NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING - 5 FEBRUARY 2009

 

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.

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

 

2        PRAYER

 

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

 

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 15 January 2009

 

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Report on Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW - affect on NSC staff numbers

5.2     Notice of Motion - Requests and Complaints Policy - Update

5.3     Notice of Motion - Economic Stimulus Packages - Representations to Prime Minister

5.4     Notice of Motion - Request for Leave - Cr Anne Smyth - 6 to 9 and 13 to 18 February 2009  

 

6        DELEGATIONS (if any)—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 January 2009

9.2     Grant Application Status Report - 15 January 2009

9.3     Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

 

10      Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1   Report on Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee Minutes 16 December 2008

10.2   Changes to Department of Community Services funding - Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy and Better Futures

10.3   Outstanding Development applications more than 12 months old and applications where submissions have been received and not determined to 27 January 2009

10.4   Report for Determination of DA 2008/193 - 4 Lot Rural Subdivision - 207-208 Upper Buckrabendinni Road, Buckrabendinni

10.5   Report on DA 2008/013 - Dwelling-House - 35 Raleigh Street, Scotts Head

10.6   Review of the Protection of the Environment (Clean Air) Regulation 2002 - Part 2a - Control of Burning

10.7   Report on the Result of a Public Hearing for Reclassification of Council Owned Land from Community Land to Operational land

10.8   Report on Valla Urban Growth Area Rezoning Proposal

10.9   Report on Local Growth Management Study - Employment Lands

10.10  Report on options for preparation of Flood Study for Deep Creek Catchment and Estuary

10.11  Report on Strategic Planning Funding Application


 

11      Director Engineering Services Report

11.1   Proposed Closure of Unformed Section of Martin Street, Bowraville between Cook and Wilson Streets

11.2   Sporting Shooters Association Acquisition of Crown Land for Road Purposes

11.3   Nambucca Shire Traffic Committee Meeting - 9 December 2008

11.4   Road Naming - Robert Hughes Road, Warrell Waters Road, Sunbird Drive and Ibis Court   

 

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

12.1   Review of Position of Grants Officer

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) (a) of the Local Government Act, 1993, on the grounds that the report contains personnel matters concerning particular individuals.

  

13      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

 

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

 

 

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1      SF1269            050209         Notice of Motion - Report on Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW - affect on NSC staff numbers

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Not provided.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council receive a report on what staff numbers this Shire will lose and who they are in regard to the transferred sewerage and water utilities.

 

 

 

 

MANEX COMMENT:

 

There is a report with attachments in the business paper which includes information on the staffing required for Council’s water and sewerage functions.

 

There are a number of staff employed in Council’s administrative office whose employment is partly funded by Council’s water and sewerage operations.

 

Therefore, at this stage, it is not possible to produce a list of staff the Shire would “lose”.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.2      SF1269            050209         Notice of Motion - Requests and Complaints Policy - Update

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Janet Court, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Nambucca Shire Council’s Requests and Complaints Policy recognises that requests may be lodged by email or in writing.  In keeping with this policy, requests to Committees of Council should also be accepted by email or in writing.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That requests to Committees of Council be accepted in writing or by email provided the author of the correspondence provides additional contact details such as phone number and/or address.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are no other option.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Although traditionally written correspondence was in letter form, emails are now recognised as a legitimate alternative by Government authorities except in some very special circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.3      SF1269            050209         Notice of Motion - Economic Stimulus Packages - Representations to Prime Minister

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Not provided.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council make representations to the Prime Minister that the Nambucca Valley be considered in any future economic stimulus package whereby money be made available for roads and bridges.

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.4      SF1269            050209         Notice of Motion - Request for Leave - Cr Anne Smyth - 6 to 9 and 13 to 18 February 2009

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Anne Smyth, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Not supplied.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Cr Anne Smyth be granted Leave of Absence from 6 to 9 February and 13 to 18 February 2009 inclusive, in accordance with Section 234(d) the Local Government Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1        SF959              050209         Outstanding Actions and Reports January 2009

 

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

 

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

DES

.

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

Missing boards replaced before king tides arrived.  Rescheduled to end of February 2009.

 

 

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.

Response received and being assessed.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

No response as at 7/1/09

 

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 arranged with DWE, applicant and Council staff, scheduled for 4/2/09.

 

MAY 2008

4

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.

Completed.

 

JUNE 2008

5

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.

6

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

7

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.

Minister for Lands has advised by letter dated 8/1/09 that land will be made available to Council as per the agreement following finalisation of an Aboriginal Land Claim.

 

8

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 26 February 09 to avoid Christmas/New year holiday period.

 

 

9

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.

 

10

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.

 

11

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.

Audit completed will require report to address funding.

 

SEPTEMBER 2008

12

QWN 197

04/09/08

Burn off maps to Council’s website

DEP

 

Maps being finalised and will be uploaded by end of February 2009.

 

Maps being finalised and will be uploaded by end of Feb 2009

 

OCTOBER 2008

13

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. Assessment expected early Feb 2009

 

NOVEMBER 2008

14

 

SF429

6/11/08

Council review its current bridge program

DES

January 2009.  Rescheduled to February 2009.

 

15

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 draft budget for 2009/10. Report May 2009.

 

16

SF544

6/11/08

Council review its Policy on Deferment of Section 94 payments.

 

GM

Report January 2009 Government has changed its policy on Deferred Contributions.  Awaiting clarification. Report in March 2009.

 

17

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

18

SF844

20/11/08

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

 

GM

Invitation issued 26/11/08

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

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.

 

23

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.  Rescheduled to 4.00 pm 29 January 2009.

 

24

SF529

20/11/08

Request meeting with Planning Minister Keneally regarding Rural Residential  zoning

 

DEP

Letter sent 1/12/08

DECEMBER 2008

25

SF793

4/12/08

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

 

GM

Report to 15 January 2009.

Rescheduled to February 2009.

 

26

SF923

4/12/08

Thank Albanese MP for funding.

 

Inspection of Coronation Park at CPC 17/12

Get Plans to DA standard

 

GM

 

DES

Letter sent.

 

Underway.  DES is preparing concept plans to be discussed with users in near future.

 

27

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. See item in business paper.

Invitation to be issued during week of 12-16 Jan.

 

28

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.  representatives sought at sale on 7 January 2009.

Rescheduled to February 2009. 

29

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.

30

 

18/12/08

That Council seek to amend the existing plan of management for the Vernon Street playing fields (Buz Brazel Park) by updating the commentary, removing reference to a Master Plan and replacing the map with the plan supported by the General Purpose Committee (being the coloured circularised document) and then placing the amendments on exhibition in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993.

 

DES

Draft being prepared for exhibition in February 2009.

 

Exhibition period 5 February to 5 March 2009.  Last day for submissions 19 March.

31

 

18/12/08

1    Argents Hill Hall - The Committee of Management be invited to apply for grant funding to undertake repairs to the Hall under the Public Reserves Management Fund.

 

2      Council as Manager of the Trust formally concur to the addition of Lot 5 DP 879153 to the Reserve.

 

GM

Letter sent 9 January 09

32

 

18/12/08

Alliance Tender for the Provision of a Corporate Software System

 

That Council seek the agreement of the tenderers to an extended evaluation period which will conclude on 30 June 2009.

 

GM

MIT consulting with tenderers.  Tender evaluation to occur April/May 2009.

33

 

18/12/08

Casey Drive – creation of a public road

 

That Council advise Mr T D Erskine-Smith that Council is prepared to meet $10,000 of the associated legal and survey costs subject to the $135,000 land purchase cost being met by the development.

 

DES

Letter sent.

RTA has requested Council to proceed with creation of the road.

34

 

18/12/08

That Council seek membership of the Working Party on 4WD Beach Access Management to ensure a common approach across the three Local Government areas of Nambucca, Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings, the Department of Lands and the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

 

DES

Letter sent.

Awaiting response.

35

 

18/12/08

Bellevue Drive Macksville

1          That Council prune the roadside branches of the Fig trees in Bellevue Drive, Macksville.

 

2          That Council remove the small Fig tree in Bellevue Drive, Macksville.

 

3          That a Management Plan be drawn up for the riverbank from the Macksville Bridge to Bellevue Drive.

 

DES

Programmed March – June 2009.

 

 

 

Programmed March – June 2009.

 

Programmed June 2009.

36

SF871

18/12/08

Council advertise the Pioneer Community Centre for sale by tender.  Occupants of the building to be notified of Council’s action.  Nothing be done until after April 2009 having considered submissions from user groups and that Council make a decision at that time.

 

GM

Underway.

 

37

SF871

18/12/08

Council inspect the Pioneer Community Centre and Grants Hall at the April GPC

 

GM

To be listed for April GPC

38

SF639

 

Council proceed with the appointment of a 3 pw position in Finance and an Aboriginal school- based trainee.

 

GM

Underway.

39

SF639

18/12/08

Council make the position of Excavator Operator redundant and increase Town Services crew from 4 staff to 5 staff.

 

GM

External recruitment to be undertaken.

40

SF639

18/12/08

Council consider the appointment of an Asset Manager in its budget for 2009/10.

 

GM

Report May 2009

41

SF639

18/12/08

Council review the Planning Department upon completion of current work program.

 

GM

Report July 2009.

 

42

SF1046

18/12/08

That the Wellington Dr component of the Urban Design Strategy be deferred pending a further report to Council in relation to further studies re land slip, rising sea level and traffic/parking.

 

DEP

Report March 2009

43

SF30

18/12/08

Council consider an increase of 10% per capita in their contribution to Clarence Regional Library for 2009/10 ($14,000).

 

DEP

Included in Draft Budget.

44

SF30

18/12/08

Council investigate becoming registered as a deductible gift recipient in regard to library services.

 

DEP

Report to March 2009.

45

SF757

18/12/08

Council work towards establishing an alcohol free zone in Bowraville and allocate $1,000 to implementation.

 

DEP

Awaiting statistics from Police.

46

SF844

18/12/08

Council assess the terms of the Ussher lease at the proposed dam site with regard to land use and Council access.

 

DES

MWS to undertake in advance of requiring land.  December 2009.

 

47

QWN 213

15/01/09

Traffic Hazard – Intersection rodeo Drive & Wirrimbi Road

 

DES

Vegetation cleared.

48

QWN 217

15/01/09

Potholes – Bridge over Maras Creek in Utungun

 

DES

Potholes  repaired.

49

NoM

15/01/09

A report detailing operation efficiency of all major plant

 

DES

To be considered by Plant Committee on 29/1/09

50

NoM

15/01/09

Council consider internal refurbishment of toilet block at coop car park and other unworthy toilets

 

DES

Allowance made in draft budget.

51

NoM

15/01/09

Council seek a time frame for land acquisition for the highway upgrade.  That the Minister be requested to receive a delegation from Council.

 

GM

Letter written

52

NoM

15/01/09

What policies does Council have with the Lands Dept for the leased area at Scotts Head?

 

GM

To be reported with Draft Master Plan.

 

53

SF733

15/01/09

Council seek further information regarding transition from coal powered to renewable energy and a National Feed-in Tariff Policy with a view to developing a position on this issue

 

GM

Report in April 2009

54

SF62

15/01/09

Council advertise by open tender the management and operation of the Macksville Aquatic Centre for an initial period of 2 years.

