NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 21 February 2008

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 7 February 2008

5        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

6        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

7        General Manager Report

7.1     Outstanding Actions and Reports

7.2     Grant Application Status Report

7.3     Draft Section 94 Developer Constribution Plan:  Surf Life Saving Infrastructure

7.4     Funding of Halls

7.5     Dealing with Questions with Notice

7.6     Submission to Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

7.7     Saleyards - Australian Code of Practice

8        Director Environment and Planning Report

8.1     Impounding Officer's Report January 2008

8.2     Notice and Orders Issued January 2008

8.3     Disability Action Plan Review Report 21 February 2008

8.4     Outstanding Development Applications and Applications Received 28 January 2008 to 8 February 2008

8.5     Development Application Statistics with Comparable Figures for July 2006-January 2007 and July 2007-January 2008

8.6     Report on Minutes of the Development Applications Notifications Committee (DANC) held 16 January 2008 - Child Care Centre - DA 2008/094

8.7     Report for Minutes of the Nambucca River Estuary and Coastline Management Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, 6 February 2008

9        Director Engineering Services Report

9.1     Nambucca Shire Traffic Committee - February

9.2     Compliance of 4WD Vehicles on Beaches

9.3     Nambucca District Water Supply Steering Committee Meeting - 6 February 2008   

10      WORKS INSPECTION Report

7.1     December Budget Review....................................................................................................

7.2     Report on Investments.........................................................................................................

7.3     Overview of Re-valuation......................................................................................................

8.1     Presentation by Rural Fire Service Personnel........................................................................

9.1     Asset Management.............................................................................................................

9.2     DA1981/246 - Glen Sheather Drive.......................................................................................

9.3     20-22 Bowra Street, Nambucca Heads.................................................................................

9.4     Policy Review--Beaches--General--Bonfires and Damage........................................................

9.5     Policy Review--Beaches--General--Horses on Beaches..........................................................

10.1   Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre.....................................................................................

 

 


 

 

11      General Manager's Summary of Items to be Discussed in Closed Meeting

11.1   Report on Investigations into Alleged Illegal Landuse

It is recommended that the Council resolve into closed session with the press and public excluded to allow consideration of this item, as provided for under Section 10A(2) (e) of the Local Government Act, 1993, on the grounds that the report contains information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law.

  

12      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

13      REVERT TO OPEN MEETING FOR DECISIONS IN RELATION TO ITEMS DISCUSSED IN CLOSED MEETING.

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.1      SF959         210208         Outstanding Actions and Reports

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 

Summary:

 

The following table is a report on all outstanding resolutions and questions from Councillors (except development consents, development control plans & local environmental plans).  Matters which are simply noted or received, together with resolutions adopting rates, fees and charges are not listed as outstanding actions.  Where matters have been actioned they are indicated with strikethrough and then removed from the report to the following meeting.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the list of outstanding actions and reports be noted and received for information by Council.

 

 

 

 

File no.

Council

Meeting

Summary of Matter

Action

By

Status

JANUARY 2007

1

QWN16

01/02/07

Widening of Rodeo Drive underpass

DES

ARTC will provide consent in writing—received 29/8

ARTC requested to contribute financially--$80,000 each

Newcastle office to determine.  Unlikely to receive funding—Project deferred to 2008/09

 

MARCH 2007

2

QWN19

01/03/07

Floodgates Gumma

DES

Halted by wet weather.

The main floodgate has been installed and has created a freshwater wetland—damaged by storms

JUNE  2007

3

NOM –  SF544

7/06/07

Review of Section 94 Plans for Macksville catchment to include an audit of public open space to ensure current and future demands are satisfied

 

GM

Recreation  and Community Facilities Contribution Plan due for Council's endorsement 25/05/2008

 

4

NOM  – SF544

7/06/07

Review of Section 94 Plans for Macksville include embellishment of existing public open space in South Macksville growth area for passive recreation and sporting fields

GM

Recreation and Community Facilities Contribution Plan due for Council's endorsement 25/05/2008

 

JULY  2007

5

SF276

19/07/07

Council consider an increase in the Youth Worker (Aboriginal) to a fulltime position at the September quarterly budget review

 

DEP

Position currently filled by casual employee to cover Holiday Program. Discussions yet to be held with funding authority regarding long term options

 

AUGUST 2007

6

SF822

2/08/07

That Council maintain the 750 km radius limit for existing employees and develop a new policy for new employees.

MHR

MCW

November 2007.

Review being undertaken of entire vehicle policy—Jan 08.

Manex has reviewed draft policy to be reported to February 2008.

 

7

SF699

2/08/07

Report on Town Services

MCW

 

September quarterly budget review to be considered in Works on 14 November 2007.

Defer to December after demo of “walk behind” vacuum/sweeper cleaner.

Report as part of Management Plan

 

8

QWN13

16/08/07

Richards Rd intersection – squaring up

DES

Will form part of minor improvements program in second half of year in March 2008

 

9

QWN14

16/08/07

Walter Monro Place—gutter dropped

DES

Design in preparation

Grate and box drain proposed.  Design prepared.  Construction in May.

 

10

SF394

16/08/07

That Council wait for a further 3 months before considering any further long term investments.

GM

Report to be provided in December 2007

Given volatility propose to report with Dec. quarterly review to Works on 20/2/08

 

SEPTEMBER 2007

11

SF640

20/09/07

That a purchasing policy be developed and sustainable choice purchasing clauses be included in the policy

DES

Draft under review by staff.

12

SF428

20/09/07

That Council vigorously pursue the exclusion of the Farmland Mapping from those areas already identified for rural residential development that are already fragmented or removed from primary production.  All affected property owners within the quota zoning to be directly notified.

 

DEP

Department of Planning advised by letter 12/10 that all previous 1(C) zoned land and land not identified as Class 1, 2 or 3 Agricultural Land within the "broken black line" in Council's LEP will be excluded from the farmland mapping project.  Six pockets still to be resolved. Which will be finalised after the Draft-Rural Residential Strategy is ratified by Council

 

OCTOBER 2007

13

QWN19

04/10/07

Report on cost of repairing/replacing microfiche reader at Macksville library

DEP

Microfiche repaired and now operational

 

14

QWN 23

18/10/07

DA extension for Woolworths, Macksville

DEP

Council resolved to engage an independent consultant to assess the economic impact of the proposed development. Consultant nearing completion of assessment

Report .  Expected to receive confidential report 15 February 2008.

 

15

SF871

18/10/07

That consideration of funding upgrade works for the halls referred to in recommendation 6 (That further consultation be undertake with the committees of management of the Argents Hill, Burrapine, Pioneer Community Centre, Valla Beach Community centre, Tewinga and Warrell Creek halls to ascertain the need for POPE approvals for the individual buildings and look at options for funding and completing works to enable POPE approvals to be issued for these halls) be considered in a further report following the need for POPE approvals and funding options being discussed with the committees of management.

 

GM

Works Inspection Committee 20 February 2008

NOVEMBER 2007

16

QWN 3

01/11/07

Gordon Park—Boat Ramp filling with sand

DES

Awaiting Fisheries approval

 

17

QWN 7

 01/11/07

Skills Centre—update to be sought from Department

GM

New Federal Gov’t not negotiating funding agreements for Regional Partnerships or Sustainable Regions.  Uncertain.

18

QWN 12

01/11/07

Charlton St Nambucca Heads—rippling hotmix

DES

Contractor to replace

19

SF653

01/11/07

That the report come back without gobbledygook, and address cost implications for the whole Shire for one year; reassessing the period the cambium is active after slashing.

 

DES

MCW and Weeds Officer to review report.  To be reported in March

20

SF452

01/11/07

Council investigate a common fee for inert waste

DES

To be considered in fees and charges for 08/09.

21

QWN01

15/11/07

Clayholes Road--Potholes

DES

Grading will be undertaken with normal program. in December 2007. Only first section needs grading.

When plant in the area.

 

22

24200/2007

15/11/07

Notice of Motion—Council seek grant funding to install air conditioning Macksville High School Stadium

GM

Letter sent to Minister for Education on 14/12/07

23

24386/2007

15/11/07

Council review policy on Appointment of Senior Staff

MHR

February 2008

Now schedule for March 2008

24

24406/2007

15/11/07

Engagement of consultant to investigate energy costs in hydro therapy pool; negotiations with lessee; follow up of lease conditions.  Further report on lease agreement and legal advice.  All leases to be brought up to date and reported to Council.

MBD

February 2008

 


 

DECEMBER 2007

25

SF853

06/12/07

That at each budget review, Councillors be provided with a general overview of the status of road, bridge and roadside veg maintenance for previous 3 months

DES

March Meeting

 

26

SF1011

06/12/07

Report on capital works program which includes June quarter and September quarter.  To consider overall achievement of last year’s program; any reason for variance and implications for current program.

DES

March Meeting

 

27

SF639

06/12/07

That the skill levels of Council’s outdoor workforce be the subject of a further report.

MHR

April 2008

28

SF791

06/12/07

Council apply to Minister and Governor to compulsory acquire certain lands from State Forests NSW following advice on a deed of agreement.

GM

Planning Manager for Forests NSW contacted on 10/12/07.  Letter seeking confirmation of arrangements sent 12/12/07.  Follow-up letter sent 7/1/08.  SAO telephoned 29 January.  GM telephoned 8 February.  With Forests NSW legal branch.

29

SF623

6/12/07

Council investigate opportunities for funding under Round 3 of the Bush Recovery Program for Farringdon Fields and Buz Brazel Park.  Council encourage community to apply via media release.

