NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING - 18 DECEMBER 2008

 

Acknowledgement of Country            (Mayor)

 

I would like to Acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land.  I would also like to pay respect to the elders both past and present and extend that respect to any Aboriginals present.

 

Presentation of National Medals  Mr Luke Hartsuyker, MP Federal Member for Cowper

          Medal recipients:  Alan Mitchell and Christopher Pearson

 

AMENDED  AGENDA                                                                             Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 December 2008

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Development Applications to be Called In

5.2     Notice of Motion - Extended Approval to Operate a Business - Pacific Highway, Macksville

5.3     Notice of Motion - Plans of Management for Community Land - Councillor Input  

6        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

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 November 2008

9.2     Grant Application Status Report - 18 December 2008

9.3     Organisation Structure

9.4     Review of Policy on Payment of Expenses and Provision of Facilities

9.5     Sale of Pioneer Community Centre

9.6     Nambucca Shire Land Development Committee Meeting Minutes - 04 December 2008

9.7     Future of Argents Hill Hall

9.8     Grant Funding for Missabotti Arts, Crafts and Produce Cafe Project

9.9     Alliance Tender for the Provision of a Corporate Software System

9.10   Report On Investments To 30 November 2008  (Separate to Business Paper)

 

10      Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1   Report on Minutes of the Nambucca Shire Council Reference Group held 24 November 2008

10.2   School Holiday Program - January 2009 Report

10.3   Outstanding Development applications more than 12 months old and applications where submissions have been received and not determined to 9 December 2008

10.4   Contract Regulatory Officer's Report - November 2008

10.5   Report on Process of "Call In" Versus DANC Meetings

10.6   Report on Notice of Motion to Consider Splitting the Environment and Planning Department

10.7   Report on Local Development Performance Monitoring 2007/2008

10.8   Report on Clarence Regional Library Committee of Management Minutes held 5 December 2008

10.9   Report on Notice of Class 4 Proceedings in relationto DA 2004/136

10.10  Request to Establish an Alcohol Free Zone in Bowraville

11      Director Engineering Services Report

11.1   Casey Drive - Creation of a Public Road

11.2   Proposed memorandum of Understanding for 4WD Beach Access Management

11.3   Nambucca Shire Vehicular Access to Beaches Committee - Minutes of Meeting 28 November 2008

11.4   Report on Nambucca Emergency Operations Centre Committee Minutes - 3 December 2008

11.5   Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Strategy Study

11.6   Nambucca District Water Supply Steering Committee Meeting - 3 December 2008

11.7   Grants Hall - Maintenance  

12      General Purpose Committee 17 December 2008 - REPORT

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

12.1   Council Owned Buildings for Public Use - Essential Fire Safety Measures

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   Nambucca's Waste Management Facility Weighbridge, Gatehouse and Associated Infrastructure

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.

 

12.3   Expression of Interest in Purchase of Pioneer Community Centre

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.

  

14      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

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

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1        SF793              181208         Notice of Motion - Development Applications to be Called In

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Councillors need to determine if the development applications should be refused or approved.   Also, there are rumours around town that the Planning Department is snowed under.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That all development applications be called in from 19 April 2005 to 23 September 2008.

 

 

 

MANEX COMMENT

 

The following DA’s apply to the period outlined in the above Notice of Motion.

 

DA No/Date Lodged

Property

Comment

2002/330/02 – 09/11/07

3 Dickson Street, Nambucca Heads — Retaining Wall

Awaiting resolution with adjoining neighbour to external side of retaining wall

2002/341/01 – 20/07/06

74 High Street, Bowraville — Bowraville Theatre Alterations and Additions

Awaiting resolution from Fire Consultant and Access Consultant regarding the proposed alterations and additions

2004/014/03 – 01/09/08

61 Charlton Street, Nambucca Heads — Units – amendments to layout

This application has already been called in

2005/235/01 – 14/02/08

5 Foxs Road, Nambucca Heads — Factory Additions (Unauthorised work)

This modification refers to one condition of original consent regarding access to the Pacific Highway, which is being resolved with the applicant and their consultant and the RTA

2005/291/01 – 16/07/08

369 Scotts Head Road, Way Way — Change to Quarry Operational Hours

This application has already been called in and scheduled for January 2009 Council Meeting

1998/055/01 – 16/07/08

369 Scotts Head Road, Way Way — Import Fines for mixing with hard rock

This application has already been called in and scheduled for January 2009 Council Meeting

2005/310 – 19/04/05

25 Cooper Street, Macksville — Operation of Furniture Manufacturing

This is tied LEP Amendment 66 (with Woolworths) – currently with the Minister – unable to approve

2006/056/01 – 05/09/08

80 Upper Warrell Creek Road, Macksville — Subdivision – Staging

This application has been the subject of a General Purpose Committee site inspection. Staging information received this week due to the Consultant being overseas for several months. Should be dealt with prior to Christmas

2007/159/01 – 24/09/08

172 Mitchells Road, Valla — Variation to lot sizes and conditions about closing roads

Access issues require resolution between adjoining land owners before the matters can be resolved


 

2007/244/01 – 20/08/08

37 Seaforth Drive, Valla Beach — Modification to Retaining Walls

This matter has been ongoing for some time and should be resolved shortly

2008/013 – 12/07/07

35 Raleigh Street, Scotts Head — Dwelling-House

This application has already been called in

2008/028/01 – 08/10/07

6-10 Fraser Street, Nambucca Heads — Motel additions - Additional glass enclosure

Awaiting further details on design of proposed structure

2008/043 – 24/08/07

37 Cooper Street, Macksville — Supermarket Development

This is tied LEP Amendment 66 – currently with the Minister – Council has approved this development but cannot be released until the rezoning is completed

2008/193 – 11/03/08

207 Upper Buckrabendinni Road, Bowraville — Rural Subdivision

This application has already been called in

2008/244 – 23/05/08

21 Jones Street, Valla Beach — Dwelling-House

This matter is subject to approval from the Department of Lands for bushfire protection zones on Crown land – cannot be dealt with until this matter is resolved

2008/267 – 24/06/08

14 Harrimans Lane, Macksville — Factory Complex

Extension of time to end of January 2009 for submission of additional information. This matter will be presented to Council for final determination

2008/269 – 30/06/08

48 High Street, Bowraville — Building alterations and Garage

This matter is being dealt with by Council at the General Purpose Committee 17/12/08

2009/004 – 14/04/08

1 Jellico Street, Macksville — SEPP 1 Application for Rural Subdivision

A report is being prepared for January/February meeting as the DoP have not supported the SEPP 1 application

2009/006 – 22/07/08

80 Upper Warrell Creek Road, Macksville — Development Lot Subdivision

This application is being finalised with consent likely to be issued prior to end of December

2009/0008 – 28/07/08

6142 Pacific Highway, Nambucca Heads — Roadside stall

7 Day letter issued 10/12/08 as the required information has not been received – Refusal likely to be issued prior to end of December

2009/026 – 03/09/08

522 Greenhills Road, Bakers Creek — Boundary Adjustment

Consent to be issued by 19/12/08

2009/037 – 23/09/08

24 Bellevue Drive, Macksville — Demolition and filling of dam

This application is currently being finalised with consent to be issued prior to the end of December

 

As identified in the above table there are no applications that have not either been called in or awaiting confirmation from Government Agencies. All other applications are likely to be dealt with under delegated authority without the need to call them in or will be presented to Council for determination.

 

In addition to this Notice of Motion, there are a further five reports within the Business Paper relating to the processing of development applications which should be read in conjunction with this Motion.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.2        SF793              181208         Notice of Motion - Extended Approval to Operate a Business - Pacific Highway, Macksville

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        John Ainsworth, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Current zoning restrictions are having an adverse impact on the operator and restricting a possible sale and new commercial use of the building.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That commercial activities be permitted to continue in the old Blueys Pizza building, Pacific Highway (Cooper Street) Macksville, pending the outcome of the rezoning proposal of this area.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        To allow the commercial activities to continue

2        To disallow the continuation of commercial activities.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council previously resolved to allow the current occupier to operate a commercial activity in the old Blueys Pizza building subject to him lodging a development application and the preparation of a Rezoning application for this area.

 

Council has supported the rezoning and it is currently with the Department of Planning awaiting final determination. Notwithstanding Council will still be rezoning this area to either commercial or mixed use under the new Local Environmental Plan.

 

The current delays are having an impact on the operator and restricting a possible sale and new commercial use of the building.

 

 

MANEX COMMENT:

 

As Council is aware, the land is zoned Residential 2(d) and the current use for furniture sales has been permitted as an “existing use”. 

 

Clause 45 of the environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 states that development consent is required for any change of an existing use to another use. 

 

It is suggested that potential purchasers be advised that a change to the existing use is permissible with consent and that a conditional contract could be used to facilitate development consent before settlement.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.3        SF793              181208         Notice of Motion - Plans of Management for Community Land - Councillor Input

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Paula Flack, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Council must prepare Plans of Management for all community land in the Shire.  Councillors endorse draft Plans of Management for public exhibition and then consider submissions and staff recommendation prior to the final adoption of each plan.  It is important that Councillors have input into the preparation of draft Plans prior to exhibition and following receipt and consideration of input from the community.  Council’s Ordinary meetings do no allow for general discussion of issues and therefore are not the appropriate forum to deal with the draft Plans of Management.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That as a matter of policy, Council consider draft Plans of Management for community land as a Committee of the Whole during its monthly General Purpose Committee Meeting, prior to them being exhibited for public comment and once again to consider submissions prior to final adoption.

