Support for newly elected councillors
The Office of Local Government (OLG) is providing all newly elected councillors with comprehensive support to ensure they can serve their communities to the best of their abilities.
A Post-Election Guide has been provided to councils including information on what’s required in the first few weeks including holding the first council meeting, taking the oath/affirmation of office, and electing a mayor and deputy mayor.
OLG will also be holding a series of Hit the Ground Running webinars in 2022 to provide essential information to support councillors in serving their community and fulfilling their responsibilities.
Guidance has also been provided to councils on delivering mandatory induction training for the first time to equip councillors with the information they need to perform their role effectively as well as ongoing professional development.
Additionally, OLG has issued an updated edition of the Councillor Handbook to provide councillors with essential information to serve their community and fulfil their civic responsibilities.
If you require any assistance, please contact OLG’s Governance team on 4428 4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hit the Ground Running webinars
OLG’s 12-week online series of Hit the Ground Running webinars will be held each Saturday from 2pm, running for up to two hours, starting on 5 February 2022.
These comprehensive webinars will cover key elements of a councillor’s role and responsibilities as well as core areas such as financial management, the code of conduct, working together, strategic planning, Crown Land, and water.
If you are a new or returning councillor and wish to register your interest to attend a webinar, please complete the “Registration of Interest Form”, recordings of the webinars can also be found in the Council Portal.
You will be sent invitations to attend closer to the date of each webinar.
|Sat 5 Feb||Roles and responsibilities
Participants will understand everything councillors need to know to achieve positive community outcomes and understand the context in which councils operate. Participants will understand their council’s role in the local community, the different roles of a councillor and how to manage the challenges involved.
|Sat 12 Feb||Making the most of meetings
Participants will understand the purpose, process and expectations for council meetings and how to maximise the benefits.
|Sat 19 Feb||Integrated Planning and Reporting
Participants will understand how to engage with their community, set the long-term direction of council and ensure that money and other resources are used effectively. Participants will understand their obligations under Integrated Planning and Reporting, its effectiveness as a planning tool and be updated regarding general strengths and areas for development.
|Sat 26 Feb||Internal audit
Participants will learn about the new mandatory local government risk management and internal audit framework with particular emphasis on how audit, risk and improvement committees will support councillors to perform their roles as the strategic drivers and decision makers of councils.
|Sat 5 March||The governing body and financial management of councils
Participants will gain an understanding of their legislative responsibilities in relation to accounting practice, financial management and financial reporting of councils.
|Sat 12 March||Appropriate conduct and ethical decision-making
Participants will understand the Model Code of Conduct and how to protect and enhance their individual and council’s credibility and reputation through appropriate conduct.
Please allow up to 3 hours for this training.
|Thur 17 March||Working together
Participants will learn how to create a healthy, inclusive and respectful workplace that is fundamental for creating a successful organisation.
|Sat 26 March||Metro Strategic Planning
Participants will receive an introduction and overview and gain an understanding of their responsibilities as a councillor when it comes to strategic planning for metro areas, including the roles of the Department of Planning and Environment, the Greater Sydney Commission and the Western Parkland City Authority.
|Sat 2 April||Local and Regional Strategic Planning
Participants will receive an introduction and overview and gain an understanding of their responsibilities as a councillor when it comes to local and regional strategic planning.
|Sat 9 April||Introduction to Crown Land, native title, and Aboriginal land rights
Participants will receive an introduction to Crown Land and council requirements under the Crown Land Management Act 2016 and gain an understanding of the Native Title Act 1993, and Aboriginal land rights under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.
|Sat 23 April||Water: Make it your business
Participants will develop a greater understanding of their additional responsibilities when councils provide essential water services. Using case studies and interviews the seminar will illustrate a range of water issues that councillors will encounter when making decisions about drinking water, recycled water and sewage.
|Sat 30 April||Ongoing professional development
Participants will learn what it takes to be successful in the role, as well as understand what their individual training and support requirements are and how they can undertake further professional development during their term as a councillor.
A comprehensive Councillor Handbook will assist councillors to fulfil their statutory obligations and perform their civic duties to the best of their abilities and with the honesty and integrity expected of an elected official.
- 2021 Councillor Handbook – PDF.
Induction and professional development training
The NSW Government has introduced mandatory training for all councillors and mayors in NSW.
Councils are required to deliver induction training to councillors within six months after an election and an ongoing professional development program over the term to help councillors acquire and maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their roles.
The training programs are designed to ensure mayors and councillors understand their responsibilities and are supported to perform their roles effectively.
Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines outline the skills, knowledge and personal attributes required of mayors and councillors, as well as recommended content, timing, delivery and evaluation of training programs.