President's Message 3 October 2019

MILESTONE REACHED – With visits to Singleton and Muswellbrook councils this week, I have now fulfilled my commitment to visit every council in NSW during my first term as LGNSW President. It has been an absolute honour to meet you, listen to your experiences and gather examples to strengthen our advocacy.

Together, we have achieved so much. Over the past two years, we have: 

  • secured an extra $60m over four years for public libraries
  • secured a commitment from government to produce a circular economy strategy
  • secured an additional $1b for local roads and country bridges
  • won $150m in new public parks
  • $400m for regional telecommunications towers
  • secured an additional $355m for drought assistance
  • successfully campaigned against an unexpected hike in the emergency services levy with the NSW Government announcing it will fund the $13.6m increase this financial year
  • achieved postponement of the low-rise medium density housing code
  • welcomed $100m in extra funding through the Stronger Country Communities – with half for regional youth
  • gained a commitment from government to take back up to 15,000km of regional roads
  • helped secure $1m for live music.  

ANNUAL CONFERENCE BUSINESS PAPER NOW AVAILABLE – We’re excited to see you at our forthcoming LGNSW Conference! The Business Paper containing motions for this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference (Warwick Farm, 14-16 October) was posted to councils this week and can be downloaded from our website or accessed via the LGNSW Conference App.  

We received a record-breaking 300-plus motions for consideration and will debate around 120 on business session day 1 (Tuesday 15 October). Thank you to everyone for their contributions – we’re looking forward to a lively debate! 

Also, don’t miss our pre-opening events including a tour of Western Sydney Airport (book online) and Transport for NSW workshops and information sessions (register today).

WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE REGIONS – We welcomed Federal Local Government Minister Mark Coulton, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey, representatives from 12 of the 13 joint organisations (JOs) and two metropolitan regional organisations of councils (ROCs) to our Sustaining the Regions Forum in Sydney this week to develop clear direction on areas where we can work together to achieve the best outcomes for the regions, councils and communities. 

With rural and regional councils doing it especially tough under the current drought, water management and utilities were high on the agenda. Minister Pavey committed to funding additional water storage infrastructure projects, reviewing water restriction definitions and consulting with councils on an equitable approach to means testing community access to water cartage. Minister Coulton committed to advocate for additional funds for the Federal Drought Communities Program.

Other issues included waste and recycling (especially the need for investment to expand the recycling industry in NSW), roads and transport, workforce and skills, the environment and renewable energy, and information technology. To discuss further or raise a specific issue, contact LGNSW Director Advocacy Kylie Yates

Photos: Visits to Muswellbrook and Singleton councils; Sustaining the Regions Forum.