NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING - 07 MAY 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 - 16 April 2009

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Deletion of Policies which ReState Legislation

5.2     Notice of Motion - Proofreading Documents for Exhibition  

6        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

7        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

8        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

9        General Manager Report

9.1     Outstanding Actions and Reports March 2009

9.2     Grant Application Status Report - 7 May 2009

9.3     Options for the Provision of General Fund Contributions Towards Section 94 Works and the possiblity of Establishing a Reserve

9.4     Draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan 2009/2010 to 2013/2014

9.5     Draft Budget 2009/2010

9.6     Subsidy for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme

9.7     Classification of Land Dedicated to Council

9.8     Review of the Planning Department Incorporating Comments From the Consultative Committee

9.9     New Funding Arrangements for Emergency Services

9.10   Modified Development Consent for DA 3040

9.11   Minutes of the Saleyards Advisory Working Group Meeting held 21 April 2009

9.12   Report on Notice of Motion - Superannuation

9.13   International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Climate Change Adaptation Local Government Forum - Report by Cr Flack

10      Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1   Report on additional hours for Ranger

10.2   Report on additional resources for the preparation of the State of the environment report

10.3   Report on additional resources for the Community and Social Plan

10.4   Contract Regulatory Officer's Report - March 2009

10.5   Outstanding DA's >12 months, applications where submissions received & not determined 7 April 2009

10.6   Final Report on Consolidate 31 Lots and Create 2 Lots With Dwelling Entitlements

10.7   Report on Draft Centres Policy (Planning For Retail and Commercial Development) - April 2009


11      Director Engineering Services Report

11.1   Boom Gates for Rail Crossings

11.2   Road Naming - Warrell Waters Road   

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

12.1   Review of General Manager's Performance

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.

 

12.2   Report On Appointment of a Consultant for Matthew Street Urban Design Strategy

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

  

13      MEETING CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

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

 



Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1      SF1269            070509         Notice of Motion - Deletion of Policies which ReState Legislation

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     John Ainsworth, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

That the General Manager be provided with delegated authority to delete Council’s policies which mainly restate legislation.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the General Manager be provided with delegated authority to delete Council’s policies which mainly restate legislation.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

It is a matter for Council, however, we have insufficient time to continually review the policies we have created. 

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

My understanding is that Council has approximately 180 policies and has sought, via the General Manager’s performance agreement, to review 25% of these policies per year. 

 

I am aware that last year Council deleted four “Mabo” related policies which simply restated Commonwealth Law on land claims.  We also deleted eight “building”  related policies which also mainly restated the provisions of the Local Government Act.

 

I would like the Council to concentrate on the important strategic and operational policies and if we are to do this, the General Manager should be provided with delegated authority to delete those policies which mainly restate legislation rather than have them come individually to a General Purpose Committee.  Reports to the General Purpose Committee do cost the Council in terms of staff time and the lost opportunity to consider other more important matters.

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.2      SF1269            070509         Notice of Motion - Proofreading Documents for Exhibition

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Paula Flack, Councillor         

 

Summary:

 

Councillors are required to comment on various draft policies and documents before they are placed on public exhibition for comment.  Exhibited documents should be of the highest possible standard in terms of spelling, grammar, punctuation and format. 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That all draft documents destined for public exhibition are proofread by a staff member prior to being sent to Councillors for comment.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Proofreading is best done by someone other than the author and from hard copy.  Councillors may wish to consider including these points in the recommendation.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Councillors’ time should be focused on the content rather than correcting spelling and grammar errors in these draft documents.  However, it is impossible to not comment on errors in the knowledge that an exhibited document containing errors and which has been reviewed by Councillors reflects poorly on both Council staff and Councillors.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Social

 

Economic

 

Risk

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

  


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1        SF959              070509         Outstanding Actions and Reports March 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

SEPTEMBER 2007

JUNE 2008

1

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.

 

The meeting with Dave Mitchell was held on the 25 March 2009 and as a result Council determined a number of actions:

 

1  That a letter be written to the Minister for Primary Industries seeking legislation that enables enforcement of the Code of Conduct for Ocean Haul Fishermen.

 

2  That information be sought on the success or otherwise of having a Professional Fishermen's Motor Vehicle Beach Access Permit.

 

3  That the Department of Primary Industries Representative raise the concerns of Nambucca Shire Council at the next meeting of the Ocean Haul Operators Management Advisory Committee.

 

4  That the Department of Primary Industries be asked to provide temporary signage on the beach that advises the public that Beach Haul fishing is underway with reference to the Department of Primary Industries Website.

 

DES

Report on commercial fishermen to be prepared for Council after further consulting with the Department of Primary Industries. Ongoing discussions with DPI.

DPI recommended a local meeting with the representative of the commercial fishermen, DPI and Council.

Dave Mitchell (Commercial Fishermen Representative of the Ocean Haul Operators) has agreed to discuss this years operations with Council before the end of March.

 

 


JULY 2008

2

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.

Follow up letter sent 9 April.

3

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 held 26 February 09.

 

Outcomes of meeting to come to Council in a report in May 2009. (21 May meeting)

4

Item 11.4

03/07/08

That a new plan of management be prepared for Farringdon Playing Fields

DES

Awaiting outcome of grant application before proceeding.

Outcome of grant expected early December but not yet received.

Funding declined.  Work on preparing plan to be scheduled.

 

Interested parties will need to identify potential uses for inclusion in revised plan of management.

OCTOBER 2008

 

5

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.

Three separate assessments underway:

 

1  GHD comment:

Riverside Drive Bank Stability:

Drilling carried out November 08 at Doyles Lane, Jason cottage and Ellis Ave.  Survey of crest and toe completed.  Vegetation cut back to allow survey of bank contours etc.  after survey completed then the geotech model is developed.

Report for Jason Cottages due by 3 April 2009.  Additional clearing and survey required for Doyles Lane slip.

2  GHD comment:

Riverside Drive Road Stability(West)

Hazard mapping completed mid December 08.  draft report prepared in January 09 for internal review. 

Report from GHD due by 16 April 2009

3  GHD comment:

Catchment Assessment

Development of methodology.

Catchment base maps and data being prepared as GIS resources permit.  Approximate half forwarded to GHD.

 

Jason Cottages - preliminary design received. Riverside Dr road stability due first week after Easter.  Catchment assessment – all data has now been supplied. 

 

Draft report received and comments returned to GHD.  Final report by 8 May 2009.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2008

 

6

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.

 

 

7

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

 

8

SF844

20/11/08

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

 

GM

Invitation issued 26/11/08.

The Minister visited the Nambucca Valley on 16 April 2009.

 

9

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

Target for Plan’s presentation is June 2009 in accordance with the 2008-09 Management Plan.

See report item in business paper.

 

 

10

SF42

20/11/08

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

 

DEP

16 April 2009

Matter deferred as AIBS and DEPA are currently investigating the consequences of this circular.

 

DECEMBER 2008

 

11

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.

 

Invitations issued to NSW AGs - declined due to travel bans.

 

Grant successful – see item in business paper.

 

No further action proposed regarding meeting.

 

 

12

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.  List of Committee members obtained on 25 February.  Meeting to be scheduled.

Meeting held and minute in business paper of 7 May 2009.

 

 

13

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.

 

14

 

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

 

Council has assisted with three grant applications.

 

15

 

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.

 

16

SF639

18/12/08

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

 

GM

Report May 2009

Provision made for position in draft budget.

 

17

SF639

18/12/08

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

 

GM

Report July 2009. 

 

Report is completed and  to be considered by  Consultative Committee in 23 April 2009 before coming to Council.  This is required by the Award.

Report to Council on 7 May 2009.

 

 

18

SF1046

18/12/08

That the Wellington Drive 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.

 

Deferred in Draft Budget.

 

16 April 2009 meeting.

Deferred until draft Nambucca River Master Plan prepared.

 

 

19

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.

 

JANUARY 2009

 

20

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 currently being advertised – closed 16 April 2009. 

To be reported to Council’s meeting on 21 May 09.

 

21

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.

Late March.

Deferred to May 2009.

 

22

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.

Views of residents in McKay Street be sought

 

Submissions being received and collated.

 

 

23

PRF53

15/01/09

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

DES

Letter sent to the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory.

 

The Dept of Commerce have advised that Council in 1981 raised no objection to the Department of Public Works proposal to install an automatic recorder after consideration of the approximate location and type of structure, The site is important because of the consistency with historical data. An alternative building or structure must still use the same site.

 

 

24

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

 

Further modelling will only be for the 1% population growth scenario. Results will be included in the Final Strategy paper which is due to be received by the end of March 2009.

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 2009

 

25

SF706

5/02/09

That Council staff prepare a funding application for solar hot water and rainwater tanks for the Council Administration building provided it is fully funded.

 

GM

Referred to Grants Officer for preparation of grant.

 

Building has been equipped with solar hot water since 2002.  Booster now turned off.

 

 

26

SF241

5/02/09

That a new plan of management for the reserve within Kingsworth Estate be prepared by DES.  To include pedestrian and vehicular access arrangements and management of environmental values.

 

DES

October 2009

 

27

SF869

19/02/09

Council write to Country Energy concerning energy being wasted with street lighting at the Pearl Estate off the Pacific Highway at Valla, pointing out there are no houses and the road is blocked to prevent access.

 

DES

Letter sent seeking change to Council determining when street lights in new subdivisions are energised.

 

No response as at 28 April 2009.

 

 

28

SF1031

19/02/09

That a report come back to Council on its capacity to keep electronic information long term and in a fail safe condition.

GM

MIT to report in July 2009.

 

MARCH 2009

 

29

SF1297

5/03/09

That Council make representations to the DECC and RFS re requirements for bushfire asset protection zones around houses.

 

DEP

Letters to be prepared and sent.

 

Letters sent 16 March 2009.

No response as 27 April 2009.

