President's Message



Phone: 02 9242 4000 
[email protected]

LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM

Pictured: Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship Trustee, Cr Trish Frail | 2023 Scholarship recipient Cr Yvonne Weldon from the City of Sydney | LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM. 

13 February 2024

Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship 2024 underway

I’m pleased to report that the Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship Trustees and I are currently planning for the 2024 scholarship round which will be opening on the 7 March 2024. 

Cr Trish Frail (Brewarrina Shire Council) and I were recently honored to present a certificate to one of the two 2023 Cr Pat Dixon Memorial Scholarship recipients Cr Yvonne Weldon from the City of Sydney. Joshua Staines from Penrith City Council was sadly unable to attend this meeting but will also receive a certificate. 

Cr Weldon told the trustees she had the privilege of meeting Aunty Pat when she was alive. She reflected with the trustees on the trailblazing career Pat Dixon had as a strong local leader in the Armidale community. 

She has left a legacy that continues to be remembered through this scholarship program. It is fitting that the scholarship is supporting current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to improve their communities through the closest level of government to the people. 

The trustees want to reach all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors and staff in local government in NSW to let them know about this upcoming scholarship opportunity. 

Eligible applicants can apply for a scholarship of up to $5,000 to support their further study, professional development, or research. 

We invite any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councillors or staff interested in applying for the scholarship to contact the LGNSW social and community advocacy team by emailing [email protected],au.

De-amalgamation Bill

The NSW Government has introduced the Local Government Amendment (De-amalgamations) Bill 2024 to parliament, seeking to remove the provision of the Local Government Act that requires the NSW Government to fund the de-amalgamation of forcibly amalgamated councils.

I have written to Minister Hoenig asking that he reconsider this position, as the decision not to fund council de-amalgamations will make it virtually impossible for councils wishing to de-amalgamate.

Forced amalgamations were a decision of the State Government. If a council and its community choose to reverse this State Government decision, then all associated costs should also be borne by the State Government – and not by councils and their communities.

It is a conference-endorsed position of Local Government NSW that all upfront financial costs of de-amalgamation for new councils and ongoing financial costs necessitated by the demerger process be fully funded directly following the Minister’s support of a de-amalgamation proposal. 

Meetings at parliament 

I had a busy day of meetings at Parliament House on Thursday last week, meeting with:

    • the Leader of the Nationals, and Shadow Minister for Regional NSW, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dugald Saunders MP,
    • The Treasurer, Daniel Mookhey MLC
    • Shadow Assistant Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Shadow Assistant Minister for Housing, Shadow Assistant Minister for Youth, and Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Local Government, Rory Amon MP
    • Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Heritage, the Hon Kevin Anderson MP
    • Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon. Paul Scully MP
    • Minister for Water, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Youth, and Minister for the North Coast, the Hon. Rose Jackson MLC

Across the meetings I raised priorities of the local government sector, including the need for closer involvement of local government on planning reforms, the foreshadowed review of the Emergency Services Levy, the review of the financial model

for local government, the ever-increasing burden of cost-shifting, the review of Club grants and the challenges facing councils right across NSW including the pressures on the provision of adequate funding for arts, cultural and heritage activities.

I am pleased that Minister Jackson and Minister Scully have agreed to hold a roundtable with mayors from across NSW on planning and housing reforms, and I hope to be able to bring you more information on this shortly.

I was also very pleased to see that Adam Marshall MP has re-introduced a notice of motion for his private members bill seeking to resolve the issue of the Red Fleet once and for all.

Closing the Gap partnership agreement signing 

I was so pleased to join the Premier and the Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations yesterday at the signing of a NSW Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Communities get the best outcomes when governments listen to the people they serve and work collaboratively with each other, to implement the changes needed to improve lives.

Councils and our communities have a lot to gain from continuing to build strong relationships with local Aboriginal communities and organisations. We see many best practice examples of projects, partnerships, policies, and services being delivered in collaboration with councils and Aboriginal organisations.

The recent partnership stocktakes undertaken in 2022 by NSW Aboriginal Affairs found that 68 local governments were involved in place-based or policy-based partnerships of sorts.

The signing of this agreement will help councils work in partnership with other spheres of Government and NSW CAPO, to support long-lasting improvements in the lives of Aboriginal people in NSW.

Webinar: Net Zero Community Emissions | Thursday 14 March

LGNSW will again be hosting a series of Net Zero webinars in 2024.

The first, discussing Net Zero Community Emissions, will take you on a deep dive into the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) net zero community emissions strategy template and provide you with the tools to develop a net zero community emissions strategy for your council.

Ironbark Sustainability will unpack key net zero community emissions concepts and step you through the process of developing a strategy.

In addition, we will have two councils provide insights on the challenges and big wins achieved through the development of their net zero community emissions strategy.

Register today > 

Councillor Stephen Heyward

It’s with deep sadness that I have to report the death of another member of our local government family.

Councillor Stephen Heyward of Wentworth Shire Council passed away last Wednesday.

On behalf of Local Government NSW, I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife and family.



Darriea sign-off