DEP

Advertisement placed in Guardian News on Thursday 13 December 2007. Email sent to relevant Council Officers informing of funding opportunities.

30

QWN16

6/12/07

Repair of turnaround in West Street

MCW

Pothole repairs being arranged.  Minor shoulder work.

 

31

QWN23

20/12/07

Environmental Compliance/Environmental Management System Manual – Shire Works Depot Policy (030-031) to be reviewed.  This policy requires a number of actions to be undertaken by Council in line with its approved Environmental Management System Manual for the Shire Depot.  The actions are listed in table 3 of the Environmental Compliance Audit Report (Jelliffe 1996).  What progress has been made on these specific actions?

 

DES/

MCW

February Works

32

SF450

20/12/07

Coffs Coast Waste

DES

Report justifying this expenditure comes back

to Council before a commitment is made for the next financial year.

Coffs Harbour City

Council advised of this requirement.

 

33

27296/

2007

20/12/07

Draft Tourism Strategy

That following the public exhibition a further report be submitted to Council

 

GM

Report March 2008

34

QWN28

20/12/07

LGSA's sustainable Choices website – no mention of NSC as member

 

DES

NSC now on website

35

QWN31

20/12/07

Webcam in Bowraville – investigate the requirements for public consultation and the legality of installing

 

GM

 

36

SF841

20/12/07

Impact of preferred highway route on rural residential subdivision—consultants for rural residential release strategy to be asked to make specific comment on the impact of the preferred alignment on rural residential releases

 

DEP

Draft Rural Residential Land Release Strategy presented to Reference Group on 30 January 2008 which took into account this resolution.

 

37

QWN22

20/12/07

That Council recommence the reviewing of Council policies at the first works inspection in January 08—and then monthly

 

GM

Commenced.

38

SF1027

20/12/07

Council defer drawing down the $315,000 loan for the netball courts until later in financial year to allow an assessment of available working capital.

GM

Report to 20 February 2008 Works

No tenders accepted. Soil testing underway.  Grant advice in Feb 08 with selective tender to follow grant notice.

.

39

SF1074

20/12/07

Draft workplace equity and diversity strategy to be submitted to ACAC, Community Services C'tee and Consultative C'tee for comment prior to determination by Council

 

GM

Report to Council March 2008.  Now deferred to April 08.

40

SF844

20/12/07

Revise budget for off stream water storage to be assessed for impact on water rates prior to being approved by Council

DES

This will be reported to the next Steering Committee Meeting by the Dept of Commerce on 6 February.

 

41

QWN 41

17/01/08

Spraying of grass in streets

DES

Underway by contractor

42

QWN 42

17/01/08

Macksville Jetty—non slip coating

DES

Staff to undertake

43

QWN 43

17/01/08

Tourist Office Wharf & Gordon Park Boat Ramp

DES

Still awaiting approvals

44

QWN 46

17/01/08

Cost of introducing "Corn Bags" for Kitchen bin

DES

Costings being prepared by Handybin Waste

45

QWN 47

17/01/08

Wilson bridge checked for appropriate signs

DES

NO DIVING symbol in place—no other warning signs required.

46

QWN 48

17/01/08

DLG Report to Council

GM

Awaiting review of draft report by DLG

47

QWN 50

17/01/08

Ability to further subdivide land—D Nicklen

DEP

Matter currently being attended to with a response to be issued.

48

SF674

17/01/08

That a report be prepared on the options of providing a weekly service for the red bin or secondly a weekly service for the red bin and a fortnightly service for the green bin.

DES

Contractor assessing options

49

SF256

17/01/08

That a report be prepared on a program for a candidate information evening and for a formal induction of Councillors following the election.

GM

Report to Council 6 March

50

SF261

17/01/08

Any communication between the RTA and Council relating to the upgrade of the Pacific Highway be minuted and reported to Council.

GM & DES

RTA to meet Old Coast Rd residents in Council Chambers 4.00 pm Wed 13 Feb 2008

51

SF939

17/01/08

Council proceed to prepare a 20 year Community Strategic Plan to be considered with 2008/2009 Management Plan

GM

Report to Works on 20/3/08

52

SF939

17/01/08

Council review Vision Statement

GM

Report to Works on 19/3/08

53

SF631

17/01/08

Brief for $120,000 Master Plan for Lower Estuary to come to Council for endorsement

DEP

Report to Estuary C'tee 6 February to form Working Group

54

SF265

17/01/08

Asset management policy and use of NAMS.PLUS be deferred to the new Works Inspection Committee for discussion

DES

To be reported to Works Inspection Committee on 20 February.

55

SF225

17/01/08

There be a further report on outcome of negotiations in relation to parking control and ranger responsibilities

DES

Discussions underway with Bellingen Shire Council

56

 

07/02/08

Handrail at traffic lights required

DES

To be done after footpath concreted.

57

 

07/02/08

Seal Irvines Road from Section 94

DES

To be considered with 2008/2009 Budget.

58

 

07/02/08

White ants reported at Macksville Cemetery

DES

Individuals must protect their own property.  The standard response is “Your notice has been passed to us for attention and we confirm having investigated this matter.  Termite infestation is a natural phenomenon in this country and the site of any infestation is a random event.  Council was unaware of the infestation until alerted by you.  As the infestation and migration of your premises of this natural pest can in no way be attributable to any act of negligence on the part of Council, we are unable to accept any liability for loss or damage resulting from an infestation.”

59

 

07/02/08

Waste Management Brochures

DES

Brochure prepared for distribution at Landfill

60

 

07/02/08

Access to breakwall

DES

Ambulance already have key.  Letter sent to Department of Lands.

61

 

07/02/08

Drainage problem at second hand shop

DES

Meeting held between owner and MCW

62

SF825

07/02/08

Council receive a report on the resale value of vehicles in relation to the Sustainable Fleet Policy

GM

To be reported in March 2008.

63

SF768

07/02/08

Report on provision of heavy vehicle access to the Macksville Industrial Estate

GM

Possible late report to 21 February 2008.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.2      SF708         210208         Grant Application Status Report

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 

Summary:

 

At Council’s meeting on 7 December 2006 it was resolved that there be a quarterly return submitted to Council on grant programs.  The following table provides a report on grant programs which Council has been made aware of; their closing date; consultation with community groups; their current status and eventual determination by the funding body.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the list of grant programs and their status be received.

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Program

Action

 

Status

1

Regional Sports Facility Program

DES

Expression of interest for Macksville Park new netball courts

Grant………$175,000

Council        $175,000

                    $350,000

Eligibility assessment—Aug 2007

Regional assessment—Sept 2007

Call for detailed applic—Nov 2007

Announced—January 2008

Revised announcement—February 2008  

 

No further advice.

 

2

Sports & Recreation Capital Assistance Program

MCW

Application for playground equipment and softfall for Richardson Park

Grant             $4,675

Council          $4,675

                      $9,350

 

Eligibility Assess             August 2007

Notification of ineligible   September 2007

Announced                      December 2007

Revised announcement—February 2008  

 

No further advice.

3

Sport & Recreation Capital Assistance Program

MCW

Application for Donnelly Welsh Fencing

Grant             $2,750

Council          $2,750

                      $5,500

 

Eligibility Assess            August 2007

Notification of ineligible  September 2007

Announced                     December 007

Revised announcement—February 2008  

 

No further advice.


 

4

Department of Planning—Round 5 Planning Reform Funding

DEP

Nambucca Shire Comprehensive LEP 2008 – Mapping Project.

Funding to assist with the preparation and printing of the maps required for the new comprehensive 2008 LEP.

Assist with the implementation of the new ESRIE GIS system to enable the preparation of the new maps for the 2008 LEP

Grant               $64,000

Council     $20,000 (Identified in the                                                                                        07/08 Strat Planning Budget

Total                 $84,750

Application submitted: 2 September 2007 Closing date:  2 October 2007

Council advised that it was unsuccessful

 

5

Small Grants for Small Rural Australian Communities

There are two rounds of Small Grants per year. Closing dates are 31 March and 30 September 2007 and 2008

 

MS

A program of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal closes on 30th March and 30th September 2008. 

(Warrell Creek Hall Committee of Management lodged an application on 21 September 2007.)

Information regarding the next round for 2008 has been sent to all Section 355 Hall Committees, the Museums, the Macksville Gift Secretary, placed on Council's website and in the Councillors Newsletter 30 October 2007.

 

Letter sent to all Section 355 Hall Committees of Mgt on 30 October 2007.

 

6

Local Adaptation Pathways Program

The Federal Government has announced the "Local Adaptation Pathways Program" to provide funding to help local government build their capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change.  The Australian Government will provide up to $50,000 to held councils undertake risk assessment and develop action plans to prepare for the likely local impacts of climate change.  The deadline for applications is 3 December.  As at 9 October, application forms were still not available.

 

GM

Application lodged.

 

7

2007 Bush Recovery Program Funding—Round 3

DEP

 

See report in business paper 6/12/2007


 

8

Department of Environment and Climate Change

DEP

Application for additional "Flood Study" to provide more accurate Flood Mapping of the Shire.

 

Lodged 15 February 2008.

 

Closing date 15 February 2008.