 

GM

Tender documentation being prepared.

55

SF669

15/01/09

Council defer applying to the DoP for a local variation to retain the current 5.0m height areas, so it can be inspected and considered at a General Purpose Committee meeting in February 2009.

 

DEP

Listed for GPC on 18/2/2009.

56

SF939

15/01/09

Council develop a marketing slogan for the Shire.

 

GM

Report in May 2009.

57

SF226

15/01/09

That a report come to Council on further measures to control restricted dog breeds and crosses in the Shire.

 

DEP

Report in March 2009.

58

PRF53

15/01/09

Preparation of landscape design for River Street, Macksville in consultation with Joan’s Army and Council staff.

 

DES

Quotations being sought

59

PRF53

15/01/09

Council investigate a grant to provide a boardwalk from Macksville CBD along Tilly Willy Creek to the concrete works with access through to McKay Street.

DES

Referred to Grants Officer.  Likely to be an issue with property owners who have direct access to Tilly Willy Creek.

60

PRF53

15/01/09

DES enquire with Department of Public Works about opportunities to remove or refurbish the river gauging station in River Street, Macksville.

DES

Underway

61

PRF614

15/01/09

Council request NSW Water Solutions to undertake further modelling in the IWCM based on a variety of population growth figures, including 1% growth, different capital costs so as to assess the sensitivity of projected water rates and developer contributions to changes in these variables.

 

DES

Underway

62

T050/2008

15/01/09

That a report be submitted to Council on the cost effectiveness of other repair options for the Congarinni Bridge and the future of the bridge generally.

DES

Report in March 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.2        SF706         050209         Grant Application Status Report - 15 January 2009

 

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 15 January 2009 be received.

 

 

TABLE 1

SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS

 

Grant Program

Action

 

Grant Details and Status

1

New Federal Environmental Programme - Still to be announced

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Letter of support provided

Closed: NA

Outcome: Successful funding announcement date yet to be advised

Grant 1: $TBA

Council contribution: $0.00

 

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.

 

2

NSW Environmental Trust Round 3 – Urban Sustainability Program

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Joint application submitted

Closed: 20 June 2008

Outcome: Successful

Grant 1: $1,998,820 between Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour

Council contribution: $0.00

 

DEP

The Urban Sustainability Program aims to facilitate projects of significant environmental benefit to NSW, delivered by local government organisations in partnership with other government agencies, local businesses, community organisations and householders. Through these projects, the Program also aims to improve the capacity of communities and organisations to protect, restore and enhance the sustainability of our urban environment

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.

3

Northern Rivers CMA

River Reach Program - Implementation

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application submitted

Closed: 29 August  2008

Outcome:  Successful funding announcement date yet to be advised

Grant 1: $35,000 - $45,000

Council contribution: $5,000

 

 

 

 

River Reach Program  - Plan Development

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Joint application submitted

Closed 25 August 2008

Outcome:  Successful

Grant 2: $25,500

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Development and Implementation of local Government local scale coastline NRM plans

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $80,000 (total funding available)

Opens: Joint application submitted

Closed: 25 August 2008

Outcome:  Unsuccessful

Grant 3: $26,000

Council contribution: $8,000.00

 

DEP

The River Reach Program is a Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority (NRCMA) grant scheme funded by the Australian Government through Caring for Our Country. It aims to assist groups of landholders undertake rehabilitation projects along their rivers.

1) Application submitted for 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. 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.

2) Application submitted for water monitoring and testing of the river and its estuaries within the oyster zone as well as Gumma, Tilly Willy and Newee Creek.

 

Development and Implementation of local Government local scale coastline NRM plans aims to support Local Government in undertaking on-ground works to enhance High Conservation Value ecosystems along areas of coastline not encompassed within a completed Coastline Management Plan (Byron, Ballina, Richmond Valley, Bellingen, Nambucca and Kempsey LGAs).

 

3) 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 with DECC contributing $3,000 to the project.

 

 

4

Fosters - Community Grant

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 23 May 2008

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$1,260,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ MBD

Foster's Community Grants is an important initiative within the Foster's in the Community Program, complementing the grass roots nature of our employee driven community contributions and Foster's community sponsorships.

Foster's Community Grants is guided by a Grants Advisory Committee  chaired by Peter Cosgrove AC MC, and involving a number of eminent people.  Grants are assessed principally on the quality of the community benefit they support.  Only incorporated not-for-profit organisations and charities are eligible for funding. 

Application for the Skills Centre in Nambucca Heads on behalf of NVYEOS.

Project was not eligible as NVYEOS had not obtained ATO DGR status at time of applications being approved.

Looking at funding options when DGR status approved.

5

Telstra - Social Innovation Grant

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 13 June 2008

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$100,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ MBD

Through the Social Innovation Grants, the Telstra Foundation invests in big ideas that use information and communication technologies to engage and connect Australia's children and young people (0-24 years) to their communities. They especially support those projects that focus on kids who are facing social or geographic isolation

Application for the Skills Centre in Nambucca Heads on behalf of NVYEOS.

Project was not eligible as NVYEOS had not obtained ATO DGR status at time of applications being approved.  

Looking at funding options when DGR status approved.

6

Caring for our Country – National Reserve System

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 27 June 2008

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$1,210,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

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.  Formal announcements January 2009.

 

7

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal – Helping Hands

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 25 July 2008 and 21 November 2008

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$18,984

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant 2: $45,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO

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

 

Preference will be given to projects that support:

Community Infrastructure

Capacity Building

Health or Community Services

Access to Education or Training

Innovative Business Ventures

Environment

 

 

Council has assisted with two applications:

1) Unkya Reserve - Application submitted to fund Improvements including new switchboard, safety circuit breakers, power points and lights to resolve safety and power overloading issues, replacement of old canteen roof and guttering, water tank and plumbing equipment, tiling in canteen and toilet block.

2) Argents Hill Hall – Repairs to hall

8

NSW Maritime – Maritime Infrastructure Program

 

Funding basis: 1:1 basis

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 22 August 2008

Outcome: Successful applications to be announced February 2009

Grant 1:$22,500

Council contribution: $22,500

 

 

 

Grant 2:$30,720

Council contribution: $15,000 (Environment Levy)and the remainder in-kind contributions

 

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, boat ramps, public sewage pump out facilities and public moorings.

 

Two applications were submitted.

 

1) Pontoon and Gangway at Tourist Office Finger Wharf – Nambucca Heads.

 

2) Pontoon and Gangway at Lions Park, Ferry Street – Macksville. The application was submitted with the assistance of the Nambucca River Users Group.

 

9

Regional Arts Fund

 

Funding basis: 1:1 basis

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 14 August 2008

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$19,900

Council contribution: $5,000

 

 

GO/ MBD

The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional and remote Australia through providing funding for artform (including cross-artform) projects, multi-media projects and, in exceptional circumstances, festivals.  It is designed to support arts and cultural activities that are sustainable, have long term cultural, economic and social benefits, develop partnerships and cultural networks, provide skills development opportunities and contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities. 

 

Application was submitted to fund mosaic mural on Macksville Aquatic Centre wall to attract tourists to various attractions.

10

NSW Blackspot Program

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 22 August 2008

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant: $34,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ 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.

 

Council has been informed that since the Blackspot funding panel meeting the Australian Government has made an announcement (12th December) that the Federal Black Spot Program will receive an additional $60 million in 2008-09 as part of the Australian Government’s $4.7 billion Nation Building Package,  it is anticipated that NSW will gain an additional $19.199 million on top of  next Financial Years Federal Blackspot Allocation of $19.199million. The extra $19.199million is provided on a condition that the projects will be completed by 31 December 2009 and provided the Federal Blackspot Criteria is met.

 

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

 

11

Department of Community Services (NSW) – Area Assistance Scheme

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $110,000

Opens: Applications Submitted

Closed: 10 October  2008

Outcome: Successful applications to be announced mid 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant 1:$45,000

Council contribution: $3,200 (in-kind)

 

Grant 2:$110,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

 

 

Grant 3:$30,700

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant 4:$24,761

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

GO

The Area Assistance Scheme (AAS) is a regional community development program run by the Communities Division, NSW Department of Community Services.

The AAS provides grants to local Councils and non-government not-for-profit 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. In 2008/09 the AAS will funds project between $10 000 and $110 000.

 

Council submitted or assisted in the following applications:

 

1) Argents Hill Hall – Improvements to hall including general maintenance and structural works.

 

2) Marine Rescue Building – Funding towards the construction of a new building for the Nambucca River Marine Rescue services to store 2 boats, other equipment and provide training and use of a meeting room.

 

3) Warrell Creek Hall – Improvements to hall including insulating part of the building and adding exhaust fans, new floor coverings in kitchen, refurbishing of stage area, fencing and boundary restoration works, new footpath, water tank, installation of alarm device for the septic overflow tank, new bbq, shade area and picnic tables.

 

4) Unkya Reserve – Improvements including new switchboard, safety circuit breakers, power points and lights to resolve safety and power overloading issues, replacement of old canteen roof and guttering, water tank and plumbing equipment, tiling in canteen and toilet block.

 

12

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Volunteers Grants Program

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $5,000

Opens: Applications Submitted

Closed: 19 October  2008

Outcome: Applications 1, 2 and 3 Successful, Application 4 Unsuccessful

Grant 1:$3,030

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

 

Grant 2:$4,950

Council contribution: $0.00

 

 

Grant 3:$ 3,199

Council contribution: $0.00

 

Grant 4:$ 4,990

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO

Eligible organisations can apply for grant funding ranging from a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000. An organisation applying for a grant under the Volunteer Grants Program 2008 must be an Australian, not-for-profit organisation that is a legal entity, engaging volunteers, whose work directly benefits Australian communities.

 

Council assisted with four applications:

 

1) Nambucca District Little Athletics – Funding to purchase computer, camera and filing cabinets.

 

2) Nambucca Heads Junior Rugby League Football Club – Funding to purchase a coffee maker and a step ladder.

 

3) Nambucca Heads Touch Football – Funding to purchase a computer and a photocopier

 

4) EJ Biffin Playing Fields  - Funding to purchase a ride-on-mower

 

13

NSW Sport and Recreation – Capital Assistance Program

 

Funding basis: 1:1 basis

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 14 November 2008

Outcome: Successful applications to be announced Mid 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant 1:$8,600

Council contribution: $0.00

Grant 2:$21,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

Grant 3:$30,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

Grant 4:$14,341

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ MBS

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.

 

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 e.g. Section 355 committees.

 

Council assisted with four applications:

 

1) Nambucca Tennis Club – Lighting Upgrade

 

2) Macksville Tennis Club – Court surface upgrade

 

3) Nambucca Valley Bridge Club – Funding towards new club house.

 

4) Scotts Head Bowling and Recreation Club – Installation of lights at bowling green. 

 

 

14

Department of Local Government – Playground Upgrades

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $20,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 21 November 2008

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant: $20,000.00

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ MBS

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 utilise 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. Councils which were successful in receiving a grant under Round 1 of the Playground Equipment Upgrade may also submit an application under Round 2.

