President's Message


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LGNSW CE David Reynolds, Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer, LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM and Shellharbour General Manager Mike Archer.

LGNSW CE David Reynolds, Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer, LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM and Shellharbour General Manager Mike Archer.

28 May 2024

LGNSW events this week sure to be fruitful

I know many of you are looking forward to some key events that LGNSW is hosting this week, namely our housing roundtable with Ministers Scully and Jackson on Wednesday morning and the Destination and Visitor Economy Conference being hosted by our colleagues at Wagga Wagga City, Junee Shire and Coolamon Shire councils.

I’m sure both events will provide for some fruitful and engaging discussions. 

I note, too, that we have just begun National Reconciliation Week. I know many councils will be holding events to mark this important opportunity for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

I thank all of our council colleagues who are contributing to that journey. 

Regional Visits

I was pleased this past week to visit Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Wingecarribee councils, to hear about the priorities of these communities and how LGNSW is best able to assist.

There are some significant challenges facing our rural and regional communities, but all are working towards some tremendous projects and initiatives and I always return from these trips with renewed enthusiasm for our sector. 

I also attended the ALGA Board meeting in Canberra, where we discussed key issues for local government nationally, including responses to the recent Federal Budget, the upcoming National General Assembly in July, councillor safety, upcoming local government elections in NSW and Victoria before the end of the year, as well as the need for all councils to make submissions to the current federal financial sustainability, which I talk further about below.

Closing this week - Federal parliamentary into local government sustainability

A reminder that submissions to the federal parliamentary inquiry into local government sustainability close on Friday this week (31 May) and it is so important that all councils make a submission.

This federal inquiry will be integral to our sector’s call for Financial Assistance Grants to be restored to 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue.

I encourage all councils to reiterate this call in your submissions to the inquiry and, in particular, to note the services and infrastructure that are at risk if Financial Assistance Grants are not increased. A copy of LGNSW’s submission will be made available on our website over coming weeks.

2023 conference resolutions – responses from Minister Sharpe and Minister Moriarty

I was pleased to receive further letters last week from two State Ministers in response to resolutions of the 2023 LGNSW Annual Conference.

  • Minister for Climate Change, Minister for Energy, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, the Hon Penny Sharpe MLC.
  • Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW, and Minister for Western NSW, the Hon Tara Moriarty MLC.

LGNSW publishes all responses to resolutions on our website as they are received (member log in required) and shares these responses with the councils that submitted the relevant motion to LGNSW. 

Beyond LGNSW’s letters setting out each conference resolution, LGNSW also ensures our Policy Platform is updated to reflect the intent of each resolution, and we continue to advocate on each of these positions as opportunities arise.

Minister Kamper – Response to LGNSW on interment levy

I have also received a letter from Minister Kamper in response to LGNSW’s advocacy on the NSW Government’s proposal to introduce a new levy on every burial ($156), cremation ($41) and ash interment ($63) undertaken in NSW.

While I am disappointed that the NSW Government has still not backed away from this proposal, the Minister does note that the NSW Government’s cemeteries agency is considering feedback in response to its consultation on the levy proposal. 

Councils are the largest provider of bodily interment in NSW, and LGNSW’s feedback to the NSW Government sets out our fundamental opposition to this proposed levy. I encourage councils that have not already done so to approach their State Member of Parliament to outline their concerns with this significant cost shift onto grieving families.

Roads to Recovery funding

I am pleased to see that councils are now being advised of their increased funding allocations under the federal government’s Roads to Recovery program.

The Federal Budget, earlier this month, confirmed that Roads to Recovery funding to NSW councils will increase by $461 million over five years, as the program nationally progressively increases to $1 billion in annual funding.

This is a terrific funding boost for NSW councils, though the road investment, maintenance and repair task ahead is vast and significantly more funding is required. 

LGNSW highlighted our sector’s roads funding needs in meetings with Minister Aitchison and Minister Graham earlier this month, and we will certainly continue our representation in this critical area.


Darriea sign-off