9

Department of Environment and Climate Change – NSW Climate Change Fund – Public Facilities Program

GM

$30m for water and energy saving projects in facilities open to the public eg schools, community buildings, sporting facilities, museums and art galleries.  Unaware of program’s existence until raised at meeting on 7 February.  Applications closed on 13 February.  No applications lodged by Council.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.3      SF544         210208         Draft Section 94 Developer Constribution Plan:  Surf Life Saving Infrastructure

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Bruce Potts, Section 94 Co-ordinator          

 

Summary:

 

This Report details the public exhibition and consultation undertaken between 17th December 2007 and 24th January 2008 for the Amended Draft Section 94 Developer Contribution Plan: Surf Life Saving Infrastructure. The exhibition period has been completed and this Report seeks Council’s adoption of the Plan.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council adopt the Section 94 Contribution Plan: Surf Life Saving Infrastructure

 

2        That a notice be placed in the Nambucca Guardian advising of Councils resolution

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are no options

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Background

At its Ordinary Meeting of 18th October 2007 it was resolved to amend the Draft Nambucca Section 94 Contribution Plan: Surf Life Saving Infrastructure to provide for a Shire wide contribution. At its Ordinary Meeting of 6th December 2007 it was resolved to place the Amended plan on public exhibition for a period of twenty eight (28) day to allow reasonable time for interested members of the community to view the Plan and make comment.

 

Public Exhibition and Consultation

Copies of the Draft Plan were distributed to senior Council officers for comment.

 

External consultation was undertaken through the public exhibition of the Draft Contribution Plan at Councils Administrative Centre Macksville, Macksville Public Library and Nambucca Heads Public Library. Notice of the Public Exhibition was advertised in The Guardian newspaper.

 

Internal Consultation: No submissions on the Draft Plan were received.

 

External Consultation: No submissions were received

 

CONCLUSION

In so far that Council has complied with the requirements of section 94EA of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979), and Clause 28 (4) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (2000), and no issues have been raised through the Exhibition period, Council is now in a position to adopt the Contribution Plan without further amendment.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

As discussed in the report.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Section 94 Plans form an important strategic planning tool for Council and as such provide longer term sustainability of infrastructure and facility delivery.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

·     Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Section 94 developer contributions represent a significant income stream for Council. As such this plan offers considerable financial and resource benefits over the immediate and mid term.

 

·     Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Not applicable.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.4      SF871         210208         Funding of Halls

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 

Summary:

 

Council has resolved that further consultation be undertaken with the Committees of Management of the Argents Hill, Burrapine, Pioneer Community Centre, Valla Beach Community Centre, Tewinga and Warrell Creek halls to ascertain the need for Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) approvals for the individual buildings and look at options for funding and completing works to enable POPE approvals to be issued for these halls.  Of the six halls listed, two do not require POPE approvals and two are likely to achieve POPE approvals in the near future.  The future of Argents Hill hall is likely to be dependant upon achieving Work for the Dole or other Commonwealth funding.  In relation to the Pioneer Community Centre in Bowraville it is recommended that Council secure premises for its major tenants being Radio Nambucca and Aunt Emily’s craft co-operative and sell the building.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council seek a valuation of the Pioneer Community Centre and negotiate with the Committees of Management for the Pioneer Community Centre and Tewinga Community Centre as well as Radio Nambucca with a view to relocating Radio Nambucca to the Tewinga Community Centre and selling the Pioneer Community Centre with a long term lease in place for Aunt Emily’s.

 

2        That a further report be submitted to Council on the outcome of the valuation and negotiations.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There have been many reports to Council on the maintenance of its community halls and buildings.  All have made it plain that the status quo is not sustainable in terms of responsible asset management.  In some instances the dedicated volunteer groups who comprise the Committees of Management may not be sustainable as increasing age and a dwindling supply of new recruits will make it difficult to spread the work load.

 

There are obviously many options available to Council as it seeks to balance costs and benefits with available finance, competing asset management responsibilities and community aspirations.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council’s meeting on 21 June 2007 considered a lengthy report on community halls and buildings and resolved in part:

 

1        That Council defer closures of any halls for twelve (12) months to allow the Committees of Management to consider their long term financial sustainability.

 

5        That Council offer guidance and support to Committee’s regarding grant applications and determine accurate costing to complete the capital works needs for each facility.

 

Subsequently, on 18 October 2007, Council considered a status report on the condition of the halls, what facilities each hall has and to seek guidance in relation to what facilities Council wishes to have in place at each hall when considering applications for POPE (place of public entertainment) approvals.  That meeting resolved in part:

 

6        That further consultation be undertaken with the Committees of Management of the Argents Hill, Burrapine, Pioneer Community Centre, Valla Beach Community Centre, Tewinga and Warrell Creek halls to ascertain the need for POPE approvals for the individual buildings and look at options for funding and completing works to enable POPE approvals to be issued for these halls.

 

7        That consideration of funding upgrade works for the halls referred to in recommendation 6 be considered in a further report following the need for POPE approvals and funding options being discussed with the committees of management.

 

8        That discussions be held with Work for the Dole providers to look at completing components of the works programs at the halls.

 

The report concerning the resolutions of 18 October 2007 has been scheduled to be reported to the Works Inspection Committee on 20 February 2008.  However given the resolution of 21 June 2007 it is also timely to review the progress of the committees of management for the hall committees generally.

 

In the latter part of 2007, the General Manager attended the Annual General Meetings for all of these Hall Committees.  At each of the meetings there was discussion concerning the current and likely future uses of the buildings, any necessary upgrading works and funding options, including the use of programs such as Work for the Dole and Regional Partnerships.

 

There has also been on-going consultation with many of the Hall committees in relation to their upgrade works, fundraising events and insurance issues.

 

In particular the structure of Councils’ insurances is an on-going issue in attracting fundraising events.  In summary, Council’s “Casual Hirers Liability” policy excludes any commercial or profit making activity and also excludes any sporting body, club, association, corporation or incorporated body.  This means that any “low key” commercial activity such as music lessons, art shows, or teaching is excluded unless the user pays for their own public liability insurance at a cost of $600 to $700.  This is obviously not viable for a “one off” art show or for most occasional commercial uses.  Representations have been made to Council’s insurance brokers in relation to this policy, so far without success.

 

In general, the attendance at the AGM’s for the Hall Committees was very good.  The local communities value their halls as a meeting place; a venue for social functions which draw the community together; in some instances for their displays of local history and for their role in defining their local community.  The Committees generally acknowledge the financial pressures which Council has in managing its assets and that the future of the halls will be mainly in their hands.  Council does not have the available staff resources to manage the halls and their fundraising activities, and whilst assistance can be provided in preparing and managing grants they will not be achieved without the Committee of Management applying initiative and time.

 

The outcome of the consultation for each of the halls referred to in recommendation 6 is as follows.

 

Argents Hill Hall

 

A previous report on the condition of the hall was prepared by a structural engineer in 2003.  The major works identified at that time were:

 

·      Plate bearers are required between the main hall building and the stage/storeroom section of the building to reduce spreading of the structure

·      Install additional hanging beams in the ceiling to reattach the ceiling joists to remove the sag in the ceiling.

 

These works have not been undertaken.

 

The Annual General Meeting of the Hall Committee of Management was held on 27 August 2007 and attended by 28 people, including Councillor Flack and the General Manager.  The Committee discussed capital works and repairs which are required to bring the building up to standard.  The works and also fundraising options via Work for the Dole and Regional Partnerships have also been discussed at a subsequent Committee meeting.  The recent decision by the Federal Government to put on hold the consideration of any projects under Regional Partnerships will at a minimum delay the capacity of the Hall Committee to raise these funds.

 

Council has also prepared a report on the condition of the hall, the estimated cost of the required works and opportunities for funding.  This report has been submitted to the Committee of Management for their information and action.

 

The report estimates the cost of maintenance and capital works required to bring the hall up to a satisfactory standard to be $38,569.  The majority of the cost is not related to any POPE approval but to needed capital and maintenance works.

 

The Committee of Management seeks to have their hall available for a range of fundraising and social activities which does require the building to have a POPE approval.  The requirement for a POPE approval relates to entertainment provided in the hall, where it is advertised or promoted as being available for the general public to attend and where there is some form of admission charge to attend, either at the door, by donation or purchase of tickets.  Council has previously resolved that a disabled toilet facility should be a condition of a POPE approval as it is required by the Disability Discrimination Act.  In practical terms the provision of an internal unisex disabled toilet also improves the appeal of the hall for hirers. 

 

The work which is required at the Hall is such that it is difficult to foresee it being undertaken by voluntary labour.  In its current state there is also little likelihood of it attracting regular casual hirers to improve its income stream.  Given the cost of the required works and its existing usage, Council should not assume full financial responsibility but may consider making a contribution such as the provision of paint and other materials for use by a Work for the Dole team and/or volunteers.

 

Burrapine Hall

 

A well attended Annual General Meeting of the Committee of Management was held on 18 November 2007 which discussed the upgrading of the hall to a POPE standard.  The Committee of Management seeks to have their hall available for a range of fundraising and social activities which means that it needs to have a POPE approval.

 

In July 2007, the Committee of Management and Council were successful at the second attempt in securing $12,600 in funding under the Area Assistance Scheme for the provision of a disabled toilet.  The Hall Committee is seeking to convert an existing storeroom within the hall to be the disabled toilet and are proposing to engage a local plumber to undertake the work.

 

The provision of a disabled toilet is the most important step towards the Hall receiving a POPE licence.  It was reported to Council on 18 October 2007 that there are several other more minor matters which would also need to be attended to.

 

The Committee of Management is to meet to finalise the arrangements for the provision of the disabled toilet which should be completed by 30 June 2008.  The Committee has been requested to meet with the General Manager and Council staff on site to investigate the possibility of finishing all required works to enable the issue of a POPE licence.