 

An application was submitted to install border and softfall to Donnelly Welsh Park and Taylors Arm Sports Reserve.

 

15

NSW Attorney General’s Department – NSW Crime Prevention Grant

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $50,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 12 December 2008

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant 1:$50,000

Council contribution: $9,190 (including some in-kind)

 

GO/ MCC

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.

 

 

An application was submitted to implement the successful STRAW’s project implemented in Albury Wondonga.  The objective of the program is to assist in making licensed premises safer for women and reducing violent crimes against them.

 

16

NSW Department of Planning – NSW Coastline Cycleway Grants Program

 

Funding basis: 1:1

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 19 December 2008

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant 1:$128,250

Council contribution: $128,250

 

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.

 

Application submitted for shared pedestrian/cycleway along Pacific Highway, Nambucca Heads

TABLE 2


FUNDING PROGRAMS RECENTLY OPENED OR SOON TO BE RELEASED—FOR INFORMATION

 

Grant Program

Action

 

Status

17

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

 

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: To be advised – Expected to open February 2009.

Closing: TBA

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

GO/

MBS

$30m for water and energy saving projects in facilities open to the public eg schools, community buildings, sporting facilities, museums and art galleries. 

 

Eligibility criteria

 

Applications are open to providers of non-profit public or educational facilities for projects which:

§ publicly demonstrate how water and/or energy savings can work

§ stimulate investment in innovative ways to save, harvest and recycle water and/or reduce overall energy consumption (and related greenhouse emissions) and/or peak electricity demand.

 

Activities which are eligible for funding under the Public Facilities Program include, but are not limited to:

§ education activities which have the potential to increase the adoption of efficient technologies and practices

§ projects which improve the efficiency of buildings and appliances

§ projects which reduce peak electricity demand

§ projects which reduce the demand for electricity or water supplied from electricity or water supply networks, e.g. cogeneration, fuel switching, water recycling, stormwater harvesting.

18

Australian Government - Caring for our Country funding

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

Caring for our Country funding

The Australian Government is now calling for investment proposals for projects that will meet the targets outlined in the Caring for our Country business plan 2009-10. Caring for our Country is an Australian Government initiative that seeks to achieve an environment that is healthy, better protected, well managed and resilient, and provides essential ecosystem services in a changing climate.

Caring for our Country invites non-government organisations, landcare groups and other community groups, governments, industry and business to participate in a new approach to safeguarding Australia's natural resources and maintaining our sustainable farming systems.

Applicants are encouraged to form partnerships and collaborate in building lasting landscape-scale resilience in a changing climate.

Caring for our Country is focused on achieving strategic results in six national priorities:

·      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.

 

The Australian Government is seeking investment proposals for landscape-scale projects that achieve one or more targets in specific geographic locations or key assets.

Projects can be large, medium or small:

·      large-scale projects in the order of $20 million over four years

·      medium-scale projects of up to $3 million per annum (a value of $2-3 million would be expected for most medium-scale projects)

·      small-scale projects of between $20,000 and $100,000 per annum.

 

Council is working together with Landcare to investigate possible projects that will meet funding criteria.

19

National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund Emergency Management Australia (EMA), the Division within the Attorney-General's Department.

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

The National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund focuses on emergency management volunteers in recognition of their needs and the significant front line role they play in reducing vulnerability and enhancing community safety.

To ensure ongoing protection of communities it is critical that all volunteer agencies maintain their current levels of staffing and training.

The Australian Government is offering funding in 2009/10 through the National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund for projects which specifically address the recruitment, retention and training of volunteers.

To maximise the opportunity for volunteer agencies to benefit from funding, a notional cap of $50,000 (GST exclusive) has been applied to each individual project.  However, the cap should not preclude applicants from seeking funding for higher value or larger scale projects where the benefit to the volunteer agency and the community it supports warrants higher expenditure.  Proposed initiatives that exceed the cap may be supported where the project is deemed to be cost effective with measurable high value returns to the volunteer organisation and the community.

Assistance being provided for an application to be submitted by Nambucca River Volunteer Marine Rescue Squad.

20

Building the Country Package

Country Halls Renewal Fund

Funding basis: 2:1

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: Always Open

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

Building the Country Package announced by the Rees Government. 

 

The funding programs are designed to support people who live and work in country areas. 

Building the Country Package programs are:

 

Local Infrastructure Support Fund - $52 million over 5 years supporting infrastructure projects that are directly linked to economic development opportunities. The fund will be delivered by the Department of State and Regional Development.

 

Country Libraries Fund - $9 million over 5 years to help country libraries buy new books and digital media, and pay for building works. The fund will be delivered by the Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation.

 

Water Adjustment Innovation Fund - $9 million over 5 years to help communities affected by water reforms invest in innovative water saving technologies. The fund will be delivered by the Department of State and Regional Development.

 

Country Halls Renewal Fund - $2.5 million over 5 years towards renewing country halls. The fund will be delivered by the Office of Rural Affairs.

 

Small Communities Awareness Fund - $450,000 over 5 years to help smaller and more isolated communities develop their own websites to promote what they can offer as a business and tourism destination. The fund will be delivered by the Office of Rural Affairs.

 

Applications are currently being prepared for:

1) Argents Hill Hall - Repairs

2) Nambucca Entertainment Centre – External painting

3) Grants Hall – Replacement of roof

 

Notice of the program has been distributed to the Committees of Management for the halls

 

 

Small Chamber of Commerce Fund - $450,000 over 5 years to help small town chambers of commerce with promotional work, web sites, tourism promotions, small main street programs and in conducting business seminars in country towns. The fund will be delivered by the Department of State and Regional Development.

21

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government – Indigenous Road Safety Grants

Funding basis: Fully funded up to $30,000

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 27 February 2009

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government is now inviting applications for Indigenous Road Safety Grants for 2009-2010. One or more grants up to a total of $30,000 will be awarded to applicants for projects that will help improve road safety for Indigenous people.

 

Application forms and detailed information about the grants are available from the Department’s website

 

Objectives

The grant is offered as a means to:

- encourage innovative and worthwhile initiatives to help reduce road trauma affecting Indigenous people; and

- increase the range of initiatives available to address road safety for Indigenous people.

22

Regional Arts NSW - Country Arts Support Program

 

Funding basis: Fully funded up to $3,000

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 13 February 2009

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

The Country Arts Support Program is a small grants program delivered on behalf of Arts NSW by Regional Arts NSW and jointly administered by the Regional Arts Boards throughout NSW. The aim of the Country Arts Support Program is to support community cultural development in regional and rural New South Wales through small grants which:

 

- assist locally determined community cultural activities

- increase opportunities for regionally-based groups to access a diverse range of arts programs

- enable communities to explore and express their cultural identities

- bring social and economic benefits to the community through training, employment and promotional opportunities

- lead to greater awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity.

 

A limited number of small grants of up to $3,000 are available primarily for professional artist’s fees, travel and accommodation. Some other costs associated with the project may be included but artist’s fees and expenses are the main focus of CASP.

 

Projects must take place between 10 April 2009 and 9 April 2010. 

23

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Women Leading Change (WLC)

 

Funding basis: Funded up to $50,000 PLUS expects some form of cash or in-kind contribution

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 16 February 2009

Outcome:

Grant:$

Council contribution:$

 

 

As part of the Australian Government’s Australia’s Farming Future initiative, the Women Leading Change (WLC) grants round offers support to stage events that will build the leadership and representative capacity of women in primary industries—to strengthen primary industry productivity and build rural, regional and remote community resilience to a changing climate.


Under the WLC grants round, the government will provide funding of up to $50,000 for eligible events and will seek either a cash and/or in-kind contribution from successful applicants.

WLC offers support to stage events for women living and working in rural, regional and remote Australia that:

- build and share knowledge and experience

increase access to planning tools and resources

- develop leadership and management skills

develop programs to increase participation in agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries

- develop skills to contribute more effectively to government and industry decision making

- build networks among rural, regional and remote Australians.


The event must be held within six months from the start of the funding agreement.

 

For Council’s information, as at 12 January 2009, the Grants Officer has applied for 26 grants totalling $3,275,304.  Of that total Council has been notified that grants in the amount of $11,179 have been successfully approved and $1,429,874 have been unsuccessful.  The remainder are still to be determined.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.3      SF770              050209         Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

In September 2007 the then Minister for Water, the Hon Nathan Rees MP, announced an Independent Inquiry into the Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW.  At a subsequent briefing provided to Mid North Coast Councils in Taree, the Minister made it plain that the status quo of retaining the existing 104 water utilities was not an option and that a reduced number of utilities would ultimately prevail.

 

The findings of the Inquiry were released by the current Minister for Water, the Hon Phillip Costa MP on 14 January 2009.  The Department of Water and Energy has advised that submissions in the Inquiry Report will be received until Friday 20 March 2009.  Following consideration of submissions the NSW Government is expected to release its response to the Inquiry’s Report in mid 2009.

 

In terms of Nambucca Shire Council, the report’s major finding is set out on page 138.  Based on submissions to the Inquiry by Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Councils it proposes that a council owned regional water corporation be established comprised of Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings and Nambucca Councils, provided that employment impacts are addressed and each general purpose council remains viable.  The report believes the benefits or a commercially oriented and integrated council-owned regional water corporation are expected to far outweigh the potential costs.

 

Whilst there is certainly a widespread view of problems with the existing institutional arrangements for the supply of reticulated water and sewerage in NSW, Council should continue to emphasize its good performance as a water utility and for this reason its strong preference to retain responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services.

 

Of the two models which the report identifies could apply to the Nambucca Valley, being the binding alliance or the council owned regional water corporation, the council owned regional water corporation is preferred.

 

The two councils to the south, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings have expressed a preference for the council owned regional water corporation, whilst the two councils to the north, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour have expressed a preference for an alliance, albeit not of the formal structure recommended in the report.

 

If it is accepted there will ultimately be reform involving the incorporation of Council’s water supply and sewerage functions in another entity, then in the context of the reform agenda Council needs to be actively involved in investigating and negotiating the best outcome for the residents of the Nambucca Valley.

 

Council has already made a positive contribution to the Inquiry Report.  On page 138 it is conceded that the recommended council owned regional water corporation should only be considered if employment impacts are addressed and each general purpose council remains viable.  This was a central concern of Council’s submission.

 

In any investigation of a council owned regional water corporation there should be no difficulty in securing a guarantee for continuing local employment for Council’s water and sewerage staff who number 17.

 

The more significant issue will be assessing the viability of the residual general purpose council.  The proposed council owned water corporation would result in the loss of 25% to 30% of this Council’s staffing, revenue and expenditure.

 

 

There are many overheads in corporate support in the form of complaints handling, rating, debt collection, finance, safety and risk management, human resource management, plant, payroll, property maintenance, purchasing, depot operations, records, information technology including GIS, financial reporting, management and governance which would need to be carried by a significantly smaller entity.  There may be opportunities of alliances with the residual councils to share these “corporate support” overheads and achieve more efficiency through economies of scale.  Alliances might also be possible with the proposed water corporation.  However all of this needs to be fully investigated.