 

30

DA09/049

5/03/09

The RTA be requested to revise the speed limit along the Pacific Highway at Bellwood to 50km/hr.

 

DES

Letter sent.

 

No response as at 24 March 2009.

 

31

SF135

5/03/09

That Council receive a breakdown and explanation of the $9,000 (for the SoE Report) so that it may be  considered in the 09/10 budget.

 

DEP

Report to be prepared and submitted with Budget.

Report done for Budget meeting.

 

32

DA09/061

5/03/09

That Council review the Carparking Section 94 plan for Nambucca Heads..

 

GM

Target report to Council in July 2009.

 

 

33

SF982

5/03/09

Report on income and expenditure re Ranger when draft budget for 09/10 is considered.

 

DEP

Report to be prepared and submitted with Budget.

Report done for Budget meeting.

 

 

34

SF1269

5/03/09

That Council investigate the purchase of privately owned industrial land adjoining the Macksville industrial estate.

 

GM

Cost of feasibility study being investigated.  Report by April 2009.

Quotes being obtained from consultants.  Report May 2009.

 

35

SF1269

19/03/09

Section 94 Plan for the Bellwood area be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

GM

DES has engaged RoadNet to prepare a report on required infrastructure and cost. 

 

Report to GPC 20 May 2009. 

 

 

36

SF959

19/03/09

Council raise lack of staffing, opening hours and security at the Macksville Court House with the Attorney General.

 

GM

Letter sent 24/03/09.

 

37

SF791

19/03/09

Proposed sale of old Gumma Road sanitary depot be deferred to allow for further investigation of prior use.

 

GM

Report to next Land Development Committee meeting.

 

38

SF791

19/03/09

That a report go back to the Land Development Committee on the outcome of advertising for expressions of interest for the purchase and development of industrial land in Nambucca Heads.

 

GM

Report to come back following advertising.

 

39

SF1301

19/03/09

Council hold 1 workshop for Section 355 Committees to explain information package and to discuss any issues or concerns the Committees may have in relation to their operations.

 

GM

Workshop being organised for 5.00pm Wednesday 3 June 2009.

 

40

SF744

19/03/09

Council receive a report on the released bond for the Wia-Ora sand and gravel quarry.

DEP

Report targeted for presentation prior to end of May 2009.  (21 May meeting)

 

APRIL 2009

 

41

PRF11

2/04/09

Buz Brazel Park

 

DES

Plans showing the vegetation clearing options sent to the Committee of Management for their views. Plan of Management will be re-submitted to Council once a response is received.

 

Report to Council 21 May 2009.

 

 

42

SF939

2/04/09

Views of Chambers of Commerce, Nambucca Valley Tourism and High Schools be sought as to proposed marketing slogan and billboards and alternative suggestions

 

GM

To be reported back in August 2009

 

43

SF1269

16/04/09

That a report be brought to Council explaining why Council has to pay the additional superannuation contribution.

GM

Report in May 2009.

 

44

SF1269

16/04/09

That Council write to the Minister for Education requesting Cricket Association be compensated for loss of turf wicket at Thistle Park and seeking assurance that any funds from sale of land will be spent on public education in Macksville.

GM

Letter sent 20 April 2009.

 

45

SF1269

16/04/09

Posting of business papers for Council’s second monthly Council meeting and GPC occur on a Wednesday.

GM

Staff notified of changed deadlines and MANEX meeting dates.

 

46

SF871

16/04/09

That the future of the Pioneer Community Centre be subject to a further report to Council in 3 months time following receipt of any proposal from the CoM to retain the building.

Also Council seek the flat be vacated and obtain insurance details.

GM

Report in August 2009.  Letter sent 20/4/09 to CoM requesting that the flat be vacated and requesting insurance details.

 

47

SF959

16/04/09

Sub-Committee continue a review of draft Management Plan so that it can be presented to Council in March 2010.

GM

A report is to be prepared to the Sub-Committee on a staged process for reviewing the draft Management Plan.  Report to be completed by June 2009.  Subcommittee to report by March 2010.

 

 

48

SF1305

16/04/09

Council make representations to the Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Roads to seek funding for the repair of landslips in Nambucca Heads which occurred as a consequence of the flood events in February and March 2009.  Also that Council make representations to the Insurance Council for the provision of insurance for land slip damage.

 

GM

Letters sent 21 April 2009.

 

49

SF1075

16/04/09

That Council seek a legal opinion on how it should advise the effect of the NSW Government Policy Statement on sea level rise under question 7 on a planning certificate and also specific advice as to a disclaimer.

 

DEP

Letter sent to Deacons on 20 April 2009.

 

50

RF477

16/04/09

That Council write to Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Councils seeking a joint inspection of the Coffs Coast Waste Facility

 

DES

 

 

51

SF444

16/04/09

That the revised road hierarchy plan, incorporating a grading program be deferred to the next GPC meeting with Councillors to provide any comments to Acting DES within 7 days.

 

DES

Report to GPC 17 June 2009.

 

52

SF901

16/04/09

That the report on Council owned buildings for public use – essential fire measures be deferred to the next Council meeting for a report on the inconsistencies with maintenance costs for halls.

DES

Report 7 May 2009.

To be considered in March quarterly budget review.

 

 

 

Attachments:

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.2        SF706         070509         Grant Application Status Report - 7 May 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.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the list of grant programs and their status to 5 March 2009 be received.

 

 

APPROVED GRANTS—SECURED BY GRANTS OFFICER

 

Grant

Funding Amount

Description

NSW Maritime – Maritime Infrastructure Program

 

$53,220

Pontoon and Gangway at Lions Park, Ferry Street – Macksville

 

Pontoon and Gangway at Tourist Office Finger Wharf – Nambucca Heads

 

NSW Blackspot Program

 

 

$34,000

Pedestrian refuge at Bowra Street, Nambucca Heads

 

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

 

$11,179

Nambucca District Little Athletics – Computer, camera and filing cabinets.

 

Nambucca Heads Junior Rugby League Football Club – Coffee maker and a step ladder.

 

Nambucca Heads Touch Football – Computer and a photocopier

 

NSW Attorney General’s Department – NSW Crime Prevention Grant

 

$54,527

Program to assist licensed premises to implement strategies towards a safer environment for women

TOTAL

$152,926

 

 

 

 


SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS

 

 

Grant Program

Action

Grant Details and Status

6

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.

 

2

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) E J Biffin Playing Fields - Funding to purchase a ride-on-mower

 

3

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. 

 

4

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.

 

5

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

6

Local Adaptation Pathway Program Grant – Round 2 - Expression of Interest

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 25 February 2009

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant: $140,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO/ ECO/

SP

Through the Local Adaptation Pathways Program, the Australian Government is providing funding to help councils undertake climate change risk assessments and develop action plans to prepare for the likely local impacts of climate change.

Worth up to $500,000, Round 2 of the Local Adaptation Pathways Program seeks to complement and build on the work from Round 1. While all applications will be considered, this round of funding seeks to improve participation from local governments in Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote regions. Consortia of councils are also encouraged to apply.

For Round 2, the Program will provide local governments with grants of up to

·    $75,000 (GST exclusive) for a single council

·    $120,000 (GST exclusive) for two (2) Councils

·    $140,000 (GST exclusive) for three (3) or more councils.

The funding will help councils integrate climate change risk assessment into their broader decision-making processes.

A joint application has been submitted from Nambucca Shire Council, Kempsey Shire Council and Bellingen Shire Council.  Further information has been submitted upon request of the Department.

 

7

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

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant: $150,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO

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.

Application submitted by Nambucca River Volunteer Marine Rescue Squad.

8

Country Halls Renewal Fund

 

Funding basis: 2:1

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: Always Open

Outcome:

Grant 1: $TBA

Council contribution: $TBA

Grant 2: $12,754.13

Council contribution: $6,377.07

 

Grant 3:: $17,052.00

Council contribution: $4,556.00

GO

$2.5 million over 5 years towards renewing country halls. 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) Taylors Arm Hall – Kitchen, flooring and windows

 

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

 

9

Norman Wettenhall Foundation

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $10,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 31 March 2009

Outcome: Successful applications announcement date yet to be advised

Grant 1: $10,000

Council contribution: $0.00

 

GO

Support is given to projects that enhance or maintain the vitality and diversity of the Australian natural living environment.

 

The objectives of the Foundation are:

·     to build capacity in local communities to effect long-term beneficial change in the natural environment

·     to support and encourage research into, and monitoring of, all aspects of Australia's natural environment

·     to support education relating to our natural environment

·     Principles

 

Wherever possible, funded projects will:

·     be innovative and serve as a model for future projects

·     show collaboration with other groups, particularly community groups

·     result in long term improvement of the natural environment

·     indicate clearly, and thoughtfully, how advice of the project's outcomes will be shared

 

Pre-approval to lodge a submission has been received for funding towards seating and signage for the Crosswinds Wetlands Reserve.  An application has been submitted.

 

10

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

Funding basis: Fully funded up to $30,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 27 March 2009

Outcome:

Grant: $30,000

Council contribution: $20,000

 

 

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.

 

An application has been prepared to fund engineering works, informative signage at Bellwood and a children's safety booklet. 

 

11

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

 

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Application prepared

Closing: 30 April 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant:$TBA

Council contribution:$TBA

 

GO

$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.

 

An application is currently being prepared to look at the possibility of replacing the lighting in the Council administration building.

 

12

Australian Government – Caring for our Country funding

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $100,000

Council contribution: $14,000

 

GO

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.

 

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 submit an application that includes weed removal, field days, workshops and other on ground works and will involve a small devolved grant scheme for land owners and community groups.

 

13

Local Infrastructure Support FundBuilding the Country Package – Department of State and Regional Development – Expression of Interest

Funding basis: TBA

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 20 March 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $100,000

Council contribution: $TBA

 

GO

$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.

