NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 July 2008

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

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

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Site for Club

5.2     Notice of Motion - Road Maintenance  

6        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

Closed Meeting Item

          Tender – TO43/2008 Construction of Skate park at Coronation Park,

          (i)Neryl Stuart—objecting to the skate park

 

7        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

8        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

9        General Manager Report

9.1     Outstanding Actions and Reports

9.2     Councillor Development Strategy

9.3     Revised Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils

9.4     State Government Direction in Climate Change

9.5     Special Rate Variation and Making of Rates

10      Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1   Environment and Planning Applications Progress and Statistical Reports June 2008

10.2   Report on the Minutes of the Access Committee Meeting held 27 May 2008

10.3   Report on the Minutes of the Access Committee Meeting held 24 June 2008

10.4   17th Annual Coastal Conference 4-7 November 2008, Wollongong

10.5   Contract Regulatory Officer's Report June 2008

10.6   Outstanding Development Applications more than 12 Months, Applications where submissions have been received and not determined and Applications received 23 June 2008 to 4 July 2008

10.7   Development Applications Determined Under Delegated Authority from 24 June 2008 to 8 July 2008

10.8   Report on Conditions for DA 2008/202 - Dwelling Additions to 25 Seaview Street, Nambucca Heads

10.9   Report on State Environmental Planning Policy (Rural Lands) 2008

10.10  Executive Products Pty Ltd (Mr & Mrs Leigh) 18a Matthew Street, Scotts Head - Land And Environment Court Hearing

11      Director Engineering Services Report

11.1   Smoking in Public Places - Policy

11.2   Rusty Iron Rally 2008

11.3   Cattle Grids

11.4   Asset Management - Assessment of Argents Hill Hall   


 

 

15      WORKS INSPECTION COMMITTEE MEETING

 

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

12.1   Tender  - T043/2008 Construction of Skate Park at Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads

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.

 

12.2   Construction of Netball Courts - Willis 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.

  

i    Motion To Close The Meeting

ii   Public Verbal Representations Regarding Proposal To Close

iii  Consideration Of Public Representations

iv   Deal With Motion To Close The Meeting

 

13      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

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

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1      SF793              170708         Notice of Motion - Nambucca Valley Bridge Club - Site for Club

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

The Nambucca Valley Bridge Club has been rejected by the Department of Lands.  I do feel Council should be helping the Bridge Club more.  (The Club had 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.)

 

Possible sites for consideration include:

 

·      E J Biffin Playing Fields as there is plenty of car parking

·      McMorrie Park opposite Cook’s Beach.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council investigate a site for the Nambucca Valley Bridge Club in Nambucca Heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.2      SF444              170708         Notice of Motion - Road Maintenance

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Barry Duffus, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Council needs to find a different approach to road maintenance to ensure that its infrastructure is maintained.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council investigate a similar proposal to that implemented by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

 

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

In the Councillor’s newsletter on 19 February 2008, the General Manager included an article about a program undertaken by Mornington Peninsula in Victoria to fast track road maintenance.  The information had been reproduced from an article in the LG News and is repeated below.

 

Mornington Peninsula Shire’s innovative, long-term infrastructure maintenance contract with company Downer EDI Works is continuing to help the council fast-track the delivery of almost 30 road projects within its borders.

 

The coastal Victorian council has contracted Downer EDI Works under a 15 year arrangement to maintain roads, bridges, paths and other infrastructure and deliver an accelerated works program to upgrade the council’s roads infrastructure.

 

Presently, there are 27 projects being undertaken by the company as part of the accelerated works program, including road construction, road shoulder construction and car park construction.

 

Under the accelerated works program, Downer EDI Works finances the initial outlay required to undertake the projects, with Mornington Peninsula Shire repaying the costs - less a discount for maintenance savings - over the life of the 15 year contract.

 

Prior to signing the contract with Downer EDI Works, the council would not have been able to undertake an accelerated works program because of the significant initial financial outlay involved in undertaking the projects - an outlay that could not have been repaid by the council over the term of a standard five-year maintenance contract.

 

When announcing the contract, which commenced in July 2006, Mornington Peninsula Shire’s CEO, Dr Michael Kennedy, announced the contract would save the council more than $30 million over 10 years.

 

Projects to be completed under the accelerated works program are determined by the council in consultation with Downer EDI Works, and are prioritised based on: the potential to improve road safety; potential savings in road maintenance costs; disruption and nuisance caused by the current road condition; the traffic volumes and potential improvement of traffic flow; and environmental impacts caused by the current condition of the infrastructure.

 

Under the ‘Safer Local Roads’ maintenance contract with the council, Downer EDI Works is responsible for maintaining infrastructure including: 1285 km of sealed and 380 km of unsealed roads; 198 car parks; 300 bridges and major culverts; 310 km of pathways; and 43,000 stormwater pits within the Mornington Peninsula Shire. For more information, email Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd’s Community Liaison Officer, Graham Riley, at Graham.Riley@downerediworks.com.au.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1      SF959         170708         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.

AUGUST 2007

2

QWN14

16/08/07

Walter Monro Place—gutter dropped

DES

Design in preparation

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

 

SEPTEMBER 2007

4

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.

 

DECEMBER 2007

5

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

 

6

SF791

06/12/07

Council apply to Minister and Governor to compulsorarily 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.  Awaiting response.  Follow up letter sent on 13 June 2008.  Further follow up letter sent 10 July 2008 expressing concern about imminent commitment of $6.12m to augmentation of NH Treatment Plant on land we don’t own.

7

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.

8

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.  ACAC minutes to be recorded.

 

JANUARY 2008

9

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.

RTA briefed Council on 25 June 2008 on preferred route – Warrell Ck to Urunga.  Follow up letter sent to RTA on 2 public meetings.  The Mayor has written to the Minister regarding the inequity of “hardship” purchases where just terms compensation is not applied.

 

10

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.  Draft prepared and to be considered at Committee meeting on 23 July 2008

 

FEBRUARY 2008

11

 

07/02/08

Handrail at traffic lights required

DES

To be done in August.

 

12

QWN 51

21/02/08

Riverbank erosion—Ferry St Macksville

DES

Guardrail to be erected late May

Contractor delayed until July.

MARCH 2008

13

PRF17

20/3/08

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

 

DES

Report August  2008

15

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

 

16

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.

18

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.

Working Party is developing an approach.

 

APRIL 2008

19

SF450

3/4/08

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

 

 

Cr Hoban advised 3/7/08 that there were still no leaflets available at the tip.

 

Cr Flack asked 3/7/08 if education costs were submitted?

 

DES

Advice has been sought from Coffs Harbour City Council.  No response at 22 May 2008.  No response as at 10 June 2008.

I advise that the administration charge breakdown remains unchanged from that outlined in Council’s letter of 28 May 2007 which in turn refers to Council’s letter of 6 November 2006.

 

Considering the increase in costs associated with the contract and CPI increases maintaining the fee at the current $4.55 per garbage service per annum the statistics and costings quoted in the breakdown of the three tables included in Coffs Council’s letter of 6 November 2006 have all increased but have been again utilised for the proposed fee in the 2008/09 financial year and have not been reworked to show the increases referred to above.  The breakdown of the details in reaching the $4.55 remains unchanged from those tables and the previous correspondence.

Council resolved to refer back to CH city Council.

Letter sent.

21

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 applicant’s consultant 22/5.  Currently working through DWE issues.

 

22

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.

·     Expressions of interest called with new criteria closing 1 Sept for the 40 Lots.

 

23

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

25

QWN 97

01/05/08

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

DES

Review previous report.  Report in August.

 

26

QWN 98

01/05/08

Security cameras for Nambucca Heads—costing required again

 

DES

Report in July.  Now scheduled for August.

27

QWN 103

15/05/08

Enviro Saver Program – further investigations

DEP

Currently being investigated.

 

28

QWN 108

15/05/08

Newee Creek Rd maintenance

DES

Commenced in June and to be finalised in July.

 

29

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

 

30

QWN 110

15/05/08

Bent St—large bump on road

DES

May need to install wick—August

 

31

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.  Works have commenced. Letter to owner.

 

32

QWN 112

15/05/08

Missabotti Rd—spraying of vegetation

DES

Revisit in Spring for lantana & other vegetation growth.

 

33

QWN 113

15/05/08

Stormwater Drainage—Macksville Industrial Estate – easement required?

DES

Design being prepared for easement

 

37

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.

 

39

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.

41

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

42

QWN 125

05/06/08

Flooding – Seafood shop Nambucca heads

DES

Storm damage—inspected 25 June

 

43

QWN 126

05/06/08

Light outside Aquatic Centre Macksville

DES

Requires new pole and flood lights. To be costed by Country Energy.

 

45

QWN 129

05/06/08

Flood damage plan

DES

Storm damage—awaiting funding and design

 

47

QWN 121

05/06/08

Stormwater litter catcher –  near VIC, Bellwood

DES

Listed for cleaning in July.

Cleaned.

 

49

QWN 123

05/06/08

Bridge near Riverside Gardens, Nambucca Heads needs lifting and widening

 

DES

Storm damage—inspected 25 June

 

52

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

53

SF15

05/06/08

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

 

MBD

Report in August

54

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.

55

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 August.

57

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

Report on commercial fishermen to be prepared for August meeting.

59

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 with workshop staff.

61

SF844

19/06/08

Council send a delegation to the Minister for Water and Energy, the Hon. Nathan Rees to request confirmation of the Department’s subsidy for the Off River Storage Project.

 

GM

Letter written

63

QWN 135

19/06/08

Street lighting not working in River Street, Macksville.

DES

Council electrician to repair

64

QWN 136

19/06/08

Gross pollutant traps at Nambucca Heads Bowling Club full of gravel – need to be cleaned out.

 

DES

Listed for cleaning in July.

Cleaned.

65

QWN 139

19/06/08

Status of $120,000 public art entry statements to Nambucca Heads.

GM

Advice being sought from Nambucca Heads Chamber of Commerce

 

67

QWN 143

19/06/08

Blocked culverts on Rhones Creek Road

 

DES

Listed to be cleaned.

JULY 2008

 

QWN 148

 

QWN 149

03/07/08

Sediment controls for Betts Bridge

DES

Complete roadwork 7/7

Silt fence 7/4

Cable into conduit 4/7

 

 

QWN 150

03/07/08

Wash-away near Allan Proctor’s property on Rhones Creek

DES

Will be looked at same time as Brian Gaddes property’

 

 

QWN 151

03/07/08

Potholes – Eungai Creek

DES

Work currently being undertaken

 

 

QWN 152

03/07/08

Reconstruction of Sturdee St

 

Programmed for September 2008

 

 

QWN 153

03/07/08

Litter traps – Tourist Office, Beer Creek, EJ Biffin

DES

Completed.

 

QWN 155

03/07/08

Star Street Lighting on all day

DES

Request for Country Energy to check for fault

 

 

QWN 156

03/07/08

Bakers Creek - resealing

DES

To be investigated and repaired.

 

Item 5.1

03/07/08

Withdrawal of Mobile Breast Screening Services

GM

Letter written.

 

Item 5.2

03/07/08

Copy of independent engineering consultant’s report to all Councillors

 

Progress report on works to Council

 

DES

Circularise consultant’s report.

 

Yet to be prepared.

 

Item 5.3

03/07/08

Nambucca Heads Skate Park – to be put on list to be funded from draft Community Facilities and Open Space Section 94 Contribution Plan

 

DES

See report,

 

Item 5.4

03/07/08

Amended Criteria for rural Residential Quota

 

DEP

Expressions of interest called with new criteria closing 1 Sept for the 40 Lots.

 

 

Item 5.5

03/07/08

That Council put the proposal of zoning land in R5 Large lot Residential in NLEP 2008 and including a clause that indicates that subdivision of such land must be in accordance with an adopted Rural Residential Strategy to the Minister of Planning.

 

DEP

Letter written 10 July 08

 

Item 9.4

03/07/08

Bowraville Theatre – amended budget report

 

GM

Letter written.

 

Item 11.7

03/07/08

Inspection of rights of carriageway off Rhones Ck Rd at next Works

 

DES

Works 16/7

 

Item 9.5

03/07/08

Council write to Electoral Commission & seek clarification if preferential voting will remain for next election.