 

 

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council moving into Committee of the Whole, as per Clause 48 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice, allows for discussion without limiting the number or duration of speeches, but which will still be under the control of the Chairperson.

 

Councillor input into the preparation of draft Plans of Management before and after public exhibition ensures elected representatives have adequate involvement in the process.  It also ensures a degree of transparency which the community expects.

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1        SF959              181208         Outstanding Actions and Reports November 2008

 

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.

 

 

 

 

No

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.

Programmed after riverbank work.

Revised to end of Jan 09. main gate operating two side gates on minor drains to be installed.

 

SEPTEMBER 2007

2

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 now on exhibition, with submissions being considered.

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

 

Met with DoP on Tuesday 11/11/08 where agreement has been reached on the exclusion of 4 pockets and part of the other 2 pockets. A map and letter from the DoP should be received by the end of November 2008.

 

D of P to respond in next few weeks.

 

 

APRIL 2008

 

3

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. Follow up letter sent to Mac’scon 30/9/08.

Further follow up letter sent 18/11 seeking a response by 12/12/08.

 

Further correspondence received from applicant.  Onsite meeting to be arranged with DWE, applicant and Council staff.

 

 

4

SF699

17/4/08

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

 

DES

Report 18 December 2008 on Organisation Review

 

MAY 2008

5

QWN 103

15/05/08

Enviro Saver Program – further investigations

DEP

Onsite inspection and assessment for the retrofitting and installation arranged for late August/September 2008. Rescheduled for Oct/Nov.

 

Can only assist with incandescent globe replacement and shower heads. Requires a Council Officer to accompany them to visit all Council buildings. Deferred until Technical Officer Asset commences.

 

Process has commenced with replacement of low energy fluro bulbs in office.

6

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, K&G outstanding. Letter to owner. Still awaiting K&G contractor.

Speed humps installed.

 

Kerb & Gutter installed.  Area re-shaped with bitumen surfacing to complete the work.

 

7

QWN 112

15/05/08

Missabotti Rd—spraying of vegetation

DES

Revisit in Spring for lantana & other vegetation growth.

Programmed for October.

Specific herbicide required for lantana in February.

 

8

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

Report to Council on 18 December 2008.

See item in business paper.

JUNE 2008

9

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

Grant application made under Regional Arts Fund.

10

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 Council after further consulting with the Department of Primary Industries. Ongoing discussions with DPI.

 


 


JULY 2008

11

Item 9.9

03/07/08

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

 

GM

Letter sent 15/07/08.

Follow up letter sent 14/11/2008

12

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. To be deferred to after elections.

 

Arrangements made to hold meeting on 18 December at 2.00 pm

 

Meeting deferred to Feb 09 to avoid Christmas/New year holiday period.

 

13

Item 11.4

03/07/08

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

DES

Awaiting outcome of grant application before proceeding.

 

Outcome of grant expected early December but not yet received.

 

14

SF42

17/07/08

Revised Model Code of Conduct – seek co-operation of adjoining Councils to establish single conduct review committee – invite Mr Terry Perkins to participate – direction attention of staff to new Code – letter to all Committees of Management.

GM

Adjoining Councils notified. Letter sent to Terry Perkins. Remainder underway.  Adjoining Council’s requested to share Conduct Panel.

 

15

SF283

17/07/08

List of areas in Council administration centre requiring work to ensure compliance with relevant standard for access for people with disabilities be referred to Council’s technical officers for assessment and if necessary a report be prepared for Council or the Access Committee.

DES

Audit to be undertaken by a Building Inspector and Community Manager.

Audit to be undertaken by January 2009.

16

LF3891

17/07/08

Access to timber mill – Nambucca Heads. Council retrieve any reports and resolutions in relation to the entry to the timber mill and determine who is responsible for the maintenance of the drain at the entrance gate.

DES

Deferred to 18/12/2008

On the 22 November 1999 a letter was sent to Town Planning Consultants re their client CV & A Woods Pty Ltd advising that their request for access into their leased property from Pioneer St had been approved subject to them meeting all associated costs for roadworks and drainage. This came about after a site inspection by the Works Committee.

A letter, 10 December 2008, has now been sent to CV & A Woods advising of their responsibility to also maintain that drain which would reduce the nuisance flooding to the neighbour and also recommended that they  get advise on siltation control should that be an issue for them as a result of cleaning out the open drain which has silted up reducing it’s capacity.

AUGUST 2008

17

NoM

07/08/08

Council seek quotations from landscape designers to prepare, in consultation with Joan’s Army, a landscaping Masterplan for riverfront from the Bridge to the public toilets.

DES

Deferred to December 2008

 

Old Masterplan sent to M Lenthall for preliminary comments to enable directions to be given to landscape designer for a quote.

 

18

QWN 194

21/08/08

Cleanup roadsides at Bowraville – request from Lions Club

 

DES

Draft agreement & risk Assessment prepared. Forwarded to the Lions Club

 

19

DA2006/056

27/08/08

Council received a report on the standard width for cycleways and its implications for DCP 17.

 

DES

&

DEP

November 2008

 

Deferred to February 2009

SEPTEMBER 2008

20

QWN 197

04/09/08

Burn off maps to Council’s website

DEP

 

Maps to be available on website during October. Deferred until December 08

 

 

OCTOBER 2008

21

RF256

 

16/10/08

Notice of Motion - Riverbank Erosion - Riverside Drive Nambucca Heads – report re geotechnical engineers re stability of Riverside Drive

 

DES

Subject to GHD undertaking evaluation.

Commenced.  Drilling completed.

22

SF360

16/10/08

Argents Hill Hall – on site meeting to be arranged with DoL and request for funding assistance from the DoL.

GM

Letter sent 17/10/08.

 

Follow up letter sent 14/11/2008

 

Response received 1/12/08 and reported to meeting on 18/12/08

 

23

SF1222

16/10/08

Referral of request for clothes optional beach to Valla Beach & Hall Management Committee and Valla Tourist Resort & Police

GM

Letters sent 23/10/08.

Public meeting held by Committee.

Response received from Police.  Report to Council on 15 January 2009.

 

NOVEMBER 2008

24

SF429

6/11/08

Council review its current bridge program

DES

January 2009

 

25

SF544

6/11/08

Council receive a report on options for the provision of matching general fund contributions for the S94 works schedule for community facilities and open space. Including the possibility of establishing a reserve.

 

GM

To be considered with management plan for 2009/10. Report May 2009

26

SF544

6/11/08

Council review its Policy on Deferment of Section 94 payments.

 

GM

Report January 2009

 

27

SF544

6/11/08

Council review biennial the Community Infrastructure and Infrastructure Needs Study and review annually the Section 94 Community Facilities and Open Space Contributions Plan Works Schedule.

 

GM

Report November 2009

28

SF844

20/11/08

Council invite Phillip Costa to inspect off-stream water storage site @ Bowraville

 

GM

Invitation issued 26/11/08

29

SF844

20/11/08

Copy to Council of Planning Focus meeting minutes for 16 October 2008 and

Council receive a report on the IWCM Plan

 

DES

Report on IWCM will be prepared after receiving current status from Dept of Commerce. Report 18/12

 

30

135

20/11/08

That Council receive a report of the allocation of resources for preparing the next comprehensive SOE report and that this be considered as part of the 2009/2010 budget.

DEP

Report to be presented with budget considerations. Feb/March 2009

31

SF285

20/11/08

Council consider what resources might be needed to prepare a new Social and Community Plan as part of the 2009/2010 budget.

DEP

March 2009

32

SF42

20/11/08

That Council receive a report back on the Dept. of Local Government Circular 08-61 – Plumbing Inspections by Council.

 

DEP

April 2009

33

SF382

20/11/08

That the exhibition for the Scotts Head draft Master Plan be extended to end of February 2009 and be a minimum of 2 months and Councillors receive the draft Master Plan a minimum of 5 days before it is placed on public display.

 

GM

Resolution conveyed to consultants and Department of Lands.

34

SF820

20/11/08

The 3 Councils get together to review the operation of the Coffs Coast Waste Service.

DES

Information conveyed to Coffs Harbour.

 

35

SF820

20/11/08

Council receive a report on the process of handling complaints concerning vehicles on beaches.  The report to include process for handling misdemeanours and advice as to the number of infringements issued.

 

DES

Covered in report on MOU to 18 December 08 meeting

36

SF1163

20/11/08

Council investigate refinancing of its loans and the matter be reported to a meeting of the Finance Committee.

GM

Meeting of Finance Committee to be arranged in December 2008.

 

37

SF1163

20/11/08

That a report be prepared for the Plant Committee on utilisation rates for all of Council’s heavy plant.

 

DES

Late January 2009.

DECEMBER 2008

38

SF91

4/12/08

Representations to Busways re Nambucca River Tourist Park bus service

 

DES

 Letter sent.

39

SF793

4/12/08

C’tees of Management – report on cost/staffing to improve communication

 

GM

Report to 15 January 2009.

40

SF923

4/12/08

Thank Albanese MP for funding

Inspection of Coronation Park @ CPC 17/12

Get Plans to DA standard

 

GM

Underway.

41

SF377

4/12/08

Submit application for grant funding for Nambucca Heads Sewerage Scheme

 

GM

Application submitted.

42

SF785

4/12/08

Submit application for grant funding for Crime Prevention Grants

 

Invite NSW Police + NSW Attorney General’s department to discuss Crime Prevention Plan

DEP

Application submitted 10 December 2008

 

43

SF216

4/12/08

Letter to DWE re grease arrestors – difference between city and country.

 

DES

Letter sent.

