President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
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Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ray Donald OAM with LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM at the Special Conference dinner at The Fullerton Hotel, Sydney.

Ray Donald OAM, with LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 Special Conference dinner at The Fullerton Hotel, Sydney.

18 April 2023

Cost shifting reform a major priority

I hope you all had a chance to take some downtime with friends and family over the Easter Break, in preparation for the increasingly busy months ahead.

One of LGNSW’s big priorities over the next few months will be our 2023 Cost Shifting Survey, which went out to all NSW mayors and general managers yesterday for completion.

Cost shifting – which occurs when the State or Federal governments transfer responsibility for services or infrastructure to councils without providing sufficient implementation or maintenance funding to support that transfer – is one of the key drags on the financial sustainability of local government, making it a critical issue for each and every council.

Our surveys help quantify the financial hit taken by councils each year as a result of this practice. In 2018 we reported a total annual financial impost of more than $820 million, and the current cost is expected to top $1 billion per annum.

The deadline to return this important information is 8 May – please help by looking at the cost-shifting burden carried by your council, and responding to the survey accordingly. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

10 Year Anniversary

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Local Government NSW – our one united voice for councils right across the state.

So I’m delighted to highlight a new summary of the events that created our organisation, pulled together by the wonderful Ray Donald OAM. Many of you will know Ray as the former Mayor of Bogan Shire Council. What you may not know is that he was also a recipient of an LGNSW Lifetime Achievement Award, recognising his extraordinary 30 consecutive years of council service – including 24 years as Mayor!

Ray’s service to the community extends to a wide range of leadership positions – he presided over the former Local Government Shires Association and served on regional and state steering committees, advisory bodies, boards, working groups and Ministerial committees, so he has a great overview of local government history.

Read Ray Donald's report

Emergency Services Levy (ESL)

The new Minns Government has yet to address whether it will continue the ESL subsidy in the 2023-24 financial year.

Rest assured, LGNSW is fighting hard, not only for the payment of this subsidy for the upcoming financial year, but also for a fairer and more sustainable long-term funding solution. NSW’s emergency services do a terrific and vitally important job – it’s time their services were funded in a fair, transparent and financially sustainable way.

Stay tuned for more news on this issue when it comes to hand.

Water Management Conference – sneak peek at the site visits

Our destination hosts at Parkes Shire Council are delighted to share a video sneak peek of the upcoming site visits that delegates will experience at the Water Management Conference in June.

Delegates will experience first-hand the state-of-the-art infrastructure, including water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, recycled water treatment plant and Akuna Park Wetlands.

If you haven’t registered, take advantage of the member early-bird ticket offer, which ends on Friday, 28 April.


Pat Dixon trustee EOI reminder

A reminder to all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander councillors that we are seeking a new trustee on the Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship Trust.

The trustees assess and award the Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship annually to eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors and council staff members in NSW to undertake further study, professional development and research.

The late Cr Pat Dixon was the first Aboriginal woman elected to local government in Australia and worked tirelessly for her community and for the local government sector in general for over 17 years.

EOIs close 30 April.

More information

Net Zero Webinar Series – Join us for Webinar #2

After the success of the 2022 Climate Change Webinar Series, in partnership with the NSW Government Sustainable Councils team, LGNSW will be hosting a five-part Net Zero Webinar Series in 2023.

If you haven’t registered yet to attend Webinar #1 on Assessing EV Site Feasibility, hurry as the session will be held next week, on Thursday 27 April.

Webinar #2 – Lighting Specifications for Councils – is now open for registrations. This session, with Julien Freed, will look at lighting solutions that provide sustainability and energy efficiency outcomes and include case studies on sports field and building-based lighting.


Youth Week

This week marks the start of NSW Youth Week 2023 (April 20-30), a time for young people from 12 to 24 years to celebrate and participate in a variety of activities, opportunities and events across NSW and in their local area. 

This year’s theme, as set by the NSW Youth Advisory Council, is "Connect. Participate. Celebrate".

I commend all of the tremendous work councils do with youth in our communities, and this week will provide young people with a wide range of events and activities aimed at engaging and empowering our next generation of leaders. 

Employment Law Seminar – Less than three weeks to go!

There is now less than one month until the Employment Law Seminar on Thursday 4 May at the Swissotel Sydney.

This seminar has been specially designed for local government for HR professionals and senior staff to learn about the latest legislative changes and discuss critical information with industry peers and experts needed to manage workplace issues at council.

View the full program

Next edition of the Weekly

Our next edition will be published a day later than usual, on Wednesday 26 April, to allow for the public holiday as many of us commemorate the fallen by attending Anzac Day ceremonies in our communities.

Until then, a big thank you to those who continue to serve our nation in our various armed and reserve forces.