 

GM

Letter written.

 

Item 9.9

03/07/08

Council make representation to Minister for Lands seeking agreed compensation for subdivision of Reserve 91694

 

GM

Letter written.

 

Item 9.10

03/07/08

Letter of support in principle to NSW Dept of Sport and Recreation

 

GM

Letter written.

 

Item 10.5

03/07/08

Written submission re concerns on draft NSW Planning Codes for Single Dwelling & commercial development

 

DEP

Submission completed and submitted to Department.

 

Item 11.5

03/07/08

NSW Rural Fire Service update office – preferred option—Kelly Close and health and safety issues

 

DES

Letter sent to regional and local office.

 

Item 9.1

03/07/08

Council form working party to resolve conflicting issues surrounding the use of footpaths …..

 

DEP

Working party meeting to be arranged August/September.

 

Item 10.2

03/07/08

Works Depot Forward Plan—more detailed report re costing of works at the depot

 

DES

Report to Council in August.

 

Item 10.3

03/07/08

Urban drainage—report in relation to properties including consideration of installation of drainage in West St. Macksville

DES

Letter sent to West St properties advising them to keep the drainage channels free of obstructions.

 

 

Item 11.4

03/07/08

That a new plan of management be prepare for Faringdon Playing Fields

DES

Awaiting outcome of grant application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.2      SF256              170708         Councillor Development Strategy

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources         

 

Summary:

 

A Councillor Development Strategy is being prepared to assist councillors elected on 13 September 2008 to undertake their role. The Strategy is a joint initiative of the Department of Local Government and the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW. 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That all Councillors and the General Manager attend the one-day seminar to be held post-election.

 

2        That the General Manager report to the first Council meeting in 2009 the level of Councillor attendance at the seminar and any feedback from Councillors about the seminar.

 

3        That, in addition to the Councillor induction program, Council develops and implements an ongoing professional development program for Councillors with adequate funding being allocated for both.

 

4        That Council’s policies on the payment of expenses and the provision of facilities to Mayors and Councillors provide for an appropriate level of support for Councillor training and professional development when next reviewed for 2008/2009.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are no options. The Department expects all councillors to attend the one-day seminar to be held later this year and to be familiar with their roles and responsibilities. It also expects councils to develop and implement both a councillor induction program and an on-going professional development program for councillors and for councillors to actively participate in the programs.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

A Councillor Development Strategy is being prepared to assist councillors elected on 13 September 2008 to undertake their role. The Strategy is a joint initiative of the Department of Local Government and the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW.

 

The Strategy comprises:

 

·       A publication for prospective councillors that includes basic information on the role and responsibilities of being a councillor and support available;

·       A one-day seminar for councillors and their General Managers, following the election in September 2008;

·       A publication for newly elected councillors outlining in more detail their roles and responsibilities, support available to assist them to undertake their role and where to find additional resources;

·       A web-based information directory for councils and councillors;

·       A Practice Note to guide the development of council-based councillor induction and on-going councillor professional development programs.

 

Publication for Prospective Councillors

 

The Department has recently published Becoming a Councillor (Circular 08-12 refers), a resource for prospective councillors developed in cooperation with the Associations.  It is aimed at members of the public interested in standing for council and includes a basic overview of what local government is, what is expected of a councillor and what support is provided to assist councillors in their role.  It is available for download from the Department’s website at www.dlg.nsw.gov.au and the Associations’ websites at www.lgsa.org.au.

 

Post-election One-day Seminar

 

Following the election all councillors will be expected to attend a one-day seminar to be held later this year.  General Managers are encouraged to attend the seminars with their councillors.  The seminars are being organised and presented via a partnership arrangement between the Department, the Associations and Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA).  The seminar content is being designed to be of value to both new and experienced councillors.

 

Up to 15 seminars will be held at various metropolitan and regional locations to facilitate attendance.  Councils wishing to host a seminar or suggest the most appropriate regional and metropolitan locations for the seminars have been invited to contact the Department. (Council has done so, expressing an interest in hosting a seminar locally. If successful, it will potentially draw delegates from Clarence, Coffs, Bellingen, Kempsey, Taree, Great Lakes, Gloucester and Armidale. The Department has indicated it will be able to advise Council early June of the venues.)

 

General Managers are requested to report to the first council meeting in 2009 the level of councillor attendance at the seminars and any feedback from councillors about the seminar.

 

Publication for Newly Elected Councillors

 

A publication will be available for newly elected councillors from the time of the post-election seminars that will build on information contained in Becoming a Councillor. The publication will aim to provide, in a single resource, key information about the roles and responsibilities of councillors and support available to them to fulfil their role, as well as reference to where to obtain further detail and resources.

 

Web-based Information Directory for Councils and Councillors

 

A web-based directory of information is being developed to assist councillors to undertake their role.  It will include links to relevant legislation, guidelines, policies and other resources.  It will also be available from the time of the post-election seminars for councillors.

 

Practice Note to Guide Development of Council-based Councillor Induction and On-going Councillor Professional Development Programs.

 

As part of the Councillor Development Strategy all councils are being strongly urged to develop and implement both a councillor induction program and an on-going professional development program for councillors.

 

The Department recognises that a number of councils already have such programs in place.  It also recognises that different councils and councillors will have different training needs and that programs will vary from council to council.  It urges Councils to consider making use of their various resource sharing arrangements with other councils, including Regional Organisations of Councils when planning further training for councillors.

 

It is suggested a range of delivery methods will be required to support the training needs of councillors.  These could include:

 

·       Workshops, seminars and informal (briefing) sessions conducted by council with appropriate guest speakers and trainers;

·       Attendance at workshops, seminars and conferences offered by organisations such as the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Managers Australia and other private providers that provide an opportunity for councillors to gain new skills, network with other councillors and staff from within and outside of New South Wales.  An example is the Councillor Professional Development Program conducted by Local Government Learning Solutions (a unit of the Associations);

·       Training booklets and discussion papers that could be distributed to councillors for information; and,

·       On-line training delivery.

 

In this context, the Department will issue Practice Note prior to the elections to provide encouragement and guidance to councils on councillor induction and on-going professional development.

 

(Reference is made to the report submitted to Council on 20 March 2008 detailing a proposal for post-election training and development. It was resolved to note the intention to develop a Councillor Induction Training Program once the Local Government and Shires Association have revised their workshop outline).

 

The Department is inviting input from councils on the content of the Practice Note by Friday, 13 June 2008   particularly from councils that have developed comprehensive induction and professional development programs for councillors, as well as from those that have undertaken a systematic analysis to identify councillor professional development and training needs.  The Department will also be seeking input from the Associations, LGMA and other agencies.

 

Meanwhile, councils are asked to ensure that their management plan for 2008/2009 makes adequate provision for the development and implementation of councillor induction and ongoing councillor professional development programs. (Nambucca Shire Council’s draft budget allocation is $5000 for Councillor Induction Training plus $1500 per councillor for other training and development throughout 2008/09).

 

Councils are similarly asked to ensure that their policies on the payment of expenses and the provision of facilities to mayors and councillors provide for an appropriate level of support for councillor training and professional development when next reviewed for 2008/2009.

 

Further information about the Councillor Development Strategy, including details about the post-election seminars, will be made available to councils over the coming months.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Department of Local Government

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The Councillor Development Strategy aims to assist councillors to undertake their role thereby optimising effective service delivery and community satisfaction in an environmental context.

 

Social

 

The Councillor Development Strategy aims to assist councillors to undertake their role thereby optimising effective service delivery and community satisfaction in an environmental context.

 

Economic

 

The Councillor Development Strategy aims to assist councillors to undertake their role thereby optimising effective service delivery and community satisfaction in an environmental context.

 

 

 

 

Risk

 

Councillors must have a solid understanding of their roles and responsibilities in order for Council to mitigate any risks.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The 2008/09 draft budget allocation of $5000 for Councillor Induction Training and $1500 per councillor is expected to be sufficient.

 

Funding for Councillor Training and Professional Development will be an ongoing requirement of future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No variance required.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.3      SF42                170708         Revised Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

The Department of Local Government has issued a revised Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils.  The revised Code came into effect on 20 June 2008 and Council must amend its existing Code in accordance with the new Model

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council adopt the revised Code of Conduct as attached to the report.

 

2        That Council seek the co-operation of Bellingen, Kempsey and Coffs Harbour City Councils           in establishing a single conduct review committee to service all four Councils.

 

3        That Council’s solicitor, Mr Terry Perkins be invited participate on the Conduct Review           Committee.

 

4        In the event there is no agreement for a single Conduct Review Committee to service           Nambucca Shire Council and at least 2 other Councils, or Mr Perkins does not agree to           participate on the Conduct Review Committee, then Council advertise for expressions of           interest for community members to participate on the Conduct Review Committee and the           determination of those Committee members be the subject of a further report to Council.

 

5        That the attention of staff be directed to the new Code of Conduct and the major changes           from the previous Code, but that training for both Councillors and staff be deferred until           after the election.

 

6        That a copy of the revised Code of Conduct be provided with a covering letter to all of           Council’s Committees of Management and contractors.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993, councils must adopt a code of conduct that incorporates the provisions of the Model Code (or is consistent with the Model Code).

 

Council has options of making its code of conduct more “onerous”.  It also has options in relation to the appointment of a conduct review committee.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Department of Local Government has now completed a review of the Model Code of Conduct.  Council was advised of the changes on 20 June 2008 and they came into effect by regulation in the Government Gazette also on 20 June 2008.

 

The following are the main changes to the Model Code as described in a question and answer format by the Department of Local Government:

 

What standards of conduct have changed?

 

General conduct obligations:

·      An additional clause has been added that requires councillors to comply with council resolutions directing them to take action as a result of a breach.

 

Conflict of interests obligations:

·      New provisions relating to non-pecuniary conflicts of interest that provide that the political views of a councillor do not constitute a private interest; and the matter of a conduct review committee/reviewer report to council is not a private interest.

·      Clarification of the action that is required to be taken if a council official has a non-pecuniary conflict of interest.  This provides actions for significant and less than significant non-pecuniary conflict situations.

·      A definition of “significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest”.

·      Provision that council staff should manage any non-pecuniary interests in consultation with their managers

·      Political donations provisions that require councillors to treat a political donation in excess of $1,000 in the same way as a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest.  Councillors must also determine whether or not contributions below $1,000 create a significant conflict of interest.

 

Personal benefit obligations:

·      Definitions of token gifts and benefits and gifts and benefits of value have been included at the beginning of the section.  These have been substantially rewritten to provide greater clarity around what is and is not, a gift/benefit of value or of token value.

 

Relationship between council officials obligations:

·      Refinement of the provisions relating to inappropriate interactions that advise about interactions between councillors, administrators and staff in relation to individual staffing matters.

·      The provisions allow for discussion on broad industrial policy issues.

·      An additional provision that advises that it is inappropriate for councillors and administrators to make personal attacks on council staff in a public forum.

·      Engaging in inappropriate interactions is now an express breach of the code.

 

Reporting breaches:

·      A provision has been added to make it clear that anyone can make a complaint alleging a breach of the code of conduct.

·      The protected disclosures clauses have been modified to ensure that they are consistent with the Protected Disclosures Act 1994.

 

Who receives complaints?

 

The general manager is the person responsible for receiving complaints alleging a breach of the code of conduct by councillors, council staff, council delegates or council committee members.

 

The Mayor is the person responsible for receiving complaints alleging a breach of the code of conduct by the general manager.

 

How have the complaint handling procedures changed?

 

The complaint handling procedures now provide a range of options for managing a complaint alleging a breach of the code of conduct.  Alternate dispute resolution strategies are provided for.  It is expected that the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer will deal with the more serious complaints and/or complaints about repeated conduct standards breaches.

 

In Section 13, the Model Code prescribes a set of criteria that must be taken into account in determining how to deal with a complaint.  The complaint assessment criteria are to be used by the general manager, the Mayor and the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer.

 

When is the complaint assessment criteria used?

 

The complaint assessment criteria are to be used by the general manager or Mayor when they first receive a complaint to determine the most appropriate course of action for handling the complaint (section 13).

 

Where it is assessed that the complaint shall be referred to the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer, then the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer must conduct its own assessment of the complaint using the criteria provided to determine the appropriate course of action.