 

Pioneer Community Centre

 

The Annual General Meeting of the Committee of Management was held on 31 August 2007 with 5 people in attendance.  The Committee has worked hard to maintain an income stream via the major tenants and casual users but as indicated by the number in attendance at the AGM they would greatly benefit from additional volunteers to assist in their work.

 

The major tenants of the Community Centre are Aunt Emily’s, community Radio Nambucca and the Saturday afternoon market.  Other uses have been for music lessons, TAFE sewing classes, a youth transitions program and casual meetings by groups such as the Lands Council, Back to Bowra and Landcare.  It is a smaller size hall and with an attached kitchen and deck it is a venue more suited to meetings than other halls.  The lower level which is occupied by Radio Nambucca is cramped and has poor amenity to the extent that it’s difficult to accept it being a satisfactory and permanent home for this important community service.

 

For the financial year to 30 June 2007, the Committee of Management had a total income of $5,838 and total expenses of $5,202 providing for an operating surplus of $636.  The Committee has a bank balance of $1,388 as at 30 June 2007.  For 2006/2007, Council paid $1,950 in operating expenses.

 

The hall does not have a POPE and would at the least require upgraded exits, disabled access to the street, a disabled toilet, and a fire detection system between the 3 levels within the building being the radio station, hall/shop and upper residential area.  In 2004, the cost of this work was estimated at $50,000.

 

Unlike the other Halls referred to in this report, there are a number of community halls and facilities in Bowraville which can provide venues for meetings.  The Bowraville Theatre, Grants Hall, the Bowraville Recreation Club, the Bowraville & District Ex-Services Club as well as Church halls all provide meeting venues.  As well as overlapping in facilities and services, there are also many organisations in Bowraville competing for what seems to be a dwindling pool of volunteers and donations.

 

At the Annual General Meeting there was general discussion about the future of the Centre.  The Committee has previously suggested that the building be sold to Radio Nambucca for a minimal sum, but the Committee has advised they are considering other options.

 

Unlike most of the halls, the Pioneer Community Centre is unencumbered freehold, classified as operational land under the Local Government Act.  There is an opportunity to consider redirecting its asset value to improve the viability of other halls and its existing major tenants.  Expressions of interest have been received for the purchase of the Centre.

 

One such option which has been discussed is the sale of the building with a long term lease in place for Aunt Emily’s and then using part of the proceeds to assist the relocation of Radio Nambucca to the Tewinga Community Centre.  Relocation opportunities for Radio Nambucca are restricted because they require “line of sight” to Mt Yarrahappinni to allow transmission of their microwave signal.  The Tewinga Community Centre provides this line of sight.

 

Valla Beach Community Centre

 

This is a small community hall and the Committee of Management has queried the need for a POPE approval due to its nature and use for mainly meetings and the occasional private function or party.  In these circumstances it is agreed that a POPE approval is not required and would have no practical benefit in terms of its level of usage.  The hall is in reasonable condition.

 

Tewinga Community Centre

 

The Tewinga Community Centre is a reasonably new building of concrete block construction on a concrete slab.  The hall is not licensed as a POPE.

 

Ten people attended the Annual General Meeting on 29 November 2007.  In relation to the proposal by Radio Nambucca it was noted that negotiations are continuing.

 

Given the good condition of the Tewinga Community Centre it receives very little use.  Currently it is used for indoor bowls every second Thursday and for the occasional meetings of the Committee of Management.  With this usage pattern there is no requirement for a POPE.

 

The Committee of Management are dedicated in using voluntary labour to maintain the centre and its grounds but similar to the Pioneer Community Centre their numbers are small and the same group cannot be expected to carry out the voluntary work indefinitely.

 

Warrell Creek Hall

 

The building has had considerable work undertaken over the past three years by an active Committee of Management.  This work includes new exits to the hall, new disabled access ramp and painting by a Work for the Dole project.

 

The Committee is proceeding to install an internal unisex disabled toilet as well as a septic collection tank with the objective of receiving a POPE approval.  This will allow the hall to be used for its traditional functions.  It would seem likely that the Committee of Management will achieve POPE approval in the near future.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Committees of Management.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

There are no significant implications for the environment.  Work is being undertaken at Warrell Creek Hall to prevent pollution.

 

Social

As discussed, the local communities value their halls as a meeting place; a venue for social functions which draw the community together; in some instances for their displays of local history and for their role in defining their local community.  However the usage of the halls has declined over the decades as real incomes, mobility, alternative attractions and demands on time have all increased.

 

Economic

There are no significant economic issues.

 

Risk

There are no particular risks as a consequence of this report.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

·     Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

At this stage there are no direct impacts on Council’s budget.  However if action is not taken to reduce the increasing unfunded liability attached to hall maintenance and necessary capital upgrading then the indirect impact on future budgets will increase.

 

·     Source of fund and any variance to working funds

At this stage there is no requirement for working funds.

 

 

Attachments:

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.5      SF217         210208         Dealing with Questions with Notice

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 

Summary:

 

The report concerns issues arising from the use of questions with notice.  The report examines issues with both questions with notice and questions without notice and proposes a change to Council’s Code of Meeting Practice to ensure that there is adequate notice of questions with notice together with the response.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1.       That Council amend its Code of Meeting Practice by inserting the following provision:

 

          “Questions with Notice

          69A.   (Local Policy)

          (1)      Questions with notice may be put at any time.

          (2)      The question with notice together with the response must be reported in a future business paper when the information is available.”

 

2.       In accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, the proposed amendment be placed on public exhibition for a period of not less than 28 days with submissions being invited for a period of not less than 42 days

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are many potential options.  There is nothing which requires Council’s agenda to include either questions with notice or questions without notice.  Council can elect, by amending its Code of Meeting Practice to remove questions with or without notice or to further define the manner in which such matters are brought forward.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At Council’s meeting on 17 January 2008 it was resolved:

 

“that Council consider options for dealing with Questions With/Without Notice in order to facilitate smooth running of Council meetings at the next Works Inspection Meeting”.

 

Questions with notice provide an opportunity for Council staff to research the matter and provide an answer at the Council meeting.  Questions without notice do not provide this opportunity.

 

The issue which arose at the meeting on 17 January was that questions with notice were submitted with the answers being provided at the meeting having been included in the electronic business paper.  However Councillors and members of the public with an interest in the matter had insufficient time to consider the answers.  In affect, the questions with notice lead to answers without notice.

 

Council’s Code of Meeting Practice provides that questions without notice and answers given at the meeting be recorded in the minutes.  Further that reports and actions by members during questions without notice be by formal resolution of the Council.

 

The Department of Local Government’s Meetings Practice Note advises that question time at a Council meeting (if there is one) should not be used to avoid the notice provisions of clause 241 of the Regulations.  That clause enables all councillors and the public to be aware, by reading the agenda, of matters that will be raised at each meeting.  It also enables councillors to give careful thought to any pecuniary interest of conflict of interests they might have in a matter, rather than having to hastily confront an issue during the meeting.

 

Where a councillor seeks to have a matter arising from question time considered by the council, notice should be given to the general manager in the usual way.  The general manager can include the item on the agenda for the next meeting, and make sure that the relevant staff prepare any necessary background documents or reports.  However if the matter is genuinely urgent, it could be dealt with under clause 241(3) of the Regulation.

 

The Meetings Practice Note also provides that the general manager can include questions from councillors on the agenda.  The Practice Note states that this practice may be useful if there are a lot of questions or if the questions are long.  As there is no legal requirement that questions from councillors be included in the agenda or business papers, council’s Meeting Code could cover this issue.  Agenda and business papers (other than business papers for a confidential item) must be available for the public to look at or take away (section 9 of the Act).  Any non-confidential questions included in the agenda or business paper would also need to be available to the public.

 

Whilst questions with or without notice allow a forum for communicating questions which have been posed by residents or the councillors themselves, there are some issues which need to be considered in relation to their use.

 

·      Questions which relay complaints of an operational matter eg, pot holes, dangerous trees or other potential hazards, from an insurance and risk perspective, would be better being immediately reported for inclusion into Council’s Customer Request Management System which is maintained by Engineering Services.  A follow up question would be whether the problem has been attended to.

 

·      In order to improve the accuracy of the minutes, the opportunity to receive questions without notice in writing before the meeting is appreciated.  This allows the questions to be loaded into the minutes without any errors in translation and displayed to any members of the public in the gallery.

 

·      As the actual questions without notice are not included in the agenda, and in the case of the meeting on 17 January neither were the answers with notice, problems can arise because the opportunity for due notice and public participation has been voided.

 

·      Occasionally questions without notice can cause the allocation of significant staff resources in investigation and research.  If this is likely then the matter should be raised as a notice of motion where due notice is given as part of the business paper publication.

 

·      They should be questions and not statements.  Statements should be the subject of a notice of motion where the proper notice is provided.

 

Given the above, in order to provide public notice of the answers to questions with notice, it would be necessary for both the questions and answers to be included within the business paper.  This would mean that the questions would have to be put more than 1 week before the Council meeting.

 

The alternative process is to continue with questions without notice, but recognising their limitations and without necessarily any expectation that an answer will be able to provided at the meeting where the question is asked.

 

As Council’s Code of Meeting Practice makes provision for questions without notice does not refer to questions with notice, it is recommended that it be amended to make provision for questions with notice as follows:

 

Questions with Notice

69A.   (Local Policy)

          (1)      Questions with notice may be put at any time.

          (2)      The question with notice together with the response must be reported in the business paper.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation in preparing this report.  Reference has been made to Council’s Code of Meeting Practice and to the Department of Local Government’s Meetings Practice Note.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

There are no social implications.

