President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

5 February 2021

LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott

Welcome to the first President’s Message for 2021.

While one of the most challenging years on record is behind us, we still face some tough times. But as last year proved, no matter how many challenges councils are presented with, they find a way to meet them and I am confident we will continue to do so

It was heartening to see the local government sector band together, support one another through the barrage of problems we faced, from floods to fires to COVID-19.

Local Government NSW was able to play a key role in supporting the sector, gaining State and Federal government assistance for hard-pressed councils, and we are working hard for more wins in the months ahead.

New Riverina, Murray and Far West Joint Organisations partnership
I congratulate the Joint Organisations of Riverina and Murray and Far West on their new Memorandum of Understanding. Signed on 27 January, this landmark agreement formalises the partnership between 15 Councils across regional NSW.

This MoU, the first of its kind in NSW, signals the strength of cross-regional collaboration.

The two joint organisations will be actively cooperating and sharing resources across roads, transport and infrastructure, waste, tourism, energy, digital connectivity, procurement, and water to enhance their efficiencies, output and deliverables.

LGNSW welcomes the partnership and stands ready to assist the two organisations as required.

Talking about changing climate
This week I joined a CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) podcast to talk about the vital issue of climate change and also appeared at the Inquiry into the Climate Change Bills 2020 to press the need for action.

Councils are doing some great work in this area. At the 2019 LGNSW Annual Conference councils passed a climate emergency declaration, calling on the NSW and Australian Governments to take immediate action to avert a climate crisis.

My Council, the City of Sydney, has declared a Climate Emergency Response, as have 34 other councils in NSW and 100 councils across Australia.

In NSW, LGNSW has partnered with the NSW Government to provide funding for councils to implement adaptation strategies.

Council work in this area is diverse, with projects such as building community resilience, researching landform in low lying coastal areas and urban re-design to cope with increasing heat to name just a few.

It is imperative the NSW and Commonwealth governments follow the example of local government and make the growing climate emergency a State and national priority.

Local government is a willing partner to collaborate on climate change risk assessments, adaptation pathways and in developing emission reduction strategies, especially those touching on the built environment and waste management.

Advocacy wins
As a result of our advocacy for you, there have been a large number of wins for you that we’ve achieved since my last message:

  • Remanufacture NSW – the NSW Government has committed $35 million in funding to match Commonwealth and industry to support waste and recycling improvements, especially outcomes that see waste turned into re-usable product. This is in line with our Save Our Recycling Campaign.
  • Waste management funding – the NSW EPA also announced a $4 million investment to keep household and general waste out of landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The money will go to commercial waste operators for R&D into alternative waste treatments. The Federal Government also announced a further $4 million Stop Food Waste Australia, an initiative that will bring together the brightest minds in supply chain management, food waste NGOs and all tiers of government to tackle the problem.
  • Crown Land – the NSW Government will provide a record $51.7 million from its Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF) to maintain and upgrade Crown reserves and support about 345 projects across NSW and this year’s stimulus boost will more than double the number of projects to 705.
  • Festival grants to help seniors – NSW organisations that help older people get active and connected have the chance to share in the $200,000 NSW Seniors Festival Grants Program. This is especially welcome given the tough time our seniors had in 2020 with the challenges around COVID-19.
  • Building Better Regions Round 5 – applications are now open for local communities across regional Australia for the fifth round of the successful Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF). The latest funding will see local communities share in $200 million.
    Funding details here