 

What are the changes to the conduct review committee process?

 

The general manager of Mayor will no longer be members of the conduct review committee.  They may only act in an advisory capacity to the conduct review committee or sole conduct reviewer.

 

Conduct reviewers must be independent, qualified persons of high standing in the community who are appointed by council.

 

The council must appoint 3 or more persons to act in the role as conduct reviewers.

 

A sole conduct reviewer can now be chosen from the appointed persons to review complaints alleging breaches of the code of conduct.

 

If a conduct review committee is formed, it must consist of at least 3 members.

 

The conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer must undertake its activities in accordance with the operating guidelines provided in the Model Code.

 

When are conduct reviewers appointed by council?

 

Council should ensure that it undertakes a process to appoint conduct reviewers even though it does not have any complaints on foot.  This will ensure that appropriately appointed conduct reviewers are available should a complaint arise which requires referral to a conduct committee/reviewer.

 

On appointing conduct reviewers, council should determine the term of appointment.  This could be on an annual basis and determined in September each year when council confirms its committee memberships.

 

Can conduct reviewers act for more than one council?

 

Conduct reviewers may act in that role for more than one council.

 

Conduct reviewers do not need to be residents of the local government area of the council that has appointed them.

 

Councils may decide to work with their regional organisation of councils or strategic alliance partners to appoint conduct reviewers to act for the member councils.  Each member council will need to appoint the conduct reviewers for their council.

 

Should council appoint more than 3 conduct reviewers?

 

Conduct review committees must consist of 3 or more members.  Council should consider appointing more than 3 persons to act as conduct reviewers as circumstances may arise when one or more conduct reviewers are not available to participate in a matter, or may be precluded from considering a matter because of a conflict of interests or a reasonable apprehension of bias.

 

Who decides who will comprise the conduct review committee or whether one reviewer will act as a sole conduct reviewer?

 

The general manager of Mayor will decide if the review will be undertaken by a sole conduct reviewer or a conduct review committee and will select the reviewers from the persons appointed by Council.

 

The number of persons who will undertake the review will depend on the nature, complexity and seriousness of the allegations.

 

For example, a council may have appointed 5 persons to act as conduct reviewers.  The general manager or Mayor may receive a complaint that is assessed as requiring referral for review by a conduct review committee or reviewer.

 

If the matter is serious, the general manager or Mayor may determine to appoint all 5 persons to the conduct committee to determine that particular matter.

 

If the general manager or Mayor assesses the alleged breach as a reasonably straightforward matter, the general manager may determine to refer the complaint to a sole conduct reviewer.

 

The general manager of Mayor may then choose, from the persons appointed by council, a reviewer with expertise in relation to the nature of the conduct complained about.

 

Are conduct review committee members/sole conduct reviewers paid?

 

This is a matter for council.  Council may undertake an expression of interest process to call for interested and suitably qualified persons of high standing in the community to nominate to be appointed as conduct reviewers.  Council should determine whether it is going to meet out of pocket expenses and/or pay a fee for the service.

 

What happens if a conduct reviewer has a conflict of interest?

 

When a conduct reviewer cannot participate in a matter because of a conflict of interests, then the general manager or Mayor will select another person to be a member of the conduct review committee or to act as a sole conduct reviewer from those appointed by council.

 

How does the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer operate?

 

The conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer is required to undertake its enquiries in accordance with the operating guidelines provided in section 14 of the Model Code.

 

The general manager or Mayor may only attend conduct review committee meetings when invited and then in an advisory capacity only.  Adequate resources must be provided to ensure that the committee/conduct reviewer can operate effectively.

 

What should a report of the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer contain?

 

Where the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer makes enquiries or causes enquiries to be made into a matter, then it must report its findings in writing to the council on completion of these deliberations.

 

The conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer should be mindful that there may be a need to protect the identity of the person making the complaint when preparing the report to council.

 

The report should be a summary of the enquiries undertaken while providing sufficient information for the council to make a determination as to whether the councillor or the general manager has breached the code of conduct.

 

It is suggested that, as a minimum, the report should contain:

 

·      The nature of the complaint and the standard of conduct that is alleged to have been breached.

·      The process undertaken by the conduct review committee/conduct reviewer in assessing and enquiring into the complaint.

·      The facts of the matter.

·      The findings and the reasons for those findings.

·      Any recommendations to council (this now includes any recommendations for a revision of council’s policies, procedures and/or the code of conduct).

 

The report generally be dealt with in open session of council.  Council can only close a meeting to the public if the matter is one that meets the requirements of a section 10A(2) of the Act.  In most cases, a report from the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer will not meet those requirements.

 

How are complainants kept informed?

 

The complaint handling procedures in section 12 of the Model Code now require complainants to be kept informed in writing of the outcome of their complaint.  Complainants must be advised when:

 

·      enquiries are not to be made into the complaint and why

·      the complaint is to be resolved by use of alternative strategies

·      the complaint is to be referred to another body or person

·      the conduct review committee/sole conduct reviewer has made its findings, the nature and reasons of those findings.

 

Other Changes

 

Another important change is that the general manager is now required to report annually to council on code of conduct complaints.

 

These changes mean that Council’s Model Code of Conduct needs to be substantially rewritten. 

 

As was previously the case, councils may include provisions that supplement the Model Code and provisions more onerous than those contained in the Model Code.  However, any supplementary or more onerous provisions will have no effect to the extent that they are inconsistent with the Model Code.

 

Conduct Review Committee

 

Whilst the Department has suggested advertising for expressions of interest for participating on Conduct Review Committees and leaves open the option of paying or not paying a fee for service, it needs to be understood that the Conduct Review Committee will be dealing with important matters and their approach to procedural fairness and natural justice may affect a person’s reputation and may be tested in a Court of review.  Therefore the required service will exceed what could be reasonably expected of an unpaid volunteer.

 

The legal profession; trained in procedural fairness; identifying relevant and irrelevant matters; applying evidence; and being able to clearly express findings are the obvious experts to be appointed to the role of sole conduct reviewer or conduct review committee.

 

Enquiries have been made with the Mid North Coast Group of Councils (MIDGOC) General Managers about sharing their respective local solicitors on a single conduct review committee for the participating councils.  Some interest has been expressed by Bellingen Shire Council but no advice has been received from the others. 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with Council’s solicitor, Mr Terry Perkins.  He has some reservations about participating in a conduct review committee but was to make enquiries with the Law Society.  An expression of interest in having a single conduct review committee as a strategic alliance amongst neighbouring Councils has been forwarded to the General Managers of the Mid North Coast Group of Councils.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no particular social implications.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are risks if Council does not act in accordance with the Department of Local Government’s requirements.  There are also risks if the Council is not seen as properly enforcing its Code of Conduct.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no significant budget implications.  It is unknown how many complaints will be considered by the conduct review committee or a sole reviewer from that committee.  The experience over the past 2 years is that the occasional complaint could be dealt with by alternative dispute resolution.  However there is always the risk of a more significant breach which would require a sole reviewer or conduct review committee.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there is no impact on working funds.  However no provision has been made for any costs associated with operating a conduct review committee.

 

Attachments:

1View

Revised Code of Conduct

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 17 July 2008

Revised Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils

Attachment 1

Revised Code of Conduct

 

 

Code of Conduct

 

 

 

 

 

Nambucca Shire Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adopted 17 July 2007

 

 

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PART 1: CONTEXT. 3

1      INTRODUCTION.. 3

2      DEFINITIONS.. 4

3      PURPOSE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT. 5

4      KEY PRINCIPLES.. 5

5      GUIDE TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING.. 6

PART 2: STANDARDS OF CONDUCT. 8

6      GENERAL CONDUCT OBLIGATIONS.. 8

7      CONFLICT OF INTERESTS.. 10

8      PERSONAL BENEFIT. 14

9      RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COUNCIL OFFICIALS.. 16

10    ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND COUNCIL RESOURCES.. 18

11    REPORTING BREACHES.. 21

PART 3: PROCEDURES.. 23

12    COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURES & SANCTIONS.. 23

13    COMPLAINT ASSESSMENT CRITERIA.. 28

14    CONDUCT REVIEW COMMITTEE/REVIEWER OPERATING GUIDELINES.. 29

 


PART 1: CONTEXT

 

This Part of the Code of Conduct establishes the purpose and principles that are used to interpret the standards in the Code. This Part does not constitute separate enforceable standards of conduct.

 

1     INTRODUCTION

 

This Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW (“the Model Code of Conduct”) is made for the purposes of section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993 (“the Act”). Section 440 of the Act requires every council to adopt a code of conduct that incorporates the provisions of the Model Code. For the purposes of section 440 of the Act, the Model Code of Conduct comprises all Parts of this document.

 

The Code is made in three Parts: Context, Standards of Conduct and Procedures.

 

·    Part 1: Context, establishes the purpose and principles that are used to interpret the standards in the Code. This Part does not constitute separate enforceable standards of conduct.

·    Part 2: Standards of Conduct, set out the conduct obligations required of council officials. These are the enforceable standards of conduct.

·    Part 3: Procedures, contains the complaint handling procedures, complaint assessment criteria and the operating guidelines for the conduct review committee/reviewer. This Part should be used to guide the management of complaints about breaches of the Code.

 

Councillors have two distinct roles under the Local Government Act 1993: as a member of the governing body of the council; and as an elected person. Councillors, as members of the governing body, should work as part of a team to make decisions and policies that guide the activities of the council. The role as an elected person requires councillors to represent the interests of the community and provide leadership. The Model Code sets the standard of conduct that is expected when council officials exercise these roles.

 

Councillors, administrators, members of staff of council, independent conduct reviewers, members of council committees including the conduct review committee and delegates of the council must comply with the applicable provisions of council’s code of conduct in carrying out their functions as council officials. It is the personal responsibility of council officials to comply with the standards in the code and regularly review their personal circumstances with this in mind. Council contractors and volunteers will also be required to observe the relevant provisions of council’s code of conduct.

 

Failure by a councillor to comply with Part 2, the standards of conduct, of council’s code of conduct constitutes misbehaviour. The Local Government Act 1993 provides for suspension of councillors from civic office for up to six months for proven misbehaviour. For further information on misbehaviour refer to Sections 11 and 12 of this Code.

 

Failure by a member of staff to comply with council’s code of conduct may give rise to disciplinary action.

 

A set of guidelines has also been developed to assist councils to review and enhance their codes of conduct. The guidelines support this Code and provide further information and examples on the provisions in this Code.

 

Nambucca Shire Council’s Code of Conduct is based on the provisions of the Model Code.

 

2     DEFINITIONS

 

In the Model Code of Conduct the following definitions apply:

 

the Act                                   the Local Government Act 1993

 

act of disorder                      see the definition in clause 256 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005

 

conduct review

committee                             a committee of three or more persons independent of council who are selected from those appointed by council to review allegations of breaches of the code of conduct by councillors or the general manager in accordance with the procedures set out in Sections 12, 13 and 14.

 

 

conduct reviewer                  a person independent of council who is solely selected from those appointed by council to review allegations of breaches of the code of conduct by councillors or the general manager in accordance with the procedures set out in Sections 12, 13 and 14.

 

conflict of interests                a conflict of interests exists where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that you could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out your public duty.

 

council official                        includes councillors, members of staff of council, administrators appointed under section 256 of the Act, members of council committees, conduct reviewers and delegates of council

 

delegate of council               a person or body, and the individual members of that body, to whom a function of council is delegated

 

designated person               see the definition in section 441 of the Act

 

misbehaviour                         see the definition in section 440F of the Act

 

personal information             information or an opinion about a person whose identity is apparent, or can be determined from the information or opinion

 

person independent

of council                                a person who is not an employee of the council, has no current or ongoing contractual relationship with council in the nature of a contract for services, retainer or contract for the provision of goods of any kind, or is not an employee of any entity with such a contractual relationship.

 

The term “you” used in the Model Code of Conduct refers to council officials.

 

3     PURPOSE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

 

The Model Code of Conduct sets the minimum requirements of conduct for council officials in carrying out their functions. The Model Code is prescribed by regulation.

 

The Model Code of Conduct has been developed to assist council officials to:

 

·    understand the standards of conduct that are expected of them

·    enable them to fulfil their statutory duty to act honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence (section 439)

·    act in a way that enhances public confidence in the integrity of local government.

