President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

19 August 2021

Win! LGNSW advocacy secures Government funding to support council jobs

I am pleased to start this week’s President’s Message with some good news for all our councils: thanks to our collective advocacy the NSW Government has agreed to provide financial support to the local government sector to support council jobs.

As you know, councils continue to be ineligible for any of the $5.1 billion COVID support promised by the State and Federal governments, and many of us were being forced to stand down staff during this latest lockdown.

We were able to successfully negotiate the reinstatement of last year’s Council Job Retention Allowance (CJRA), which provides up to $1500 assistance a fortnight for eligible staff.

This funding will save jobs and it will ensure the retention of vital council services such as keeping parks and community facilities clean and safe in the middle of the pandemic.

Importantly, the eligibility criteria have changed and councils that can demonstrate an actual or potential loss of at least 30 per cent in revenue for the current or previous quarter in a council business unit or entity may be eligible.

LGNSW is continuing to work with the NSW Government to ensure the money flows quickly and efficiently so jobs can be saved.

Win! Vaccine prioritisation for council childcare workers

Council early childhood education and care workers in Sydney COVID hotspots will now be prioritised for vaccines following our successful advocacy efforts.

Protecting our hotspot workers is obviously critical, but we have been calling on State and Federal governments to prioritise access to vaccinations for all essential council frontline workers, including childcare workers.

LGNSW will also continue to call on the NSW Government for funding support to help council childcare services cope with the financial impacts of the waiving of gap fees, which are a vital component of their continued operation.

Local Government Awards postponed until November

We have rescheduled LGNSW’s Local Government Week Awards, one of the most enjoyable events on our annual calendars, to Thursday, November 4.

Every year the awards celebrate the outstanding contribution councils make to our communities, and this is doubly true in 2021 as we’ve continued to do fantastic work while facing the challenges of COVID restrictions together.

The event will be a celebration of council achievements - I hope you can join us on 4 November.

Closing the Gap and Circular Economy forums

On Thursday, August 12, mayors, councillors, general managers and council staff came together to hear about and ask questions on how local government can be involved in ensuring the success of Closing the Gap initiatives.

Thank you again to Cr Charles Lynch (NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations) and Kate Foy (Department of Premier and Cabinet) for making available your time to discuss this incredibly important matter with local government attendees.

For more information, or for a template motion your council can consider passing calling for the development of a local Closing the Gap strategy for your council, please email Beau Reid, LGNSW Policy Officer.  

On Friday, August 13, I spoke to almost 100 councillors, council managers and staff as part of our Circular Economy Forum.

I was impressed with the level of engagement as we discussed the latest information on the journey towards initiatives to turn waste into products that benefit the environment and the economy.

Participants heard from Lisa McLean (NSW Circular), Debbie O’Byrne (Lake Macquarie City Council), Tim Askew (Hunter JO) and Justin Bonsey (SSROC) about what they are doing in pursuit of a circular economy and practical tips on what local government can do – one step at a time. 

Sincere thanks to our speakers for sharing their knowledge, experience and insights.