 

Application submitted for infrastructure works at Macksville Saleyards.

 

 

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

 

 

Grant Program

Action

Status

1

Building the Country Package

Funding basis: Various

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: Various

 

 

Building the Country Package announced by the Rees Government. 

 

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

 

2

 

Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS) – Ministry of Transport

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 25 June 09

 

 

The Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS) is administered by the Ministry of Transport. It provides support funding to improve the amenity of passenger transport infrastructure in rural, regional and remote communities of NSW

Who Can Apply?

Local government, incorporated community organisations, transport operators and other interested organisations that have a current Australian Business Number are eligible.

 

3

Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants

 

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $100,000

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 29 May 2009

 

 

The aim of the Restoration and Rehabilitation (R&R) program is to facilitate projects to prevent or reduce pollution, the waste stream or environmental degradation of any kind, run by community organisations and State and Local government organisations. Through these projects, we also aim to improve the capacity of communities and organisations to protect, restore and enhance the environment.

The Objectives of the Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Program are: 

   to restore degraded environmental resources, including rare and endangered ecosystems 

   to protect important ecosystems and habitats of rare and endangered flora and fauna 

   to prevent or inimize future environmental damage

   to enhance the quality of specific environmental resources

   to improve the capacity of eligible organisations to protect, restore and enhance the environment

to undertake resource recovery and waste avoidance projects and to prevent and/or reduce pollution.

For Council’s information, as at 21 April 2009, the Grants Officer has applied for 38 grants totalling $3,858,664. Of that total Council has been notified that grants in the amount of $152,926 have been successfully approved.  The remainder are still to be determined.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.3      SF544              070509         Options for the Provision of General Fund Contributions Towards Section 94 Works and the possiblity of Establishing a Reserve

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

Council has insufficient finances to establish a matching reserve in General Fund for Section 94 works.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the information be received.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can establish a reserve in the General Fund to match Section 94 expenditure in whole or in part.

 

If Council was to establish such a reserve it will need to identify the source of funds.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At Council’s meeting on 6 November 2008 it was resolved that Council receive a report on options for the provision of matching General Fund contributions for the Section 94 Work Schedule for community facilities and open space.  The report is to include the possibility of establishing a reserve.

 

The issue arose as a consequence of the General Fund allocation which often has to be made for Section 94 works.  The General Fund contribution is required because Section 94 Plans cannot fund backlog work which existed prior to the creation of the plans.

 

The draft management plan includes consideration of the cycleway plan which is an example of the problem.

 

The review of the draft infrastructure management plan and the budget for 2009/2010 indicates that Council is not in a financial position whereby it can establish a reserve for matching Section 94 works.  Further, it is difficult to foresee the prospect of creating such as reserve in the foreseeable future.  If Council were to attempt to create a reserve it will need to either consider a special rate variation and/or a significant reduction in the service levels provided by its assets. 

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation in preparing this report.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no particular implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no particular social implications.

 

Economic

 

There are no particular economic implications.

 

 

Risk

 

There are no particular risk implications.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The report is for information, there is no impact on budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.4      SF1213            070509         Draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan 2009/2010 to 2013/2014

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

As a process for dealing with the draft Management Plan for 2009-2010 it is recommended that Council firstly review the draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan.  This will provide an overview of asset management and capital funding requirements going forward and provide a context for the annual budget.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

         

1        Council note the changes to the Draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward           Financial Plan 2009/2010 to 2013/2014 made by MANEX.

 

2        That a strategic plan for Council’s cemeteries be reported to Council.

 

3        Council consider a report on the operation of the saleyards as a business unit and in           particular what, if any, subsidy is to be applied to its operations.

 

4        Council review the cycleway plan so as to ensure its funding requirements are realistic.

 

5        Council consider reports on the funding and use of the reserves for the Council Chambers           Upkeep, Self insurance, and Tourist Centre Upkeep.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The draft budget prior to review by MANEX had the following results:  General Fund $2,658,700 deficit; Water $2,000 surplus; and Sewerage $2,900 surplus.  MANEX have now reviewed the draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Budget with a view to presenting Council with a balanced budget.

 

Council can review any or all aspects of its draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan.  It is recommended that Council undertake its review with the same objective of providing a balanced budget.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan 2009/2010 to 2013/2014 are contained in a number of spreadsheets which are circularised.  Both of these plans are an amalgam of previously planned projects and also projects which have been suggested in correspondence or at Council meetings.

 

As a process for dealing with the draft Management Plan for 2009-2010 it is recommended that Council firstly review the draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan.  This will provide an overview of asset management and capital funding requirements going forward and provide a context for the annual budget.

 

There is substantial commentary with the draft infrastructure management plan but the following are identified as significant matters concerning non-operating (capital) expenditure within each of the functions.  Changes to the draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan made by MANEX are listed in each section of this report.

 

Administration

 

Provision has been made for the replacement of Council’s corporate software system Fujitsu 2000 plus in 2009/2010 funded from reserves and revenue.  The corporate software provides finance, rating and property applications.  The decision to replace the software has been made mainly because the software provider has been taken over by a rival company and the on-going development and level of service of Fujitsu 2000 plus is expected to decline.

 

The Manager Information Technology proposed a contingency of $50,000 for the implementation of the new corporate software system because of the uncertainty about the quality of Council’s data and any unforeseen development or training costs.  As part of the budget review by MANEX the contingency is reduced by $30,000 to $20,000.

 

Provision has also been made for the purchase of the new Microsoft office suite in 2010/11 and also asset management software.  It is possible that asset management software might be acquired as part of the corporate software solution.

 

In general terms Council has a good standard of printers, photocopiers and PCs and it is proposed to maintain this standard due in part to the limited staffing for day to day computer support.

 

Change made by MANEX

 

1.   The contingency for implementation of the new corporate software system reduced by $50,000 to $20,000 (saving of $30,000).

 

Public Order and Safety

 

A provision of $11,100 has been made for the upgrading of Council’s pound.  The Promoting Better Practice Review report made the following comments in relation to Council’s pound.

 

“There have been recent incidents of break-ins at the Macksville pound to release animals.  This has resulted in the death of an impounded animal following the unauthorised release of a dangerous dog duing a break in.  The Council pound is adjacent to the Works Depot and is relatively isolated.  Further, it has inadequate accommodation for peak periods when animals have to be caged together.  Council could consider the possibility of upgrading the pound facilities or alternatively utilise a local animal welfare organisation.”

 

With the foreshadowed changes to funding arrangements for the NSW Fire Brigades, the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Services at this stage it is difficult to forecast subsidy requirements extending into future years.

 

Housing and Community Amenities

 

The Department of Environment and Climate Change is finalising its requirements for the control of leachate from the landfill.  Expenditure of $340,000 in both 2009/10 and 2010/11 is planned so as to meet DECC requirements.  The construction of new cell is planned for 2010/11.

 

A strategic plan for cemeteries which will indicate future funding requirements will be submitted to Council before 31/12/2009.

 

Council Buildings/Facilities

 

Council is now developing good data on the standard of its building assets and maintenance requirements.  This is mainly due to the work of the Technical Officer – Assets.  Whilst most major buildings have been assessed, many minor buildings such as amenities and structures in parks are still to be assessed.  As the collection and reporting of data on the standard of Council’s building assets progresses it is apparent that previous service levels cannot be maintained.  Council will either have to significantly increase expenditure or reduce service levels by the closure and/or sale of buildings.  There is no funding available for capital improvements of existing halls and buildings let alone consider demands for new facilities.

 

The review of halls indicates that the allocation for hall maintenance will need to be increased by $32,000 in 2009/2010.

 

A proposal to provide funding of $50,000 in 2009/2010 towards the upgrading of the Argent’s Hill hall has been removed from the draft budget by MANEX.  The $50,000 on its own will be insufficient to upgrade the building to an acceptable standard and requires supporting funding from grants.  At this stage there is no indication there will be any substantive grant funds made available.  If a grant is offered it should only be accepted on the condition that the care, control and management of the building is transferred from Council to an incorporated association as Council cannot afford to retain it.

 

The draft Infrastructure Management Plan provides for an on-going program to upgrade Council’s Works Depot with $243,000 to be spent in 2009/2010 on upgrading the vehicle washdown bay to improve environmental outcomes.  The expenditure in subsequent years will provide a reasonable standard of amenities for Council staff and further improve environmental outcomes.  MANEX added an additional provision in 2009/2010 of $20,000 for new roofing for the store.  The store roof has been previously repaired but has numerous rust holes and needs to be replaced.  In the February and March floods the floor of the store was completely wet.  An incremental program of upgrading the Works Depot needs to be maintained to avoid the outcome of a completely rundown Depot becoming the subject of a special rate variation.

 

The proposed capital works program for the saleyards is a concern as there is an outstanding loan to the saleyards of $88,000 and the reserves are essentially depleted.  At a recent meeting of the Sale Yards Advisory Working Group it was agreed that the first priority for capital expenditure was the provision of an effluent management system which has the capacity to operate in all weather conditions.  This may be funded in part by savings in pump out costs which will be in excess of $10,000 in 2008/2009, however a detailed costing is yet to be developed.

 

In general terms in 2008/2009 revenue from the sale yards is expected to meet operating expenses but is inadequate to finance capital upgrading.  For these reasons, MANEX removed $105,000 from the proposed budget for 2009/2010 for capital works at the saleyards.  The management of the saleyards would benefit from a clear direction as to whether it is expected to operate at no net cost to Council or in consideration of its economic benefits whether Council is prepared to provide an on-going subsidy, and if so, how much.

 

Changes made by MANEX

 

2.   An additional allocation of $32,000 applied to 2270-025 Hall Maintenance (cost of $32,000).

3.   Proposed $50,000 allocation for the upgrading of the Argents Hill Hall in 2009/2010 deleted from the draft budget (saving of $50,000).