 

4     KEY PRINCIPLES

 

This Model Code of Conduct is based on a number of key principles. It sets out standards of conduct that meets these principles and statutory provisions applicable to local government activities. The principles underpin and guide these standards and may be used as an aid in interpreting the substantive provisions of the Code, but do not themselves constitute separate enforceable standards of conduct.

 

4.1    Integrity

You must not place yourself under any financial or other obligation to any individual or organisation that might reasonably be thought to influence you in the performance of your duties.

 

4.2    Leadership

You have a duty to promote and support the key principles by leadership and example and to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the council.  This means promoting public duty to others in the council and outside, by your own ethical behaviour.

 

4.3    Selflessness

You have a duty to make decisions in the public interest. You must not act in order to gain financial or other benefits for yourself, your family, friends or business interests.  This means making decisions because they benefit the public, not because they benefit the decision maker.

 

4.4    Impartiality

You should make decisions on merit and in accordance with your statutory obligations when carrying out public business. This includes the making of appointments, awarding of contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.  This means fairness to all; impartial assessment; merit selection in recruitment and in purchase and sale of council’s resources; considering only relevant matters.

 

4.5    Accountability

You are accountable to the public for your decisions and actions and should consider issues on their merits, taking into account the views of others.  This means recording reasons for decisions; submitting to scrutiny; keeping proper records; establishing audit trails.

 

4.6    Openness

You have a duty to be as open as possible about your decisions and actions, giving reasons for decisions and restricting information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.  This means recording, giving and revealing reasons for decisions; revealing other avenues available to the client or business; when authorised, offering all information; communicating clearly.

 

4.7    Honesty

You have a duty to act honestly. You must declare any private interests relating to your public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in such a way that protects the public interest.  This means obeying the law; following the letter and spirit of policies and procedures; observing the code of conduct; fully disclosing actual or potential conflict of interests and exercising any conferred power strictly for the purpose for which the power was conferred.

 

4.8    Respect

You must treat others with respect at all times.  This means not using derogatory terms towards others, observing the rights of other people, treating people with courtesy and recognising the different roles others play in local government decision-making.

 

5     GUIDE TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

 

5.1    If you are unsure about the ethical issues around an action or decision you are about to take, you should consider these five points:

 

·    Is the decision or conduct lawful?

·    Is the decision or conduct consistent with council’s policy and with council’s objectives and the code of conduct?

·    What will the outcome be for the employee or councillor, work colleagues, the council, persons with whom you are associated and any other parties?

·    Do these outcomes raise a conflict of interest or lead to private gain or loss at public expense?

·    Can the decision or conduct be justified in terms of the public interest and would it withstand public scrutiny?

 

Conflict of interests

5.2    If you are unsure as to whether or not you have a conflict of interests in relation to a matter, you should consider these six points:

·    Do you have a personal interest in a matter you are officially involved with?

·    Is it likely you could be influenced by a personal interest in carrying out your public duty?

·    Would a reasonable person believe you could be so influenced?

·    What would be the public perception of whether or not you have a conflict of interests?

·    Do your personal interests conflict with your official role?

·    What steps do you need to take and that a reasonable person would expect you to take to appropriately manage any conflict of interests?

 

Political donations and conflict of interests

5.3    Councillors should take all reasonable steps to identify circumstances where political contributions may give rise to a reasonable perception of influence in relation to their vote or support.

 

Seeking advice

5.4    Remember – you have the right to question any instruction or direction given to you that you think may be unethical or unlawful. If you are uncertain about an action or decision, you may need to seek advice from other people. This may include your supervisor or trusted senior officer, your union representatives, the Department of Local Government, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

 

       Independent Commission Against Corruption        8281 5999

       NSW Ombudsman                                            9286 1000

       NSW Department of Local Government                  4428 4100

 

 


PART 2: STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

 

This Part of the Model Code sets out the conduct obligations required of council officials. These are the enforceable standards of conduct.

 

Failure by a councillor to comply with Part 2, the standards of conduct, of council’s code of conduct constitutes misbehaviour and may constitute a substantial breach for the purposes of section 9 of the ICAC Act 1988. The Local Government Act 1993 provides for suspension of councillors from civic office for up to six months for proven misbehaviour. For further information on misbehaviour refer to Sections 11 and 12 of this Code.

 

Failure by a member of staff to comply with council’s code of conduct may give rise to disciplinary action.

 

6     GENERAL CONDUCT OBLIGATIONS

 

General conduct

6.1    You must not conduct yourself in carrying out your functions in a manner that is likely to bring the council or holders of civic office into disrepute. Specifically, you must not act in a way that:

 

a)   contravenes the Act, associated regulations, council’s relevant administrative requirements and policies

b)   is detrimental to the pursuit of the charter of a council

c)   is improper or unethical

d)   is an abuse of power or otherwise amounts to misconduct

e)   causes, comprises or involves intimidation, harassment or verbal abuse

f)    causes, comprises or involves discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment in relation to employment

g)   causes, comprises or involves prejudice in the provision of a service to the community. (Schedule 6A)

 

6.2    You must act lawfully, honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in carrying out your functions under the Act or any other Act. (section 439)

 

6.3    You must treat others with respect at all times.

 

6.4    Where you are a councillor and have been found in breach of the code of conduct, you must comply with any council resolution requiring you to take action as a result of that breach.

 

Fairness and equity

6.5    You must consider issues consistently, promptly and fairly. You must deal with matters in accordance with established procedures, in a non-discriminatory manner.

 

6.6    You must take all relevant facts known to you, or that you should be reasonably aware of, into consideration and have regard to the particular merits of each case. You must not take irrelevant matters or circumstances into consideration when making decisions.

 

Harassment and discrimination

6.7    You must not harass, discriminate against, or support others who harass and discriminate against colleagues or members of the public. This includes, but is not limited to harassment and discrimination on the grounds of sex, pregnancy, age, race, responsibilities as a carer, marital status, disability, homosexuality, transgender grounds or if a person has an infectious disease.

 

Development decisions

6.8    You must ensure that development decisions are properly made and that parties involved in the development process are dealt with fairly. You must avoid any occasion for suspicion of improper conduct in the development assessment process.

 

6.9    In determining development applications, you must ensure that no action, statement or communication between yourself and applicants or objectors conveys any suggestion of willingness to provide improper concessions or preferential treatment.

 

7    
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

 

7.1    A conflict of interests exists where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that you could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out your public duty.

 

7.2    You must avoid or appropriately manage any conflict of interests. The onus is on you to identify a conflict of interests and take the appropriate action to manage the conflict in favour of your public duty.

 

7.3    Any conflict of interests must be managed to uphold the probity of council decision-making. When considering whether or not you have a conflict of interests, it is always important to think about how others would view your situation.

 

7.4    Private interests can be of two types: pecuniary or non-pecuniary.

 

What is a pecuniary interest?

7.5    A pecuniary interest is an interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person. (section 442)

 

7.6    A person will also be taken to have a pecuniary interest in a matter if that person’s spouse or de facto partner or a relative of the person or a partner or employer of the person, or a company or other body of which the person, or a nominee, partner or employer of the person is a member, has a pecuniary interest in the matter. (section 443)

 

7.7    Pecuniary interests are regulated by Chapter 14, Part 2 of the Act. The Act requires that:

 

a)   councillors and designated persons lodge an initial and an annual written disclosure of interests that could potentially be in conflict with their public or professional duties (section 449)

b)   councillors and members of council committees disclose an interest and the nature of that interest at a meeting, leave the meeting and be out of sight of the meeting and not participate in discussions or voting on the matter (section 451)

c)   designated persons immediately declare, in writing, any pecuniary interest. (section 459)

 

7.8    Designated persons are defined at section 441 of the Act, and include, but are not limited to, the general manager and other senior staff of the council.

 

7.9    Where you are a member of staff of council, other than a designated person (as defined by section 441), you must disclose in writing to your supervisor or the general manager, the nature of any pecuniary interest you have in a matter you are dealing with as soon as practicable.

 

What is a non-pecuniary conflict of interests?

7.10  Non-pecuniary interests are private or personal interests the council official has that do not amount to a pecuniary interest as defined in the Act. These commonly arise out of family, or personal relationships, or involvement in sporting, social or other cultural groups and associations and may include an interest of a financial nature.

 

7.11  The matter of a report to council from the conduct review committee/reviewer relates to the public duty of a councillor or the general manager. Therefore, there is no requirement for councillors or the general manager to disclose a conflict of interests in such a matter.

 

7.12  The political views of a councillor do not constitute a private interest.

 

Managing non-pecuniary conflict of interests

7.13  Where you have a non-pecuniary interest that conflicts with your public duty, you must disclose the interest fully and in writing, even if the conflict is not significant. You must do this as soon as practicable.

 

7.14  If a disclosure is made at a council or committee meeting, both the disclosure and the nature of the interest must be recorded in the minutes. This disclosure constitutes disclosure in writing for the purposes of clause 7.13.

 

7.15  How you manage a non-pecuniary conflict of interests will depend on whether or not it is significant.

 

7.16  As a general rule, a non-pecuniary conflict of interests will be significant where a matter does not raise a pecuniary interest but it involves:

a)   a relationship between a council official and another person that is particularly close, for example, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal descendant or adopted child of the person or of the person’s spouse, current or former spouse or partner, de facto or other person living in the same household

b)   other relationships that are particularly close, such as friendships and business relationships. Closeness is defined by the nature of the friendship or business relationship, the frequency of contact and the duration of the friendship or relationship

c)   an affiliation between the council official and an organisation, sporting body, club, corporation or association that is particularly strong.

 

7.17  If you are a council official, other than a member of staff of council, and you have disclosed that a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interests exists, you must manage it in one of two ways:

a)   remove the source of the conflict, by relinquishing or divesting the interest that creates the conflict, or reallocating the conflicting duties to another council official

b)   have no involvement in the matter, by absenting yourself from and not taking part in any debate or voting on the issue as if the provisions in section 451(2) of the Act apply

 

7.18  If you determine that a non-pecuniary conflict of interests is less than significant and does not require further action, you must provide an explanation of why you consider that the conflict does not require further action in the circumstances.

 

7.19  If you are a member of staff of council, the decision on which option should be taken to manage a non-pecuniary conflict of interests must be made in consultation with your manager.

 

7.20  Despite clause 7.17(b), a councillor who has disclosed that a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interests exists may participate in a decision to delegate council’s decision-making role to council staff, or appoint another person or body to make the decision in accordance with the law. This applies whether or not council would be deprived of a quorum if one or more councillors were to manage their conflict of interests by not voting on a matter in accordance with clause 7.17(b) above.

 

Political donations exceeding $1,000

7.21  Councillors should note that matters before council involving political or campaign donors may give rise to a non-pecuniary conflict of interests.

 

7.22  Councillors should take all reasonable steps to ascertain the source of any political contributions that directly benefit their election campaigns. For example, councillors should have reasonable knowledge of contributions received by them or their “official agent” (within the meaning of the Election Funding Act 1981) that directly benefit their election campaign.

 

7.23  Where a councillor or the councillor’s “official agent” has received “political contributions” or “political donations”, as the case may be, within the meaning of the Election Funding Act 1981 exceeding $1,000 which directly benefit their campaign:

a)   from a political or campaign donor or related entity in the previous four years; and

b)   where the political or campaign donor or related entity has a matter before council,

then the councillor must declare a non-pecuniary conflict of interests, disclose the nature of the interest, and manage the conflict of interests in accordance with clause 7.17(b).

 

7.24  Councillors should note that political contributions below $1,000, or political contributions to a registered political party or group by which a councillor is endorsed, may still give rise to a non-pecuniary conflict of interests. Councillors should determine whether or not such conflicts are significant and take the appropriate action to manage them.

 

7.25  If a councillor has received a donation of the kind referred to in clause 7.23, that councillor is not prevented from participating in a decision to delegate council’s decision-making role to council staff or appointing another person or body to make the decision in accordance with the law (see clause 7.20 above).

