Saturday, April 13, 2024

Retiring Minister leaves “significant shoes to fill”

Councils today thanked retiring Local Government Minister, Shelley Hancock, for her service to the people of NSW and urged her successor to continue the hard work to help drive a locally-led recovery across the state.

The sector’s peak body, Local Government NSW (LGNSW), said Minister Hancock (pictured) had worked closely with councils to tackle an unprecedented string of challenges during her three-year tenure in the local government portfolio, including drought, bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before entering Parliament in 2003, Minister Hancock served on Shoalhaven City Council for some 17 years,” LGNSW President, Darriea Turley said.

“This gave her a deep understanding of the role councils play as the closest level of government to the community, and enabled her to bring a wealth of grassroots experience to the portfolio.

“Minister Hancock’s capacity and commitment to working collaboratively with the sector was particularly critical in helping to support our communities through the immense challenges of recent times, and she was a key driver behind significant funding support for councils and their communities.”

President Turley said the Minister also left a great legacy for women keen to give back to the community at local and state government levels.

“The first-ever woman to serve as the Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly did so with a firm hand and great humour,” she said.

“When she became Local Government Minister she continued to break down many of the barriers that can deter women from public life, including long-overdue superannuation for councillors, in line with the rest of the state’s work force, 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 seizing the opportunity of her resignation to call for a better gender balance in Premier Dominic Perrottet’s new Cabinet.

“Shelley Hancock leaves significant shoes to fill and I know I speak on behalf of the sector when I wish her the very best in her continued role as Member for the South Coast, and beyond.”

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