President's Message

Linda ScottMILESTONE REACHED – With visits to Singleton and Muswellbrook councils this week, I have now fulfilled my commitment to visit every council in NSW during my first term as LGNSW President. It has been an absolute honour to meet you, listen to your experiences and gather examples to strengthen our advocacy. 
 
Together, we have achieved so much. Over the past two years, we have: 
 
•    secured an extra $60m over four years for public libraries
•    secured a commitment from government to produce a circular economy strategy
•    secured an additional $1b for local roads and country bridges
•    won $150m in new public parks
•    $400m for regional telecommunications towers
•    secured an additional $355m for drought assistance
•    successfully campaigned against an unexpected hike in the emergency services levy with the NSW Government announcing it will fund the $13.6m increase this financial year
•    achieved postponement of the low-rise medium density housing code
•    welcomed $100m in extra funding through the Stronger Country Communities – with half for regional youth
•    gained a commitment from government to take back up to 15,000km of regional roads
•    helped secure $1m for live music. 
 
ANNUAL CONFERENCE BUSINESS PAPER NOW AVAILABLE – We’re excited to see you at our forthcoming LGNSW Conference! The Business Paper containing motions for this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference (Warwick Farm, 14-16 October) was posted to councils this week and can be downloaded from our website or accessed via the LGNSW Conference App. 
 
We received a record-breaking 300-plus motions for consideration and will debate around 120 on business session day 1 (Tuesday 15 October). Thank you to everyone for their contributions – we’re looking forward to a lively debate! 
 
Also, don’t miss our pre-opening events including a tour of Western Sydney Airport (book online) and Transport for NSW workshops and information sessions (register today).
 
WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE REGIONS
– We welcomed Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey, representatives from 12 of the 13 joint organisations (JOs) and two metropolitan regional organisations of councils (ROCs) to our Sustaining the Regions Forum in Sydney this week to develop clear direction on areas where we can work together to achieve the best outcomes for the regions, councils and communities. 
 
With rural and regional councils doing it especially tough under the current drought, water management and utilities were high on the agenda. Minister Pavey committed to funding additional water storage infrastructure projects, reviewing water restriction definitions and consulting with councils on an equitable approach to means testing community access to water cartage. Minister Coulton committed to advocate for additional funds for the Federal Drought Communities Program.
 
Other issues included waste and recycling (especially the need for investment to expand the recycling industry in NSW), roads and transport, workforce and skills, the environment and renewable energy, and information technology. To discuss further or raise a specific issue, contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates

Photos: Visits to Muswellbrook and Singleton councils; Sustaining the Regions Forum.

muswellbrook council visitsingleton council visitforum

 

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Local Government Seminar - Japan

Local government executives with expertise in primary industries are encouraged to apply for a place at the Local Government Exchange and Cooperation Seminar in Japan from 3-12 February.

The seminar, to be hosted by the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), aims to build networks and promote mutual understanding between the local governments of Japan and overseas.

Participants will arrive in Tokyo, then travel to Miyakonojo City, the host local government.

The seminar – themed ‘Encouraging Local Development through Primary Industries: Local Industry Promotion’ – will include presentations on the Japanese local government system, tours of local government facilities and cultural sites, and a short home-stay with Japanese families.

Expenses incurred (excluding flights) will be borne by CLAIR.

Up to five participants will be accepted from Australia and New Zealand.

To apply, download the application form and email it to CLAIR Wednesday 23 October 2019.

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Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet is seeking nominations for the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee. 

The committee plays an important role in advising the Minister and Chief Executive of the department on matters relating to Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW.

Nominations are sought from people who demonstrate:

  • involvement in cultural heritage matters in their communities
  • understanding of cultural heritage management issues.

Visit the department’s website to download the information kit and nomination form.

Prospective nominees are required to complete all sections of the form and attach any necessary additional information in support of their application.

The closing date is Friday 25 October 2019.

For more information contact the department on 02 9873 8500 / 1300 361 967 (local call cost).

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Local Government Rank to Grade Guide

The NSW Veterans Employment Program has developed a Local Government Rank to Grade Guide to help hiring managers and veterans understand how Australian Defence Force skills and experience align with public sector jobs.

Local councils in NSW employ around 45,000 full-time employees across a wide range of roles.

The guide aligns council roles to military ranks and can be used as a starting point by veterans to consider all their skills in the military as well as their work experience when considering a new career.

It was developed by the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs in partnership with the Office of Local Government, LGNSW and the United Services Union.

 

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Coastal Grants

The NSW Government is seeking ideas on how to encourage more applications for funding under the Coastal and Estuary Management Grant Program.

Feedback is invited on:

  • ease of access to program funds
  • alternative funding models and ratios
  • the current grant program and methodology including how private and public benefit is determined
  • council capacity and capability enhancement.