44

SF15

4/12/08

That Council reconvene the Saleyard Advisory Committee to determine mid to long term operational strategies for the Macksville saleyards.

 

GM

Meeting to be arranged in January 2009.

45

SF688

4/12/08

That during the first half of the 2009/10 year Council call for community input into a new Environmental Levy program for the 5 year period to the end of 2014/2015.

DEP

Programmed for September 2009.

 

Attachments:

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.2        SF706         181208         Grant Application Status Report - 18 December 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Jenny Chance, Grants Officer          

 

Summary:

 

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

 

Recommendation:

 

That the list of grant programs and their status to 18 December 2008 be received.

 

 

 

Grant Program

Action

 

Status

1

Department of Environment and Climate Change

DEP

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

 

Lodged 15 February 2008.

Closing date 15 February 2008—announcement expected later 2008

 

Unsuccessful with application.

2

New Federal Environmental Programme - Still to be announced

GM

DES

DEP

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

3

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

Funding on a 1:1 basis

Closing date: 28 May 2008

DEP

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

·     Flood study—Deep Creek

·     Implementation of Nambucca River Estuary Management Plan

·     Updated flood study Lower Nambucca

 

Council successful with three of the above being

·     Implementation of Nambucca River Estuary Management Plan

·     Updated Flood study Lower Nambucca

·     Stage 2 Coastal Hazard management Plan

Total funding being $250,000 matched $ for $ from Council’s Environmental Levy

 


 

4

NSW Environmental Trust Round 3 – Urban Sustainability Program

Closing date: 20 June 2008

DEP

Council previously resolved to submit both a joint application with Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Councils and an individual application. Amended criteria excluded individual applications. Joint application lodged.

Verbal advice received that application successful.  Awaiting form notification.

5

Northern Rivers CMA – River Reach Program.

Ongoing funding program

DEP

Stage 2 Lower Nambucca River, River Bank stabilization, rubbish and weed eradication. (Nursery Rd/Pacific Hwy north for approx 2 kms)

Funding application proposal from the Nyambaga Green Team. Total application for Stage 2 $35,000 - $45,000.

Council contribution of $5000 maximum to provide some machinery to collect and remove rubbish, vegetation; prepare traffic management plan for traffic control on Pacific Highway. Council’s $5,000 (max) in-kind contribution from the Environmental Levy.

6

NSW Maritime – Maritime Infrastructure Program

Funding on a 1:1 basis

Closes: 22 August 2008

GO & MTS

The Maritime Infrastructure Program (MIP) provides up to $2M annually to local government and community organisations for waterways infrastructure projects that benefit the recreational boating community across NSW, including the provision of public wharves/jetties, boatramps, public sewage pumpout facilities and public moorings. Applications submitted for Pontoon and Gangway at Tourist Office Finger Wharf – Nambucca Heads. Applications submitted with the assistance of the Nambucca River Users Group for pontoon at Macksville with $15,000 from the Environmental Levy and In-kind contributions. Site meeting with MIP Manager to discuss projects – 24 September 2008.

The announcement of successful projects has been delayed until mid December.

 

7

Caring for our Country

National Reserve System

Caring for our Country Open Grants

Closes: 1 August 2008

Community Coastcare

Closes: 25 July 2008

GO

Caring for our Country is the Federal Government's new natural resource management program.

An application has been submitted to the National Reserve System on behalf of the Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council to purchase Faringdon Fields.

Advice received that applications will be determined in early December 2008.


 

8

Regional Arts Fund (NSW)

Australian Government – Regional Arts Fund

Closes: 14 August 2008

MBD

Application for Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre mosaic mural under the Partnerships Program.

The announcement of successful projects has been delayed until early December

9

NSW Blackspot Program

 

Closes: 22 August 2008

 

MTS

RTA is inviting all Councils to identify and nominate new conforming projects for the 2009-2010 programme. Construction costs must be greater than $10,000 for rural Councils.

Application completed to gain funding for pedestrian refuge at Bowra Street (intersection of Wellington Drive, Woods Lane, Back Street, Fraser Street), Nambucca Heads.

 

The announcement of successful projects are expected early in 2009.

10

Northern Rivers CMA

River Health Plan Development (Stage 1)

Closes: 1 December 2008

GO

River Health Plan Development (Stage 1)

A River Reach plan needs to be developed prior to project implementation. In most cases, groups undertake the plan development in one year and then apply to implement the plan the following year.

To develop a river health plan Council can:

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for Plan Development using form provided. This is a competitive process, EOIs for plan development will be assessed (using eligibility criteria) and ranked. Successful applicants will receive assistance from an NRCMA officer to produce a plan, OR Produce a plan independently.

 

Council successful with a $25,500 grant for water monitoring and testing of the river and its estuaries within the oyster zone as well as Gumma, Tilly Willy and Newee Creek. There is no matching contribution required of Council.

11

Northern Rivers CMA

Development and Implementation of local Government local scale coastline NRM plans

GO

Funding to provide consistent standardised beach access signage across the Shires coastal foreshore accesses utilising current best practice signage systems for aquatic and recreational use.

Joint application with DECC.


 

12

Area Assistance Scheme

Closes: 10 October 2008

GO & MCCS

The Area Assistance Scheme (AAS) is a regional community development program run by the Department of Community Services. It provides grants to local councils and non-government organisations for projects that improve community well being and how communities function. The AAS works within a whole-of-government framework to deliver its outcomes.

 

Council staff in consultation with the committees of management are in the process of identifying possible projects for submission.

 

13

NSW Sport and Recreation – Capital Assistance Program

 

Closes: 14 November 2008

 

Funding on 1:1 basis

GO

NSW Sport and Recreation (the Agency) offers the Capital Assistance Program for the development of local level facilities with the maximum grant available being $30,000.

 

This program requires applicants to fund at least 50 per cent of the net project cost. Voluntary labour and donated materials are allowed as part of the applicant’s contribution to the project.

 

Eligible applicants are those from local government authorities and incorporated not-for-profit organisations wishing to develop facilities that will increase participation in sport, recreation and physical activity. Local government authorities must submit applications on behalf of their committees eg Section 355 committees.

 

14

Department of Planning - NSW Heritage Grants

 

Closes: 28 November 2008

 

GO

Works projects for the conservation, maintenance and adaptive reuse of heritage items listed on the State Heritage Register and state significant heritage items. Minimum project value of $25,000 with maximum funding of $75,000 per project. On ground interpretation works eg signage etc for major tourism focused state significant heritage items with funding up to $20,000 per project.

 

Community strategic products and services for the delivery of state significant or state-wide heritage products and services with funding up to $30,000 per project. Special program for major cultural and community heritage buildings for the conservation, maintenance, ongoing and adaptive reuse of public halls, town halls, theatres and cinemas etc that are heritage items listed on the State heritage Register, or state or local heritage items listed in a Local Environmental Plan. Minimum project value $25,000 with maximum funding of $75,000 per project.

 


 

15

Playground Equipment Upgrade Grants for Local Government – Round 2

 

 

Closes: 21 November 2008

 

GO/ MCW

Grants for Upgrades of Council Playground Facilities

 

A total of $2 million has been made available over two years. Round 1 grants for 2008/09 have been allocated and councils are now invited to apply for Round 2 grants for 2009/10.

The grants will only be available for local government and must be used to either provide new playground facilities and/or equipment or upgrade existing playground facilities and/or equipment. Councils must utilize grants received for playground projects on land which is council-owned or managed. Funded playground projects must be free to use and publicly accessible. Projects will be funded in 2009/10 to a maximum of $20,000.

All councils in NSW are eligible and encouraged to apply for funding under the program. There is a limit of one project application per council.

 

Council submitted an application to upgrade existing parks to ensure they meet safety requirements.

 

16

Crime Prevention Grant - Crime Prevention Division of the NSW Attorney General's Department

 

Closes: 12th December 2008

 

GO/ MCCS

NSW Crime Prevention Project Grants are provided by the CPD to support the implementation of strategies designed to reduce crime. The primary objective of the NSW Crime Prevention Grants Program is to achieve the crime reduction goals of the NSW State Plan, namely to reduce violent crime and property crime.

 

Eligible councils are currently invited to apply for up to $50 000 per annum each year for the duration of their plan’s endorsement.

 

Application lodged 10 December 2008.

 

 

17

NSW Coastline Cycleway – Department of Planning

 

Closes: 19th December 2008. 

 

Funding on 1:1 basis

GO/ MTS

This program provides grants to non-metropolitan coastal councils to improve cycling facilities by developing and implementing the NSW Coastline Cycleway route.

 

Councils can apply for dollar-for-dollar grants for projects on the defined NSW Coastline Cycleway route.

 


 

18

Caring for Our Country

GO

In its first five years (from July 2008 to June 2013), the Australian Government will invest $2.25 billion through Caring for our Country to secure improved strategic outcomes across six national priority areas:

·      the National Reserve System

·      biodiversity and natural icons

·      coastal environments and critical aquatic habitats

·      sustainable farm practices

·      natural resource management in northern and remote Australia, and

·      community skills, knowledge and engagement.

Caring for our Country will be delivered in partnership with regional natural resource management groups, local, state and territory governments, Indigenous groups, industry bodies, land managers, landcare groups and other community groups, and non-government organisations.

This document seeks investment proposals that contribute to the delivery of Caring for our Country targets.

The Australian Government is now calling for investment proposals for projects that will achieve the targets outlined in the Caring for our Country business plan 2009-10.

Further information about the business plan and details of how to submit a proposal will be available soon.

