In the lead up to the March State Election, the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) have set out their policy priorities.
The LGSA have warned all political parties that councils and communities should no longer be ignored.
LGA president Keith Rhoades said communities deserved better and he urged voters to "support candidates who support your council".
The Associations outlined the major issues and proposed solutions under six key themes: improved Local Government financial viability; restore the balance to land use planning; stronger support for communities; greater natural environment protection; enhanced infrastructure provision and maintenance; and better local governance.
Cr Rhodes said councils offered essential services and facillities that were the "building blocks" of communities – from roads to libraries to waste, and youth and senior services.
"Cost-shifting, rate pegging, lack of infrastructure funding and the erosion of planning powers are some of the recent problems created by the State Government that is crippling councils,” he said.
“The failure of the NSW Government to consult with councils on local issues is no longer acceptable."
The LGSA have also requested a response to the demands, in writing from all NSW political parties by Monday 28 February 2011.
President of the Shires Association of NSW, Bruce Miller, said LGSA provided a clear outline to the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition on a range of unresolved issues that would put the State "back on its feet" .
"We want local decisions returned to local communities, we want formal commitments for funding and, most importantly, we want action, he said.”
Cr Miller said LGSA would lobby for the return of planning powers to councils.
"We demand big changes from the incoming NSW Government and we'll be holding them to account to ensure they deliver," Cr Miller said.
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