In NSW there are 152 local councils.
The Local Government Conference in Albury listed attendees as 350.
Including staff we sent 8 people… 7 councillors (+Partners in some instances) and the GM or rep.
I’ve spoken with a number of councillors from various locations around the state and found out that in many if not most instances; they have to pay their own way to go to this conference. That is they foot the bill for the $900 per person registration, their own hotel accommodation, food and travel expenses. Several Councils don’t send a representative at all as it is deemed a less than necessary addition to councillor’s tasks compared to outcome. A recent press summary from this current conference concluded ‘that besides a lot of hot air, not a great deal had been achieved’.
Whilst I think it is perhaps worthwhile sending a representative or two, we are in essence at least 4 times better represented than the majority of councils in the state… the next question has to be for all our rate paying dollars, our over representation what do we get out of it? I guess we will have to wait until our many return, I’ve been calling for fewer councillors attending and better notes in the past let’s see what this, if anything, comes out of our recent overindulgence. Perhaps we’ll earn that coveted award for councillors who spend the most on conferences as we did last year ;-(