President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

Dear all, I trust you enjoyed a refreshing Easter break!

LGNSW Board working for members – I’m pleased to report our Board met today to discuss a packed agenda, working together to ensure LGNSW is delivering value and tangible outcomes to all our councils and members.

I reported to the Board on priority areas we have worked on to support councils, including recycling and waste, arts and live music, tourism and economic development, remuneration for mayors and councillors, and roads and transport.

The Board endorsed a variety of submissions on topics like the music and arts economy, joint organisations regulation, greener places policy, and the freight and ports plan. All LGNSW submissions are available online, and we’re working to ensure as many Board papers are made available to you all where we can. Read more.

Fighting for a fully-funded rate rebate for seniors – To coincide with the beginning of NSW Seniors Festival on Wednesday, I called for pensioner concessions on council rates to be increased and fully funded by the NSW Government.

NSW is the only state in which pensioner concessions on rates are not fully funded by the State Government. Local government absorbs the remaining cost to the tune of around $64 million each year, with some councils being asked to forgo up to $1 million in rates revenue.

LGNSW pushed hard at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Rating Review for the concession to be simultaneously increased and fully-funded, but the NSW Government has been silent since IPART lodged its report in December 2016. The fight continues. Read more in our media release.

Coastal management funding for councils – In welcome news, the NSW Government is making $83.6 million available to councils to help implement new coastal management legislation which came into effect this week.

The Coastal Management Act establishes a framework for the planning and management of NSW’s coastal areas, and includes provisions allowing councils to move towards the new arrangements over time.

The Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Planning will support councils through the transition with funding, operational guidance and technical advice. Find out more in the NSW Government’s media release.

Until next week!

Cr Linda Scott

P.S. We’re close to finalising dates for our council summits and more visits, and we look forward to being in touch soon to plan these with you. 


Board Meeting Report

The LGNSW Board met today in Sydney to discuss a packed policy agenda and endorse a variety of submissions.

President, Cr Linda Scott, reported on her work to ensure all councils and members understand the value of LGNSW and utilise all it offers.

Cr Scott gave an update on the progress made on a range of priority advocacy areas and last week raised a range of issues in a meeting with Minister Gabrielle Upton, the most pressing of these being recycling.

She stressed to the Minister that the $47 million rescue package is not new money and that many councils have already allocated it in their forward plans.

Cr Scott acknowledged the extensive work being done by LGNSW including talking to councils across the entire state to gain a full understanding of the issues being faced and possible solutions.

LGNSW is exploring the possibility of a forum to bring together those with reprocessing ideas and opportunities, and councils, to discuss creative solutions and innovative technology for improving recycling outcomes in NSW.

LGNSW recently met with the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal to highlight the need for significant reform and fairer remuneration for elected representatives.

The Board gave approval for LGNSW to apply to the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales to vary the Local Government (State) Award 2017 with the consent of local government unions, to clarify the award’s provisions in relation to leave without pay, long service leave and salary sacrificing. To discuss the variations in more detail contact LGNSW’s Industrial Relations unit in 9242 4142.

A number of LGNSW submissions were endorsed including one relating to the Music and Arts Economy Inquiry in NSW. Members acknowledged LGNSW’s vital role in supporting councils, particularly those in rural and regional areas, to initiate arts projects in their communities.

Events such as the Parkes Elvis Festival and the sculpture trail in Forbes, make significant contributions to the economic development of towns; supporting tourism and creating jobs. The Board agreed that ongoing NSW Government funding is needed to support arts and culture, particularly regionally.

Other submissions covered: joint organisations regulation, Australia’s strategy for nature, model code of meeting practice, councillor induction and professional development guidelines, greener places policy, and the freights and ports plan. All LGNSW submissions are available online.

The next meeting of the LGNSW Board is on Friday 1 June 2018.


Night Time Economy Masterclass

The Night Time Economies Councils Committee at City of Sydney is hosting a free, half-day workshop to help council staff develop their night time economy strategies (8 May 2018).

Suzie Matthews, author of OPEN Sydney 2030 –future directions for the Sydney at night – will facilitate. Trina Geasley, an expert in results-based accountability, will present a session on evaluation frameworks.

Bookings are essential and places are limited to one person per council.

Register online by Friday 20 April.


Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Awards

Do you know of a council, excelling in arts and culture strategic planning that deserves recognition?

LGNSW is calling for nominations for the 2018 Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Awards.

The awards honour the late Cr Leo Kelly, a passionate and dedicated LGNSW Board member who passed away in January 2017.

Cr Kelly was a long-serving member of Blacktown City Council and a champion of the arts throughout his career.

He was instrumental in creating Blacktown Arts Centre and a supporter of the arts through the Blacktown City Art Prize and scholarships for local artists.

The awards recognise councils that lead in policy, planning, delivery and evaluation of arts and culture through:

  • integrated cultural planning and policy
  • creative stakeholder engagement
  • building sector capacity.

One winner and one highly commended council will be awarded in each of three categories, based on local area populations of:

  • below 30,000
  • between 30,000 and 70,000
  • greater than 70,000.

Apply online by Monday 4 June 2018.

The awards will be presented at the Local Government Awards Evening on Thursday 2 August 2018.


2018 Play Your Part Awards


Councils and others whose work supports the wellbeing of children and families are encouraged to nominate projects for the 2018 Play Your Part Awards.

Nominated projects must have been running for at least 12 months and focus on prevention activities that reduce risk of abuse or neglect.

Previous winning projects have included home visits, mentoring, parenting support, social groups and community hubs.

The Play Your Part Awards are an initiative of the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).

Winners will be announced during National Child Protection Week (2-8 September 2018). Nominate your project online by 18 April.

Councils are also encouraged to promote the National Child Protection Week - Art Competition to children and young people. Winners will receive $200 and see their artwork used in the campaign. Entries close 18 April.


Parks and Leisure Australia Conference


Parks and Leisure Australia (NSW/ACT) will hold its annual conference in Tamworth League Club from 10 to 11 May. 

Presented in partnership with the NSW Office of Sport and Tamworth Regional Council, the conference will focus on activating sport, leisure, places and spaces.

It will include keynote presentations, workshops and discussions, and tours to the Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence and the Victoria Park precinct.

To find out more and register visit the Parks and Leisure Australia website.


Affordable Housing Masterclass


Local government planners and planning consultants may be interested in attending a masterclass in designing and developing affordable housing being organised by NSW Federation of Housing Associations (Sydney, 3 May).

Dr Judith Stubbs, an internationally-recognised expert in affordable housing research, policy, economics and strategy will present the masterclass.

It will provide participants skills and resources to meet challenges in delivering affordable rental housing including:

  • building community acceptance for developments – engaging with communities to get support for affordable rental housing developments
  • designing, developing and managing multi-tenure developments – shaping strong and diverse communities that work for everybody.

Find out more and register online.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations’ website.


Car Parking Standards for Boarding Houses

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP for comment, which details proposed changes to car parking standards for boarding houses.

The proposed new standards will increase the ratio to 0.5 spaces per room for all boarding house developments.

The department is seeking feedback on the proposed changes until 16 April and councils are encouraged to make submissions.

For further information visit the Department of Planning and Environment website.

LGNSW is preparing a short submission on behalf of the sector and welcomes feedback from councils. Please email comments to Jane Partridge, Senior Policy Officer, LGNSW.