Media Release: LGA Conference opens with Outstanding Service Awards

28 October 2012

The Local Government Association of NSW’s (LGA) final annual conference officially opened in Dubbo today with a special address from the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Don Page MP, and the presentation of Outstanding Service Awards for long servicing NSW councillors.

Speaking at the conference launch, President of the Local Government Association, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said next year the LGA will amalgamate with the Shires Association of NSW, creating a single peak body to increase the credibility and strengthen the Local Government sector in NSW, particularly when it comes to influencing other spheres of government on legislation and important policy issues.

“I’m pleased to announce the name of the new united Association will be Local Government NSW. Simple, succinct, with no confusion about who we are and what we do,” said Cr Rhoades.

“It’s quite fitting, that while our Associations undergo a transformation of sorts, so too is the Local Government sector in NSW, including reviews of the NSW Local Government Act, the viability and structures of the Local Government sector and the NSW Planning System.”

“I look forward to hearing on the progress and next steps of the independent Local Government Review Panel who will be fielding question from councillors on the final day of the conference, as well as an update from the man at the centre of the biggest Planning shake-up in our state’s history – the Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.”

Cr Rhoades did raise concerns in his opening address about several funding issues concerning the Local Government sector in NSW, including the much-needed Royalties for Regions funding to address the detrimental impacts on regional communities from mining companies, as well as the ever-increasing waste levy imposed on councils by the State Government.

“The intention and purpose of the waste levy is to fund waste reduction programs. However, it seems the waste levy in its current form is nothing more than a tax; a tax that isn’t very effective in reducing illegally dumped rubbish; a tax that councils are collecting for the State Government!” said Cr Rhoades.

“The official opening of the LGA Conference also saw *ten NSW councillors recognised for their commitment and service to Local Government.

“Each year, the LGA presents the esteemed Local Government Outstanding Service Awards to acknowledge mayors and councillors for 20 years or more service to the sector.”

“This year’s Outstanding Service Awards were today awarded to Cr Pat Reilly (Willoughby City Council), Cr Le Lam (Auburn City Council), Cr Allan Ezzy APM (Holroyd City Council), Dr Ian Tiley (Clarence Valley Council), and Cr Susan Hoopmann JP (Hunters Hill Council).”

“Also recognised today, were Councillors Cr Gregory Matthews (Dubbo City Council), Cr Alan Pendleton (Blacktown City Council), Cr Adam Marshall (Gunnedah Shire Council), Cr Greg Davies (Penrith City Council), Cr Le Lam (Auburn City Council) and Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM who were presented with the honorary title of Emeritus Mayor, serving a minimum of three one-year terms as Mayor.”

“The enthusiasm and passion that these ten hard-working individuals have demonstrated throughout their career in Local Government is a true testament to their character and how they have helped to shape their local communities.

“Strong leadership at all levels is important in councils, as is commitment, loyalty and reliability when serving local communities. These Awards recognise our tireless community leaders for their hard work in all of these areas,” he said.

Media Enquiries
Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM         President, Local Government Association: 0408 256 405 
Alexandra Power                      LGSA Senior Media Officer: 0408 603 093