NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2       

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        General Purpose Committee - 22 June 2011

5        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations

6        General Manager Report

8.1     Reduction in the number of Councillors from nine (9) to seven (7) at the 2012 local government elections

7        Director Environment and Planning Report

9.1     Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

8        Director Engineering Services Report

10.1   Draft Asset Management Plan - Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre

10.2   Natural Disaster Funding Application - June 2011

10.3   Encroachment of Autumn Lodge onto Dawkins Park RF203     

 

 

Time

Description

Where

OS/CC

Item No

Page No

08.30 am

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

CC

9.1

14

09.30 am

MacksvilleMemorial Aquatic Centre Asset Management Plan

CC

10.1

32

10.00 am

Reduction in the Number of Councillors

CC

8.1

4

10.30 am

Morning Tea

CC

 

 

11.00 am

Autumn Lodge Encroachment

OS

10.3

37

11.30 am

14-15 June 2011 Natural Disaster Funding Application - Flood Damage Status Report

CC

10.2

35

11.45 am

Conclude meeting – NO LUNCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST AT MEETINGS

 

 

Name of Meeting:

 

Meeting Date:

 

Item/Report Number:

 

Item/Report Title:

 

 

 

I

 

declare the following interest:

          (name)

 

 

 

 

Pecuniary – must leave chamber, take no part in discussion and voting.

 

 

 

Non Pecuniary – Significant Conflict – Recommended that Councillor/Member leaves chamber, takes no part in discussion or voting.

 

 

Non-Pecuniary – Less Significant Conflict – Councillor/Member may choose to remain in Chamber and participate in discussion and voting.

 

For the reason that

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

Council’s Email Address – council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au

 

Council’s Facsimile Number – (02) 6568 2201

 

(Instructions and definitions are provided on the next page).

 


Definitions

 

(Local Government Act and Code of Conduct)

 

 

Pecuniary – An interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person or another person with whom the person is associated.

(Local Government Act, 1993 section 442 and 443)

 

A Councillor or other member of a Council Committee who is present at a meeting and has a pecuniary interest in any matter which is being considered must disclose the nature of that interest to the meeting as soon as practicable.

 

The Council or other member must not take part in the consideration or discussion on the matter and must not vote on any question relating to that matter. (Section 451).

 

 

Non-pecuniary – A private or personal interest the council official has that does not amount to a pecuniary interest as defined in the Act (for example; a friendship, membership of an association, society or trade union or involvement or interest in an activity and may include an interest of a financial nature).

 

If you have declared a non-pecuniary conflict of interest you have a broad range of options for managing the conflict.  The option you choose will depend on an assessment of the circumstances of the matter, the nature of your interest and the significance of the issue being dealt with.  You must deal with a non-pecuniary conflict of interest in at least one of these ways.

 

·        It may be appropriate that no action is taken where the potential for conflict is minimal.  However, council officials should consider providing an explanation of why they consider a conflict does not exist.

·        Limit involvement if practical (for example, participate in discussion but not in decision making or visa-versa).  Care needs to be taken when exercising this option.

·        Remove the source of the conflict (for example, relinquishing or divesting the personal interest that creates the conflict or reallocating the conflicting duties to another officer).

·        Have no involvement by absenting yourself from and not taking part in any debate or voting on the issue as if the provisions in section 451(2) of the Act apply (particularly if you have a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest).

 

         


General Purpose Committee                                                                                                  20 July 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.1      SF1026            200711         Reduction in the number of Councillors from nine (9) to seven (7) at the 2012 local government elections

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

The Division of Local Government has announced that NSW councils will be given an opportunity to reduce the number of councillors at this year’s local government elections without the costs associated with holding a constitutional referendum.

 

In response to a similar proposal put forward in 2008 the then Council resolved to put forward a proposal to reduce the number of councillors to be elected at the September 2008 elections to seven.  However the proposed legislation did not pass the NSW Parliament.

 

Since then Council has conducted a survey on resident attitudes to a reduction in the number of councillors from 9 to 7.  This was undertaken as part of the 2010 Resident Satisfaction Survey undertaken by Jetty Research.  The outcome was that 47% of respondents expressed the view that councillor numbers remain as is; 43% expressed the view that the number of councillors be reduced from 9 to 7; whilst 10% were unsure or had no opinion.  In summary the opinion was fairly evenly divided.