 

 

 

For Council’s information, as at 12 November 2008, the Grants Officer has applied for 25 grants totalling $3,024,786.  Of that total Council has been unsuccessful with $1.38m.  The remainder are mostly still to be determined.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.3        SF639              181208         Organisation Structure

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

It is recommended that the position of Director Corporate Services be made redundant and removed from Council’s organisation structure.  Part of the funding which had been applied to this position should be directed to the appointment of an Asset Manager and a part time position in the Finance Section.  The part time position in the Finance Section can be funded by existing savings in Corporate Services salaries where provision had been made for a Governance Officer to commence on 1 January 2008.  It is not proposed to proceed with this position.

 

It is also recommended that the savings from the position of excavator operator which was recently made redundant be applied to increase the Town Services crew from 4 staff to 5 staff.  This is in response to the findings of the Customer Satisfaction Survey which ranked public toilets as being of “high importance and low satisfaction”.

 

The proposed organisation structure also incorporates staff which previously have been included in the budget as well as minor changes to position titles and reporting lines.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          Council proceed with the appointment of a part time (3 day per week) position in Finance and an Aboriginal school based trainee (1 day per week) to work on the front counter and switchboard.

 

2          Council make the position of excavator operator redundant and the savings be applied to increase the Town Services crew from 4 staff to 5 staff.

 

3          Council consider the appointment of an Asset Manager in its budget for 2009/2010.

 

4          Council adopt the revised organisation structure as shown in the attachment.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can adopt the revised structure, in part or in total, or maintain the current structure.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Section 333 of the Local Government Act provides that Council’s organisation structure may be re-determined by the council from time to time.  It must be re-determined within 12 months after any ordinary election of the council.  This report is intended to meet Council’s obligation to re-determine its structure following the 13 September elections.

 

Whilst Section 333 of the Local Government Act sets out Council’s legal requirements, Council staff review the organisation structure with every resignation.  This is an ideal opportunity to consider the allocation of resources as it avoids the cost of redundancy payments and allows change to occur in a more timely and incremental manner than a review once every 4 years.  This process will continue and as such there will be on-going reports to Council on at least an annual basis.

 

In 2006 Council sought advice from the Shires Association of NSW in relation to what is meant by the term “organisation structure”.  The Association had sought legal advice on the issue because of the different approaches adopted by Councils in defining “organisation structure”.  For example the Local Government Managers’ Association does not believe that the organisation structure should involve all positions as this would be contrary to the obligations of the General Manager under Section 335 to be responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the council’s organisation and for the “day to day management” of the council.

 

The advice obtained is that an organisation structure is, “a description of the individual positions at Council as distinct from the function and activities carried out by each department.  Regardless of the source of funding for a position within Council all permanent and fixed term positions must be part of an approved organisation structure.  In the event of temporary or casual positions as long as they are not for an ongoing position there is no requirement for the positions to be included in the organisation structure.

 

The review of the organisation structure has been the subject of recent reports to Council’s Consultative Committee which is a Committee established under the Award for Council’s staff and contains representation from all of the local government unions plus management.  A report on the organisation structure was considered by the Consultative Committee on 28 October 2008 and again on 9 December 2008.

 

The following points/suggestions were raised at the Consultative Committee meeting on 28 October 2008:

 

·      “Asset Management Engineer – should be partially funded out of water and sewerage.

·      Finance (casual assistance) – would be more beneficial to have a permanent part time position.

·      Tourism Coordinator – position to be added in accordance with Council’s resolution on 17 April 2008 to fund a permanent part time position at 3 days per week.

·      That fixed term positions ie Grants Officer, Trainee Administration Officer, Sports Trainee, School based trainees, Apprentice Mechanic, Apprentice Plant Mechanic and Trainee Civil Engineer be noted as such.

·      That the staff structure for asset management be further considered by Director Engineering Services”.

 

It was resolved that, “the organisation structure be further revised and presented to the next meeting of the Consultative Committee”.

 

Since the meeting on 28 October 2008, the Finance Section has also raised the following concerns in relation to the non-replacement of the position of Director Corporate Services:

 

·      “Concerns funding for staff resourcing in Corporate Services may be diverted to Engineering Services, Corporate Services seek assurances this funding will not be lost

·      With current workload pressures, the proposed date of implementation (2009/2010) is considered impractical, can this be addressed sooner?

·      Departure of Director Corporate Services and Senior Administration Officer has created loss of expert consultation, how is this being addressed?  Will Corporate Services staff receive increased training and remuneration?

·      How can consultation with Corporate Services staff be improved?

·      Re-emphasize the loss of finance hours by the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services and the omission of the Clerical assistant.  Approximately 50+ hours per week.”

 

A further change since the meeting on 28 October has been Council’s resolution on 20 November 2008 not to purchase a replacement excavator and to sell the existing excavator.  As a consequence the position of excavator operator has become redundant and Council needs to consider whether the funding for the position should be reallocated to another position.

 

The proposed changes to Council’s organisation structure and their background are set out as follows.

 

Director Corporate Services

 

Council last reviewed its organisation structure in December 2007.  The General Manager recommended that Council not replace the position of Director Corporate Services but it was resolved as follows:

 

1.       That the position of the Director Corporate Services remain under review until 30 June 2008.

 

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

 

3.         That Council adopt the revised organisation structure as shown in the attachment subject to the position of the Director Corporate Services remaining under review until 30 June 2008.

 

The Director Corporate Services retired from Council on 6 July 2007 so the period in which Council has operated without the position is now some 17 months.  The criteria previously reported to Council to assess the success or otherwise of the trial are:

 

·      Ability to attend to day to day work ie, correspondence, telephone calls, counter etc

·      Ability to meet statutory deadlines for financial statements and reports

·      Completion of tasks in the management plan

·      Ability of the General Manager to meet the requirements of his performance agreement

·      Direct and indirect costs as a consequence of the non-replacement of the position

·      Consideration of the opportunity cost of the funding for the position

·      Views of the Consultative Committee

·      Views of external customers eg, volunteers on S355 Committees

·      Views of Council staff

 

Comment in relation to each of these criteria is provided as follows:

 

Ability to attend to day to day work ie correspondence, telephone calls, counter etc

 

In general this is being attended to without any discernible loss in service standards.  However it needs to be acknowledged that the organisation would take longer to recover should any of the remaining management staff in Corporate Services leave Council.  This is simply because there is less contingency or redundancy in the organisation structure and less ability for an existing management position to cover another one in the event of someone leaving.

 

Ability to meet statutory deadlines for financial statements and reports

 

This has been an issue with delays in completing the June Quarterly budget review and finalising the Annual Accounts for inspection by the Auditor.  However the resignation of Council’s Accountant earlier this year was probably a bigger factor in these delays than the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services.  If the Director is an experienced local government accountant he/she could provide assistance with these statutory processes.  Again it demonstrates the fact there is less contingency or redundancy in the structure.

 

Completion of tasks in the management plan

 

Other than the matters identified in relation to meeting statutory deadlines,  the completion of the tasks in the management plan has been managed without the Director’s position.  It should also be noted that in the past 12 months the existing staff have also managed to facilitate a Promoting Better Practice Review by the Department of Local Government which required an extraordinary commitment over a relatively short period.  In the coming 12 months, the staff will have an even greater test in completing the actions required by the Promoting Better Practice Review.

 

Ability of the General Manager to meet the requirements of his performance agreement

 

A summary of the General Manager’s performance agreement provides as follows:

 

·      Implementation of the Management Plan and Budget (KPI’s met, revotes minimized)

·      Implementation of recommendations from PBP Review (in accordance with agreed timetable)

·      Asset management (that a plan for Council’s buildings be submitted for consideration; rating of sealed road network be reviewed and reported)

·      Provide advice, policy development and decision making support to Council (newsletters; review 25% of policies; advise on new policies as required)

·      Ensure implementation of Council’s resolutions, policies and decisions (no decision not acted upon)

·      Communicate and promote Council’s policy to the community (issue newsletters, meet with community groups etc)

·      Ensure services, communications and dealings of staff with the public and external bodies is of a high standard (new staff to receive customer service training; existing staff to have refresher training)

·      Provide leadership and co-ordinate departmental operations and performance (review performance of Directors twice a year; be involved and accessible to staff etc)

·      Ensure output is monitored and services provided in an efficient and cost effective manner.

·      Develop, maintain and review Council’s management plan (improve linkages of strategic plans etc)

·      Develop and maintain organisation structures to achieve Council’s objectives

·      Provide organisation change leadership and support (opportunities for cost savings and enhanced revenue)

·      Advise Council of financial implications of policy determinations

·      Exercise management oversight of financial operations

·      Ensure appropriate financial planning (integrated with management plan)

·      Maintain financial systems and controls (report on recommendations from auditor)

·      Ensure human resources management plans, systems, procedures and programs are developed and implemented.

·      Promote teamwork and develop & maintain positive works relations and appropriate organisation culture

 

The requirements of the performance agreement require adequate resourcing across all of Council’s functional responsibilities.  Given that Council’s resources are finite, the main implication for the General Manager’s performance agreement is the optimal allocation of human resources which will best achieve the outcomes sought by Council.

 

Direct and indirect costs as a consequence of the non-replacement of the position

 

The cost of retaining the position of Director Corporate Services is approximately $130,000 per annum.

 

As a consequence of the trial non-replacement of the Director, the Manager Financial Services was provided with higher grade pay (a single grade) in recognition that the position is solely responsible for the preparation of financial reports and also Section 94 developer contributions.  The cost of this higher grade pay is $4,898.40 per annum.

