The Local Government Association of NSW and the Shires Association of NSW have officially amalgamated to become one association called Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

Joint President of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades, described the move as a ‘momentous day’ for the NSW local government sector, with the new association now representing all 152 general councils and the 12 special purpose councils of the Aboriginal Land Council of NSW.

2013 is shaping up to be the ‘year of reform’ for Local Government in NSW with the Independent Local Government Review Panel soon to release its third and final discussion paper, and the Local Government Act 1993 and the entire NSW planning system currently under review,” said Cr Rhoades.

“Unifying the two former associations under the Local Government NSW banner will ensure we are better positioned to lobby the NSW and Australian Governments and drive change on behalf of our member councils.”

“In becoming Local Government NSW, it’s important that we take the opportunity to listen to our membership. We will soon conduct a comprehensive survey with all of our member councils and key stakeholders to determine member priorities and the way forward for the new association.”

Joint President of Local Government NSW, Cr Ray Donald, said the Interim Board will be reviewing how it operates and will be visiting many member councils over the next six months to gain their input into the various issues affecting Local Government and highlight the benefits of one association.

“In the meantime, the day-to-day operations of Local Government NSW will continue business as usual with the former Office Bearers of the LGSA comprising the Interim Board of the new association, ensuring the ongoing representation of our members,” said Cr Donald.

“The Local Government Association of NSW and the Shires Associations of NSW have been working together for more than a century and the dissolution of these two historical associations is the end of an era, but more importantly, the beginning of a very significant new chapter.”

“In keeping with the reforms and evolution of the NSW Local Government sector currently taking place, Local Government NSW will lead the way for its member councils and play a fundamental role in shaping and cementing Local Government’s place in the Australian governance system.”

The new 24 person Board of Local Government NSW and the first President, two Vice Presidents (Metropolitan and Country) and Treasurer will be voted on by council delegates at the first LGNSW Annual Conference to be held at Sydney Town Hall from 1-3 October 2013.