 

If Nambucca Shire Council were to reduce its councillors from 9 to 7 it would have a population per councillor ratio of 2,767; less than half that of Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie – Hastings (assuming 9 councillors), about half that of Greater Taree and far less than Kempsey and Great Lakes.

 

Based on the current years budget a reduction of two councillors would result in an estimated direct annual saving of approximately $29,000 based on the following:-

 

Councillors fees:

$9,970 x 2

=

 $19,940

Councillor travel:

$13,400/9 x 2

=

 $2,977

Councillor expenses:

$27,000/9 x 2

=

 $6,000

 

Total = $28,917

 

However there are substantial additional costs in circulating business papers, correspondence and newsletters and staff time in answering enquires not included in the above cost.  There are also additional communication costs (time and money) for both the general public and private sector if they attempt to make direct representations to each councillor.

 

The representation figures provided in the report for mid north coast councils indicate there is justification on both representational and cost grounds to reduce the number of elected councillors for Nambucca Shire Council from nine (9) to seven (7).  Bellingen Shire Council already operates satisfactorily with seven (7) councillors and there are other larger and smaller councils already operating with seven (7) councillors. 

 

As Council is struggling to address an existing backlog of $40m in work required to bring its general fund assets up to a satisfactory condition but is continuing to fall behind in this backlog at a rate of about $3.5m per annum, it is obviously essential that all operating expenditure be closely scrutinised.

 

If Council, at some time in the future, chooses to seek a special rate variation in excess of rate pegging then it is important that it be able to demonstrate to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal that opportunities to reduce operating costs have been investigated and realised.

 

In terms of the relentless pressure for local government reform, it is also beneficial to be able to demonstrate to the State Government that this Council is serious in its endeavours to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council advertise its intention to decrease its number of Councillors to be elected at the September 2012 elections from 9 to 7 pursuant to Section 224A of the Local Government Act and provide a period of 2 months for the public to make comment.

 

          The intention is to be notified with a media release, two paid advertisements in the Guardian News and Coffs Coast Advocate, and a blog on Council’s website under “have your say”.

 

2        That Council consider any submissions arising out of the public consultation prior to making an application to the Minister for Local Government.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council has options of retaining the status quo being 9 councillors, reducing to 7 councillors or reducing to 5 councillors.  Even numbers of councillors is not favoured because of the more frequent need for the Mayor to exercise a casting vote.

 

 

DISCUSSION:


The Division of Local Government has advised that the NSW Parliament has passed the Local Government (Amendment) Elections Act 2011.  In summary the amendments to the Act:

 

1.   enables councils, in certain circumstances, to make an application to the Minister for Local Government for approval to reduce the number of their councillors without the need for approval at a constitutional referendum

 

2.   enables councils, in certain circumstances, to make an application to the Minister for approval to abolish all wards in their areas without the need for approval at a constitutional referendum

 

3.   provides that a by-election need not be held to fill a casual vacancy in the office of a councillor (but not a mayor elected by the electors) if a constitutional referendum has approved a reduction in the number of councillors for the council area but the reduction has not yet taken effect

 

4.   enables councils to apply to the Minister for an order dispensing with the requirement to hold a by-election where a casual vacancy in the office of a councillor (including a mayor elected by the electors or an area) occurs within 18 months before an ordinary election, and

 

5.   contains provisions of a consequential, savings and transitional nature.

 

A copy of the circular from the Division of Local Government is attached.

 

An application to the Minister for approval to reduce the number of councillors must be made no later than 5 months after the commencement of the Amending Act, ie no later than 28 November 2011.  If an application is made a council must give not less than 42 days public notice of its proposal to resolve to apply to the Minister for approval to reduce its councillor numbers

 

The legislation is similar to a proposal put forward in 2008 but which did not proceed to legislation.  At the time the Hon. Paul Lynch, Minister for Local Government provided the following background information in a media release.  The background information is still relevant to the current proposal.

 

“Having a smaller number of councillors allows councils and ratepayers to save money on councillor fees and the cost of administrative support,” he said.

