NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 3 April 2008

5        Mayoral Minutes

5.1     Mayoral Minute - Local Water Utilities Inquiry

6        Notices of Motion

6.1     Greenhills Road - Improved Access to Ngambaa Nature Reserve

6.2     Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into separate Town Planning and Building Departments  

7        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

8        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

9        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

10      General Manager Report

10.1   Outstanding Actions and Reports

10.2   Grant Application Status Report

10.3   Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008

10.4   Proposed Privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry

10.5   Nomination for Board of Arts Mid North Coast

10.6   Review of Local Government Investments

10.7   Report on Investments

10.8   Tourism Strategy

10.9   Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2008 - S94 Contributions

11      Director Environment and Planning Report

11.1   Report on Access Committee Minutes 18 March 2008

11.2   Report on Attendance at 48th Floodplain Management Authorities Conference 26-29 February 2008, Wollongong

11.3   Bowraville Dog Health Program 29 April 2008

11.4   Proposed Off-Leash Area for Macksville and Bowraville, Companion Animals Act 1998

11.5   Rehabilitation Bonds - Mac'scon Pty Ltd - Wia-Ora Sand and Gravel Supplies - DA 1995/102 and T1-9-57

11.6   Contract Regulatory Officer's Report March 2008

11.7   Development Application Statistics with Comparable Figures for July 2006-March 2007 and July 2007-March 2008

11.8   Outstanding Development Applications and Applications Received 10 March 2008 to 4 April 2008

11.9   Development Applications Determined Under Delegated Authority to 9 April 2008

11.10  Rezone land from 2(a) Residential to 3(a) Business - Cnr Boundary Street and Pacific Highway Macksville and 25-33 Cooper Street, Macksville

11.11  Report on DA 2008/043 Demolition of existing Motel and Erection of a Supermarket, Liquor Store and Three (3) Speciality Shops, Pole Sign and associated Car Parking

11.12  Report on DA 2008/109 - Residential Aged Care Facility and Independent Living Units, Lee & Short Street, Nambucca Heads

11.13  Report on LEP Amendment 64 - Statutory Review of LEP 1995

11.14  Further Report on Improving the NSW Planning System following Public Exhibition


12      Director Engineering Services Report

12.1   Report on Road Maintenance

12.2   National Local Roads and Transport Congress

12.3   Nambucca District Water Supply Steering Committee Meeting - 2 April 2008

12.4   NSW Rural Fire Service - Alternate Office Accommodation    

 

 

 



 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Mayoral Minute

ITEM 5.1      SF979              170408         Mayoral Minute - Local Water Utilities Inquiry

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     George Hicks, Mayor         

 

BACKGROUND:

 

As Councillors are aware, an Inquiry into the State’s 107 local water utilities is progressing.  The Minister has announced his intention to reduce the number of utilities and that a continuation of the status quo will not prevail.

 

The Inquiry is headed by the former Deputy Premier, the Hon Ian Armstrong OBE, and the former head of the Premier’s Department, Dr Colin Gellatly.

 

A series of public hearings will be conducted by the Inquiry during April and May.  On the Mid North Coast, there will be a hearing at Coffs Harbour on 14 May 2008.  Nambucca Shire Council has made a booking to make a presentation at this Inquiry and I believe that other Mid North Coast Councils will do likewise.

 

At the invitation of the Mayor of Kempsey Shire Council, Cr Betty Green,  I attended a meeting of Mayors on 27 March 2008 to discuss the Water Utilities Inquiry and the position of the respective Councils.  The meeting was attended by the Mayors of Coffs Harbour, Great Lakes, Bellingen, Kempsey and myself.  Apologies were received from the Mayors of Clarence Valley, Taree and Gloucester. 

 

The meeting was initially divided into two camps being those advocating the status quo and those presenting alternate proposals with the objective of enabling each Council to retain its water and sewerage assets and workforce.

 

There was also an address by the Mayor of Great Lakes on the impact on individual Councils of a County Council model.  Councillors should be concerned that despite the Minister’s stated intention, it is not always the case that bigger is better.

 

 

REPORT:

 

The Mayor of Coffs Harbour City Council, Cr Keith Rhodes, stated that Coffs Harbour and possibly Port Macquarie-Hastings were large enough to stand alone, but should put another possible option to the State Government.

 

Cr John Chadban, Mayor Great Lakes Council, said he felt that there would be changes as they and Taree  were under Mid Coast Water, whose policy was to control water supplies.  Their Councils’ costs had increased under Mid Coat Water.

 

Cr Mark Troy, Mayor Bellingen Shire Council, said his Shire wanted to stay as they are and not put up any alternative proposal at this time.

 

The Mayor of Kempsey, Cr Betty Green, felt that there will be changes to water and sewerage administration and the State Government will initiate change regardless of Councils’ decisions.

 

I stated Nambucca’s position, that after meeting with the Minister at Taree, who stated if Council was meeting with best cost practice and that one system does not suit all water and sewerage schemes, then there should be no change.

 

I feel that unless the State comes up with figures to prove that Nambucca is not following best practice and that they can do it better, they (the State) should butt out.

 

It was generally agreed that the loss of water and sewerage would make it more difficult to maintain staff and possibly would lead to some changes to Local Government to what we have at present.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council receive the information concerning a meeting of MIDGOC Mayors on 27 March 2008 to discuss the Local Water Utilities Inquiry.

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 6.1      RF320              170408         Greenhills Road - Improved Access to Ngambaa Nature Reserve

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Rhonda Hoban, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Over the years there have been a number of requests to improve the access along Greenhills Road into Ngambaa Nature Reserve.  The attached letters are self explanatory.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council arrange an onsite Works Inspection with Ms Joy Lane and a representative of Kyeewa  Bushwalkers, at Greenhills Road, to consider improvement of the access to Ngambaa Nature Reserve.

 

 

 

 

MANEX:       Any recommended expenditure would need to be made by way of a submission to the

                   Draft Management Plan 2009/2010.

 

Attachments:

1View

Notice of Motion - Greenhills Road - Improved Access into Ngambaa Nature Reserve

 

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Greenhills Road - Improved Access to Ngambaa Nature Reserve

Attachment 1

Notice of Motion - Greenhills Road - Improved Access into Ngambaa Nature Reserve

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 6.2      SF793              170408         Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into separate Town Planning and Building Departments

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Minister Sartor says that Councils are too slow in approving development.  I believe that if the existing Department is split it would mean that the Town Planning Department would be able to concentrate on improving approval times.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council investigate a restructuring of the Environment and Planning Department into two separate departments – one dealing with planning and environment and the other dealing with health and building matters.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.1    SF959         170408         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

MARCH 2007

1

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—probable revote due to weather.  Main floodgate repaired.  Will require a dry winter to complete.

JUNE  2007

2

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

 

3

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

 

AUGUST 2007

4

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 and plant purchases.  Report in April.

 

5

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.  Works commenced.  Now completed.

 

6

QWN14

16/08/07

Walter Monro Place—gutter dropped

DES

Design in preparation

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

 

SEPTEMBER 2007

7

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.

8

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.

Further discussion under Draft Rural Residential Land Release Strategy Report in business paper.  Matter to be further considered due to impact of resolution

 

NOVEMBER 2007

9

QWN 3

01/11/07

Gordon Park—Boat Ramp filling with sand

DES

Awaiting Fisheries approval.  Excavation of sand will only be close to ramp and not improve the channel.

 

10

QWN 12

01/11/07

Charlton St Nambucca Heads—rippling hotmix

DES

Contractor to replace

 

11

SF452

01/11/07

Council investigate a common fee for inert waste

DES

New fee for commercial trailers.

 

DECEMBER 2007

12

SF639

06/12/07

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

MHR

April 2008.  Now deferred until receipt of PBP Review

13

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.  Letter sent to the Minister for Forests NSW.  Minister’s Advisor has stated that a letter agreeing to the land swap will be forwarded.

14

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

Further report May Works.

15

27296/

2007

20/12/07

Draft Tourism Strategy

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

 

GM

Report March 2008.  Deferred to April meeting as closing date for submission is 14 March.

16

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.

17

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.  Offer of $175,000 made on 22 February 2008.  Construction post September 2008.

18

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 December 2007.  Now deferred to awaiting ACAC meeting.

JANUARY 2008

19

QWN 43

17/01/08

Tourist Office Wharf & Gordon Park Boat Ramp

DES

Still awaiting approvals.

Expected late April.

20

QWN 48

17/01/08

DLG Report to Council

GM

Awaiting review of draft report by DLG

21

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. No further contact as at 25/2/08

22

SF631

17/01/08

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

DEP

Draft brief being prepared for presentation to Estuary Committee.

 

FEBRUARY 2008

23

 

07/02/08

Handrail at traffic lights required

DES

To be done after footpath concreted.

24

 

07/02/08

Seal Irvines Road from Section 94

DES

To be considered with 2008/2009 Budget—Not included

25

QWN 48

21/02/08

Pacific Hwy/Rodeo Drive intersection, patching

DES

Patched

26

QWN 49

21/02/08

Pacific Hwy/Wallace St Intersection, patching

DES

Patched

27

QWN 50

21/02/08

Near Nambucca Heads Cemetery—tree limbs

DES

Contractor to remove

28

QWN 51

21/02/08

Riverbank erosion—Ferry St Macksville

DES

Guardrail to be erected

MARCH 2008

29

QWN 56

06/03/08

Recycling Brochure on Council's website

DES

Available on website.

30

QWN 57

06/03/08

West St Development—fines paid?

DEP

Contempt of Court found.  In court 9 April 2008.

31

QWN 58

06/03/08

On-line Youth Survey

GM

Report in business paper.

32

QWN 58

06/03/08

Structure Plan – awaiting census data

DEP

Referred to consultant to finalise 12 March 2008

33

PRF17

20/3/08

Future of Farringdon Fields – Deferred to look at other options for use including passive recreation, biobanking.

DES

Report June 2008

34

SF529

20/3/08

Draft rural residential land release strategy – exhibition subject to including all land which had a previous zoning of Rural 1(c).

DEP

Exhibition of Draft LEP will be dependant upon Dept of Planning providing a certificate (endorsement)

35

SF444

20/3/08

Extension of road maintenance for Mill Lane, Moores Lane and Figtree Road to be subject to a Works Committee Inspection.

DES

Scheduled for 16 April 2008.

36

SF708

20/3/08

Grants Officer, Ms Jennifer Chance to be invited to meet Councillors at Works Inspection Committee meeting

GM

Scheduled for 18 June 2008.  (Officer commencing on 19 May 2008).

37

SF1125

20/3/08

LGSA be engaged to deliver a pre-election seminar for prospective candidates.

GM

Course to held Tuesday,15 July 2008 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

38

SF1125

20/3/08

Councillor Induction Training Program to be finalised once the LGSA have revised their workshop outline.

GM

Advice on dates and agenda to be forthcoming.

39

5606/2008

20/3/08

Mayor and GM meet with relevant Ministers to resolve outstanding land swap issues so the compulsory acquisition of land owned by Forests NSW may proceed.

GM

Arrangements to be made. Refers comments item 13.

40

5606/2008

20/3/08

Council be provided with a report on the status of the approved subdivision of Council’s land at Hyland Park including an estimate of the cost to achieve its substantial commencement.

GM

Will be reported in May 2008.

41

5606/2008

20/3/08

Council defer proposed expenditure of $200,000 on Clayholes Road and undertake inspections of Clayholes Road, Fertilizer Bend on North Arm Road and other sections of road which are either in poor condition of have particular risks.

DES

Inspection scheduled for 16 April 2008.

42

5606/2008

20/3/08

That Council follow up the lease agreement for the shops in the Bowraville Theatre building.

GM

Report to May 2008

43

5606/2008

20/3/08

That a comprehensive plan and costings be submitted to Council on the redevelopment of the Works Depot.

DES

Report to Council in May 2008.

44

6298/2008

20/3/08

That a report be submitted to Council on compliance matters concerning the Scotts Head Caravan Park.

DEP

Report to Council on 3 April 2008.

