Media Release: Fresh Premier, Fresh Start in NSW

23 January 2017

The local government sector has welcomed NSW’s new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and described her commitment to listen to communities as a “fresh new start” for the state.

In a media conference held immediately after her elevation to the premiership, Premier Berejiklian said she would run a more inclusive government, which would take more time to listen the community.

The new Premier also pledged to consult with National Party leader John Barilaro and the community on the issue of forced council amalgamations.

“This is a fresh new start for the NSW Government, and I commend the new Premier on her proposed approach to leadership,” Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Keith Rhoades said.

“Recent history has shown that ‘consultation’ can mean a lot of things: from tick-a-box public forums at one end of the spectrum, to genuine efforts to achieve constructive outcomes all parties can support.

“The second way takes longer, but it delivers outcomes that last.”

Clr Rhoades said given LGNSW’s experience with the former Treasurer, now Premier, he was confident that she would keep her promise to listen to the wishes of the community.

“We worked closely with Ms Berejiklian in our ongoing advocacy work to protect councils and communities as the Government implements its Emergency Services Property Levy,” Clr Rhoades said.

“As a result of those discussions we were able to achieve a number of wins, which will benefit ratepayers.

“For example, Ms Berejiklian listened to LGNSW’s arguments and agreed to full cost recovery for councils, as well as clear indication on rates notices that the ESPL is a State Government levy and not a council one.

“Make no mistake – there is still a lot of work to be done on the ESPL – but such wins for the sector are a clear demonstration that the new Premier is prepared to listen and respond.”

Clr Rhoades said National Party leader John Barilaro had already demonstrated his commitment to community consultation in regard to forced council amalgamations.

Media Enquiries
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM: 0408 256 405
Media Toni Allan: 0412 774 441