 

Mr Lynch said this opportunity to shed councillor numbers was particularly useful for councils with an even number of elected representatives.

 

“If councils decide on having 5, 7, 9 or 11 councillors, decisions are reached by majority vote without the need for the Mayor to use an additional casting vote”, he said.

 

In 2005, the NSW Government gave councils a similar opportunity to reduce councillor numbers without the need to hold a constitutional referendum.

 

“As a result, 21 councils decided to reduce 46 councillor positions, saving ratepayers about $540,000,” Mr Lynch said.

 

The opportunity to reduce councillor numbers would be qualified by the following restrictions:

 

·      councils undertake public consultation

·      councils must not have less than 5 councillors

 

… In 2005, 21 NSW councils elected to reduce the number of councillors to be elected at the 2008 local government elections

 

·      Auburn – 12 to 10 councillors – saving about $27,960 per annum

·      Blayney – 9 to 7 – saving $16,760

·      Bourke – 12 to 10 – saving $16,760

·      Brewarrina – 12 to 9 – saving $25,140

·      Broken Hill – 12 to 10 – saving $27,960

·      Central Darling – 12 to 9 – saving $25,140

·      Coonamble – 9 to 7 – saving $16,760

·      Cootamundra – 12 to 9

·      Cowra – 11 to 9 – saving $16,760

·      Dubbo – 12 to 11 – saving $13,980

·      Glen Innes Severn – 9 to 7 – saving $16,760

·      Great Lakes – 12 to 9 – saving $41,940

·      Greater Taree – 12 to 9 – saving $41,940

·      Jerilderie – 9 to 7 – saving $16,760

·      Mosman – 12 to 9 – saving $41,940

·      Murrumbidgee – 8 to 6 – saving $16,760

·      Orange – 14 to 12 – saving $27,960

·      Strathfield – 9 to 7 – saving $27,960

·      Tweed – 11 to 7 – saving $55,920

·      Wagga Wagga – 15 to 11

·      Wingecarribee – 12 to 9 – saving $41,940”

 

There is surprisingly little information or research in NSW concerning the number of councillors required for a sound local democracy.  The appropriate number is certainly the best balance between providing adequate opportunities for residents to be heard by their councillors; for ensuring the efficient transaction of business and for minimising costs.

 

In NSW the number of councillors can range from 5 to 15 (one of whom is the mayor).  As at June 2010 the following comparisons are available for the Mid North Coast Group of Councils :-


 

Local Government Area

Estimated 2010 Population

No. of Councillors

Population per Councillor

Nambucca

19,369

9

2,152

Coffs Harbour

72,827

9

8,092

Bellingen

13,450

7

1,921

Kempsey

29,442

9

3,271

Port Macquarie/Hastings

76,323

1 Administrator

n/a

Greater Taree

48,955

9

5,439

Great Lakes

35,924

9

3,992

Gloucester

5,181

9

576

 

In general terms, the LGA’s with the largest populations have a higher population per councillor than the less populated LGA’s.  Assuming the replacement of the Administrator at Port Macquarie – Hastings Council with not more than 9 councillors, the Nambucca LGA has the third highest number of councillors per capita of the 8 mid north coast councils (after Gloucester and Bellingen).

 

In terms of the preceding table if Nambucca Shire Council were to reduce its councillors from 9 to 7 it would have a population per councillor ratio of 2,767, less than half that of Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie – Hastings (assuming 9 councillors), about half that of Greater Taree and far less than Kempsey and Great Lakes.

 

Based on the current years budget a reduction of two councillors would result in an estimated direct annual saving of approximately $29,000 based on the following:-

 

Councillors fees:

$9,970 x 2

=

 $19,940

Councillor travel:

$13,400/9 x 2

=

 $2,977

Councillor expenses:

$27,000/9 x 2

=

 $6,000

 

Total = $28,917

 

However there are substantial additional costs in circulating business papers, correspondence and newsletters and staff time in answering enquires not included in the above cost.  There are also additional communication costs (time and money) for both the general public and private sector if they attempt to make direct representations to each councillor.

 

When the 2008 legislation was proposed the then elected Council resolved on 1 May 2008 to put forward a proposal to reduce the number of councillors to be elected at the September 2008 elections to seven.  As indicated the proposed legislation did not pass the NSW Parliament.

