President's Message 12 September 2019

LGNSW President Cr Linda ScottComing to you today from the ALGA Meeting in Canberra – more on this below.

ADVOCACY WIN: CENTRAL POINT OF CONTACT FOR CLADDING ISSUES – We’re delighted to announce that our persistent calls for a central point of contact for councils on cladding issues have paid off. The NSW Cladding Taskforce met with us this week and confirmed the NSW Government will establish a support unit to help councils identify potential issues.
 
This follows representations to Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson and the evidence I gave at the recent Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee’s Upper House Inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes where I called for: commitment and funding from the NSW Government to comprehensively address our sector’s fundamental issues and concerns with building regulation; and a coordinated and consistent approach to managing cladding issues.
 
The new unit, which will focus on high-rise residential buildings and take a systematic approach to issues, will go a long way towards allaying our concerns. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to address issues within the building sector. To discuss further email LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport, Jane Partridge.
 
DON’T MISS OUT: RESEARCH AND INNOVATION APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON – We’re accepting expressions of interest for new research that advances innovation in local government under the second round of LGNSW’s Research and Innovation Fund until 25 September. If you have great idea for a research project, please contact LGNSW Service Development Consultant Jennifer James to discuss before applying. Thanks to all those councils that have already applied.
 
SUPPORTING WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP JOURNEYS – I was honoured to address delegates at the 11th Women in Local Government Leadership Summit in Sydney this week, alongside Australian Local Government Women’s Association President Cassandra Coleman (Lithgow City Council). In NSW we lag behind other states with women making up around a quarter of councils’ mayors, less than a third of councillors and less than a fifth of general managers. LGNSW is working to redress the balance by advocating for mayors and councillors to receive superannuation and for better choices for caregivers (often women) to enable them to return to the workforce or undertake further study. Also, LGNSW runs the Springboard Women’s Development Program to assist women in non-management positions develop the skills and knowledge needed to advance their careers. Contact LGNSW's Learning Unit to find out more.

FOCUS ON NATIONAL ISSUES – I’m delighted to be in Canberra today to attend the ALGA Board Meeting and progress policy on issues of national interest including financial assistance grants, constitutional recognition, our 2021 federal budget submission, and waste and recycling. 

ALGA

Photo: LGNSW Board Director Cr Phyllis Miller, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton MP, LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott and ALGA President Mayor David O’Loughlin pictured ahead of today’s ALGA Board Meeting.

UPCOMING MINISTERIAL AND OTHER MEETINGS – We are looking forward to meeting newly-appointed NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler next week. To raise any issues your council is experiencing with building regulation contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport, Jane Partridge. Also, we’re scheduled to meet NSW Senator Tony Sheldon early next month, so if you would like us to raise any specific issues on your council’s behalf, contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates.