NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES—Cr John Ainsworth

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 5 June 2008

5        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

9.5     Further Report on Draft LEP 66 - Rezone land from 2(d) Residential to 3(a) Business and Development Application 2008/043 for the demolition of existing building, erection of a supermarket, 5 specialty shops, associated car parking and signage Macksville

                   (i)       Daphne Priestly—against development

                   (ii)      Don Keighran—against development

 

6        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

7        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

8        General Manager Report

8.1     Outstanding Actions and Reports

8.2     Grant Application Status Report

8.3     Policy Review - Resignations - Purchase of Gifts

8.4     Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Request for Land for Clubhouse

8.5     Proposed Lease of Part Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields

8.6     Report on Investments

8.7     Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

9        Director Environment and Planning Report

9.1     Contract Regulatory Officer's Report May 2008

9.2     Environment and Planning Applications Progress and Statistical Reports for May 2008

9.3     Outstanding Development Applications more than 12 Months, Applications where submissions have been received and not determined and Applications received 26 May 2008 to 6 June 2008

9.4     Use of premises for the purpose of an animal establishment - Waterford Way, Gumma

9.5     Further Report on Draft LEP 66 - Rezone land from 2(d) Residential to 3(a) Business and Development Application 2008/043 for the demolition of existing building, erection of a supermarket, 5 specialty shops, associated car parking and signage Macksville

9.6     Report on Interim Rural-Residential Lot Quota 24 March 2008-23 March 2009

10      Director Engineering Services Report

10.1   NSW Sport & Recreation Grant - Netball Courts

10.2   Nambucca District Water Supply Steering Committee Meeting - 4 June 2008

10.3   Smoking in Public Places

10.4   Report on Nambucca Emergency Operations Centre Committee Minutes - 4 June 2008   


 

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

11.1   Quotation - Site Remediation at Jellico Street, Macksville

It is recommended that the Council resolve into closed session with the press and public excluded to allow consideration of this item, as provided for under Section 10A(2) (d) of the Local Government Act, 1993, on the grounds that the report contains commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed (i) prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it; or (ii) confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the Council; or (iii) reveal a trade secret.

  

12      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

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

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM           SF959         190608         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.  Please note that the status comments have been made one week before the Council 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.  Finance staff + GM meeting with S94 Officer on 7 May 2008.  Final report to June Works.

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.  Finance staff + GM meeting with S94 Officer on 7 May 2008.  Final report to June Works.

AUGUST 2007

4

QWN14

16/08/07

Walter Monro Place—gutter dropped

DES

Design in preparation

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

 


 

SEPTEMBER 2007

5

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.  Report to June Works.

 

6

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.

 

Draft RRS currently on exhibition.

Met with DoP 20/5 to further discuss Rural Residential & Farmland Mapping. Working towards a resolution.

 

NOVEMBER 2007

7

QWN 3

01/11/07

Gordon Park—Boat Ramp filling with sand

DES

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

To be undertaken in June

 

DECEMBER 2007

9

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

 

10

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

Forests NSW has now confirmed agreement to the land swap.  Application for compulsory acquisition now with DLG for Minister and Governor’s approval. GM to follow up delay.

.

11

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

Deferred to June Works due to staff shortages.

To be presented to June Works  

12

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.

13

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. 

Report to 19 June.

 

Formal notice of grant now received.

 

14

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.  Awaiting ACAC meeting on 17 June 2008.

 

JANUARY 2008

16

QWN 48

17/01/08

DLG Report to Council

GM

Confidential draft report received on 16 May 2008.  Being considered by Council workshop on 5 June 2008.

 

17

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.  Letter sent to RTA requesting their attendance at 2 public meetings.

RTA advised that the preferred route for Warrell Ck and design refinements up to Urunga will shortly be announced.  A meeting will be held after the announcement.

 

18

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.  Stakeholder meetings held on 28 & 29 May.

 

FEBRUARY 2008

19

 

07/02/08

Handrail at traffic lights required

DES

To be done after footpath concreted.

 

21

QWN 51

21/02/08

Riverbank erosion—Ferry St Macksville

DES

Guardrail to be erected late May

Contractor delayed until June

MARCH 2008

23

PRF17

20/3/08

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

DES

Report August  2008

24

SF708

20/3/08

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

GM

Scheduled for  June Works.

 

25

SF1125

20/3/08

LGSA be engaged to deliver a pre-election seminar for prospective candidates. Course to be held at Macksville

GM

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

 

26

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. Report to July.

27

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

Now with DLG for Minister’s and Governor’s approval.  GM to follow up delay.

30

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.

Deferred to June Works.

31

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.

Discussed at contract meeting.  Domestic collection is satisfactory except for Gumbaynggirr Rd .  Audit to be done of transfer station waste as contamination is high.  No penalties at this time.

 

32

6298/2008

20/3/08

That the policy on footpath usage be reviewed by Council.

DEP/DES

Report to June Works Inspection Committee.

APRIL 2008

33

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.  No response at 22 May 2008.  No response as at 10 June 2008

 

38

SF793

17/4/08

Council investigate a restructuring of Environment and Planning Dept into 2 separate departments – one dealing with planning and environment and the other dealing with health and building.

 

GM

To be reported in June 2008.

39

SF561

17/4/08

Rezoning from 2(a) to 3(a) – Cnr Boundary Street and Pacific Highway and Woolworths Supermarket DA – deferred.

DEP

To be reported in June 2008.

41

SF84

17/4/08

That Council defer a relocation decision by the RFS to enable the proper investigation of other options.  These options to involve all users of the NEOC facility.  Also the report is to consider whether the proposed office for the RFS at the Midco site is a permissible use.

 

DES

To be reported at May Works, including inspection of NEOC.

Final report in June.  On-site inspection of the Wauchope RFS centre to be held first.  Meeting organised for Friday 13 June..

 

42

QWN 88

17/04/08

Paveliner – performance figures being achieved

 

DES

Information being compiled – scheduled for July Works

 

44

SF744

17/04/08

Rehabilitation Bonds Mac’scon – that Council again write to the Dept of Water & Energy giving them 30 days to concur with release of 2 bonds

 

DEP

Letter received from DWE and forwarded to Mac’scon.

Met with applicants consultant 22/5.  Currently working through DWE issues.

 

45

SF529

17/04/08

Rural Residential Excess Area Report

·     Written confirmation from DoP re formal status in planning system

·     Write to DoP requesting they concur with introduction of RR Land Release quota

·     Council establish specific criteria

·     Amend strategy using plain English how land identified as short and longer term release

·     Advertise the Draft RR Land Release Strategy for 28 days as recommended by the consultants.

·     Write to DoP and request comments on the proposed inclusion of land currently within broken black line

 

DEP

·     Letter sent to DoP 22/4

·     Response received 5/08

·     Exhibition extended to 13/6/08

 

·     First lot of letters sent to RR landowners

 

 

 

·     Second lot of letter to be sent by 14 May

·     Letter received 10 June confirming 40 lot interim quota over whole broken black line.

 

47

SF699

17/4/08

A report be brought forward on assessing the best arrangement for Town Services in subsequent years.

DES

Report December 2008.

MAY 2008

50

QWN 96

01/05/08

Ferry St—guard rails to be installed

DES

Contractor scheduled for July.

 

51

QWN 97

01/05/08

Sewerage from Teagues Ck to Pelican Park—costing for major works

DES

Review previous report.  Report in July.

 

52

QWN 98

01/05/08

Security cameras for Nambucca Heads—costing required again

DES

Report in July.

56

QWN 103

15/05/08

Enviro Saver Program – further investigations

DEP

Currently being investigated.

57

QWN 104

15/05/08

Macksville Library—construction of public toilet- report to Council of timing of project

DEP

·     New handle & external lock has been fitted to the door under the breeze way on the Sn Citz Centre to allow access to the disability toilet.

·     New soap & paper towel dispensers for both toilets are on back order and should be delivered by 30 May not yet installed

·     New soap, towel dispensers and general repairs to both toilets will be carried out as soon as we take deliver of materials

·     Kitchen works except painting which is to be completed by library staff.  Painting currently underway. 