4.   An additional allocation of $20,000 in the 2009/2010 budget for the replacement of the store roof (cost of $20,000).

5.   Proposed $105,000 allocation for saleyard improvements in 2009/2010 deleted from the draft budget (saving of $105,000).

 

Sporting Grounds, Parks and Gardens

 

Council’s Infrastructure Management Plan features the provision of cycleways based on an adopted cycleway plan.  The plan is unaffordable and needs to be reviewed.  MANEX removed a cycleway proposed for Valla in 2009/10 with an estimated cost of $1,170,000 which required $936,000 in funding from revenue and $234,000 from Section 94 reserves.

 


Change made by MANEX

 

6.   The proposed $1,170,000 allocation for cycleways – Valla in 2009/2010 deleted from the draft budget (saving of $936,000)

 

Rural Road Bitumen Resealing

 

The standard of Council’s roads featured prominently in the customer satisfaction survey undertaken in late 2007.  Sealed roads were rated as being of high importance and low satisfaction.  The commentary in the circularised attachment also indicates that in terms of asset management, regular bitumen resealing is essential if Council is to avoid the much more expensive road rehabilitation.  Council’s investment in sealed roads is such that inadequate maintenance will, over time, result in an unmanageable financial liability.  There is an opportunity to provide $435,000 for bitumen resealing on Taylors Arm Road, Wilson Road, Newee Creek Road, and Coronation Road through the following recommendations.

 

Changes made by MANEX

 

7.   Item 47045-000 Rural Roads Minor Improvement deleted from the draft budget for 2009/2010 (saving of $100,000).

 

8.   Item 47047-000 Rural Roads Safety Improvements deleted from the draft budget for 2009/2010 (saving of $100,000).

 

9.   Item 2893-000 Rural Road Reseals deleted from the draft budget for 2009/2010 as it is a double entry (saving $400,000).

 

10.  Budget item 47020-000 – Rural Roads Bitumen Resealing increased by $235,000 (cost of $235,000).

 

Urban Street Rehabilitation/Reseal

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.

 

Rural Road Rehabilitation

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.

 

Bridge Replacement

 

The recommended program has been affected by the floods which occurred in February and March.  Claims under the Natural Disaster Declaration for flood damage will be made for the bridges on Moran’s Road and also Deep Creek Road, both having being destroyed in the March flood.  The savings on loans for both bridges ($45,000) have been directed to the increase in funding for rural road bitumen resealing.

 

There is provision in the infrastructure management plan for $510,000 for the rehabilitation of the Congarinni Road North bridge in 2009/2010.

 

Changes made by MANEX

 

11.  Budget item 47150-000 adjusted by the deletion of Morans Road Bridge and Deep Creek Bridge in 2009/2010 (saving of $485,000).

12.  Savings in loan funds for bridge replacement directed to rural road bitumen reseal (reallocation of $45,000).

 

Footpath Extension/Replacement Program & Landslip Restoration

 

A provision of $165,000 has been made for landslip restoration in 2009/2010 with a further $165,000 in 2010/2011 and smaller provisions in subsequent years.

 

Given the large landslips which occurred on Council roads as a consequence of both the February and March floods, MANEX gave consideration to increasing this provision.  Whilst the repair of the landslips are considered to be eligible for funding under the Natural Disaster Declarations and will be the subject of funding applications, there may be a dispute in relation to the stabilisation/repair of the section of the landslip above a road.  Also at the time of preparing this report Council had not received designs and cost estimates for the repair or stabilisation of the landslips.  Council has now received an estimate for the repair of the landslip below Jason Cottage which is a cost of $400,000.  Council will need to consider additional funding for landslip restoration for 2010/2011.

 

There has also been extensive damage to road pavements and verges caused by landslips into rivers.  These will also be the subject of funding applications under the Natural Disaster Declarations but at this stage their outcome is unknown.

 

For these reasons the recommended allocation for landslip restoration has not been changed.

 

There has been no change to the provision for footpath construction.

 

Stormwater Management

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.

 

Other – Kerb & Gutter, Carparks, Bus Stops, Causeways

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.

 

Sewerage

 

The Nambucca Heads Sewerage Augmentation to increase sewerage treatment capacity at Nambucca Heads from 10,000 equivalent persons (EP) to 15,000 EP and also to improve effluent quality will have the biggest impact on Council’s sewerage budget over the next 5 years.

 

During the recent visit by the Hon. Phillip Costa, Minister for Water and Minister for Regional Development, he confirmed that Council would receive financial assistance at a rate of 25.5 percent of the eligible components as a fixed sum.  This level of subsidy had already been budgeted for.

 

Despite Council’s consistent stand to retain the status quo, there remains the possibility that Council will lose responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services to the residents of the Nambucca Valley.  If Council were to lose control to a large utility there is the risk that local government areas with lower debt and charges may subsidise those Councils with relatively higher levels of debt and charges.

 

What is “definite” is that the NSW Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program is being phased out and the subsidy which has been made available for the Nambucca Heads Sewerage Augmentation and also for the Off Stream Water Storage will not be available if the project is deferred beyond the life of the program.

 

Another “definite” is that in terms of interest rates and contractor availability it is a good time to be commissioning construction of major public works.

 

In summary, all of these factors suggest that it is an appropriate time to proceed with the project.  The budget for 2009/2010 makes provision for an expenditure of $15,400,000 on this project.

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.


 

Water Supply

 

As with sewerage, planned capital works expenditure for water supply over the next 5 years is dominated by a single project being the off river water storage.  An expenditure of $3.5m on the off stream water storage is proposed in 2009/2010 for detailed design.

 

Council has now received advice from the Hon. Phillip Costa MP, Minister for Water and Minister for Regional Development that based on Council’s current design parameters the estimated subsidy to be made available from the County Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program is 31 percent.

 

The considerations listed in relation to sewerage apply equally to water supply.  There is the possibility that Council will lose responsibility for the provision of water and sewerage services.  It has already been announced that the NSW Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program is being phased out and the 31 percent subsidy offer will not be available if the project is deferred beyond the life of the program.  The economic cycle is such that interest rates and contractor availability are favourable for the construction of major public works.

 

There have been no changes to the program recommended in the attachment.

 

General Reserves

 

The General Reserves in the draft Forward Financial Plan have been reviewed and the following comments are made.

 

Council maintains a reserve for upkeep of the Council Chambers as well as a separate maintenance allocation in the budget.  As at 1 July 2009 the reserve will have a balance of $105,500 with the draft Forward Financial Plan proposing a further allocation of $20,000 in 2009/2010.  Whilst the administrative building would benefit from additional records storage space and training facilities there is no strategic plan for the expenditure of the reserve.  MANEX believes that the reserve should not be increased until there is a plan for its expenditure.

 

Council maintains a “self insurance” reserve which will have a balance of $109,400 as at 1 July 2009.  A further $10,000 is proposed to be applied to the reserve in 2009/2010.  It is understood the purpose of the reserve was to provide funding to replace halls or buildings which have been removed from Council’s insurance schedule in the event they are destroyed.  However the removal of a building from the insurance schedule is generally predicated on a decision that it is unlikely to be replaced.  The reserve is not being built at a rate which will ever allow Council to consider self insurance for its entire property portfolio.  In the circumstances it is recommended that the reserve not be increased and that Council review its purpose.

 

There is a reserve for the “Tourist Centre Upkeep”.  The reserve is in addition to a maintenance allocation.  As at 1 July 2009 the reserve will have a balance of $20,000 with a further $5,000 proposed to be allocated in 2009/2010.  Again without any plan for its expenditure it is recommended that it not be increased and that Council review its purpose.

 

The draft Infrastructure Management Plan proposed the establishment of a reserve to finance Council’s contribution to the establishment of a new Rural Fire Service headquarters in the area.  Council will need to provide both the land for the new headquarters plus approximately 12 percent of its construction cost.  The contribution to the reserve in 2009/2010 was proposed to be $30,000.  Without any proposal for the new headquarters and further works being planned for the NEOC building it is recommended that Council defer the establishment of the reserve until the proposed relocation and its timing are agreed.

 

Changes made by MANEX

 

13.  Not increasing the reserve for Council Chambers upkeep (saving $20,000)

14.  Not increasing the “self insurance” reserve (saving $10,000)

15.  Not increasing the “Tourist Centre Upkeep” reserve (saving $5,000)

16.  Not providing for a reserve for the proposed new Rural Fire Service headquarters (saving $30,000)

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan has been reviewed by Manex.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Council’s budget and forward financial plan are significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

 

Social

 

Council’s budget and forward financial plan are significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

 

Economic

 

Council’s budget and forward financial plan are significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

 

Risk

 

There are no particular risk implications.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The report concerns the determination of current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The intention is to deliver at least a balanced budget which will have no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.5      SF1213            070509         Draft Budget 2009/2010

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager; Craig Doolan, Manager Financial Services         

 

Summary:

 

The draft budget had an initial deficit for General Fund of $2,658,700 and small surpluses for water and sewerage.  MANEX have now reviewed the initial deficit with changes that provide a balanced budget for the General Fund.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        Council note the changes to the Draft Budget for 2009/2010 made by MANEX.

 

2        Council endorse the draft Management Plan (Strategies, Actions and KPI’s) for           exhibition.

 

3        Council place all draft Management Plan documents as amended on public exhibition for at           least 28 days from Thursday 14 May 2009 and that a public meeting to explain the           documents and answer questions be held at the Council Chambers during the first week of           the public exhibition.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The draft budget prior to review by MANEX had the following results:  General Fund $2,658,700 deficit; Water $2,000 surplus; and Sewerage $2,900 surplus.  MANEX have now reviewed all budget documents with a view to presenting Council with a balanced budget.