45

6298/2008

20/3/08

Councillors be advised of potential contamination penalties which might be payable to Handybin for the Coffs Coast Waste Service.

DES

Report to Council in May 2008.

46

6298/2008

20/3/08

That the policy on footpath usage be reviewed by Council.

DES

Report to June Works Inspection Committee.

APRIL 2008

47

SF1044

3/4/08

That the findings of both the Community and Youth Surveys be formally considered in preparation of future management plans.

GM

Findings of both surveys have been incorporated in new management plan to be considered at Works on 16 April.

48

SF450

3/4/08

Council seek a breakdown of the administration levy and education provision for the Coffs Coast Waste Service

DES

Advice has been sought from Coffs Harbour City Council

49

Qwn72/08

3/4/08

On-site inspection of 21 Alberta Street, Bowraville to be scheduled re what is Council road and what is private road

DES

To be scheduled for Works

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.2    SF708         170408         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

FRRR - 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

 

 

 

A program for small rural communities will offer grants of up $50,000 to benefit people in rural and remote Australia.

 

Advised of new closing dates as follows:

                   1 May 2008

                   6 August 2008

                27 October 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.

Nambucca Entertainment Centre lodged application  March 2008 for curtains & blinds.

South Arm Hall lodged an application in March 2008 for water tank.

 

Letter sent to all Section 355 Committees of Mgt 18 March 2008 for new rounds.

 

·     Valla Community Hall (Revitalisation) are submitting an application for 1 May 2008

 

2

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 help 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.

 


 

3

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—announcement expected later 2008

 

4

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.

5

New Federal Environmental Programme - Still to be announced

GM

DES

DEP

The Area Consultative Committee (ACC) is proposing to take a lead role in putting forward an expression of interest for a major environmental project for Federal funding based on a “Clean Waters Model” implemented for Wallis Lakes.  The ACC is seeking Federal Government support for a $176m program over four years for each of the 8 Mid North Coast Councils plus Port Stephens, Clarence Valley and the Shoalhaven.  There is no matching funding required other than Council’s existing commitment to its environmental levy works program.  A letter of support for the initiative has been provided to the ACC.

6

Threatened Species Network Community Grants Round 11

 

TSN Grants Administration [mailto:TSNGrants@wwf.org.au]
To: TSN Grants Administration
Subject: Threatened Species Network Community Grants Round 11 OPEN

 

Trim document 7374/2008 refers to application

DEP

Round 11 of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program is now open.

Community groups are invited to apply for up to $50,000 to conduct on-ground conservation work for the ongoing health of our natural environment, specifically targeting the needs of nationally threatened species and ecological communities. Funding is available for activities such as habitat restoration, weeding, feral animal control, population surveys and monitoring, fencing, and fire management. 

Original signed applications must be received in WWF's Sydney office by 5pm Friday 30 May 2008 and project ideas must be discussed with the TSN Coordinator for your region prior to submitting an application.

 

Grant advertised in local paper.

 

7

Playground Equipment Upgrade – Department of Local Government

A total of $2m has been made available $1m for 2008/09 and a further $1m for 2009/10. Grants only available for local government & must be used to either provide new playground facilities and/or  equipment or upgrade specifically, identified existing playground facilities and/or equipment.  50 projects, to a max of $20,000 per project will be funded in each year of the program.

Closing date for 2008/09 is 24 April 2008

DES

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.3    SF111              170408         Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources         

 

Summary:

 

Changes to the workplace relations system came into effect 28 March 2008 with the commencement of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008. The major implications for Council are that the Notional Agreement Preserving the Local Government (State) Award 2004 (NAPSA) remains on foot until 31 December 2009 and the requirement to provide the Workplace Relations Fact Sheet to employees has been removed.

 

Importantly, the Act does not exclude Local Government from coverage of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth). This means that councils that are constitutional corporations remain bound to the provisions of the Act, including the terms and conditions of the NAPSA.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are no options.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Changes to the workplace relations system came into effect 28 March 2008 with the commencement of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008.

 

These amendments begin the transitional arrangements required for the dismantling of Work Choices and the commencement of a new workplace relations system on 1 January 2010.

 

In essence, the Act:

 

·           Prevents the making of new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs);

·           Allows employers using AWAs as at 1 December 2007 to offer Individual Transitional Employment Agreements (ITEAs) to new employees and employers already on AWAs, for the transition period while award modernisation takes place. ITEAs will have to pass a no-disadvantage test and will have nominal terms that expire no later than 31 December 2009;

·           Requires collective agreements to pass a no-disadvantage test as distinct from the existing ‘fairness test’, thereby ensuring that the proposed agreement does not disadvantage an employee against an applicable award and the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard (AFPCS);

·           Extend the transition period for the automatic expiry of NAPSAs to 31 December 2009;

·           Enables the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) to undertake the process of award modernisation;

·           Curtails the function of the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) to undertaking annual minimum wage reviews and adjusting the standard Federal Minimum Wage. As such the AFPC does not have the power to make new Australian Pay and Classification Scales.

·           Removes the requirement for employers to provide the Workplace Relations Fact Sheet to their employees.

 

The implications for local government in NSW are outlined below:

 

·        Local Government has not been excluded from coverage of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth).  This means that councils that are constitutional corporations remain bound to the provisions of the Act, this includes but is not limited to:

 

o  The terms and conditions of the Notional Agreement Preserving the Local Government (State) Awards 2004

o  The unfair dismissal provisions of the Act

o  The record keeping requirements of the Act, and

o  The freedom of association provisions.

 

·     NAPSAs will remain on foot until 31 December 2009.

 

·     Similarly, rates of pay will continue to be regulated by the preserved APCS and variations resulting from minimum wage determinations by the AFPC.

 

·     The introduction of the no-disadvantage test will require councils entering into new agreements to satisfy the Workplace Authority Director that the agreement would not result, on balance, in a reduction in an employees' overall terms and conditions under the applicable Preserved Collective State Agreement (PCSA) or NAPSA.  That is to say, council PCSAs or NAPSAs may be used as reference instruments for the purposes of the no-disadvantage test.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Local Government and Shires Associations

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Not applicable

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Nil

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.4    SF111              170408         Proposed Privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

Unions NSW have sought Council’s support in opposing the privatisation of the state’s electricity system.  The correspondence from Unions NSW is attached.  The report sets out the Government’s arguments for the privatisation.  It is obviously a difficult issue and for local government the sale could represent a potential source of new revenue for local and regional roads, water and sewerage supply and other needed local infrastructure.  For this reason it is recommended that the information from Unions NSW be received.  However concern is expressed at the rhetoric of the news release which continually refers to savings of up to “$15 billion” and suggests that the asset sale will proceed regardless of the anticipated returns.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the correspondence from Unions NSW be received.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can resolve to oppose the sale of the electricity system and make representations to its State member and the NSW Government; oppose the sale if certain conditions are not met; or can receive the correspondence from Unions NSW as recommended.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council has received the attached correspondence from Unions NSW concerning the proposed privatisation of the NSW electricity industry.

 

Unions NSW have called on Council to support their campaign to oppose the privatisation of the state’s electricity system.

 

Councillors will be aware that there has been considerable publicity in the media both for and against the proposed privatisation of the electricity industry.

 

The case for the privatisation was put in a news release by the Premier of NSW on 10 December 2007.  The news release was as follows:

 

“Premier Morris Iemma today announced the future energy needs of the State’s businesses and families would be secured at no cost to taxpayers in response to the Owen Inquiry into electricity supply in NSW.

 

Mr Iemma said the government would accept Professor Owen’s key recommendations while still keeping electricity assets in public ownership.

 

The decision is expected to save NSW taxpayers up to $15 billion over the next 10 to 15 years, at the same time as ensuring electricity supply and reliability keeps pace with growing demand.

 

Mr Iemma said that in order to provide for new energy generation by the private sector, the government would lease existing electricity generators to private operators, while keeping them in public ownership.

 

The State owned companies Energy Australia, Integral Energy and Country Energy, will keep their “poles and wires” assets in government ownership, fulfilling their important distribution function, while their retail lists and functions will move to private operators.

 

“Securing the future of our energy supplies is the biggest decision this Government will take and our decision will benefit the NSW economy, State Budget and environment for the next 20 years and beyond,” Mr Iemma said.

 

“Energy is the lifeblood or our economy and communities and that’s why we need to act swiftly to ensure that NSW is prepared to add additional baseload generation capacity by 2013-14.

 

We have reached a solution that secures the State’s energy supplies at no cost to taxpayers, while keeping electricity assets in public ownership.

 

It’s a win-win scenario,” Mr Iemma said.

 

“Creating the conditions for the private sector to make the investment in baseload will save NSW taxpayers up to $15 billion – unlocking funds for roads, trains, hospitals, schools and other essential infrastructure.

 

It does not make sense for NSW taxpayers to pay for the additional electricity investment, when the private sector can do it at no cost to the taxpayer.”

 

Since the release of the Owen Report, the Government has undertaken extensive analysis and consultation with key stakeholders including unions on a range of issues including:

·      Protecting household consumers from volatility in power prices as a result of price deregulation

·      Ensuring ongoing job security for all current state energy workers

·      Protecting the environment in line with securing our future energy supply and

·      Progressing development applications for potential power station sites.

 

As a result the Government will not accept Professor Owen’s recommendation to remove domestic price regulation in 2010.

 

Consumers will be protected with regulated prices by the IPART for households and small businesses for a further 3 years – to 2013, or until the Government is satisfied there is effective competition to keep downward pressure on retail electricity prices.

 

Mr Iemma said the Government would also continue its strong regulatory role to ensure the range of consumer protection measures, including social programs for pensioners and hardship measures are maintained.

 

“It’s also important that we secure jobs in this growing sector, and we’ve been able to do that with a guarantee of job security for public sector retail and generation electricity workers across the State,” Mr Iemma said.

 

“Advice from the private sector indicates the Government should do everything we can to retain the valued and highly skilled workforce.”

 

The Government will establish a Consultative Reference Group consistent with the ALP platform to test the impact of the reforms.

 

Treasurer Michael Costa said the exact structure of the sale of the retail licences and lease of the generators was still to be determined.

 

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Iemma Government’s commitment to economic reform where it’s in the best interests of the people of NSW,” Mr Costa said.

 

“We’ll be engaging the experts in these sorts of transactions in order to maximise the benefits to consumers, taxpayers, and the NSW electricity sector.

 

Options include trade sales of retail, leases of generation and an Initial Public Offering (IPO), or a combination, and will be determined after further consultation, including with regulators such as the ACCC”…

 

However priority areas for any opportunity for new investment will be:

 

·      Urban transport initiatives including euro-style metro technology and the extension of the M4

·      Rural water and sewerage infrastructure upgrades

·      Rural and regional road transport infrastructure

·      Energy efficiency strategy announced

·      Supporting development of clean energy including clean coal and renewables

 

The story so far: Why is the Government reforming the power industry?

 

NSW’s energy needs

 

·      Energy consumption in NSW is forecast to increase to 91,000 Gigawatt hours (GWh) a year by 2013-14, an increase of 10,500 GWh from 2006/2007.

·      NSW’s innovative energy efficiency measures such as BASIX, Energy Savings Action Plans and the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, are currently playing and will continue to play, a significant role in reducing energy consumption.

·      Renewable energy and other small scale generation are forecast to provide over 1,500 GWh of the 10,500 GWh needed.

·      The Owen Inquiry found the remaining 9,000 GWh required annually by 2013-14 is likely to be met by gas or coal fired generation.  Other technologies such as solar or geothermal are expected to contribute significantly in the longer term.

 

The cost to NSW taxpayers

 

·      The impact on NSW taxpayers of the State owned generation corporations building the required additional baseload could be up to $15 billion over the next 10 to 15 years:

o  $7 to $8 billion for new generation

o  $2 to $3 billion to maintain the viability of the retail businesses; and

o  $3 to $4 billion to retrofit existing power stations with carbon reduction technologies

·      The Government is already committed to a record $110 billion investment in infrastructure over the next decade.

