Council hosted a visit from the president of LGNSW Keith Rhoades AFSM and Chief Executive Officer Donna Rygate on May 29 to discuss the range of services available to Dungog Shire Council. The LGNSW has as members all councils of NSW, as well as 11 county councils and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council. The range of services that are provided are targeted to providing the strongest professional support to the local government sector in general and to specific councils as required. They include:
- Advocating and lobbying all spheres of government, industry and businesses to strengthen and protect councils and communities in NSW.
- Representing NSW local government on national bodies like the Australian Local Government Association.
- Promoting a positive image of NSW councils via the media and through campaigns, including LG Week and other awards programs.
- Running Sustainable Choice, a membership-based program to help councils in NSW integrate sustainability into their procurement systems.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET
The federal government handed down its Budget on May 3 and contained the key elements of interest for the local government sector with regard to the Roads to Recovery Program, and the scheduled end to the indexation freeze on Financial Assistance Grants. The local government sector can breathe a sigh of relief that the indexation on Financial Assistance Grants will resume. The announcement that the roads to Recovery program will extend beyond 2018/19 and increase by $50 million per annum, however there is a delay before the additional funding kicks in, and the funding boost will be spread nationally.
NSW GOVERNMENT PLANNING INITIATIVES
LGNSW Chief Executive Donna Rygate attended a briefing at NSW Parliament House regarding the next phase of planning reform. The Minister for Planning Rob Stokes explained the NSW government’s intention to now progress elements of its previous planning reforms that had broad agreement, as well as other ideas that have emerged. Mr Stokes indicated that feedback would be sought on the concepts and on an exposure draft bill with a view to its introduction into the Parliament in the second half of this year. LGNSW welcomes the Minister for Planning’s initiative, noting that our sector broadly supports this planning reform, and looks forward to working with the government to resolve details of its proposals. LGNSW is keen to see appropriate planning roles and responsibilities resting with local councils and communities.
CONTAINER RECYCLING PROGRAM
The Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) Beverage Container Recycling Program is now open for applications. Since 2009, the grants provided through the program have distributed over $1.6 million.
This year over $440,000 in grant funds is available and groups and organisations are able to apply for up to $20,000 to improve recycling infrastructure, education and awareness within their community.
Applications to the program will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Their project has a focus on the recycling of beverage containers away from home
- Improves recycling and waste management infrastructure and/or
- Educates the public on the importance of recycling
- Has benefits for the whole community.
Applications close July 1 and winning applicants will be notified by August 1. More information about the grant eligibility requirements, FAQs and Terms and Conditions are available on the KAB website. For more details email email@example.com or phone 02 9687 9396. Contact LGNSW on 02 9242 4000.