 

59

QWN 108

15/05/08

Newee Creek Rd maintenance

DES

June

 

60

QWN 109

15/05/08

Road maintenance—Valla Rd near Pades and corner near Willies

DES

Money will be allocated from minor improvements when new budget starts

 

61

QWN 110

15/05/08

Bent St—large bump on road

DES

May need to install wick—August

 

62

QWN 111

15/05/08

Second Hand Shop at Newville—water coming off street into storage shed

DES

Design being costed and proposed to revise stormwater program to be included in 2008/09

 

63

QWN 112

15/05/08

Missabotti Rd—spraying of vegetation

DES

Revisit in Spring for lantana

 

64

QWN 113

15/05/08

Stormwater Drainage—Macksville Industrial Estate – easement required?

DES

Design being prepared for easement

 

66

QWN  116

15/05/08

Max Graham Dr—Section 94 report

MFS

June Works

 

67

 

QWN 117

15/05/08

Bridge at Talarm – Right of carriageway -

DES

Resolved

68

QWN 119

15/05/08

Bellwood Rd, Potholes

DES

Listed

 

69

SF959

15/5/08

An appropriate system of tracking, documenting and reporting on Environmental Compliance/Management System for depot be instigated following receipt of report.

 

MCW

Action plan to be reported to June Works

70

SF285

15/5/08

That GM or Mayor take forward to MDGoC the Community Services Committee views on social inclusion; and that Council forwards a request to MDGoC to invite the Minister for Social Inclusion (Jenny Macklin) to attend one of their meetings to discuss the Federal Government’s social inclusion agenda.

GM

To be listed for next MDGoC meeting.

 

71

SF285

15/5/08

That Council actively promote its website by including the address in all advertisements and provide a link to www.nambuccavalley.blogspot.com with a suitable disclaimer.

GM

Review of promotion of website underway.  Link to be provided.

72

SF35

15/5/08

That as a 6 month trial, Council amend the GM’s delegations so as to provide authority for functions under Part 4 of the EPA Act except where objections have been received and the application is “called in” by any Councillor.

DEP

Review to occur in December 2008.

74

SF820

15/5/08

That Council review the operational hours of the Libraries for a future budget to see if the hours can be extended without increasing operational costs.

 

MCCS

Report in September 2008.

75

SF820

15/5/08

That Council conduct an on-site inspection so as to assess options for the location of a weigh bridge at the Waste Depot.

 

DES

July Works

JUNE 2008

 

QWN 125

05/06/08

Flooding – Seafood shop Nambucca heads

DES

Storm damage

 

 

QWN 126

05/06/08

Light outside Aquatic Centre Macksville

DES

Requires new pole and flood lights. To be costed.

 

 

QWN 128

05/06/08

Slippage - Riverside Dr Nambucca Heads

DES

Storm damage

 

 

QWN 129

05/06/08

Flood damage plan

DES

Storm damage

 

 

QWN 130

05/06/08

Work on potholes – Nambucca Heads

DES

Listed for 9 to 13 June

 

 

QWN 121

05/06/08

Stormwater litter catcher –  near VIC, Bellwood

DES

Listed for cleaning

 

 

QWN 122

05/06/08

Sleepers obstructing footpath near Morrisons, Swimming Creek

DES

Storm damage

 

 

QWN 123

05/06/08

Bridge near Riverside Gardens, Nambucca Heads needs lifting and widening

DES

Storm damage

 

 

QWN 124

05/06/08

Flooding – Second Hand shop Nambucca Heads

DES

Budget to be reorganised to include this job

 

QWN 132

05/06/08

Ownership of Streets – Kingspoint Macksville

DES

 

Council’s Surveyor advises that the roads and lanes were created by private subdivision DP 9654 and DP 8624 prior to 1970

 

SF1076

05/06/08

NoM - Council write to the Federal Minister for Communication and ask when broadband services will be available in all rural areas in the Nambucca Shire.

GM

Letter written

 

SF15

05/06/08

NoM – That a report be prepared on the provision of toilets at the Macksville saleyards

MBD

Report in August

 

SF357

05/06/08

NoM – That Council investigate the establishment of a district map on the western wall of the pool complex as public art and apply funds set aside for the tourist office.

GM

Letter written to Arts Mid North Coast enquiring about available grant funding.

 

SF210

05/06/08

NoM - That the previous report on the Macksville Sewerage Treatment Plant Recycled Water for Renewable Resource be brought forward to Council for consideration.

DES

To Works Committee in July.

 

SF711

05/06/08

NoM - Council review its policy relating to the opening of tenders and include a process whereby tenders are copied immediately upon opening and the copy kept securely by the General Manager.

GM

Tender sheets to be immediately scanned into Trim and access to the documents to be restricted.  Tender sheets cannot be altered in Trim.

 

SF793

05/06/08

NoM - Council write to the appropriate department and request a total ban on night netting on all Nambucca Shire Council beaches.

DES

Letter to be written.

 

SF943

05/06/08

Council write to the Hon Eric Roozendahl MLC (Minister for Roads) and ask for a timeframe as to when decisions will be made and compensation paid (re Pacific Highway)

GM

Letter written.

 

SF81

05/06/08

Council write to the Nambucca Local Emergency Management Committee requesting an explanation for their refusal to have Cr Moran on the Committee other than an observer as Council contributes financial resources and there is provision for his attendance under Section 28.

DES

Letter to be written.

 

SF755

05/06/08

GM or DES consult with Depot staff in relation to carrying out maintenance for the Rural Fire Service fleet.

DES

To be discussed.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.2      SF708         190608         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

 

8

Department of Environment & Climate Change Estuary and Coastal Management Programs 2008/09

Funding on a 1:1 basis

Closing date: 28 May 2008

DEP

Several projects identified and supported through the Nambucca River Estuary and Coastline Management Committee

·     Flood study—Deep Creek

·     Implementation of Nambucca River Estuary Management Plan

·     Updated flood study Lower Nambucca

·     Stage 2 Coastal Hazard management Plan

9

NSW Environmental Trust Round 3 – Urban Sustainability Program

Closing date: 20 June 2008

 

Council previously resolved to submit both a joint application with Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Councils and an individual application.  Applications currently being prepared.

10

Community Heritage Grants

Closing date: 30 June 2008 with National Library of Australia

 

 

DEP

Information sent to all Museums—13/5/08

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.3      SF1031            190608         Policy Review - Resignations - Purchase of Gifts

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources         

 

Summary:

 

Council’s current policy has not been reviewed since 1998. There have been yearly increases in CPI and the policy should be reviewed accordingly.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council adopt the revised policy on Resignations – Purchase of Gifts.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can choose not to revise the policy.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council’s current policy has not been reviewed since 1998. There have been yearly increases in CPI and the policy should be reviewed accordingly.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental impacts.

 

Social

 

There are no social impacts.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic impacts.

 

Risk

 

There is no risk.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Minimal depending on number of resignations.


 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No variance to working funds required.

 

 

Attachments:

1View

23024/2007 - Resignations - Purchase of Gifts Policy - Current (Page 1) and Revised (Page 2)

2 Pages

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Policy Review - Resignations - Purchase of Gifts

Attachment 1

23024/2007 - Resignations - Purchase of Gifts Policy - Current (Page 1) and Revised (Page 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

RESIGNATIONS - PURCHASE OF GIFTS POLICY

 

 

 

Function:  Human Resources

 

 

Adopted by Council:  19 March 1998

Minutes No: 043

Last reviewed: 

 

 

 

1        Policy objective

 

The aim of this policy is to establish guidelines for the purchase of gifts and other forms of recognition for members of staff resigning from Council’s employ.