·      The ratings agencies have indicated there is little room to further increase infrastructure spending without jeopardising our triple A credit rating.

 

Conditions for private sector investment

 

·      The private sector will invest in baseload generation in NSW if certain conditions are met – a key condition is access to a stable and adequate revenue stream to underwrite new investment in generation.

·      This is best achieved through “vertical integration” of retail and generation – where the company that bills the customer is the same company that generates the electricity – or by operating a portfolio of power stations.

·      Neither of these models is possible in NSW, when the Government continues to own the majority of the State’s retail businesses and power stations.

 

It is obviously a difficult issue and for local government the sale could represent a potential source of new revenue for local and regional roads, water and sewerage supply and other needed local infrastructure.  For this reason it is recommended that the information from Unions NSW be received.

 

However concern is expressed at the rhetoric of the news release which continually refers to savings of up to “$15 billion” and suggests that the asset sale will proceed regardless of the anticipated returns.  It is common knowledge that the opportune time to sell the electricity generation and retail assets was at least 10 years ago with the sale now being burdened by the uncertainty surrounding the proposed carbon tax and competition in a national market.  Like any asset sale, a major consideration as to whether or not it proceeds should be the price which is achieved in the market.  At some point the existing return which the Government secures from its electricity generators and retailers will negate the benefits of the asset sale or lease.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation in preparing this report.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The implications for the environment will mainly arise from the proposed carbon tax and regulation of the industry rather than whether it is in public or private ownership.

 

Social

 

Unions NSW are obviously concerned with the implications of the proposed privatisation to their membership.

 

Economic

 

The “up to $15 billion” dollar question.  The Government maintains the sale will provide up to $15 billion for expenditure on much needed infrastructure.  The critics claim the Government will be sacrificing the lucrative returns it receives from a monopoly asset whilst creating the potential for increased electricity charges and reduced reliability.

 

Risk

 

There are huge risks for the State Government.  Nambucca Shire Council will have no discernible influence on the final outcome.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no budget impacts as a consequence of this report.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds as a consequence of this report.

 

Attachments:

1View

Mayor - Proposed privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry - Request for Council support for Unions NSW opposition to proposal. Doc no. 7446/2008

 

2View

Bega Valley Shire Council Opposition to Sale of Electricity System - Doc no. 7597/2008

 

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Proposed Privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry

Attachment 1

Mayor - Proposed privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry - Request for Council support for Unions NSW opposition to proposal. Doc no. 7446/2008

 


 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Proposed Privatisation of the NSW Electricity Industry

Attachment 2

Bega Valley Shire Council Opposition to Sale of Electricity System - Doc no. 7597/2008

 

 

 

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HomeLatest News

Council opposes sale of electricity system

February 27, 2008: Bega Valley Shire Council has declared its opposition to State Government plans to sell off the State’s electricity system.

Councillors voted on Tuesday to call on the Government to better manage the State’s future energy needs and to take urgent action in response to climate change by investing in energy efficiency and increasing its renewable energy targets.

The motion to oppose privatisation of the State’s electricity was put forward by Cr Keith Hughes.

He said privatising electricity would lead to higher power bills, poorer service and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

"Privatisating essential public utilities like electricity and water inevitably leads to increased prices and reduced services as the new private owners try to maximise their returns.

"Private owners will try to increase power consumption to maximise profits, the exact opposite of what we should be trying to achieve.

"Increased consumption of electricity will lead to potential blackouts and will increase greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to dangerous climate change.

"This decision makes good sense if the Bega Valley is serious about meeting its 50:50 by 2020 target for clean energy," Cr Hughes said.

The mayor, Cr Tony Allen, said that selling off public assets for short-term gain not good business.

He said privatisation would:

·      Weaken the ability of the people of NSW to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urgently respond to climate change;

·      Increase financial hardship for consumers, particularly for low income households and pensioners;

·      Reduce State revenues by at least $1 billion per annum, as profits are shifted from the public purse to private corporations and;

·      Destroy public control over essential energy assets.

"Council opposes the electricity sale because of the unfair impact it will have on rural and regional NSW, leading to lower quality of service and loss of jobs," Cr Allen said.

"Council also believes that privatisation would impact severely on local government as major electricity consumers."

Cr Allen said Council’s position on privatisation was in line with the NSW Shires Association’s stand.

The Association’s President, Cr Bruce Miller, had come out last December against the privatisation, saying selling off the State's electricity industry would raise prices and cut services in regional and rural NSW, he said.

"Cr Miller said privatisation of essential services has never achieved the promised benefits and wherever it has occurred, we have seen loss of jobs and increases in prices over time," Cr Allen said.

"Regional and rural communities are dependent on the electricity industry not just for reliable and affordable services, but also for jobs, especially apprenticeship training."

Details of Council’s motion will be sent to the Premier, the Treasurer, the NSW Local Government and Shires Association, the State Members for Bega and Monaro, and the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro.

- ends -

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.5    SF775              170408         Nomination for Board of Arts Mid North Coast

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Monika Schuhmacher, Executive Assistant         

 

Summary:

 

Arts Mid North Coast Inc seeks Council’s nomination for participation on its Board.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council appoint a representative to participate on the Board of Arts Mid North Coast Inc.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are no feasible options.   Arts Mid North Coast Inc is an active fundraiser and lobbyist for the Arts on the Mid North Coast.  To ensure that Council successfully competes for available grant funding and arts initiatives Council should have a representative on the Board.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Mr Richard Holloway, the Regional Arts Development Officer and CEO of Arts Mid North Coast Inc has advised that the Arts Mid North Coast annual general meeting is to be held at Brindabella in Kempsey on Wednesday 21 May 2008.

 

Arts Mid North Coast is seeking a representative from each of the Local Government Councils in the region to sit on their Regional Board.  The Board meets four times per year.  Nambucca Shire Council’s current representative is Cr Martin Ballangarry.

 

Once Council has determined its representative a nomination form needs to be returned before 7 May 2008.

 

The current local Council representatives on the Board of the Arts Mid North Coast include:

 

·     Leigh Vaughan: Great Lakes Council

·     Mave Richardson; Greater Taree City Council

·     Cameron Price: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

·     Jim Gribbin: Kempsey Shire Council

·     Martin Ballangarry: Nambucca Shire Council

·     Jillian Granny: Bellingen Shire Council

·     Gavin Smithers: Coffs Harbour City Council

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment—There is no impact on the environment.

 

Social—The active development of the Arts on the Mid North Coast is important to the social development of the community.

 

Economic—There are no economic implications.

 

Risk—There is no risk to Council.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Arts Mid North Coast Inc is an active lobbyist and fundraiser for the Arts on the Mid North Coast.  It is important that Council stay involved with the organisation to ensure that it achieves maximum benefits to the Arts in terms of grant funding and other initiatives.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Grant funds unknown at this point.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.6    SF394              170408         Review of Local Government Investments

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Matthew Vinen, Accountant; Craig Doolan, Manager Financial Services         

 

Summary:

 

In September 2007 the Department of Local Government deemed it necessary to undertake a review of all NSW Local Government Investments. This was largely driven by the exposure of some NSW Councils to the fallout in the US Sub-prime mortgage market. The review is now complete and the report has been published. The report makes eight recommendations and these will be summarised in the body of this report.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council note this report.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

This report is for information only.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

An extensive review into NSW Local Government Investments was commissioned by the Department of Local Government and carried out by Michael Cole. This report makes eight recommendations and these are summarised as follows:

 

1.   All investment instruments in the Investment Order be defined to include both principal and investment income.

 

Under the current investment order Council’s can invest in products that have the principal portion of the investment linked to the required ‘A’ rating while the income generating portion does not necessarily have to carry any rating. This recommendation will ensure that both portions of the investment are at least ‘A’ rated.

 

2.   Grandfathering existing investments that are excluded by the changed regulations

 

Under the new Investment Order some of the current investments that Councils hold will no longer be permissible. Under this recommendation Councils can continue to hold onto their investments until maturity, redeemed or sold providing they do not fall outside the guidelines of the old investment order. Council currently has three investments that fall into this category and they are Longreach 2-2007, Longreach Series 26 and ANZ Averon II. Under the new investment order Council will not be forced to sell these investments.

 

3.  Product manufacturers / distributors should be excluded from being appointed investment

       advisors to Councils

 

This will assist in Councils receiving advice that is not biased towards a particular investment. Council is compliant with this recommendation as it uses the services of Grove Research and Advisory and they are not product manufacturers or distributors, they provide advice only.

         

4.  Suspending until December 2009 councils’ ability to make any new investment other than through TCorp or in land, cash, bonds or other councils

 

The current use of a credit ratings based approach to determining allowable investments is subject to further review. Council currently has part of its portfolio invested with TCorp. TCorp’s performance though has faced a similar negative fate to Council’s other long term investments.

 

5.   The current partial deregulation model operating for NSW Councils is retained with modifications.

 

This still allows for flexibility of investment strategies at the individual Council level.

 

6.   Ensuring councils are more fully aware of their obligations by requiring a signature demonstrating understanding of the investment requirements

 

This will ensure that Councils’ are aware of their responsibilities in regard to investments under the Local Government Act 1993 and the obligations of the NSW Trustee Act 1925.

 

7.   Permitted investments in securities should explicitly exclude subordinated obligations.

 

Investments containing subordinated obligations are where the payment of the investment is reliant on each investor getting paid according to their place in the hierarchy of that investment. The investors at the top of the tree are paid first followed by second etc., the further down the tree the less likely the chance of payment. This type of structure of investment is extremely risky and can be seen in investments like CDO’s. Council has not invested in any of these types of products.

 

8.   Issuing an investment policy guideline for councils in addition to the existing framework

 

This will assist the Council’s in NSW that currently do not have a sound investment policy to develop one. Council revised and adopted its Investment Policy in January 2007, as well as for the first time adopting an investment strategy. These two documents were produced in conjunction with Council’s independent investment advisor Grove Research and Advisory.

 

Due to Council’s current policy and strategy it has faired well compared to the Council’s mentioned in the Cole report. Council’s investment portfolio does not have any exposure to sub-prime however the portfolio as a whole has been affected by the turmoil in the worldwide investment market.

 

The eight recommendations of the report will not have a great impact on Council as during the current investment market turmoil Council has been proactive in deciding to defer any further investments into managed funds or long term products.

 

A full copy of the Review of NSW Local Government Investments has been made available to Council by the General Manager.

 

Council’s independent advisory service, Grove Research and Advisory, has produced a research report into this review that also covers the eight recommendations. This paper is attached for Council’s information.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Grove Research and Advisory

General Manager

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Not applicable.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Not applicable

 

Attachments:

1View

Research Report - Cole Enquiry

3 Pages

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Review of Local Government Investments

Attachment 1

Research Report - Cole Enquiry

 



 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.7    SF394              170408         Report on Investments

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Craig Doolan, Manager Financial Services; Matthew Vinen, Accountant         

 

Summary:

 

Return on investments year to date to 31 March 2008 is $228,883.46. Due to the lacklustre performances of Council investment portfolio since the December Budget Review a further review of Councils investments will be undertaken as part of the March Budget Review.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Manager Financial Services’ Report on Investments placed to 31 March 2008 be noted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

This report is for information only.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

This report details all the investments placed during March and Council funds invested as at 31 March 2008.