 

Accepting there will be water reforms of the nature proposed in the Report, Council should indicate its willingness to jointly investigate with Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings and possibly Mid Coast Water and Gloucester Councils, the establishment of a council owned regional water corporation and its implications in relation to employment and the viability of the remaining general purpose councils.

 

This is a major exercise and beyond the financial resources of this Council.  For this reason it is recommended that the Department of Water and Energy be requested to providing funding to the Councils to enable the joint engagement of an expert to undertake the investigation.  The need for such financial support is acknowledged on page 4 of the Inquiry Report which states, “all options would require increased resources from the Government to ensure that any new regulatory approach is properly implemented”.

 

A further issue which arises out of the report’s recommendations is whether the council owned regional water corporation should reflect the Nambucca Valley’s closer relationship with Coffs Harbour.  The Nambucca Valley more readily identifies with Coffs Harbour as its major regional centre being approximately half the travel time of Port Macquarie.  There is a closer relationship with Coffs Harbour for health, education and professional services.  The Coffs Coast Waste Service is also a significant existing alliance between Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca Councils.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council make a submission in response to the Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW, the major points being:

 

1          To note that Nambucca Shire Council has achieved a “good” ranking in compliance with best practice management guidelines and a “good” overall performance.

 

2          Given our “good” performance, to advise that Council’s strong preference is to retain responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services.

 

3          Notwithstanding, to indicate that Council is prepared to jointly investigate with Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings and possibly Mid Coast Water and Gloucester Councils, the establishment of a council owned regional water corporation and its implications in relation to employment and the viability of the remaining general purpose councils.  Further the investigation should be undertaken by experts independent of the three Councils and the State Government in accordance with an agreed brief.

 

4          That the Department of Water and Energy be requested to provide funding to the Councils to enable the joint engagement of an expert to undertake the investigation.

 

5          That Coffs Harbour City Council and Bellingen Shire Council be requested to indicate their interest in the establishment of a Coffs Coast council owned regional water corporation which would also include Nambucca Shire Council or including Nambucca Shire Council within a Coffs Coast Water Alliance.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are many possible options including:

 

1              Rejecting all of the findings and recommendations of the report of the Independent Inquiry

2              Accepting the findings and recommendations of the report of the Independent Inquiry

3              Being open to investigating the recommendations of the report of the Independent Inquiry (preferred)

4              Being open to suggesting different Council groupings (preferred)

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

In September 2007 the then Minister for Water, the Hon Nathan Rees MP, announced an Independent Inquiry into the Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW.  At a subsequent briefing provided to Mid North Coast Councils in Taree, the Minister made it plain that the status quo of retaining the existing 104 water utilities was not an option and that a reduced number of utilities would ultimately prevail.

 

The Inquiry was subsequently undertaken by the Hon Ian Armstrong OBE and Dr Colin Gellatly AO.  The Inquiry travelled the State and undertook 17 day long hearings in rural and regional locations and heard presentations from 115 stakeholders.  Additionally, they received more than 140 written submissions from local water utilities, associations and the general public.  A copy of Council’s submission is attached.  The power point presentation which was made to the Inquiry’s hearing at Coffs Harbour on 14 May 2008 is also attached.

 

The findings of the Inquiry were released by the current Minister for Water, the Hon Phillip Costa MP on 14 January 2009.  The Department of Water and Energy has advised that submissions in the Inquiry Report will be received until Friday 20 March 2009.  Following consideration of submissions the NSW Government is expected to release its response to the Inquiry’s Report in mid 2009.

 

In terms of Nambucca Shire Council, the report’s major finding is set out on page 138.  Based on submissions to the Inquiry by Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Councils it proposes that a council owned regional water corporation be established comprised of Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings and Nambucca Councils, provided that employment impacts are addressed and each general purpose council remains viable.  The report believes the benefits or a commercially oriented and integrated council-owned regional water corporation are expected to far outweigh the potential costs.

 

The report states:

 

“A Council-owned regional water corporation is therefore recommended because it:

·              Is considered a “best practice governance model” as per the analysis conducted in this report.

·              Will bring economies of scale to many functions of the water utilities

·              Can achieve integration across the local government areas for water and sewerage services

·              Can provide an economic return to the councils by way of dividends.

 

Consideration could also be given to the option of expanding this council-owned regional water corporation to include the local government area of Gloucester and MidCoast Water County Council.”

 

Councillors have received a full copy of the report.  In general terms the views expressed by the Local Government and Shires’ Associations, that the report is “comprehensive and thoughtful”, is a reasonable summation given the complexity of the brief.

 

The following discusses the findings of the report in relation to key issues.

 

Is there a problem which needs fixing?

 

In the submission to the Inquiry and to the hearing conducted in Coffs Harbour there was emphasis given to this Council’s performance as a water utility.

 

Based on the most recent available comparative data, the typical $250 water residential bill (2005/2006) is the lowest typical water residential bill amongst all 25 councils serving between 3,000 and 10,000 properties and less than most large and small utilities.  The Council has the 2nd lowest number of employees in water supply per 1,000 population amongst its 25 benchmark councils and is better than most large utilities (2005/2006 benchmarking report).  Council has the lowest number of water main breaks amongst all councils.

 

Council won Water Supply Excellence Awards in 2005 and 2006.  In late 2007, Council’s Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by Jetty Research found that our water supply rated as being of high importance with a high level of satisfaction amongst those surveyed.

 

Council’s good performance is also reflected in the data published in the Report with the Council achieving a ranking of “1 Good” in compliance with the Best Practice Management Guidelines and a “Good” overall performance as a utility.

 

Notwithstanding Council’s good performance, it is a small component of NSW water utilities.  Urban water supply and sewerage services in non-metropolitan NSW are currently provided by 96 general purpose councils; 4 water supply county councils; 1 water supply and sewerage county council and 5 water supply authorities.  From the information provided in the report, most States have undertaken water industry reform with NSW having by far the largest number of utilities in Australia.

 

According to the report the NSW utilities are subject to a “light handed” regulatory framework with limited direct control being available over the activities, policies and pricing of local water utilities.  The report notes that it is largely a matter for the utilities as to how they respond to the Best Practice guidelines and particularly the 6 key criteria of:

 

1              Strategic business planning and financial planning

2              Water supply, sewerage and trade waste pricing, developer charges and liquid trade waste regulation

3              Water conservation

4              Drought management

5              Performance reporting

6              Integrated water cycle management

 

A “light handed” regulatory framework where the Council is directly accountable to its residents might be regarded as a strength rather than a weakness, but by implication it would seem that the Inquiry is not confident that the existing arrangement of utilities will deliver on the key criteria in the Best Practice guidelines.  In particular the report refers to smaller local water utilities generally having lower compliance with the Best Practice Guidelines than larger utilities.

 

Also in the background is the decision by the State Government to terminate the “Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program” and so have no future involvement in the provision of capital expenditure for water and sewerage works.

 

The report speculates on other factors which could contribute to the unsatisfactory performance of many local water utilities including:

 

1              Difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled staff

2              Absence of functional separation whereby water supply and sewerage are two of many functions performed by councils and compete with other functions for attention and resources

3              Lack of commercial focus whereby the multifunctional structure of councils may tend to inhibit the establishment of commercially focussed business units.

 

Over the course of the Inquiry it has often been the Councils themselves which have identified significant problems.  Both Port Macquarie – Hastings and Kempsey Councils made the following submission to the Inquiry in response to the key question, “What are the current impediments to financial sustainability and self sufficiency for local water utilities?”  (page 16 of the Port Macquarie-Hastings submission and page 14 of the submission by Kempsey Shire Council).

 

“Most water utilities in NSW are managed by general purpose Councils whose major focus is on issues other than water and sewer.  This situation often leads to water and sewer issues only receiving secondary consideration.

 

This situation is exacerbated in smaller Councils where management and technical staff also share general purpose roles.  In these situations the level of focus on water issues is often minimal due to external pressures, rather than the needs of the water utility operation.

 

Many local water utilities pricing decisions for water services are influenced by political and parity considerations and not necessarily the long term financial needs of the utility.  For example, developer contributions are kept low to encourage development or to appease pressure from the development lobby or water and sewer increases are kept in line with rate pegging limits rather than being based upon long term financial modelling or service level considerations.”

 

Also in response to the question, “What are the current impediments to local water utilities offering cost effective service standards?” they said;

 

“Many local utilities, due to their size, are unable to provide the necessary expertise or capital required to achieve optimum cost effective service standards.

 

Through limitations on budgets and failure to provide adequate replacements and renewals, many schemes have outdated technology and rundown assets.  As a result system failures and service interruptions are higher.

 

On a simple economy of scale basis, smaller water and sewerage schemes suffer on a unit cost basis due the relatively small number of customers they serve.

 

Due to environmental, regulatory and market factors water supply and sewerage scheme capital costs have escalated to such an extent that they are unaffordable for many water utilities without significant external assistance.”

 

On the key question of economies of scale, the Inquiry Report commented as follows:

 

“The Department of Water and Energy’s analysis of utility performance in the areas of economic rates of return, management costs and operating costs indicate no correlation between size and performance and supports the Union’s submission in this regard.

 

However, it is a fact that in other areas of performance smaller utilities do not perform as well as larger utilities.  There are also indications that smaller utilities are less likely to be able to meet the future challenges facing them as a stand-alone body without substantial financial assistance and additional specialist technical skills.”  (page 25).

 

The report quotes the submission from Lachlan Shire Council to demonstrate this finding:

 

“… the reality is that the provision of reliable water and sewerage services in this area will always be problematic and will require support.”

 

“Major capital works will always be beyond the capacity of the local community and the Council will need to rely on State and Federal Governments to fund those works.”

 

The “other areas of performance” where the Inquiry believes smaller utilities do not perform as well as larger utilities are:

 

·              Business sophistication – strategic planning, management systems, skilled and professional staff, management team with substantial autonomy for making decisions about performance and service delivery and a goal achievement culture (page 24)

·              Managerial competence – the report cites a submission concerning the board composition of Victorian utilities being based on expertise rather than local government representation and that this contributes to a higher degree of managerial competence (page 24)

·              Attracting skilled managers – the report quotes research indicating that skilled managers are more likely to be attracted to a corporate structure rather than a more political structure. (page 25).

 

In summary, the Minister who initiated the Inquiry (the Hon. Nathan Rees), the Inquiry itself and indeed many Councils who made submissions to the Inquiry found there is a problem which needs fixing.

 

Whilst there is certainly a widespread view of problems with the existing institutional arrangements in NSW, Council should continue to emphasize its good performance as a water utility and for this reason its strong preference to retain responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services.

 

How should the problem be fixed?

 

The majority of the Inquiry report is concerned with investigating alternative organisational models; the assessment of those models; options for regulation including pricing; and securing skilled resources.

 

A host of potential local water utility aggregations were put to the Inquiry in submissions by local water utilities including Councils.

 

The Inquiry Panel, in determining the size and composition of the aggregations were guided by six criteria being:

 

·              Number of connected properties – aggregations of local water utilities should have at least 10,000 connected properties.  This figure is selected because non-metropolitan local water utilities above this size in NSW generally demonstrate superior performance.  In addition, it is the minimum size for inclusion in reporting under the National Water Initiative’s National Performance Framework.