 

 

2        Related legislation

 

Not applicable

 

 

3          Definitions

 

Not applicable

 

 

4        Policy statement

 

The following schedule shall be referred to in the event of a staff resignation:

 

 

Less than 10 years service                       Certificate of Appreciation

 

10 to 15 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $150.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

 

 

15 to 20 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $200.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

                                                       

 

20 to 25 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $250.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

 

 

Greater than 25 years service                   Gold watch to the value of at least $250.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

                                                        Dinner with Councillors

                                                                       

 

 

---oo0oo---

 


 

 

 

 

 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

RESIGNATIONS - PURCHASE OF GIFTS POLICY

 

 

 

Function:  Human Resources

 

 

Adopted by Council:  19 March 1998

Minutes No: 043

Last reviewed: 19 June 2008

 

 

 

1        Policy objective

 

The aim of this policy is to establish guidelines for the purchase of gifts and other forms of recognition for members of staff resigning from Council’s employ.

 

 

2        Related legislation

 

Not applicable

 

 

3          Definitions

 

Not applicable

 

4        Policy statement

 

The following schedule shall be referred to in the event of a staff resignation:

 

 

Less than 10 years service                       Certificate of Appreciation

 

10 to 15 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $300.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

 

 

15 to 20 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $400.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

                                                       

 

20 to 25 years service                              Gift to a maximum value of $500.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

 

 

Greater than 25 years service                   Gift to the value of at least $500.00

                                                             Certificate of Appreciation

                                                        Invitation to attend Mayor’s Christmas Dinner

                                                                       

5        Annual review

 

The schedule shall be adjusted annually in accordance with the CPI.

---oo0oo---

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.4      SF764              190608         Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Request for Land for Clubhouse

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     John Harris, Senior Administrative Officer         

 

Summary:

 

Nambucca Valley Bridge Club has been endeavouring to secure a clubhouse for exclusive use for some years.  The Club has requested Department of Lands, Grafton to consider leasing or donating land, in particular, part Lot 7063 DP 1113362 being Reserve 1002194, Reedy Street, Nambucca Heads.

 

The Department has advised the Club the Principles of Crown Management under the Crown Lands Act 1989 does not permit the donation or lease of land for exclusive use by any one community group.

 

However the Department has referred the Club to Council as the Reserve’s Corporate Manager.

 

The Club wishes to relocate the Masonic Hall onto the Reserve.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council refuse the Nambucca Valley Bridge Club’s request for the donation or lease of part Lot 7063 DP 1113362 being Reserve 1002194 for exclusive use as the Principles of Crown Management do not permit the exclusive use of reserves notified for community purposes.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        Identify a reserve with a compatible designation, for lease.

 

2        Identify Council owned freehold community land for lease.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Nambucca Valley Bridge Club has been endeavouring to secure a clubhouse for exclusive use for some years.

 

Council is aware the Club was party to the proposed Nambucca Heads Neighbourhood Centre on Reserve 1002194.

 

Regional Solutions Program funding of $160,600 was provided to assist with construction of a “staged” multipurpose community centre.

 

Commencement of the project was delayed due to Department of Lands not providing “owners consent” and the funding was withdrawn.

 

The Club had committed funding for exclusive use of part of the community centre.

 

Recently the Club requested Department of Lands, Grafton to consider leasing or donating land being part Lot 7063 DP 1113362 being Reserve 1002194, Reedy Street, Nambucca Heads.

 

The Department has advised the Club the Principles of Crown of Management under the Crown Lands Act 1989 do not permit the donation or lease of land for exclusive use of anyone community group (letter attached).

 

However, the Department has referred the Club to Council as the Reserve’s Corporate Manager.

 

The Club wishes to relocate the Masonic Hall onto the reserve since receipt of the request.

 

The President has verbally advised, the Club would purchase and relocate the Masonic Hall on site as part of a Council funded community hall with the Club to hold exclusive rights to that part of the hall.

 

Exclusive rights appear to be driven by the concept of having all tables and chairs set for play at all times.

 

Nambucca Heads is well serviced for halls ie Council owned Entertainment Centre (two halls), Senior Citizens, CWA, Headland, two Church halls and four licenced club auditorium.

 

Over the past years there has been opportunities to lease the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts halls

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Nambucca Valley Bridge Club

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental issues.

 

Social

 

No impact as the Club is located in rental premises.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic issues.

 

Risk

 

There are no risk issues.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is no impact on current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact.

 

Attachments:

1View

10801/2001 - Letter from the Department of Lands

1 Page

2View

11338/2008 - Letter from the Nambucca Valley Bridge Club

1 Page

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Request for Land for Clubhouse

Attachment 1

10801/2001 - Letter from the Department of Lands

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Request for Land for Clubhouse

Attachment 2

11338/2008 - Letter from the Nambucca Valley Bridge Club

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.5      PRF44              190608         Proposed Lease of Part Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     John Harris, Senior Administrative Officer         

 

Summary:

 

Mr Phillip Tutt has made application to lease the unused part of Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields for a period of five years to agist cattle.

 

The Section 355 Committee has agreed to the lease subject to an annual rental of $250 being paid to the Committee.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council grant a licence for twelve months for Part Lot 16 DP 595617 to Phillip Tutt for rental of $250 with Council approval for a further 4 x twelve months licences subject to Council providing four weeks notice to terminate this agreement should Council require this land for any purpose.

 

2        That Council’s seal be affixed to the licence agreements.

 

3              That annual rental be paid to the Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields Committee of Management.

 

4        That in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act, the western stock proof fence must be at lest 9. metres clear of the East Street properties rear boundaries.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Refuse request to agist.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Mr Phillip Tutt, the adjoining owner, has made application to lease the unused part of Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields for a period of five years to agist cattle.

 

Mr Tutt has agreed to erect, at his cost, a stock proof fence on the location; agreed with the Management Committee to separate the playing fields from the licenced area and the rear boundary of homes in East Street from the licenced area.  A copy of the plan is attached.

 

Mr Tutt requires a five year licence period to make the venture worthwhile, allowing for the annual rental and cost of the fence.

 

The Section 355 Committee has agreed to the licence subject to an annual rental of $250 being paid to the Committee.

 

At present, the playing fields are partly used for cricket.  Other uses are not envisaged at this time, however, to ensure the Management Committee and/or Council may gain unrestricted access to this land, if required, Mr Tutt must be made aware the licence may be terminated with four week’s notice.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Mr Phillip Tutt

Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields Committee of Management

Director Engineering Services

Director Environment and Planning

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There is no impact on the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no social implications.

 

Economic

 

The $250 per annum agistment fee will by paid by Mr Tutt to the Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields Committee of Management.

 

Risk

 

The licence will require Mr Tutt to supply all necessary insurances.  Therefore, there should not be any risk.  There will be potential for complaints for noise.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is not direct or indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There are not variances to working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

14111/2008 - Plan - Part Lot 16 DP 595617

1 Page

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Proposed Lease of Part Donnelly Welsh Playing Fields

Attachment 1

14111/2008 - Plan - Part Lot 16 DP 595617

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.6      SF394              190608         Report on Investments

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Matthew Vinen, Accountant         

 

Summary:

 

Return on investments year to date to 31 May 2008 is $620,292.76. Council’s investment portfolio has achieved positive returns for the month of May due to it’s diversification.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

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

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

This report is for information only.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

Date

 Amount

Period (Days)

Quotes

%

Accepted

 

13/05/08

$790,671.03

184

LGFS

8.15%

Bankwest

Rollover Bankwest

Bankwest

8.19%

Macquarie

8.15%

 

 

2        Investments Matured & Interest Earned 1 to 31 May 2008

 

Term Deposits / Bank Bills

 

Institution

Amount

Period

(Days)

Rate %

Interest Earned

Bankwest

$762,760.27

180

7.42%

$27,910.76

 

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

$4,399,773.90

31

0.71%

$31,168.17

2.10%

$100,125.60

Blackrock

$4,426,615.72

31

1.07%

$47,149.19

-2.15%

-$87,925.07

Macquarie Income Plus

$4,095,467.69

31

0.71%

$29,101.89

4.15%

$175,063.00

 

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

$945,306.25

31

-0.36%

-$3,441.99

-$61,097.52

N/A

Longreach 2-2007*

$889,780.00

31

-0.87%

-$7,700.00

-$117,920.00

$13,869.86

Longreach Series 26*

$402,050.00

31

-5.60%

-$22,500.00

-$120,450.00

$17,500.00

ANZ Averon II*

$368,500.00

31

4.65%

$17,150.00

-$114,350.00

$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.