 

I certify that the investments listed within the report have been made in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 (as amended), the Regulations and Council Policy 1.9 – Investment of Surplus Funds

 

 

C P Doolan

Responsible Accounting Officer

 

1        Investments Placed 1 to 31 March 2008

 

Date

 Amount

Period (Days)

Quotes

%

Accepted

 

20/03/08

$2,036,986.30

90

NAB 

7.43%

Macquarie

Rollover Macquarie Investment

Bankwest

7.92%

Macquarie

7.95%

 

2        Investments Matured & Interest Earned 1 to 31 March 2008

 

Term Deposits / Bank Bills

 

Institution

Amount

Period

(Days)

Rate %

Interest Earned

Macquarie

$2,000,000.00

90

7.50%

$36,986.30

 


Managed Funds (medium term funds up to 5 years)

 

Institution

Amount

Period

(Days)

Performance for Month %

Interest Earned for Month

Annualised Performance FYTD

Interest Earned FYTD

Aberdeen

$4,883,906.92

31

-0.80%

-$38,896.90

0.35%

$14,193.55

Blackrock

$4,435,867.48

31

-1.42%

-$63,066.49

-5.62%

-$188,888.99

Macquarie Income Plus

$4,574,024.41

31

-0.07%

-$2,999.78

3.46%

$121,518.05

 

Long Term Funds (greater than 5 years)

 

Institution

Amount

Period

(Days)

Performance for Month %

Monthly change in Net Asset Value

LTD change in Net Asset Value

Interest coupons paid to date

NSW Treasury Corp

$934,693.43

31

-1.61%

-$15,010.93

-$83,279.28

N/A

Longreach 2-2007*

$858,980.00

31

1.15%

$9,870.00

-$131,150.00

$13,869.86

Longreach Series 26*

$400,600.00

31

-3.92%

-$15,700.00

-$115,100.00

$17,500.00

ANZ Averon II*

$410,150.00

31

-6.73%

-$27,600.00

-$117,450.00

$16,696.60

 

*Investments are capital Guaranteed on Maturity.

Longreach Investments pay an interest coupon bi-annually during the life of the investment.

ANZ Averon II has suspended payments of its coupon until further notice as reported in the Report on Investments for February.

 

Investment markets have continued to perform poorly which means that council’s investments have also continued their poor performances. Due to this unexpected continuation of poor performance a further variation to interest on investments will be included with the March Budget Review.

 

Council’s independent investment advisors, Grove Research and Advisory, are of the opinion that markets hit their low point in mid March and we should now see some positive performance come back to investments markets towards the end of the financial year.

 

The continuation of poor performance is disappointing however Council can take some comfort in the knowledge that its strong working funds position allows Council to view the medium and long term investments over their intended horizon and absorb any short term underperformance, such as that being currently experienced.

 

3        Investments held at 31 March 2008 

 

Institution

Amount

Period

Maturity Date

BCCU

$592,607.61

182

14/08/08

LGFS

$813,502.25

121

03/04/08

Bankwest

$762,760.27

180

13/05/08

IMB

$1,000,000.00

364

13/02/09

Bankwest

$1,000,000.00

365

04/09/08

National Aust Bank

$1,500,000.00

183

13/06/08

Macquarie Bank

$2,036,986.30

90

18/06/08

Newcastle Permanent

$1,000,000.00

61

29/04/08

Aberdeen

$4,845,010.02

N/A

N/A

Blackrock

$4,372,800.99

N/A

N/A

Macquarie Income Plus

$4,571,024.63

N/A

N/A

NSW Treasury Corp

$919,682.50

N/A

N/A

Longreach 2-2007

$868,850.00

5 Years

16/05/2012

Longreach Series 26

$384,900.00

7 Years

7/06/2014

Averon II

$382,550.00

7 Years

24/07/2014

TOTAL

$25,050,674.57

 

 

 

4        Investment returns:  March 2008

 

Total

Interest and capital variations to date

-$226,080.11

Plus

Interest due on maturity of Term Deposits

$143,423.57

Accrued  to 31/03/08

-$82,656.54

Plus

Year to date unrealised changes in Net Asset Value of Capital Protected Securities

$311,540

Investment Returns to 31/03/08

$228,883.46

Amount of returns expected from all funds and reserves as per adopted Budget.

$964,000.00

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Grove Research and Advisory

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Not applicable.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

A further review of total investment returns will be conducted as part of the March Budget Review to take into account the poor performances since the December Budget Review.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Variances will be from Working Funds, S94 Funds and the Water and Sewer Funds.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.8    SF941              170408         Tourism Strategy

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Wayne Lowe, Manager Business Development; Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

The Manager of Business Development has received three submissions of comment to the Nambucca Valley Tourism strategic Review all of which supported the employment of a full time tourism manager.

 

However, the strategy has recommended other options of consultancy or employment of an indigenous trainee.

 

Some changes have occurred since the completion of the tourism review strategy that Council needs to be aware of:-

 

1        Council has a casyak part time employee, an administration officer, Ms Maita Vanstockum who has over the past twelve months performed well in the position and, is respected by the volunteers and the industry association.

 

2        Council also has a commitment to Renee Cummings who is an employee of Council at the Macksville Aquatic centre. Renee has been offered a position on a three day basis (22 hours) per week at the Visitor information centre with Renee following the pool closure taking two weeks annual leave and commencing at the Visitors Information Centre on 29 April 2008. Renee will be assisting with customer service and assembling tourism industry information packs to be distributed to each accommodation place within the shire.

 

Renee’s employment at the VIC will last until the long weekend in October which will provide tourism with her services for 5 months in 2008.  Renee’s employment to Council runs to the end of June 2009 and Renee will also be available for an estimated two months to the VIC in 2009.

 

It is also suggested by the tourism association the need to expand their profile within the community and have a much larger active membership, which is always the issue with any volunteer organization. Tourism is currently carrying out an audit of all businesses related to tourism, once collated, they are looking to employ a person part time (maximum 5-7 hours per week) to assist coordinate and expand tourism development activities, run public forums, local promotions and endeavor to generate greater local interest.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That council adopts the Nambucca Valley Tourism Strategic Review with Council’s commitment to permanent staffing being a part time position at 3 days per week.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can employ a full time tourism officer as identified in the strategic review.  However it is recommended that the support and promotion of an individual industry should be a partnership with the industry association.  If they wish to contribute funding towards on-going staffing then there is the option of applying additional staffing.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The tourism association thanked Council for undertaking the report in an effort to gain a true picture of the current status of the tourism industry in the Nambucca Valley.

 

The association also highlighted that tourism is made up of and crosses over other local industries, they agreed with the recommendation for a full time tourism manager however, have offered to explore the possibility to employ a part time person with there own funds.

 

Tourism also indicated the need to use another council office other than the VIC for the part time employed officer by tourism to allow work space separate from the VIC to focus on industry development.

 

The tourism Association felt that an indigenous employee was a good recommendation should funding be available.

 

They did not support using work for the dole participants, stating in the past these people were unreliable, poorly presented and became more of a burden than a help.

 

The association would like to formalize a relationship with the Nambucca Shire council in the form of a MOU.  On the issue of a MOU with Coffs Coast they indicated that all experience to date with Coffs Coast has shown very little representation for dollar spent, and a diminishing of our identity in the process. They would prefer to work closer with the Regional Tourism Office on joint marketing arrangements to be encouraged as the RTO marketing manager lives in the Nambucca Valley. It is stated that the Coffs Coast promotes Coffs Coast as extending from Woolgoolga to Sawtell and show little regard to communicate with the local association.

 

The association accepts that they need to expand their profile and need to attract a much larger active memberships and are looking to employ a person part time 5-7 hours per week to assist with the industry development and promotion.

 

In conclusion the industry association strongly agree that there is an urgent need for the employment of a full time tourism officer and remain optimistic that if the draft tourism strategy is adopted by council that they will work cooperatively with council to achieve the major objectives of the report.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with Nambucca Valley Tourism Inc and the General Manager.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no significant implications.

 

 

Social

 

There are no significant implications.

 

 

Economic

 

The strategy and recommended staffing will allow Council to continue to deliver visitor information and tourism promotion and hopefully leas to further engagement with the industry.

 

 

Risk

 

There are no particular discernible risks.

 

 


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Provision has been made in the budget for 08/09 for the implementation of the strategy.

 

Attachments:

1View

Submission from Nambucca Valley Tourism Association

 

2View

Submission from Ms D Harris

 

3View

Submission in relation to Strategic Review/Action Plan 2007/08 - P & A Turnbull

 

4

Submission from P & A Turnball

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Tourism Strategy

Attachment 1

Submission from Nambucca Valley Tourism Association

 



 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Tourism Strategy

Attachment 2

Submission from Ms D Harris

 

11/20 Bellinger Street,

NAMBUCCA HEADS 2448

March 7, 2008.

 

The General Manager,

Nambucca Shire Council,

 P.O. Box 177,

MACKSVILLE 2447

 

Dear Mr Coulter,

Re:  Tourism Strategy

 

As a Volunteer at the Visitors Centre and an active member of Nambucca Valley Tourism Association (NVTA) I have read through the strategy and the following are my comments on some aspects.

 

The Nambucca Valley is beautiful from the Mountains to the Sea and its natural rivers and creeks course through some superb pristine scenery.  The beaches are wonderful and many Queenslanders make the trip down every year to holiday away from the hype of the Gold Coast. This area is well suited for passive tourism, the river not being long enough or big enough for large boats.  Nambucca Heads is an ideal spot to showcase sympathetic development and two stories (8 metres) should be encouraged with step down development on slopes such as in Byron Bay.    Byron and its businesses originally worked on a demand model, they found the demand approach not a strategy, there was in the beginning no clear product and no clear market. We need effective operators who identify what they can do better than competitors and identify the profitable target markets. 

 

The Tourism Strategy is just the first step. Attention must be given to increasing the capture of environmental value through operations such as eco-tourism and passive river activities.  Council and the Tourism Association need to determine the path to go down and work with individual businesses to help them align with the strategy, businesses need to be unified. Cultural, Indigenous and Environmental groups need to pull together to determine a coherent and effective tourism strategy, if not we won’t get anywhere.

 

I agree that River Street in Macksville should be enhanced and promoted as a tourist precinct.  It has the most wonderful natural features and Streetscape.  Signs should be erected on both the northern and southern approaches to the town encouraging people to turn at the lights and take a break in this wonderful setting.  The buildings are a time capsule of the past.  The Historic Star & Macksville Hotels are wonderful land marks as you approach from the North or South and the Streetscape from the Post Office LONG River Street is a time capsule.  You have the classic Post Office, 1950’s Café, Supermarket, Bank, Camping Shop to name but a few.  Grants should be sought to improve the heritage look and kerbside dining should allow the footpath to be extended in places similar to that outside Bylls Café in Nambucca Heads.  The Chamber of Commerce should be encouraged to get behind a project of promoting the whole shopping centre.  We always take our visitors to Macksville sometimes combining it with a round trip to Bowraville.  We dine at the Cafes or Hotels, go to Macnuts, sample the fudge, go to the Antique Shops pop into the Emporium and more.  Because it is on the highway and many travellers need a break they should be encouraged to turn right or left at the lights even if it just to have an ice cream or picnic under the trees and enjoy the beautiful river.  Being half way between Sydney and Brisbane it is an ideal spot to capture some business from travellers.  There is a wealth of opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Macksville with a little roadside promotion and not much outlay.

 

Accommodation in the Valley – we do not have enough Motels in Nambucca Heads.  People are looking for quality and views and want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and the beach.  The Max Motel should never have been pulled down to be replaced with apartments.  The Development Officer should try very hard to encourage someone to build a motel on that site, we need something with over 4 stars to attract the affluent traveller, there is plenty of accommodation for the budget traveller .

 

Marketing Officer.  I agree that there should be someone experienced to work on marketing the Nambucca Valley Tourism Association.  The Strategy survey reveals that many people think the Association is for Accommodation people and that is all we promote at the Visitors Centre.  I agree the executive of the Tourism Association should be more balanced and have representation from all sectors of the community.  At the moment the accommodation providers are the only people who are putting their hands up to be on the executive committee.  NVTA have agreed that they could at the moment fund a marketing officer for about 5 hours per week.  Council would need to supply office space at Council Chambers as the Tourist Information Office is too small and provides too many distractions.  With a stronger active Tourism Association such as has been created in Bellingen, (they have drawn all businesses in for support by showing just how they all benefit from tourism). In just a few years they are going from strength to strength. Macksville can be another Bellingen being situated on the highway it’s an ideal spot. The Marketing Officer’s first priority should be membership of the Association, marketing Bookeasy and to come up with ideas for new attractions in the area. We also have the advantage of the Mid North Coast’s RTO Marketing Manager living in Nambucca Heads, she has offered to assist the Association with by arranging workshops and would be a good person to utilise.

