President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

04 August 2021

Local Government Week 2021
While we are all working so hard to manage the current pandemic challenges – while also delivering our ongoing responsibilities - it’s important not to forget all that local government has achieved and continues to deliver to our communities.

As part of NSW’s 128 councils, 1300 councillors and 48,000-plus workforce, we:

  • Manage 93,000 hectares of open spaces;
  • Run almost 460 public pools;
  • Maintain around 167,000 kilometres of roads and bridges;
  • Manage around $153 billion worth of assets;
  • Support around 1.72 million tonnes of recycling; and
  • Run 362 libraries that service 3.1 million members.

That’s just the tip of the local government iceberg – and like real icebergs, so much of what we do lies beneath the surface. That’s why we’re celebrating Local Government Week (August 2-8) this week with the theme Locally Led, highlighting what we deliver beyond simply roads, rates and rubbish.

Here’s just one recent example: through LGNSW’s Innovation and Research Fund, in partnership with DPIE, we have supported Campbelltown City Council’s development of renewable energy microgrids, designed to help local residents and businesses cut costs.

We also supported Bathurst Regional Council’s trials into diverting greenhouse gas emitting food waste from landfill and Lake Macquarie City Council’s research into future support of electric vehicle renewable energy charging stations.

These councils represent just a few of the many ways we provide the local leadership that, in partnership with State and Federal funding support, is key to driving a grassroots economic recovery and jobs creation across NSW.

Well done: not only for what we have achieved but for the difference we can and are continuing to make. Local leadership has never been as important as it is right now, which is why it is worth taking the time to share the Locally Led message during Local Government Week.

Online forums
Lockdown doesn’t have to stop us from learning or having a voice! I encourage as many of you as possible to take part in our online forums this month.

On August 12, 10-11am we are hosting our Closing the Gap Forum, looking at ways to better support a closer working relationship between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and peoples in our communities.

On August 13, 10am-12pm, we host the Circular Economy Forum to support our sector’s ongoing leadership efforts around improved recycling and reuse of materials that will not only reduce waste and inject money into the economy but also create new jobs.

Both events will include an opportunity to hear from expert speakers, network with peers (online at least!) and ask questions about these important issues.

Click on the links provided above to find out more and register your involvement.

Crown Land Management
I am sure you will join me in welcoming the release of the findings and recommendations of the Evaluation of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 Implementation by the Crown Land Commissioner Professor Richard Bush.

The LGNSW submission to the Evaluation on your behalf made a number of recommendations, and I am pleased many of these recommendations have been adopted including:

  • Further consideration of the requirement for councils to prepare plans of management;
  • Streamlining land transfers to councils
  • Formation of State and Local Government working groups and partnership agreements to facilitate the delivery of essential public purpose projects; and
  • Further support to councils, Native Title groups and Local Aboriginal Land Councils on resolving land claims and native title matters.

LGNSW will review the report in more detail and collaborate further with our members and the Commissioner as the recommendations are considered and implemented.

2021 LGNSW Annual Conference Update
Right now, we’re all grappling with the impact of COVID-19 public health orders on our communities, and on the three-month postponement of local government elections to 4 December. This delay also has a flow-on effect on the 2021 LGNSW Annual Conference, and we are working hard to resolve the issues thrown up by this delay.

I hope to have more details for you soon, as we navigate the complexities posed by the interplay of rules and regulations around elections and registered organisation reporting requirements.