President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM.

14 June 2023

Our outstanding chief executive is leaving

Our outstanding Chief Executive, Scott Phillips, who has led us so well has made the decision to leave us to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer at Northern Beaches Council.

Our loss is their gain, and I am so pleased that Scott will not be lost to local government.

Northern Beaches Council is a part of our local government family and, as a member, it is strongly connected to LGNSW.

Scott has worked tirelessly over the past three-and-a-half years and the result is a cohesive, dedicated and professional team.

His leadership has left our financial position sound and our membership strong.

Scott’s last day is Friday 21 July. Replacing him will not be easy, but that process has begun.

I thank him for his constructive and collaborative stewardship of LGNSW during his time with us and wish him every success at Northern Beaches Council.

Save the date: Voice to Parliament online forum – 6 July 2023

I’m pleased to advise that Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP, has agreed to speak at on online LGNSW forum on the Voice, for NSW mayors and councillors. The forum will take place on 6 July at 10am and run for 90 minutes.

Please save this date if you would like to join the forum to hear more from the Minister and ask any questions. I will have more information for you soon.

At the LGNSW 2022 Special Conference, councils resolved that LGNSW supports the Statement from the Heart’s call for Indigenous constitutional recognition through a Voice and that a referendum be held to achieve it.

Win – Disaster Ready Fund grants to councils

Congratulations to all councils that were successful in their applications for grant funding under the first round of the Commonwealth’s Disaster Ready Fund.

The sheer scale of recent disasters demands a far greater emphasis on resilience and adaptation, to ensure communities are better prepared for future events, and we welcome this funding for natural disaster resilience and risk reduction.

From flooded road warning systems, to levees protecting critical infrastructure, to stormwater and drainage, this funding aligns with our key advocacy priority calling for increased financial support for betterment and resilience.

Parliamentary inquiry – Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023

I updated you last month on the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Housing and Productivity Contributions) Bill 2023, which is seeking to introduce a new, broad-based state infrastructure contribution scheme to replace the existing Special Infrastructure Contribution system. 

Critically, this Bill does not propose to make changes to local infrastructure contributions collected by councils.

LGNSW was invited at short notice to appear before an upper house inquiry into this Bill on Thursday.

LGNSW Chief Executive Scott Phillips appeared at the hearing, reiterating that:

  • In the context of the significant financial sustainability concerns facing NSW councils, infrastructure contributions are a critical source of funding to help deliver the local infrastructure needed to support housing and economic growth.
  • LGNSW welcomes the government’s commitment that this Bill does not propose to make changes to local infrastructure contributions collected by councils.
  • We recognise that the government has listened to previous feedback from the local government sector on what was proposed in 2021.

We also asked that the committee ensures that councils be consulted on any changes to the definition of regions for the expenditure of contributions.

We also asked that transitional arrangements include a guarantee that infrastructure identified in an existing Special Infrastructure Contributions plan will be funded under the new scheme.

In good news, the Bill also provides for up to $1 billion in grant funding over 10 years for councils to deliver local infrastructure, such as regional parks and sporting facilities. Again, this funding will only be available for use in the area in which it was generated through contributions.

Destination and Visitor Economy Conference

I’ve had some lovely feedback from a number of you who attended the Destination and Visitor Economy Conference in Manly two weeks ago.

More than 250 council staff, mayors and councillors came along and heard from our fabulous line-up of experts and specialists on how best to grow visitation in their local government areas.

Our hard-working communications team spoke to many of the attendees and have compiled this video on the event.