 

There is much mention of a MOU with Coffs Harbour the general feeling around Shire seems to be that we want to preserve and promote our own identity, Coffs have the bigger budget and will promote themselves first and certainly they would promote us as a “day trip”.  This summer’s inclement weather up north provided us with a bonus and many travellers who had not been here before chose to stay in the valley and loved it.

 

There is mention of a regular Newsletter to all operators and the Council.  The previous Tourist Officer did that and very few read it, some other form of local promotion needs to be invented!!!

 

Tourist Officer/Manager.  I agree we need a full time person with responsibilities similar to that in the Strategy. I don’t agree that they have to have a degree, certainly experience and contacts in the Industry is a must.    The last 12 months have been very difficult at the Visitors Information Centre especially losing our full time position.  Joy Lane was a net worker and had many contacts in the State and Shires nearby. Because the current Development Officer is taking most of the marketing and promotional responsibilities and can only allocate 1 day per month to the position, a lot of opportunities that a full time Tourist Officer would have picked up on have been lost.  I think that a Tourism Officer would need to work some days away from the VIC to avoid the distractions in that office.  I wonder if the job could be shared.  If it is to be shared there would be only room for 1 at the VIC.  A desk and computer etc. may need to be made available at Council Chambers an opportunity to work more closely with the Development Manager.

 

 The applicants for the position of Tourism Officer’s job description should be such that the present temporary supervisor at the Visitors Centre can apply for a position if she wishes.  She has reorganised the VIC expertly, trains her Volunteers well and has excellent Computer and Internet skills, her understanding of the Bookeasy system is a great help to operators and volunteers alike.  Any task that Wayne Lowe has set for her she has fulfilled and she is prepared to delegate tasks to the Volunteers.  She speaks 4 languages + an absolute bonus for the many Europeans who visit the VIC, some have very little English.  She has run a successful tourism business in the Shire for the last 7 years.

 

Trainee Indigenous Tourist Officer – a good idea but really with the Volunteers and a Tourist Officer in the VIC there is no room. Maybe someone can be employed and work from the Council Chambers on indigenous projects.  There are of course indigenous officers working for Parks and Wildlife and sometimes they do tours, maybe we should work in more with them.

 

Work for the Dole – no I don’t agree with that and generally their heart is not in being a volunteer. In the past Work for the Dole people have been most unreliable, ringing and saying they can’t come in at the last minute or have to go early for some reason or not turning up at all.  Work for the Dole people on the whole disrupted the smooth running of the VIC.  I do agree however that there is a wonderful opportunity to provide a mentoring role and training for a younger person in the industry or in office procedures and it is always refreshing to have a young person meet and greet the visitors. We certainly have provided work experience for High School students that could be extended to Southern Cross University Hospitality/Tourism students.

 

However – New Start Allowance, this is another thing all together.  New Start Allowance people are over 55 can’t get a job in the area and must Volunteer for 15 hours a week to get their allowance.  We have a wonderful assortment of New Start people working at the VIC.  They are friendly have good people skills, often have excellent Computer and typing skills and are a joy to work with.  The VIC couldn’t manage without them and fortunately Centre Link recommends them to us.

 

Kids Club – there was this type of programme run in the last holidays and promoted at the VIC, it was very successful I believe and is a great idea.

 

In Summary  - the Strategy is just the beginning and Councillors must be aware that Tourism/Holiday Makers/Travellers provide an enormous boost to this economy.  They Shop, eat, drink, buy petrol, get their hair done end enjoy the clubs, sporting facilities, every business in the Valley is affected.  We must pull together to achieve this,  money wise we may have limited resources but we do have a pool of expertise and a beautiful location in the Valley to draw upon.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Dorothy Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Tourism Strategy

Attachment 3

Submission in relation to Strategic Review/Action Plan 2007/08 - P & A Turnbull

 




 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Tourism Strategy

Attachment 4

Submission from P & A Turnball

 




 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 10.9    SF544              170408         Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2008 - S94 Contributions

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Bruce Potts, Section 94 Co-ordinator; Matthew Vinen, Accountant         

 

Summary:

 

The Exposure Draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2008 has been released for public comment prior to it being put before the New South Wales Parliament. The Draft Bill proposes significant changes to the manner by which a Council might require a monetary, or other contribution, to be made towards the provision of community and public infrastructure required to meet increased demand from a new incoming population.

 

This Report describes the proposed Amendments and discusses possible impacts on Council to deliver future community infrastructure and amenities to meet demand.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Report be received and noted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

This report is for information only.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Background

The exposure Draft of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Bill 2008 was made available on the Department of Planning web site on 3rd April 2008. The content of the draft Bill reveals that substantial reforms to the planning system are intended to be legislated, and in particular, Amendments relating to development contributions.

 

Council will recall that a previous Report advised of possible changes to the Legislation, specifically the manner in which a Council could demand a developer contribution and for what purpose that contribution could be used. At that time the Local Government and Shires Association vigorously opposed any changes to the current system which, if legislated, would place Councils at a financial disadvantage in funding new or increased facilities for a growing urban residential population.

 

Developer contributions raised under the authority of a s.94 contribution plan have effectively been the only guaranteed means many Councils in New South Wales have of funding increased capacity of community facilities or infrastructure to meet additional demand. Therefore any amendments to the legislation limiting Councils s.94 revenue stream would place an unreasonable burden on the existing community to provide funding, by shifting responsibility for the provision of facilities and services away from the source of the demand.

 

Draft Environmental Planning & Assessment Amendment Bill 2008

The amendments proposed in the draft Bill provide for significant changes in the way and manner a Council can require a contribution to be made and used. It might be argued that many of the proposed amendments only strengthen or define existing provisions of the Act. However there are changes which, if made law, could substantially limit a Council’s capacity to independently administer its section 94 program, and the authority for the collection and expenditure of contributions for facilities and infrastructure that could reasonably be expected to be provided.

 


Key changes proposed in the exposure draft likely to impact on Council

 

(a)  S.908 Councils limited to contributions for key community infrastructure

 

Under the proposed changes Councils will not be permitted to demand a contribution unless the defined purpose is to provide either “key community infrastructure” or “additional community infrastructure” as it is defined by the Regulation. Clauses 31A and 31B define key community infrastructure as:

 

§ local roads

§ local bus infrastructure

§ local parks

§ local sporting, recreational, cultural civic and social service facilities

§ drainage and stormwater management works

§ land for any community infrastructure(except land for riparian corridors), and

§ district infrastructure where a direct connection with the development can be demonstrated.

 

The proposed amendment limits the type of facility or service that a contribution can be demanded for, and that Council would need to apply to the Minister if a specific facility was required that did not meet the above criteria.

 

(b)  S.911 Ministers directions about community infrastructure contributions

Under this amendment the Minister can direct a Council:

 

§ not to impose a contribution, or

§ how the contribution will be calculated, or

§ what can and cannot be accepted as a material public benefit,

§ the type of development that a contribution can be imposed on,

§ the timeframe for the application of the contribution,

§ how the contribution can be used and

§ whether a joint contribution plan can be prepared.

 

Under this amendment the Minister can limit a Councils capacity to impose or demand a contribution regardless of the merits or the otherwise compliance with the legislation.

 

(c)  S.912 Development contribution provisions in planning instruments

Proposed s.912 that an environmental planning instrument can no longer contain ‘satisfactory arrangements’ clauses that require a contribution for community infrastructure to be made either as a condition of development consent or as a precondition to the grant of development consent

 

(d)  S.914 State infrastructure contributions in special contribution areas

This section provides for state infrastructure contributions to be imposed outside a special contributions area.

 

(e)  S.921 Council planning agreements limited to key community infrastructure

This section proposes placing restrictions on the type of infrastructure that can be provided under a planning agreement, and limit additional contributions as currently permitted.

 


Under Schedule 1 Part 1 of the Draft Bill the following will apply:

 

cl.6.(4) A council must, within 14 days after approving a contribution plan, provide the Minister with a copy of the plan

 

cl.7 Ministers directions about contributions plans

 

Under cl 7(1) the Minister may direct a Council to provide a draft plan for review prior to Council approval.

Under cl 7(2) the Minister may approve, amend or repeal a contribution plan on behalf of a Council

 

Under cl 7(3) the Minister may direct a Council to approve, amend or repeal a contribution plan within a specified timeframe

 

Under cl 7(4) that a Ministerial direction under these clauses is not subject to the Regulations

 

CONCLUSION:

The amendments relating to development contributions contained within the exposure draft Bill are wide ranging and will have implications for Councils administration of developer contributions. This Report is intended to highlight to Council the significant amendments to the current legislation

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The Department of Planning has released the exposure draft Bill for public consultation and will receive submissions up to the close of business 24th April 2008

 

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. Any changes to the current Legislation could impact on Councils capacity to deliver future community facilities and infrastructure required to meet increased demand.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Section 94 developer contributions represent a significant income stream for Council. Any changes to the legislation could have implications for Councils in terms of the capacity to impose a demand for a contribution

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Not Applicable

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 11.1    SF283              170408         Report on Access Committee Minutes 18 March 2008

 

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

 

Summary:

 

Attached for Council’s endorsement is a copy of the minutes of the Nambucca Shire Council Access Committee Annual General and Ordinary Meetings held on Tuesday, 18 March 2008.

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

The AGM minutes contain 1 recommendation for Council’s consideration which is reproduced as follows:

 

Election of Office Bearers and Confirmation of Committee

 

On the motion of Cr Chris Waller, seconded Keith Davis, that the office bearers and committee members be endorsed by Council.

 

ORDINARY MEETING MINUTES

 

The minutes of the ordinary meeting contain 4 recommendations which are reproduced as follows:

 

Minutes of Previous Meeting — 26 February 2008

 

Moved Keith Davis, seconded Michelle Donges, that a recommendation for a third of the Committee plus one to constitute a quorum be made to Council.

 

Disability Action Plan Review

 

Moved Margaret Hutchinson, seconded Keith Davis, that the same framework be used for the 2008-2012 Plan and that the Access Committee host a series of forums or meetings to work through each issue with Council staff and community stakeholders.

 

Moved Lyn Foster, seconded Margaret Hutchinson that the Committee commence with Council’s draft Workplace Diversity (employment) Program.

 

Member’s Reports

 

Moved Keith Davis, seconded Lyn Foster that the Traffic Committee be asked to comment on some form of specific delineation to stop people from cutting the corner around the back of the supermarket where vision is impaired.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council note the minutes from the Annual General Meeting held on 18 March 2008 and endorse the membership to the Access Committee of Cr Chris Waller (Chairperson), Margaret Hutchinson (Deputy Chair), Michelle Donges (Secretary); and Committee Members: Cr Martin Ballangarry (NSC appointment to the committee), Jennifer Croaker (Guide Dogs Assoc of NSW), Frank Probert, Lyn Foster, Keith Davis and Dot Secomb (Blind Citizens Australia).

 

2          The Council note the approaches being taken for developing the 2008-2012 Disability Action Plan, including using the NSW Disability Policy Framework and commencement with comment on the draft Workplace Diversity Strategy.

 

3          That the quorum for the Access Committee be adjusted to at least thirty-three of one half percent (33.5%) plus one of the number of ordinary members and that the constitution be adjusted and signed under seal if so required.

 

4          That the matter of access at the corner of Winfred and Princess Streets Macksville be referred to the Nambucca Shire Council Traffic Committee for its comment regarding possible improvements to pedestrian safety by delineating the border between the Loading Zone and roadway.

 

5          That the remaining minutes of the Access Committee meeting held on 18 March 2008 be noted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1          Endorse the minutes and their recommendations

2          Not endorse the minutes

3          Endorse the minutes with amendments

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Recommendations 3 and 4 of this report require specific comment.

 

Committee Quorum

 

The Committee is requesting Council to revise the number of members required to constitute a quorum. In 1995, during the early days of the Access Committee a quorum was set at 7 members. This was revised to 5 on 22 November 1995 as seven was a difficult number to attain, mainly due to the health and occupation of committee members. This continues to pose problems partly due to the age and disabilities of some members. The Committee’s request is that a quorum be revised to 1/3 plus 1 so that the number required to form a quorum varies with membership. This is consistent with most other Section 355 Committees. An attendance of four of the nine members would still be required to constitute a formal meeting.