 

More recently Council included a question about reducing the number of councillors in the Resident Satisfaction Survey conducted by Jetty Research in October 2010.  Question 16 asked the following:

 

Q16.  Now a question about councillor numbers.  A reduction of two councillors would save ratepayers around $24,000 per annum, but would also reduce levels of representation across the shire and increase the workload of the remaining councillors.  In principle do you support a reduction in councillor numbers from nine to seven, or would you rather see it remain as is?

 

The outcome of the question was that 47% of respondents expressed the view that councillor numbers remain as is; 43% expressed the view that the number of councillors be reduced from 9 to 7; whilst 10% were unsure or had no opinion.  Jetty Research concluded that there appears to be no clear cut mood for change in respect of councillor numbers.

 

Further enquiries have been made with Jetty Research concerning cross tabulation of the results by age and place of residence.  The results of the cross tabulation are shown in the following tables.  In general terms the strongest support for reducing the number of councillors from nine (9) to seven (7) comes from the 40-59 year old age group and from urban and village areas rather than rural areas.  In terms of place of residence there is more support for a reduction in the number of councillors in Macksville, Nambucca Heads and Valla Beach than there is in Bowraville, Scotts Head and Taylors Arm.

 

Reduction in councillor numbers?  - Age Cross Tabulation

 

 

 

Age

Total

 

 

 

18-39

40-59

60+

Reduction in councillor numbers?

Reduce from 9 to 7

Count

14

77

80

171

 

32.6%

48.1%

40.6%

42.8%

Remain as is

Count

22

66

102

190

 

51.2%

41.3%

51.8%

47.5%

Unsure/no opinion

Count

7

17

15

39

 

16.3%

10.6%

7.6%

9.8%

Total

Count

43

160

197

400

 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

Reduction in councillor numbers? * Urban, rural or village? Cross Tabulation

 

 

 

Urban, rural or village?

Total

 

 

 

Urban

Rural

Village

Reduction in councillor numbers?

Reduce from 9 to 7

Count

107

29

35

171

 

44.4%

36.7%

43.8%

42.8%

Remain as is

Count

113

39

38

190

 

46.9%

49.4%

47.5%

47.5%

Unsure/no opinion

Count

21

11

7

39

 

8.7%

13.9%

8.8%

9.8%

Total

Count

241

79

80

400

 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 


 

Reduction in councillor numbers? * Residence Cross Tabulation

 

 

 

Residence

Total

 

 

 

Bowraville

Nambucca

Macksville

Scotts Head

Taylors Arm

Valla

Other

Reduction in councillor numbers?

Reduce from 9 to 7

Count

6

84

37

10

5

13

16

171

 

24.0%

45.2%

47.4%

38.5%

31.3%

44.8%

40.0%

42.8%

Remain as is

Count

17

85

31

14

10

14

19

190

 

68.0%

45.7%

39.7%

53.8%

62.5%

48.3%

47.5%

47.5%

Unsure/no opinion

Count

2

17

10

2

1

2

5

39

 

8.0%

9.1%

12.8%

7.7%

6.3%

6.9%

12.5%

9.8%

Total

Count

25

186

78

26

16

29

40

400

 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

The representation figures provided in the report for mid north coast councils indicate there is justification on both representational and cost grounds to reduce the number of elected councillors for Nambucca Shire Council from nine (9) to seven (7).  Bellingen Shire Council already operates satisfactorily with seven (7) councillors and there are other larger and smaller councils already operating with seven (7) councillors. 

 

As Council is struggling to address an existing backlog of $40m in work required to bring its general fund assets up to a satisfactory condition but is continuing to fall behind in this backlog at a rate of about $3.5m per annum, it is obviously essential that all operating expenditure be closely scrutinised.  If Council, at some time in the future, chooses to seek a special rate variation in excess of rate pegging then it is important that it be able to demonstrate to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal that all opportunities to reduce operating costs have been investigated and realised.

 

In terms of the relentless pressure for local government reform, it is also beneficial to be able to demonstrate to the State Government that this Council has been serious in its endeavours to improve its efficiency and effectiveness right across its operations.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been discussion in MANEX only.

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no issues for the environment.