 

Economic

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

There are risks as outlined in the report, particularly if there are delays in attending to complaints which may constitute a hazard.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

·     Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

There is no direct or indirect impact on budgets.

 

·     Source of fund and any variance to working funds

There is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.6      SF770         210208         Submission to Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 

Summary:

 

The Minister for Water Utilities, the Hon Nathan Rees has advised of his intention to change the existing arrangements for the delivery of water and sewerage services by mainly rural and regional councils.  He has announced an Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW to determine the appropriate institutional arrangement/s.  The terms of reference for the Inquiry have now been fixed and were reported to Council’s meeting on 7 February 2008.  A discussion paper has been prepared by the Minister’s Department which has been circulated to Councillors.  It has now been announced that submissions to the Inquiry close on 7 March 2008.  This report recommends that a submission be made to the Inquiry in accordance with the discussion section of this report.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council make a submission to the Inquiry expressing its strong preference for Nambucca Shire Council retaining responsibility for the provision of Water and Sewerage Services.

 

2        That in the event the Government decides to remove responsibility for Water and Sewerage Services from Nambucca Shire Council, that the Council be provided with the opportunity to develop an alternative model acceptable to the Government.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can elect to make a submission or not.  Given the importance of the Inquiry to the future financial sustainability of the Council it is recommended that a submission be made.

 

Given the Minister’s stated intention to change the existing arrangements by reducing the number of local water utilities, Council may wish to consider pre-emptive discussions with its neighbouring Councils being Bellingen and Kempsey as to their thoughts about an alternative model or models.  A proactive positioning may allow the Councils to have a greater say in their destiny than may otherwise be the case if the Inquiry takes its course and the affected Councils have not considered any detailed reform proposals.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Following finalization of the terms of reference, the Inquiry into secure and sustainable urban water supply and sewerage services for non-metropolitan NSW is now proceeding.  The Government has appointed the former Deputy Premier, the Hon Ian Armstrong OBE and the former head of the Premier’s Department, Dr Colin Gellatly to head the inquiry.  The Minister, the Hon Nathan Rees has advised that their report is due by June 2008.

 

Submissions to the Inquiry have been invited up until 7 March 2008.  A number of public hearings will be held in early 2008, including at Coffs Harbour.

 

The following lists the terms of reference in italics together with Council’s proposed response in normal font.

 

Objective

·      To identify the most effective institutional, regulatory and governance arrangements for the long term provision of water supply and sewerage services in country NSW; and

 

Agreed.

 

·      Ensure these arrangements are cost effective, financially viable, sustainable, optimize whole of community outcomes, and achieve integrated water cycle management.

 

Agreed.

 

The Task

 

The State’s 107 local water utilities are facing growing challenges, posed by drought, climate change, environmental water allocations, demographic shifts, technological advances and skill shortages.

 

In view of the challenges facing utilities, the inquiry is to identify the most appropriate institutional and regulatory arrangements for the water supply and sewerage industry in NSW in order to ensure that services are efficient, reliable, affordable and safe.

 

In particular, the inquiry should identify arrangements that will enable customers of water utilities in regional NSW to benefit from a secure water supply, professionalism, cost effective service standards and regulatory safeguards in the provision of water supply and sewerage services.

 

As a minimum, the Government expects water supply and sewerage service providers to:

·      respond and plan in advance to the challenges facing the industry

·      be financially self sufficient

·      be able to comply with appropriate stringent environmental and public health standards and

·      implement cost effective service standards.

 

Agreed.

 

In considering the merits of any new industry arrangements, the Inquiry should take into account:

 

·      the historical structure of the industry and its performance record to date;

 

The Nambucca Shire Council has received three, annual awards from the Department of Water & Energy for water supply excellence.  The most recent award received in January 2007 judged the Council to be in the top ten of the State’s best performing water utilities.  The Awards were judged by the Department on a comprehensive review of best practice water management guidelines including:

·      strategic business planning

·      pay for use water pricing

·      commercial developer charges

·      water conservation plan

·      operation cost per property

·      economic real rate of return

·      average residential consumption per property

·      typical residential bill per assessment

·      water quality complaints per 1000 properties

·      water main breaks per 100 kms

·      micro biological water quality compliance

 

In relation to water supply, Council believes its record of achievement speaks for itself and any proposed change must demonstrate that this already high standard of performance will be improved.

 

·      the current and future challenges facing the industry;

 

The growing challenges listed in the terms of reference being drought, climate change, environmental water allocations, demographic shifts, technological advances and skill shortages are agreed, but equally the same and additional challenges apply to just about all the activities of local government.  Amongst the three levels of government, local government has a declining share of tax revenue and public sector employment.  In NSW there is the added problem of a financial squeeze on Councils’ as a consequence of asset management obligations increasing at faster rate than revenue provided through rate pegging.

 

·      the present capacity of the industry to address those challenges;

 

As indicated the challenges referred to generally apply to most of the functions of local government in NSW.  The Discussion Paper makes it plain that from the Department’s perspective there is significant variability in the performance of local water utilities.

 

Care needs to be taken when producing simple comparisons of the performance of utilities by size as is the case in Chapter 4 of the Discussion Paper, “Case for the Inquiry”.  It is unsurprising that larger utilities generally achieve higher levels of compliance with key performance indicators.  They have larger populations, greater population densities, and generally are in “desirable” higher growth locations with customer bases enjoying higher per capita incomes and relatively lower socio-economic disadvantage.  However as has been found in local government amalgamations, the proposition that the outcomes achieved in larger water utilities can be replicated by amalgamating smaller and more economically disadvantaged water utilities does not necessarily follow.

 

·      alternative industry arrangements used in other states;

 

Agreed.

 

·      the impact of any changes on the financial sustainability of councils;

 

Agreed.  With the financial pressures previously referred to, the removal of water and sewerage functions from individual councils will result in similar overheads being carried by a significantly smaller entity.  This will obviously have implications for the viability of some (mainly) smaller councils.  Whether the council should remain or be amalgamated would then be a matter for the affected community and the government.

 

Nambucca Shire Council has a full time equivalent staff of 116 persons.  Of these there are 15 full time equivalent staff directly involved in the provision of water and sewerage.  However there are many staff in Corporate Services and to a lesser extent Engineering Services providing corporate support in the form of complaints handling, levying rates and charges, debt collection, risk management, human resources, plant, payroll, property, records, GIS, financial reporting and the like so that the relative importance of water and sewerage to Council’s overall operations is far more significant.

 

·      the socio-economic impacts on the community, including indigenous communities, of any new institutional and regulatory arrangements;

 

Agreed.  In smaller rural shires the potential loss of employment to larger centres would have major negative socio-economic impacts in the affected communities.

 

·      the relative performance of other states and their experience with industry reform;

 

Agreed.

 

·      the institutional and regulatory options available, including the relative merits and drawbacks of each, and

 

It is understood from the Minister’s briefing that the existing institutional arrangements will change.  If the Inquiry poses a number of models as meeting the Inquiry’s objectives, then the affected councils should have the opportunity to collectively comment on the particular model which would be preferred.

 

Whilst Council’s strongly preferred position is for its existing catchment based responsibility to remain, if this is not to be so then the Council would seek to retain a direct financial interest in whatever water utility covered its local government area.  A possible model would be a corporation jointly owned by the constituent councils.  The corporation may then provide the opportunity for the constituent councils to achieve economies in other common “back of house” functions such as rating, human resources, payroll, and information technology.

 

Because of the strong nexus between water and sewerage services and the functions of councils generally, it is recommended that the institutional and regulatory options consider Council operations as a whole and not just the water and sewerage functions.

 

In recommending any new institutional arrangements the Inquiry should address any necessary compensation for the potential loss of dividend producing assets as well as the transitional issues which will arise in terms of Section 64 developer contributions, loans and repayments.

 

·      the role local, state and federal governments should play in further improving services

 

The proposition that the water utilities which deliver water and sewerage services should be financially self sufficient is supported.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the LGSA.  It is understood that the LGSA will have an options paper available on 14 February 2008.  The issue has been raised with the Mid North Coast Group of Councils but there is insufficient time in which to make a joint submission.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

At this stage there are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

At this stage there are no social implications.

 

Economic

At this stage there are no economic implications.

 

Risk

This Inquiry presents a profound risk to the financial sustainability and future of Nambucca Shire Council.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

·     Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

At this stage there are no impacts on budgets, but again depending upon the changes which arise out of the Inquiry there could be major implications on future budgets.

 

·     Source of fund and any variance to working funds

There is no requirement for working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 7.7      SF19           210208         Saleyards - Australian Code of Practice

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     John Harris, Senior Administrative Officer          

 

Summary:

 

Saleyard Operators Association has created the Australian Code of Practice for the Selling of Livestock.

 

The document replaces the Code of Practice for the Selling of Cattle and Bobby Calves which had become inadequate.

 

The new code is designed to protect the owners and operators of saleyards and should be adopted into Council’s operational protocols.  Animal welfare is the main driver of this review.

 

By observing the new Australian Code of Practice Council and the operator are operating within acceptable standards and the law, therefore should circumstances arise, this observance, will help show that Council has exercised due diligence and care in the workplace.

 

This code with the National Code for the Operation of the NLIS and Occupational Health and Safety Manual form the saleyards protocols.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council adopt the Australian Code of Practice for the Selling of Livestock.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Not applicable.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

See summary.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Saleyard Operators Association

G J Kennedy & Co Pty Limited

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Not applicable.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Not applicable.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 8.1      SF225         210208         Impounding Officer's Report January 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Phillip Gall, Manager Health and Building          

 

Summary:

 

The following is the Impounding Officer’s report for January 2008.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the report from the Impounding Officer January 2008 be received and noted by Council.