 

There are peak working loads for the finance staff which would be assisted by a Director of Corporate Services with a finance background.  However an alternative and less costly approach would be to “free up” existing in house accounting staff through the use of a permanent part time position to enable more resources to be brought to bear, particularly during the hectic periods leading up to reporting deadlines.  It would also benefit existing staff in broadening their skills by working in different areas.

 

The budget for 2008/2009 makes a provision of $30,000 for a Governance Officer to commence on 1 January 2009.  Given the problems in Finance which are discussed above it is proposed that the Governance Officer not be incorporated in the organisation structure and instead the funding be applied to a permanent part-time position in finance.

 

Consideration of the opportunity cost of the funding for the position

 

The opportunity cost for the position is either in the provision of staffing to undertake other functions; another use of recurrent expenditure or capital expenditure.

 

Limiting discussion to competing staffing needs, the following priorities have been identified.  The justification for the priorities is also listed in the table.


 

Position

Justification

Finance (additional resource)

As discussed, reporting deadlines may not be met particularly if there is unplanned leave or a resignation amongst key staff.

Asset Manager

The GM’s performance agreement provides for the implementation of asset management.  Existing resources in Engineering Services are insufficient to achieve the implementation of asset management.  This has implications for Council’s financial reporting and in particular Special Schedule 7.  Asset management also featured prominently in Council’s PBP Review.  Recommendation no. 37 is that “Council should accelerate action to purchase asset management system software and provide increased staff resources and training in the software system to facilitate data collection completion and implementation of this system”.  As it stands Council will not have the human resources to implement a system.  Good asset management is critical to other recommendations in the PBP review such as the preparation of long term integrated plans.

Town Services

The community satisfaction survey identified the maintenance of public toilets as being of high importance and low satisfaction.  This has been borne out by a recent complaint to Council.

 

The calculated manpower required to carry out the duties is 8.4 persons per week but Council has only 4 persons.  One additional person will assist by providing relief or backup when other staff are on leave and extra duties such as street sweeping.  There are a range of other issues requiring an expansion of staff members in Town Services such as:

·      Increasing vandalism

·      Aging buildings with higher maintenance and improvement needs

·      New services such as dog (faeces) bins

 

The need will further increase with new shopping areas and increasing numbers of commercial premises.

Signs

There is one person undertaking signs maintenance but the regulatory issues associated with signage has meant that actual signs maintenance has decreased.  It has been suggested that a labouring position needs to be created to undertake the maintenance work.

Crew for Customer Requests

There is no allocated crew to respond to customer requests.

Parks Attendant

The Parks and Reserves Supervisor has expressed concern on a number of occasions that the available staffing cannot meet expected service standards.

 

Whilst all of the identified resource requirements have merit, my view is that an Asset Management Engineer and additional resources for the Finance section are the most important priorities.  They are both linked to ensuring Council’s long term strategic financial planning where the Promoting Better Practice Review Report has identified a significant challenge to improve Council’s performance.

 

Therefore it is recommended that the position of Director Corporate Services not be retained.

 

Views of the Consultative Committee

 

The Consultative Committee made the following comments in relation to this report at its meeting on 9 December 2008.

 

The Director Environment and Planning advised that he has prepared a report in response to a Notice of Motion to split his Department, recommending that the current structure be retained.

 

The Manager Civil Works was concerned that the recommended Engineering Services structure would place extra day to day responsibility on the Director who already has a heavy workload. He tabled three alternative options for consideration:

 

Option 1 – one new position of Assets Engineer reporting to Manager Civil Works and responsible for Technical Officer – Assets and Works Assistant.

 

Option 2 – two new positions – Assets Engineer and Maintenance Engineer, both reporting to Manager Assets and Works (previously titled Manager Civil Works); Assets Engineer responsible for Technical Officer – Assets and Field Assistant (previously titled Works Assistant); Maintenance Engineer responsible for outdoor works staff.

 

Option 3 – one new position of Manager Assets and Capital Works who reports to Director and is responsible for Technical Officer – Assets, Works Assistant, Depot Supervisor and Workshop Staff. Current position of Manager Civil Works becomes Manager Civil Works and Maintenance.

 

The General Manager questioned whether the Trainee Civil Engineer should report to the Director and it was suggested that the structure be amended so that the Trainee reports to the Manager Technical Services as the first year of the Engineering Degree focuses primarily on design.

 

He agreed that if the remuneration for the Assets position was equal to that of a Manager’s position, it may as well be called a Manager. It was also agreed that responsibilities of the Assets position might include plant and fleet and climate change.

 

The Director Engineering Services is currently preparing a report on the staffing requirements for Town Services and it was suggested part of this report be included in the General Manager’s report on the organisation structure.

 

The Committee endorsed the report’s recommendations.

 

Views of external customers

 

I have received no negative feedback from external customers in relation to the non-replacement of the position of Director Corporate Services.

 

Views of Council staff

 

I have received comment from Finance Staff in relation to the non-replacement of the position.  In general, the finance staff are concerned that the available staffing makes it difficult to undertake Council’s required statutory reporting.  There is also concern that Special Schedule 7 which lists Council’s assets is not properly maintained, although this information is principally derived from Engineering Services.  They believe the position of Director Corporate Services would provide an important resource to assist them in their duties.

 

The following comments are made in response to the specific matters raised by the Finance Section.

 

Concerns funding for staff resourcing in Corporate Services may be diverted to Engineering Services, Corporate Services seek assurances this funding will not be lost.

 

Council’s financial planning and reporting responsibilities already rely heavily on input from other Departments within Council, asset management being a good example.  The objective should be to allocate resources to achieve desired outcomes rather than to maintain staffing levels in a particular department.

 

With current workload pressures, the proposed date of implementation (2009/2010) is considered impractical, can this be addressed sooner?

 

Council’s budget for 2008/2009 has a $30,000 provision for a Governance Officer commencing on 1 January 2009.  The savings from the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services have already been included in the budget.  Council cannot implement changes to the Organisation Structure without the funding being in place.

 

Should Council adopt the organisation structure, the $30,000 which is included in the current budget can be applied to a permanent part-time position in Finance.

 

The appointment of the proposed Asset Manager would need to await the allocation of funding in the 2009/2010 budget.

 

Departure of Director Corporate Services and Senior Administration Officer has created loss of expert consultation, how is this being addressed?  Will Corporate Services staff receive increased training and remuneration?

 

This has been an issue right across the organisation with the recent retirement of a number of long serving staff in Engineering Services and Corporate Services respectively.  Advice on technical issues is of course available from other Councils and particularly the functional groups in the Mid North Coast Alliance.  Again it is a question of the allocation of resources and the benefit which would be provided by the replacement of the Director Corporate Services vis-à-vis the opportunity cost of the position.

 

It should also be noted that replacement staff also make a positive contribution to the organisation, often through different skill sets and experiences, so the loss of long serving staff should not be considered in only negative terms.

 

Requests for specific training have been and will continue to be approved.

 

Remuneration issues have already been addressed in response to the retirement of the Director Corporate Services.

 

How can consultation with Corporate Services staff be improved?

 

I am open to suggestions.  There are monthly meetings of Corporate Services staff and a separate monthly meeting for Managers in Corporate Services.  In relation to consultation on the organisation structure and the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services, this report is the third which has been put to the Consultative Committee in the past 4 months and the sixth report since June 2007.

 

Re-emphasize the loss of finance hours by the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services and the omission of the Clerical assistant.  Approximately 50+ hours per week.

 

The trial non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services was reported to Council’s meeting on 19 July 2007.  Before the Director resigned he completed a daily workflow which was used to assign the tasks and responsibilities of the position.  It is not the case that he allocated 30 hours of his week to finance matters and the clerical assistant’s position was 3 days per week with finance being only part of the duties.  Therefore I can’t agree that there was the loss of “approximately 50+ hours per week” to finance.

 

Environment and Planning

 

The review of the organisation structure does emphasize resourcing issues in Corporate Services and Engineering Services.  A report will be forthcoming on Environment and Planning in relation to a notice of motion to “split” the town planning and health and building functions.

 

Council has had a major strategic land use planning program in place which is now reaching its conclusion.  The program has included the Structure Plan, Review of DCP 3, the Rural Residential Strategy, and the template Local Environmental Plan.  As the program concludes it would be appropriate to review the allocation of resources in the Department.

 

It is not agreed that more effective outcomes will be achieved in application processing by splitting Departments or increasing staff.  There needs to be reform to remove low impact, non-controversial development from the labyrinth of planning regulation.  Key areas of reform are:

·      Increasing exempt development

·      Increasing complying development as a proportion of total applications

·      Reducing referrals

 

The State Government has provided local government with some authority in relation to exempt and complying development but the referral process is largely set down by State Government regulation.

 

Proposed changes to organisation structure

 

The recommendations arising out of the review of the position of Director Corporate Services together with the positions previously reported to the Consultative Committee requires that the following changes be made to the organisation structure:

 

Asset Manager

 

It is recommended that there be consideration of the appointment of an Asset Manager in the 2009/2010 budget at an estimated annual cost of $80,000.  As discussed Council does not have resources to implement an asset management system.  Without this position there is a real risk that Council could acquire relatively expensive software but have no one to develop and maintain it.  The position is necessary to ensure data for longer term financial planning is meaningful.  It is also necessary to ensure Council’s financial reporting obligations are fulfilled, particularly in respect to the maintenance of Special Schedule 7 which records the value of Council’s capital assets.

