LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM is shown on a TV monitor appearing at Parliamentary Inquiry (via remote access) to discuss the challenges of appropriate healthcare delivery in rural, regional and remote communities.
6 December 2023
Congratulations to our Environment Awards winners
LGNSW’s Excellence in the Environment Awards was held this week at The Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens, where we hosted many delighted award recipients.
The awards recognise outstanding achievements by NSW councils in managing and protecting the environment.
I would like to congratulate all the winners for their achievements.
See complete list of award winners
Thanks to our event partner Landcom, and category partners, Active Super, WolfPeak, Cleanaway, the Water Directorate, Safework NSW, NSW Environment Protection Authority, Office of Energy and Climate Change, Department of Planning and Environment and Department of Primary Industries.
Proposed density reforms
Last week the NSW Government announced proposed changes to the planning system.
The changes seek to force councils to lift long-standing exclusions on building terraces, townhouses, and multi-storey apartment blocks across various local government areas where they are now not permitted in some local zones.
All councils seek urgent action to address the housing and homelessness crisis, but this must be done in collaboration with communities and their democratically elected councils.
Councils have undertaken strategic planning for their communities based on the capacity of services and the availability of infrastructure.
Increases in density must be accompanied by investment in infrastructure to ensure quality of life for all communities is improved, and not worsened.
We know our councils understand their communities and are always best placed to deliver housing diversity that is the best fit for local character and contributes to making great living places.
I welcome Minister Scully committing to listening to feedback from councils and communities over the coming months as these reforms are exhibited, to ensure negative impacts of wide-ranging reforms can be avoided.
Consultation starts this week and LGNSW will be making a submission. We will alert all members to opportunities for input soon.
Over recent weeks, LGNSW has been engaging with the Government and members of the crossbench to amend proposed legislation that seeks to increase vibrancy in the night-time economies across the state through two pieces of legislation – the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner Bill 2023 and the 24-Hour Economy Legislation Amendment (Vibrancy Reforms) Bill 2023.
Essentially, the legislation makes it easier for “Special Entertainment Precincts” to be established, sets out changes to the regulation of noise complaints - which will now rest with Liquor & Gaming NSW - and it seeks to confirm the role and operations of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner.
LGNSW identified a number of issues with the legislation, but in particular expressed concerns at the potential for a State Government to introduce a “Special Entertainment Precinct” without council involvement or endorsement.
I appreciate the Minister taking on board the issues we raised, and thank the members of the crossbench for successfully moving an amendment that clarified the language to make it clear that a Special Entertainment Precinct can be created only at the instigation or request of a local council.
As the Minister reiterated in his second reading speech, “councils have the powers to designate the areas where the rules change as they are best positioned to balance the needs of their communities, businesses and night-time economies.”
The NSW Government has also indicated there will be a second tranche of reforms in 2024 which will also provide an opportunity to address any unintended consequences of this first set.
LGNSW will continue to monitor their implementation and welcomes feedback from councils to [email protected].
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