President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

LGNSW President Linda Scott.

15 June 2021

Win! New taskforce to support councils with disaster recovery
In response to our submissions to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry and Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements last year, the NSW Government has established a Disaster Response Taskforce to help respond to natural disasters and manage the recovery process.

We called for this in our submissions to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry and Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

The Government’s initiative also reflects motions at 2020 Annual Conference motions from Bega Valley Shire, Blayney Shire, Coolamon Shire, and Snowy Valley councils.

I welcome this specialised taskforce, which will consist of locally based specialists across the State who will work with councils to help their communities get back on their feet as soon as possible.

State Budget must help councils create jobs
LGNSW is advocating for a range of funding in the June 22 State Budget to boost councils’ effort to provide a locally led economic recovery and create jobs in their regions.

This includes $1 billion over five years for road safety improvements, $1 billion for water security and infrastructure and reinvestment of the $800 million Waste Levy into regional waste plans and infrastructure.

The funding priorities we’re calling for align with advocacy priorities you have determined at our annual conferences and have the potential to create more than 68,000 jobs in NSW: a true, locally led recovery.

We’re working hard to help ensure the State Government delivers on June 22.

Win! Local Government elections
The NSW Government has introduced the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Local Government Elections) Bill 2021 into Parliament, with a guarantee that COVID-safe elections won’t cost councils more, thanks to LGNSW advocacy.

The proposed legislation will streamline electoral disclosure arrangements for candidates using a party agent, clarify that the postponement of elections does not invalidate council arrangements with the NSWEC for the conduct of the elections, and allow for COVID-safe council elections.

Introducing the Bill, Special Minister of State Don Harwin confirmed no council will be required to pay any more to ensure COVID-safety, thanks to $57 million committed by the Government last year.

This funding resulted from LGNSW advocacy, and was driven by 2019 Annual Conference resolutions from Brewarrina, Canterbury-Bankstown, Lane Cove, Albury, Hawkesbury, Shoalhaven, Armidale and Newcastle councils.

The NSW Government is also preparing regulations to make iVote available at council elections for the first time this year. LGNSW has advocated on this matter since a resolution put forward by Lismore at the 2019 Annual Conference.

Staying on the topic of elections, last week LGNSW hosted more than 70 council general managers and senior staff in a Pre-election Forum.

Vinnies CEO Sleepout
This week I will once again be taking part in the Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout, an annual event to raise money and awareness to help change the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness.

I will be joining other leaders in business, community and government who will sleep without shelter on one of the longest nights of the year!

Many councils are well aware of the growing homelessness problem and social housing crisis in our State. Vinnies does a great job using this event to highlight the issue and make a difference.

Learn more or donate

Council code of conduct review
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has announced an independent review of the statutory framework for dealing with council Code of Conduct complaints.

The Review will examine if penalties for councillors breaching the Code remain sufficient, and ways to reduce the time and cost of complaints handling.

We have been calling for the Government to conduct a review into the investigation of code of conduct complaints, including the allocation of more resources from the NSW Government to address complaints.

Our advocacy on this issue reflects motions at the 2019 and 2020 annual conferences from Wagga Wagga City, Orange City and Lane Cove councils.

LGNSW calls on the Minister to consider providing more resources and support to councils to manage complaints, and that it be included in the review’s terms of reference.

We also call for councils to receive the Government assistance they need now to manage current code of conduct complaints while the review is being conducted.

Councils have urged reform of a broken system; we will ensure your voices are heard in the review.