 

Council can review any or all aspects of its budget but based on a financial sustainability view it is recommended this be done with the same objective of providing a balanced budget.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At Council’s meeting on 19 March 2009 it was resolved to adopt the draft 2009/2010 Revenue Policy and Fees and Charges for the draft 2009/2029 Management Plan.

 

At Council’s meeting on 16 April 2009 it was resolved that the draft Management Plan (Strategies, Actions and KPI”s) be presented to Council for endorsement for public exhibition but that a Sub-Committee continue a review of the Plan with a draft to be presented to Council by March 2010.

 

There is a separate report in this business paper concerning the draft Infrastructure Management Plan and Forward Financial Plan.  Therefore the annual budget is the remaining component of Council’s Management Plan to be determined for the purposes of public exhibition.

 

Council’s current special rate variation strategy has set Council on a sustainability path.  It is important for Council to continue to consider long term financial sustainability as part of this annual process.  In deliberating on the draft annual budget and forward financial plan Council needs to keep in mind factors such as revenue generation to cover operating costs; sufficient working capital levels; investing in asset renewal; programmed asset replacement; and indebtedness.

 

Consideration also needs to be made to the comments by Council’s auditor as part of the audit report on the 2007/2008 financial statements where an unrestricted ratio of 2.0 and above should be an objective of future budgets.  The unrestricted ratio measures the adequacy of working capital after excluding all restricted assets and liabilities.  Improving Council’s ratio of 1.73 will require surplus budgets and a restraining of additional commitments.

 

Council also needs to be aware that its Asset Renewal Ratio which assesses the rate at which assets are being renewed against the rate they are being depreciated was 0.61 in the 2007/2008 financial statements.  A ratio of 1:1 means that Council is replacing their assets at the same rate at which they depreciate.  Hence for the year, Council expended considerably less on asset renewals compared to the estimated reduction in asset condition in the same period.

 

A copy of the draft budget for 2009/2010 is circularised.

 

The following is a commentary on significant aspects of the budget and identifies changes to the draft budget made by MANEX as well as submissions to the draft that have not been included.

 

Taking into account the changes made by MANEX and with the addition of $8,000 to repair O’Grady Lane, the budget stands at a small surplus.

 

 

Rates and Charges Increases

 

The Minister for Local Government has determined that 3.5% will be the allowable increase in rates for 2009/2010.  Council has submitted an application for a special variation to exceed this rate pegging limit by 1.3%.  The draft budget includes funding from this anticipated special variation.

 

Council was granted a special variation of 2% in 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09 as years one to three of a strategy to raise $5m in loan funds for expenditure on capital works to rehabilitate rural roads, urban streets and renew bridges.  The additional revenue in 2009/10 will be the final year of this strategy and contribute to funding loan repayments on a $1m loan.

 

Annual charges will be applied for the provision of stormwater management in accordance with the revision of the Local Government Act in 2006.

 

The waste management charge for 2009/10 will be $440 and it is anticipated to increase by a further $29 in 2010/11 and then to $483 in 2011/12 where it should remain stable.

 

Water and sewerage charges will increase in accordance with the best practice requirements of the Department of Water and Energy and the funding required for the water storage and sewer augmentation works.  The estimated increases for an average rate assessment in 2009/2010 will be 9% for water and 14% for sewer. 

 

 

Administration

 

1.   Item 53-000 - as Council is aware there has been an increase in the employer’s contribution for employees in the LGSS defined benefits scheme.  In aggregate this amounts to $256,000 in 2009/2010.  There is a separate report in the business paper concerning this.

2.   Item 81-000 – valuation fees – these were increased in 2008/09 to cover building valuations for insurance purposes.  The provision of $53,000 has been reduced to $38,100.  This is a saving of $14,900.

3.   Staffing – the draft budget includes all staff identified in Council’s organisation structure, including the Asset Manager.  With the works program required to rectify flood damage provision has also been made for increased hours of engineering administrative support and additional overtime for overseers.

4.   Item 54-000 – Salary Benchmarking Project – has been removed from the budget as it has been undertaken in 2008/09.  This is a saving of $14,500.

5.   Item 10150-000 – the plant replacement program makes provision for the replacement of a grader from revenue.  Graders typically have a life of 10 years and MANEX proposes that it be funded from loans.  This change in funding provides a net saving of $276,000 ($300,000 in revenue less $24,000 interest on loan).

 


 

Public Order and Safety

 

6.   As reported in the Forward Financial Plan and draft Infrastructure Management Plan, the proposed reserve for the relocation of the Rural Fire Service as been deleted.  This is a saving of $30,000.

7.   Item 694-000 Animal Control – Legal Fees has been reduced from $3,000 to $1,000 as Council has been more successful in the local court.  This is a saving of $2,000.

8.   As reported in the draft Infrastructure Management Plan, a provision of $11,100 has been made for improvements to Council’s companion animals pound.

 

Health

 

9.   Item 925-000 Food Education Forum has been reduced from $3,500 to $2,000 as the Director has the requisite qualifications and training to conduct the course.  This is a saving of $1,500.

 

 

Community Services and Education

 

10.  Provision has been made for a $12,000 contribution to the NVYEOS Skills Centre in 2009/2010, being the first instalment of a 3 year commitment to recurrent costs.  Notwithstanding the undisputed benefits of education and training, Council should be wary of a recurrent funding commitment for a function which is the responsibility of other levels of government.  It is understood that NVYEOS is still in the process of demonstrating to the Federal Government that the business sector is willing to support the Skills Centre and the lease agreement with the Department of Education and Training has yet to be finalised.

11.  Provision has been made for a $10,000 contribution towards a proposed Cancer Resource Centre at Macksville Base Hospital.

12.  Council received a request from MiiMi Mothers Aboriginal Corporation for $5,500 starting fee for the implementation of a Young Achievement Australia (YAA) Program.  The Program would invite young people to participate in a Business Skills Development Course where they will create and manage a business.  Whilst the benefits of the Program of developing entrepreneurial skill is not disputed, there is not the funding available in the budget and it has not been included.

 

 

Environmental Services

 

13.  A new item Building Surveyors – Accreditation Scheme with an allocation of $1,500 has been deleted and implementation of the Scheme has been deferred.  This is a saving of $1,500.

14.  Item 1300-002 – MANEX proposes that the provision for consultants for strategic town planning be reduced by $110,000 being comprised of the rural land strategy, Wellington Drive, local growth management, and site specific based management plans.  This change provides a saving of $110,000.

15.  Salaries include the loss of customer service position at 21 hours per week.  This change provides a saving of $24,000.

16.  Provision has been made for a loss of income on construction certificates and occupation certificates as a consequence of the downturn in the building industry.

 

 

Development and Building Control

 

17.  A provision (new item) for $3,000 for compliance inspections for pools being the random audit of 30 pools has been reduced for $1,500 as the photometer required for testing has already been purchased.  Saving of $1,500.

18.  Provision has been made for a loss of income in building inspection fees as a consequence of the downturn in the building industry.

 


 

Housing and Community Amenities

 

19.  Provision has been made for the $10.00 per tonne waste and environmental levy which is being charged by the State Government for all waste going to landfill.  This levy will rise to more than $70.00 per tonne by mid 2015.

20.  Item no. 6620-000 – the domestic waste management charge will be $440.00.  This is derived using the “reasonable cost formula and enforced by the Department of Local Government and checked by Council’s auditors.

21.  Tip Provision Vouchers – there has been frequent complaint from those paying the tip provision charge that the charge is too high and/or affected ratepayers should receive a voucher for waste depot access as part of the charge.  Provision has been made for the 1,028 affected ratepayers to receive a $12.00 voucher.

22.  Item 33900-001 – provision has been made for an expenditure of $340,000 on the leachate control at the old landfill.

23.  Item 1640-000 – Council has reallocated a labouring position to town services.

 

 

Recreation and Culture

 

24.  Item 2100-000 – the contribution to Clarence Regional Library makes provision for a 10% increase in the per capita contribution.

25.  A provision of $9,000 is made for the provision of a 100mm water service for fire suppression for proposed extensions to the Frank Partridge Museum.  The extensions will be dependent upon grant funding being secured.  Given the uncertainty concerning grant funding MANEX has deleted this provision at a saving of $9,000.

26.  Item 7060-000 – the budget makes provision for a continuation of the Museum Advisor program at a net cost of $6,000 for 2009/2010.

27.  Two new items being proposed air conditioning for the Nambucca Heads Senior Citizens Centre and unspecified works at the Macksville Senior Citizens Centre have been deleted by MANEX with a combined saving of $12,000.

28.  As reported in the draft Infrastructure Management Plan MANEX has deleted a provision of $50,000 for the upgrade of the Argents Hill Hall.  There is no provision in 2009/2010 for capital works on any of Council’s halls.

29.  Council received a request from the Valley Community Arts Inc. for a $100,000 loan for the purchase of the currently rented premises.  In the past Council has provided unsecured loans to community based associations and in many cases has not realised the interest and principal.  Council also has limited staffing to manage such loans and certainly does not wish to add to its current debt recovery burden.  Such loans should be sourced from the banking sector.  The request was deleted from the budget at a saving of $100,000 less the repayment of the principal due in 2009/2010.

30.  The proposed operating expenses for the aquatic centre will be affected by the outcome of the current tender process.

31.  There is a provision of $30,000 to be funded from Section 94 reserves for the preparation of a needs study for open space and community facilities.  This is in accordance with the works schedule of Council’s adopted Section 94 contribution plan.

32.  As reported in the draft Infrastructure Management Plan MANEX has deleted a provision for $1,170,000 for a cycleway at Valla.

33.  Item 45182-000 being a provision of $10,000 for the provision of picnic tables and shelters was deleted by MANEX.  Given the problems of maintaining existing assets the creation of new assets which can be the subject of vandalism is a lower priority.  Saving of $10,000.

 

 

Transport and Communication

 

34.  The road and bridge program will be affected by the repair of flood damage incurred in the February and March floods.  It will be necessary to review the program as it progresses through the year to ensure that the potential for carryovers are identified as early as possible.

