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Administrator’s message – Attending the 2023 LGNSW Annual Conference

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It was great to attend this year’s LGNSW Annual Conference from 12 – 14 November alongside Council’s CEO, David Farmer recently. 

The conference saw a high turnout of council representatives converging in Rosehill, NSW, where Councillors from all over the state debated and voted on key industry matters, and observed presentations by Members of Parliament (MPs), panellists, and other speakers. 

It’s clear that the key challenges for councils are largely consistent across the state. In particular, the challenge to address increasing demand for services and infrastructure with diminishing and/or inconsistent financial resources to do so due to a variety of external pressures (inflation, state government cost shifting etc.) has been a primary takeaway from the conference. The ability for councils to keep pace with these external pressures and the financial impacts of lifts in service provision is proving increasingly difficult for councils. 

During the conference, motions are presented for Council delegates to cast their vote on. I was pleased to support a number of items, including items 18 and 26 which were motions passed to review the Local Government Act 1993, as I’m pleased to see reform is proposed here. 

Other motions passed, including items 3 and 5, supported further investigation into financial sustainability of councils, and moved to consider the state of local government assets and the emergency services levy – two key matters which have major impacts on councils’ bottom lines and long-term financial sustainability. 

Changes to how these matters are dealt with will hopefully bring positive changes for local government and ultimately, for you – the community – going forward. 

Rik Hart, Administrator

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