To comment, email claudinelyonsconsulting@tpg.com.au by Thursday 10 October 2019.

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Inquiry into Sydney’s Night Time Economy

The final report of the Joint Select Committee’s inquiry into Sydney's Night Time Economy was tabled in Parliament on 30 September 2019.

Committee chair Natalie Ward MLC will discuss the report’s key recommendations during a free briefing session at the NSW Parliament on 14 October. Find out more and register online by 10 October.

The final report contains recommendations and findings in seven parts:

  1. Safety
  2. Kings Cross precinct
  3. Governance
  4. Entertainment after dark contributes to the economy
  5. Responsible service of alcohol
  6. Transport
  7. Reviews to be undertaken.


The committee was established in May this year to review the 2014 restrictions on licensed premises, examine Sydney's night time economy more broadly and find ways to invigorate its nightlife.

It received 793 submissions and held three hearings.

The final report recognises local government as a crucial stakeholder with recommendation 3.24 calling upon the government to:

‘establish an appropriate governance framework for Sydney's night time economy which will involve industry, local government, and other state government agencies. This will allow for greater collaboration between operators, regulators, and other interested parties to address the issues affecting the night time economy.’

See our submission on the LGNSW website.

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Restoration and Rehabilitation Environmental Trust Grants

A total of $4m is available for projects that assist in the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services under the 2020 round of the NSW Environmental Trust’s Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants Program.

Applicants can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000

For more information and to apply, visit the trust's website.

Applications close on Monday 18 November 2019.

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Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019

Councils are invited to make submissions to the Parliament of Australia’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019.

The bill establishes a mandatory product stewardship scheme for manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer packaging and certain single-use plastics; and prescribes targets, prohibitions, design requirements, labelling requirements, and financial contributions in relation to packaging and products identified under the scheme.

The scheme will:

  • adopt recycling targets from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s 2025 National Packaging Targets
  • introduce a ban on particular single-use plastics by 2025 and adopt consumption reduction targets for other plastics by 2025 in line with the 2018 European Parliament Directive
  • introduce a ban on microbeads and lightweight plastic bags by 2021
  • introduce a national container deposit scheme at 20 cents by 2021.

The closing date for submissions is 21 November 2019.

To provide input to LGNSW’s submission, or to send a copy of your council’s submission, email Liz Quinlan by Thursday 7 November.

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Remake of Clean Air Regulation (Open Burning)

The NSW Government is remaking the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2010, providing councils with the opportunity to review their listings in the regulation and ensure controls on burning are up to date.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has written to all councils’ general managers seeking feedback via an online survey.

The survey asks councils to indicate their preferences for levels of control for open burning and other issues including smoke from recreational fires.

The survey closes on 14 October 2019.

If your council has not received a letter, or to discuss further, contact Nadia Kanhoush at the department.

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Cladding Guideline

Standards Australia has developed a permanent labelling system of aluminium composite panel products. 

The 2014 Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne and the Grenfell fire in London in June 2017 highlighted the fire safety risks arising from the non-compliant use of potentially hazardous aluminium cladding on buildings and led to the development of the new guideline.

In early 2018, the Building Ministers Forum asked Standards Australia to develop the system.

Standards Australia has worked with a range of technical experts to develop industry-backed guidance to support the identification of these products throughout their life-cycle.

The new guideline can be purchased from the Standards Australia website.

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Draft Regulations for Building Certifiers

The NSW Government is seeking feedback on a draft regulation for building and development certifiers. 

The Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2019 is required before the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018 can come into force.

The act was passed by the NSW Parliament in October 2018 to strengthen the regulation of certifiers in the building and development industry.

The proposed regulation and regulatory impact statements are currently on exhibition, setting out the rationale and objectives of the proposed regulation and the various options for achieving its objectives.

Submissions close 28 October 2019.

For more information and to view the documents go to the Department of Customer Services website.

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Draft Legislation for Design and Building Practitioners

The NSW Government is seeking feedback on new draft legislation governing the design, building and construction sectors.

The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 has been released as part of the government’s response to recommendations in the Building Confidence Report (by Professor Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir).

The draft bill introduces a suite of new reforms to improve the quality and compliance of design documentation and to strengthen accountability for building designers and building practitioners in the construction sector.

A regulation will be developed in 2020 to support the bill.

The reforms in the act and the supporting regulation will apply to certain categories of designs and to multi-unit and multi-storey residential apartment buildings (as set out in the regulation). Other classes of buildings will be included over time.

Submissions close 16 October 2019.

A final bill is expected to be introduced into Parliament by the end of the year.

Find out more and provide feedback.

To provide input to LGNSW’s submission, email LGNSW Planning and Transport Strategy Manager Jane Partridge.

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