 

The position would operate across Council’s three funds (General, Water and Sewerage).  According to Council’s Annual Statements for the year ended 30 June 2008, of Council’s total non-current assets are $257m of which $41m is in water supply and $60m is in sewerage.  Therefore the funding for the position would be approximately 61% from general fund; 16% from water supply and 23% from sewerage.  This ratio would change depending upon the relative total non-current assets of the 3 funds.

 

Permanent Part Time Position in Finance

 

It is recommended that immediate provision be made in the 2009/2010 budget for a permanent part time position in Finance at an estimated cost of $30,000 per annum.  This position will “free up” existing finance staff to assist in statutory reporting functions.  It will also benefit existing staff by allowing them to take on new challenges and to increase skill levels in the event of resignations or unplanned leave by either the Manager or Accountant.

 

Ranger

 

Provision has been made in the 2008/2009 budget for a 2 day per week position primarily to enforce regulations in relation to parking, camping, litter and rubbish dumping and non-compliance with signs and directions on Council reserves and parks.  This position has now been filled and the organisation structure needs to be amended to acknowledge this.

 

Sports Trainee (Aboriginal)

 

Council has agreed to provide host employment for this 12 month position with NSW Sport and Recreation funding direct costs of the trainee and program expenses to an overall limit of $30,000.

 

Council would need to meet operating requirements including work place, computer, access to a motor vehicle for official trips, uniform as well as direct supervision etc.  However the Commonwealth Government provides a $7,000 subsidy towards these costs which means that position should be at no net cost to Council.

 

The primary purpose of the position is to increase opportunities for the Aboriginal community in the Nambucca area to participate in sport and recreation activities.

 

At the date of writing the position had not been filled.

 

Apprentice Plant Mechanic (Water and Sewerage)

 

Council faces a critical skills gap in this area in the next five years due to natural attrition.  The ideal way of facilitating the transfer of knowledge and skills is via an apprenticeship.  An allocation of $25,000 plus on costs has been made in the 2008/2009 budget.  The organisation structure needs to be amended to acknowledge this.

 

Excavator Operator

 

It has been reported that due to low utilisation one of Council’s excavators is to be sold and not replaced.  This means the position of excavator operator will be redundant and should be removed from the organisation structure.

 

The community satisfaction survey identified the maintenance of public toilets as being of high importance and low satisfaction.  This has been borne out by a recent complaint to Council by the Macksville Neighbourhood Watch Committee.  The Manager Civil Works had identified that a satisfactory level of service cannot be provided when staff are on leave.  There are also issues concerning the age of the infrastructure.

 

In accordance with a recommendation from the Director Engineering Services it is recommended that the Town Services crew be increased by one staff member.

 

Aboriginal School Based Trainee

 

Agreement has been obtained from mentor staff for the placement of an Aboriginal School Based Trainee at the front counter in the Administrative building.  The trainee will assist on the counter in functions such as receipting, switchboard operation, photocopying, providing application forms and answering enquiries.  The position is 1 day per week during years 11 and year 12.  There is a one off subsidy to Council and the net cost is approximately $3,000 per year.  Funding is available for this position for the remainder of the financial year and would need to be incorporated into the budget for 2009/2010.

 

The nature of school based trainees are that an appointment needs to be made early in the new calendar year to coincide with the school year.

 

Trainee Administration/Records Assistant to Part Time Records Assistant

 

For the past 18 months Council has employed a full time Trainee Administration/Records Assistant.  The traineeship will end in April 2009.  Whilst the traineeship has been successful, the increasing demands on the time of Council’s Records Officer mean that it is increasingly difficult to mentor trainee staff.  For this reason it is proposed to change to a permanent part time records assistant.  There will be no change to the salary budget arising out of this change.

 

Removal of School Based Trainee from Engineering Services

 

Council has previously resolved to employ a trainee civil engineer and this position is incorporated in Council’s organisation structure with an appointment to made in the near future.  Council has also had a 1 day per week school based trainee in Engineering Services assisting with administrative tasks.  As Engineering Services will be taking on another trainee who will require mentoring and support it is proposed to delete and not replace the school based trainee.

 

Changes to position titles and reporting lines

 

·      Senior Technical Officer (Water and Sewerage) to Water and Sewerage Engineer.  This reflects technical qualifications and remuneration of the incumbent.

·      Infrastructure Engineer to Technical Officer (Assets).  Despite several attempts, Council was unable to recruit an Engineer.  However Council was successful in recruiting a person with a trade background who can attend to the majority of day to day issues arising from building and park maintenance.  Over time the position may be broadened to involve some project management.

·      Cadet Engineer to Trainee Civil Engineer, reporting to Director Engineering Services.  The position is the same, the name change is simply to reflect the provisions of the Award.

·      GIS Assistant to GIS Officer to reflect increase in qualifications and experience required for position

·      GIS Officer to Senior GIS Officer to reflect additional responsibilities over the position of GIS Officer.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Director Engineering Services; the Senior Overseer; Manager Civil Works and Manager Human Resources.  Previously I have discussed the non-replacement of the position of Director Corporate Services with the Manager Financial Services and finance staff.  I understand the Senior Overseer has also received representations from Finance staff in relation to the non-replacement of the position of Director Corporate Services.

 

The organisation structure has been considered by meetings of Council’s Consultative Committee on 11 September 2008, 28 October 2008, and more recently on 9 December 2008.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no issues for the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no social issues.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic issues.

 

Risk

 

The issue is essentially about the allocation of resources which will best achieve Council’s objectives and the requirements of the Promoting Better Practice Review.  In the allocation of resources there are obviously many risks which have to be evaluated.

 

The outcome of the Water Utility Inquiry was expected to be known in November 2008 but has still not been announced.  Should the Inquiry result in the loss of Council’s water supply functions to another corporate entity there will be financial implications which have to be assessed.  Whilst the outcome of the Inquiry is still pending, it is impossible to plan for any consequences as Council has no knowledge of its findings and what, if any, transitional arrangements would be put in place.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Council has suffered negative returns on investments for the first quarter of 2008-2009.

 

Pending investment markets returning to some form of normality, it is recommended that only the existing approved salary allocation be applied to implementing the organisation structure at this stage.  Funding is available for the part time assistance in Finance and for the Aboriginal School Based Trainee but not for the Asset Manager.   It is recommended that the position of Asset Manager be considered in the budget for 2009/2010.  By this time the outcome of the Water Utility Inquiry may be known.

 

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds.  The savings as a result of the sale of the excavator and its non-replacement have already been included in the budget.

 

Attachments:

1View

Doc 30433/2008 - Recommended Organisation Structure as at 3 December 2008

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 18 December 2008

Organisation Structure

Attachment 1

Doc 30433/2008 - Recommended Organisation Structure as at 3 December 2008

 

Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Corporate Services

 

Organization Chart

 


 

Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Environment and Planning Structure

 

Organization Chart


Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Engineering Services

 

 

Organization Chart


Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Engineering Services Works Section

Organization Chart

 


 

 

Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Engineering Services Waste Section

 

 

 

Organization Chart

 

 


Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure - Engineering Services - Water and Sewerage Section

 

Organization Chart

 


Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure - Engineering Services – Parks and Reserves Section

 

 

 

 

Organization Chart 


 


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.4        SF265              181208         Review of Policy on Payment of Expenses and Provision of Facilities

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

The policy on payment of expenses and the provision of facilities to Councillors has to be reviewed by 30 November each year.  This year it is recommended that Councillors amend the existing policy to make provision for a claimable expense for internet access up to a maximum of $40.00 per month.  It is also recommended that the Mayor be provided with a computer and that the existing computer in the Committee Room which is available for use by Councillors be acknowledged in the policy.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council amend its policy on Payment of Expenses and Provision of Facilities for Councillors by adding a claimable expense for Councillors being internet access up to a maximum of $40.00 per month; the provision of a computer for use by the Mayor and the provision of a computer for use by Councillors.

 

2        Within 28 days, Council forward details of the amended policy to the Director General of the Department of Local Government.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council has reasonably wide discretion as to the matters which can be included in the policy.  However there is an overriding principle that the provisions of the policy be transparent and acceptable to the community.  Any increase in the provision for expenses and facilities will have a budgetary impact.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At Council’s meeting on 2 October 2008 it was resolved to give notice for 28 days of Council’s intention to amend its policy by adding a claimable expense for Councillors being internet access up to a maximum of $40.00 per month; the provision of a computer for use by the Mayor and the provision of a computer for use by Councillors.

 

The proposed new expense provision to be added to the existing policy in Section 1.2 Expenses is as follows:

 

“1.2.4 Internet Connection

(a)      Upon submission by a Councillor of a claim for internet access which is to include a copy of an invoice for such access, the Council will reimburse the cost of such access on a monthly basis up to a maximum of $40.00 per month.”

 

The proposed change to the policy is in recognition of the increasing reliance on the internet to obtain information and also email communication.  As Council operates an electronic document management system and customer request system, it costs substantially less to communicate by email than through paper documents.  The cost advantage of electronic communication is likely to increase over time.

 

The proposed changes to the policy were advertised in the Guardian News on 23 October 2008 with submissions invited from the public up until Friday 28 November 2008.  No submissions have been received.

 

As the new expense provision relates to Councillors carrying out their civic duties, in seeking the allowance it is obviously expected that Councillors will accept email communication, both inwards and outwards.


The amended Policy is attached.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation in preparing this report.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are benefits in reducing the use of photocopiers and the consumption of paper.

 

Social

 

There are no particular social implications.

 

Economic

 

There are no particular economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are no identified risks.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The payment of the expense will cost a maximum of $4,320 per annum, although the actual expense is likely to be less as some Councillors will only be able to claim for a cheaper “dial up” connection whilst some Councillors may not wish to use the internet at all.  However if most of the day to day communication with Councillors could move to electronic means there would be substantial savings in labour and materials required for photocopying.