 

 

 

Dogs

Total

Total

Seized

 

22

Returned to Owner

8

 

Impounded

14

 

Total Seized

22

22

Breakdown

Total

Total

Seized

 

22

From Previous Month

 

9

Stolen Dog Recovered

 

0

Released to Owner

2

 

Returned to Owner

8

 

Euthanized

14

 

Currently in Pound

4

 

Sold

3

 

Stolen from Pound

0

 

Died in Pound

0

 

Total in Pound

31

31

Dumped

7

 

Surrendered

0

 

 

Cats

Total

Total

Seized

 

2

Returned to Owner

0

 

Impounded

2

 

Total Seized

2

2

Breakdown

Total

Total

Seized

 

2

From Previous Month

 

0

Released to Owner

0

 

Returned to Owner

0

 

Euthanized

2

 

Currently in Pound

0

 

Sold

0

 

Stolen from Pound

0

 

Total in Pound

2

2

Dumped

0

 

Surrendered

0

 

 


 

Kilometres travelled

3,125

 

 

CSR’s Received & Responded To

34

 

 

Cattle

Breakdown

Total

Seized

 

0

Returned to Owner

0

 

Impounded

0

 

Total Seized

0

0

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 8.2      SF619         210208         Notice and Orders Issued January 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Barbara Sadler, Executive Assistant          

 

Summary:

 

Following Council’s decision to include all Notices, Orders and PIN’s (Personal Infringement Notice) in this monthly statistical report, it has been necessary to review the manner by which they are presented to ensure that Council is not in breach of its responsibility under numerous legislation including the Local Government Act, Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act, Companion Animals Act and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, to name a few.

 

This is because, once an Order or PIN has been issued the relevant Act provides opportunity to request a review or challenge and defend the matter. The disclosure or information that could prejudice or identify the alleged offender could see the matter dismissed and potentially implicate Council for disclosing such information. It is therefore intended to delete any reference to the property or person and simply indicate the date and type of Notice, Order or PIN issued during the previous month.

 

However, to cover all Notices, Orders and PIN’s issued across the organisation, it will be necessary to prepare an wholistic register to ensure that they are all captured. This is currently being prepared and will be reported to Council in March 2008.

 

The following Notices, Orders and PIN’s were issued by the Environment and Planning Department during January 2008.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Notices, Orders and PIN’s issued by the Environment and Planning Department for January 2008 be received and noted by Council.

 

NOTICE
DATE ISSUED

ORDER
DATE ISSUED

PIN
DATE ISSUED

DESCRIPTION

11/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

11/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

11/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

11/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

11/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

16/01/08

 

 

Clean up & dispose of domestic waste

16/01/08

 

 

Roofwater Disposal

16/01/08

 

 

Roofwater Disposal

17/1/08

 

 

Overgrown Vegetation

 

17/1/08

 

Overgrown Vegetation

21/01/08

 

 

Overgrown

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

21 February 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 8.3      SF808         210208         Disability Action Plan Review Report 21 February 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Coral Hutchinson, Manager Community and Cultural Services          

 

Summary:

 

Council’s Disability Action Plan was adopted in January 2004. Now that the Plan is 4 years old it is timely to review progress on the listed strategies. Over the past 12 months or so, the Council’s Access Committee and Community Services staff have been reviewing progress on the plan and discussing new strategies and directions.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Review of the Nambucca Shire Council Disability Action Plan 2004 be noted.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1          Accept the Review document

2          Accept the document with amendments

3          Not accept the Review

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Nambucca Shire Council’s first Disability Action Plan was adopted in January 2004 with the following aim:

 

To develop and implement strategies which aim to ensure that the local government area of Nambucca Shire becomes an accessible community to all people, regardless of their abilities/disabilities.

 

The Plan had the following purpose:

 

“to compile a strategy for changing Nambucca Shire Council practices which may result in discrimination against people with a disability.”

 

The Plan was developed with the assistance of the Council’s Access Committee and was lodged with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC). The Plan also meets Council’s obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) which requires an organisation to plan for the elimination of discriminatory practices.

 

The Review of the NSC Disability Action Plan has revealed an extensive list of achievements – however limited resources available to undertake the review, mean that it is not intended to be absolutely conclusive. The Review has also focused on addressing the strategies listed in the plan, although comments and issues raised during this process will form the basis of the next Action Plan; currently being prepared by Council’s Manager Community and Cultural Services in collaboration with the Access Committee.

 

Note: The Review document includes updated staff titles and takes into account changes in any Council departmental functions.

 

 


CONSULTATION:

 

Access Committee

Director Environment and Planning

(previous) Director Corporate Services

Manager Information Technology

Manager Civil Works

Manager Human Resources

Manager Planning and Assessment

Waste Management Officer

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

This report raised no particular issues related to the environment.

 

Social

 

Social outcomes underpin the Disability Action Plan and therefore this report. Improved social outcomes for people with disabilities is a key reason to have an Action Plan and be proactive regarding their needs.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications from this report.

 

Risk

 

The Disability Action Plan and therefore its review has an important Risk Management role. In one sense having a Disability Action Plan may assist to minimise litigation against Council, it may also assist in the management of a complaint to HREOC (as was the case regarding the lack of a hearing augmentation system in the Council Chambers) and also in identifying/solving potential problem areas in the infrastructure.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Whilst the Review document highlights some areas which will require future work and therefore require Council funds or community resources; this is will be more evident from the Action Plan itself. One of the key reasons to have the Plan is so that Council and the community can plan for future works and therefore assess what funding is needed, make applications for external funding or build access improvements to projects which are already planned (eg Bowra Street Nambucca Heads upgrade included key access improvements).

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The range of work, work practices and programs is such that the source of funding will vary from external grants, community volunteering, committee fund raising, council working funds or specific allocations through the annual budget.

 

Attachments:

1View

2838/2008 - Disability Action Plan 2004 Review Document

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 21 February 2008

Disability Action Plan Review Report 21 February 2008

Attachment 1

2838/2008 - Disability Action Plan 2004 Review Document

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nambucca Shire Council

 

 

Disability Action Plan 2004

 

 

REVIEW DOCUMENT

 

 

 

February 2008


Ordinary Council Meeting - 21 February 2008

Disability Action Plan Review Report 21 February 2008

Attachment 1

2838/2008 - Disability Action Plan 2004 Review Document

 

 


 

1:  Priority Area for Action:

 

PHYSICAL ACCESS

 

Goal/Outcome:

That people with disabilities can freely move within the community and independently access public premises and facilities.

 

Identified Barriers:  

Resources

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

1    Conduct an access audit of Council-owned facilities.

·  Use DCP14 and BCA 2003 as checklists

·  Utilise Committees of Management

·  Asset Management Register

·  DES

·  Manager Civil Works

Short term

·  Halls have been audited in 2004 and 2007.

·  Upgrades are currently in progress.

·  A new checklist for more effectively auditing halls is in the process of development.

 

2    Upgrade Council facilities to provide access and egress for people with disabilities.

·  Asset Management Register

·  Council funding as determined by the budget

·  External grants

·  Community fundraising

·  DES

·  Manager Civil Works

Medium to long term

·  See Appendix 1 for status of halls.

·  Council’s front counter was modified in 2005 to include a lowered section that is wheelchair accessible.

·  Council staff are seeking costings for the new hearing loop to be installed at reception counter.

·  Automatic doors installed in Macksville Library in 2006 and Nambucca Heads Library in 2007.

·  Macksville Library was redeveloped in 2004-05 to provide wheelchair access through the aisles.

·  Nambucca Heads Library shelf rearrangement in 2007 to improve internal access

·  Extra access points and Tactile Ground Surface Indicators installed at key locations in Nambucca Heads Bowra Street upgrade.

·  In 2006 eight new picnic seats were installed at the V-Wall and Gordon Park.  The seats are designed to allow people to slide on and off and do not have cross rails.

 

 


 


1    Priority Area for Action:     PHYSICAL ACCESS– con’t

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

2    Upgrade Council facilities to provide access and egress for people with disabilities.

     (continued)

· 

· 

 

·  Wheelchair access ramps have been installed at the following halls: Talarm, Warrell Creek, Grants, Missabotti, Eungai Creek

·  Application to Area Assistance Scheme submitted and pending for ramp for Eungai Community Centre and Preschool.

·  Gordon Park Rainforest Walk to Pioneer Well now accessible through a partnership with Committee of Management

·  Wider Boardwalk at Bellwood and laybys in Wellington for wheelchairs to pass

·  Footpath widening at Bellwood

·  Cycleway improvements and extensions in Nambucca Heads

 

3    The relevant department of Council maintains a ‘Blackspot List’ of problem areas and recommends work for consideration by Council.

·  Council funds

·  External funding

·  DES

Ongoing

·  A list of recommended footpath improvements exists that includes access issues.

·  Upgrades are done in association with larger funded projects where possible.

·  Now managed by Council’s Customer Request System

·  Audit of halls contains a list of works required

4    Ensure that public toilets for people with disabilities are barrier free, built in accordance with AS 1428.1 and where possible unisex facilities will be provided to permit use by a carer or assistant of the opposite gender to the person with a disability

·  Council funds

·  DCP 14

·  DES

 

Ongoing

·  Construction of unisex disability toilets at Burrapine, Missabotti and Warrell Creek Halls due to commence

·  Unisex disability toilets at Talarm Hall, South Arm Hall/Bushfire Shed, Utungun Hall, Valla Beach Community Centre, Eungai Hall completed.