·              Annual Revenue – aggregations of local water utilities should have an annual revenue of at least $10 million.  Properly managed local water utilities with such revenues are financially resilient, readily able to raise capital and service debt and attract skilled staff.  All the NSW local water utilities with over 10,000 connected properties, which provide both water and sewerage services generally have an annual revenue of over $10 million

·              Sensitivity to catchment boundaries

·              Building on existing alliances

·              Locating a major regional centre within each regional or catchment aggregation

·              Consistency with submissions made to the Inquiry

 

In terms of the criteria mentioned, in 2008-2009 Nambucca Shire Council has approximately 5,500 connected properties and annual revenue of $5.96 million.  We therefore do not meet the minimum criteria for a “stand alone” utility.

 

The Inquiry Report considers the alternative models in some detail.  It recommends that 3 organisational structure options be considered for the future delivery of water supply and sewerage services.  The options are:

 

1              binding alliance (in accordance with the structure set out in Appendix 2);

2              council owned regional water corporation; and

3              current arrangements for certain existing general purpose councils and county councils.

 

Whilst the Report considers these to be satisfactory alternatives, the commentary suggests there are preferences within these alternatives.

 

“… The binding alliance model is not perfect because there is potentially tension between strategic decision making and program implementation as these functions are conducted by separate legal entities.  This potential weakness would be addressed by close cooperation between the alliance entity and the member councils, together with concise service agreements backed by legislative force.

 

There is potential for more efficient decision making and program implementation and this is evident in models where a single entity is responsible for all facets of water supply and sewerage services such as county councils and council owned regional water corporations.

 

The full county council model and the council owned regional water corporation model provide the means for bringing decision making and program implementation within one corporate entity.  However, these models are strongly opposed by many local water utilities given that their water supply and sewerage assets would be transferred to a new entity, resulting in a loss of 30% to 40% of the Council’s total annual revenue.  In the case of several small councils, this would result in a lack of financial sustainability for councils’ residual operations.  The greatest impact for such councils is stated to be on employees, resources (such as plant and equipment), governance and administration shared between the general fund and the water and sewerage utility.  Most councils oppose the council owned regional water corporation for similar reasons.

 

However, of the two models, the council owned water corporation model should be preferable to county councils because the commercial drivers inherent in a corporation structure better complements the delivery of commercial services.  In both the county council and council owned regional water corporation models, the constituent councils could be eligible to receive a dividend from the surplus of the water supply and sewerage businesses.  Nevertheless, the county council model is likely to have a greater adverse financial impact on constituent councils because these councils are not compensated for the loss of assets that are transferred to the county council.

 

The adoption of council owned regional water corporation models could be considered in the future as a “best practice” model for widespread adoption where the issues of impact on financial sustainability of councils, employment, economies of scope and socio economic impacts can be addressed.” (page 59/60)

 

The binding alliance model is set out in Appendix 2 (page 113).  It would require the member Councils to establish an Alliance Entity being a separate corporation.  The Alliance Entity develops the water supply and sewerage strategic business plan and financial plan for the region after carrying out community consultation to determine the levels of service the community wants and is willing to pay for.  The Alliance Entity would also be responsible for:

 

1              integrated water cycle management planning

2              demand management planning

3              drought management planning

4              development servicing plan

5              risk based drinking water quality management planning

6              environmental management planning

7              regulation of sewerage and trade waste

8              liquid trade waste policy

9              facilitating and procuring major capital works

10            developing a comprehensive data collection and reporting system

11            performance reporting, monitoring and benchmarking

12            decision making on water restrictions.

 

Importantly, the Alliance Entity would also be responsible for setting water supply and sewerage charges for member councils.

 

In a binding alliance the member councils would essentially be responsible for maintenance and billing.  So whilst the direct employment impacts on member councils would be less, they would still lose authority in relation to capital works and finance.

 

With the binding alliance model there is a significant risk of tension and inefficiency as a consequence of the legal separation between strategic decision making and program implementation.  In reality there is not a clearly defined separation between the two – poor strategic decisions can affect program implementation and poor program implementation can affect strategic planning.  Similarly poor maintenance can affect the life of capital equipment.

 

So of the two models which the report identifies could apply to the Nambucca valley, being the binding alliance or the council owned regional water corporation, the council owned regional water corporation is preferred.

 

The two councils to the south, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings have expressed a preference for the council owned regional water corporation, whilst the two councils to the north, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour have expressed a preference for an alliance, albeit not of the formal structure recommended in the report.

 

How should Nambucca Shire Council respond to the report?

 

It seems inevitable there will be major reforms to the provision of urban water supply and sewerage services for non-metropolitan NSW.

 

The previous Minister for Water, the Hon. Nathan Rees, indicated amalgamations as part of the reform agenda; a host of Councils made submissions to the Independent Inquiry agreeing with the need for reform; and now the Independent Inquiry itself has found in favour of substantial reform.  Indeed its recommendations have been influenced by amalgamation proposals put forward by Councils and other water utilities.  The Local Government and Shires Associations have also welcomed the Inquiry’s Report describing it as “comprehensive and thoughtful”.

 

If it is accepted there will ultimately be reform involving the incorporation of Council’s water supply and sewerage functions in another entity, then in the context of the reform agenda Council needs to be actively involved in investigating and negotiating the best outcome for the residents of the Nambucca Valley.

 

Council has already made a positive contribution to the Inquiry Report.  On page 138 it is conceded that the recommended council owned regional water corporation should only be considered if employment impacts are addressed and each general purpose council remains viable.  This was a central concern of Council’s submission.

 

In any investigation of a council owned regional water corporation there should be no difficulty in securing a guarantee for continuing local employment for Council’s water and sewerage staff who number 17.

 

The more significant issue will be assessing the viability of the residual general purpose council.  The proposed council owned water corporation would result in the loss of 25% to 30% of this Council’s staffing, revenue and expenditure.

 

There are many overheads in corporate support in the form of complaints handling, rating, debt collection, finance, safety and risk management, human resource management, plant, payroll, property maintenance, purchasing, depot operations, records, information technology including GIS, financial reporting, management and governance which would need to be carried by a significantly smaller entity.  There may be opportunities of alliances with the residual councils to share these “corporate support” overheads and achieve more efficiency through economies of scale.  Alliances might also be possible with the proposed water corporation.  However all of this needs to be fully investigated.

 

Accepting there will be water reforms of the nature proposed in the Report, Council should indicate its willingness to jointly investigate with Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings and possibly Mid Coast Water and Gloucester Councils, the establishment of a council owned regional water corporation and its implications in relation to employment and the viability of the remaining general purpose councils.  To avoid possible conflict of interests, the investigation should be undertaken by experts independent of the three Councils and the State Government.  The Councils would need to jointly agree on a brief and the preferred experts to undertake the investigation.

 

This is a major exercise and beyond the financial resources of this Council.  For this reason it is recommended that the Department of Water and Energy be requested to providing funding to the Councils to enable the joint engagement of an expert to undertake the investigation.  The need for such financial support is acknowledged on page 4 of the Inquiry Report which states, “all options would require increased resources from the Government to ensure that any new regulatory approach is properly implemented”.

 

A further issue which arises out of the report’s recommendations is whether the council owned regional water corporation should reflect the Nambucca Valley’s closer relationship with Coffs Harbour.  The Nambucca Valley more readily identifies with Coffs Harbour as its major regional centre being approximately half the travel time of Port Macquarie.  There is a closer relationship with Coffs Harbour for health, education and professional services.  The Coffs Coast Waste Service is also a significant existing alliance between Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca Councils.

 

Notwithstanding that Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Councils have indicated a preference for an alliance, they may not support the required model for a binding alliance and consider a Council owned regional water corporation along with Nambucca Shire Council as a possible alternative.

 

Coffs Harbour City Council and Bellingen Shire Council should be requested to indicate their interest in the establishment of a Coffs Coast council owned regional water corporation which would also include Nambucca Shire Council as an alternative to the Report’s recommendation for a corporation based on Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Nambucca Councils.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

I met with Council’s outdoor water and sewerage staff on 22 January 2009 to discuss the report and allay concerns about possible redundancies.  They will be seeking advice from the United Services Union and are obviously keen to maintain their local employment.

 

I also met with the indoor water and sewerage staff on 22 January 2009.  In the event of the water reforms proceeding, they believe that the council owned regional water corporation is a better model than the proposed binding alliance.  They also believe that as Council’s community of interest is with Coffs Harbour and the Coffs Coast, that it would be preferable that the council owned regional water corporation comprise Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca Councils rather than Nambucca, Kempsey and Port Macquarie Councils.

 

There has been consultation with the General Managers of Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Councils.  At the date of preparing this report, both Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Councils had not formed any view in relation to the report’s recommendations.

 

The Mayor is travelling to Inverell on Wednesday 28 January 2009 to hear from the Minister for Water, the Hon. Phillip Costa MP in relation to the Report’s findings and the Government’s future plans.

 

There is a meeting planned with Mayors/Administrator and General Managers of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and Nambucca Councils at Kempsey on Thursday 29 January 2009 to discuss the report’s findings.  There is another meeting involving General Managers, Engineering Directors and Water Managers from the three Council’s planned for Monday 2 February 2009 at Port Macquarie.  That meeting will also discuss the report’s findings.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

At this stage there are no implications for the environment.


 

Social

 

At this stage the social implications are unknown.

 

Economic

 

At this stage the economic implications are unknown.

 

Risk

 

There are many risks to Council associated with the proposed reforms to local water utilities.  These are discussed in the report and principally concern the viability of the remaining general purpose councils and guaranteeing the retention of local employment.

 

Council is also endeavouring to negotiate subsidies for the proposed $53m Bowraville off stream water storage and also the proposed $11m upgrading of the Nambucca Heads sewerage treatment system under the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program.  Whilst these subsidies are not directly related to the Inquiry Report, where there is negotiation between Councils’ and the State Government in relation to funding for implementation of any water reforms they could be part of an agreement.

 

Finally there are risks in resisting any investigation which may lead to change or conversely in enthusiastically embracing the reforms recommended in the Report.

 

If Councils resist all change then it is more likely that the State Government would legislate to achieve its reforms with less consultation and financial assistance than through a negotiated outcome.  It is also apparent that a council owned regional water corporation is the Inquiry’s preferred administrative model.  It may be expected the State Government would be more likely to provide funds to assist the establishment of the “model” regional water utility at an early stage in the reform process so as to provide a “template” for other Councils.

 

Conversely if the Report’s reforms are enthusiastically embraced then there is less likelihood the financial consequences for the residual general purpose councils will be carefully considered with the possibility that many will be unviable.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

At this stage there is no implication for current and future budgets.  However if the reforms proceed in the form proposed in the Inquiry report then there would be a significant structural change to this Council and all future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

4374/2008 - Submission to Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage

 

2View

2011/2009 - Water Utilities Presentation

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 5 February 2009

Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

Attachment 1

4374/2008 - Submission to Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage

 

Enquiries to:  Michael Coulter

Phone No:      6568 0200

Email:             michael.coulter@nambucca.nsw.gov.au

Mobile:           0409 153 788

Our Ref:        SF770

 

 

 

6 March 2008

 

 

 

Local Water Utility Inquiry

Department of Water & Energy

GPO Box 3889

SYDNEY   NSW   2001

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

SUBMISSION TO INQUIRY INTO SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SERVICES FOR NON-METROPOLITAN NSW

 

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry.

