6 October 2021
NSW Government changes will not affect LGNSW advocacy
LGNSW looks forward to continuing to work closely with the State Government under new NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet as we look to leave the worst impacts of COVID-19 behind us and push towards a locally led economic recovery for our communities.
LGNSW will be working hard on your behalf to ensure the ongoing progress of our advocacy efforts with the Government in the priorities areas you identified at our last Annual Conference.
I thank outgoing Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her hard work over her term, and her strong and steady leadership through some of our most challenging times.
Win: Taskforce listens to councils on housing affordability in the regions
It was heartening to see a number of the findings in the NSW Government’s Regional Housing Taskforce report released last week aligned with much of what LGNSW and councils have been saying about the issue.
The report says blaming housing shortages on planning processes was over-simplifying the issue, and other factors such as financial and taxation systems, population growth, demographic change and interest rates were among the contributors to the problem.
The report correctly identifies that infrastructure planning, delivery and coordination also need to be improved to unblock regional housing supply.
As the report says, and as we’ve been advocating for years, regions need greater NSW Government investment in enabling infrastructure such as roads, water and sewerage, with regional councils reporting limited capacity on their part to make up the gap.
We also face the thorny problem of planned reforms to infrastructure contributions, which further threaten the delivery of this infrastructure.
The taskforce is now considering all feedback and drafting recommendations for the Government.
The report is a positive step for solving the housing crisis in our regions. I look forward to further recommendations from the Regional Housing Taskforce and working with the NSW Government to address the growing issue of regional housing shortages.
Win: NSW commits to halving emissions by 2030
Last week’s announcement that the NSW Government would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 was a welcome one, and a positive step towards the target of net zero emissions by 2050 we are all working towards.
Local government has taken a lead role in these efforts, with our councils embracing sustainable practices and technology, including:
- installing renewable energy;
- investing in energy efficiency, such as replacing streetlights with LEDs;
- capturing methane from landfills, limiting organics streams heading to landfill; and
- replacing car fleets with low-emission vehicles.
These efforts will not only safeguard our environmental future but create new jobs in the process. For example, it is estimated council-led efforts at improving food and garden organics recycling will not only dramatically reduce harmful emissions, but also create 9,000 new jobs – many of these in the regions.
Honouring the best of us
With so many disruptions to our normal lives and council operations, it can be easy to forget important events such as LGNSW’s Service Awards, which are handed out at our annual conferences every year to honour outstanding service in local government.
This year the awards will be announced at our Special Conference, from February 28 to March 2, 2022. Nominations close on December 11, 2021.
These prestigious awards include categories for:
- Emeritus Mayor – providing ongoing recognition to retiring mayors who have served their communities five or more years;
- Outstanding Service – honouring those who have provided long, loyal and notable service to local government;
- Merit Award – for retired councillors who have served at least two terms or current councillors who have served three or more terms, and shown commitment and dedication in their roles; and
- LGNSW Medal – for exceptional service and significant achievements that have advanced the goals of the local government sector or benefitted the community in the context of local government service.
Our sector consists of many hard-working and community-minded people, and I urge you to consider eligible nominees in your community and submit your nomination before the cut-off date.
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