35.  Provision has been made for the Ranger to work an additional day per week and for the provision of a suitable utility for his use during Council hours.  The additional costs to be partly offset by increased fine revenue.  This is the subject of a separate report.

36.  A new item has been identified being the repair of O’Grady Lane.  It is recommended that this be added to the budget at an additional cost of $8,000 but offset by an equivalent reduction in the unallocated items in roads.  No change.

37.  There is a new provision, “Cities for Climate Change” for the installation of 6 solar lights on the riverbank at a cost of $36,000 and modifications to lighting in the administrative building at a cost of $6,000.  Whilst there will be a saving in electricity costs, the capital cost is high.  MANEX has deleted the provision but grant funding will be sought.  Total saving of $42,000.

38.  Provision has been made for the use of Section 94 funds in the bitumen reseal program.  The provision to be identified in the draft budget.

 

 

Economic Affairs

 

39.  Item 38601-000 – Saleyards Improvements – as reported a capital expenditure of $105,000 has been removed from the budget.

 

 

General Purpose Revenues

 

40.  Item 8530-000 – Interest on Investments – a provision of $351,100 has been made based on a return of 2.9%.

 

Savings Brought Forward

 

41.  Item 46501-000 – in 2008/2009 there is a provision of $43,000 for land purchases associated with roads.  There has been no expenditure and Council’s surveyor will be involved in survey work related to flood damage for the foreseeable future.  It is proposed to bring those funds out of this year’s budget and apply them to next year’s budget.  This is a saving of $43,000.

 

 

Works not included in the 2009/2010 Draft Budget

 

During the year a number of requests came forward seeking works to be undertaken by Council.  The following proposals were not been included in the Draft Budget considered by MANEX.

 

42.  Construction of turning lanes at the Mann Street/Palmer Street Intersection.  Requested by Cr Duffus

 

Plans have been prepared for this intersection as a future job.  The increasing traffic numbers will eventually require this to be built.

 

Estimated Cost                $150,000

 

43.  Construction of the lower bend on Mann Street

 

Access to the properties from No 123 to No 129 is via a single lane road.  The standard is poor with deteriorated bitumen and there is         no drainage.  One property has been required to construct their    frontage in concrete as a condition of DA consent.  One other owner           who rents his property out has expressed interest in contributing.  The cost is based on the three properties needing a concrete road.

         

          Estimated Cost                $45,000


 

44.  Lower Parkes Street, Nambucca Heads

 

This is a narrow dead end lane off Parkes Street that provides access to three properties.  It is only 2.5 metres wide in places on the edge of the headland with a wire netting fence.  The owner of No. 6, Mrs Regan requests Council to rebuild the road.  This would need to be of concrete construction with guardrail.

 

          Estimated Cost                $75,000

         

45.  Fletcher Lane, Nambucca Heads

 

There is a section of Fletcher Lane generally only used by the shop owners to access their rear carpark.  The affected business owners have requested that the lane be upgraded.

 

          Estimated Cost                $50,000

         

46.  Newry Street, Nambucca Heads

 

A 60 metre section of kerb and gutter is required to complete the south eastern side of Newry Street.

 

          Estimated Cost                $6,000

          Residents would be expected to contribute 50% of this cost.

 

47.  Adam Lane , Bowraville

 

The southern section of Adam Lane (Bowra Street) is in poor condition compared to the northern end which was kerb and gutter and bitumen sealed to correct drainage problems.  The Access Committee have requested the bitumen sealing of the remainder of the lane.

 

          Estimated Cost                $40,000

 

48.  Dawkins Lake

 

This year the hot weather resulted in fish kills within the lake. The lake is much shallower than when first built as it acts as silt trap for the neighbourhood stormwater network over a large area and it has gradually lost capacity over the last 25 years. The situation could be improved by excavating this silt from the lake utilising an excavator with an extender arm, drying the material out then transporting it away.

 

          Estimated cost                $50,000

(Excavator $12,000, Trucks $22,000, Stabilisation and drying of material $5,000, Site security $3,000, Park restoration $2,000, Silt control $500, Site Supervision $2,000, Contingency $3,500)

 

49.  Additional Opening in Stuart Island Causeway

 

The Council’s Estuary Committee recommended during the year that a second opening in the causeway be created on the island side.

 

Further support has come forward from Mr J. Monkton and the Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council for this to be pursued.

 

This will require financial assistance via a grant, to be possible as was the case last time.

 

There are still changes occurring in the river as a result of the first opening and time should be allowed for this to stabilise.


 

          Estimated Cost                $170,000

 

50.  Bank St, Nambucca Heads

 

Request from Cr Moran for a footpath connection between Back Street and Bank Street opposite Woolworths (West). Concrete path, steps and handrail.

                                  

          Estimated Cost                $7,500

 

51.  Regatta Drive, Valla Beach

 

Request by the residents of Valla Resort for kerb & gutter and a conctete footpath on the western side of Regatta Drive leading into the park.

 

          Estimated cost                $13,000

(Path (60m) $7,000, K&G $6,000)

 

Besides reviewing these exclusions, Council may wish to consider moving any of these items into the draft Infrastructure Management Plan for consideration in 2010/2011 or future years.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

The draft Budget has been reviewed by MANEX.

 

Council received one submission on the draft Management Plan in late 2008.  It is relevant mainly to Council’s strategies, objectives and actions and questions “orthodox” approaches to economic development and proposes that Nambucca be the permaculture capital of the eastern seaboard.  The draft Management Plan will be placed on public exhibition for at least 28 days and it is proposed to conduct one public workshop to explain the documents and answer questions in the first week of the exhibition.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

Council’s budget is significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Social

Council’s budget is significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Economic

Council’s budget is significant to the delivery of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Risk

There are no particular risk implications.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The report concerns the determination of current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The intention is to deliver at least a balanced budget which will have no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

31915/2008 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - Submission for future draft management plan

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 7 May 2009

Draft Budget 2009/2010

Attachment 1

31915/2008 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - Submission for future draft management plan

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 1

 

 

 

Draft Budget 2009/2010

 

 

 

31915/2008 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT WITH BUDGET PAPERS

Submission for future Draft Management Plan

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.6      SF844              070509         Subsidy for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

Council has now received advice from the Minister for Water, the Hon. Phillip Costa that the estimated level of subsidy for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme is 31%.  This is based on the current design parameters.  The estimated cost of the off stream storage and associated infrastructure is $53m in 2012 dollars.  The announcement of the estimated level of subsidy is welcome news and allows Council to progress the financial modelling for the scheme with a higher level of certainty.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That the information concerning the subsidy for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme be received.

 

2        That Council write to the Minister for Water thanking him for the subsidy offer.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The derivation of the subsidy has been discussed with Mr Glenn George, Principal Urban Water Manager from the Department of Water and Energy at Coffs Harbour.  In simple terms, the subsidy is based on what is deemed to be backlog works at the base year of 1996.  Therefore the subsidy covers the proportion of the dam which needs to be committed to provide drought security for the scheme users who existed in 1996.  The level of subsidy is determined by a Subsidy Review Board.  Council could seek further information as to how the subsidy was derived or make representations to the Minister if it believes the level of subsidy is inadequate.  In any review of the level of subsidy Council would run the risk that it may be reduced rather than enhanced.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council has previously resolved to meet with the State Government to discuss the subsidy level for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme.

 

More recently on 20 November 2008, Council resolved to invite the Hon. Phillip Costa, Minister for Water, Minister for Rural Affairs and Minister for Regional Development to inspect the proposed off stream water storage site at Bowraville.

 

The Minister accepted Council’s invitation and visited the Nambucca Valley on 15 and 16 April 2009 to inspect the proposed off stream water storage and also to officially open the Upper Warrell Creek Railway Overbridge.

 

In general terms, the Minister was impressed with the simplicity of Council’s water supply scheme and spoke of the benefits of an off stream water storage, particularly as the State Government is moving to implement water sharing plans for all coastal rivers.

 

Coinciding with the Minister’s visit Council has now received advice from the Minister that the estimated level of subsidy for the scheme is 31%.  This is based on the current design parameters.

 

The estimated cost of the off stream storage and associated infrastructure is $53m in 2012 dollars.  The announcement of the estimated level of subsidy is welcome news and allows Council to progress the financial modelling for the scheme with a higher level of certainty.

 

A copy of the Minister’s letter is attached.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been no consultation in preparing this report.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no social implications.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are no risk implications.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no budgetary implications at this stage, but the Minister’s advice will allow financial modelling for the scheme to progress with a higher level of certainty.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

9355/2009 - Advice on subsidy

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 7 May 2009

Subsidy for the Nambucca Water Supply Augmentation Scheme

Attachment 1

9355/2009 - Advice on subsidy

 


 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.7      SF1288            070509         Classification of Land Dedicated to Council

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Steven Williams, Property Officer         

 

Summary:

 

This report is compiled to seek Council direction to classify land parcels, which have been recently dedicated to Council as part of Subdivisions or as a consequence of road closure, as Operational Land under the Local Government Act 1993.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Lot 15 DP 1134592, Sunbird Drive, Nambucca Heads be classified as Operational Land pursuant to and in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.

 

2          That Lot 1 DP 1130652, corner Mann and Bent Streets, Nambucca Heads be classified as Operational Land pursuant to and in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There is no feasible option.  The recommendations give effect to the provision of the Local Government Act.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council has recently obtained the following parcels:

 

1          Lot 15 in Deposited Plan 1134592. This land was obtained by dedication which occurred on registration of the plan of subdivision on 9 March 2009.  The land comprises drainage reserve abutting Sunbird Drive, Nambucca Heads.  The land has an area of approximately 2300 square metres.

