President's Message 5 March 2020

This week, on your behalf, I took the opportunity to reignite calls for the NSW Government to Save Our Recycling by reinvesting the annual $800 million NSW Waste Levy during the Prime Minister’s National Plastics Summit.

With the Prime Minister announcing federal funding for new waste and recycling infrastructure – if matched by state government and industry funding – there has never been a more important time to call for the NSW Government to step up and reinvest the NSW Waste Levy to secure a more sustainable future for our waste.

Please consider our Save Our Recycling Mayoral Minute. If your council is working on a proposal for this new recycling funding, please contact Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager Environment or call 9242 4080.

Wins! This week we welcomed:

  • The NSW Government discussion paper on superannuation for Councillors: Following a successful resolution from City of Newcastle to introduce superannuation for NSW Mayors and Councillors at our most recent LGNSW Conference, and much LGNSW advocacy, we welcome the discussion paper. Please ensure you add weight to this debate by moving a resolution at your council, ensuring your council sharing your views with the Office of Local Government, or by contributing to the LGNSW submission via email to the Workplace Relations Unit.
  • National Plastics Summit signals positive policy change: One of the four key actions demanded by the Save Our Recycling campaign was met at a federal level this week when Prime Minister Morrison pledged to encourage demand for recycled products by strengthening government procurement guidelines. It’s now time for the NSW Government to step up. If your council hasn’t considered our Save Our Recycling Mayoral Minute, please ensure you do. Together, we can secure more funding to support the great work NSW councils to manage our waste.
  • $24 million for kerbside separation of food and garden waste committed by NSW Environment Minister Kean: This funding is to support councils and industry operators that were putting organic waste in red bins to produce mixed waste organic outputs. It will help councils implement or improve kerbside organic waste collections, purchase new equipment, and upgrade facilities. We look forward to sharing further detail about the benefits to councils soon.
  • Advocacy to Save on Election Costs: We welcome the commitment by the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) this week to ensure they are only passing on the costs that they incur – which means the NSW Government needs to fund the NSW Electoral Commission to provide them the support they need to run local government elections, and state agencies do not seek to profit from these elections. On your behalf, I’ve written to the NSW Education Minister to request that increased charges to use NSW Education schools as booths on election day – by up to 300% - are reduced. We will continue to advocate for every avenue to see the costs of local government elections reduced for you.

Reminder:

  • The Industrial Relations Commission issued a 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. Further information is available on the LGNSW website or email Adam Dansie.

There are many other ways you can help amplify advocacy work by our sector, including:

  • We are still waiting for the long-promised NSW waste strategy and plastics plan. Let’s keep waste management and recycling firmly on the agenda by sharing your recycling stories as part of the LGNSW #SaveourRecycling campaign. For further information, email communications@lgnsw.org.au
  • LGNSW welcomes your contributions to NSW and Australian Government bushfire inquiry submissions. I also urge you to consider an individual council submission. For further information or to share a copy of your submission, email Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager Environment or call 9242 4080.
  • The Music Festival government and industry roundtable is to be held on 27 March, consistent with the new Music Festivals Act. Please email suggested agenda items to Elizabeth Robertson, Senior Policy Officer by 9 March. Meanwhile, Festivals Australia grants are now open until 22 March. 

Working with the Joint Organisation Chairs and NSW Country Mayors

Thank you to the Joint Organisation Chairs for hosting me this week, alongside NSW Country Mayors, ensuring we collaborate to progress issues to support local government.

New Trustee for A R Bluett Memorial Trust

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Genia McCaffery to the A R Bluett Memorial Trust, Australia’s longest running award for local government excellence. Congratulations Genia, and thank you once more to retiring Trustee Mr Allan Ezzy AM APM for his tireless work in supporting councils across NSW.

Tip of the Week

We can all help to make sure people have Coronavirus facts and resources. Please share NSW Health fact sheets and resources to support the distribution of accurate and current information on the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19). Importantly, information and FAQs are available in English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Arabic, Bahasa, Korea, Thai and Vietnamese.