 

Council considered its submission on 21 February 2008 and resolved to make a submission expressing its strong preference for Nambucca Shire Council retaining responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services.

 

However, in the event that the Government decides to remove responsibility for water and sewerage from Nambucca Shire Council, it was resolved that Council be provided with the opportunity to develop and submit an alternative model which would be acceptable to the Government.

 

The following lists the Terms of Reference in bold italics together with Council's response in normal font.

 

Objective

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

 

Agreed.

 

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

 

Agreed.


2

 

SUBMISSION TO INQUIRY INTO SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SERVICES FOR NON-METROPOLITAN NSW

 

 

 

The Task

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

·     be financially self sufficient

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

·     implement cost effective service standards.

 

Agreed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

·     strategic business planning

·     pay for use water pricing

·     commercial developer charges

·     water conservation plan

·     operation cost per property

·     economic real rate of return

·     average residential consumption per property

·     typical residential bill per assessment

·     water quality complaints per 1000 properties

·     water main breaks per 100 kms

·     micro biological water quality compliance


3

 

SUBMISSION TO INQUIRY INTO SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SERVICES FOR NON-METROPOLITAN NSW

 

 

 

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

 

·     the current and future challenges facing the industry;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

·     alternative industry arrangements used in other states;

 

Agreed.

 

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

 

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

 

Nambucca Shire Council has a full time equivalent staff of 116 persons.  Of these there are 15 full time equivalent staff directly involved in the provision of water and sewerage. 


4

 

SUBMISSION TO INQUIRY INTO SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SERVICES FOR NON-METROPOLITAN NSW

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Agreed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


5

 

SUBMISSION TO INQUIRY INTO SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE SERVICES FOR NON-METROPOLITAN NSW

 

 

 

In terms of the Inquiry process it is suggested that Councils be offered a further opportunity to make a submission following the handing down of the Inquiry's recommendations.  This would provide Councils with a further opportunity to develop alternative models which may be acceptable to the Government. 

 

Thank you for the opportunity of making a submission.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL COULTER

GENERAL MANAGER

 

MAC:ms

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 5 February 2009

Report of the Independent Inquiry into Secure and Sustainable Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Services for Non-Metropolitan NSW

Attachment 2

2011/2009 - Water Utilities Presentation

 


  


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.1    SF276              050209         Report on Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee Minutes 16 December 2008

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Patricia Walker, Aboriginal Community Development Officer         

 

Summary:

 

Attached for Council’s endorsement is a copy of the minutes of the Nambucca Shire Council Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee meeting held on Tuesday 16 December 2008.

 

The minutes of the meeting contain four recommendations for Council’s attention, which are reproduced as follows:

 

DECLARATION OF PECUNIARY INTEREST

 

RECOMMENDATION: That on the motion of Mrs Michele Donovan seconded by Mr Barry Donovan, ACAC ‘Declaration of Pecuniary Interest’ be altered to read ‘Declaration of Conflict of Interest’.

 

ITEM 4 – COUNCILLOR FLACK

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That on the motion of Mrs Jennie Rosser seconded by Mrs Michele Donovan, ACAC requests for Cr Flack to be reinstated as the third Councillor representative on ACAC, for 2008/2009 period.

 

ITEM 5 – NEW MEMBERSHIP

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That on the motion of Jennie Rosser seconded Cr Ballangarry, that Scott Mieni (Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer) be endorsed by Council as an ACAC member.

 

ITEM 7 – ABORIGINAL YOUTH WORKER

 

RECOMMENDATION: That on the motion by Cr Ballangarry seconded by Mr Barry Donovan, ACAC members agree that the Aboriginal Youth Worker’s position be transferred to the “Better Futures” funded position.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council endorse the request that Councillor Paula Flack become a third delegate to the Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee.

 

2          That Council endorse the membership of Mr Scott Mieni (Police Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer) to the Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee.

 

3          That Council note the ACAC’s support for the transfer of the Aboriginal Youth Worker position to the Department of Community Services Better Futures initiative.

 

4          That the remaining minutes of the Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee meeting held on 16 December 2008 be noted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        Endorse the minutes and their recommendations

2        Not endorse the minutes

3        Endorse the minutes with amendments

4        Manex comment


DISCUSSION:

 

Declaration Of Pecuniary Interest

 

It was discussed by the members that this declaration be changed to a conflict of interest declaration. The members would like the change because of no finances involved in ACAC.

 

After looking through the Nambucca Shire Council’s Code of Conduct, Part 6 – Conflict of Interest (Part 6.1 to 6.12).

 

There are two types of conflicts of interest and they are as follows; pecuniary and non-pecuniary. Both these conflicts of interest are regulated by Chapter 14 Part 2, Local Government Act 1993.

 

Therefore, changing to Declaration of Conflict of Interest goes against the policy by which the Council abides and the law that regulates it.

 

ITEM 4 – COUNCILLOR FLACK

 

There has been some disappointment as to why Cr Flack had not been voted to the ACAC.

 

Members of ACAC found Cr Flack to be an asset and her support of proposals positive. Cr Flack advises ACAC members on Council processes so that ACAC members are informed and aware of these processes.

 

It is understood that the ACAC delegation of authority doesn’t limit the number of Councillor members and that this is up to the discretion of the Council.

 

I support the ACAC members for the reinstatement of Cr Flack as the third Councillor representative to ACAC.

 

ITEM 5 – NEW MEMBERSHIP

 

Mr Scott Mieni, Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (NSW Police) was nominated for membership as he has a very valuable and knowledgeable position in the Aboriginal community. Mr Mieni has access to law and order changes and the effects those changes have on the Aboriginal community.  He will be an asset and is supported to be a member of ACAC.

 

ITEM 7 – ABORIGINAL YOUTH WORKER

 

The ‘Wood Report’ into the Department of Community Services, has most Youth services redirecting their funding to target early intervention (0-8 year olds).

 

The Nambucca Shire Council’s Aboriginal Youth Worker’s position focuses on the developing, coordinating and the promoting of social, vocational and recreational activities for 12 – 18 year olds.

 

I support that the Aboriginal Youth Worker position to be funded by the Better Futures initiative (see Youth Development Officer Council report to Council 5 February 2009), and activities stay as is.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Local Government Act 1993

Nambucca Shire Council’s Code of Conduct

Nambucca Shire Council’s Statement of Affairs

Director Environment and Planning – Greg Meyers

Aboriginal Youth Worker – Kelly Edwards

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no specific environmental sustainability issues.

 

Social

 

It is not yet known what will occur when the school holiday activities funding will be redirected to early intervention but there is a possibility of an increase in the Nambucca Shire’s youth social issues, eg, binge drinking, law & order issues, drug abuse issues and violence issues.

 

Economic

 

There are no specific economic implications from this report.

 

Risk

 

There are no specific risks implications from this report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no specific impact on current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Nothing required at this point.

 

Attachments:

1View

1817/2009 - ACAC Minutes Meeting held 16 December 2008

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 5 February 2009

Report on Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee Minutes 16 December 2008

Attachment 1

1817/2009 - ACAC Minutes Meeting held 16 December 2008

 

Present

 

Ms Cathy Bula, (Chairperson) Councillors Martin Ballangarry and Elaine South, Mr Larry Kelly, Mrs Michele Donovan, Mrs Jennie Rosser, Mr Barry Donovan, Ms Kelly Edwards, Mr Scott Mieni, Mr Darren Kershaw and Ms Patricia Walker

 

 

Apologies

 

Apologies were accepted from Mr Semi Bula, Mr Caine Rosser, Ms Vicki Power, Mr Michael Donovan, Ms Kerry Grace and Ms Coral Hutchinson.

 

The Chairperson commenced the meeting at 11 am. Ms Bula welcomed everyone and read the aims and objectives of the Committee as a reminder to support the ACAC on a regular basis.

 

 

Housekeeping and Emergency Procedures

 

The Chairperson addressed the housekeeping and emergency procedures.

 

 

Declaration of Pecuniary Interest

 

None declared.

 

Recommendation:      ACAC ‘Declaration of Pecuniary’ Interest be altered to read ‘Declaration of                        Conflict of Interest’.

 

Moved:        Mrs Michele Donovan

Seconded:  Mr Barry Donovan

 

Previous Minutes – 15 July 2008. The Committee noted and accepted the minutes.

 

Business Arising from Minutes

 

Darimba Maara

 

Mr Kershaw provided details of Darimba Maara and what stage it’s up to. Mr Kershaw informed ACAC that the works are behind time but tender documents where out and 7 contract builders applied (tenders closed 19/12/08).

 

Works should start around the 9/1/09 and the tender contract has an end date of 7/5/09. Mr Kershaw also informed ACAC that funding from other sources were sought to finish the top floor of Darimba Maara and works on that project should be finished in March.

 


Business Arising from Minutes (continued)

 

Woolies

 

Mrs Michele Donovan asked ACAC members about the ‘Woolies’ project. Was there an Aboriginal employment strategy associated with the project? Cr Ballangarry advised that the area needed to be rezoned and the STEPS program at Ngurrala will be addressing the labour.

 

Councillor South entered 11:20 am.

 

Ms Bula welcomed Cr South and thanked her for her commitment to ACAC.

 

 

ITEM 1 – Introduction of CDO, AYW and ACLO

 

Ms Bula introduced and congratulated the new position holders: Ms Patricia Walker (CDO), Ms Kelly Edwards (AYW) and Mr Scott Mieni (Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer).

 

Ms Bula welcomed and acknowledge 2nd Term Councillor Ballangarry and, in her absence, 1st Term Councillor Elaine South.

 

ITEM 2 – WORKPLACE EQUITY AND DIVERSITY STRATEGY

 

ACAC was informed that the NSC’s Workplace Equity and Diversity Strategy was adopted by council.

 

 ITEM 3 – ABORIGINAL CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

Cr Ballangarry informed ACAC that the Director of Environment and Planning, Mr Greg Meyers had emailed him a copy of the draft Clarence Valley Council Policy register – incorporating policies, procedures and protocols.

 

Cr Ballangarry suggested that photocopies be given to each member. (Photocopies done and handed out). Each member to read and give comments.

 

ACHMP to be followed up by Mrs Michele Donovan and discussed at the February AGM.

 

 

Correspondence

 

There was no correspondence.

 

 

General Business

 

ITEM 4 – Councillor Flack

 

Recommendation:  ACAC request for Cr Flack to be reinstated as the third Councillor representative on the 355 committee, for 2008/2009.

 

Moved:        Mrs Jennie Rosser

Seconded:  Mrs Michele Donovan

 

ITEM 5 – New Membership

 

Mr Scott Mieni – Nambucca Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer for the Police – nominated for membership.

 

Moved:        Mrs Jennie Rosser

Seconded:  Cr Ballangarry.

 

Motioned carried and accepted by all members present.