 

Corner Winifred and Princess Streets

 

Committee members report their ongoing concern at the conflict between vehicles and pedestrians at the corner of Winfred and Princess Streets Macksville, particularly due to the presence of the supermarket Loading Zone. (The Committee noted that it raised concerns at the time of the Development Application for improvements to the Supermarket some years ago.)

 

Trucks parked in the Loading Zone sometimes block pedestrian access across the street and vehicles turning left from Princess into Winifred Street have been frequently observed to cut the corner. Pedestrians travelling along Princess Street footpath must cross both the Loading Zone and the roadway. The intersection is a busy one used by both the elderly and young students. Older people may take longer to cross the road, or be using a walking aid. Children may not be visible to turning vehicles if cars are parked on the northern approach to the intersection. There is no formed footpath on the west along Princess Street and therefore no viable alternative route for a number of pedestrians.

 

The Committee requests the Traffic Committee to again consider measures to reduce conflict at the intersection noting that a No Parking sign was moved further north at the intersection in an effort to improve visibility. This may however have increased the opportunity for vehicles to cut the corner.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Director Engineering Services

 


SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no specific environmental sustainability issues.

 

Social

 

There are no specific social issues identified.

 

Economic

 

Nothing identified.

 

Risk

 

There is the potential to reduce risk to pedestrians and motorists if suitable changes are identified for the corner of Winfred and Princess Streets Macksville.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There may be an impact of future budgets due to recommendations from the Disability Action Plan but this would be identified in the usual Management Plan and Budget processes.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No variance to funding required.

 

Attachments:

1View

7806/2008 - Minutes of the Nambucca Shire Access Committee held 18 March 2008

 

2View

7804/2008 - Minutes of the Access Committee Annual General Meeting held 18 March 2008

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Report on Access Committee Minutes 18 March 2008

Attachment 1

7806/2008 - Minutes of the Nambucca Shire Access Committee held 18 March 2008

 

Present

 

Cr Chris Waller (Chairperson), Keith Davis, Margaret Hutchinson, Lyn Foster, Coral Hutchinson (NSC Manager of Community & Cultural Services), Paula Walin-Bates (Nambucca Valley Phoenix Ltd), Michelle Donges.

 

 

Apologies

 

Cr Martin Ballangarry, Dot Secomb (Blind Citizens Australia), Moira Ryan (DADHC), Nick Charters (Paraquad), Jennifer Croaker (Guide Dog NSW/ACT), Frank Probert, Maureen Rahman (Valleys to Plateau Community Support Services Inc).

 

 

Housekeeping and Emergency Procedures

 

The meeting was briefed on emergency exit and meeting points, also the location of facilities.

 

 

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest none declared

 

 

Minutes of Previous Meeting — 26 February 2008

 

The Minutes were discussed, though there was not a quorum for a meeting, a discussion was still held and this was accepted.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That on the motion of Keith Davis and seconded Michelle Donges, the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted.

 

RECOMMENDATION: Moved Keith Davis, seconded Michelle Donges, that a recommendation for a third of the Committee plus one to constitute a quorum be made to Council.

 

 

Business Arising:

 

1        Coffs/Bellingen/Nambucca Combined Access Meeting

 

The next meeting will be held at Bellingen Shire Council on Thursday 3rd April. Members to indicate their availability to Coral by 28 March for transport, please forward any items for the agenda beforehand.

 


2        DCP 18 Tourist Development

 

The recommendations and comments re: Draft DCP 18 which was finalised in the last Access Committee meeting have been forwarded on to Council’s Planning staff for inclusion in the Draft. The DCP will be on exhibition later for the public and further comments.

 

 

Correspondence

 

IN      Nil

OUT  Letter to local High Schools re Athlete with a Disability Program

 

 

General Business

 

3        MNC Area Disability Advisory Committee

No feedback has been received as yet.

 

4        Disability Action Plan

 

Copies of the Review document were circulated at the last meeting and are available from Coral Hutchinson for those members not in attendance. Work has commenced on the Introduction and Background sections of the new plan. The 2004-08 Plan was based on the NSW Disability Policy Framework and included the following sections:

 

·         Physical Access

·         Promoting Positive Community Attitudes

·         Staff Training

·         Information about Services

·         Employment (in Nambucca Shire Council)

·         Complaints Procedures

·         Waste Management

·         Participation

·         Development

 

The workplace equity and diversity strategy (employment) section was tabled. It is anticipated that some issues can be worked on within a specific timeframe at regular meetings. However an inclusive forum with Council staff may be more beneficial for issues such as physical access.

 

RECOMMENDATION: Moved Margaret Hutchinson, seconded Keith Davis, that the same framework be used for the 2008-2012 Plan and that the Access Committee host a series of forums or meetings to work through each issue with Council staff and community stakeholders.

 


4        Disability Action Plan - continued

 

RECOMMENDATION: Moved Lyn Foster, seconded Margaret Hutchinson, that the Committee commence with Council’s draft workplace diversity (employment) program.

 

5        NSC Traffic Committee minutes of 5 February 2008

 

A copy of the minutes were tabled.  Whilst there are no specific access issues, the Traffic Committee minutes include action on footpath congestion outside the Golden Sands Hotel Nambucca Heads due to patrons being required to smoke outside.  There are several places in Nambucca Heads and Macksville where there is congestion of people, outside furniture, and signs, which are causing access problems. Council’s DCP on footpath policy has as yet not been finalized to address this.

 

Members Reports

 

§  Unloading trucks are an access problem at the rear of the supermarket near Princess St in Macksville. It is problematic that part of what is perceived as roadway is supermarket private property. Marking this area could help provide guidance for both traffic and pedestrians.

 

RECOMMENDATION: Moved Keith Davis, seconded Lyn Foster, that the Traffic Committee be asked to comment on some form of specific delineation to stop people from cutting the corner around the back of the supermarket where vision is impaired.

 

§  There is concern about the proliferation of tables & chairs around Macksville and Nambucca Heads CBD streets.

 

§  One wheel on the wheelchair which is used in the hydrotherapy pool is loose. This needs to be addressed as it is a safety hazard. Cr Waller declared a non-pecuniary interest in the matter.

 

§  Paula gave an overview of the future directions of Nambucca Valley Phoenix Ltd. Tentatively in May or June the Access Committee would like to visit the main Phoenix centre. The Access Committee and Phoenix would like to develop mutually beneficial closer ties. Paula has therapy dogs which have worked with people with dementia. Crime prevention in Bowraville is a concern for people working at Phoenix. Legal and financial advisors/services specialising in disability issues are needed for Phoenix clients.

 

§  Any comments for the NSC council workplace strategy are to be forwarded to Coral in about a week to be finalised for the next April meeting as this matter is time framed for submitting to Council. The plan is comprehensive so as to be socially inclusive. Disability awareness training is proposed for Council staff.

 


Members Reports continued

 

§  The need to include more people from the community to be involved with the committee was discussed. All who are interested are welcome to attend.

 

 

Next Meeting

 

The next meeting is set down for 22 April 2008, Coral & Keith will be apologies.

 

 

Meeting Closure

 

There being no further business, the meeting was declared closed at 3.30 pm.

 

 

 

 

.......................................... 

Cr Chris Waller

CHAIRPERSON

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Report on Access Committee Minutes 18 March 2008

Attachment 2

7804/2008 - Minutes of the Access Committee Annual General Meeting held 18 March 2008

 

Present

 

Cr Chris Waller (Chairperson), Margaret Hutchinson, Keith Davis, Coral Hutchinson (NSC Manager Community & Cultural Services), Lyn Foster, Michelle Donges, Paula Wallin-bates (Nambucca Valley Phoenix Ltd).

 

 

Apologies

 

Jennifer Croaker (Guide Dogs NSW/ACT), Nick Charters (Paraquad), Moira Ryan (DADHC), Dot Secomb (Blind Citizens Australia), Cr Martin Ballangarry, Frank Probert, Maureen Rahman (Valleys to Plateau Community Support Services Inc).

 

 

Housekeeping and Emergency Procedures

 

The meeting was briefed on emergency exit and meeting points, also the location of facilities.

 

 

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest – none declared.

 

 

Minutes of Annual General Meeting 27 March 2007

 

RECOMMENDATION: That on the motion of Keith Davis and seconded Margaret Hutchinson, the minutes from the previous AGM held on 27 March 2007 be accepted.

 

There was no Business Arising

 

 

Chairperson’s Report

 

Ms Moira Ryan resigned as Committee Chairperson due to work commitments near the end of 2007. Her support and direction was a great asset to the Access Committee, and her presence will be missed. Ms Ryan has forwarded the following re-cap on the Committee’s achievements over the past year and wishes the following to be noted:

·        Several new committee members

·        The partnership with Gordon Park Rainforest Committee of Management celebrating International Day of Disability with the boardwalk opening

·        Review of DCP 18 Tourist Development in regard to the needs of people of disabilities

·        Finalising review of the Disability Action Plan


Chairperson’s Report - continued

 

·        Support for submission to Area Assistance Scheme for project to improve accessibility to library services (funding announcement due mid year)

·        Advocacy for improvements to physical access at Macksville and Nambucca Heads Libraries and Burrapine Hall

·        Participation in regional solutions to access via the mid north coast meeting of council Access Committees

·        Advice and solutions for access issues in the Bowra Street (Nambucca Heads) upgrade

·        Beach Wheelchair protocols developed and now available for loan from Council

·        Advocacy for access solutions for trouble-spots around streets

·        Liaison and discussion with Vision Australia and MNC Advocacy Services regarding possible partnerships, preventing overlaps and improving service delivery at the Nambucca Shire level

 

The Committee also had the sad experience of the passing of its founding Chairperson, John Smith. John was a very vocal and high profile supporter of the Committee from its commencement which was at a time when access for people with disabilities was reluctantly on the community’s agenda.

Ms Ryan wishes the Committee success in the future and would be happy to re-join in the future should her circumstances allow.

 

The committee discussed how the beach wheelchair has successfully been on loan to people holidaying in the area.

 

RECOMMENDATION: Moved Coral Hutchinson, seconded Keith Davis, that the Chairperson’s report be accepted.

 

 

Election of Office Bearers and Confirmation of Committee

 

Cr Chris Waller declared all positions vacant. Ms Hutchinson presided over election of office bearers.

 

Chairperson: Cr Chris Waller was nominated by Keith Davis, seconded  Margaret Hutchinson, he is also a Nambucca Shire Council appointment to the Committee.

Deputy Chair: Margaret Hutchinson was nominated by Cr Chris Waller, seconded  Keith Davis.

Publicity Officer: Dot Secomb was nominated by Cr Chris Waller, seconded by Keith Davis, subject to her acceptance.

Secretary: Michelle Donges was nominated Cr Chris Waller, seconded by  Margaret Hutchinson.

Assistant Secretary: position open. Ms Hutchinson assists when needed but is not a voting member of the Committee.

 


Election of Office Bearers and Confirmation of Committee continued

 

Committee Members: The following were nominated as Committee members by Margaret Hutchinson and seconded by consensus of the committee; Jennifer Croaker (Guide Dogs Assoc of NSW), Keith Davis, Lyn Foster, Cr Martin Ballangarry (NSC appointment to the committee), and Frank Probert.

 

RECOMMENDATION: That on the motion of Cr Chris Waller, seconded Keith Davis, the office bearers and committee members be endorsed by Council.

 

 

General Business

 

ITEM 1                    FORWARD PLAN

 

The following were agreed as priorities for the coming year:

 

·        Update of Mobility Map (target - completion June) a small update is needed, and a small cost to have the graphic artist to amend the original, to go on website

·        Disability Action Plan 2008-2012 (target - completion December) Under review

·        International Year of Sanitation (target - completion end December) for review of accessible toilet information; for discussion re National Public Toilet map as a starting point. Committee to check that the shire toilet information is up to date.

