President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

Parliamentary Friends of Local Government at Parliament House.

Attending the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of Local Government for the 58th Parliament.

8 August 2023

Busy week meeting with Parliamentarians

With the resumption of Parliament this week coinciding with Local Government week, I took the opportunity to meet with several members of Parliament to highlight the challenges, priorities and opportunities for our sector.

Specifically, we discussed our advocacy priorities and our concerns about the financial sustainability of the sector.

I met with Dr Amanda Cohn MLC, Greens spokesperson for Local Government; Dr Joe McGirr MP; The Hon Mark Banasiak MLC; and Wendy Tuckerman MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government.

I was also delighted to attend the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of Local Government for the 58th Parliament. This multi-partisan group of Parliamentarians from both Houses provides an important forum for discussion of key issues affecting our sector.

I look forward to supporting the group going forward.

I also attended the meeting of the Country Mayors Association, which included addresses from sitting Ministers Penny Sharpe MLC, Tara Moriarty MLC, the Leader of the Opposition Mark Speakman, Shadow Ministers Dugald Saunders MP and Wendy Tuckerman MP, as well as from the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

New Chief Executive

As you may have seen in my message last Friday, the Board of LGNSW has endorsed the appointment of our new Chief Executive, David Reynolds, who has been the Group Manager Shire Strategy with The Hills Shire Council for five years.

Prior to this he was the Director Customer and Corporate Strategy at Camden Council for three years.

He also did a lengthy stint at Blacktown City Council and knows local government well.

It’s pleasing that we have been able to find someone of David’s calibre and expertise and it’s all the more gratifying that he comes with such a depth of experience with the local government sector.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome David to LGNSW, where I’m sure he will be an enormous asset.

David will begin the role on September 11.

Local Government Week Awards

Last Thursday night we held the local Government Week Awards at Doltone House in Sydney.

The awards celebrate the great spectrum of work and projects, ideas and experiences that local councils in NSW have delivered to their communities.

Fourteen councils won awards from a total of 116 entries. My warmest congratulations to them.

Download full list of winners

We also inaugurated a new award category, recognising excellence in individuals not serving or working within councils but contributing to the local government sector. The first winner of this new award is a truly exceptional servant to our sector, Mr Leo Demer.

Leo reinvented traditional insurance, pioneering Local Government Mutual Schemes in Australia. The self-insurance model changed the market forever, providing councils with stability and confidence while building safer workplaces and communities. His revolutionary idea created an industry-based solution, delivering significant premium savings to local government.

I express my heartfelt thanks to Leo on behalf of our sector.

NEMA Coordination and Planning Officer Network

In a positive step, the Coordinator General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Brendan Moon AM, has advised of enhancements to the Recovery Support and Regional Planning Officer Network.

These are being rolled out over the next 18 months to better partner with States and territories to support communities affected by disasters.

The renamed “Coordination and Planning Officers” will be strategically positioned in metro and key regional areas and be upskilled in disaster planning with a thorough knowledge of Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and broader Commonwealth support programs.

Read NEMA’s letter

LGNSW will continue to call for NEMA officers to be made available to more communities and permanently embedded, in recognition of the increasing frequency, scale and long recovery timeframes of natural disasters.

Western Division Councils Conference – Cobar

I’m looking forward to attending the Western Division Councils of NSW conference in Cobar this week (9-11 August), the theme of which is “Recognising what is needed in Western NSW”.

This unique part of our State is facing many pressing issues and this gathering will be an excellent opportunity to delve deeper and find ways forward.

I hope to see many of you there.


Darriea sign-off