 

Other business or employment

7.26  f you are a member of staff of council considering outside employment or contract work that relates to the business of the council or that might conflict with your council duties, you must notify and seek the approval of the general manager in writing. (section 353)

 

7.27  As a member of staff, you must ensure that any outside employment or business you engage in will not:

a)   conflict with your official duties

b)   involve using confidential information or council resources obtained through your work with the council

c)   require you to work while on council duty

d)   discredit or disadvantage the council.

 

Personal dealings with council

7.28  You may have reason to deal with your council in your personal capacity (for example, as a ratepayer, recipient of a council service or applicant for a consent granted by council). You must not expect or request preferential treatment in relation to any matter in which you have a private interest because of your position. You must avoid any action that could lead members of the public to believe that you are seeking preferential treatment.

 

8    
PERSONAL BENEFIT

 

For the purposes of this section, a reference to a gift or benefit does not include a political donation or contribution to an election fund that is subject to the provisions of the relevant election funding legislation.

 

Token gifts and benefits

8.1    Generally speaking, token gifts and benefits include:

a)   free or subsidised meals, beverages or refreshments provided in conjunction with:

i)    the discussion of official business

ii)   council work related events such as training, education sessions, workshops

iii)  conferences

iv)  council functions or events

v)   social functions organised by groups, such as council committees and community organisations.

b)   invitations to and attendance at local social, cultural or sporting events

c)   gifts of single bottles of reasonably priced alcohol to individual council officials at end of year functions, public occasions or in recognition of work done (such as providing a lecture/training session/address)

d)   ties, scarves, coasters, tie pins, diaries, chocolates or flowers.

 

Gifts and benefits of value

8.2    Notwithstanding clause 8.1, gifts and benefits that have more than a token value include, but are not limited to, tickets to major sporting events (such as state or international cricket matches or matches in other national sporting codes (including the NRL, AFL, FFA, NBL)), corporate hospitality at a corporate facility at major sporting events, discounted products for personal use, the frequent use of facilities such as gyms, use of holiday homes, free or discounted travel.

 

Gifts and benefits

8.3    You must not:

a)   seek or accept a bribe or other improper inducement

b)   seek gifts or benefits of any kind

c)   accept any gift or benefit that may create a sense of obligation on your part or may be perceived to be intended or likely to influence you in carrying out your public duty

d)   accept any gift or benefit of more than token value

e)   accept an offer of money, regardless of the amount.

 

8.4    Where you receive a gift or benefit of more than token value that cannot reasonably be refused or returned, this must be disclosed promptly to your supervisor, the Mayor or the general manager. The recipient, supervisor, Mayor or general manager must ensure that any gifts or benefits of more than token value that are received are recorded in a Gifts Register. The gift or benefit must be surrendered to council, unless the nature of the gift or benefit makes this impractical.

 

8.5    You must avoid situations giving rise to the appearance that a person or body, through the provision of gifts, benefits or hospitality of any kind, is attempting to secure favourable treatment from you or from the council.

 

8.6    You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that your immediate family members do not receive gifts or benefits that give rise to the appearance of being an attempt to secure favourable treatment. Immediate family members ordinarily include parents, spouses, children and siblings.

 

Improper and undue influence

8.7    You must not use your position to influence other council officials in the performance of their public or professional duties to obtain a private benefit for yourself or for somebody else. A councillor will not be in breach of this clause where they seek to influence other council officials through the appropriate exercise of their representative functions.

 

8.8    You must not take advantage (or seek to take advantage) of your status or position with or of functions you perform for council in order to obtain a private benefit for yourself or for any other person or body.

9    
 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COUNCIL OFFICIALS

 

Obligations of councillors and administrators

9.1    Each council is a body corporate. The councillors or administrator/s are the governing body of the council. The governing body has the responsibility of directing and controlling the affairs of the council in accordance with the Act and is responsible for policy determinations, for example, those relating to industrial relations policy.

 

9.2    Councillors or administrators must not:

a)   direct council staff other than by giving appropriate direction to the general manager in the performance of council’s functions by way of council or committee resolution, or by the Mayor or administrator exercising their power under section 226 of the Act (section 352)

b)   in any public or private forum, direct or influence or attempt to direct or influence, any other member of the staff of the council or a delegate of the council in the exercise of the functions of the member or delegate (Schedule 6A of the Act)

c)   contact a member of the staff of the council on council related business unless in accordance with the policy and procedures governing the interaction of councillors and council staff that have been authorised by the council and the general manager

d)   contact or issue instructions to any of council’s contractors or tenderers, including council’s legal advisers, unless by the Mayor or administrator exercising their power under section 226 of the Act. This does not apply to council’s external auditors who, in the course of their work, may be provided with information by individual councillors.

 

Obligations of staff

9.3    The general manager is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the council’s organisation and for ensuring the implementation of the decisions of the council without delay.

 

9.4    Members of staff of council must:

a)   give their attention to the business of council while on duty

b)   ensure that their work is carried out efficiently, economically and effectively

c)   carry out lawful directions given by any person having authority to give such directions

d)   give effect to the lawful decisions, policies, and procedures of the council, whether or not the staff member agrees with or approves of them.

 

Obligations during meetings

9.5    You must act in accordance with council’s Code of Meeting Practice, if council has adopted one, and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 during council and committee meetings.

 

9.6    You must show respect to the chair, other council officials and any members of the public present during council and committee meetings or other formal proceedings of the council.

 

Inappropriate interactions

9.7    You must not engage in any of the following inappropriate interactions:

a)   Councillors and administrators approaching staff and staff organisations to discuss individual staff matters and not broader industrial policy issues.

b)   Council staff approaching councillors and administrators to discuss individual staff matters and not broader industrial policy issues.

c)   Council staff refusing to give information that is available to other councillors to a particular councillor.

d)   Councillors and administrators who have lodged a development application with council, discussing the matter with council staff in staff-only areas of the council.

e)   Councillors and administrators being overbearing or threatening to council staff.

f)    Councillors and administrators making personal attacks on council staff in a public forum.

g)   Councillors and administrators directing or pressuring council staff in the performance of their work, or recommendations they should make.

h)   Council staff providing ad hoc advice to councillors and administrators without recording or documenting the interaction as they would if the advice was provided to a member of the community.

i)    Council staff meeting with developers alone AND outside office hours to discuss development applications or proposals.

j)    Councillors attending on-site inspection meetings with lawyers and/or consultants engaged by council associated with current or proposed legal proceedings unless permitted to do so by council’s general manager or, in the case of the Mayor or administrator, exercising their power under section 226 of the Act.

 

9.8    It is appropriate that staff and staff organisations have discussions with councillors in relation to matters of industrial policy.

 

10  
ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND COUNCIL RESOURCES

 

Councillor and administrator access to information

10.1  The general manager and public officer are responsible for ensuring that members of the public, councillors and administrators can gain access to the documents available under section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993.

 

10.2  The general manager must provide councillors and administrators with information sufficient to enable them to carry out their civic office functions.

 

10.3  Members of staff of council must provide full and timely information to councillors and administrators sufficient to enable them to carry out their civic office functions and in accordance with council procedures.

 

10.4  Members of staff of council who provide any information to a particular councillor in the performance of their civic duties must also make it available to any other councillor who requests it and in accordance with council procedures.

 

10.5  Councillors and administrators who have a private (as distinct from civic) interest in a document of council have the same rights of access as any member of the public.

 

Councillors and administrators to properly examine and consider information

10.6  Councillors and administrators must properly examine and consider all the information provided to them relating to matters that they are dealing with to enable them to make a decision on the matter in accordance with council’s charter.

 

Refusal of access to documents

10.7  Where the general manager and public officer determine to refuse access to a document sought by a councillor or administrator they must act reasonably. In reaching this decision they must take into account whether or not the document sought is required for the councillor or administrator to perform their civic duty (see clause 10.2). The general manager or public officer must state the reasons for the decision if access is refused.

 

Use of certain council information

10.8  In regard to information obtained in your capacity as a council official, you must:

a)   only access council information needed for council business

b)   not use that council information for private purposes

c)   not seek or obtain, either directly or indirectly, any financial benefit or other improper advantage for yourself, or any other person or body, from any information to which you have by virtue of your office or position with council

d)   only release council information in accordance with established council policies and procedures and in compliance with relevant legislation.

 

Use and security of confidential information

10.9  You must maintain the integrity and security of confidential documents or information in your possession, or for which you are responsible.

 

10.10         In addition to your general obligations relating to the use of council information, you must:

a)   protect confidential information

b)   only release confidential information if you have authority to do so

c)   only use confidential information for the purpose it is intended to be used

d)   not use confidential information gained through your official position for the purpose of securing a private benefit for yourself or for any other person

e)   not use confidential information with the intention to cause harm or detriment to your council or any other person or body

f)    not disclose any information discussed during a confidential session of a council meeting.

 

Personal information

10.11         When dealing with personal information you must comply with:

a)   the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998,

b)   the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002,

c)   the Information Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles,

d)   council’s privacy management plan,

e)   the Privacy Code of Practice for Local Government

 

Use of council resources

10.12         You must use council resources ethically, effectively, efficiently and carefully in the course of your official duties, and must not use them for private purposes (except when supplied as part of a contract of employment).

 

Minimal use of telephone (local calls), email, mobile telephone text messaging, internet or faxes for private purposes will be permitted.  Occasional use of photocopier may be permitted with the consent of your supervisor.  STD and mobile telephone calls for private purposes should not be made, except for limited duration calls when an offer is inter or intra state on Council business.

 

Equipment required to be taken home for the purposes of Council work is allowed with the approval of the relevant Director.

 

Council resources and equipment must not be used, in any circumstances in relation to a second job.

 

10.13         Union delegates and consultative committee members may have reasonable access to council resources for the purposes of carrying out their industrial responsibilities, including but not limited to:

a)   the representation of members with respect to disciplinary matters

b)   the representation of employees with respect to grievances and disputes

c)   functions associated with the role of the local consultative committee.

 

10.14         You must be scrupulous in your use of council property, including intellectual property, official services and facilities, and must not permit their misuse by any other person or body.

 

10.15         You must avoid any action or situation that could create the appearance that council property, official services or public facilities are being improperly used for your benefit or the benefit of any other person or body.

 

10.16         The interests of a councillor in their re-election is considered to be a private interest and as such the reimbursement of travel expenses incurred on election matters is not appropriate. You must not use council letterhead, council crests and other information that could give the appearance it is official council material for these purposes.

 

10.17         You must not convert any property of the council to your own use unless properly authorised.

 

10.18         You must not use council’s computer resources to search for, access, download or communicate any material of an offensive, obscene, pornographic, threatening, abusive or defamatory nature.

 

Councillor access to council buildings

10.19         Councillors and administrators are entitled to have access to the council chamber, committee room, mayor’s office (subject to availability), councillors’ rooms, and public areas of council’s buildings during normal business hours and for meetings. Councillors and administrators needing access to these facilities at other times must obtain authority from the general manager.

 

10.20         Councillors and administrators must not enter staff-only areas of council buildings without the approval of the general manager (or delegate) or as provided in the procedures governing the interaction of councillors and council staff.

 

10.21         Councillors and administrators must ensure that when they are within a staff area they avoid giving rise to the appearance that they may improperly influence council staff decisions.

 

11  
REPORTING BREACHES

 

11.1  Any person, whether or not a council official, may make a complaint alleging a breach of the code of conduct.

 

11.2  For the purposes of Chapter 14, Part 1, Division 3 of the Act, failure by a councillor to comply with an applicable requirement of this code of conduct constitutes misbehaviour. (section 440F)

 

Protected disclosures

11.3  The Protected Disclosures Act 1994 aims to encourage and facilitate the disclosure, in the public interest, of corrupt conduct, maladministration and serious and substantial waste in the public sector.

 

11.4  The purpose of that Act is to ensure that public officials who wish to make disclosures under the legislation receive protection from reprisals, and that matters raised in the disclosures are properly investigated.[1]

 

11.5  If a complaint under this code is or could be a protected disclosure, you must ensure that in dealing with the complaint, you comply with the confidentiality provisions of the Protected Disclosures Act set out in section 22:

 

An investigating authority or public authority (or officer of an investigating authority or public authority) or public official to whom a protected disclosure is made or referred is not to disclose information that might identify or tend to identify a person who has made the protected disclosure unless:

(a) the person consents in writing to the disclosure of that information, or

(b) it is essential, having regard to the principles of natural justice, that the identifying information be disclosed to a person whom the information provided by the disclosure may concern, or

(c) the investigating authority, public authority, officer or public official is of the opinion that disclosure of the identifying information is necessary to investigate the matter effectively or it is otherwise in the public interest to do so.’