·        Implement Area Assistance/Library project if successful (project completion would be June 2009) a broader approach has been taken to this year’s application to be more socially inclusive than main focus of disability.

·        Broaden membership to include key services or representatives from people with various disabilities

 

Cr Waller tabled some interesting information on sanitation in relation to the Beijing Olympics.

 

ITEM 2                    MEETINGS

 

The Committee agreed that meetings will continue to be held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 2pm.

 

 

Meeting Closure

 

There being no further business, the meeting was declared closed at 2. 35 pm.

 

.........................................

Cr Chris Waller

CHAIRPERSON

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 11.2    SF776              170408         Report on Attendance at 48th Floodplain Management Authorities Conference 26-29 February 2008, Wollongong

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning         

 

Summary:

 

Nambucca Shire Council was represented at the 48th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference in Wollongong from Tuesday, 26 to Friday, 29 February 2008.

 

The conference was very well attended with over 300 delegates attending from all over NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

 

The theme of the Conference was Hazard > Risk > Response and included two key note speakers from America outlining the American way of dealing with floods and its mitigation.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That the report on the 48th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference held on 26–29 February 2008 in Wollongong, be noted.

 

2          That Council be represented at the 49th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference to be held in Albury–Wodonga in February 2009.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

·              Council could choose not to note the report.

·              Council could resolve not to be represented at the 49th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference to be held in Albury–Wodonga in 2009

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Like many recent conferences, the format of the 48th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference consisted of Plenary Sessions, Keynote Speakers and, Concurrent Sessions giving delegates opportunity to attend the topics of interest and relevance to each delegate. Between the Mayor, Cr Ainsworth, Director Engineering Services and myself, we tried to attend alternative concurrent sessions and topics.

 

The Conference opening on Wednesday, 27 February was one of both humour and concern with the (former) Wollongong Lord Mayor Alex Darling, welcoming the many delegates to the City area noting that whilst Wollongong City Council was in the news and on the front pages of the newspapers, it was for other reasons and not the fact that Wollongong City Council was hosting the 48th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference. He did warn however, to be cautious as the “Table of Knowledge” was just across the road form the conference venue!

 

Chairperson Cr Allan Ezzy in his opening address expressed his disgust and grave concern that this was the first Annual Conference in over 10 years where not one State or Federal Politician (Government and Opposition) bothered to accept or attend the Authorities invitation to the Conference. Cr Ezzy questioning “Is this part of the governments reduced funding and commitment to Flood Mitigation in NSW and Australia”? This resulted in outbursts from a number of delegates to the effect “Shame”, “Arrogance” and “Slack”.

 

Notwithstanding, Cr Ezzy welcomed everyone and encouraged all delegates to continue to pursue their local Politicians to ensure that both State and Federal funding is not further withdrawn.

 

In his opening address Cr Ezzy welcomed the development of a new graduate course through the University of Technology Sydney for those persons seeking to undertake studies leading to formal qualifications in Flood Management. Cr Ezzy also launched a new book looking at the History of the Flood Management Authority since its inception in 1958.

 

Two Keynote speakers from America gave very interesting presentations over two days relating to the National Insurance Scheme that is in place in the United States and an outline on the minimal Flood Management Authorities that exist in the US. In fact they both suggested that the US should look at the Australian Model of Flood Authorities and Emergency Services as there is much to be learned from Australia. Such agencies are consumed within other much larger organisations and given little assistance or credit in the US.

 

Climate Change was one of the major topics discussed and still there is varying views and beliefs, which again made it difficult to gain meaningful outcomes on how best to deal with the possible effects of Climate Change or what levels we should be planning to minimise inundation for new and existing areas that could be affected by sea level rise.

 

Discussion on the 1:100 year flood levels, Planning Flood Levels, natural occurrences such as sea surges and localised storm water flooding came under discussion with some detailed case studies following recent flood events.

 

The conference included Several Field trips:

 

Field Trip 1:     Inspection of Affected sites from the 1998 Storm Event attended by the Director Engineering Services.

 

Field Trip 2:     Inspection of West Dapto Future Urban Release Area and areas affected from the 1984 storm event attended by the Mayor and Director Environment and Planning.

 

Field Trip 3:     Inspection of the SES Headquarters and lake Illawarra Improvement Works attended by Cr Ainsworth.

 

A CD is available for any Councillor who wishes to view the Conference Agenda, Topics, papers, etc.

 

All in all the conference was a very well attended, informative and interesting conference surrounded by the Wollongong City Council controversy and the concern of reduced Floodplain Management funding.

 

Whilst Nambucca Shire Council has not had any major Flood Events in recent time, there is no doubt that an event will occur. It is therefore important that Council maintain its membership with the Floodplain Management Authority and continue to attend the annual conference.

 

The 2009 Annual Conference is to be a combined NSW and Victorian conference and will be held in Albury-Wodonga 16-20 February 2009. Funds have been included in the Draft 2008/09 budget to cover at least two delegates attendance at the conference.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The Director Engineering Services has been consulted.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental issues with this report. However, Flood Management and Mitigation can have significant Environmental impacts both positive and negative

 


Social

 

There are no social issues with this report. However, there are considerable social impacts due to flooding.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic impacts with this report. However, the resulting economic impact due to flood events can be enormous.

 

Risk

 

The Nambucca Valley remains at risk of considerable inundation due to flooding. Awareness and mitigation works can minimise the risk.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The total cost for attendance at the Conference was $3280 plus fuel for Council’s car ($820 per person). This cost was covered from within the current budget and no variation is required.

 

Registration, accommodation and travel fees for two delegates have been included in the current Draft 2008/09 budget to enable two delegates to attend the 49th Annual Floodplain Management Authorities Conference in Albury Wodonga in February 2009.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Registration and delegate costs came from the relevant Councillor and staff training and conference fees. No variations are sought.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 11.3    SF225              170408         Bowraville Dog Health Program 29 April 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Phillip Gall, Manager Health and Building         

 

Summary:

 

An approach has been made to Council to consider offering either a full or partial reduction in registration fees for dog registration under the provisions of the Companion Animals Act 1998 associated with the proposed Dog Health Program in Bowraville.

 

The proposed program is aimed at carrying out the following health program on dogs within the Aboriginal community at Bowraville and may possibly be expanded to the Macksville and Nambucca Heads area for the 29 April 2008 with all participants expected to take their animals to the Bowraville venue.

 

·              Full vaccinations of dogs

·              Desexing of dogs

·              Microchip animals

 

The program will involve the Local Aboriginal Land Councils, RSPCA, Local Vets, Councils Regulatory Officer and Department of Health Representatives and is expected to cost around $10,000, these funds being allocated by the State Health Department.

 

The program is aimed at improving the health of the family dogs which may have an impact on family members health. While the program is a health program there is concern that if considerable monies are spent on the animals health, owners may not then register the dogs due to the cost of the registrations.

 

Attached is an email from a representative of the North Coast Area Health Service seeking Council's consideration of a subsidy to assist in having the dogs registered as part of the Dog Health Program.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council advise the NSW Department of Health that it is prepared to offer an 80% discount for the lifetime registration for all desexed dogs under the proposed Dog Health Program, with the following fees applying:

 

Desexed Animal:                                $8

Pensioner owned, desexed animal    $3

 

2          Council note that its contract Regulatory Officers will be in attendance at the program to provide educational material and assist with providing the requirements to dog owners to register and managed their pets in the community.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The following options exist for Council to consider in relation to this request:

 

·              Look at various other levels of subsidy for the dog registration fees for any animals treated through the program. This option is dealt with further in the discussion area of this report.

·              Not offer any rebate for the dog registration fees as part of the Dog Health program.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Registration fees are set by the State Government and all such fees are forwarded to the Department of Local Government with 80% being returned to Councils to assist in off setting the costs of administering their animal control program under the Companion Animals Act 1998. Council is able to consider a request to reduce the registration fee as it relates to dog registration, however the Department of Local Government with still retain 20% of the relevant prescribed fee with the balance (if any) being returned to Council.

 

The program is being funded with an expectation of a maximum of fifty (50) dogs to be treated.

 

The current life time registration fees are:

 

Desexed Animal                                          $40.00 (fixed Dept of Local Gov fee $8)

Pensioner owned, desexed animal                 $15.00 (fixed Dept of Local Gov fee $3)

 

If all dogs treated through the program attract a $40 registration fee then the following costs would apply for various options if Council choose to participate:

 

·              100% subsidy for 50 dogs x $40 = $2000, cost to Council $400 and loss of $1600 income from registrations fees. Total nett cost to Council of $2000

·              80% subsidy for 50 dogs x $40 = $2000, cost to Council $400, and loss of income of $1200 from registration fees. Nett cost to Council $1600

·              Variation to % subsidy depends on the % granted as to the cost to Council. The 20% administration fee will be retained by the Department of Local Government in each case.

·              Offer no subsidy – Income of $1600 will be retained by Council and $400 will be retained by the Department as their portion of the administration fee.

 

If all dogs treated through the program attract a $15 registration fee due to the owner claiming a pensioner entitlement then the following costs would apply for the four (4) options above:

 

·              100% subsidy for 50 dogs x $15 = $750, cost to Council $150 and loss of $600 income from registration fees. Nett cost to Council $750

·                80% subsidy for 50 dogs x $15 = $750, cost to Council $150, and loss of $450 income from registration fees. Nett cost to Council $600

·              Variation to % subsidy depends on the % granted as to the cost to Council. The 20% administration fee will be retained by the Department of Local Government in each case.

·              Offer no subsidy – Income of $600 will be retained by Council and $400 will be retained by the Department as their portion of the administration fee.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Discussions with a representative of the Department of Local Government to ascertain what subsidy can be given in relation to dog registrations.

 

Council's contract Regulatory Officer to assist with the program to provide an education role in relation to the Companion Animals Act.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Straying and unhealthy dogs can have an impact on the natural environment chasing animals and destroying native wildlife. On the health side the impact can be both personal if animals are living within the domestic dwelling and also on the built environment if dogs are roaming free and defecating around the streets and other public area.

 

Social

 

Public safety if aggressive and nuisance dogs are roaming free within the community. Interaction between children and dogs with diseases and worms can create potential health risk to humans.

 

There is concern that involvement in a program which provides a subsidy to a specific section of the community may create an expectation within other sections of the community that similar subsidy should be given. The setting of a precedence in this area of fee reduction is a matter Council needs to consider.

 

Economic

 

The economic benefit is to individual dog owners.

 

Risk

 

There is no risk to dogs or the environment due to the proposed Dog Health Program activities, however this will set a precedent if a subsidy for dog owners is to be provided as part of this program.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

If Council proceeds with recommendation 1, the direct impact on the budget is a loss of income of between $600 and $1,600.

 

Future impacts may be that other sections of the community may expect similar fee reductions which would impact on Council's budget income.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Council's regulatory function of animal control is partly funded by the 80% contributions from the registration fees received through the Department of Local Government. Any reduction in this component  of the income will mean Council has to fund the short fall through the General Fund.

 

Attachments:

1View

8110/2008 - Update on the proposed Dog Health Program

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Bowraville Dog Health Program 29 April 2008

Attachment 1

8110/2008 - Update on the proposed Dog Health Program

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 11.4    SF225              170408         Proposed Off-Leash Area for Macksville and Bowraville, Companion Animals Act 1998

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Phillip Gall, Manager Health and Building         

 

Summary:

 

Council at its meeting on 1 July 2004 resolved to adopt an information sheet which details the off leash areas at the following locations within the shire and provides information on the Companion Animals Act :

 

Valla Beach               North Valla Beach from the access path off the car park on the northern end of Cockburn Street (4WD access) to the northern boundary of the shire.

Nambucca Heads      From Swimming Creek beach access northwards to the walk bridge access to the beach from the public reserve adjoining Valla Park Resort.

Scotts Head              From the Christian Youth Centre beach access path on Banksia Crescent northwards.

 

At the time of establishing these off leash areas both Bowraville and Macksville were left for future consideration as suitable areas in these towns could not be located for off leash areas.

