27 November 2020
Thank you to hundreds of Mayors and Councillors who joined the LGNSW Annual Conference this week – this event, and the resolutions carried, will set our agenda for the coming year!
While online conferences are a challenge, and I missed seeing you in person, it was fantastic to see we were able to master the technology together. As a result, quality conversation about the year that was, healthy debate on motions moved by you, and a democratic voting process, allowed us to start to determine our policy directions for the coming year.
Although, I think many of you would agree nothing beats face-to-face so we're looking forward to seeing you at next year's event in Sydney in November. Planning is already underway, and we'd welcome your feedback on your Conference experience this year. Please take the time to take a short survey.
As your peak body, I can assure you the LGNSW Board will take great care in considering the remaining motions that weren’t debated during the Conference due to time limitations, and we will report back to you as we work through that process. In the meantime, please refer to the record of decisions now available on the LGNSW website. LGNSW will also be conducting our annual member survey in the coming weeks, to determine our advocacy priorities for the year ahead. The results of the survey will be considered alongside Conference resolutions.
Thank you to Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock who, in response to our advocacy, made some announcements at the Conference on matters important to our members and their communities, including:
- WIN! The imminent return of Armidale’s elected councillors from 12 December, signifying the end of the six month-suspension of the Council – a win for local democracy!
- WIN! The plan to launch a campaign to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to run for council at next year’s council elections, in addition to the campaign to attract more women, following representations from LGNSW, Reconciliation NSW and the Local Government Aboriginal Network.
- WIN! The term of County Council Chairs will be changed to be on par with mayors, in line with our 2018 Conference resolution from Riverina Water County Council.
Additionally, this week the Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill was referred to a Parliamentary Committee for inquiry and report, consistent with our call for the Parliament to defer consideration of the Bill until consultation with the local government sector occurs. LGNSW will make representations to the Committee in due course.
AR Bluett Memorial Award winners
Huge congratulations to Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and Bellingen Shire Council, the most progressive and innovative councils of 2020. Congratulations to the elected representatives, general managers, and staff of both Councils on these well-deserved awards. I commend Trustees Les McMahon, Genia McCaffery and Cr Mike Montgomery AM who had the tough job of choosing between the high standard entries. Thank you to those councils who submitted entries this year.
Outstanding Service Award recipients
Well done Clr Anthony Andrews of Randwick City Council and Clr Carol Provan of Sutherland Shire Council. Thank you for your dedication to local government. I also want to acknowledge retiring StateCover Chair and local government veteran Bruce Miller and retiring Country Mayors Chair Katrina Humphries (Moree) and congratulate new Country Mayors Chair Ken Keith (Parkes).
Welcome to our new LGNSW members, the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, the Far West Joint Organisation and the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. The invaluable coordinating role these organisations play across their regions is well known, as recognised by Commissioner of Resilience NSW Shane Fitzsimmons and our panellists during the Conference discussion about building resilience to disasters and crisis.
In response to our Conference policy declaring a Climate Emergency, please join us for the Excellence in the Environment Awards Finalists’ Forum, 10am 1 December.
I also encourage you to join me and representatives from SSROC, Parkes Shire Council, Central Coast Council and Transport for NSW for a one hour panel session; Opportunities and Challenges of Using Recycled Materials in Roads and Pavements: a Local Government Perspective, at this year’s Australian Circular Economy Conference #ACEC20 on 8 December. You’ll need to register. I am looking forward to making the case for our Save Our Recycling campaign and our continued calls for the Government to reinvest the annual $800 million Waste Levy in four ways: council-developed regional waste management plans, revitalised infrastructure, increased procurement of recycled goods and a state-wide education campaign.
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