President's Message 15 May 2020

I am pleased to report several major advocacy wins for the local government sector this week, when strong, multi-pronged advocacy supported state parliamentary amendments progressing through NSW Parliament on staff leave, while preventing the passage of amendments that would have granted new powers of Government intervention into individual council operations.

Together with you, LGNSW’s advocacy efforts persuaded the Government to introduce:

And together with you, our advocacy defeated proposed amendments to the Local Government Act and planning legislation would have allowed Government Ministers to:

  • Decide the type of infrastructure built in local government areas;
  • Place a cap on the maximum amount of income a council could earn; and 
  • Dictate when and how councils collected and spent infrastructure contributions by local developers, with no sunset clause. 

Our advocacy efforts persuaded the Government it would send the wrong message to simultaneously introduce new powers to fast-track private profit-earning development but prevent community development designed to deliver public good.

Successful Labor amendments supported the passage of the annual leave provisions, and successful NSW Greens amendments overturned Ministerial discretion to intervene in council income, or to prevent expenditure on building and infrastructure projects that were or would be used as part of council decision-making functions. The NSW Planning Minister has additional powers about the use of council developer contributions, but these only remain in place until September. Read the LGNSW media release.

We thank and appreciate the contributions of the State members for Kiera, Granville, Sydney, Kogarah, Campbelltown, Balmain, Summer Hill, Barwon, Lakemba, Bankstown, Orange, Maroubra, Coogee, Canterbury, and Lake Macquarie. Refer to the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020.

LGNSW continues to campaign for State and Federal government locally led economic stimulus and community recovery, based on local service and infrastructure needs. We appreciate your support. I encourage you to send LGNSW your list of shovel-ready projects to help inform our advocacy. Please email Shaun McBride, LGNSW Chief Economist.

OTHER ADVOCACY WINS! This week we welcomed

Join us for our next Live Event

Mayors, Councillors and General Managers are invited to register to join our next free weekly forum (Monday 18 May) on the impacts of COVID-19 on Local Government with special guests Leader of the Opposition and NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jodi McKay MP, and NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government, Veterans and Western Sydney Greg Warren MP. 

HOT TIP

Strengthening resilience is going to be the subject of much discussion for the foreseeable future. I encourage you to book now for our members only forum, Strengthening Resilience, on 26 May featuring special guests Shane Fitzsimmons (Commissioner at Resilience NSW) Clare Gardiner-Barnes (Head of Strategy, Planning and Innovation at Infrastructure NSW) and Monica Barone (CEO of City of Sydney). For further information, email events@lgnsw.org.au.