President's Message 22 August 2019

Linda Scott Meeting with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley HancockTAKING YOUR CONCERNS TO THE PREMIER – Following our big advocacy win on the emergency services levy last week, we sat down with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock on Wednesday to find a better, long-term solution to providing a fully-funded workers’ compensation scheme for NSW firefighters without penalising communities in need of council services.

FOUR CORNERS: REPRESENTING OUR SECTOR IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON SHODDY APARTMENTS AND BUILDING CERTIFICATIONS – This week’s 4 Corners program not only showed the extent and complexity of the problem of building certification and inspection schemes across eastern Australia, but also raises questions about the role of local and state governments in dealing with the issue.

It’s incredibly disappointing that 20-odd years of warnings by our sector have been ignored, and the heartbreaking circumstances that are impacting on families and individuals as a result.

The problems have become so systemic there is no easy fix: many councils are not sufficiently resourced to assume responsibility for inspections and certification, and the problem will not be resolved by yet another cost shift.

Last Friday, I appeared on your behalf at the Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee’s Upper House Inquiry into the regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes and called for commitment and funding from the NSW Government to comprehensively address all the fundamental issues and concerns with building regulation. See our submission on the Parliament of NSW website. To raise any issues your council is experiencing with building regulation contact LGNSW Strategy Manager, Planning and Transport Jane Partridge.

The Premier reiterated her commitment to working with LGNSW on the IPART Review of Rates, and a range of other advocacy issues we are pursuing on your behalf.  Share your thoughts with LGNSW Chief Economist Shaun McBride (ESL) or Director Advocacy Kylie Yates (IGA).

SUPPORTING YOUNG INDIGENOUS TALENT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT– We’re delighted to announce that Courtney McEwan – a promising young Indigenous trainee Business Service Officer from Nambucca Shire Council – is the winner of this year’s Councillor Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship. I thank the family of the late Cr Pat Dixon, who showed such magnificent leadership in her region and beyond, for working with LGNSW to continue her legacy of supporting Indigenous-elected representatives and staff. And congratulations to Courtney as she continues her professional development with a Certificate III in Business. Look out for the for the opening of applications for next year from early 2020.

POLITICAL REPRESENTATION ACROSS THE SPECTRUM – This week we visited Parliament House to meet with Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst and with Shadow Minister for Active Transport Jo Haylen MP about the impact of feral cats on native wildlife – an issue put forward for discussion at our Annual Conference in October – and the role of active transport options in creating liveable communities.

COUNCIL VISITS – Thanks to Armidale Regional Council for hosting us to discuss all things Water, recycling and election costs.

Visit to Armidale Regional Council