·  Approximately half of all Council existing toilets have separate facilities for people with disabilities

5    Ensure that Council has a footpath policy which considers the needs of people with disabilities.

·  Current Footpath Policy

·  DCP 14 Checklist

·  DES

Short term

·  Policy is currently used in inspections.

·  Footpath inspections include external factors such as lighting as well as trip hazards. New footpaths comply.

·  Temporary works also include access considerations such as temporary ramps.

 



1    Priority Area for Action:     PHYSICAL ACCESS– con’t

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

6   Ensure effective provision and use of car parking spaces for people with disabilities.

·  Traffic Committee

·  Chambers of Commerce

·  Access Committee

·  Car Parking Policy (DCP 1)

·  Parking Officer

·  DES

Ongoing

·  There are currently approximately 31 car parking spaces for people with disabilities in Nambucca Shire. There are no plans for additional spaces. (DCP 1-Off Street Car Parking describes how the number of spaces is dependent on usage).

·  Construction of disability parking space in car park and Council Administration Centre (2006)

·  Moved 1 space across the street in Bowraville for greater effectiveness (2006)

·  Disability Car parking is a consideration in conditions of major Development Applications

7   Provide a telephone service for people with a hearing impairment

·  Relevant equipment of funds to access a service

·  Rates Officer

Long term

·  Available via National Relay Service

·  Information is kept by Council’s Switchboard Operator

8   Provide appropriate signage

·  Signs incorporating Braille

·  DES

Short to long term

·  Braille signage at Tourist Office and Council Administration Centre toilet facilities

·  Braille signage at toilets and showers in Hydrotherapy Pool

·  New facilities to be built will have Braille signage

·  Braille signage on rubbish bins lids is available and promoted by Handy Bin Waste services.

 

NOTE:  The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·           Clarification is needed on which signage is to incorporate Braille.

·           Need for closer liaison with Council Management Committees regarding access requirements and work proposed. Time these discussions so the information can be considered in the annual budget.

·           Council has a number of older public toilets which may not comply with the current Australian Standards for accessible facilities. An audit would need to be conducted.

·           Misuse of disability parking spaces by people without disabilities: there was some view that timed disability parking spaces should be introduced in some areas to allow increased access to spaces. The fine for unauthorised parking has been increased to address the issue at a state-wide level.

·           The need for access to the stage in the Bowraville Theatre has been noted by the Committee of Management for future improvement.

·           Wheelchair access to the Saleyards has been noted; however resource and physical constraints make this unviable for improvement.

·           Council’s asset management planning should ensure that funding is allocated for continued improvement/compliance as well as for removing existing barriers to public assets, facilities and infrastructure. This would enable Council to address issues involving smaller costs, on an ongoing basis or be included with planned work.


 


 

2:  Priority Area for Action:

 

PROMOTING POSITIVE COMMUNITY ATTITUDES

 

Goal/Outcome:

Community acceptance of the rights of people with disabilities.

 

Identified Barriers:  

Seeing disability rather than capability

Lack of education about the rights of people with disabilities

The view that there are not ‘enough’ people with disabilities to warrant change

 

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

9   Council will act as a leader in regard to access issues.

·  Education for Councillors and staff

·  Council resources for specific projects

·  General Manager

·  Directors

Ongoing

·  Development and distribution of a Mobility Map (2005)

·  Brochure for Access and Disability information for Holidaymakers prepared and distributed.

·  Council undertook a research project in the 2005-06 to determine the extent of need for taxi services for people with disabilities. There is 1 wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) operating within the Shire. Additional WATs have been discussed by the private operators.

·  Partner with other Mid North Coast councils in “Missed Business” project/promotion – available on Council’s website

·  Venue and support for bi-monthly Area Disability Advisory Committee

·  Council has an EEO Policy regarding staff recruitment

 

10 Use education and promotion activities to raise community awareness regarding the needs and rights of people with disabilities.

·  Nothing additional required – build into activities

·  GM

·  Directors

Ongoing

·  Preconstruction Toolbox Meetings reinforce requirements to ensure compliance.

·  Promotion of International Day of People with a Disability

 


 


2    Priority Area for Action:     PROMOTING POSITIVE COMMUNITY ATTITUDES– con’t

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

11  The Access Committee will continue its promotional work and be actively supported by Council.

·  Annual Council funding ($500/year) for workshops, special projects, Access Committee training

·  DEP

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

Ongoing

Initiatives have included:

·  Adaptive Technology in Libraries

·  Mobility Map

·  Beach Wheelchair access by Council

·  Accessible Accommodation project

·  Missed Business Brochure

·  Access and Disability Information for Holiday-makers

·  Guest Speakers at meetings

·  On site and community meetings

·  How Not to Park (Macksville Library prior to footpath widening)

·  Partnership with Gordon Park Rainforest Committee to celebrate and promote International Day of People with a Disability

·  Access Awards

 

Council provides a small annual allocation for funding of activities and special events involving the Access Committee

 

NOTE:  The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·           Mobility Map requires a minor update

·           Council’s application of the EEO policy regarding people with disabilities is not always well understood by the community.

·           The Accommodation Project is extensive and complex – being looked at by tourism bodies at the Mid North Coast level as a business development initiative.

·           Another round of educational workshops for people using scooters should be undertaken. Suppliers of the products and the Police could participate in the event.

 


 


 

3:  Priority Area for Action:

 

TRAINING OF STAFF

 

Goal/Outcome:

To ensure that all Council staff are aware of, and have the skills required, to provide a level of service which takes into account the needs of people with disabilities and those with access needs

 

Identified Barriers:  

Finding appropriate trainers

Lack of support from Council staff

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

12  Develop and implement a training component on disability awareness in the process of orientation and training of new staff.

·  Access Committee

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

·  Manager Human Resources

Ongoing

·  No specific initiatives undertaken regarding staff induction

13  Develop disability awareness programs and training opportunities for design, planning and development staff

·  Council staff training funds

·  Peak Disability organizations

·  Disability volunteer groups

·  Access Committee

·  GM

·  Directors

·  Manager Human Resources

Ongoing

·  The Action Plan inferred that that in-house programs would be developed. This has not been feasible due to resource constraints and the technical considerations requiring specific expertise.

·  Planning and Engineering staff have attended training regarding the Disability Discrimination Act and designing for access (2006)

·  Building staff keep abreast of access requirements by maintaining current knowledge of the Australian Standards.

·  Construction staff had experiential training eg wore blindfolds to understand visual disability (2004)

·  Training opportunities have been proactively explored and provided via the Mid North Coast meeting of council Access Committees.

14  Staff are trained in the use of Hearing Loops and TTY telephones.

· 

·  GM

·  Directors

Short-term

·  Hearing Augmentation System was installed in the Council Chambers in 2005. Staff training has been one-on-one or in staff meetings.

·  TTY telephones are not used by NSC.

·  Information regarding the National Relay Services is available to staff if needed.

 

NOTE: The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·           International Day of People with a Disability may be an appropriate annual occasion for staff education through the Access Committee, possibly involving other disability agencies, with the event to include experiential learning through the use of wheelchairs and tunnel vision glasses.

·           Offer disability education to all staff.

·           Modification of the staff induction checklist include a component of disability awareness training.

 


 


 

4: Priority Area for Action:

 

INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICES

 

Goal/Outcome:

To ensure that all public information provided by Council is user friendly and accessible by all residents

 

Identified Barriers:  

Appropriate technology or equipment

Resources

Competing needs

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

15  Review services

·  To be identified

·  General Manager

·  All Directors

Medium term

·  No review has been undertaken at this stage.

16  Review Council’s telephone system to determine its effectiveness in meeting the needs of people with disabilities.

·  Access Committee

·  Survey of the community

·  Rates Officer

Medium term

·  No review has been undertaken at this stage.

17  Where possible Council should attempt to use large print on brochures

·  No additional resources required

·  Directors

Medium term

·  Not feasible on all brochures due to their layout and size.

·  Access Committee brochure and Mobility Map use large fonts.

·  The emphasis has moved to web-based access to information rather than hard copy.

·  Adaptive Technology access at Libraries meets some needs

18  Council will use ‘plain English’ in all its documentation and avoid jargon.

·  No additional resources required

·  Directors

Ongoing

·  DCS staff attend training (eg Report Writing etc) to upgrade skills (2005). Training occurs ongoing on a needs basis.

 

 


 


4    Priority Area for Action:     INFORMATION ABOUT SERVICES – con’t

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

19 Provide Adaptive Technology for libraries.

·  Funding for equipment and software, training and furniture.

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

Current

·  Now available on a designated PC at Macksville and Nambucca Heads libraries.

·  The Adaptive Technology project (commenced 2004). Launched 16 February 2005 at Nambucca Heads library.

·  Equipment includes software (eg Connect Outloud with speech output for vision impaired people), hardware such scanner and headphones.

·  As resources and interest from volunteers warrant, training is made available to library staff and volunteers in the use of the Adaptive Technology.

·  Funding application to Area Assistance Scheme which includes training and promotion is pending.

·  Promotion has occurred in local media and directly with relevant aged services and community organisations.

·  Meetings with Vision Australia to promote and maximize the service’s benefit to community.

 

20  Libraries to ensure that large-print and talking books are available.

·  Funds for acquisitions

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

 

·  Successful NSW Library Council Grant in 2007 to purchase large print books to the value of $44,000 includes latest release novels, Australian titles and fiction and non-fiction works.

