President's Message


SETTING THE AGENDA: LGNSW ANNUAL CONFERENCE – I am so honoured to be re-elected as President of LGNSW. It’s a pleasure to support, promote and advocate for our sector so councils are in the best possible position to serve their communities for the public good. Thanks for your support and to everyone – from organisers, speakers and delegates to sponsors and especially host Liverpool City Council – for making this year’s annual conference such a wonderful success!

The Australian Electoral Commission formally declared the Board Election results yesterday. Congratulations to new and returning LGNSW Board members: Treasurer Cr Jerome Laxale (City of Ryde); Vice-President Metro/Urban Cr Angelo Tsirekas (City of Canada Bay); Vice-President Rural/Regional Council Cr Stephen Lawrence (Dubbo Regional Council).

Metropolitan Directors: councillors Karen McKeown (Penrith City Council), George Greiss (Campbelltown City Council), Khal Asfour (City of Canterbury Bankstown), Julie Griffiths (Blacktown City Council), Lesley Furneaux-Cook (Burwood Council), Dai Le (Fairfield City Council), and Mazhar Hadid (Liverpool City Council).

Rural/Regional Directors: councillors Darriea Turley (Broken Hill City Council), Phyllis Miller (Forbes Shire Council), Ben Shields (Dubbo Regional Council), Marianne Saliba (Shellharbour City Council), Dominic King (Bellingen Shire Council), Ruth Fagan (Cowra Council), and Keith Rhoades (Coffs Harbour City Council).

Thank you to our outgoing and hard-working board members – Cr Marjorie O’Neill (Waverley Council), Cr Scott Ferguson (Blayney Shire Council), Cr Rod Kendall (Wagga Wagga City Council), Cr Paul Harmon (Inverell Shire Council), and Cr Michael Regan (Northern Beaches Council).

Once again, we showed local government is getting on with the job of good governance for NSW. More than 900 delegates (including members, sponsors and VIP guests) attended the conference over three days. Delegates made decisions on more than 120 motions and heard from prominent politicians including Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock and Opposition Leader Jodi McKay at our Meet the Politicians Breakfast.

We also recognised the sector’s outstanding achievements, launched our updated plan to Save Our Recycling in NSW and drew inspiration from keynote speakers James O’Loghlin, Paul Hawkins and Chris Riddell on how councils can work together to develop innovative approaches to tackle common problems.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT PROMISES EQUAL PARTNERSHIP – I was delighted to sign a new intergovernmental agreement with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock on Monday. This signifies a huge step forward in recognising local government as an equal partner and guarantees:

  • no forced council amalgamations
  • the quickest possible return to democratically elected representation following the appointment of any administrators
  • consultation with LGNSW before any laws or significant policy initiatives impacting on the sector.

The agreement also recognises cost shifting and commits the NSW Government to consider councils’ financial capability and budget cycles before they are asked to provide new or expanded functions. It is a really significant commitment that we will use to hold the government to account. See our media release.

URGING ACTION NOW TO SAVE OUR RECYCLING – I opened the last day of the conference by launching our new plan to Save Our Recycling in NSW. The NSW Government must invest in regional scale waste and recycling plans and a major education campaign to help restore ailing recycling services and create new markets for recycled products. We have real opportunities to create jobs and sustainable industries that drive economic development, particularly in regional areas – the time to act is now.

We are calling upon the NSW Government to:

  • Invest: Develop regional plans that deliver the waste and resource recovery infrastructure and services that our cities and regions need. Local councils need to be put front and centre of these plans and provided with the funding to make sure they are delivered.
  • Innovate: Change the rules and regulations to rethink and resolve the recycling mess in NSW. The NSW Government needs to lead and use more recycled content to help create scale and then new markets, jobs and investment will follow.
  • Educate: Fund a large-scale state-wide education campaign to support recycling and markets for recycled products in NSW. It must fund and work with councils to activate this campaign; community by community.

CAREERS AT COUNCIL – I was also delighted to launch an exciting, new careers website this week, created for local government, by local government. The Careers at Council website offers a one-stop-shop of information about the diversity of roles and the skills qualifications required of council employees. I urge you to come on board, promote your employee experiences and post your jobs on the site. For more information contact LGNSW Service Development Consultant Jennifer James.

CELEBRATING YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS – Huge congratulations to outgoing mayors and councillors, especially to Cobar’s Lilliane Brady, retiring after 37 years of local government; Tamworth’s Col Murray and Penrith’s Cr Kevin Crameri OAM. Outstanding Service awards were presented to Cr Ted Seng (24 years), Cr Murray Matson (24 years), and Cr Chris Manchester (32 years). Congratulations to AR Bluett Award winners Bourke Shire Council (rural councils) and Shellharbour City Council (city and regional councils). More about the Bluett Awards in our media release.

EMBRACING INNOVATION – During conference, we announced the shortlisted councils for this year’s Research and Innovation Fund: Willoughby City, Penrith City, Waverley, Liverpool City, Northern Beaches and Central Coast. Details of the shortlisted projects will be circulated to all member councils soon for feedback.

Photos: Signing the intergovernmental agreement with (from left) Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and Deputy Premier John Barilaro; Cobar's Lilliane Brady, retiring after 37 years of local government; outgoing mayors, Tamworth’s Col Murray and Penrith’s Cr Kevin Crameri OAM; AR Bluett Award winners Shellharbour City Council (city and regional councils) and Bourke Shire Council (rural councils).

Signing the Intergovernmental Agreement


Linda Scott with Lilliane Brady


Col Murray


Linda Scott and Kevin Crameri


AR Bluett SAwards winners Shellharbour City Council


AR Bluett winners Bourke Shire Council



Welcoming Cities Network

The Welcoming Cities network will hold its next gathering at the City of Sydney on Wednesday 6 November.

