Local government annual conference

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro addresses the conference of NSW councils. Photo: Nathan Furry.
Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro addresses the conference of NSW councils. Photo: Nathan Furry.

Over the last three days, a delegation from the Yass Valley Council has been in Sydney for the Local Government NSW Annual Conference. 

Mayor Rowena Abbey, Deputy Mayor Kim Turner, and Councillor Nathan Furry all traveled to Sydney on Monday to attend the conference which, according to a Facebook post from Cr Furry, is an opportunity to “[engage] with our regional neighbouring Councils and Regional Organisations and [debate] motions of importance for all Local Governments across New South Wales.” 

Cr Turner said that the group from Yass was one of the smallest delegations in attendance, and that they had been forced to split up for much of the conference in order to attend the three breakout sessions that took place. 

“I think we’re actually a fairly small representation, looking around the shop,” he said. 

“There are some who look like they’ve brought the whole council with them.” 

He described the Yass Valley as “tracking pretty well” in comparison to other councils and the progress they are making locally. 

The discussions were “pretty positive” in the words of Cr Turner, with the only negative aspect being discussions around the forced amalgamations, which Yass Valley managed to avoid. 

The one consistent obstacle to progress, said Cr Turner, is the divergence of perspectives between councils from time to time. 

“It’s always difficult because you’ve got a mixture of the urban and the rural,” he said. 

“What is important to someone in the city is not necessarily important to us, and vice versa.” 

The conference finishes today, and the results will be discussed by council at a later date.