This week I know you will join me in celebrating that the Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, has confirmed that forced mergers are in the past, and she wants the sector to work with her on the next steps in the reform we need to thrive.
We look forward to doing so. Do you have an example of what needs to improve in local government law or regulation? We would love to hear from you.
LGNSW Board meeting – I was pleased to welcome your new LGNSW Board to our first meeting today and elect the LGNSW executive. Your new Board is raring to go and eager to make a difference for our sector. Your new executive comprises myself, vice-presidents Cr Lindsay Brown and Cr Angelo Tsirekas, Treasurer Cr Marjorie O'Neill, Immediate Past President Cr Keith Rhoades, Cr Darriea Turley, Cr Phyllis Miller, Cr Khal Asfour and Cr Karen McKeown. Other board members are: Cr Ruth Fagan, Cr Paul Harmon, Cr Rod Kendall, Cr Marianne Saliba, Cr Ben Shields, Cr Lesley Furneaux-Cook, Cr George Greiss, Cr Julie Griffiths, Cr Mazhar Hadid, and Cr Michael Regan.
The Board considered a post-event report on our recent annual conference. The majority of the 90 motions discussed at conference were carried. We’re working hard to progress these resolutions, writing to relevant ministers, undertaking further advocacy as required and will record progress in the conference action report on the website. We also endorsed a number of LGNSW submissions, and discussed plans for regional meetings and new, open process for committee appointments for all NSW mayors and councillors. Read more.
Premier’s road safety plan – Congratulations to Leeton Shire Council! As a result of their motion to conference, LGNSW have been calling for the extension of rumble strips as an effective and active road safety measure. We’re delighted that rumble strips have been incorporated in the Premier’s road safety plan (conference motion 10, Leeton Shire Council). The NSW Government has pledged to roll out 1600 kilometres of rumble strips and 300 kilometres in targeted safety works, such as flexible, wire-rope barriers to help prevent run-off road and head-on crashes on the road network. Other measures include the expansion of the mandatory alcohol interlock program to include all mid-range drink driving offenders and allowing camera technology to enforce mobile phone offences.
Debt recovery – Our key concerns regarding the State Debt Recovery Bill 2017 have also been heard and acted upon. The bill enables government bodies, including councils, to use Revenue NSW for debt recovery. A large proportion of council debt is currently contracted out to private firms and our main concern was that it would become mandatory to use Revenue NSW. In a letter to LGNSW this week, Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello gave an assurance that the NSW Government has no intention to mandate the use of Revenue NSW for debt recovery within the local government sector. We will be working with Revenue NSW and the industry as the bill is progressed.
Cr Linda Scott