President's Message 25 June 2020

I am pleased to let you know Local Government NSW anticipates the new draft Local Government (State) Award 2020 will take effect from the first full pay period to commence on or after 1 July 2020, pending ratification by the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) of NSW on 26 June 2020.

This timeline is of course dependent on whether the Offer is accepted following the consultation processes being undertaken by Industry unions. The Offer is for a three-year award and, if accepted and approved by the IRC, it will provide for a 1.5 per cent increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020, a 2 per cent increase from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021; and a further 2 per cent from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022.

Meanwhile, this week we learnt elected local government representatives will not receive the remuneration increase they deserve after the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal determined there be no increase in mayoral and councillor fees for the 2020/21 financial year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) despite LGNSW advocacy efforts.  The Tribunal also made several changes to the categorisation of councils; refer to the LGNSW website for details. For further information, email LGNSW Workplace Relations Unit.

LATEST ADVOCACY WINS!

  • NSW government’s IPART response will result in fairer council rates. Tough times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, bushfires, drought and floods have highlighted the critical importance of allowing councils greater capacity to defer rate increases and provide rate relief to members of their communities. It is in this context that we welcomed the government’s support for many of the reforms proposed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).  This is the direct result of our persistent advocacy for a fairer and more modern rating system. I look forward to updating you soon about the results of our continued consultation with the government on the many other recommendations still on the table. For further information, email Shaun McBride LGNSW Chief Economist.

HELP AMPLIFY OUR SECTOR'S ADVOCACY WORK

Council-led resource recovery and a more sustainable and economical waste and recycling system in NSW will be critically important when export bans are implemented from July 2021 through to July 2024. However, the Australian government’s recent decision to delay the ban on waste glass exports to 1 January 2021 (due to COVID-19), combined with more and more countries refusing to take Australia’s recycled waste exports, indicate there’s still not enough being done to address our mounting waste problem.

LGNSW continues to represent you to ensure all levels of government maintain the policy reform momentum backed by recurrent funding sourced from the reinvestment of the Waste Levy. For further information, email Susy Cenedese, Strategy Manager – Environment.

What can your council do to support our advocacy?
  • Endorse our Save Our Recycling Mayoral Minute and join our sector-wide Save our Recycling campaign, which asks the State Government to reinvest the Waste Levy.
  • Expedite development of any local resource recovery and reprocessing infrastructure project proposals your council / group of councils may have. It is important we’re ready should the NSW Government heed the call to "Save Our Recycling" and reinvest the Waste Levy.

REMINDER

Register now for the LGNSW online Water Conference on 16 July 2020 with special guest the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Water, Dr Jim Bentley, Chief Executive Officer, Water Department of Planning Industry and the Environment, and Professor Stuart Khan, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of NSW.