President's Message 10 October 2019

COUNTDOWN TO CONFERENCE – This year’s annual conference begins on Monday. If you are attending our Meet the Politicians Breakfast (Monday 14 October, 7-9.30am, William Inglis Hotel) please note there will be security in place and you must be registered to attend. On arrival at the venue, check in at registration to pick up your accreditation. If you’re staying in conference accommodation check the LGNSW website for information on transfers. And finally, this year’s conference dinner is themed ‘A Touch of Gold’ so remember to wear some sparkle and we’ll see you soon!
CALLING FOR THE RETURN OF DEMOCRACY TO CENTRAL DARLING – I’ve been speaking out against the NSW Government’s outrageous decision to extend the administration of Central Darling for another four years – postponing local government elections until at least 2023. Central Darling was put into administration in 2014, meaning residents will have gone almost a decade without having a say in their community. It is time that both state and federal governments admit that sustaining far west communities, and others like them, involves increased and ongoing financial support.
ACTION ON WASTE – I joined industry, government and research professionals in Sydney this week for the launch of the NSW Circular Economy Innovation Network – a NSW Government initiative aiming to deliver major change in how we think about waste recycling. The network will hold workshops across the state to identify opportunities and provide resources to solve waste problems. Although this is welcome, what we need is urgent investment to support new technologies to turn waste into recycled products, creating jobs and sustainable industries. We are continuing to call upon the government to reinvest the NSW Waste Levy to support recycling in NSW. To discuss further contact LGNSW Environment Strategy Manager Susy Cenedese.
SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS – It was a great honour to speak at the Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference in Sydney this week. I’m convinced we need more Indigenous people to be elected as councillors to ensure local government is a key part of effective grassroots democracy for our communities. Part of LGNSW’s efforts to achieve this include the Pat Dixon Scholarship (awarded every year to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander councillor or staff member to support further study, professional development or research). Congratulations to this year’s recipient Courtney McEwan, a promising young trainee from Nambucca Shire Council. A new round of applications will open in early 2020.
SIGNIFICANT MINISTERIAL AND OTHER MEETINGS – We met with NSW Senator Tony Sheldon on Tuesday to promote greater financial stability for councils. As part of our national advocacy led by the Australian Local Government Association, we’re calling upon the Australian Government to restore core local government funding of financial assistance grants to at least one per cent of Commonwealth tax revenue. In coming weeks, we will be meeting with NSW Auditor General Margaret Crawford and NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Hugh Durrant-Whyte (to discuss waste and recycling). If you would like us to raise any issues on your behalf, contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates.

Photos: LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott and NSW Senator Tony Sheldon; Uncle Bob Webb (Elder of the Local Government Aboriginal Network), Warren Roberts (family member of Pat Dixon), Courtney McEwan (2019 Pat Dixon Scholarship recipient) and LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott at the Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference.