DELEGATES began the registration process at 3pm today, meaning the annual Local Government NSW conference in Coffs Harbour is just hours from starting.
Local Government reform, and the implications for NSW councils and their communities, will be the main focus of discussions, according to LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM.
Cr Rhoades said the local government sector in NSW is facing an extraordinary period of change following the announcement by the NSW Government of the Fit For The Future reform package.
"Many councils are looking forward to hearing first hand from the NSW Premier, the Hon Mike Baird MP, on how his Government intends to work with and support all NSW councils," he said.
"While some councils have responded positively to the package, others have concerns about what will happen if they don't meet the government's criteria of scale and capacity.
"Hopefully the NSW Premier and the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP, who will address the conference on day two and take part in a facilitated Q & A session, use this opportunity to shed some light on such issues.
"The conference will also deal with a number of other issues impacting councils including the Federal Government's freeze on Financial Assistance Grants, which will leave a gaping $288 million hole in local government funding over the next three years.
"Other topics submitted by councils for discussion include utility privatisation and street lighting costs, public library funding, cost shifting, affordable housing, family day care and the waste levy - to name just a few."