President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

LGNSW President Darriea Turley AM standing in the foyer of the LGNSW offices in Sydney.

Celebrate Local Government Week

2 August 22

This week we celebrate Local Government Week, which is a chance for all of us to showcase the terrific work we do in our communities across NSW.

It’s also a great time to reflect on the range and diversity of services offered by NSW’s 128 councils.

Each year we:

  • Look after more than $178 billion of community assets;
  • Manage more than 90,00 hectares of open spaces;
  • Employ more than 48,000 people;
  • Manage 90 per cent (164,000km) of the state’s local and regional road network;
  • Invest more than $2 billion on environment initiatives;
  • Operate 450 council-run libraries, attracting more than 34.8 million visits; and
  • Process 35 million tonnes of waste

The numbers are certainly impressive, but I think what has really stood out over the past three years is the crucial role undertaken by councils in times of crisis.

Fires and floods, drought and pandemic: it is local government that is on the ground and manning the frontlines to keep the heart of communities beating.

As you read this, councils and their staff continue to drive the recovery of cities and towns devastated by major flood events and the rebuilding of communities ripped apart by the Black Summer bushfires. They’ve kept money pumping through local economies and provided vital support to everyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

So congratulations on all the work  you have done and continue to do and please remember to spread the message this week on the role our councils play in our community.

If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to download the Local Government Week Digital Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to make it easy for your council to get involved in Local Government Week and shine a spotlight on all of your services.

Welcome Cr Penny Pedersen

It is fitting that in Local Government Week we welcome Cr Penny Pedersen as our newest LGNSW Director (Metropolitan/Urban).

Penny is a champion of local government, having been a councillor at the City of Ryde since 2017 as well as holding senior positions with the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and the North Sydney Regional Planning Panel.

Penny is also passionate about the environment and social inclusion, which has led to her serving as Vice-Chair of the Parramatta River Catchment Group, as a member of the NSW Government’s Music Festival Roundtable and chair of numerous committees overseeing status of women and multiculturalism.

On behalf of the entire LGNSW Board, I look forward to working with Penny to achieve real and meaningful outcomes for NSW councils and the communities we serve.

In welcoming Penny, I would also like to thank our outgoing LGNSW Treasurer, Cr Jerome Laxale.

Jerome’s hard work, vision and dedication was a terrific asset to the LGNSW Board and helped ensure local government has emerged stronger from the significant challenges faced in recent years.  

I wish Jerome all the best for the future, particularly in his new role as the Federal Member for Bennelong.

Memorial service for Cr Peter Woods OAM

A special memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of former Local Government Association President Cr Peter Woods OAM.

Peter had a distinguished career of service to the community at almost every level, serving as elected councillor and Mayor of Concord – later Canada Bay – for more than 26 years. He served as Board Member and President of our sector’s national peak body – the Australian Local Government Association – and of course he presided over the Local Government Association of old, which preceded the formation of LGNSW.

Peter’s legacy includes the creation of a superannuation scheme for local government, the instigator of a specialist council insurer StateCover, and – closer to home – the purchase of our premises at 28 Margaret Street Sydney.

The memorial service for Peter will take place from 11am on Sunday 14 August at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, Killoola Street, Rhodes Park, Concord.

To RSVP your attendance please email [email protected] or phone (02) 9911 6275.