A pledge to restore positive and constructive relationships between State and local governments has been endorsed by Local Government NSW (LGNSW), the peak body for councils across NSW.
The promise – announced today by Labor leader Michael Daley at an event in Sydney with LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott and the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore – will be set down in a new intergovernmental agreement signed by Mr Daley and LGNSW should Labor be elected this weekend.
The agreement would commit the new government to:
- Consultation with local government before the introduction of any legislation affecting councils
- Regular meetings with mayors, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney
- Planning reforms, including an end to developer-led spot rezoning
- An end to “Planned Precincts” introduced by the current NSW Government
- Allow councils that wish to de-amalgamate to do so.
It was warmly welcomed by LGNSW President Linda Scott, who described a collaborative approach across all levels of government as the most productive and constructive way to deliver real results for the people of NSW.
“Local Government NSW welcomes Labor’s announcement, having long called for an equal partnership between State and local governments,” Cr Scott said.
“A signed agreement and collaborative working partnership between local and state governments is in the community’s interest.
“State and local governments working as equal partners must be achieved for the public good.
“I call on the Premier to match Labor’s commitment to create a new agreement with LGNSW, which ensures regular meetings with mayors, consultation before the introduction of any legislation affecting councils and delivers planning reforms called for by local governments.”
Cr Scott said councils were the closest level of government to the community, and research consistently reported they were considered more trustworthy than State and Federal governments.
An Essential poll conducted in late in 2018 found 42 per cent of respondents trusted their local council compared with 31% for State Government and 28% for the federal tier of government.
Earlier research conducted in 2014 by the UTS Centre for Local Government found 75% of Australians thought local government was best able to make decisions about their local area, compared with 26% who thought the state government was best able, and just 2% who nominated the federal government.
“Local government is always seeking to work productively and constructively with the other tiers of government,” Cr Scott said.
“It’s what our communities want and it is what we are committed to achieving: an equal partnership with all tiers of government based on collaboration and consultation.
“That’s how we build a better future, which is a goal we all share.”
LGNSW is seeking a range of commitments from all parties and candidates contesting the NSW State Election, including on recycling, public libraries and infrastructure, details of which can be found at www.lgnsw.org.au/policy/nsw-election-priorities-2019