Media release: New era for Local Government

9 December 2017

Supporting New South Wales Mayors and Councillors to stand up for the rights of their local communities tops the agenda for the newly-elected President of local government’s peak body.

City of Sydney Councillor Linda Scott was elected as President of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) at the organisation’s annual conference in Sydney this week, and outlined her vision for the sector over the next two years.

Clr Scott is the first woman President of Local Government NSW.  Prior to the merger of the Local Government Association and the Local Shires Association in 2013, the first women to lead each of these organisations were elected in 2004 and 2005 respectively. 

She is also the first Labor President of Local Government NSW. Previous Labor Presidents in the history of the separate Local Government and Shires organisations include  Cr Doug Sutherland, Cr Robert Melville, and Cr MJ Griffin.

“I am proud to have been elected as President of Local Government NSW, and look forward to working with every Mayor and Councillor from across NSW to support them to stand up for their local communities," Clr Scott said.

“With the support of a new Board, I will be working hard to advocate for support and respect for local government by fighting against any future threats of forced mergers, against the widespread overuse of State Significant Development provisions and against removing planning decisions from the hands of local councils, and by advocating for constitutional recognition of local government.

"I am proud to be working closely with our regional and metropolitan Mayors and Councillors to ensure local issues are taken to the highest levels of government, no matter where people are from in NSW.

“The New South Wales Local Government sector employs more than 56,000 people in New South Wales.

“We are too important to ignore.”

Clr Scott said she wanted to ensure local government - and LGNSW - was well supported and transparent to achieve outcomes for communities across our state.  

“I have written to the Minister for Local Government to request we meet and to talk through ways both spheres can work together to drive change for the better,” she said. 

"I look forward to working with members of the State and Federal Governments, and the many hard working public servants that support local government, to support our Councils and Shires.

 “Country or city; residents and ratepayers want to have a real say in their neighbourhoods and their day-to-day lives.  

“That's why local democratic representation through their councils is so important to them."

Clr Scott was speaking after the release of new research which found 75% of residents and ratepayers believe councils are the best sphere of government to make decisions about local areas.

“Mayors and Councillors are trusted by their communities,” she said.

“Our goal as councillors and as a sector is to make life better for everybody, and as the closest sphere of government to the community, local government is best placed to make that happen.”

Media Enquiries
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441
Linda Scott: 0412 272 746