President's Message 9 April 2020

ADVOCACY WIN – Federal and State Early childhood education and care funding

Today we secured you a double win, $82 million of NSW government funding for NSW council run childcare centres and access to the Federal government’s new Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payment, which is part of its Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

This should allow all councils to continue to run early education and care centres, and importantly, allow us to keep valuable centre staff employed. Thank you to the many member councils who provided us facts and figures to help us secure this win for our communities. Refer to LGNSW media release. For further information, email Elizabeth Robertson, Senior Policy Officer – Childcare.

Local Government COVID-19 Splinter Award: Let Us Know by noon on Tuesday 14 April

To help you with the incredible challenges we are facing, LGNSW and local government unions have developed a new opt-in Splinter Award to help manage workplace relations associated with COVID-19. This Award is optional for councils and county councils and available for those who wish to join. It sets out a minimum standard for those opting in; councils are free to choose to do more in light of the clear messages from Federal and State Local Government Ministers, to ensure all local government staff, including casuals, are offered continued employment. 

The Local Government (COVID-19) Splinter Award 2020 is designed to help preserve jobs and gives councils and county councils greater flexibility to provide suitable alternative duties for employees unable to perform their regular duties due to COVID-19 orders by State and Federal governments. You can see the full text of the Splinter Award here . LGNSW has filed the application and councils must opt-in by no later than 12pm on Tuesday, 14 April 2020. To be covered, please email adam.dansie@lgnsw.org.au

HELP AMPLIFY OUR SECTOR'S ADVOCACY WORK – Making the case for local government stimulus remains our top priority.

The Federal government’s decision to exclude local government from the Job Keeper Program was a major blow, not only to councils but to our communities and the thousands of council staff and customers whose job futures are now in doubt through no fault of their own. Despite this setback, LGNSW continues to advocate for government financial assistance and economic stimulus measures, on your behalf.

Specifically, we are asking for:

  • increased Financial Assistance Grants to 1 per cent
  • immediate economic stimulus to support council employees, especially in early education and care
  • stimulus funding for projects that will boost local economies, including by increasing existing programs such as Roads to Recovery, and
  • increased access to TAFE, VET and other apprenticeship opportunities that council staff can undertake to address skill shortages, especially for staff in non-essential services who are unable to be redeployed.

Please help us to let your community and state and federal representatives know just what’s at stake and who will be impacted. I encourage you to:

Save Our Recycling, in time for impending waste bans.

We continue to encourage you to prepare your waste infrastructure project bids and partnerships, ready for when government funding to support the waste export bans is announced.  For further information, email Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager Environment or call 9242 4080.

More Advocacy Wins this week:

We welcome the NSW government’s increased financial assistance to councils to address coastal erosion. Reflective of our program review submission, the funding ratio (2 state :1 local) is to be increased along with the range of low-risk projects that can apply for funding outside of a certified Coastal Management Program.

We are also pleased that the government listened to our feedback on NSW Coastal Management Framework and plans to support councils to work together to address regional issues, funding for Joint Organisations (including staffing) to manage regional projects and alignment of funding announcements with council budget cycles.

TIP OF THE WEEK

LGNSW has updated our Policy Platform which was endorsed by the LGNSW Board. The Policy Platform incorporates new positions established through our Annual Conference resolutions each year and guides LGNSW in its advocacy on behalf of the local government sector.