We will continue to strongly advocate for additional funding and resources to be available to help councils implement their plans of management – due to be in place by 1 July 2021.
For more information or to raise issues your council is experiencing contact LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride.
FOCUSING ON THE CHALLENGES OF DROUGHT – Time is running out to register for this year’s LGNSW Water Management Conference (Albury, 2-4 September), exploring the challenges of drought from a variety of perspectives including government policy, innovation, collaboration and community. Registration closes on Monday (19 August), so book online today.
REPRESENTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AT THE NSW MUSIC FESTIVALS INQUIRY – I was honoured to represent councils’ at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Music Festival Regulations on Tuesday.
No local government has welcomed the government’s new festival regulations and we are calling for them to be repealed.
While the regulation currently affects only 14 high-risk festivals, it appears to have created a domino effect, resulting in uncertainty and increased costs for all festivals in NSW, including those run by the communities and councils. I urged the panel to engage in genuine conversation with local government on this issue and avoid implementing a one-size-fits-all approach.
COUNCIL VISITS – Thanks to Lismore, Kyogle, Tenterfield Shire, Glen Innes Severn and Armidale Regional councils for taking time out from their busy schedules to meet with me this week – your views and experiences are vital to our ongoing advocacy work.
Photos: Visits to Lismore, Kyogle, Tenterfield and Glen Innes Severn councils.