 

Worldwide share markets were down again during May which resulted in 3 out of 4 long term investments having a decrease in their net asset value. All other investments in the portfolio produced excellent results with managed funds performing well above their benchmark for the second month in succession.

 


3        Investments held at 31 May 2008 

 

Institution

Amount

Period

Maturity Date

BCCU

$592,607.61

182

14/08/08

Bankwest

$750,000.00

120

01/08/08

Bankwest

$790,671.03

184

13/11/08

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

$1,013,085.75

182

28/10/08

Aberdeen

$4,430,942.07

N/A

N/A

Blackrock

$4,473,764.91

N/A

N/A

Macquarie Income Plus

$4,124,569.58

N/A

N/A

NSW Treasury Corp

$941,864.26

N/A

N/A

Longreach 2-2007

$882,080.00

5 Years

16/05/2012

Longreach Series 26

$379,550.00

7 Years

7/06/2014

Averon II

$385,650.00

7 Years

24/07/2014

TOTAL

$24,301,771.51

 

 

 

4        Investment returns:  May 2008

 

Total

Interest and capital variations to date

$124,108.08

Plus

Interest due on maturity of Term Deposits

$195,624.68

Accrued  to 31/05/08

$319,732.76

Plus

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

$300,560.00

Investment Returns to 31/05/08

$620,292.76

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

$677,700.00

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Grove Research and Advisory

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Not applicable

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The impact of variances to interest on investments has been detailed in the budget reviews for this year.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Any variance at year end will be directly to working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.7      SF639              190608         Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

There is considerable data on the relative performance of Councils in application processing contained in the “Local Development Performance Monitoring: 2006/2007” published by the Department of Planning in February 2008.  It is available on their website www.planning.nsw.gov.au.

 

The publication demonstrates there is little relationship between the resources applied by Councils in application processing and processing times.

 

The data indicates that process improvement rather than increasing resources will provide better results. 

 

From the available data it is clear that Nambucca Shire Council has scope to improve its processes.  An important aspect of this will be the extent to which its new Exempt and Complying Development Control Plan which came into affect on 1 March 2008 will increase the proportion of complying development as a percentage of total applications.

 

If Council achieves this process improvement then it would be worthwhile reviewing the structure to create an “Applications Unit” which specialises in applications processing.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council be provided with a report on the performance of its recently adopted Exempt and Complying Development DCP by no later than September 2008.  The report is to consider the proportion of complying development to total determinations; opportunities to further increase complying development; the implications of the current bill to amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act; as well as the opportunity for an “Applications Unit” which specialises in applications processing.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Depending upon Council’s values and objectives there are many potential options.  Council can reallocate resources within the Environment and Planning Department in favour of application processing at the expense of other functions.  Similarly it can increase resources to the Department, again with an opportunity cost to other Council functions.  It can change the structure of the Department, however there is no point changing the structure if it does not align with the procedures which are required to improve processing times.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

“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”.

 

From the discussion submitted with the notice of motion it is understood that the motivation for the resolution was to improve application processing times which are an important benchmark in assessing Councils’ performance.

 

By way of history in 1993 Council endorsed an Organisational Structure consisting of four departments: Corporate Services; Environmental Services; Operations and Technical Services; and Health, Building and Community Services.

 

In 1998 following changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Local Government Act relating to DA’s and BA’s, Council made a number of organisational changes including the transfer of the building functions from the Health, Building and Community Services division to the Environmental Services Division.

 

In 2001 Council resolved to amalgamate the two Directorships namely, Health and Community Services and Development and Environmental Services.  At that time the library function was transferred to the Director Corporate Services. 

 

In 2006 there was a review of the Organisation Structure resulting in certain functions being transferred from, and others transferred to the Environment and Planning Department.  The notable changes following this review are outlined below:

 

Transfer to other Departments

·      Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre (to Manager Business Development)

·      Public buildings management and maintenance (to Technical Officer – Assets)

·      Section 94 planning (to Accountant)

 

Transfer from other Departments

·      Estuary and flood plain management (to Director Environment and Planning)

·      Libraries (to Manager Community and Cultural Services)

·      Environmental Levy (to Director Environment and Planning)

 

It will be appreciated that the tasks associated with application processing currently compete with many other responsibilities individual staff have.  This includes not only Health and Building Surveyors but also Council’s engineering staff.  The Health and Building Surveyors are dual qualified and deal with both environmental/public health matters as well as undertaking building assessments and inspections in conjunction with the processing and issuing of construction certificates.  This joint role is the result of previous investigations and direction of Council as indicated in the attached advice from the Director Environment and Planning.  There is a major time commitment to these environmental/public health issues which cover companion animals, on-site sewage management, nuisance complaints, public health, and regulatory compliance.

 

The importance of attending to all of these responsibilities is demonstrated by the customer satisfaction survey undertaken by Council in late 2007 indicated that there was relatively low satisfaction with development application processing but with a low importance ranking.  However residents also ranked estuary management and environmental monitoring with a relatively low satisfaction but noted them as being more important than development application processing.  As the Environment and Planning Department is responsible for all of these functions, a reallocation of resources within the Department needs to be carefully considered.

 

There is considerable data on the relative performance of Councils in application processing contained in the “Local Development Performance Monitoring: 2006/2007” published by the Department of Planning in February 2008.  It is available on their website www.planning.nsw.gov.au.

 

The publication demonstrates there is little relationship between the resources applied by Councils in application processing and processing times.  For example, Ashfield, Leichhardt and Woollahra Councils have all got a relatively high ratio of planners to development applications received but still have average gross determination times in excess of 130 days.

 

Looking more locally at the results for ourselves compared to our two coastal councils immediately to the north and immediately to the south indicates the following:

 

Average DA Determination Times in Days (Gross Mean):

 

Port Macquarie – Hastings                   50

Kempsey                                           87

Nambucca                                          53

Bellingen                                            105

Coffs Harbour                                      65

 

Comment:  Given the much higher proportion of Complying Development at Port Macquarie-Hastings we are certainly not leading but also far from being last.

 

Complying Development Certificates Compared to Total Determinations as a %

 

Port Macquarie – Hastings                   60

Kempsey                                           33

Nambucca                                          19

Bellingen                                            1

Coffs Harbour                                      0

 

Comment:  This is an important statistic as Complying Development provides an approval within 7 days of lodgement.  The fact that Port Macquarie-Hastings is undertaking 60% of total determinations (both DA and Complying Development Certificates) within 7 days means that when compared to the other Councils its performance in application processing is far superior.  It also means that its average DA determination times relate to more complex applications than the other Councils which is indicated in the table below.

 

Volume and Value of DA’s and expressed as an average value

 

Port Macquarie – Hastings                   457/$99.4m or average of $217,505

Kempsey                                           368/$59.3m or average of $161,141

Nambucca                                          208/$19.6m or average of $94,230

Bellingen                                            397/$21.8 or average of $54,911

Coffs Harbour                                      1354/$212.1 or average of $156,646

 

Comment:  Suggests there is a significant variation in the complexity of DA’s.  Reinforces comments made above in relation to complying development.

 

 

 

Staffing and Resources – Average DA’s per equivalent full time staff in 06/07

 

Port Macquarie – Hastings                   51

Kempsey                                           123

Nambucca                                          30

Bellingen                                            66

Coffs Harbour                                      104

DLG Code 11 Councils                        95

State average                                     72

 

Comment:  Council’s Director Environment and Planning believes that the figure for Nambucca is wrong and it’s actually 42.  Even at a ratio of 42 and given the less complex applications relative to the larger Councils this is an important statistic which demonstrates that we are relatively well off for Town Planners undertaking development assessment.

 

Also I quote from page 62 of the report itself:

 

“Councils that recorded a notable reduction (greater than 70% reduction) in development application determinations by EFT in 2006/2007 compared to 2005/2006 include Warren Shire (-94%), Coolamon Shire (-89%), Kyogle (-85%), Bogan Shire (-83%), Bland Shire (-82%), Berrigan Shire (-81%), Brewarrina Shire (-79%), Coonamble Shire (-78%), Cabonne Shire (-77%), Walgett Shire (-71%) and Nambucca Shire (-70%) Councils.  This reduction is conversely likely to be due to a decrease in development activity or an increase in development assessment staff.”

