15-36 – Release of IPART’s Fit for the Future report – Announcement of Stronger Communities Fund

The NSW Government has released the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) Assessment of Council Fit for the Future Proposals report. There will be a final 30-day consultation opportunity to inform the Government’s position on local government reform and respond to the IPART findings. A Stronger Communities Fund has been announced for merging councils.

15-35 – State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) – Strategic Emergency Operations Centre Review – Inventory Survey

The deadline for completion of the inventory survey, which was distributed to councils via Regional Emergency Management Officers in late August 2015, has been extended to 30 October 2015.

15-34 – Annual Code of Conduct Complaints Reporting

Under the Model Code of Conduct Procedures, each council’s complaints coordinator must report annually on a range of complaint statistics to their council and to the Office of Local Government within 3 months of the end of September. The Model Code of Conduct Complaints 2015 collection form has been updated in response to feedback from the sector and to align reporting with the Your Council (previously Comparatives) publication.

15-33 – Review of Swimming Pool Barrier Requirements

The Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP, has commissioned an independent review of backyard swimming pool barrier requirements. The Review is being undertaken by Mr Michael Lambert. The review aims to simplify the regulatory framework and encourage greater barrier compliance in order to help reduce child drowning deaths and near drowning injuries.

15-32 – Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program – Successful Applicants in Year Two

Applications for year two of the Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program have now been assessed and 28 projects with a total project value of $294,032 will receive funding. Commencing in 2014/15, the NSW Government committed $900,000 over 3 years to the Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program. The 2016/2017 grants process will commence in the second quarter of 2016.

15-31 – Managing Aggressive Dogs in the Community – Responsibilities of Councils

Councils are reminded of responsibilities under the Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act) to help protect their community against the risk of attacks by aggressive dogs. Councils are also encouraged to conduct and maintain records of regular inspections of prescribed enclosures for categorised dogs.

15-30 – Amendments to Australian Accounting Standards – Fair Value Disclosures of Not-for-Profit Public Sector Entities

The Australian Accounting Standards Board has issued an amending standard (AASB 2015-7) changing the levels of disclosure councils need to make in relation to the fair value for particular assets.

15-28 – Joint Organisation Pilot: progress and upcoming consultation

On 10 July 2015 representatives from the five pilot Joint Organisations (JOs), and other key stakeholders, participated in a workshop to mark the midpoint in the JO pilot process. The workshop was an opportunity to reflect on the successes, challenges and learning from the pilot to date and to input into the policy framework for the enablement of JOs.

15-29 – Auditing of the Report on Infrastructure Assets (Special Schedule 7)

The 2013/14 Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting (Update 22) advised that the Report on Infrastructure Assets (Special Schedule 7) would be audited from 2015 onwards. In recognition of work councils are currently undertaking associated with the Fit for the Future reform process, this audit will now be phased in over three stages.

15-27 – Review of Swimming Pool Barrier Requirements

The Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP, has commissioned an independent review of backyard swimming pool barrier requirements to increase backyard pool safety. Councils are encouraged to provide information about backyard pool safety and compliance through the review process.