President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

29 September 2021

Recent wins for local government to support locally led economic recovery

Our local government sector has proven its leadership bona fides in this COVID crisis – whether it is mayors ensuring their concerns are heard by State Government on behalf of their communities or keeping residents safe through cleaning and maintenance of public places and spaces.

Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing lockdown, LGNSW has continued to advocate on your behalf to ensure councils have every resource to continue these efforts as well as provide a locally led economic recovery that creates jobs once we emerge from the current restrictions.

I wanted to bring you up to date with some recent wins.

$4 million for more green spaces in Sydney

The NSW Government has provided $4 million for 13 projects across 12 local government areas (LGAs) designed to create sustainable and accessible green spaces for communities to enjoy.

We have all come to value these places so much more in recent months, and this funding will support a range of projects, including:

  • Construction of a waterside boardwalk along Canada Bay mangroves;
  • Upgraded pedestrian and bush paths at Pennant Hills Park and Lane Cove National Park;
  • New access pathways between Charlie Bali Reserve and Blacktown International Sports Park.

 See the full range of projects

$139 million to rejuvenate Western Sydney

No one has done it tougher in the past few months than our south west and western Sydney LGAs, which is why the NSW Government’s announcement last week of $139 million in accelerated infrastructure funding (AIF) to help build roads, parks and other critical infrastructure to support future growth, and creates thousands of new local construction jobs is welcomed.

As you know, LGNSW has been advocating long and hard for these hard-hit councils and communities, and these are welcome outcomes for those efforts.

I look forward to the restoration of western and south western Sydney’s status as one of Australia’s leading economic powerhouses.

Additional $24 million for COVID relief package

Those most vulnerable from the effects of the COVID lockdown – our multicultural communities – will benefit from $24 million in new funding towards emergency food relief, promotion of vaccination and testing services and provision of culturally appropriate caseworkers.

I speak to many mayors and councillors who are on the frontlines of supporting their communities through the hardships resulting from lockdown and the challenges of getting people access to vaccinations, so this NSW Government funding is most welcome.

The commitment forms part of the NSW Government’s recently announced $287.5 million COVID-19 financial support package to help workers and vulnerable communities in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW.

Road take-back off to a slow start

In the lead-up to the 2019 State Government election, LGNSW was able to secure a commitment on your behalf that the NSW Government would take back up to 15,000km of road to bring some relief to the cost-shifting burden borne by councils.

Last week, the NSW Government announced plans to resume responsibility for 400km of local roads – less than three per cent of the promised 15,000km.

Almost 120 councils across NSW applied for priority road take-backs, but only five applications – representing just over 391km of road – met the Government’s criteria for priority take-back.

It falls well short of what we were hoping for and we now have to wait for future rounds of reclassifications for more take-backs.

Equally disappointing is a lack of commitment from the Government to help councils maintain local jobs by awarding Road Maintenance Council Contracts (RMCC) to them.

These contracts are vitally important to ensure councils are not financially worse off under road take-backs and, equally importantly, not forced to lay off road maintenance workers under new arrangements.

LGNSW will be seeking assurances from the Government that councils will not be worse off under road reclassification and take-back arrangements, and that council jobs are protected in the process.