 

By way of summary, both the raw and trend data suggest that in terms of the Mid North Coast Councils quoted (the two to the North and the two to the South) we are well staffed in relation to DA assessment both in terms of DA numbers and complexity.  Also that this doesn’t necessarily correlate in this Council being significantly better than the others in terms of average determination times.

 

The data indicates that process improvement rather than increasing resources will provide better results. 

 

Examples of process improvement include rejecting inadequate applications before they are registered; seeking additional information only once and within 3 days of lodgement; increasing the proportion of complying development as a percentage of total determinations; increasing the use of email communication; wherever possible reducing internal and external referrals; and increasing the use of delegated authority.

 

There may also be the opportunity to undertake a change in organisation structure to create a team to specialise in application processing and particularly those aspects which are contestable in the market such as complying development certificates and construction certificates.  These contestable services do not have regulated fees so a specialist team has the potential to improve both service provision as well as increasing revenue for Council on a fee for service basis.

 

From the available data it is clear that Nambucca Shire Council has scope to improve its processes.  An important aspect of this will be the extent to which its new Exempt and Complying Development Control Plan which came into affect on 1 March 2008 will increase the proportion of complying development as a percentage of total applications.  There is no reason why Nambucca Shire Council should not at least equal the reported outcome for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

 

If Council achieves this process improvement then it would be worthwhile reviewing the structure to create an “Applications Unit” which specialises in applications processing.  This will require consultation with staff and a review of the Department’s structure.  This is probably what is intended by the notice of motion, although it is expressed in language which relates to the pre 1998 distinction between DA’s and BA’s rather than the current system of exempt development (no approval), complying development (single approval within 7 days) and local development (usually a dual approval is required being the development application and construction certificate application).

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Director Environment and Planning.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

This report has no implications for the environment.  However a key objective of development assessment must be to ensure that environmental impacts of any development are properly considered and that Councils apply the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

 

Social

 

There are no significant social issues with this report.  In relation to the proposed bill to amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment, there is a debate as to the extent to which there should be neighbour consultation for development which fits within a prescribed building envelope.

 

The Local Government Act in 1993 effectively introduced neighbour notification for most development.  There have also been increasing referral requirements in relation to matters such as bush fire, threatened species, wetlands, traffic, coastal development and other matters which have also increased application processing times.  The community needs to weigh up the direct and indirect costs of such consultation versus its social benefit.  Hence the political fight to identify with “mum and dad developers” or “mum and dad neighbours”.

 

Economic

 

The costs of planning regulation and in particular the direct and indirect costs associated with processing times have been documented in countless Federal and State Government inquiries.  Ten years ago, the Industry Commission estimated that the lack of a national approach to regulatory reform of the development assessment system was costing Australia over $1.1 billion per annum.  Investors in projects in more than one local government area can find that identical development proposals are considered “straightforward” in one locale and completely unacceptable in another.  And the problems can be even more pronounced with investors working in different states.

 

Since then there have been a succession of Inquiries which have found that the development assessment system penalises the economy unnecessarily, retarding investment and jobs growth.  However, if anything the problem has become worse.

 

Risk

 

Councils will be liable for any mistakes made in their assessment procedures.  As the complexity of the system increases so to does this risk.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no implications for current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There are no implications for working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

Environment and Planning Department Review

 

20 May 2008

 

I refer to the Notice of Motion that was moved and adopted at the 17 April 2008 Council meeting:

 

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.

 

With the following reason being provided by Cr Moran

 

“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”.

 

The current Department of Environment and Planning consists of 4 main function or operational areas, Executive Management and Administrative Support; Planning and Assessment; Environmental Health and Building; Community and Cultural Services.

 

Community and Cultural Services is a discrete operational area and has no impact and little input into the DA process and is excluded for the initial part of my response, however, the role of the Community Services area contributes to the Strategic Planning function of Council and is considered a very important component of the Environment and Planning department.

 

HISTORY

 

In 1993 Council endorsed an Organisational Structure consisting of four departments:

 

Corporate Services,                                        Operations and Technical Services,

Environmental Services,                                  Health, Building and Community Services.

 

In 1996 the Department of Local Government undertook a Management overview of the Council and its operations and was critical of a number of Governance and operational matters.

 

In 1998 following changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and  the Local Government Act relating to the then DA’s and BA’s, Council made a number of organizational changes including the transfer of the Building functions from the Health, Building and Community Services division to the Environmental Services division. Even with these proposed organizational changes, the General Manager advised Council at its 5 November 1998 meeting that:

 

Council now recognise that even after the transfer of the building control functions to Environmental Services, there are sufficient functions remaining in the form of septic tank control, libraries operations, community services, swimming pool, companion animal legislation, food and health, cemeteries, maintenance of Council’s buildings, and EP&A licenses, to warrant two separate departments to handle these functions; noting that this is Council’s preferred option in regard to the organisation structure in addressing the legislative requirements of integrated development assessment

 

In 2001 Council again undertook a comprehensive review of its organizational structure due to:

 

“Amendments to the Local Government Act and the Planning Legislation which saw building applications become development applications in fact,

 

Like all changes a certain amount of time had to pass before it could be determined whether the changes were working in the best interests of the organisation.

 

I believe the time has come to revisit the situation.

 

I do not believe that the requirements of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act are being addressed on a daily basis as Council’s Department of Development and Environmental Services is without this expertise on the admission of the Director.  The environmental expertise exists within Health and Community Services. 

 

Further, the current structure does not provide the support or backup for our Manager Building or Building Surveyor when either of these two employees are absent.  Because of the legislative changes it is difficult to buy in building surveyor services.  The industry had anticipated that private certification would take off.  However, this is not the case on the Nambucca.

 

Following the collapse of HIH Insurance there is also concern that private certifiers may now have difficulty securing public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

 

Council’s existing Department of Development and Environmental Services is also without expertise in terms of threatened species legislation.

 

Council’s Departments were restructured to enable the Department of Health and Community Services to absorb the workloads imposed by expanding community services, companion animal legislation and on-site waste management (septic tanks).  Perhaps the time has arrived where the call on Council’s resources in this regard also needs to be reviewed ie a review of progress in regard to on-site waste management.

 

There may be under-capacities in both departments – or there may be spare capacities and a review may find that we have implemented the correct organisation structure or perhaps we should have gone down the path of one larger directorate.

 

I now seek Council’s concurrence to a review of the organisation structure in regard to  development, environment, health and community services”.

 

In his report to Council leading up to the final decision being made the General Manager advised Council at a special meeting of Council on 2nd August 2001 the following:

 

I consider that in adopting this proposed structure, through the creation of a new Health and Building Surveying position, this will enable this Officer’s time to be shared between Manager Building and Development and Manager Health as demand warrants.

 

The benefits to accrue will include:

 

§   Allowing combined health and building inspections, avoiding two staff arriving on a site

 

§   Allows the Manager Health to have backup

 

§   Allows more time for the Managers as Managers in terms of planning, research, and preparation in addition to being involved in the day to day activities.

 

§   Allows enforcement of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act provisions including enforcing compliance with DA conditions and health compliance.

 

§   Allows backup for the Building Surveyor through sharing

 

§   Allows health assistance between Managers

 

§   Frees up Managers to assist each other with storm water and sewer issues.

 

Council is experiencing great difficulty in obtaining the services of backup and relief staff in terms of environmental issues and health compliance despite recent efforts and advertisements during periods of staff shortages experienced quite recently as a result of sick leave in the case of both the Director Development and Environmental Services and the Manager Health.

In my opinion Community Services and Library are self-contained in terms of functionality ie there are no apparent gaps or overlaps other than to state that perhaps there are staff shortages in terms of secretarial for Community Services.  Amalgamating the two Departments provides an ideal opportunity to address even this shortage.