 

Reporting breaches of the code of conduct

11.6  You should report suspected breaches of the code of conduct by councillors, members of staff of council (excluding the general manager) or delegates to the general manager in writing.

 

11.7  Where you believe that the general manager has breached the code of conduct, you should report the matter to the Mayor in writing.

 

11.8  Where you believe that an administrator has breached the code of conduct, you should report the matter to the Minister for Local Government in writing.

 

11.9  Councillors should not make allegations of suspected breaches of the code at council meetings or in other public forums.

 


PART 3: PROCEDURES

 

This Part of the Model Code contains the complaint handling procedures, complaint assessment criteria and the operating guidelines for the conduct review committee/reviewer. This Part should be used to guide the management of complaints about breaches of the Code.

 

12   COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURES & SANCTIONS

 

12.1  Complaints about the conduct of councillors, members of staff of council, members of council committees and delegates of council should be addressed in writing to the general manager.

 

12.2  Complaints about the conduct of the general manager should be addressed in writing to the Mayor.

 

Complaint handling procedures – staff, delegate and council committee member conduct (excluding the general manager)

12.3  The general manager is responsible for making enquiries, or causing enquiries to be made, into complaints alleging breach of the code of conduct regarding members of staff of council, delegates of council and/or members of council committees (other than councillors), and will determine such matters.

 

12.4  Where the general manager has determined not to enquire into the matter, the general manager will give the complainant the reason/s in writing as provided in clause 13.1 of this Code, and those reasons may include, but are not limited to, the fact that the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith.

 

12.5  Enquiries made into staff conduct that might give rise to disciplinary action must occur in accordance with the relevant industrial instrument and make provision for procedural fairness including the right of an employee to be represented by their union.

 

12.6  Sanctions for staff depend on the severity, scale and importance of the breach and must be determined in accordance with any relevant industrial instruments or contracts.

 

12.7  Sanctions for delegates and/or members of council committees depend on the severity, scale and importance of the breach and may include:

 

a)   censure

b)   requiring the person to apologise to any person adversely affected by the breach

c)   counselling

d)   prosecution for any breach of the law

e)   removing or restricting the person’s delegation

f)    removing the person from membership of the relevant council committee

g)   revising any of council’s policies, procedures and/or the code of conduct.

 

Complaint handling procedures – councillor conduct

12.8  The general manager is responsible for assessing complaints, made under Section 11.1, alleging breaches of the code of conduct by councillors, in accordance with the assessment criteria provided at Section 13 of this Code, in order to determine whether to refer the matter to the conduct review committee/reviewer.

 

12.9  The general manager must determine either to:

a)   take no further action and give the complainant the reason/s in writing as provided in clause 13.1 of this Code, and those reasons may include, but are not limited to, the fact that the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or

b)   resolve the complaint by use of alternative and appropriate strategies such as, but not limited to, mediation, informal discussion or negotiation and give the complainant advice on the resolution of the matter in writing, or

c)   discontinue the assessment in the circumstances where it becomes evident that the matter should be referred to another body or person, and refer the matter to that body or person as well as advising the complainant in writing, or

d)   refer the matter to the conduct review committee/reviewer.

 

Complaint handling procedures – general manager conduct

12.10         The Mayor is responsible for assessing complaints, made under clause 11.1, alleging breaches of the code of conduct by the general manager, in accordance with the assessment criteria provided at Section 13 of this Code, in order to determine whether to refer the matter to the conduct review committee/reviewer.

 

12.11         The Mayor must determine either to:

a)   take no further action and give the complainant the reason/s in writing as provided in clause 13.1 of this Code, and those reasons may include, but are not limited to, the fact that the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or

b)   resolve the complaint by use of alternative and appropriate strategies such as, but not limited to, mediation, informal discussion or negotiation and give the complainant advice on the resolution of the matter in writing, or

c)   discontinue the assessment in the circumstances where it becomes evident that the matter should be referred to another body or person, and refer the matter to that body or person as well as advising the complainant in writing, or

d)   refer the matter to the conduct review committee/reviewer.

 

Conduct review committee/reviewer

12.12         Council must resolve to appoint persons independent of council to comprise the members of a conduct review committee and/or to act as sole conduct reviewers.

 

12.13         The members of the conduct review committee and/or the persons acting as sole conduct reviewers should be appropriately qualified persons of high standing in the community. These persons do not need to be residents of the local government area of the council that has appointed them.

 

12.14         The conduct review committee, members of such committee and sole conduct reviewers may act in that role for more than one council.

 

12.15         The general manager, or in the case of complaints about the general manager, the Mayor, will undertake the following functions in relation to the conduct review committee/reviewer:

·    provide procedural advice when requested

·    ensure adequate resources are provided, including providing secretariat support

·    attend meetings of the conduct review committee if so requested by the committee, and then in an advisory capacity only

·    provide advice about council processes if requested to do so but not so as to take part in the decision making process

·    if attending the conduct review committee meeting to provide advice, must not be present at, or in sight of, the meeting when a decision is taken.

 

12.16         Where a matter is to be considered by the conduct review committee/reviewer, then in each case, the general manager, or Mayor in the case of complaints about the general manager, acting in their capacity as advisor, will either convene a conduct review committee and select its members from those appointed by council or alternatively select a sole conduct reviewer from those appointed by council.

 

12.17         The conduct review committee/reviewer will operate in accordance with the operating guidelines at Section 14 of this code.

 

12.18         The conduct review committee/reviewer operating guidelines (Section 14) are the minimum requirements for the operation of conduct review committees/reviewers. Council may supplement the guidelines, but any additional provisions should not be inconsistent with the guidelines.

 

12.19         The conduct review committee/reviewer is responsible for making enquiries into complaints made under clause 11.1 alleging breaches of the code of conduct by councillors and/or the general manager and must determine either to:

a)   not make enquiries into the complaint and give the complainant the reason/s in writing as provided in clause 13.1 of this Code, and those reasons may include, but are not limited to, the fact that the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or

b)   resolve the complaint by use of alternative and appropriate strategies such as, but not limited to, mediation, making recommendations to the general manager, informal discussion or negotiation and give the complainant advice on the resolution of the matter in writing, or

c)   make enquiries into the complaint, or

d)   engage another appropriately qualified person to make enquiries into the complaint, or

e)   not make enquiries or discontinue making enquiries where it becomes evident that the matter should be referred to another body or person, and refer the matter to that body or person as well as advising the complainant in writing. Despite any other provision of this code, this will constitute finalisation of such matters and no further action is required.

 

12.20         Where the conduct review committee/reviewer conducts enquiries or causes enquiries to be conducted, the conduct review committee/reviewer must make findings on whether, in its view, the conduct referred to it comprises a breach of the code of conduct.

 

12.21         Where the conduct review committee/reviewer makes findings, the conduct review committee/reviewer may recommend that council take any actions provided for in this code of conduct that it considers reasonable in the circumstances.

 

12.22         Where the conduct review committee/reviewer makes findings, the conduct review committee/reviewer will report its findings, and the reasons for those findings, in writing to the council, the complainant and the person subject of the complaint.

 

12.23         The conduct review committee/reviewer will report its findings and any recommendations to council only when it has completed its deliberations.

 

Sanctions

12.24         Before a council can impose a sanction it must make a determination that a councillor or the general manager has breached the code of conduct.

 

12.25         Where the council finds that a councillor or general manager has breached the code, it may decide by resolution to:

a)   censure the councillor for misbehaviour in accordance with section 440G of the Act

b)   require the councillor or general manager to apologise to any person adversely affected by the breach

c)   counsel the councillor or general manager

d)   make public findings of inappropriate conduct

e)   prosecute for any breach of law.

 

Councillor misbehaviour

12.26         Under section 440G a council may by resolution at a meeting formally censure a councillor for misbehaviour.

 

12.27         Under section 440H, the process for the suspension of a councillor from civic office can be initiated by a request made by council to the Director General of the Department of Local Government.

 

12.28         The first ground on which a councillor may be suspended from civic office is where the councillor’s behaviour has been disruptive over a period, involving more than one incident of misbehaviour during that period, and the pattern of behaviour during that period is of such a sufficiently serious nature as to warrant the councillor’s suspension.

 

12.29         Council cannot request suspension on this ground unless during the period concerned the councillor has been:

·    formally censured for incidents of misbehaviour on two or more occasions, or

·    expelled from a meeting of the council or a committee of the council for an incident of misbehaviour on at least one occasion.

 

12.30         The second ground on which a councillor may be suspended from civic office is where the councillor’s behaviour has involved one incident of misbehaviour that is of such a sufficiently serious nature as to warrant the councillor’s suspension.

 

12.31         Council cannot request suspension on this ground unless the councillor has been:

·    formally censured for the incident of misbehaviour concerned, or

·    expelled from a meeting of the council or a committee of the council for the incident of misbehaviour concerned.

 

12.32         Under section 440H, the process for the suspension of a councillor can also be initiated by the Department of Local Government, the Independent Commission Against Corruption or the NSW Ombudsman.

 

Reporting on complaints

12.33         The general manager must report annually to council on code of conduct complaints. This report should include, as a minimum, a summary of the:

a)   number of complaints received,

b)   nature of the issues raised by complainants, and

c)   outcomes of complaints.

13  
COMPLAINT ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

 

13.1    The general manager or Mayor, in the case of a complaint about the general manager, will assess a complaint alleging a breach of the code of conduct to determine if the matter should be referred to the conduct review committee/reviewer. In assessing the complaint, the general manager and Mayor will have regard to the following grounds:

 

a)   whether there is any prima facie evidence of a breach of the code of conduct

b)   whether the subject matter of the complaint relates to conduct that is associated with the carrying out of the functions of civic office or duties as general manager

c)   whether the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith

d)   whether the conduct the subject of the complaint could reasonably constitute a breach of the code of conduct

e)   whether the complaint raises issues that require investigation by another person or body, such as referring the matter to the Department of Local Government, the NSW Ombudsman, the Independent Commission Against Corruption or the NSW Police

f)    whether there is an alternative and satisfactory means of redress

g)   how much time has elapsed since the events the subject of the complaint took place

h)   how serious the complaint is and the significance it has for council

i)    whether the complaint is one of a series indicating a pattern of conduct.

 

13.2    Complaints that are assessed as not having sufficient grounds to warrant referral to the conduct review committee/reviewer or that are to be referred to a more appropriate person or body can be finalised by the general manager or the Mayor, in the case of complaints about the general manager.

 

13.3    If a matter is referred to the conduct review committee/reviewer, then the conduct review committee/reviewer should use the above criteria in clause 13.1 for its initial assessment of the complaint and determination of the course to follow in dealing with the complaint.

14  
CONDUCT REVIEW COMMITTEE/REVIEWER OPERATING GUIDELINES[2]

 

14.1  Jurisdiction of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

The complaint handling function of the conduct review committee/reviewer is limited to consideration of, making enquiries into and reporting on complaints made under clause 11.1, about councillors and/or the general manager.

 

Complaints regarding pecuniary interest matters should be reported to the Director General of the Department of Local Government and will not be dealt with by the conduct review committee/reviewer.

 

Sole reviewers and members of the conduct review committee are subject to the provisions of this code of conduct.

 

14.2  Role of the general manager and Mayor

 

The general manager, or in the case of complaints about the general manager, the Mayor, will undertake the following functions in relation to the conduct review committee/reviewer:

·    provide procedural advice when requested

·    ensure adequate resources are provided, including providing secretariat support

·    attend meetings of the conduct review committee if so requested by the committee, and then in an advisory capacity only

·    provide advice about council processes if requested to do so but not so as to take part in the decision making process

·    if attending the conduct review committee meeting to provide advice, must not be present at, or in sight of, the meeting when a decision is taken.

 

Where the general manager, or in the case of complaints about the general manager, the Mayor, is unable to act as advisor to the conduct review committee/reviewer due to a conflict of interests in relation to a complaint, they are to nominate a senior council officer or councillor (in the case of complaints about the general manager) to perform this role.