 

Mr Darren Kershaw – CEO Nambucca Valley Aboriginal Medical Services – nominated, but may already be member. CDO to check Mr Kershaw’s status.

 

 

Members Reports

 

ITEM 6 – Community Development Officer – Patricia Walker

 

1        Deadly Dollars workshop and production

2        Aboriginal school-based trainee (front desk)

3        Library experience

4        Sport & Rec trainee

 

ITEM 7 – Aboriginal Youth Worker – Kelly Edwards

 

1        January school holiday activities

2        April holiday activities – last activities, DoCS funding to be sourced to the 0-8 years age group

3        Position will go to ‘Better Futures’ – ACAC advised Kelly to speak to Coral Hutchinson, Greg Meyers and Jenny Chant.

4        Indigenous Youth Forum

 

Recommendation:      Members agree that the Aboriginal Youth Worker position be transferred to the ‘Better Futures’ position.

 

Moved:        Cr Ballangarry

Seconded:  Mr Barry Donovan

 

ITEM 8 – Reports continued

 

Mr Larry Kelly – ACAC encouraged and commended NSC on their commitment to providing ‘black faces’ in local government.

 

Cr Ballangarry – ACAC can be an informative tool for LALC’s. LALC’s need to be more proactive and act accordingly. No Nambucca & Bowraville LALC representative.

 

COAG – no independent representative. Warren Mundine needs to be more ‘fair dinkum’.


Members Reports (continued)

 

 

LGAN needs to be recognised and to date there is no LGAN rep on COAG, one of the issues raised at the network meeting. John Ainsworth attended LGAN.

 

LGAN is held once a year, so it’s a low priority. Tribal groups together, there were quite a few people.

 

Mr Scott Mieni – defined ACLO position as being liaison between Aboriginal community and Police and vice versa. Scott thinks that attending organisational meetings is a great resource for him and if he can assist or add, great.

 

Mr Mieni is involved with one or two school holiday activities. He has been assisting Ms Kelly Edwards with the Blue Light Disco.

 

Mrs Michele Donovan – CEO Unkya Local Lands Council – ULALC completed their Community Business Plan, Zone and members have approved the plan. The plan has be sent to NSWALC for consideration and decision.

 

Mr Darren Kershaw – CEO Nambucca Aboriginal Medical Services – advised that Ngurrala to be involved in the Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

 

Alcohol – consortium meeting.

 

 

Mrs Jennie Rosser – NCAP Assistant – Nil report

 

 

Ms Cathy Bula – NCAP – closing down for 4 weeks (Christmas closure). Job networks are going , NCAP funded up til June 09, Universal job search starts in July.

 

NCAP’s program for 09 is a service ‘expo’ for all organisations and an Art exhibition.

 

ITEM 9 – Reports

 

Motion: Item 6, 7 & 8 Reports tabled.

 

Moved:        Mr Barry Donovan

Seconded:  Mrs Jennie Rosser

 

Motion carried and accepted by all members present.

 

Ms Bula thanked everyone for their attendance.

 


Next Meeting

 

The next meeting of Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee will be the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) in February – date to be advised.

 

 

Closure

 

The meeting concluded at 12.20 pm.

 

 

 

 

……………………………….

CATHY BULA

CHAIRPERSON

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.2    SF736              050209         Changes to Department of Community Services funding - Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy and Better Futures

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Vicki Fernance, Youth Development Officer         

 

Summary:

 

This report is to advise Council of apparent changes that will affect the Aboriginal Youth Worker position, currently funded by the Department of Community Services (DoCS) under its Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Strategy (ACYFS).

 

Council first received funding under the ACYFS in 2003-04, and commenced the School Holiday Program and then employed an Aboriginal Youth Worker.

 

In 2007 the Department commenced a review of various programs including the ACYFS.  One of their aims was to move their programs towards early intervention. 

 

The ACFYS, which was a state-wide approach, will now conclude and the various components of the Strategy either moved to other programs or wound up.  Organisations such as Nambucca Shire Council will either be offered funding from different programs or be advised that they will no longer be offering some services or programs.

 

The Nambucca Shire school holiday activities is one of the programs that has been under review, with the result being that this will cease to be funded as a specific service after 30 June 2009.

 

The Aboriginal Youth Worker position, currently funded under ACYFS is recommended to be transferred and funded under Better Futures” Program.

 

Whilst Council has not had formal notification of these changes, there have been verbal and email advice to this effect; and it is timely that Council be advised of these likely changes given the current development of the 2009-10 Budget and Management Plan.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council note the information and await a future report when there is formal notification of any changes.

 

2          That Council write to Department of Community Services supporting the recommendation that the funding be transferred to the Better Futures initiative.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can decide not to write to Department of Community Services supporting the recommendation.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

As a short background, Council may wish note that the Aboriginal Youth Worker position and School Holiday Program (which are funded ACYFS) is an on the ground service implemented within the Families NSW (formerly Families First) and Better Futures frameworks.

 

Families NSW is about developing a stronger service network that supports families to raise healthy children, and to build their skills and confidence in parenting. Families NSW is the NSW Government’s overarching strategy to enhance the health and wellbeing of children up to 8 years and their families.

 

Better Futures is designed to support agencies to work together, and with communities, to improve the support and services for young people aged 9-18 years. The focus being on youth participation, keeping older children and young people at school, and helping them make a safer transition to adulthood.

 

Council may be aware that there are significant changes likely for DoCS as a whole and may have heard of the “Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW”, commonly known as the “Wood Report”. The result of the various reviews and inquiries will be change to where programs and projects are funded and it is expected that a number will be replaced by different approaches.

 

The School Holiday program, funded by ACYFS has been reviewed as a whole, and as at 30 June 2009 funding for this program will cease across NSW. This will apply to all organisations which have received funding for school holiday programs. Since 2003-04 Council has received around $16,000pa and has conducted a number of very successful programs; although it appears that the majority of School Holiday programs have not met desired outcomes, haven’t operated or been conducted properly or have had difficulty getting programs up and running.

 

Nambucca Shire Council’s School Holiday program has been a great success with learning outcomes for young people, for most activities. The School Holiday program is co-ordinated by the Aboriginal Youth Worker and is aimed at 12-18 year olds. The result of the changes to funding is that Council will be no longer required (as a part of a funding agreement) to conduct a school holiday program, although it may wish to if resources were available. Even though this funding is going to finish there may be other ways to resource a similar program under the proposed new funding arrangements or from other sources.

 

In regard to the 21 hour per week Aboriginal Youth Worker position which was also funded by ACYFS, the outcome has been slightly different. In recognition of the importance of this position, the Mid North Communities Division of DoCS has recommended to the NSW Central Office that the current amount of funding, approximately $61,000, (the amount currently being received for both the Aboriginal Youth Worker position and School Holiday program) be rolled into one grant and be funded under the Better Futures initiative.

 

The other possible change which Council should note is that the Aboriginal Youth Worker’s current target group is 12-18 year olds and as Better Futures funding targets 9-18 year olds the position may be expected to deliver a combination of children’s services and youth work. Council staff have not yet been advised what the Department’s preference is or whether Council has an option to select a particular age group within the 9-18 years range.

 

At this stage, Council is requested to note the apparent changes and await formal notification when a decision is actually made by the Department of Community Services. A follow-up report from Council staff will be brought before Council when formal advice is received.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Manager Community and Cultural Services

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Nil

 

Social

 

Nothing identified at this stage.

 


Economic

 

Nil

 

Risk

 

Nil

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

This does not affect Council’s budget as the Aboriginal Youth Worker position and School Holiday Activity Program are funded by DoCS and it appears that the total funding for both programs will continue under a different initiative ie Better Futures.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Does not affect this.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.3      SF1261            050209         Outstanding Development applications more than 12 months old and applications where submissions have been received and not determined to 27 January 2009

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:        Barbara Sadler, Executive Assistant         

 

Summary:

 

In accordance with Council resolution from 15 May 2008 meeting, the development applications listed below are in excess of 12 months old (Table 1).

 

Table 2 are development applications which have been received but not yet determined due to submissions received. In accordance with Minute 848/08 from Council meeting of 18 December 2008, should any Councillor wish to “call in” an application a Notice of Motion is required specifying the reasons why it is to be “called in”.

 

If an application is not called in and staff consider the matters raised by the submissions have been adequately addressed then the application will be processed under delegated authority. Where refusal is recommended the application may be reported to Council for determination.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That the list of outstanding development applications (at least 12 months old) and applications received, be noted and received for information by Council.

 

2          That the applications where submissions have been received be noted and received for information by Council.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

TABLE 1:   UNRESOLVED DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS IN EXCESS OF 12 MONTHS OLD

 

FILE NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

COMMENTS ON APPLICATION

2008/013

12/07/07

Dwelling-House

Lot 223 DP 828243, 35 Raleigh Street, Scotts Head

31/07/07 – Letter requesting Bush Fire assessment.
20/08/07 – Letter requesting additional information sent as bush fire assessment incorrect.
23/08/07 – Letter to Local RFS with amended plan & file note.
23/08/07 – Notification to adjoining owners issued.
Letter issued to owner advising of current position with DA.
30/08/07 – Response from Local RFS office requiring Bush Fire Assessment Report.
14/03/08 - Letter to owner requesting the submission of the further information within 14 days.


 

2008/013 continued

 

 

 

18/03/08 – Telephone contact with owner, owner has not made contact with Bush Fire Consultant requested to lodge letter seeking extension of time to have report prepared
25/03/08 – Letter received from owner requesting 8 weeks to finalise Bush Fire Report
Extension granted until 02/06/08
19/6/08 - Additional information received
21/05/08 - Re-referred to Rural Fire Service.
3/06/08 Phone call from the local RFS advising that the application has been referred to the Head Office of NSW Rural Fire Service due to the level of variation sought with this proposed development.
12/08/08 Letter to applicant advising the Head Office of RFS has been contacted in relation to the delays and a response is expected within 2-3 weeks
26/08/08 RFS contacted Council re clearing of land by Council to the rear of the property. Discussions held with DES – there are environmental issues to be considered prior to clearing and a decision is not yet made as to whether it will be a ‘one-off’ clearing or ongoing.
RFS Sydney has been informed of this. Comments received 30/09/08
Applicant is preparing and amended Bushfire Assessment Report to address RFS concerns – report to be submitted by 31 October 2008
Modified Bushfire Report received from Consultant on 17/11/08. this report referred to RFS on 18/11/08 for further comment
05/01/09 Recommended conditions received from Rural Fire Service
Please see the report Item in this Agenda

2002/341/01

20/07/06

Modification to internal alterations, construct dressing rooms and extend stage – Bowraville Theatre

Lot 1 DP 330860, 74 High Street, Bowraville

The application requires an exemption through the DDA to deal with the disabled access issues.
Applicant is going to modify the plans to allow disability access to the stage area

 

TOTAL APPLICATIONS OUTSTANDING 12 MONTHS OR MORE:  2

 


TABLE 2:   DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS WHERE SUBMISSIONS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND ARE NOT YET DETERMINED

 

DA NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED/STAFF COMMENTS

2008/193

11/3/08

6 Lot Rural Subdivision

Lot 15 DP 114372, Lot 1 DP 386702, Lot 71 DP 654563, Lot 120 DP 755538, Lot 23 DP 755548 & Lots 44,45,49 & 98 in DP 755546, 207-208 Upper Buckrabendinni Road Buckrabendinni

§ Access from proposed lots

§ Location of dwelling envelopes

§ Aboriginal and archaeological issues

“Stop the clock” in place as it is an Integrated application.