 

NOTE:  The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·      The strategy “review services” is broad and doesn’t define targets or required outcomes to measure against.

·      Adaptive Technology is changing so rapidly it is estimated that portable, personal versions of software will be soon available.

·      The Community Survey undertaken December 2007 showed a high level of satisfaction with Council’s customer service including its telephone service.

·      Contact with Council now includes a significant level of email traffic which has become an alternative to telephone communication.

 


 


 

5: Priority Area for Action:

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

Goal/Outcome:

To ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to employment opportunities within Council and are given access to facilities and services, and opportunities to meet their specific needs

 

Identified Barriers:  

Physical constraints

Lack of access friendly equipment

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

21  Review Council’s Equal Opportunity Policy and Management Plan to see how they relate to people with disabilities.

·  No additional resources required

·  General Manager

·  Manager Human Resources

Short term

·  The EEO Management Plan was initially adopted by the Consultative Committee in 1997. A review is planned.

·  Council has an EEO Policy which addresses disability. Adopted 2000

·  Council has a draft Workplace Diversity Policy which includes disability

22  All advertisements for recruitment states Council’s commitment to EEO.

·  No additional resources required

·  General Manager

·  Manager Human Resources

Short term

·  Currently all advertisements for recruitment include a statement of commitment.

·  Application forms for employment allow for applicants to state if they have special needs that Council should accommodate at interview or in the workplace.

·  When staff are sent to pre-employment medical checks, a Physical Demands Analysis of each particular job is sent to the examining doctor so that the assessment is based only on what is required in each particular job.

23  Council will make reasonable adjustments to workplace, equipment and facilities for new or current employees with disabilities

·  Council funds

·  External services eg commonwealth Rehabilitation, Technical Aids for the Disabled

·  Relevant Director/ Manager/ Supervisor

·  Manager Human Resources

Short term and Ongoing

·  Modifications or purchase of equipment is undertaken as required.

·  Council has an active Occupational Health and Safety Committee

·  Council has a support process for people with disabilities due to mental health issues

·  An assessment of the Council Administration Centre has identified a range of future works needed

NOTE: The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·           Lack of community understanding regarding Council’s commitment to EEO and employment of people with disabilities

·           A list of required improvements to the Council Administration Centre has been prepared eg access to rear door, swipe card ports


 


 

6: Priority Area for Action:

 

COMPLIANCE/COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES

 

Goal/Outcome:

To minimise complaints and exposure to litigation regarding access issues and the needs of people with disabilities

 

Identified Barriers:  

Communication systems eg telephone, over-the-counter reports

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

24 Council’s Complaint Policy recognises the needs and rights of people with disabilities.

·  No additional resources required

·  General Manager

Short term

·  There is no formal Complaints Policy.

·  Access issues are a common source of requests via the Customer Request System.

 

25 Access Committee to continue its liaison work

·  Small amount working funds

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

Short term and ongoing

·  A representative from the Nambucca Access Committee attends the Mid North Coast meetings of local government Access Committees to share ideas and collectively address issues.

·  Minutes of council Access Committees are shared across the region.

·  Access Committee liaises over specific issues eg within Council with Planners, or externally with applicants of DAs, to raise awareness of concerns and the complexity of issues.

·  Access Committee lobbies on behalf of people with disabilities within the community (eg attained more disabled parking at the Showground in 2006).

·  The Access Committee holds its meetings at different venues to highlight to members the different access issues of each community, and to make the meetings more accessible to community members.

·  Council provides a small annual allocation of funds

 

26 Information regarding HREOC Complaints Procedures is available to the public

·  No additional resources required

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

Ongoing

·  Brochures about “What is the Disability Discrimination Act?” are available to the public.


 


 

7:  Priority Area for Action:

 

WASTE MANAGEMENT

 

Goal/Outcome:

That people with disabilities and older, frail people, are able to move their household waste/garbage to the footpath for pick-up

 

Identified Barriers:  

Physical barriers

Individual abilities/disabilities

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

27 Investigate alternative solutions to having garbage picked up on a case-by-case basis.

·  To be identified

·  DES

·  Handy Bin Waste Services

 

Short term and ongoing

·  Handy Bin Waste Services currently provides a ‘runner’ service for rubbish pickup for genuine, long term disabilities only; people are required to provide a doctor’s certificate to prove they are incapacitated.

 


 


 

8:  Priority Area for Action:

 

PARTICIPATION

 

Goal/Outcome:

To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate actively in their community in recreational, cultural, political and community events and in the in decision making

 

Identified Barriers:  

Physical barriers

Lack of access friendly equipment

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

28  When requested, Council will reproduce principal documents in alternative formats. Advertise this service.

·  Adaptive equipment

·  Utilise Adaptive Technology in libraries

·  General Manager

Current and ongoing

·  Provision of Adaptive Technology at libraries

·  Personal access to adaptive technology has increased and become more feasible in the home

·  Access to Council documents via the web

29  Utilise Council’s webpage to encourage participation

·  Adaptive Technology in libraries

·  Relevant information to be placed on NSC website using current staff resources

·  General Manager

·  Directors

·  Manager IT

·  Manager Community and Cultural Services

Current and ongoing

·  Currently Council advertisements direct people to the website.

·  Promotion of the website occurs through the Council newsletter.

·  Council’s website was upgraded in 2006-07

 

30  Conduct meetings of Council and within the community at accessible venues with accessible facilities, conducive to the needs of participants.

·  Council staff training

·  Specialised equipment

·  All staff

Current and ongoing

·  Meetings in the Council Chambers have access to the Hearing Loop.

·  Data Projector installed in Council Chambers – larger visual displays of material

·  Major community meetings are held at identified venues which have appropriate access.

31  Provide opportunities for people with a hearing impairment to participate in Council meetings/ discussions at council reception

·  Funding to install Hearing Loop and PA in Council Chambers

·  Funding to install Hearing Loop at reception counter

·  Manager Civil Works

Short term

·  Hearing Augmentation System installed in the Council Chambers.

·  There are a range of alternatives for managing counter enquiries by people with disabilities including lower counter area and access to Interview Room

 


 

8    Priority Area for Action:     PARTICIPATION – con’t

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

32  Council reception counters are modified to suit requirements of people of differing heights and those in wheelchairs.

·  Funding to counter modifications

·  Manager Civil Works

Completed

·  Counter was modified in 2006 to include a lowered section.

33  Ensure polling booths are accessible

·  Review polling booths

·  Funds for modifications

·  General Manager

Short term and ongoing

·  Currently 80% of booths are accessible by people with a disability.

·  By 2008 all booths are planned to be accessible.

34  Council facilities to be managed with the spirit of community inclusion and Committees of Management to have barrier-free policies and practices which encourage use by people with disabilities.

·  Review that identifies hall and community centre usage

·  General Manager

Short term

·  It is suggested that it would be beneficial to raise the awareness of disability issues of the people who have care/control of Council’s 355 facilities. In this way they would be better informed and able to consider disability access issues in their decision making. Director DCS has suggested this issue be placed on the agenda of the Irregular Meetings of the Section 355 Committee of Management.

 

NOTES:

 

The review has brought the following issues and comments forward regarding this section:

 

·           The term ‘principle documents’ needs to be more clearly defined

·           Staff may lack awareness of the specific needs of people with disabilities regarding access to documentation. More specific information on needs may be required (ie how extensive is the need for alternative formats? Which formats?).

·           Not all documentation lends itself to screen reading software eg a document that has tables in it.

·           Council’s website could include a statement of Council’s commitment to access as well as other information regarding disability and access.

·           Council’s website to be reviewed regarding its ease of use by people with a disability eg text enlarging options.

 


 


 

9:  Priority Area for Action:

 

DEVELOPMENT

 

Goal/Outcome:

To ensure that all new work approved by Council makes appropriate provision for disability access

 

Identified Barriers:  

DDA/BCA lack of alignment

 

Strategy

Resources

Responsibility

Timeframe

Strategy Has Been Met By

 

 

 

 

 

35  Council has a Development Control Plan for Access

·  No additional resources required

·  Director DEP

Current and ongoing review

·  DCP 14 (2001) – Equity of Access and Mobility

·  DCP 14 is now accessible via Council’s website

36  Builders, architects and developers have access to information regarding access for people with disabilities.

·  Brochures, copies of Standards, information on relevant websites

·  Director DEP

Current and ongoing

·  Currently people are advised at Council’s reception counter regarding BCA and Australian Standards.

·  Currently developers are advised to contact their building designers for information on disability issues to ensure compliance.

37  Conduct workshops and forums regarding access requirements.

·  Funding for trainers

·  Director DEP

As required

·  Council liaises with builders to keep them updated and informed through annual ‘Trade Nights’ which are accredited through the Dept of Fair Trading.

39  That heritage issues be addressed, taking into account the relationship between the Heritage Act 1977 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

·  To be identified

·  Director DEP

To be determined

·  Current heritage listings include the main street in Bowraville, and the Star Hotel/Nambucca Hotel/courthouse in Macksville.

·  Heritage issues do not prevent upgrades as the process involves a merits-based assessment. Council takes the relationship between the two Acts into consideration through negotiating staged time frames for changes/upgrades to make the process more manageable.

·  DCP 14 underpins the process.

 


APPENDIX 1

 

AUDIT OF PUBLIC HALLS AUGUST 2007.

 

Property

Provision of Disabled toilet

Disabled access ramp

Provision of disabled parking

Tactile Ground Surface indicators

 

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Argents Hill

 

 

 

 

Bowraville Grants Hall