 

2          Lot 1 DP 1130652.  Council’s Surveyor processed a Road Closure pursuant to the Roads Act 1993 and in accordance with Council Resolution of 6 April 2006 to, inter alia, close the section of road and sell the closed portion to the Registered proprietor of Lot 1 DP 2392972.  The road closure has been gazetted and title has issued.  Instructions have been provided to Council’s solicitor to proceed with the sale of the land upon his reclassification.

 

Clause 31(2) of the Local Government Act 1993 permits Councils to classify the land as operational land up until three months from the date the land is acquired by Council.  If the land is not classified as operational land within this time the land will automatically become community land.  By way of guidance possibly the easiest way to define the difference between Operational Land and Community land is to consider whether or not the land is open to access from members of the general public.  If it is not then the land should be classified as “Operational Land”.  If it is, generally it can be considered “Community Land”.

 

Should the land be classified as Community Land under the Local Government Act, Council will not be in a position to deal with the land should issues arise in the future.  By way of example this may include instances of granting easements or boundary adjustments.

 

There is also a substantial administrative saving as each parcel of Community Land must, under the Act, be incorporated into a Plan of Management and dealt with according to the provision of that plan as well as the numerous provisions of the Local Government Act that govern the use and management to land classified as “Community Land”:  A Plan of Management is not required for land classified as Operational.

 


CONSULTATION:

 

Council Surveyor

Council GIS Officer

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental issues arsing from these recommendations.

 

Social

 

There are no social issues arsing from these recommendations.

 

Economic

 

Apart from cost savings in avoiding the management of land classified as Community Land there are no economic issues arsing from these recommendations.

 

With regard the classification of Lot 1 DP 1130652.  The classification is required to give effect to Council resolution to sell the land.  The sale price was set at a land valuation of $30,000.

 

Risk

 

There are no risks associated with the classification of the land as operational.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Classification of the land as Operational will not impact on future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The recommendations do not affect nor require variance to working funds.

 

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

7 May 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.8      SF639              070509         Review of the Planning Department Incorporating Comments From the Consultative Committee

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

Since Council’s meeting on 18 December 2008 which adopted a revised organisation structure, there has been the resignation of a health and building surveyor and the transfer of a part time (3 day per week) customer service officer to Records to replace a vacant position. The report assesses work load, comparative data, customer opinion and the effects of the skills shortage.

 

It is proposed that a replacement health and building surveyor be recruited in accordance with the adopted organisation structure and that the part time (3 day per week) customer service officer position not be replaced unless there is a surplus sufficient to finance the position in the 2009/2010 budget.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council’s Organisation Structure be amended by the removal of a 3 day per week customer service officer from the Environment and Planning Department unless there is a surplus sufficient to finance the position in the 2009/2010 budget.

 

2          That the staffing of the Department be reviewed again in six months or upon the resignation of any professional staff member, whichever occurs first.

 

3          That Council note the proposed recruitment of a replacement health and building surveyor in accordance with the adopted organisation structure.

 

4          That Council note the non replacement of the three day per week Customer Service Officer               will result in a reduction in the level of service to external customers. 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council has a range of options from accepting the recommendation, to making no changes or to making additional changes. Should Council wish to change the organisation structure by making occupied positions redundant, then there is a process under the Award which needs to be followed, otherwise there may be an industrial dispute. Council would also need to make an additional redundancy payment to the staff member concerned.

 

Council cannot amend its organisation structure without first undertaking consultation with Council’s Consultative Committee.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

1        Background

 

Council considered a report on its organisation structure on 18 December 2008. Arising out of that report it was resolved that:

 

“5       That Council review the Planning Department upon completion of the work program mentioned in the General Manager’s report.”

 

The organisation structure for Environment and Planning, as adopted on 18 December 2008 is attached.

 

At Council’s meeting on 19 March it was requested that the report be brought forward so that Council could consider the report prior to finalising the draft Management Plan.

 

The relevant section of the General Manager’s report to the meeting on 18 December 2008 was as follows:

 

“Environment and Planning

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

a)   Increasing exempt and complying development

b)   Increasing complying development as a proportion of total applications

c)   Reducing referrals

 

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

 

The strategic land use planning program is some way off completion with the template local environmental plan still to be placed on public exhibition. There has also been a recent “spike” in application processing arising out of the additional 40 lot rural residential quota. With the recent endorsement of the Rural Residential Land Release Strategy by the Department of Planning, Council is now likely to receive regular subdivision applications for rural residential development which have, for the past 18 months, been non-existent due to the lack of quota.

 

Since the report was written the State Government has released a new exempt and complying development State Environmental Planning Policy. It has set “lowest common denominator” standards, which if anything reduce the potential to increase exempt and complying development from the situation pre the State Environmental Planning Policy. And there has been little reform in relation to reducing referrals by providing Councils with delegated authority to apply standards, for example in relation to subdivision standards in bush fire prone areas or development close to water courses.

 

The adopted structure of Council’s Department of Environment and Planning is shown in the attachment.

 

Since Council’s meeting on 18 December 2008 there has been the resignation of a health and building surveyor and the transfer of a part time (3 day per week) customer service officer support to Records to replace a vacant position. Pending the preparation of the draft Management Plan, the health and building surveyor’s position has not been advertised. A casual health and building surveyor is currently being used on an average of 2 days per week to cover statutory responsibilities in relation to places of public entertainment, caravan parks and swimming pools. However in addition, the Senior Health and Building Surveyor is working approximately 5 hours overtime per week and the Manager is working on average 6 additional hours to keep up with day to day work. This situation is not sustainable.

 


2        Workload Indicators

 

In the last reporting year of 2007/2008, a total of 308 development applications were processed and determined either under delegated authority of by Council. In addition to the 308 development applications there were:

 

46   Section 96 modifications to consents

35   Complying Development Certificates

39   Subdivision Certificates (linen plan releases)

204 Construction Certificates

 

Another major aspect of the Department’s activities is strategic planning, the major projects being the:

 

a)   “template” local environment plan

b)   estuary master plan

c)   completion of DCP 3

d)   Valla Growth Area

 

There are also day-to-day responsibilities in:

 

a)   responding to counter and telephone enquiries

b)   checking on compliance with conditions of consent

c)   investigating complaints

d)   issuing of Section 149 (zoning) certificates

e)   responding to government agencies enquiries

f)    conducting annual fire safety inspections

g)   undertaking mandatory building inspections

h)   public health inspections (food shops, tattooists, hairdressers etc)

i)    pool compliance

j)    on site sewage management systems

 

A review of Council’s records management system (Trim) indicates that the Department had 225 outstanding items of correspondence as at 7 April 2009. However this includes matters which have been placed on “resubmit” and also documents which have been referred to multiple persons and in essence “double counted”.

 

Council maintains a customer request management system and a graph showing assigned requests for health and regulatory services is shown below. These requests which are received over the phone or at the counter are running at about 65 per month and are dealt with by the Environment and Planning Department.

 

 

Health and Regulatory Customer Requests

 

The customer requests received for the 3 months December, January and February fell into the following categories:

 

Abandoned Vehicles

2

Caravan Parks

3

Companion Animals

25

Drainage

13

Food Shops

4

Illegal Camping

4

Noise

12

Overgrown land

62

Parking

3

Pollution

28

Septic systems

2

Wandering stock

3

 

3        Comparative Performance

 

The NSW Department of Planning benchmarks the relative performance of Councils in application processing with an annual publication titled, “Local Development Performance Monitoring”. Application processing is only one aspect of the “Planning Department” albeit an important one.

 

Nambucca Shire Council is part of the Department of Local Government Group No. 11 which includes similar sized rural Councils such Bellingen, Cabonne, Cooma-Monaro, Corowa, Gunnedah, Inverell, Leeton, Moree Plains, Muswellbrook, Parkes, Tumut, and Upper Hunter. However the planning issues vary considerably across these Councils.

 

Alternatively Council can compare itself with nearby coastal Councils but again differences in size affect the comparison.

 

The following table provides key comparisons for the past 2 years for nearby coastal Councils and also against the Group 11 averages based on the data provided in the Local Development Performance Monitoring reports. They are ranked according to apparent achievement.

 

 

Complying Development Certificates (CDC’s) as a % of all Development (ie CDC+DA)

 

 

2006/2007

2007/2008

Average

Port Macquarie-Hastings

60

55

57

Kempsey

33

33

33

Nambucca

19

21

20

Bellingen

1

1

1

Coffs Harbour

0

0

0

Group 11 Average

Not available

Not available

Not available

 

The proportion of Complying Development Certificates to all applications for local development is a key statistic because a CDC has to be approved within 7 days of receipt. The Councils with the highest proportion of CDC’s will be more efficient in application processing.

 

Development Applications - Average Determination Times in Days (Gross Mean)

 

 

2006/2007

2007/2008

Average

Port Macquarie-Hastings

50

73

61

Coffs Harbour

65

67

66

Group 11 Average

66

73

69

Nambucca

53

123

88

Kempsey

87

100

93

Bellingen

105

102

103

 

There has been much debate concerning the use of gross days –v- net (stop the clock) days. Whilst the use of gross days burdens Councils with delays caused by applicants, the use of net (stop the clock) days encourages poor practice by Councils in accepting inadequate applications, requesting additional information on multiple occasions and not forcing a determination or withdrawal with a reasonable period. For these reasons it is preferred to use gross days. The lower the average determination time, the more efficient is the Council in application processing. Note that Port Macquarie-Hastings has both a high proportion of Complying Development and a low average determination time for development applications.

 

Average Value of Development Applications ($)

 

 

2006/2007

2007/2008

Average

Port Macquarie-Hastings

217,505

183,566

200,535

Coffs Harbour

156,646

158,554

157,600

Nambucca

94,230

211,072

152,651

Kempsey

161,141

125,806

143,473

Group 11 Average

124,899

119,047

121,973

Bellingen

54,911

57,636

56,273

 

The average value of development applications is one indicator of their complexity. A higher average value would suggest additional demands on staff resources.