 

14.3  Composition of the conduct review committee

 

Where council has a conduct review committee it will comprise three or more appropriately qualified persons of high standing in the community who are independent of the council, convened and selected as provided in clause 12.16.

 

In the circumstances where a member of the conduct review committee cannot participate in a matter, the general manager, or Mayor in the case of complaints about the general manager, should select another person as provided in clause 12.16.

 

The chairperson is to be elected by the members of the conduct review committee.

 

The general manager, or in the case of complaints about the general manager, the Mayor, will act in an advisory capacity to the committee when requested.

 

14.4  Quorum of the conduct review committee

 

A quorum for a meeting of the conduct review committee is the majority of the members of the conduct review committee.

 

If a quorum is not present at a meeting of the conduct review committee it must be adjourned to a time and date that is specified.

 

Business is not to be conducted at any meeting of the conduct review committee unless a quorum is present.

 

Business may be conducted by video-conference or teleconference.

 

14.5  Voting of the conduct review committee

 

Each member of the conduct review committee shall be entitled to one vote in respect of any matter. In the event of equality of votes being cast, the chairperson shall have the casting vote.

 

If the vote on a matter is not unanimous, then this should be noted in any report to council on its findings.

 

In relation to any procedural matters relating to the operation of the conduct review committee, the ruling of the chairperson shall be final.

 

14.6    Procedures of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

The general manager or Mayor, in the case of a complaint about the general manager, will be responsible for convening the initial meeting of the conduct review committee when there is a complaint to be referred to it.

 

The conduct review committee/reviewer will conduct business in the absence of the public.

 

The conduct review committee/reviewer will keep proper records of deliberations.

 

The conduct review committee shall determine the procedures governing the conduct of its meetings provided such procedures are consistent with these operating guidelines.

 

14.7  Procedural fairness

 

In conducting enquiries, the conduct review committee/reviewer or the person engaged to do so should follow the rules of procedural fairness and must -

 

a)   provide the person the subject of the complaint with a reasonable opportunity to respond to the substance of the allegation

b)   provide the person the subject of the complaint with an opportunity to place before the conduct review committee/reviewer or person undertaking the enquiry any information the person considers relevant to the enquiry

c)   provide the person the subject of the complaint with an opportunity to address the conduct review committee/reviewer in person

d)   hear all parties to a matter and consider submissions before deciding the substance of any complaint

e)   make reasonable enquiries before making any recommendations

f)    act fairly and without prejudice or bias

g)   ensure that no person decides a case in which they have a conflict of interests

h)   conduct the enquiries without undue delay.[3]

 

Where the person the subject of the complaint declines or fails to take the opportunity provided to respond to the substance of the allegation against them, the conduct review committee/reviewer should proceed to finalise the matter.

 

14.8  Complaint handling procedures

 

In addition to complying with these operating guidelines, the conduct review committee/reviewer will ensure it deals with all complaints in accordance with the provisions of Section 12 of this Code.

 

All persons who are the subject of complaints that are referred to the conduct review committee/reviewer will receive written information about the process being undertaken to deal with the matter.

 

The conduct review committee/reviewer will only deal with matters that are referred to it by the general manager or the Mayor.

 

Where the conduct review committee/reviewer determines to make enquiries into the matter, such enquiries should be made without undue delay.

 

In circumstances where the person the subject of the complaint meets with the conduct review committee/reviewer, they are entitled to bring a support person or legal adviser. That person will act in an advisory and support role to the person affected. They will not speak on behalf of the subject person.

 

14.9  Findings and recommendations of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

Where the conduct review committee/reviewer determines, in its view that the conduct referred to it comprises a breach of this code of conduct it may, in its report to the council, make recommendations, that the council take any of the following actions:

 

a)   censure the councillor for misbehaviour

b)   require the councillor or general manager to apologise to any person adversely affected by the breach

c)   counsel the councillor or general manager

d)   make public findings of inappropriate conduct

e)   prosecute for any breach of the law

f)    revise any of council’s policies, procedures and/or the code of conduct.

 

Before making any such recommendations, the conduct review committee/reviewer shall have regard to the following:

 

a)   the seriousness of the breach

b)   whether the breach can be easily remedied or rectified

c)   whether the subject has remedied or rectified their conduct

d)   whether the subject has expressed contrition

e)   whether the breach is technical or trivial only

f)    whether the breach represents repeated conduct

g)   the age, physical or mental health or special infirmity of the subject

h)   the degree of reckless intention or negligence of the subject

i)    the extent to which the breach has affected other parties or the council as a whole

j)    the harm or potential harm to the reputation of local government and of the council arising from the conduct

k)   whether the findings and recommendations can be justified in terms of the public interest and would withstand public scrutiny

l)    whether an educative approach would be more appropriate than a punitive approach

m)  the relative costs and benefits of taking formal enforcement action as opposed to taking no action or taking informal action

n)   what action or remedy would be in the public interest

o)   where to comply with a councillor’s obligations under this code of conduct would have had the effect of depriving the council of a quorum or otherwise compromise the capacity of council to exercise its functions

 

14.10         Amendment of the operating guidelines

 

The conduct review committee/reviewer guidelines may be added to and any additional requirements may be further amended or repealed by resolution of the council.

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.4      SF908              170708         State Government Direction in Climate Change

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

There is increasing concern that the State Government has not provided a definitive planning standard for any sea level rise as a consequence of climate change.  The DECC has published a range of 0.18m to 0.91m by between 2090 and 2100.  Different councils are now adopting different standards.  The Land and Environment Court has also determined that Councils have to consider climate change in their decisions.  Without any overall direction there is concern as to how Councils will meet their duty of care and the insurance implications of this.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council request the Minister for Planning to release a State Environmental Planning Policy or similar direction on a planning standard for sea level rise as a consequence of climate change.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can act in terms of the recommendation or take no action.  Given the recent decisions of the Land and Environment Court and the actions of other coastal councils, notably Lake Macquarie City Council, it will become increasingly difficult to avoid action.  However it is clearly the role of the State Government to provide direction on the planning standard for sea level rise (if any) as a consequence of climate change.  Unlike flooding, any sea level rise will be consistent along the coast.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Following discussions with Council’s insurance brokers and the Town Planners Group from Mid North Coast Group of Councils, there is increasing concern about the lack of direction from the State Government in relation to planning for climate change.  The following illustrates the issue.

 

The Land and Environment Court has already made several decisions to the effect that planning authorities, whether they be the State Government or a local council need to consider the impacts of climate change in their decisions.

 

Lake Macquarie City Council, at its meeting on 12 May 2008 resolved to publicly exhibit a proposal to adopt a predicted sea level rise figure for the year 2100 of 0.91 metres.  This figure provides that Council with a basis for risk assessment, policy development, planning and development decisions.

 

The 0.91 metres adopted by Lake Macquarie City Council equates to the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change’s projected upper sea level rise figure.  However the DECC’s projected range based on relevant global and local information indicates a sea level rise on the NSW coast in the range of 0.18m to 0.91m by between 2090 and 2100.

 

Byron Shire Council has considered planning for a sea level rise by 2100 of 0.44m plus a 500mm freeboard.

 

With the projections published by the DECC and action being taken by a number of Councils there is increasing concern about risk and duty of care.

 

The Sydney Coastal Councils group have released an Environmental Defenders Office review of Australian and NSW legislation and policy provisions relevant to regional and local government adaptation to climate change.  The following sections illustrate the potential risk in negligence.

 

Section 2.3.1:  “In relation to development assessment, the consensus amongst practitioners and academics seems to be that councils will owe a duty of care to landowners in their consideration of individual development applications in coastal areas that are most at risk of climate change.”

 

Section 2.5.1:  “A reasonable council located on the coast in an area prone to erosion and storm damage, would foresee that its decisions to approve development may place landowners at risk from the effects of climate change.  Scientific evidence and impacts already observed make this clearly foreseeable.  In order to meet their duty of care, councils can either refuse consent, or allow the development to proceed with conditions that attempt to reduce the risk.  Councils when assessing development should consult the NSW Coastline Management Manual 1990 and the NSW Coastal Policy 1997.  It is probably also advisable to create a management plan specific to the locality.  As long as a council makes a genuine and serious attempt to alleviate the potential risks of climate change, then it is likely that a council’s duty of care will be satisfied.”

 

Regardless of one’s personal views about climate change and whether or not sea levels will rise and if so by how much, in terms of risk management there is an obvious need for the State Government to provide direction to Councils on a single planning standard.  The State Government also needs to consider how this planning standard will be incorporated in Section 149 (zoning) certificates; flood mapping; and other policy documents.

 

Without uniform direction from the State Government, presumably in the form of a State Environmental Planning Policy, it will be the case that coastal councils will adopt a multitude of planning standards.  There is likely to be a range of standards for sea level rise from 0.00m to 0.91m by 2100 and possibly everything in between.  Councils will also have different approaches in how this information is disseminated; whether it is used to update flood mapping; shown on Section 149 certificates etc.

 

A uniform planning standard which is issued as a direction by the State Government will reduce councils’ risk; be more readily communicated to the public; and provide consistency in development assessment and policy formulation across local government boundaries.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been discussion with the Town Planner’s group for the Mid North Coast Group of Councils.  There has also been discussion with Council’s insurance brokers.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The recommendation has no impacts on the environment.

 

Social

 

The recommendation has no social impact.

 

Economic

 

Changing planning standards always has an economic impact.  But this must be balanced against the risks of not changing planning standards.

 

Risk

 

If the response of Councils to sea level rise is fragmented, because there is no overall direction from the State Government, insurance risks will increase.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The recommendation has no budgetary implications.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.5      SF1027            170708         Special Rate Variation and Making of Rates

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Jenita Hunt, Rates Officer         

 

Summary:

 

At the publication deadline for the business paper the Minister for Local Government had not determined Council’s application for Special Variation to General Income.

 

In addition to the approved rate pegging increase of 3.2% the Minister was asked to approved a special variation increase of 1.89%.

 

Council is now required to make the rates and charges in accordance with section 535 of the Local Government Act.

 

The recommendation is based on Council’s application to the Minister being successful.  If Council’s application is not successful or altered, then a new resolution will be required.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 501 of the Local Government Act 1993, the annual standing charge for water supply services to all properties connected or able to be connected to Council’s water supply in accordance with Section 552(1) of the Local Government Act 1993 for 2008/2009 is made at forty eight dollars ($48.00) per assessment, for a 20mm or 25mm connection, one hundred and ninety two dollars ($192.00) for a 40mm connection, three hundred dollars ($300.00) per assessment for a 50mm connection, seven hundred and sixty eight dollars ($768.00) for a 80mm connection and one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200.00) for a 100mm connection,  with a consumption charge of one dollar and twenty five cents ($1.25) per kilolitre to apply to all water consumption and such charges to have a short title of “Water Charge”.

 

2          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 501 of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual access charge for sewerage services to all properties connected or able to be connected to Council's sewer in accordance with Section 552(3) of the Local Government Act 1993 for 2008/2009 is made at three hundred and forty dollars ($340.00)  per assessment for single residential connections, three hundred dollars ($300.00)  per assessment for 20mm non residential connection, five hundred and twenty four dollars ($524.00) per assessment for 40mm non residential connection, seven hundred and thirty five dollars ($735.00) per assessment for 50mm non residential connection, one thousand six hundred and sixty dollars ($1,660.00) per assessment for 80mm non residential connection, two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) per assessment for 100mm non residential connection and two hundred and eighty dollars ($280.00) for vacant land/non connection with a sewer usage charge of one dollar and seventy cents ($1.70) per kilolitre to be calculated on the estimated volume discharged  from all properties excluding single residential connections using the total water consumption based on Land and Water Conservation's formula and Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability's best practice pricing guidelines and such charge to have a short title of "Sewerage Charge".

 

 

3          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 501 of the Local Government Act 1993, the waste management tip provision charge for 2008/2009 is made at eighty seven dollars ($87.00) per assessment for properties which do not receive a domestic waste or other waste service; such charge to have the short title of “Waste Management Tip Provision”.


