President's Message


Phone: 02 9242 4000
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Darriea Turley in the LGNSW foyer.

16 April 2024

Our hearts go out to Bondi victims

Our collective hearts are heavy as the full impact of the tragic events in Bondi sink in.

We especially think of the family and loved ones of all those tragically killed going about such normal activities on a Saturday afternoon.

We think, too, of our colleagues at Waverley and Woollahra councils as they continue to support their communities and we realise, too, that many councils may have staff who are directly impacted.

The events also remind us of the incredible work of all our first responders and the important partnerships that councils form with them to maintain and enhance community safety.

It's important at this time that as we are reminded of the worst of human behaviour we also see the best of humanity. Let’s take a minute to look out for each other this week.

2024 Membership Satisfaction Survey

This week marks the launch of our 2024 Membership Satisfaction Survey. We invite all mayors, general managers, and councillors to share their valued feedback by clicking on the email link that was sent directly to them. If you have not received the link, please email [email protected].

Emergency Services Levy – Consultation Paper

In excellent news for our sector, the NSW Government has now released a consultation paper on reforming the emergency services funding system.

The consultation paper asks for feedback on whether the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) on councils and insurance policies should be replaced.

It is a longstanding position of LGNSW that the ESL on councils is inequitable, and it does not apply consistently, fairly or transparently across councils. We have long called for the ESL to be replaced by a broad-based property levy, which would remove this multi-million dollar impost on local government.

This review has the potential to achieve significant benefits for local government. It is important that all councils engage in this critical consultation, and I strongly encourage each council to also make a submission directly to the review.

LGNSW would also welcome council feedback to inform our submission on behalf of the sector. To contribute to LGNSW’s submission or to share a copy of your council’s submission, please email Shaun McBride, LGNSW Chief Economist, by 15 May 2024.

Consultation direct to the NSW Government closes on 22 May 2024.

Advocacy update

I was pleased to share an advocacy update with you last week, highlighting our sector’s collective progress towards our advocacy priorities.

There are certainly some terrific wins for our sector set out in the update, and significant progress on some longstanding priorities.

Of course, much remains to be done and I look forward to continuing to escalate our key asks to the NSW and Australian Governments.

Youth Week

Councils have been busy running a variety of Youth Week events and activities across the state.

2024 Youth Week runs from 11–21 April and is aimed at engaging and empowering our next generation of leaders.

Thank you to the NSW Government for supporting councils via grant funding, and to all the councils involved for all their hard work in delivering these events for the young people in their communities.

CMA NSW Housing forum

I had the privilege of attending the Country Mayors' NSW Housing forum earlier this week in the picturesque and thriving Forbes Shire.

There were some great discussions of important topics for all our communities around improving our planning system, the planning portal and, importantly, the provision of a range of public, social, affordable and market-based housing across all our LGAs.

Thank you to Country Mayors and Forbes Shire for hosting the event.

Disaster recovery – torrential rain and flooding

I am pleased that disaster assistance has now been extended to 14 more NSW local government areas, following heavy rainfall and flooding across NSW from 1 April 2024.

This assistance incudes support for councils to assist with clean-up and restoring essential public assets, as well as assistance for residents, businesses, NGOs and primary producers.

LGNSW is represented on the NSW Government’s State Recovery Committee by our Chief Executive, David Reynolds. If your council has any disaster recovery matters you would like escalated by LGNSW through this committee, please email [email protected]

Early childhood education funding for local government

In line with recent conference resolutions, LGNSW has been calling on the NSW and Australian governments to ensure council early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are eligible for all new funding programs.

Local government provides more ECEC services across NSW than any other provider, and it is critical that governments recognise the essential contribution of our sector and fund it accordingly.

I was pleased to see an announcement last week including local government among the recipients for funding through the NSW Government’s new Flexible Initiatives Trial.


Darriea sign-off