The Council then resolved:

 

That the two Directorships namely, Health and Community Services and Development and Environmental Services, be amalgamated on the basis of two issues, staffing levels and sharing of expertise in an endeavour to overcome the gaps identified in the various meetings and reports and to provide an improved service to the ratepayers of the Shire.

 

That the Library function be transferred to the Director of Corporate Services.

 

As a result of this organizational restructure, I gained the position of Director Environment and Community Planning commencing duties in December 2001.

 

During 2002 as the new Structure unfolded, several further changes where considered, discussed and implemented due to ongoing issues with staff resources and difficulties in allocating time for the newly recruited Health and Building Surveyor between the two activities under the Manager of Building and Manager of Health.

 

The result being the amalgamation of the two function areas of Building and Health. This resulted in a considerable benefit with dual qualified Health and Building Surveyors undertaking the full spread of duties under the one Manager.

 

Council resolved in early 2006 to alter the tasks to be included in the contract role of the Impounding and Regulatory Officer. The new Contract excluded a number of Ranger tasks and centered only on the Companion Animals and Livestock Impounding responsibilities. The Ranger tasks were then distributed to the three Divisions which had a considerable impact with nuisance complaints (ie barking dogs, roosters, pigeons, chooks, horses ducks etc) illegal dumping, footpath signs, nuisance animals other than Cats, Dogs and straying stock being picked up by the Health and Building Services area thereby further increasing the workload.

 

As you know, in the second half of 2006 you undertook a further review of the Organisational Structure resulting in certain functions being transferred from, and others transferred to the Environment and Planning Department which is the current structure today.

 

The notable changes following this review are outlined below with the responsible position in brackets:

 

Transfer to other Departments:

·           Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre (Manager Health and Building Services);

·           Lifesaving Services (Manager Health and Building Services);

·           Public Buildings (Halls, Council Chambers) management and maintenance responsibilities (Manager Health and Building Services);

·           Section 94 Planning (Manager Planning and Assessment).

 

Transfer from other Departments:

·           Estuary Management (Director Environment and Planning);

·           Environmental levy (Director Environment and Planning);

·           Libraries (Manager Community and Cultural Services)

·           Floodplain Management (Director Environment and Planning);

·           Environmental Policy (Manager Health and Building Services);

·           Natural Resource Management (Director Environment and Planning).

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

The current areas of responsibility are outlined in the following Departmental Chart

Organization Chart
 

Organization Chart 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


·       Building Control

o   PCA Construction Cert & CDC’s

o   Compliance/Inspections

·       DA Assessments (Referrals)

·       Environmental/Public Health

·       Companion Animals

·       Animal Impounding

·       Regulatory Compliance

·       Environmental Policies

·       Environmental Nuisances

·       Public Cemeteries

·       On-Site Sewage Management

·       Section 68 LG Act Approvals

MANAGER

·       Development Control/Compliance (Major DA’s)

·       Strategic Town Planning (DCP’s, LEP’s Planning Strategies, statistics)

·       EPA Certificates (S149, building entitlements, existing holding, flood levels)

 

DIRECTOR

·       Natural Resource Management

·       Estuary Management

·       Floodplain Management

·       Environmental Levy

·       Community Planning

·       Cultural Plan

·       Crime Prevention Plan

·       Disability Action Plan

·       Social and Community Plan

·       Libraries

·       Cultural Services

·       Youth services

·       Aboriginal Services

·       Aged and Disability Services

·       Census data management

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

In your report to Council on 7 September 2006 when the Organisational Review was endorsed the following extracts are of relevance (I have bolded for ease of reference).

 

Features of the Proposed Organisation Chart

 

Change

Why

1. Change in Department titles.  Operations and Technical Services becomes Engineering Services and Environment and Community Planning becomes Environmental Services

To simplify the primary functional intent of the Department.  Also, the “Environment” is accepted as including natural, economic and social factors so the term “community” is redundant.  “Sustainable Services” is another option but sustainability is a responsibility of every Council Department, not just the “Environmental Services” Department.

 

 

3. Libraries consolidated with other community services under a Manager Community & Cultural Services.

Council has finite resources available for the provision of a range of community and cultural support services.  It is also frequently subject to requests for additional funding and funding for new initiatives.  The allocation of funds is likely to be more effective if there is a single staff position accountable for the review of expenditure and claims for new initiatives.

 

 

5.  Developer contributions moves from Environment & Community Planning to Corporate Services

As discussed developer contributions are an important part of Council’s financial strategy to provide infrastructure for new residents.  They can also impose a significant liability on the General Fund to finance that component of infrastructure which relates to existing residents.  Whilst many Councils still have responsibility for developer contributions residing with Planning Departments, consolidating responsibility for all financial planning with Corporate Services is considered preferable to leaving contributions planning with Environment and Community Planning to compete with many other high priority projects.

6. Tourism and economic development to move to Corporate Services and to report to a Manager Business Development

Both tourism and economic development currently report directly to the General Manager.  Both functions require entrepreneurial and marketing endeavour.  There is an opportunity to include other Council functions which have similar requirements (Council property, the swimming pool and saleyards) under a new Manager of Business Development.

7. Estuary management moves from Operations and Technical Services to Environmental Services

Whilst there are some capital works and maintenance components to estuary management, increasingly its focus is on natural resource management and land use planning.

8. Removal of position of Environmental Health & Building Surveyor

Given the downturn in property development, it is not proposed to replace this position and it is appropriate that it be removed from the organisation structure.  It needs to be acknowledged that there are fairly significant peaks and troughs in this section’s workload and just as a position should be removed from the structure during the current trough it will need to be added when the industry recovers.

 


I provided the following comments at that time in relation to the proposed Organisational Structure.

 

Comments from Director Environment and Community Planning

 

Comment by Director Environment and Community Planning

Response from General Manager

Philosophically, the direction that the proposal takes follows the typical:-

·      Council’/Governance under General Manager

·      Rates/corporate/civic under Corporate Services

·      Roads/rubbish/infrastructure under Engineering Services

·      Entrepreneurial/promotion/business under Business Enterprise

·      And what’s left over into Environmental Services

Generally this is achieved, however I have a question behind the rationale for the Swimming Pool.

I assume this is based on the fact that the Aquatic Centre will in three years time be running under contract.  The day to day management of the pool up to this time will require considerable input as the current leases and operational issues still need to be resolved for the three year period

The proposed structure is one which has withstood the test of time.  One matter which has changed over time is the importance of the environment to the community and Council so it’s no longer a case of Environmental Services accepting “whats left over”.

 

There were several factors in moving responsibility for the Aquatic Centre.  They include the fact that it is moving towards contract management.  Also there is a large strategic town planning workload which must have the highest priority and not be diverted by operational issues at the pool.  Finally, there is the opportunity to bring the Aquatic Centre within an umbrella of other activities which can be conducted as a business under a Manager with specific responsibility for business development.

Environmental Management

I appreciate the logic for moving Estuary Management, Environmental Policies and Natural Resource Management activities from Engineering to Environmental Services but question both the timing and Environmental Services ability to provide the time necessary to implement and monitor these programs.  Environmental Services has had very little involvement or association with the Estuary Management Plan or Flood Management Program to date and its considered that to reallocate this in the short term will require considerable catch up to achieve this with no added resources.

 

I disagree however, with those functions going under Planning as they are in fact an Environmental Management/Health function and should fall under the responsibility of the Environmental Health and Building function.  This being the case the expertise should fall to the Manager Health and Building and Environmental Compliance Officer.  This being the case, the recommendation of deleting the junior Health and Building Surveyor from the structure cannot be supported as the Compliance Officer now deals with all environmental nuisances and complaints.  This was necessary as the Health and Building staff were not getting enough time to adequately address the building compliance as well as the other neighbour disputes or complaints following the decision not to replace the Health and Building Surveyor, there is simply no capacity to pick this up without the replacement Health and Building Surveyor.

 

The removal of Council building management/maintenance and cemeteries may however, provide some capacity but is unlikely to equate to the resources required to cover the Environmental and Estuary Management transfers.

Much of the implementation of Estuary and Flood Plain Management will likely come back to Environmental Services in one form or another.  Whilst resources are always tight there is a greater depth of staffing in Environmental Services dealing with similar issues than in Engineering Services.