Welcoming Cities is a national network of councils who are committed to an Australia where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic and civic life.


All member councils and supporting organisations of the welcoming cities network, including council staff, councillors and advisory committee members are welcome to attend.

Welcoming Cities is also preparing for their annual Symposium in Canberra on 18 and 19 March 2020.

For more information email Sebastian Geers.


Parliamentary Inquiry into Support for Drought-Affected Communities in NSW

The NSW Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Development has announced it will conduct an inquiry into support for drought-affected communities in NSW.

The committee will look at the impact of drought on businesses, industries and communities, the support that is currently available and what is needed.

View the inquiry’s terms of reference.

Submissions close on 29 November 2019.

LGNSW will be making a submission, drawing upon outcomes from our recent drought summit and annual conference.

To provide input, or send a copy of your council’s submission, email LGNSW Senior Policy Officer Mark Hely.


UNSW City Planning Program Work Placements

UNSW is seeking industry partners, including councils, to provide student placements for its Bachelor of City Planning (Hons) program.

The program works with a broad range of partners, linking students to both the public and private planning industry, and the industry to a talented pool of young planners.

Third-year students undertake a one-year full-time mandatory work placement, enabling them to bring hands-on experience back into the classroom.

UNSW is seeking more industry partners to provide these placements, due to a significant increase in the number of students in the program.

Councils interested in providing work experience in late 2019 and early 2020 can find out more by contacting Associate Professor Hoon Han, Program Director, UNSW.



Local Government Seminar – Japan

There’s only one week left for local government executives with expertise in primary industries 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 it to by Wednesday 23 October 2019.


Closing the Gap Survey

The Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations is seeking feedback via an online survey on what is needed to make real change in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Survey findings will inform a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap setting out how governments will work with the coalition over the next 10 years to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Complete the survey by Friday 25 October 2019.


Mandatory Pesticide Training

If you have recently completed a training course in safe chemical use because your role requires you to use pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides and baits) the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) wants your feedback.

The EPA is reviewing the course to ensure it is appropriate for users and helps ensure safe pesticide use.

Feedback will be used to help shape future training for all pesticide users, whether they are starting out or refreshing their knowledge.

Provide feedback on how useful this training has been to you in your work place via a short online survey.

For every survey completed, $1 will be donated to Buy a Bale to support NSW farmers.


Murray-Darling Basin Survey

The Australian Government has established an independent panel to assess the social and economic conditions impacting communities across the Murray–Darling Basin.

The panel is due to report its findings by 30 April 2020.

The report will be used to help basin governments better understand the pressures on people across the basin, including Indigenous communities, and to identify actions that will build stronger local economies and a viable, long-term future for the basin and for rural Australia.

The panel is holding a series of round-table workshops and public drop-in sessions. To find an event near you, visit the panel’s website.

Councils and communities are also encouraged to express their visions and concerns for the basin via a short online survey  by Wednesday 30 October.

For further information email the panel or call 1800 314 557.


Drought Works Exemptions

The NSW Government has published a fact sheet explaining water supply work approval exemptions for public authorities during drought.

Under the Water Management Act 2000, a public water authority must obtain ministerial approval to construct new water supply works (such as a bore, dam or water pump) or to reactivate a decommissioned work. However, the minister may grant an exemption from this requirement in times of drought.

Applications for an exemption must be submitted to the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR).

NRAR has advised LGNSW the assessment time for a standard application is around five days.

For further information, email NRAR.


Public Holidays

Councils are reminded of the public holidays for the remainder of the year and up to 2021.

More detailed information on public holidays for individual council areas and the table below can be found on the NSW Industrial Relations website.

Councils are advised that employees required to work on public holidays are entitled to be paid in accordance with Clause 20A, Holidays, of the Local Government (State) Award 2017.





New Year's Day

Tuesday, 1 January

Wednesday, 1 January

Friday, 1 January

Australia Day

*Monday, 28 January

*Monday, 27 January

Tuesday, 26 January

Good Friday

Friday, 19 April

Friday, 10 April

Friday, 2 April

Easter Saturday – the Saturday following Good Friday

Saturday, 20 April

Saturday, 11 April

Saturday, 3 April

Easter Sunday

Sunday, 21 April

Sunday, 12 April

Sunday, 4 April

Easter Monday

Monday, 22 April

Monday, 13 April

Monday, 5 April

Anzac Day

Thursday, 25 April

Saturday, 25 April

Sunday, 25 April

Queen's Birthday

Monday, 10 June

Monday, 8 June

Monday, 14 June

Labour Day

Monday, 7 October

Monday, 5 October

Monday, 4 October

Christmas Day public holiday

Wednesday, 25 December

Friday, 25 December

Saturday, 25 December

Boxing Day

Thursday, 26 December

Saturday, 26 December

Sunday, 26 December

Additional Day


**Monday, 28 December

**Monday, 27 December

Additional Day



**Tuesday, 28 December

*The Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) provides that when Australia Day (26 January) falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there will be no public holiday on that day as the following Monday will be declared a public holiday.

**The Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) provides for an additional day when New Year's Day, Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday.


2019 Australasian Property Tax Summit

The International Property Tax Institute (IPTI) is presenting a two-day conference in Melbourne to canvass the challenges of raising revenue from property taxes (rates).

The conference will feature leading experts and practitioners from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Britain.

Conference partners include:

  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Local Government New Zealand
  • Society of Local Government Managers, New Zealand
  • Australasian Council of Valuers-General.

The summit will be of interest to mayors and councillors, general managers, chief executives finance directors, rating professionals, state, territory and federal government policy makers, business and community representatives.

Find out more and register.