 

Determination body for Development Applications as a % of all DAs – Average of 2006/2007 and 2007/2008

 

 

Staff (delegated authority)

Councillors

Other

Coffs Harbour

99.3

0.7

0

Bellingen

98.9

1.1

0

Nambucca

98

2

0

Kempsey

97.7

1.4

0.9

Port Macquarie - Hastings

95

0.4

4.6

Group 11 Average

93.7

5.7

0

 

All the Councils have a high proportion of development applications determined by staff under delegated authority and certainly higher than the average for Group 11 Councils. In general higher proportions of applications considered by delegated authority indicate a more efficient Council

 

Staff allocated to Development Assessment – Average No. of Development Applications per Equivalent Full Time (EFT) Staff Member

 

 

2006/2007

2007/2008

Average

Kempsey

123

103

113

Coffs Harbour

104

84.8

94

Group 11 Average

95

63

79

Port Macquarie-Hastings

51

95.3

73

Bellingen

66

99.1

82

Nambucca

30

96.3

63

 

The Director Environment and Planning advises that the EFT provision included in the 2006/2007 statistics was wrong and that the figure should have been 42 instead of 30. The significant variation in the figures for Councils for the 2 reporting years suggests either that the figures are not that reliable and/or there is not much relationship between staffing levels and efficiency in application processing.

 

The figures from the tables suggest that in terms of efficiency only, this Council’s performance in application processing is “middle of the road”.

 

 

4        Customer Opinion

 

The customer satisfaction survey conducted in November 2007 attached a, “low importance, low satisfaction” ranking to development application processing. In contrast the functions of estuary management and environmental monitoring where afforded a “high importance, low satisfaction” ranking.

 

These are all major functions of the Department and the survey outcome indicates that an improved standard of performance is required.

 

 

5        Skills Shortage

 

It has been previously reported that there is a national shortage of qualified and experienced planners, and health and building surveyors. Council has had difficulties recruiting a fully qualified and experienced Health and Building Surveyor. There has been no recent recruitment effort for a town planner but the same situation would likely prevail.

 

The difficulty in attracting staff within the boundaries of Council’s salary system needs to be considered in any “review of the planning department”. In the event there is an upturn in the volume of work, staffing may not be available to deal with that work.

 

 

6        Conclusion

 

The strategic land use planning program is some way off completion with the template local environmental plan still to be placed on public exhibition. There has also been a recent “spike” in application processing arising out of the additional 40 lot rural residential quota. It is possible that with the gazettal of the template local environmental plan there will be another “spike” in application processing which Council should be prepared for.

 

The Department is currently managing its responsibilities without a full time Health and Building Surveyor, however only with a level of overtime which is not sustainable. In addition the Manager has sought leave for all of June.

 

The Department can cover for the loss of the 3 day per week customer service officer, albeit with some loss of service level at the front counter where staff will need to be called from the rear area to attend to enquiries. The Director advises that a roster can be maintained so that there is staff attendance at the counter at least between 11am and 1pm on the 3 days.  This loss of service will apply for 3 days per week but the remaining two days will be unaffected because the two days per week position is retained. The Executive Assistant will also be taking 10 weeks long service leave from the end of April until mid July which will also place additional pressure on administrative support generally.

 

It is proposed that a replacement health and building surveyor be recruited in accordance with the adopted organisation structure and that the customer service officer position not be replaced unless there is a sufficient surplus to finance the position in the 2009/2010 budget.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with the Director Environment and Planning. Whilst he would prefer to see the retention of all staff, he acknowledges the opportunity to assess a reduced service level for administrative support at least for 2009/2010. He would prefer to see the organisation structure maintained, even if positions are not funded.

 

The organisation structure should accurately reflect Council’s funded staffing and in this regard it should be continually reviewed according to changing work load, priorities and funding levels. Accordingly over time positions will move on and off the organisation structure.

 

Under the Award Council is obliged to refer any proposed change to its organisation structure to its Consultative Committee for comment.  This report was considered by the Committee at its meeting on 23 April 2009 and the minutes of the meeting are attached.  The Consultative Committee recommends that the 3 day per week customer service officer position be retained.

 

In terms of staff support for customer service particularly during the busy periods at rate instalment times it should be noted that the draft budget for 2009/2010 provides for a new position of trainee accountant.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

There are no social implications.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are no significant risk implications.

 

 


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Unless a sufficient surplus can be identified in the budget for 2009/2010 it is recommended that funding for the 3 day per week customer service officer position be removed from the draft budget.  This would provide a saving of approximately $24,000.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There are no significant implications for working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

Adopted Organisation Structure - Environment and Planning

 

2View

10468/2009 - Attachment to Report on Review of Planning Department

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 7 May 2009

Review of the Planning Department Incorporating Comments From the Consultative Committee

Attachment 1

Adopted Organisation Structure - Environment and Planning

 

Nambucca Shire Council – Organisation Structure – Environment and Planning Structure

 

Organization Chart
 


 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 7 May 2009

Review of the Planning Department Incorporating Comments From the Consultative Committee

Attachment 2

10468/2009 - Attachment to Report on Review of Planning Department

 

 

 

ITEM 2         SF639                230409      REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT

 

 

The Committee considered the General Manager’s report and a tabled report outlining items to be raised on behalf of Council’s indoor staff as follows:

 

1.       CONSULTATION

 

Lack of consultation with staff prior to the recommendation being made.  This is not the first instance of lack of communication with staff.  Seek greater consultation and opportunity for discussion prior to recommendations being made.  This may result in alternative solutions being offered and/or suggested and increase in staff morale.

 

2.       TRIAL PERIOD

 

The incumbent CSO is currently on 3 month trial in another position with the option of returning to the CSO position at the end of the trial if not satisfied in new position.  Will this staff member be made redundant if they chose not to accept the position currently being trialled?  Why was no consultation done with this person, their supervisor or Department personnel who are directly affected?  The trial period does not expire until 16 May 2009.

 

3.       CSO IS SPECIALIST POSITION

 

Both CSO positions require broad knowledge of Council functions to handle varied range of enquiries, this gives the perception that staff are knowledgeable.  The benefit of this to Council is that specialist staff and managers behind the scenes are able to tend to more specific and/or complex tasks without the continual interruption of enquiries that could be dealt with in the first instance by the CSO.  For example: Complying Development, Animal Registrations, Septic Licence enquiries, Pension Concession Applications, Subdivision, property transfer enquiries, Certificate applications and general requests for information including engineering issues.

 

OK to claim that there are “heaps of girls” to sit at front counter, but each has their own work to do.

 

The extra support this position offered especially in relation to Companion Animals and Certificate production (Drainage Diagram, Outstanding Notices) will be missed and has to now be done by other clerical staff - as well as then having to take time out from their work to cover the counter.

 

4.       STRATEGIC LAND USE PLANNING PROGAM

 

Whilst it is acknowledged that the Structure Plan, review of DCP 3, Rural Res Strategy are nearing completion other DCP’s, studies and LEP amendments are ongoing.

 

·      The Dept of Planning report due in July is placing increased workload on clerical staff to ensure systems are up-to-date and much more information is required to be input.

·      It is expected that with the recent endorsement of the Rural Res Land Release Strategy increased workload due to rise in subdivision applications received.

·      2 Estuary projects currently underway

 

5.       IMPACT ON DEPARTMENTS OTHER THAN DEP AND WORKLOAD INDICATORS

 

Additional burden placed on CSO-Rates and Corporate Services staff in tending to front counter enquiries and inability to complete day to day tasks in Corporate Services.  In particular, Debt Recovery, property transfers, pension confirmations and supplementary valuations.

 

CSO-Rates is responsible for Cashiering, daily banking and reconciliation functions, input of property transfers, notifying new owners of rates and charges, processing pension concession applications, conducting verifications via Centrelink and Dept. Veterans Affairs, preparation, input and reconciling supplementary levies, processing and issuing Section 603 Certificates as well as debt recovery and other administrative duties as required.

 

Peak periods:

·      Council has 6 major billing periods per year together with issue of reminder and final notices for rates and charges.

·      Bulk mail out of companion animal can vary between 50-200 notices per mailing also placing increased demand on cashier.

·      Bulk Septic inspection/approval/renewal mail-outs

 

It is not unusual for the cashier to have many customers queued to make payments in peak periods.  The cashier does not have time to be calling or tracking down staff from various Departments whilst customers are queued for payments.  Additionally the cashier is often required to assist customers complete applications, answer billing queries as well as leave the counter to record vehicle registration details.

 

If this position is not replaced what measures will be put in place to ensure CSO-Rates is not overburdened?  What alternatives or solutions can DEP provide?  Eg. Roster for counter duty 8:30am-4:00pm.

 

Concern also exists in regard to building security.  The cashier is often required to leave the front counter to follow up on enquiries thus leaving the front counter unattended.

 

6.       COMPARATIVE INFORMATION -CUSTOMER SERVICE

 

Kempsey Shire Council’s Customer First Building has 11 Customer Service Staff being:

·      1 x Customer Service Co-ordinator

·      1 x Senior Customer Service Officer

·      9 x Customer Service Officers (mostly F/T)

 

14,000 rateable assessments

 

Bellingen Shire Council

·      1 F/T EH&P Customer Service Officer

·      1 F/T Cashier/ Rates Customer Service

·      1 F/T Switch Operator who provides back up assistance when required

 

6,000 rateable assessments

 

Clarence Valley Council (Grafton & Maclean offices)

·      1 – Customer Service Co-ordinator (full time)

·      1 – Senior Customer Service Officer (full time)

·      5 – Customer Service Officers (full time)

·      4 – Permanent Part Time Customer Service Officers (3/4 days per week)

·      1 – Customer Service Assistant (full time)

·      1 – Trainee (2 days/week)

·