President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

17 November 2021

As I write to you today, I am thinking of our colleagues and friends in Forbes, many of whom will be working frantically to finalise the evacuation of the town and surrounding areas of up to 1800 residents before the floodwaters travelling down the Lachlan River peak.

It is a far cry from the drought of 2019, when experts feared the Lachlan would run dry by March 2020 and leave Forbes, Cowra and Parkes without water supply.

Flood or drought, fire or pestilence: council teams are out there on the frontlines working to protect their communities. And when the crisis has passed, they are out there again, repairing, restoring, rebuilding.

That’s why I was so delighted LGNSW advocacy helped drive the creation of the Disaster Recovery Taskforce announced by the State Government in June this year – a body set up to work with councils to access the funding and resources they need to fix vital infrastructure such as local roads as quickly as possible.

You can read more about the taskforce, and $8 billion for our communities, including disaster recovery and COVID-related funding, in our recently released Annual Report.

Our councils and our communities are made up of strong and resilient people, who have overcome incredible challenges over the past few years; this flood is just one more.

It’s been an active period in the NSW parliament over the past week, and I am pleased to announce a number of important advocacy wins for councils.

Win! $3 million in community recovery funding for small rural and border councils

The NSW Government has announced that 33 small rural and border councils will receive grants of $90,000 each to support community recovery with initiatives such as mental health support, communications, emergency meals, transport to vaccination hubs, bilingual workers and small business assistance – particularly for tourism and hospitality.

This latest funding builds on billions of recovery funding provided to councils in recent years, in line with our ongoing advocacy and a Federation Council-led resolution of the 2020 LGNSW Annual Conference calling for comprehensive recovery packages.

Win! Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Bill 2021 passes Parliament

The passage of this legislation is another advance in our Save Our Recycling campaign, which focuses on the need for NSW to transition to a circular economy, assisted by funding from the Waste Levy.

The Bill will prohibit problematic or unnecessary plastic waste, set new design standards and establish product stewardship programs to promote the reuse of materials already in circulation. It will be supported by a wide-scale education program, one of four key demands of the LGNSW statewide campaign.

Win! $50 million for new and improved parks and public spaces

The NSW Government has responded to LGNSW advocacy around the need for better public space and more recreation facilities with the announcement of a $50 million ”Play, Splash and Roam” package for Greater Sydney. The package includes $16.7 million for new swimming and kayaking locations, $16.7 million for playgrounds and $16.7 million for new and upgraded regional trails and corridors connecting bushland, parks and gardens.

Win! $150 million incentives for electrical vehicle fleets

NSW’s Electric Vehicle Strategy will include councils in its incentive program for fleet operators. The incentives include stamp duty waivers, rebates and charging infrastructure, and will open at the end of this month.

More information

Congratulations to our Environment Awards winners

Finally, congratulations to the entrants and winners in the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards announced earlier this week!

Each year our councils invest a total of about $1.7 billion in environmental management, so it is fantastic to be able to reward the very best practice in this area.

Wollongong City Council won the Local Sustainability Award for its overarching strategy Sustainable Wollongong 2030, incorporating the council’s many and varied environmental strategies, programs and plans into a united approach.

And a big call out to Zaman Shamsuz, of Randwick City Council, who was awarded the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability.

Check out the full list of deserving winners