Outstanding matters yet to be finalised and discussed with applicant. Unlikely to be determined in the immediate future
Awaiting from applicant an Aboriginal Registered Sites search and list of sites if applicable, for the development site
Upon completion of this search the Local Aboriginal Land Council Elders are to be consulted
18/06/08 response from DWE confirming general terms of approval for Controlled Activity Approval.
8/8/08 Additional information received confirming no Aboriginal sites recorded on the subject land. Information forwarded to Bowraville Local Aboriginal Land Council giving them 30 days to respond.
This application has been “called in” and will be reported to Council once the application is ready to be determined
5/9/08 30 day letter sent to applicant advising that SEPP1 not supported by Council's  Planning Department and the proposal should be amended to comply with minimum lot sizes. 07/09/08 Applicant advised Council that amended plan will be prepared and submitted by end of October.
3/11/08 – Amended plan received – satisfactory to Council. Meeting scheduled for Friday 14/11/08 with adjoining landowner to resolve original objection to the proposal.
There has been no further objection to the amended plan.
1/12/08 Request for comment from Bowraville LALC
Still awaiting reply from Bowraville LALC
Please see the report Item in this Agenda

2008/244

26/05/08

New dwelling & demolition of existing dwelling

Lot 5 DP 247073, 21 Jones Street, Valla Beach

§ Submission received stating the design does not address the objectives of DCP 3.

§ Proposal fails to address amenity impacts on objector’s property

29/05/08 Further information requested from applicant
24/06/08 Referred to NSW Rural Fire Service.
24/06/08 Additional information submitted by applicant
31/07/08 Letter sent to applicant regarding submissions received


 

2008/244 continued

 

 

 

18/08/08 Response from applicant to concerns of adjoining owners
Assessing amended details
RFS to be consulted by Council in relation to recommended conditions
26/09/08 Letter to applicant advising of RFS requirements
6/10/08 Applicant requested information how to reduce APZ classification
14/10/08 On-site meeting held with owners
Council contacting Department of Lands re possible easement over Reserve for bushfire asset protection zone (APZ)
16/10/08 Enquiries made to Department of Lands
Awaiting response from Department of Lands
3/11/08 Information provided to applicant on applying to Department of Lands for easement over Reserve – requested to keep Council informed of progress of application

Department of Lands provided details of application and process require to create “Positive Covenant” over Reserve.
3/11/08 Applicant advised and they are applying directly to the Department of Lands for the Covenant
Application being WITHDRAWN by owner.

2008/267

24/06/08

Proposed Industrial complex for manufacturing buses and ancillary facilities, including manager’s residence and workers cottages.

Lot 1046 DP 826440, Harrimans Lane, Macksville

§ Several submissions have been received objecting to the development as not being suitable for this location as it is not zoned for industrial use and there is residential land surround the proposed area (which is zoned rural)

§ Flooding issues

§ Residential amenity will be affected by light industrial use of the land including visual impact

§ Perceived lowering of values of land

26/08/08 Advice from applicant additional information to be submitted by the end of October.
27/10/08  Extension given until 17/11/08 to provide information to Council
Following receipt of information and assessment by Council staff a report will be prepared for Council’s determination of the application
Information is still outstanding -
21/11/08 7 Day letter sent
Applicant requested extension of time to provide the outstanding information. Extension granted until 30 January 2009
Matter to be reported to General Purpose Committee 18/02/09 for determination at Council meeting of 19/02/09

 


 

DA NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED/STAFF COMMENTS

2004/014/01

01/09/08

Residential Flat Building

Lot 7 DP 758749 61 Charlton Street, Nambucca Heads

§ Proposal may set precedent for undermining current local amenity

§ Not in keeping with DCP

§ Should limit height to 8m

§ Overuse of site coverage

§ Setback requirements not met

§ Aesthetics not suitable for the location

7/10/08 Senior Development Planner assessing and considering concerns raised
This application has been “called in” and will be reported to Council once the application is ready to be determined
11/11/08 30 Day Letter sent to applicant to address concerns including: car parking and access, height, design issues
9/12/08 Applicant preparing amended plans
5/01/09 Revised plans and further advice received from applicant
Application re-exhibited until

1998/055/01

1/08/08

Hard Rock Quarry

Lot 12 in DP 1046434 and Lot 13 in DP 241033, Scotts Head Road, Way Way

§ Concerns with noise, dust and vibration

§ No benefits to community to extend hours – may set precedent

§ Reduces opportunities to move cattle

§ Lack of consistency with other quarries’ operating hours

§ Confers commercial advantage on one quarry only

§ Difficulties in calculating tonnage of material moved

§ Increase in truck movements bad for Scotts Head Road – already in poor condition

§ Increase in volume would make development “designated” and it should be treated as such

§ Uncertain as to whether operators have fulfilled current DA conditions.

§ 7/10/08 Senior Development Planner assessing and considering concerns raised
This application has been “called in” and will be reported to Council once the application is ready to be determined
Modification application WITHDRAWN in accordance with Council’s resolution

 

2009/045

13/10/08

Rural Boundary Adjustment 7 lots to 3 lots

Lots 5,7,& 9 729466, Lots 1 & 2 DP 114790, Port 198 DP 755564 & Lot 1 DP 184908, 181 North Bank Road, Yarranbella

§ Concerns with traffic on Whip Mountain Road

23/10/08 Letter to applicant advising of further information required, preliminary assessment of banana contamination and vehicular access.
24/10/08 Referrals sent to DW&E, RFS, LALC
.
19/11/08 Advice that soil testing is now in progress
Awaiting results of testing
11/12/08 RFS conditions of consent received
Application likely to be dealt with by March 2009


 

DA NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED/STAFF COMMENTS

2009/049

20/10/2008

Retail Shopping Centre

Lot 526 & 527 DP 820041, Cnr Bellwood Road & Mumbler Street, Nambucca Heads

§ Concerns with economic impact on the viability of the Plaza

§ Concerns with additional traffic in Bellwood drive and public safety

§ Concerns with effect on flora and fauna

28/10/08 Advertised in local paper and internal referrals to engineers, health & building, Trade Waste Officer and Fire Control Officer

29/10/08 adjoining owners notified (closes 21/11/08). Referrals sent to DECC and RTA.

20/11/08 Request for extension of time for submissions to be received to allow time for independent reports and assessment to be done

Extension for two weeks provided

24/11/08 – 325 form letters received objecting to the proposal.
15/12/08 – 120 LATE submissions in the form of form letters objecting to the proposal

A report will be prepared following the close of the exhibition period and full assessment of the development application
A presentation will be made by the proponents at Council’s General Purpose Committee of 18/02/09

2009/082

17/12/2008

Demolition of Dwelling & Construction of Dwelling

Lot 1 Section B DP 17707, 26 Matthew Street, Scotts Head

§ Objection to setback to boundaries – could cause other properties to develop closer to boundaries to maintain views which would cause loss of openness and soft landscaping to existing reserve

§ Concern with overshadowing of property

§ Concern with large blank wall – request landscaping plans to be submitted

§ Building setback to stay in line with current dwellings

§ Concern with bulk and scale of the development – is not visually compatible with existing streetscape

Adjoining owner notification expires 20/01/09
Matters in submissions being considered.
23/01/09 Additional information in relation to BASIX requested from applicant – received 24/01/09
Application to be approved by 30/01/09

2009/079

15/12/2008

Alterations to existing pub

Lot B DP 340974, Lots 5 & 6 DP 6045, 2-4 Wallace Street, Macksville

§ Objection to finishings of building – not in line with the “heritage” value of the building – aluminium in particular

§ Footpath dining issues with access, littering and noise

§ Open area to be fenced so entry only through hotel

Matters in the submission are being considered
Expected to be determined by mid-February.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

5 February 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.4    DA2008/193      050209         Report for Determination of DA 2008/193 - 4 Lot Rural Subdivision - 207-208 Upper Buckrabendinni Road, Buckrabendinni

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Ben Oliver, Senior Town Planner         

 

Summary:

 

Applicant:                     Geoff Smyth Consulting

 

Proposal:                      Six lot Rural Subdivision

 

Property:                       Various Lots, 207-208 Upper Buckrabendinni Road, Buckrabendinni

 

Zoning:                          1(a1) Rural and 1(a3) Rural (Upper Water Catchment)

 

 

The development application is proposing to subdivide a 300 ha rural property into 4 rural lots. At present, the property is comprised of 8 separate allotments and includes 2 occupied rural dwellings.

 

The subdivision is intended to rationalise the boundaries of the land to comply with Council’s minimum lot sizes for rural zoned land. The existing dwelling houses will be retained on separate lots and two vacant lots with dwelling entitlements will be created. The proposed subdivision will consolidate fragmented parts of the land into viable farming lots without affecting the integrity of the zone boundaries or environmental sustainability of the upper water catchment.

 

The application initially proposed a 6 lot rural subdivision which received an objection from an adjoining landowner and was not supported by Council’s Planning Department. As a way of addressing these concerns, it was agreed that the proposal be amended, by reducing the proposed number of lots from 6 to 4.

 

The application was called–in, in response to an objection being received and to ensure that an appropriate level of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment was undertaken, as requested by the Bowraville Local Aboriginal land Council.

 

In response to the abovementioned issues, it is noted that the adjoining landowner is now satisfied with the amended subdivision proposal and has no further objection to the application. A search of the Department of Environment and Climate Change DECC Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) has shown that there are no Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal places recorded in or near the subject land. The BLALC were made aware of the results of the AHIMS search and advised to provide a written response if they had any further concerns or enquires. No response was received and on this basis is it presumed that the BLALC are satisfied that an appropriate level of consultation and assessment has been carried out. 

 

It is considered that all outstanding matters have been resolved and the application can be approved by Council.

 

NOTE: This matter requires a “Planning Decision” referred to in Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requiring the General Manager to record the names of each Councillor supporting and opposing the decision.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That development consent for Development Application 2008/193 be granted subject to the standard conditions of consent as attached to the report.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council has the option of refusing the application, however it is noted that the application complies in all respects with Council’s requirements for rural subdivisions and there are no apparent reasons which would be considered legitimate grounds for refusal.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Internal Referrals

 

No concerns or objections were raised to the proposed subdivision subject to appropriate conditions of development consent being applied to the development.

 

Government Departments

 

The application was referred to NSW Rural Fire Service under Section 100B of the Rural Fires Act and a bushfire safety authority was issued subject to standard conditions of approval.

 

Local Aboriginal Land Council

 

The application was referred to the Bowraville Local Aboriginal Land Council (BLALC) who requested that the application not be determined until an appropriate level of consultation and Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment was undertaken. In response, an AHIMS search was undertaken which indicated that there are no Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal places recorded in or near the subject land.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION – SECTION 79C(1) EP&A ACT

 

a(i) The Provisions Of Any Environmental Planning Instruments