President's Message 27 February 2020

Linda ScottFamily and domestic violence continues to impact Australian communities, and paid leave is an important and practical way councils can help. In line with a unanimous resolution from Ryde City Council from our most recent LGNSW Conference, we have concluded the work that will result in more than 45,000 people working in local government across NSW being eligible for paid leave if they require flexibility to deal with the impacts of family and domestic violence. The special variation to the Local Government (State) Award 2017 follows an application to the Industrial Commission by the United Services Union. It means people working fulltime in local government can now access up to 10 days paid leave to deal with the effects of domestic violence. Casual staff will also be able to take time away from work for the same purposes, without consequence. Please ensure your staff know about these changes. Refer to the LGNSW website for further information or email Adam Dansie at LGNSW.

This week’s win for local councils:

  • NSW Government decides not to proceed with privatisation (lease) of Forests NSW softwood plantations. This is good news for forestry communities. LGNSW had raised your issues and concerns in our many representations to the government and I am pleased these were considered by members of Cabinet.
  • Event funding for councils to stimulate tourism. We are happy to advise regional communities - particularly local councils and communities affected by bushfires and drought - can now apply for Destination NSW 2020 grants. LGNSW has been advocating for greater support for the development of tourism products and tourism experiences since last year’s NSW Budget. For further information, email Elizabeth Robertson, Senior Policy Officer - Social and Community.

Reminders:

  • Industrial Relations Commission issues direction to all Local Government (State) Award 2017 employers. The Commission has directed all employers covered by the Award to provide information relating to casual, labour hire and fixed term contract employees by no later than 4pm on 30 March 2020. For further information, email Adam Dansie at LGNSW.
  • Last day to register for the National Redress Scheme special briefing. It is important that Mayors understand their new obligations. Register now to attend a special briefing with the NSW Attorney General (5 March, Sydney, 5-6 pm). This one-hour session corresponds with the Country Mayors’ Association meeting and events, for your convenience. Other interested councillors and staff members are also invited. For further information, email Elizabeth Robertson, Senior Policy Officer.

Tip of the Week: Public Service medal eligibility

Local government employees are eligible for the Public Service Medal (PSM) regardless of grade or age. The PSM is a prestigious, internationally recognised award within the Australian Honours and Awards system that recognises outstanding service and I would urge you to consider nominating suitable local government candidates.

Vale Councillor Vicky King

Our thoughts are with the mayor, councillors, and staff of Wollongong City Council and the family and friends of Councillor Vicky King who sadly passed away suddenly on Tuesday 25 February.

Congratulations Bourke Shire Council, winner of the prestigious A.R. Bluett Memorial Award for 2019.

Bluett award presentation in Bourke

Pictured L-R Bourke Shire Council General Manager Ross Earl; Member for Parkes and Minister for Local Government Mark Coulton, Chairman of the A. R. Bluett Memorial Award Trustees Les McMahon; Bourke Shire Council Mayor Barry Hollman; and A. R. Bluett Memorial Award Trustee Cr Mike Montgomery AM.