 

Both urban areas have a high number of dogs registered within their areas and give cause to numerous dog complaints with several of these complaints relating to dogs roaming free. Dog owners in these two towns have expressed dissatisfaction that they do not have any legally designated areas where dogs can be let off leash for exercising.

 

Attached is a copy of an advertisement placed in the Guardian newspaper in November 2007 seeking community input into the process of selecting suitable areas for consideration as off leash areas in Macksville and Bowraville and plans indicating the location of the sites being proposed.

 

There have been no responses received following this initial consultation process.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          Advertise the proposals for off leash areas at Macksville, southern end of Lot 16 DP 595617, (Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields) and Bowraville R43057 for a period of twenty eight (28) days.

 

2          All adjoining property owners to the proposed off leash areas be provided with written notified of the proposal.

 

3          A further report be submitted to Council at the conclusion of the public notification period for consideration of any submissions prior to considering the proposal further.

 

4          An additional vote of $4,860 will be required in the draft 2008/2009 budget to accommodate the servicing of the bins by Council’s works staff and Regulatory Contractor.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

These two areas have been selected using the following criteria:-

 

·              Minimum cost to segregate the area from road traffic and adjoining properties

·              Proposed off leash areas do not adjoin busy roads

·              Areas are located near residential areas

·              Good access for maintenance

·              Areas are currently being maintained by Council

 

Staff have undertaken surveys of the town areas to look at suitable sites for off leash areas and have not identified any other areas in each town area that suit the criteria set down in the Companion Animals Act 1998.

 

Another option is to continue not to provide off leash areas in the areas of Macksville and Bowraville.

 

It is noted that the Macksville site can become wet in high rainfall periods.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council’s may declare areas as off leash areas under Section 13A(6) of the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Council declared such areas in the shire for Valla Beach, Nambucca Heads and Scotts Head in 1 July 2004.

 

There are specific areas that are excluded from being used for off leash areas and where dogs are not permitted to be under the Act. These include the following areas:

 

·              10m of children’s play areas

·              Public bathing areas where dogs are prohibited

·              Food preparation/consumption area

·              School grounds

·              Recreation area

·              Child care centres

·              Shopping areas where dogs are prohibited

·              Wild Life Protection areas

 

The Bowraville site is located on a reserve area R43057 which has public toilets nearby and is readily accessible for maintenance mowing. The site adjoins the Nambucca River on the east side, Bowra/Park Streets to the south, George Street to the north and three (3) private properties to the west. There is adequate area for parking should people need to drive to the site. This site will require the installation of signage and a dog defecating collection bin.

 

The Macksville site is located in an area that is bound by residential properties on two boundaries, an extension for future sports ground and rural land to the east. The site will require fencing to one side to separate the area from the recreation area, erection of signs and dog defecating bin. This area can be accessed from two (2) points and while vehicle parking would be restricted within East Street, parking off Dudley Street and walking along eastern side of the recreation area is also available, The site has a drain running in a circular direction around the eastern, southern and western sides of the site, this will be a restricting factor for access off East Street during wet weather. This may be overcome by constructing a piped access across the drain, this has not been allowed for in the current draft budget.

 

History of this site is that during continuing wet weather the site does become water logged. This would restrict access for mowing and may reduce suitability for some dog owners and their dogs to exercise in these wet conditions.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The communities and local Chambers of Commerce have been requested to provide suggestions for sites in each town area, however there has been no response to Council’s advertisements and correspondence.

 

It is proposed to advertise the selected sites for twenty eight (28) and notify any property owners in the immediate area adjoining the sites.

 

Council received correspondence in January 2005 from a Macksville resident suggesting two sites for off leash areas being:

 

·              River Street, from eastern side of the highway bridge to the end of the 60km speed zone. This is a narrow strip of land approximately 4-6 metres wide along the river bank and on a busy local road. The area is unfenced and not considered suitable for an off leash area.

·              Dawkins Park, Princess Street. This park area has access to the Pacific Highway and Princess Street and is used by local residents and visitors on a regular basis. An area would have to be fenced out for an off leash area and may create conflict with the current passive recreational use of the area.

 

Staff have consulted internally with the Manager of Civil Works in relation to the proposed sites and there has been no objections raised to the proposal as presented. However, no funds were allocated in the 2008/2009 Draft Budget to cover the costs to service the new defecating bins.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The introduction of off leash areas is expected to have minimal environmental impacts provided users collect droppings and dispose of them in the provided bins. It is expected there would be an increase in noise due to owners and dog activity within the off leash area.

 

Odour from the dog defecating collection bins could become an issue if located too close to residential areas or not serviced regularly particularly during warmer summer conditions

 

Social

 

There are issues of animal management that can be assisted by having off leash areas for animals to be exercised, particularly for larger animals that have restricted yard areas where they are normally housed. The off leash areas provide areas for animals to exercise and this can assist in reducing noise issues when done on a regular basis.

 

Owners who regularly use these areas to exercise their dogs may also strike up social contact with other members of the community while at the site.

 

Economic

 

There is no direct impact on the economy due to this activity.

 

Risk

 

Noise and aggressive behaviour by animals is a potential risk when dogs are brought together in an area where they are allowed to be let exercise without direct control by their handlers. Ongoing maintenance and servicing of each site is essential to ensure there are no ongoing issues associated with odour.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

There is an ongoing financial cost to Council to provide these facilities and then to service the dog defecating bins and provide dog defecating bags. The sites selected are currently being mown by Council so these costs will not be seen as an additional cost in the change of use.

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The initial expense is in setting up the off leash areas with the installation of signs, dog defecating bins and bag dispenses, and in the case of Macksville, fencing to partition off the off leash area from the recreational area. Ongoing servicing costs of the dog defecating bins and supplying collection bags also need to be budgeted for in Council’s annual budget. These costs are shared by works staff who empty the bins and Council’s contract Regulatory Officer who install the bags as part of the contract to the existing bins. Additional costs will be incurred due to the servicing of the two proposed bins, $4,860 for works staff to empty two (2) additional bins and for the Regulatory Officer to install bags as required.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The source of funding is general funds and this has been provided for in the draft budget for the installation of two new off leash areas, estimated costs of $4,000 which is in the Draft 2008/2009 Budget plus a further $4,860 to service the bins.

 

Servicing of the dog defecating bins is undertaken by works staff and costs have been in the vicinity of $20/week to service each bin. Current costs to service the five (5) bins in the Shire is $10,300.

 

Bags for the dog defecating bins are bulk purchased and the bins restocked by Council's contract Regulatory Officer.

 

Attachments:

1View

7933/2008 - Public Notice and Maps of Proposed Off-Leash Areas in Shire 16 April 2008

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 April 2008

Proposed Off-Leash Area for Macksville and Bowraville, Companion Animals Act 1998

Attachment 1

7933/2008 - Public Notice and Maps of Proposed Off-Leash Areas in Shire 16 April 2008

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 April 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 11.5    SF744              170408         Rehabilitation Bonds - Mac'scon Pty Ltd - Wia-Ora Sand and Gravel Supplies - DA 1995/102 and T1-9-57

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning         

 

Summary:

 

Mac’scon Pty Ltd operated a gravel and sand extraction and processing operation at Missabotti referred to as Wia-Ora Sand and Gravel Supplies, during the 1990’s and up until its closure in 2003. Mac’scon Pty Ltd has subsequently sold off their operations and assets and are looking at winding up the company.

 

However, as part of their consent requirements Mac’scon Pty Ltd were required to lodge Cash Bonds or Bank Guarantees for two DA’s (Sites A & B and Site C) with Council to ensure that the required rehabilitation works were undertaken and would be released subject to all relevant authorities being satisfied with the rehabilitation works.

 

Mac’scon Pty Ltd via their consultant TCD have formally requested that the bonds be returned as they consider the rehabilitation works have been satisfactorily completed.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council again write to the Department of Water and Energy giving them 30 days to concur with the release of the two bonds held by Council, or if they are not satisfied with the rehabilitation works then they outline what additional works are required.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

That Council accept the information submitted by Mac’son Pty Ltd by their consultant Horticulturalist for Site C and release the $10,000 bond held against that DA and that Council write to the Department of Water and Energy giving them 30 days to concur with the release of the $2,000 bond held by Council against Sites A & B, or if they are not satisfied with the rehabilitation works then they outline what additional works are required.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

DA 3040 (Sites A & B) was one of the first extraction sites for Mac’scon Pty Ltd which was approved on 22 June 1993. Condition 11 of DA 3040 states:

 

11       The applicant to enter into a bond to ensure rehabilitation of the excavation and stockpile sites together with all necessary landscape works required by the Department of Water resources and Department of CALM. Such bond shall be $2,000 and is to be paid to Council prior to operations. The amount will be refunded subject to all relevant Authorities being satisfied with the rehabilitation works.

 

The extraction site has been rehabilitated for many years now and is currently grazed. A large dam exists with an abundance waterbirds and wildlife and the site is grassed down to the waters edge of the remaining dam.

 

The River Bank however, which is the main reason for the bond is quite stressed, but not due to the extractive operations but rather by natural processes created by the river. Some vegetation has been planted adjacent to the river bank and has been fenced off to exclude cattle and also as a safety means as there is a considerable drop to the water level of some 5-8 meters.

 

Initially, Mac’scon Pty Ltd did not seek the release of this bond, however following discussions and a site inspection carried out on 27 March 2008, a release of this bond has now been sought. The Department of Water and Energy however, had not been formally requested to respond to this request. A letter has now been sent ( 9 April 2008) to the Department asking them to comment on this particular request.

 

The $2,000 required above is also linked to DA 2001/093 relating to an additional stockpile area on the processing plant site through Condition 13 which states:

 

13      The applicant shall provide a bank guarantee, in the sum of $2,000 to be linked to DA 3040, in favour of Council being the sum necessary to ensure due completion of the rehabilitation and landscaping works required of condition 11. In the event rehabilitation works are not undertaken in accordance with this consent, Council may use the guarantee to have appropriate rehabilitation works undertaken.

 

Note:  Council accepts the $2,000 paid with DA 3040 as also meeting this condition on the basis the amount will not be refunded until works required of DA 2001/093 and DA 3040 are satisfied.

 

The rehabilitation works required by DA 2001/093 had been assessed and signed off through 2005. Therefore the $2,000 bond held by Council only relates to DA 3040 as outlined above.

 

DA 1995/102 (Site C) was conditionally approved on 26 March 1996. Condition 5i states:

 

5i        The applicant to enter into a bond to ensure rehabilitation of the excavation and stockpile sites together with all necessary landscape works required by the Department of Water resources and Department of CALM. Such bond shall be $10,000 and is to be paid to Council prior to operations. The amount will be refunded subject to all relevant Authorities being satisfied with the rehabilitation works.

 

The required rehabilitation works relating to this application have been the subject on ongoing discussions between the applicant, Council and the relevant Government authorities.

 

However the last formal discussion including an onsite inspection took place during 2004 when the relevant departments provided Council with latest written advice being 15/12/04.

 

Following the current request to release the $10,000 bond tied to DA 1995/102 the Department of Water and Energy were requested by letter dated 19 September 2007, to comment on the release of the $10,000 bond. No formal response has yet been received except for a telephone call to advise that the Department carried out a site inspection on 4 March 2008 and that the issues raised in their previous letters to Council dated 15/12/04, 16/11/04 and 15/7/04 have not been adequately addressed.

 

The recommendation presented to Council will give the Department of Water and Energy 30 days to identify what exactly is required allowing Mac’scon Pty Ltd to attend to the works to enable the bonds to be released thereby allowing the company to be finally wound up.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The Department of Water and Energy

Applicant Mac’scon Pty Ltd and their consultant.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The main purpose of the Bonds are to ensure that the sites are adequately rehabilitated to ensure that the environmental controls are met.

 


Social

 

It is not considered that there are any Social issues associated with the Bonds.

 

Economic

 

There is an economic impact on Mac’scon Pty Ltd if this matter lingers on as they have to continue to meet all Company tax and legal requirements whilst ever the company exists.