President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

26 November 2021

Final President's Message a bittersweet experience

It’s a bittersweet experience to be sending you my last ever Weekly message as President of LGNSW:  sad that my term working with so many fantastic and dedicated people is soon coming to an end, but happy that together we have delivered so much for our councils and communities over the past four years.

Thanks to our mutual hard work, our communities have benefited from more than $8 billion in funding support, including disaster recovery and COVID-related funding. It’s a figure to be proud of, and one it has been an honour of a lifetime to work with you to deliver.

I look forward to outlining the detail behind this work at our online Annual Conference next Monday at 9.30am. By now you, and all registered voting delegates, should have received an email from our Events Team outlining how to log into this one-hour event. If you haven’t yet registered, you can still do so until COB today (26 November) via our Conference web page, where you can also review the Business Papers. The Operational and Financial Reports can be viewed as part of LGNSW’s latest Annual Report here.

I’m also looking forward to finally catching up in person at the Special Conference in Sydney from 28 February to 2 March, which I’ll be attending as ALGA President. This premier LGNSW event will include debate of motions as well as some truly top-notch keynote speakers, including renowned finance and economics commentator Michael Pascoe and comedian Greig Pickhaver – better known as H.G. Nelson, sporting guru and self-appointed head of the “Even Greater Sydney Planning Committee”. Register here before 3 December for discounted early bird registration.

And while I’m highlighting must-attend events, I’d also like to alert you to our annual Human Resources Conference on 31 January to 2 February, at Sydney’s Luna Park conference centre. Futurist Craig Rispen, neuroscience specialist Caitlin Davies, along with HR experts Heidi Dening and Ben Thompson, will look at ways to navigate the new challenges faced by our council HR professionals.

Stay ahead of the change curve by registering to attend this conference.

Win! Stop the Contributions Cash Grab Campaign

LGNSW and a majority of councils across NSW have been campaigning against proposals that would result in a significant proportion of developer contributions collected directly by the State Government.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes has now confirmed the legislation will include written guarantees that no council will be worse off under the reforms.

He has also promised to:

  • Seek financial assistance for councils struggling to provide local infrastructure, if developer contributions are withheld to the end of a project;
  • Spend regional infrastructure contributions in the area from which they are collected, based on the applicable strategic planning, and
  • Incorporate these commitments into the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2021 still before the NSW Upper House.

LGNSW will continue to work with the Minister to ensure these commitments are enshrined in law and our future communities protected.

Win! Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Bill 2021

The so-called “Shopping Trolley” legislation (Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Bill 2021) introduced into the NSW Parliament last week is designed to help ease the collection burden on councils in a significant improvement over the nearly 30-year-old Impounding Act 1993.

Once passed, the new legislation will put a three-hour collection time limit on trolleys, vehicles or other items causing a safety hazard, and a seven-day limit for others, with fines for item owners of up to $13,750.

Our communities currently spend more than $17 million each year recovering shopping trolleys, but the new cost-recovery components in the legislation mean councils alone will be able to claw back almost $10 million of this cost.

Win! Modern Slavery Amendment Bill 2021

The NSW Parliament has passed ground-breaking laws against modern slavery (Modern Slavery Amendment Bill 2021), which will require government agencies and councils to take reasonable steps to ensure that the goods and services they procure are not the product of modern slavery.

Commencing 1 July 2022, councils will also need to include an anti-slavery statement in their annual report.

Local Government Procurement can assist your council with addressing modern slavery risks via risk assessments, training, policy development, supply chain mapping and tool kits.

For more information, please email [email protected].

Win! LGNSW-Landcare NSW alliance

LGNSW is joining forces with Landcare NSW with the signing of a formalised Memo of Understanding designed to further improve environmental and community outcomes across the state.

Our two organisations already work together in many parts of the state through on-ground projects that focus on environmental protection, sustainable food production, and community engagement and wellbeing.

This partnership will further expand that collaboration and includes the opportunity for all our councils to support and connect with Landcare in their local region.

Thank you for your support

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my immeasurable gratitude for your support over the past four years. To those of you retiring from council at the 4 December election – thank you for your service to the community. And to everyone seeking election to continue or commence this service as a local government councillor, I wish you every success on 4 December.