The NSW councils thanked retired Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock for her service and urged her successor to continue to help drive a locally led recovery across NSW.
In a statement, LGNSW said that during her three years as head of the local government portfolio, Ms Hancock had worked closely with the councils to tackle a series of unprecedented challenges, including drought, wildfires, bush, flooding and COVID-19.
“Prior to entering Parliament in 2003, Minister Hancock served on Shoalhaven City Council for approximately 17 years,” said LGNSW President Darriea Turley.
“This gave him a deep understanding of the role that councils play as the level of government closest to the community, and allowed him to bring a wealth of field experience to the portfolio.
“Minister Hancock’s ability and commitment to work collaboratively with the sector has been particularly critical in helping support our communities through the immense challenges of recent times, and she has been a key driver behind significant financial support. for councils and their communities. “
Cr Turley said the minister also left a great legacy for women willing to give back to the community at local and state government levels.
“The very first woman to be Speaker of the New South Wales Legislature did so with a steady hand and a lot of humor,” said Cr Turley.
“When she became Minister of Local Government, she continued to remove many of the barriers that can deter women from public life, including the long-awaited retirement pension for councilors, in line with the rest of the community. state workforce; and access to child care to enable attendance at council meetings.
“She has been tireless in her campaign to increase the number of women in elected roles, even taking the opportunity of her resignation to call for a better gender balance in the new office of Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet.
“Shelley Hancock leaves some important shoes to fill and I know I speak for the industry when I wish her the best in her continued role as a member of the South Coast, and beyond.”
“Major reform” of the local government sector
Announcing her retirement on Saturday, Ms Hancock announced that she had informed Mr Perrottet that she could not fully commit as a minister due to “difficult family circumstances”.
She also said that the departure of Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian was a personal loss for her and something she struggled to overcome.
She said working with the local government sector over the past three years has been rewarding.
“Together, we have achieved a major reform of the state appraisal system, encouraged greater participation of women in our local councils, rewrote the rules on how we deal with discarded property, paid a pension of retirement advisors, secured the largest capital investment for animal shelters in our state, and secured millions for the advice to help fight bushfires, floods and the pandemic – all with full support local government stakeholders, which not all the ministers in this portfolio have experienced, ”she said.
“I also wanted to be Minister of Local Government until the local government elections, and I am happy that they went successfully in such difficult times. I wish all new mayors and councilors the best of luck in their work. “
Other departures included former Water, Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey, Australia’s longest-serving National Party MP, who over the weekend announced she was stepping down after being sacked from the cabinet.
Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts Minister Don Harwin will also not contest the upcoming election or seek a reappointment in cabinet.
“As Minister of the Arts, I worked to secure a $ 2.5 billion pipeline of more than 150 cultural infrastructure projects statewide, and a 10% increase in arts funding announced in the 2021 state budget. This funding is transforming the cultural life of New South Wales. Securing the future of the National School of the Arts and the reopening of the Royal Theater has also been extremely satisfying, ”Harwin said in a statement,
“At this stage, I have no intention of leaving the Legislative Council before the end of my term.”
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