LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley and CE Scott Phillips with Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson and Chief Executive Officer Murray Wood.
27 June 2023
Road trips enjoyable and informative
Road trips to visit our member councils continue to be some of the most enjoyable and informative aspects of being the LGNSW President.
Last week the Chief Executive and I went west and met with the mayors, councillors and general managers at Dubbo, Narromine, Warren, Coonamble, Warrumbungle and Gilgandra councils.
These trips are always an opportunity to hear firsthand of their priorities and the exciting projects each council is undertaking. It’s also an opportunity to hear how LGNSW may be able to advocate on their behalf with the State Government.
A constant message we received this time was the critical shortage of housing stock. It’s a problem in Sydney, but it’s also the biggest issue in these rural communities, too, as their populations grow and the housing availability is not keeping pace.
Solutions must be found and it’s something we intend to raise in our talks with the State Government.
In some good news for the sector, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has announced that 74 councils have been successful in receiving a grant under the new Strong Start Cadetship Program for the next generation of council planners.
Councils and communities across NSW are suffering from the impacts of skills and labour shortages. One of our key Local Government NSW advocacy priorities has been to call for the NSW Government to commit to incentives such as cadetships to address skills shortages in the local government sector.
I congratulate the government on this initiative to partner with councils in training new planners who will, over time, contribute to filling the many vacancies across our sector.
Special Online Forum - Voice to Parliament
Last week I emailed an invitation to all mayors, councillors and general managers to join a special online forum on the Voice to Parliament, to be held on Thursday 6 July, from 10.00am to 11.30am.
Please join me in hearing from speakers such as the Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians.
The forum will provide you with an opportunity to hear about the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament and ask any questions you may have. See our previous weekly article for further information about councils referendum disclosure obligations.
Letter to Premier
I have written to the Premier, the Hon Chris Minns MP, to seek a meeting to discuss how we can best grow a productive and collaborative relationship between our two spheres of government.
Of course, the Intergovernmental Agreement between the NSW Government and Local Government NSW will be a key part of this, and I am heartened that the NSW Government has committed to finalising this agreement, which is currently under development.
I look forward to updating you further on this in coming weeks.
A reminder that applications for the prestigious AR Bluett Awards, awarded annually since 1945, are now open, until 31 July 2023.
The award is presented in two categories, one for city and regional councils, and one for rural councils, and recognises excellence and progress of a council.
The Bluett Awards will be presented at our Annual Conference in November.
Expressions of Interest to host an LGNSW Event
The deadline is fast approaching for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from member councils that would like to host an LGNSW event in either 2025 or 2026:
• Destination and Visitor Economy Conference
• Water Management Conference
• LGNSW Annual Conference
Why should you host?
Hosting an LGNSW conference provides an opportunity to increase the direct economic impact in your local economy and is a great way to showcase your LGA to your council colleagues from across NSW.
EOIs will close at 5pm on Friday 14 July 2023 and will be evaluated by the end of August 2023. For more information visit the website to submit an application.
We look forward, as always, to seeing the extraordinary amount and depth of creative ideas from NSW Councils.
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