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LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM receives the Councillor Lilliane Brady OAM Award from Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig and Minister for Women Jodie Harrison.

LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM receives the Councillor Lilliane Brady OAM Award from Minister for Women Jodie Harrison and Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig.

10 October 2023

Our hearts are with Bega Valley Shire

I’m sure I speak on behalf of all in saying our hearts are with Bega Valley Shire and all those impacted by last week’s fires.

Ominously, these fires marked the first disaster declaration of what is tipped to be the worst fire season in NSW since 2019-20.

I know councillors and their staff will again be on the frontlines this summer: some fighting the fires alongside our emergency service agencies and all helping our communities get back on their feet in the aftermath.

It’s a worrying time, particularly when so many councils and communities across our state are still trudging the long road to recovery after disasters of recent years.

Please remember that LGNSW represents you on the State Recovery Committee and can escalate key issues of concern your councils are facing.

To raise any matters with LGNSW, please email our Director Advocacy Damian Thomas.

Emergency services response from Minister Hoenig

I alerted you two weeks ago that Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib had written to respond to my letter seeking an update on a foreshadowed review of emergency services expenditure.

Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig has also now responded, confirming his commitment to the financial sustainability of councils and linking the emergency services funding issue to IPART’s review of the rate peg methodology and an upcoming review of the financial model for local government.

Read his letter in full

You may recall the Government’s pre-election letter to LGNSW pledging a review of the financial modelling of councils, and the then-Opposition’s concerns about the decade-long practice of cost shifting by the former government that had “undermined the financial sustainability of the local government sector”.

I’m encouraged by Minister Hoenig’s ongoing commitment to this review, and look forward to working with him and the State Government to combat the impact of cost shifting on the financial sustainability of our councils and the communities we serve.

Minister’s Awards for Women in Local Government

Increasing the number of women at all levels of local government has always been a cause close to my heart, so I was delighted to be invited to the 16th annual Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government at Parliament House last week.

The event, co-hosted by Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig and Minister for Women Jodie Harrison, was a true celebration of progress, with a record number of nominations and a standard of excellence that shows how far women have come in the council sphere.

I was incredibly honoured to receive the Councillor Lilliane Brady OAM Award, named for the late, great Cobar Mayor who sadly passed away in 2021 after 40 years of tireless and unstinting service to her community.

But I was even more excited to be part of the formal recognition of my fellow award winners, all of whom are a wonderful demonstration of just why we need more women in local government.

A big shout out to councillors Sarah Ndiaye, of Byron Shire Council, and Judy Hannan MP, of Wollondilly Shire Council, who took out the Elected Representative Awards in the Regional/Rural and Metro categories, and to Wollondilly Shire’s CEO Ben Taylor, who was named the 2023 Champion of Change.

And an equally loud round of applause for the brilliant winners of the council staff categories: Mary Boustani (Inner West), Rachael Abberton (Midcoast), Melissa Maccallum (Orange City), Renee Traynor (Canterbury-Bankstown), Liz Murphy (Hawkesbury City), Lucy Kinsley PSM (Lismore City), Helen Plummer (Lake Macquarie City), Keira Grundy (Mosman), and Jenna Dowell (Upper Hunter Shire).

Our congratulations also go to Armidale Regional and Inner West councils, which won the Employment Diversity Awards in the Regional and Metro categories.

Read more about the various award categories

2023 Excellence in Environment Awards

The 43 finalists in LGNSW’s 2023 Excellence in Environment Awards have just been released, as we begin the countdown to the Awards Ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday 5 December.

Our fantastic finalists are in the running across a range of 13 categories from Asbestos Management to (Net) Zero Emissions, and represent best-practice in the management and protection of their local environments.

The ceremony is preceded by a special forum showcasing these projects, so you won’t want to miss the opportunity to really drill down into the challenges overcome, solutions developed, and environmental outcomes delivered.

Tickets are now on sale and you can check out the list of finalists on the awards website.



Darriea sign-off