 

In relation to the functions being under the Manager Health and Building rather than the Manager Planning and Assessment, the matter has been discussed and there continues to be disagreement.  Whilst there are elements of both disciplines in Estuary and Flood Plain Management, the major strategic issues are still considered to be more closely associated with the planning function rather than health and building.

 

With a major downturn in applications of about 30% since the peak of the property boom in 2003/2004, it is difficult to argue the retention of a staffing level which reflects that boom rather than the current activity level.


 

Asset Management (Council Buildings)

Moving Council building management and maintenance from Environmental Services needs to be clarified as the buildings that we currently look after are Public Halls and Council’s administration building.  All other buildings are the responsibility of other Directors, with Environmental Services regularly requested to look at certain maintenance or problems with other Council owned buildings.

 

Whilst, the proposal to place the whole Asset Management under one department is supported.  Clarification needs to be provided to ensure that this entails all parts of Asset Management ie, maintenance, improvements, cleaning, leasing/renting etc and the necessary resources and expertise required.

This has been clarified.  All parts of Asset Management will be transferred to Engineering Services.  In the instance of the Aquatic Centre, leasing would be undertaken by the Manager Business Development or their staff.

Section 94 Contribution Management

I acknowledge that Section 94’s may sit in either Planning or Finance.  Irrespective of where they rest there will still be a need for input from both Planning and Engineering with plan preparation and forward infrastructure planning.

 

With Council’s agreement to enter into an Alliance with Kempsey and Bellingen Councils to employ a Section 94 Officer it is opportune to determine where best to place this responsibility so that the respective Director/Manager can be involved from the outset with this joint approach.

Agreed

Community Services

Again, I agree with the principal of all community services being under the one Director.  Placing this under the new position of Manager Community and Cultural Services may provide some difficulties due to the funding and expected outcomes for the current Community Worker position, which in fact, is two existing positions – Community Project Officer (partially funded by the Department of Community Services under the Area Assistance Program $9,300) and Aged and Disability Community Worker (partially funded by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care under the HACC program $13,000).

 

There are expected outcomes for both of these two positions and any change may require the approval of the funding bodies.  If they consider that the role will change, or the expected outcomes may not be achieved they may withdraw their funding.

 

Notwithstanding, adding the responsibility of staff and building management along with the many other issues associated with membership of a Regional Library, I doubt that the current Community Worker will be able to absorb these responsibilities without something falling off.

It is agreed that Council should seek the endorsement of the two funding bodies to the new position.  The management of the libraries will be an additional function but given the existing funding levels it would seem unreasonable for both Departments to limit the position’s functions to those covered by their programs when they only contribute a minority of its funding.

Administrative Support Team

To maintain equity across the organisation I would see the designation of Senior Secretary (Barbara Sadler) being identified as Executive Assistant and Secretary (Anne Mitchell) being under the Executive Assistant direction.

 

With the transfer of Cemeteries to Corporate Services this will free up time for Secretary (Anne) to attend to more of the administrative support for Community Services and following up animal registrations and onsite effluent systems which are lagging due to the emotive and urgent issues associated with cemeteries.

Agreed

 

With the final adoption and implementation of the September 2006 structure, It is noted that Public Cemeteries did not transfer to Business Development but remained with Environment and Planning.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

It has been 7 years since Council amalgamated the two former departments of Development and Environmental Services and Health and Community Services and now, with the benefit of 18 months operating under the new Structure it is evident that the impact with regard to Estuary and Natural Resource Management, the new Companion Animals Contract, non replacement and removal of the junior Health and Building Surveyor from the organisational structure, the reduced qualifications and experience in the recent recruiting for the two positions of Town Planner and Area Health and Building Surveyor due to the national skill shortage and Council’s inability to recruit duly qualified and experienced staff, is having a considerable impact especially on the processing of development applications.

 

It must also be noted that as Director I am consumed by individual projects and departmental/council issue management including discussions/negotiations with local developers regarding state legislation and working through Council’s adopted Policies, dealing with the enormity of Estuary Management matters including the committee, Flooding and Natural Resource Management Issues, dealing with the ongoing issues and operations of the two major Quarries in the shire, resolving and managing government agency enquiries and issues, budget management, representing Council at planning, building and environmental meetings, hearings and the like, co-ordinating Council’s strategic planning program and its connection with other Council departments and dealing with and servicing the needs of Councillors, the community and the Department to name but a few.

 

I therefore consider it necessary again, to outline the areas of operational responsibility between the Town Planners and Building Surveyors as they both process and deal with Development Applications. It is this point that must be clearly understood if any progress is to be gained with this review.

 

Within the Department we currently have the two areas of Planning and Environment (Planning and Assessment) and Environmental Health and Building.

 

Currently the Planning and Assessment function is responsible for dealing with all Major Development Applications (subdivisions, multi-unit development, large industrial activities etc) which equates to approximately 37% of the annual number of applications. While the Health and Building Surveyors deal with minor DA’s (ie houses, alterations and additions, pools, garages etc)and Complying Developments both of which were essentially the old single process of Building Applications, as well as the processing of Construction Certificates which follow the Development Application process, to ensure compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the relevant Australian Standards and construction codes.

 

The Health and Building Surveyors are dual qualified and deal with both environmental/public health matters as well as undertaking building assessments and inspections in conjunction with the processing and issuing of Construction Certificates. This joint role is a result of the previous investigations and direction of Council as outlined in the history section of my report and in particular the General Manager’s advice in 2001 that:

 

I do not believe that the requirements of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act are being addressed on a daily basis as Council’s Department of Development and Environmental Services is without this expertise on the admission of the Director.  The environmental expertise exists within Health and Community Services. 

 

When I was appointed in 2001, the then General Manager stressed that Council wished to address such Environmental Compliance matters on an even keel with the other functions of Council. As a consequence, the Environmental Health and Building Assessment sections were combined in an attempt to share resources and expertise to address the identified community needs relating to Environmental Health matters (septic tanks, companion animals, pollution, overgrown lots and complaints) that Council considered were not receiving the appropriate time, notwithstanding the very time consuming and resource hungry issues. These changes have had an impact on the available time to process the Development Applications and Complying Development Certificates as required.

 

It must be stressed that the changes to the EP&A Act in 2000 added an extra step in the minor DA process with both a DA and a Construction Certificate being required when previously they were covered by the single process of Building Applications. The advice provided by the General Manager back in 2001 in relation to Exempt and Complying Development and Private Certification is still accurate due to the lack of Accredited Certifiers operating in this area.

 

Exempt and Complying does have a further impact on staff as they are required to be processed within 7 days, with the Complying applications being afforded a priority over normal DA’s. Complying’s may also be dealt with by Private Certifiers (PC’s) who unlike Council do not need to juggle these tasks with the other Environmental Health activities that only Council can deal with. In Nambucca Shire’s case the same people are responsible for processing CC’s or CDC’s as well as the environmental issues.

 

A quick review of Complying Development Applications dealt with by Council and undertaken by PC’s is only minor, even with the introduction of a new and expanded Exempt and Complying DCP. The new DCP took effect on 1 March this year with the statistics being:

 

 

March - April 2007

March - April 2008

Total For 2007

CDC’s by Council

4

5

33

CDC’s by PC’s

5

5

42

 

 

PROPOSAL TO SPLIT THE DEPARTMENT

 

I do not consider that splitting the Department into two as proposed by the Notice of Motion will have any effect on the reported processing times for DA’s, as it will be the status quo but in two different departments with the same competing tasks.

 

Option 1 (Preferred)

 

I offer the suggestion that if Council consider that the processing of DA’s is its most critical performance measure, then this could be simply addressed by directing this to be the case and amend its Draft Management Plan accordingly to reduce the importance on the other competing Environmental Management functions, which at the moment (and in light of the directions when I was first appointed) are more on a 60/40 (Building/Health) split for the Health and Building Surveyors.

 

Such redirection of resources and energies would bring about a considerable change in the DA processing times as I would ensure that 75% of the resources are directed to DA’s for the Health and Building Surveyors.

