President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

19 March 2021

WIN! Superannuation for elected councillors
After many years of LGNSW advocacy, alongside the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, we were pleased to this week welcome the news that the NSW Government has introduced legislation to Parliament proposing the introduction of superannuation for mayors and councillors, beginning from July 2022.

It is an encouraging step forward, and I thank all the councils and individuals who have helped us convince the Government of the merits of this argument ahead of the local government elections scheduled for later this year.

Currently, the Bill being considered by the NSW Parliament is for optional superannuation, with local governments able to choose. However, we know amendments to be considered by the NSW Upper House will be moved to ensure this is mandatory.

You can make your voice heard now to support either optional or mandatory superannuation for elected NSW Mayors and Councillors by contacting:

Minister Shelley Hancock

Shadow Minister Greg Warren

Greens MP David Shoebridge

Shooters and Fishers

Animal Justice Party

Christian Democratic Party

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

WIN! Fairer Rates reform
The superannuation proposal is just one part of the Local Government Amendment (Rates) Bill introduced to Parliament this week, to be considered next week by the NSW Upper House next week. Another key part is rates reform.

This legislation will support merged councils to harmonise rates across multiple local government areas that were merged by the NSW Government in 2016. Harmonisation will be phased in over four years to avoid rate shock, although amendments in the Upper House may extend this period to 8 years

LGNSW also welcomed the Government listening to our advocacy to enable council general income to rise in line with population growth, increased flexibility in some rating categories and the increase to the terms of chairs of county councils to two years, in line with past conference resolutions and LGNSW advocacy.

Whilst we are disappointed there has not been progress or proposed reform on the vexed issue of rate pegging, which continues to cripple councils and must be completely removed, we welcome the steps forward as a result of this Bill.

We will continue to call on Government to end rate pegging, an antiquated method of determining rates, as well as a range of other reforms such as allowing councils to recover Emergency Services Levy independent of pegging.

WIN! Local Government Supported in NSW Parliament
We welcome two motions passed by the NSW Legislative Council this week.

The first, moved by MLC Sam Farraway, acknowledges the passing of former Cobar Shire Council Mayor Lilliane Brady OAM, her many years of service and her lasting legacy as a staunch advocate for her region.

The second motion, moved by MLC Rod Roberts, calls on Minister Shelley Hancock to work expeditiously and constructively with the Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council to end the council’s and community’s uncertainty surrounding its financial viability, demerge the existing council structure and restore the former councils in their own rights and provide full funding for the costs of the demerger.

The forced merger has resulted in ballooning costs despite the council’s efforts to find cost savings and is an example of why LGNSW strongly opposed the forced mergers across the State in 2016.

And finally, the Opposition’s Local Government Amendment (Pecuniary Interest Disclosure) Bill was debated and defeated in the Legislative Assembly this week. LGNSW had raised concerns about these proposed changes to disclosure rules on behalf of councils.

We contend that disclosure rules for local government should be consistent with those for State Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Inspiring women in local government
I congratulate President Cr Cassandra Coleman and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) NSW on their inspirational branch conference this week.

It was an honour to attend and speak at the event, held this year at Shellharbour, as well as meet with Shellharbour councils and Mayor Marianne Saliba

It is heartening to see the passion and commitment women bring to councils, as reflected at the event, and it’s a reminder of the importance of getting more women to run for council to better reflect representation in their communities.

NSW lags behind other states when it comes to female representation in local government – less than a third of councillors.

Proactive organisations like ALGWA NSW are working tirelessly to change this, as is LGNSW.

Most recently we successfully advocated for the NSW Government to provide support and training funding specifically for training to equip women to run for council, with the Government committing $150,000 towards that purpose.

Everyone Can Play grants
Congratulations to all the councils that were successful in the $7 million Everyone Can Play grants announced last week.

These grants will provide around 20 councils with support to build and upgrade play spaces that allow people of all ages, abilities and cultures to make the most of their community play areas.

Pleasingly, around 60 per cent of the successful councils are located in the regions, with $3 million of the funding going to bushfire and drought affected communities.

Full list of recipients

LGNSW President Linda Scott at the NSW ALGWA Conference

LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott with NSW ALGWA Conference 2021 representatives. 

NSW ALGWA Conference 2021, Shellharbour.

LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott presenting at the NSW ALGWA Conference 2021, Shellharbour.