Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Determined
Memorandum by the Chief Executive Officer
This memorandum seeks Council's consideration of the nomination of Councillors as voting delegates to the Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW) Annual Conference and provides an update on the structure of the Annual Conference for 2021.
The conference is the main policy-making event for the local government sector. Delegates vote on motions which determine the policies and priorities for LGNSW and the sector. Delegates also vote for the LGNSW Board.
The postponement of local government elections in NSW has had a significant flow-on effect for LGNSW’s Annual Conference, previously scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency Sydney from 28 to 30 November 2021.
As a result, LGNSW has decided to split the annual conference event into two components:
· a one-hour Annual Conference to present the annual report and financial reports, which will be conducted online from 9.30am on Monday 29 November 2021; and
· a Special Conference, including the debate and resolution of motions, currently scheduled to be held in-person at the Hyatt Regency Sydney from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March 2022.
As a registered organisation, LGNSW is bound by a number of legal obligations, including the need to report back to members on financial performance within six months of the end of the 2020/21 financial year. For this reason, an Annual Conference must be held within the relevant time period.
LGNSW’s Annual Conference has traditionally provided the opportunity for member councils to bring forward policy motions for debate and resolution, thus helping to set the advocacy agenda for the year to come. Member feedback following the 2020 online conference experience indicated a strong preference for an in-person event at which more motions could be debated and resolved.
Motions will now be debated and resolved at LGNSW’s Special Conference (Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March 2022).
The deadline for accepting motions for inclusion in the Special Conference business paper is Sunday 30 January 2022.
Registration to Attend the Annual Conference Online Event
Registrations for the Annual Conference online event on 29 November 2021 are now open. There will be no registration fees charged for the 2021 online annual conference.
The City of Sydney is entitled to register up to 10 voting delegates. It is proposed that Council nominates the Lord Mayor and all Councillors to attend.
The deadline to provide LGNSW with the names of voting delegates is Tuesday 5 October 2021. Additional nominations received after the closing date cannot be accepted. However, the names of voting delegates may be substituted at any time, in line with Rule 34 of the LGNSW Rules.
Voting delegates may not appoint a proxy to attend or vote at formal business sessions on their behalf.
As 2021 is a Board election year, and to avoid any election irregularities, LGNSW has asked the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to conduct and finalise the election so it does not clash with the local government election.
Due to Covid-related restrictions, the election for the LGNSW Board will be undertaken via postal ballot. The deadline to provide LGNSW with the names of voting delegates for the Board election is Tuesday 5 October 2021.
The postal ballot will open 27 October 2021 and close 24 November 2021.
Special Conference 2022
The deadline to provide LGNSW with the names of voting delegates is Thursday 17 February 2022.
A further memorandum, nominating voting delegates for the Special Conference and providing information on the event will be put to Council for endorsement following the 4 December 2021 election.
Councillors' Expenses and Facilities Policy
Councillors Craig Chung, Kerryn Phelps, Linda Scott, Jess Scully and Angela Vithoulkas were the City of Sydney delegates at the online 2020 LGNSW Conference. Expenditure incurred for the 2020 conference totalled $264.
The Councillors' Expenses and Facilities Policy 2017 provides for Councillors to attend the LGNSW Annual Conference at the City’s expense. Funds are available in the 2021/22 operating budget to cover registration fees, travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by Councillors.
Chief Executive Officer
Moved by the Chair (the Lord Mayor), seconded by Councillor Scully –
It is resolved that:
(A) Council appoint the Lord Mayor and all Councillors as its voting delegates at the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Annual Conference to be held online on 29 November 2021;
(B) Council appoint the Lord Mayor and all Councillors as its voting delegates for the 2021 Local Government NSW Board election to be held via postal vote conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission;
(C) all registration fees and other reasonable expenses associated with the attendance of Councillors at the conference be met by the City in accordance with the Councillors' Expenses and Facilities Policy 2017; and
(D) Council note that a Special Conference, including the debate and resolution of motions, is currently scheduled to be held in-person at the Hyatt Regency Sydney from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March 2022, and that a further memorandum will come to Council with details of this event following the 4 December 2021 Local Government election.
Report author: Erin Cashman
Publication date: 20/09/2021
Date of decision: 20/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 20/09/2021 - Council