 

Simply by splitting the Department into two will have no affect whatsoever for the Planning area as there will be no capacity gained or lost.

 

I stress that currently within the Planning and Assessment area we are currently working through a very hectic and time consuming Strategic Planning program with the Rural Residential Land Release Strategy and the new comprehensive LEP. This program is consuming 100% of the Strategic Planners time and approximately 50% of the Managers time. The remaining 50% of the Managers time is split between DA’s and management functions. The Senior Planners role is 80% DA assessment/monitoring and 20% property enquiries and many other land use and subdivision matters etc. The Town Planner position which was responsible for Section 149 Certificates, land use enquiries and minor Development Applications is about to be vacated for 6 months and will be covered by a Clerk for 4 days per week concentrating on 149’s, counter and customer enquiries, land use/dwelling entitlements to afford the Senior Planner time to focus solely on processing Major DA’s and Subdivision Certificates.

 

As you know, a Community Survey was recently undertaken at considerable cost to the ratepayers which identified useful information for us to work with. Of considered importance is the Satisfaction Matrix.

 

The community identified Development Applications as being of Low Importance with Low Satisfaction, whilst the community identified Estuary Management and Environmental Monitoring as being of High Importance with Low Satisfaction.

 

With the above in mind and interpreting the Notice of Motion to place a High Importance to Development Applications, my suggested means of transferring our resources is unlikely to improve the communities Low Satisfaction in Environmental Monitoring.

 

The matters that were “left over” following Council’s decision to alter the Companion Animals and Regulatory Contract generally relate to the compliance and environmental monitoring areas and continue to have an impact on the Health and Building Surveyors. The proposal in the Draft 2008/09 Management Plan to employ a Ranger is supported, to enable some of these mundane regulatory functions to be moved away from the Health and Building Surveyors enabling them time to deal with DA’s.

 

This Option retains the Community and Cultural Services unit within Environment and Planning allowing input into the preparation of Planning Strategies and Policies that take account of the current and projected Community Profiles, structure, demands and needs as they change and provides adequate access to the Administrative Support team for assistance with Minutes, Agendas etc.

 

As far as DA processing times, Nambucca Shire (53 days) is well below the state average of 73 days. However, the number of DA’s approved per processing Officer is well below the state average and that of similar sized Council’s and those Council’s north and south of us:

 

Nambucca Shire           47 DA’s /processing officer

State Average                           72 DA’s /processing officer

Group 11 Councils           95 DA’s /processing officer

Coffs City Council            104 DA’s /processing officer

Bellingen Council                      66 DA’s /processing officer

Kempsey Council                      123 DA’s /processing officer

Port Macquarie                         51 DA’s /processing officer

 

Should Council resolve to proceed to split the Department, Council must be mindful of its industrial responsibilities and the potential for redundancies to key experienced and professional staff. The above Option 1 would avoid any issues relating to Industrial matters and potential redundancy payments.

 

Option 2

 

Most Council’s of Nambucca’s size do not operate under 3 individual “Activity Units” of Environmental Health; Planning; and Building due to their inability to carry specialists in each area of responsibility. Nambucca’s operations of 2 units of Planning; Health and Building are common due to the intimate link between Environmental Health matters and Building control matters.

 

Larger Council’s operate a Planning and Development Assessments unit which combines the Town Planning section and the Building Assessment and inspection sections into one unit often referred to as the Development Assessments Unit dealing solely with Development Application, Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificate and Subdivision Certificate processing and inspections, a Strategic Planning unit dealing with all planning policies, codes and plans. With a separate Environmental Health Unit dealing with regulatory compliance and education in environmental and public health, but both under the Directorship of one department.

 

To implement this type of unit split in Nambucca could be accommodated to a lesser extent within the current Environment and Planning Department without the need to split the department into two as moved. However, Council would need to address its Workplace Change and Industrial responsibilities to negotiate the changes in up to 4 existing positions to avoid unnecessary and expensive redundancies.

 

The Department of Environment and Planning could under the “unit” option remain as three activity units being, 1. Planning and Development, 2. Environmental Health, and 3. Community Services, serviced by the Administrative Support Team and headed by a Director to ensure that the many competing and sometimes conflicting needs are balanced.

 

Option 2 (Activity Units) is outlined in the attached Organisational Structure which includes the proposed Ranger position and responsibility allocations.

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

Organization Chart 

 



Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

Organization Chart 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


·       Environmental/Public Health

·       Companion Animals

·       Animal Impounding

·       Environmental Regulatory Compliance

·       Environmental Policies

·       Environmental Nuisances

·       Public Cemeteries

·       On-Site Sewage Management

·       Section 68 LG Act Approvals

MANAGER

·       Development Control/Compliance

·       Strategic Town Planning (DCP’s, LEP’s Planning Strategies, statistics)

·       Floodplain Management

·       EPA Certificates (S149, building entitlements, existing holding, flood levels)

·       Building Control

o   PCA (CDC’s & CC’s)

o   Compliance/Inspections

 

DIRECTOR

·       Natural Resource Management

·       Estuary Management

·       Floodplain Management

·       Environmental Levy

·       Community Planning

·       Cultural Plan

·       Crime Prevention Plan

·       Disability Action Plan

·       Social and Community Plan

·       Libraries

·       Cultural Services

·       Youth services

·       Aboriginal Services

·       Aged and Disability Services

·       Census data management

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 19 June 2008

Restructuring of the Department of Environment and Planning into Separate Town Planning and Building Departments

Attachment 1

Director's Response to NoM to Split Environment and Planning Department

 

Option 3 (Notice of Motion)

 

Should Council proceed to a simple split as moved, then my current position of Director would effectively be redundant. With Council needing to determine whether to appoint a director to one, two or all three new departments and determining how best to split/allocate the existing Administrative Support team to ensure that each Unit is adequately serviced.

 

Alternatively each of the four activities of Planning and Assessment, Health and Building, Community Services and Administrative Support would report directly to the General Manager. The remuneration for each of the Managers for additional responsibility and Accountability would need to be addressed.

 

Such split as moved will not result in any real change to DA turnaround times, and whilst the redundancy may provide some savings to Council, the reallocation of Estuary and Natural Resource Management to one or both of the Managers will significantly impact upon output and workloads.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

It is my view that the least disruptive option is the preferred Option 1. It is a simple directive of Council to place a greater importance on the processing of Development Applications, Complying Development Applications  and Construction Certificates.

 

This avoids the unsettling and very unproductive process of Job redesign, redundancies and justification in accordance with the Award for Workplace Change. Council should also be aware of the current national skill shortage in professional/ technical areas and Council’s current inability to attract appropriately experienced and qualified planning and building staff which may have a considerable impact should more than one position be made redundant which will not provide Council with any change in turnaround times in the short to medium term.

 

Draft Department of Local Government Report

Having just received the draft of the DLG Promoting Better Practice review report Council may wish to consider the recommendations in the report especially relating to Recommendations 28, 30, 31, & 32 relating to environmental monitoring and investigation.

 

Draft NSW Planning Reform Proposals

The most recent changes to the draft Planning reforms also need to be considered by Council especially the accreditation of Local Government Building Surveyors and Planners to create a “level playing field” between Council and private enterprise. Does Council want to lose all control especially for larger developments?

 

 

 

Greg Meyers

Director Environment and Planning

Nambucca Shire Council

20 May 2008

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

19 June 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.1      SF1148            190608         Contract Regulatory Officer's Report May 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Phillip Gall, Manager Health and Building         

 

Summary:

 

The following is the Contract Regulatory Officer’s report for May 2008.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the report from the Contract Regulatory Officer May 2008 be received and noted by Council.

 

 

 

Dogs

Total

Total

Seized

 

12

Returned to Owner

3

 

Impounded

9

 

Total Seized

12

12

Breakdown

Total

Total

Seized

 

12

From Previous Month

 

6

Stolen Dog Recovered

 

0

Released to Owner

0

 

Returned to Owner

3

 

Euthanized

9

 

Currently in Pound

5

 

Sold

1

 

Stolen from Pound

0

 

Died in Pound

0

 

Total in Pound

 

18

Dumped

1

 

Surrendered

1