President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

President Darriea Turley and CE Scott Phillips with Parkes Shire officials.

LGNSW President Darriea Turley and CE Scott Phillips with Parkes Shire manager Kent Boyd, Mayor Ken Keith and Cr Neil Wescott.

18 July 2023

Council visits a highlight of being President

As I’ve said numerous times in The Weekly, visiting our member councils around NSW is one of the real highlights of being your President.

Last week, the Chief Executive and I headed west again and visited mayors, councillors and general managers in Parkes Shire, Lachlan Shire, Bland Shire and Forbes Shire.

As with recent council visits in the past several months, there are consistent themes that continue to arise.

The issue of housing and a shortage of labour is making some aspects of life in these towns very difficult. For instance, one town would not have a police presence were it not for the fact that the council provides the accommodation for the lone policeman.

Staffing childcare centres is also proving problematic.

And then there’s the consistent issue of cost shifting, which is continuing to put undue pressure on all council budgets.

LGNSW will continue to advocate to the State Government to stop burdening councils with costs that rightly belong on the books of the State rather than councils.

All four councils we visited last week are well run and, despite the cost shifting, are providing fabulous services for their communities.

Funding for councils – Growing Regions Program

Applications for the Federal Government’s $600 million Growing Regions Program are now open.

You’ll recall that this new program was announced by the Australian Government last year following the discontinuation of the Building Better Regions Fund.

While we were disappointed to see that funding cease – particularly for councils that had already lodged applications – I encourage all eligible rural and regional councils to consider applying for this new program.

Councils can apply for grants of up to $15 million for capital works projects that deliver community and economic infrastructure projects across regional and rural Australia. For more information, see links in the below article.

Growing Regions open for business

AR Bluett Awards: Have your council’s achievements recognised – closing 31 July       

Entries for the 2023 AR Bluett Awards will close at the end of this month and I encourage all councils to consider applying.

The awards have been presented to councils at our Annual Conference each year for almost 80 years, recognising excellence and progress in local government.

Entry is open to all NSW councils irrespective of size or resources and the AR Bluett Trustees have ensured the application process is kept streamlined.

To learn more or have your council apply for these prestigious awards, visit the LGNSW website.

Excellence in the Environment Awards

The deadline is fast approaching to share your council's success stories and enter the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards 2023.

The awards are a celebration of a council's or individual's achievements in managing and protecting the environment.

There are 13 categories, and each award has four divisions based on the type of organisation and council's population base: 

  • Division A: for councils with a population less than 30,000
  • Division B: for councils with a population of 30,000 - 100,000
  • Division C: for councils with a population of more than 100,000
  • Division D: for JOs, ROCs and County Councils

Entries close at 5.00pm on Monday 31 July 2023.

Net Zero Webinar

Are you looking to save on energy costs and transition your council's pool facilities to net zero emissions? 

Join us for the third webinar of our FREE Towards Net Zero webinar series, Net Zero Pools, held in partnership with the NSW Government Sustainable Councils team.

This session will help those involved in the planning, management, and operation of pool facilities identify available opportunities to achieve energy efficiencies for net zero operations.

It’s on Tuesday 29 August at 10.00am and runs for 90 minutes.

In this webinar, you'll have the chance to access guidance through an interactive toolkit and business case templates for site specific net zero opportunities.


Darriea sign-off