 

There will be a “one off” cost of approximately $2,000 for the purchase of a computer for the Mayor.  This has been met in the existing budget.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No provision has been made in the budget for this cost so initially it will require a budget variation and a potential negative impact on working funds of $2,500 as the financial year is approximately half over.

 

Attachments:

1View

24020/2007 - POLICY - Payment of Fees and Expenses and  Provision of Facilities to Councillor

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 18 December 2008

Review of Policy on Payment of Expenses and Provision of Facilities

Attachment 1

24020/2007 - POLICY - Payment of Fees and Expenses and  Provision of Facilities to Councillor  /

 

 

 

 

 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

POLICY

COUNCILLORS—

PAYMENT OF FEES, EXPENSES &

PROVISION OF FACILITIES TO COUNCILLORS

 

 

Function:  CORPORATE SERVICES

 

 

Adopted: 8 April 2004 (038)     

Last reviewed: 15 February 2007 (049)

15 November 2007

18 December 2008

 

 

 

1.0     Policy objective

 

1.1       To comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act and the Code of Conduct.

 

1.2       To ensure that Councillors are able to effectively carry out their responsibilities as members of the Council and as community representatives without suffering financial hardship

 

1.3       To provide appropriate insurance coverage for Councillors in respect of Personal Accident, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity and Councillors' and Officers' Liability.

 

2.0     Related legislation

 

2.1     Local Government Act 1993, Section 232

2.2     Local Government Act 1993—Sections 248 to 254

2.3     Code of Conduct

2.4     Local Government Remuneration Tribunal

 

3.0     Policy statement

 

3.1     Annual Fees

 

            3.1.1         The Mayor and Councillors will be paid an annual fee in accordance with the     determination of the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.

 

            3.1.2         The Mayor and Councillors will be paid the maximum annual fee for the category        classification for Nambucca Shire Council determined from time to time by the Tribunal.

 

            3.1.3         If a Councillor is absent, with or without leave of the Council, from ordinary meetings of         the Council for any one period of more than 3 months, payment will not be made for the        period in excess of 3 months.

 

3.2     Expenses

 

          3.2.1  Travel

 

            a     Councillors will be reimbursed for travelling to and from meetings of Council or meetings       of any Committee of Council or meetings of any Organisation to which a Councillor has       been appointed as a delegate or any other activity which has been authorised by Council. 

 

            b     Travel by private motor vehicle will be reimbursed at the kilometre rate applicable in the         Local Government (State) Award.


 

            c     Councillors should determine from the General Manager the availability of a Council    vehicle for travel outside the Shire and during  business hours.

 

            d     If a Council vehicle is available and a Councillor chooses to use a private vehicle, only          fuel costs will be reimbursed.

 

            e     Claims for travel expenses must be made on the Councillors expenses claim form and will    be reimbursed with the normal monthly claim.

 

          3.2.2  Sustenance

 

a      A meal and refreshments will be provided for Councillors at Council and Committee     meetings and Working Parties or any other time deemed appropriate by the Mayor or     General Manager while on Council business.

 

b      Councillors will be reimbursed for sustenance expenses if the Councillor partakes of a          meal not provided by Council as part of official function, while on Council business.

 

c      The maximum level of reimbursement will be appropriate to the circumstances of        attendance and will be determined by the General Manager.

 

d      Claims for sustenance expenses must be supported by receipts and will be reimbursed        with the normal monthly claim.

 

          3.2.3  Out of Pocket Expenses

 

a          Reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while attending an authorised Council          function will be reimbursed as determined by the General Manager.

 

b          Expenses of a personal nature are excluded

 

c          Claims must be supported by a receipt and must be made no later than three (3) months           after the expenses were incurred.

 

          3.2.4  Internet Connection

 

a           Upon submission by a councillor of a claim for internet access which is to include a copy of an invoice for such access, the Council will reimburse the cost of such access on a monthly basis up to a maximum of $40.00 per month.

 

            Note:  In accepting this expense Councillors shall abide by Council’s policy on the use of the internet and email.  Councillors shall also forward any email which may concern Council business to Council’s email address, council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au so that it may be stored on Council’s electronic records systems in accordance with the State Records Act.  A copy of Council’s policy on the use of the internet and email as well as Councillor’s responsibilities under the State Records Act will be provided upon receipt of an initial claim.

 

3.3     Provision of Facilities

 

The following facilities will be provided to assist Councillors in the performance of their duties:

 

          3.1.1  Councillors

 

a          Provision of business cards and name badges, but not specialist secretarial services.

b          Provision of official stationary including letterheads upon application to the General Manager.

c          Postage of official correspondence—all mail is to be directed through the Council's own mailing system.


 

d          A Councillor's Room for official business, located in the Administration Centre and use of the computer in that room.

e          Use of Council's copying facilities for official business.

f           Suitable personal protective equipment in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2001 as amended, relating to general construction site requirements.

 

          3.1.2  Council Information

 

a          Council staff will provide appropriate information and documentation to assist Councillors in the performance of their duties.

b          Where copies of documents or information are required a request should be made to the General Manager, the appropriate Director or Manager.

c          Requests from Councillors for in depth information, research or reports to Council shall be initiated by way of either Council resolution or by authorisation from the General Manager or Mayor.

d          Requests for information or assistance should be made to the appropriate Director or Manager or, if such officers are not available, to the most senior person available at the time.

 

          3.1.3  Mayor

 

            In addition to those facilities that may be provided to the Councillors as set out in 3.1.1 above, the Mayor is entitled to receive the benefit of:

 

a          A fully serviced and maintained motor vehicle for the purposes of discharging the function of civic office

b          Full private use of the motor vehicle in accordance with Council's Use of Council Vehicle Agreement

c          A furnished office located in the Administration Centre

d          Secretarial services associated with the office of Mayor

e          Administrative assistance associated with functions of the office

f           Office refreshments

g          A 24 hour access card to the Council offices

h          A facsimile machine at place of residence

i           A mobile telephone with car kit, serviced and maintained

j           Use of a computer.

 

 

3.4     Attending at Conferences and Seminars

 

          3.4.1  Authorisation

 

a          Council will set a budget allocation each financial year for individual Councillors' attendance at conferences and seminars

b          Councillors will be advised of all relevant conferences notified to Council

c          Councillors' attendance at a conference or seminar will be authorised by resolution of Council

d          Councillors must give maximum notice of attending a conference or seminar to enable "early bird" discount to be achieved

e          Councillors may exceed their budget allocation for attendance at conferences and seminars by resolution of Council.

 

          3.4.2  Accommodation

 

a          Accommodation will be booked and paid for by Council at accommodation where government rates apply.

b          Accommodation booked for attendance at a conference will be at the venues suggested by the conference organiser.

c          Accommodation shall be paid on a single room per night basis, based on reimbursement for actual costs involved.

d          The standard of accommodation is not to exceed four stars except where a conference or seminar venue exceeds four stars, or as determined by the General Manager.

 

          3.4.3  Travel

 

a          Councillors attending conferences and seminars will travel by air service, economy class

b          Where air travel is not available or unsuitable, a Council vehicle will be provided

c          Where a Councillor elects to travel by private vehicle, reimbursement will be on a rate per kilometre as per 3.2.1 or equivalent air travel cost, whichever is the least cost.

d          Council will meet the cost of transferring Councillors from their place of abode to the airport and return from the airport to their place of abode.

e          Council will meet the cost of transferring Councillors from the airport to the hotel and return at the conclusion of the conference or seminar

f           Should a Councillor be accommodated in a hotel not being the site of a conference or seminar, Council will meet the cost of travelling from the hotel to the site of the conference or seminar and return each day.

 

          3.4.4  Reimbursement of Costs

 

a          All costs associated with Conferences and seminars will be paid in advance by Council ie

b          Registration and associated documentation

c          Travel

d          Accommodation

e          Sustenance

f           Councillors partners may accompany them on Council business trips at no expense to Council.

 

          3.4.5  Reporting

 

            Councillors are to provide a report to Council outlining proceedings, recommendations and important issues from the conference or seminar.

 

3.5     Insurance

 

Councillors will receive the benefit of insurance cover to the limit specified in Council's insurance policies for the following:

 

          3.5.1  Personal Injury

 

            Personal injury or death whilst on Council business, worldwide, covering bodily injury caused by accidental, violent, external and visible means.  Personal injury insurance also provides specified benefits for lost income and other expenses arising from permanent disablement, temporary total disability and temporary partial disability.  The cover does not include medical expenses.  Full details of personal accident insurance are available from Council's Risk Manager.

 

          3.5.2  Professional Indemnity

 

            Professional Indemnity insurance applies in relation to claims arising out of the Councillors' (alleged) negligent performance of civic duties or exercise of their functions as a Councillors, provided the performance or exercise of the relevant civic duty or function is in the opinion of council bona fide and/or proper.  This is subject to any limitations or conditions set out in the policy of insurance that is taken out at the direction of Council.

 

          3.5.3  Public Liability

 

            Public Liability insurance applies in relation to claims arising out of the Councillors' (alleged) negligent performance of civic duties or exercise of their functions as Councillors. This is subject to any limitations or conditions set out in the policy of insurance that is taken out at the direction of Council.

 

          3.5.4  Councillors' and Officers' Liability (Including Employment Practices Liability)

 

            Applies to cover expenses incurred by Councillors in respect of claims made against them for any alleged wrongful acts arising out of their official capacities (but excludes cover for statutory penalties (see 3.5.5 below).