 

4          That in accordance with Section 496 of the Local Government Act 1993, the annual charge for 2008/2009 for domestic waste service on all occupied rateable land in the Shire, categorised Residential or Farmland under Section 515 or 516 of the Local Government Act 1993 to which a domestic waste service is provided, is made at three hundred and ninety dollars ($390.00) per separate occupancy per land parcel/assessment, such charge to have a short title of “Domestic Waste Management    Occupied”, the amount of the annual charge will be the amount derived by applying the formula A = B x $390.00, where “A” equals the annual charge, “B” equals the number of separate occupancies and $390.00 is the unit price.

 

 

5          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 496 of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009 for domestic waste on all vacant rateable land in the Shire, categorised Residential (under Section 516 of the Local Government Act 1993) and located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head and the villages of Taylors Arm Upper, Taylors Arm Lower, Eungai Rail, Eungai Creek, Warrell Creek and Donnellyville and all land within the rural sector with a residential building entitlement and within a subdivision both past and present which results in the concentration of holdings to create an estate of two or more lots, all ribbon development lots along rural roads contiguous to developed estates, all ribbon development lots along rural roads immediately opposite to developed estates, and categorized RESIDENTIAL – VILLAGE/ESTATES, where the domestic waste collection service is available, is made at one hundred and eleven dollars ($111.00) per assessment, such charge to have short title of “Domestic Waste Management – Vacant”.

 

 

6          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 501 of the Local Government Act, 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009  for waste service on all occupied rateable land in the Shire, categorised Business (under Section 518 of the Local Government Act 1993) to which a waste service is provided, is made at three hundred and ninety dollars ($390.00) per separate occupancy per land parcel/assessment, such charge to have a short title of “Waste Management    Occupied”, the amount of the annual charge will be the amount derived by applying the formula A = B x $390.00, where “A” equals the annual charge, “B” equals the number of separate occupancies and $390.00 is the unit price.

 

 

7          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 502 of the Local Government Act 1993 the waste service charge for 2008/2009 for actual use of accessing weekly waste service by non rateable properties is made at seven dollars and fifty cents ($7.50) per week per service per separate occupancy per land parcel/assessment, such charge to have the short title “Waste Management    Non Rateable”, and the amount of the charge will be the amount derived by applying the formula A = B x C X $7.50, where “A” equals the charge, “B” equals the number of separate occupied sites,  "C" equals the number of weekly services and $7.50 is the unit price per service per week.

 

 

8          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 501 of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for waste for 2008/2009 on all vacant rateable land in the Shire, categorised business (under Section 518 of the Local Government Act 1993) and located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head and the villages of Taylors Arm Upper, Taylors Arm Lower, Eungai Rail, Eungai Creek, Warrell Creek and Donnellyville, is made at one hundred and eleven dollars ($111.00) per assessment, such charge to have a short title of “Waste Management    Vacant”.


 

9          That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 496A & 510A of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009 for stormwater management services on all rateable privately owned developed non strata residential land located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head is made at twenty five dollars ($25.00) per land parcel/assessment, such charge to have a short title "Stormwater Management—Residential Charge".

 

 

10         That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 496A & 510A of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009 for stormwater management services on all rateable privately owned developed strata residential land located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head is made at twelve dollars and fifty cents ($12.50) per lot/assessment, such charge to have a short title "Stormwater Management—Residential Strata Charge".

 

 

11         That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 496A & 510A of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009 for stormwater management services on all rateable privately owned developed urban business land and located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head is made at twenty five dollars ($25.00) per land parcel/assessment plus an additional twenty five dollars ($25.00) for each 350 square metres or part of 350 square metres by which the area of the parcel of land exceeds 350 square metres, such charge to have a short title "Stormwater Management Business Charge".

 

 

12         That it be confirmed that in accordance with Section 496A & 510A of the Local Government Act 1993 the annual charge for 2008/2009 for stormwater management services on all rateable privately owned developed urban business strata lots/land and located within the confines of the towns of Nambucca Heads, Valla Beach, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville and Scotts Head is made at an amount equal to twenty five dollars ($25.00) per strata plan land parcel (parent parcel) plus an additional twenty five dollars ($25.00) for each 350 square metres or part of 350 square metres by which the area of the parcel of land exceeds 350 square metres divisible on a pro rata basis between the strata lots, such charge to have a short title "Stormwater Management-Business Strata Charge".

 

 

13         That a rate of zero point three zero six nine four eight cents in the dollar (0.306948¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category of “Farmland”, be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to base amount of four hundred and twenty four dollars and sixty five cents ($424.65) per assessment, (Section 499) so that the levying of the base amount will produce twenty nine point eight eight (29.88) per cent of the total amount payable by the levying of this ordinary rate for this category so as to conform with Section 500 of the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, as provided by Section 537 of the Act and determined by Section 536 of the Act, such rate to apply to all properties categorised as “Farmland”, pursuant to Section 515 of the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, such rate to have a separate short title of “Farmland” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

 

14         That a rate of zero point three six eight one five one cents in the dollar (0.368151¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Residential” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all properties categorised as “Residential”, pursuant to Section 516 of the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, excluding all properties in the sub categories “Residential-Town” and “Residential-Village/Estates”, such rate to have a separate short title of “Residential-Rural” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.


 

 

15         That a rate of zero point three six eight one five one cents in the dollar (0.368151¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Residential”, sub category “Town” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55)per assessment, such rate to apply to all rateable land located in centres of population described as comprising all properties zoned residential, and land not otherwise categorised, located in the towns of Nambucca Heads, Hyland Park, Macksville, Bowraville, Scotts Head and Valla Beach and serviced with water supply, sewerage, or septic tank, such rate to have a separate short title of “Residential-Town”, in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

16         That a rate of zero point three six eight one five one cents in the dollar (0.368151¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Residential”, sub-category “Village/Estates” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all rateable land located in the villages of Eungai Rail, Eungai Creek, Warrell Creek, Donnellyville, Taylors Arm – Upper and Lower, and all Estates comprising all residential land within the rural sector with a residential building entitlement and within a subdivision both past and present which results in the concentration of holdings to create an estate of two or more lots, all ribbon development residential lots along rural roads contiguous to developed estates and villages and all ribbon development residential lots along rural roads immediately opposite to developed estates, such rate to have a separate short title “Residential – Village/Estates”, in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

 

17         That a rate of zero point five one three four zero five cents in the dollar (0.513405¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Business” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all properties  categorised as “Business”, pursuant to Section 518 of the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, excluding all properties in the sub categories “Business-Manufactured Home Community”, “Business-Caravan Park”, “Business-Commercial” and “Business-Industrial”, such rate to have a separate short title of “Business” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

 

18         That a rate of zero point five one three four zero five cents in the dollar (0.513405¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Business”, sub category “Manufactured Home Community”, be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all rateable properties being Assessment Number 2495/03270.4 known as “Faringdon Village” and Assessment Number 2836/52700.8 known as “Newville Cottage Park”, such rate to have a short title of “Business-Manufactured Home Community” (Man Home Comm) in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

19         That a rate of zero point eight eight three six seven nine cents in the dollar (0.883679¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Business”, sub category “Caravan Park”, be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to the rateable properties being Assessment Numbers:


 

1998/10000.0

Nambucca River Tourist Caravan Park

2011/00000.3

Pelican Caravan Park

2812/10000.2

Headland Caravan Park

2841/00000.9

Foreshore Caravan Park

3219/00000.1

Nambucca Beach Holiday Park

3334/50000.0

Aukaka Caravan Park

32342/70102.9

White Albatross Holiday Centre

3695/21000.1

Valla Park Resort

 

such rate to have a short title of “Business-Caravan Park”, in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

20         That a rate of zero point eight two six nine seven one cents in the dollar (0.826971¢) on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Business”, sub category “Commercial” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all rateable properties categorised as “Business”, sub category “Commercial” in the towns of Nambucca Heads, Bowraville, Macksville, Valla Beach, Scotts Head and such rate to have a separate short title of “Business-Commercial” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

21         That a rate of zero point five one three four zero five cents (0.513405¢) in the dollar on the land value of all rateable land in the rating category “Business”, sub category “Industrial” be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a minimum rate of six hundred and eighteen dollars and fifty five cents ($618.55) per assessment, such rate to apply to all rateable properties categorised as “Business”, sub category “Industrial” in the towns of Nambucca Heads, Macksville, and such rate to have a separate short title of “Business-Industrial” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

 

22         That a special rate of zero point zero one zero two zero six cents (0.010206¢) in the dollar on the land value of all rateable land in Council’s area (Section 538) be now made for the year 2008/2009, subject to a base amount of sixteen dollars and twenty five cents ($16.25) per assessment (Section 499) so that the levying of the base amount will produce forty nine point eighty three (49.83) per cent of the total amount payable by the levying of the special rate so as to conform with Section 500 of the Local Government Act 1993 as amended, as provided by Section 537 of the Act and determined by Section 536 of the Act.  Such special rate to have a separate short title of “Environmental” in accordance with Section 543 of the Act.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The office for the Minister for Local Government has yet to advise Council that the Minister has approved Council’s rating variation application.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Rates Officer

Senior Administration Officer

Manager Financial Services

Department of Local Government

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

This report has no environmental impact.

 

Social

 

This report has no social impact.

 

Economic

 

There is no economic impact.

 

Risk

 

There is no risk to Council.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Council’s adopted 2008/09 budget included the special rate variation increase, therefore there are no additional financial implications to the adopted budget.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

17 July 2008

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.1    SF691              170708         Environment and Planning Applications Progress and Statistical Reports June 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Barbara Sadler, Executive Assistant         

 

Summary:

 

Environment and Planning Department Development Application statistics for the financial year 2007-2008 compared with 2006-2007 and Certificate Applications received and determined, are provided in the body of the report.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council note development application statistics and processing times for July 2007-June 2008 compared with July 2006-June 2007.

 

2          That Council note development application statistics and processing times for the years 2002 to 2008.

 

3          That Council note the statistical breakdown of development applications thus far for the financial year 1 July 2007-30 June 2008.

 

4          That Council note the statistical information for Certificates received by Council for 2004-2008.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Development Application Statistics

 

The figures show a 1.33% decrease in the number of DA’s received for July 2007-June 2008 with construction costs increasing by 33.33% compared to the same period in 2006/2007. The total number of DA’s/CD’s approved for the month of June was 24.

 

DA’S AND COMPLYING DEVELOPMENT

 

Construction Costs

No Applications Received

July 2006-June 2007

$36,445,849

305

July 2007-June 2008

$54,667,372

301

 

 

FINANCIAL:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The above comparisons will be considered in the next quarterly budget review to identify what impact the development application numbers will have on our projected income.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

An average income is estimated at the start of each budget year and is reviewed at each quarterly review.

 


 

TURNAROUND TIMES FOR DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS 2008

Month

Mean Time

Median

#Average age of DA’s (Days)

Average

Highest

Lowest

January

55.13

65

69.50

145

19

February

89.92

85

115.64

338

57

March

63.33

49

150.1

1450

19

April

65.88

53

165.37

1398

5

May

40.57

30

54.79

217

3

June

56.81

39

92.67

493

4

July

 

 

 

 

 

August

 

 

 

 

 

September

 

 

 

 

 

October

 

 

 

 

 

November

 

 

 

 

 

December

 

 

 

 

 

#Average age of DA’s

 

The average age of all DA’s for the month is derived from the total number of days from when the applications were lodged with Council until determined.

 

This average is provided for information as many applications required additional information by Council and/or other Government Agencies to enable them to be processed (ie Stop Clock applied).

 


 

 

COMPLYING DEVELOPMENTS RECEIVED

 

YEAR

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Total

2007 Private Cert

5

3

4

1

2

4

4

3

5

4

6

1

42

2007 Council

0

3

3

1

3

4

7

0

1

2

6

3

33

2008 Private Cert

0

3

1

4

6

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

2008 Council

2

2

2

3

2

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

CONVEYANCING CERTIFICATES ISSUED

 

YTD (June)

Drainage Diagrams

Section 149 Certs

Outstanding Notices

2004

170

449

123

2005

133

385

78

2006

135

352

109

2007

139

422

104

2008

151

359

100

 

 

OCCUPATION CERTIFICATES RELEASED

 

YEAR

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

TOTAL

Average/
Month

2002

20

3

7

8

15

7

13

13

16

13

13

14

142

11.80

2003

18

7

7

14

24

19

18

10

17

17

21

19

191

15.90

2004

11

15