17 December 2020
On behalf of LGNSW Board Members and the LGNSW team, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season, and a well-earned rest.
This time last year we were hoping for lots of rain to offset drought and to douse the bushfires. And here we are, a year on, with many communities bracing for floods, and severe weather in the Northern Rivers, the Mid North Coast and the Northern Tablelands while other parts of the state continue to experience the impacts of drought and fires. Please take good care!
This is the last edition of the Weekly for 2020 and LGNSW will be closed from Friday 25 December, reopening Monday 11 January 2021. A skeleton staff will attend to urgent inquiries (to 02 9242 4000) during this time.
Last week, the National Federation Reform Council agreed that protecting lives, properties and communities during severe weather events and natural disasters due to a changing climate was a shared challenge. The work of local government is central to our resilience. The year ahead therefore promises to involve increased collaboration with our state and federal colleagues as we seek to tackle economic and social recovery from disasters and help build liveable communities.
2021 Advocacy priorities
Last week, the Board considered motions that weren't debated at the Conference due to time limitations, and the results of their deliberations are now available here. The Conference resolutions, along with the results of our upcoming annual member survey, will determine our advocacy priorities. The LGNSW team has already started making representations to government Ministers and we're reviewing our Policy Platform and policy statements, to reflect the sector's views. We look forward to sharing these with you early in the new year.
We end this difficult year buoyed by many achievements including some recent advocacy wins, including:
- WIN! Fewer obstacles for councils providing social housing
The NSW Government has made a new regulation exempting councils from the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act where councils let premises to social housing providers. This change will provide more flexibility to councils as property owners and reduce council exposure to financial risks as landlords. It’s a good outcome for councils eager to contribute to social housing availability. For more information, email LGNSW Strategy Manager Damian Thomas.
- WIN! Extension of Bushfire Recovery Support Services to December 2021
Additional funding to extend Bushfire Recovery Support Services (RSS) to December 2021 is great news for those affected by the fires and struggling in their recovery. The seven Services are providing bushfire recovery case management support to households and rural landholders in 25 NSW LGAs.
- WIN! Increasing Resilience to Climate Change grants to benefit over 30 councils. I was delighted to announce the successful recipients of the latest grants with over 30 councils set to benefit from the eight projects to be funded in Round 3, totalling $611,000. These grants are delivered in partnership with the NSW Government and are designed to help councils address the many challenges associated with our changing climate. Congratulations! For further information, visit the LGNSW website.
Opportunity, LGNSW is calling for expressions of interest from prospective mentors to our member Mayors and Councillors. Your expression of interest should address why you are interested in the role and why you believe you have the qualities to mentor mayors and councillors. Please email Legal Officer Liz Hayes by 29 January 2021 or call 02 9242 4125.
Reminder, a dedicated members room and meeting space will be available for your use when in the city. Please contact Office Manager Andrea Mutschall to arrange a visit.
We look forward to working with you in 2021.
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