17 January 2023
$500 million a good start to fix roads
Welcome back – I hope you all had a peaceful Christmas and a very happy new year!
The break always goes by so fast and of course with the rapidly approaching NSW State election it is a case of all systems go at Local Government NSW.
Despite a difficult economic outlook for Australia after three very tough years, I am confident that together we can drive positive change for local government and the communities we serve. Join with me to raise a combined and cohesive voice on their behalf, and to help deliver the future they, and we, deserve.
I’ll have more to tell you about our pre-election advocacy in next week’s message, but this week I really want to celebrate the State Government’s announcement of $500 million in funding for councils to make a start on repairing our local road system. While not a complete solution – we are, after all, dealing with an estimated $2.5 billion in road damage caused by last year’s catastrophic weather events – there is no denying that it is a really significant sum and a very good start.
Read our response to the Government announcement
I know many of you spoke to Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Faraway at our Annual Conference last year, and this outcome demonstrates how the power of your direct advocacy, and our ongoing work on your behalf, is really delivering for our communities. A big shoutout as well to LGNSW Board Director and Country Mayors Association President Jamie Chaffey, who continues to play a key role in our roads funding push and helped drive the declaration of a State-wide Roads Emergency in NSW last year. If you’ll pardon the seasonally appropriate pun, a concerted and combined effort has not only opened the batting but also put runs on the board. So congratulations: let’s keep that momentum going.
We’ve also elicited an Opposition commitment that any properties on surplus government land will be subject to a mandatory minimum of 30% social and affordable housing.
We had an unprecedented number of Annual Conference motions related to housing and the homelessness crisis and as a result the issue is also one of our key election priorities: a commitment by the next government to build 5,000 additional units of social housing each year for the next 10 years.
Disaster mitigation and resilience funding
In other good news, Senator and Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt tells me he is opening the inaugural round of the Disaster Ready Fund - up to $200 million of disaster mitigation and resilience funding to states, territories and local governments.
This funding goes to States and territories rather than directly to councils, but the Australian Government has indicated the States will need to work with us to identify suitable proposals. I’ll keep you advised as to how that process will roll out as soon as further details are available.
Rural and Regional Summit
We are just days from being one month out for our Rural and Regional Summit, which will be held on Monday 20 February 2023 at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.
The one-day event is a crucial lead-up to the NSW state election and boasts a quality line-up of speakers from the government, Opposition, and industry who are set to take part. A key focus will be on issues impacting rural and regional communities.
The program key topic line-up includes:
- The Housing Crisis – in focus (panel session and Q&A)
- Success stories and learning – Local Government Housing (case studies)
- Rural Health, Mental Health and Resilience (panel session and Q&A)
- Building Back Better – Roads and Infrastructure (panel session and Q&A)
- Rural and Regional NSW – What do our communities really need? (Panel session including Q&A)
Summit details and tickets
International Women’s Day lunch
And in recognition of how just quickly everyone’s diaries fill up at this time of year, don’t forget to grab your tickets for the LGNSW 2023 International Women's Day (IWD) Lunch on Wednesday 8 March 2023 at the ivy Ballroom in Sydney.
The 2023 IWD campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. Each of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own spheres of influence. Join in on the conversation with your local government peers as we work to create a fair and equal community.
We're delighted to have founder of the Greater Western Sydney’s Giants AFL Club and passionate community advocate Amna Karra-Hassan join us for this premium event. Amna will be sharing her experience not only of pioneering programs for women of minority communities in Western Sydney, but also of helping to drive change for the Australian Federal Police and through numerous government boards. Check out her video invitation and then guarantee your attendance at this fantastic event.
Crime prevention workshop
Finally, I wanted to let you know of an upcoming workshop for council staff on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, to be held 7-9 February at the South Sydney Graphic Arts Club, Mascot.
This course is a multi-disciplinary approach to designing the physical environment to make it less likely to support criminality, thereby reducing the incidence and fear of crime and improving quality of life for the community.
The workshop employs principles that seek to reduce and prevent opportunistic crime by planning and designing in specific settings to ensure people can see and be seen, that only legitimate people gain access into and out of private spaces, that areas have a sense of ownership and activity, and that public and private spaces are well managed and maintained.
Learn more or register
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