 

          3.5.5  Statutory Liability

 

            Applies to cover penalty and defence costs payable by Councillors to any regulatory authority pursuant to any Act of a (not deliberate) wrongful statutory breach, while acting within the scope of their duty.

 

          3.5.6  Personal Effects—Council Premises

 

          Councillors are not covered for loss or damage of personal effects.

 

          3.5.7  Use of Private Motor Vehicle while on Council Business

 

            Councillors using their private motor vehicles to undertake civic duties or when attending Council and Committee meetings or Conferences are not covered for the loss or damage to their vehicles.  This is covered by the kilometre hire rate.

 

4        Accountability

 

4.1        The Annual Report for a year shall include a disclosure of the Councillor expenses incurred during that year pursuant to the provisions of Section 428(2)(f) of the Local Government Act 1993.

 

4.2        In addition, a letter will be issued to all Councillors showing all fees, expenses and all payments made to Councillors in performance of their duties for the financial year.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

18 December 2008

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.5        SF871              181208         Sale of Pioneer Community Centre

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

As a consequence of the report to Council’s meeting on 21 February 2008 it was resolved as follows:

 

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

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

3        That Council get indicative costs associated with the possible relocation of Radio Nambucca.”

 

In March 2008 a valuation was obtained for the building and forwarded to the Centre’s Committee of Management and also to Radio Nambucca.  A joint meeting was sought with Council staff to discuss the resolution of 21 February 2008.

 

Since the resolution of 21 February there have been changes in the composition of the Committee’s of both the Pioneer Community Centre and Radio Nambucca.  However from Council’s perspective there has been no effective progress in relation to the resolution of 21 February 2008.

 

In these circumstances it is recommended that Council proceed to sell the building by a tender process noting its preference for a tender which makes provision for leases for Aunt Emily’s Craft Centre and Radio Nambucca.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        Council advertise the Pioneer Community Centre for sale by tender.

2        Tenders be invited for the property either in an unencumbered state and/or with the tenderer agreeing to offer standard commercial 5 x 5 year leases to Aunt Emily’s Craft Centre and Radio Nambucca at $14 per week and $25 per week respectively plus CPI over the first 5 year term.

3        Council’s preference be for a tender which makes provision for leases for Aunt Emily’s Craft Centre and Radio Nambucca at the rental payments nominated in recommendation no. 2.

4        That the occupants of the building be notified of Council’s action.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can elect to sell the building with or without tenancies in place or not sell the building.  If Council doesn’t sell the building it should be aware there are no reserves or funds set aside for any capital works which the building may require.  Council does not have the financial resources to maintain its existing stock of halls and buildings, many of which are old and will require significant funding in the immediate future.  Whilst some grant funding may be obtained over time this will fall a long way short of the funds required.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

A report which was considered by Council at its meeting on 21 February 2008 is attached.  This report has followed other reports to Council in relation to halls, the most significant being to Council’s meeting on 21 June 2007.  A report to a special works inspection of all halls on 11 June 2003 resolved in part to advise all Committees of possible hall closures.

 

The report which was submitted to Council’s meeting on 21 June 2007 was prepared by the former Director Corporate Services and provided a comprehensive review of all community halls and buildings.  In relation to the Pioneer Community Centre it recommended that Council consult with the Committee of Management regarding a timetable for the sale of the premises and the future of 2NVR and Aunt Emily’s Craft Shop.  Council resolved to defer closures of any halls for 12 months to allow the Committees of Management to consider their long term financial sustainability.  There were also other resolutions but none specific to the Pioneer Community Centre.

 

The essence of all of these reports is that maintaining the status quo of halls is not sustainable in terms of responsible asset management.  Also in some instances the dedicated volunteer groups who comprise the Committees of Management may not be sustainable as advancing age and a dwindling supply of new recruits makes it difficult to spread the workload.

 

Local government has historically focussed on the creation of assets with little regard for their life cycle costs and has not considered the need to review the acceptability and requirement of existing assets.  The Allen report identified a $10 billion “black hole” in infrastructure spending in local government as a consequence of this.

 

Some of the questions Council should consider in reviewing its assets are:

 

·           Is the asset meeting a need?

·           Is the asset required in its present form?

·           What is the cost of maintaining the asset?

·           What is the community benefit?

·           What is the impact if the asset is withdrawn?

·           Why is the asset unviable?

·           What else can be achieved if the asset is disposed of or withdrawn?

 

As a consequence of the report to Council’s meeting on 21 February 2008 it was resolved as follows:

 

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

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

3          That Council get indicative costs associated with the possible relocation of Radio Nambucca.”

 

On 12 March 2008 the then Secretary of the Committee of Management for the Pioneer Community Centre advised that the Committee met on 8 March 2008 along with representatives of the Bowra Country Markets and Aunt Emily’s Craft Centre and agreed that in any negotiations about the sale of the Pioneer Community Centre preference should be given to potential purchasers who would maintain the present uses of the building, particularly the Craft shop and the Markets.

 

A valuation for the Pioneer Community Centre was completed by North Coast Valuation Services Pty Ltd on 26 March 2008 and so as to allow meaningful negotiations was circulated to the Committee of Management and also to Radio Nambucca on 29 April 2008.  The letter also advised of Council’s resolution on 21 February and suggested there be a joint meeting of the management committees for both the building and Radio Nambucca with Council staff.  The letter also sought advice as to the indicative costs of the relocation of Radio Nambucca to the Tewinga Community Centre.

 

A copy of the valuation is attached.

 

There has been no formal response to Council’s letter of 29 April 2008 from either the management committee of the Pioneer Community Centre or Radio Nambucca.

 

There was a substantial change to the Committee of Management for the Pioneer Community Centre at its Annual General Meeting on 14 August 2008.  The minutes report that;

 

”the new Committee will talk to permanent tenants re change of their contributions.  Rents as set are: (including GST): Aunt Emily’s Craft Centre $66/month, Radio Nambucca $88/month.  Also talk to Radio Nambucca about moving …”.

 

The Radio Nambucca newsletter for Spring 2008 contained the following article.

 

“Possible Move From Bowraville”

 

The Nambucca Shire Council has been considering selling the Community Centre in Bowraville.  This is the building from which Radio Nambucca operates.  If the sale does happen the radio may have to move.  To look into the possibilities a sub committee was formed at the last AGM.  Their report prepared by Richard Laxton costed a move to Tewinga Community Centre.

 

At the meeting where the report was tabled it was decided to investigate helping the committee running the community centre to prevent the sale, look into the provision of a strata title over the area in the building developed by Radio Nambucca and request some estimates of the moving of the technical equipment from Bowra to Tewinga.  After his information is compiled we will present it all to members asking their opinions.”

 

It is understood that Radio Nambucca conducted their Annual General Meeting on 18 October and that the composition of the Committee also changed.  It is not known whether the new Committee supports the views expressed in the Station’s Spring 2008 newsletter.  Council has not been provided with a copy of the report costing a move to the Tewinga Community Centre.

 

Council has endeavoured to undertake a consultative process in relation to the future of the Pioneer Community Centre but there has been no effective progress in the past 8 months.  In these circumstances it is recommended that Council proceed to sell the building by a tender process.

 

A previous expression of interest in the purchase of the building has been reconfirmed and is in a closed (confidential) attachment.

 

As it is proposed to sell the building by a tender process it is not necessary to set a reserve price as the tenders will come to Council for determination.  However assuming Radio Nambucca and Aunt Emily’s wish to remain in the building, Council should prefer any tender which sees them retained as tenants on a standard commercial 5 x 5 year lease at the rates nominated in the valuation report.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Pioneer Community Centre Committee of Management and with Radio Nambucca. 

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

It has been argued by some that the Pioneer Community Centre is an important venue for community groups and meetings in Bowraville.  Also that Radio Nambucca must maintain a presence in Bowraville because it is more accessible than Tewinga.

 

However it should also be acknowledged that Bowraville is relatively well serviced with community halls and facilities including the Bowraville Theatre, Grants Hall, the Recreation Club, the Ex-Services Club as well as Church halls.  There are also surrounding rural halls being South Arm, Missabotti, Talarm and Tewinga.

 

The lower level of the building which is occupied by Radio Nambucca is cramped and has poor amenity to the extent that it’s difficult to accept it being a satisfactory and permanent home for this important community service.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are no risks at this stage.  Council can accept or reject any tender for the purchase of the building.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Council’s budget will benefit from the sale of the building as well as the opportunity cost of any capital improvements which the building may require in the future.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The sale of the building would improve Council’s working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

2279/2008 - Funding of Halls

 

2View

10497/2008 - Inspection and Valuation Report

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 18 December 2008

Sale of Pioneer Community Centre

Attachment 1

2279/2008 - Funding of Halls

 

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.4        SF871         210208         Funding of Halls

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Michael Coulter, General Manager          

 


 

Summary:

 

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

 

 


 

Recommendation:

 

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

 

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

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 18 December 2008

Sale of Pioneer Community Centre

Attachment 1

2279/2008 - Funding of Halls

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

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

 

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

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Argents Hill Hall

 

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

 

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

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

 

These works have not been undertaken.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Burrapine Hall

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pioneer Community Centre

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Valla Beach Community Centre

 

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

 

 

 

Tewinga Community Centre

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Warrell Creek Hall

 

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

 

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

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Committees of Management.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

Environment

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

 

Social

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

 

Economic

There are no significant economic issues.

 

Risk

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

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

·     Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

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

 

·     Source of fund and any variance to working funds

At thi