 


Social

 

As discussed in the report the appropriate number of councillors is the best balance between providing adequate opportunities for residents to be heard; for ensuring the efficient transaction of business and for minimising costs.  It will be noted from the comparative table that the majority of mid north coast councils have higher ratios of population per councillor than the Nambucca.  Even reducing the number of councillors to 7 would mean that the Nambucca would still have less population per councillor than most mid north coast councils.

 

Economic

 

There are savings for the community and the private sector as often they make attempts to contact each councillor individually.  This costs time and money.

 

Risk

 

With 7 councillors including the Mayor the required quorum would be 4.  Therefore a maximum of 3 councillors could be absent for a meeting.

 

Taking into consideration the possibility of illness and unplanned leave, the quorum requirement should be achievable for the regular meeting schedule.

 

With pecuniary interests, there may be an increased risk of a lack of quorum, although with fewer councillors it would be expected that the instances of pecuniary interests would decline be the same proportion.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

A reduction in councillors from 9 to 7 would mean direct savings of $29,000 per annum as well as substantial indirect savings to council, the community and the private sector.  The indirect savings are difficult to quantify but should not be underestimated.  Councillors have a good appreciation of the time which is involved in communication with the public, the staff, community groups, as well as applicants and objectors involved in development applications and rezonings.  That time represents a cost to those involved.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

As indicated there would be significant savings to the general fund, in excess of $29,000 per annum.

 

Attachments:

1View

17512/2011 - DLG Circular to Councils 11/12

 

 

 


General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Reduction in the number of Councillors from nine (9) to seven (7) at the 2012 local government elections

 



 


General Purpose Committee                                                                                                  20 July 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.1      SF1031            200711         Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Grant Nelson, Strategic Planner         

 

Summary:

 

The purpose of this report is to present to Council a draft policy on climate change. The primary objective of the policy is to ensure that decision making by Council and Council staff gives the appropriate consideration to the predicted impacts associated with climate change and that Council is addressing requirements under relevant legislation.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1          That Council adopt the Draft Climate Change Adaptation Policy.

 

2          That the Draft Climate Change Adaptation Policy be publicly exhibited in accordance with the provision of section 160 of the Local Government Act 1993,

 

3          The draft policy be exhibited on Council’s website for a period of twenty eight (28) days.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1        Council approve the policy with amendments

2        Council not approve the policy

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Background

 

In 2009 the state government released sea level rise planning benchmarks through the draft Sea level Rise policy statement. The benchmarks were identified as 0.4m by 2050 and 0.9m by 2100. Due to the release of this document Council sought advice from our insurers.  Statewide provided advice which in essence suggests, now that a standard albeit in the form of a "guideline" has been released, there is considerable exposure for Local Government [Attachment 1].

 

in regards to loss of its infrastructure and its exposure to professional indemnity claims arising from DA and BA approval issues…

 

Until now there has been no legislative protection for Councils because no guidelines had been set, as to the level above which a building might be approved, and on which Council would be able to rely in the approval, process…

 

Any future building approval which does not take these projections into account may render the approving authority liable for breach of professional indemnity…

 

Council is now in a position where it cannot ignore the Governments projections…

 

Based on this information on the 14 of April 2009 Council resolved, among other things to adopt the sea  level rise planning benchmarks identified in the Draft NSW Sea Level Rise Policy.

 

2          That Council adopt the predicted sea level rise of 40cm to 2050 and 90cm to 2100 for all land use planning and infrastructure design and investment as outlined in the NSW Draft Policy Statement on Sea Level Rise.

 

To clarify the matter Council also sought legal advice [Attachment 2] on the matter which indicated the following:

 

2.2    Council should apply the Benchmark figure in future assessment of development applications and other decision making procedures, and take the issue of sea level rise, including the benchmark figure, into account in making such decisions. If Council does not do so it may risk losing the benefit of its indemnity insurance in that regard. We also note that DoP will be preparing guidelines in the near future to assist Councils on how sea level rise should be considered by Councils in land use planning and development assessment

 

Based on this advice Council resolved on the 19 June 2009 that:

 

3        That a further report be prepared once the NSW Government finalise their Policy Statement on Sea Level Rise and the Department of Planning issue Guidelines for considering Sea Level Rise in land use planning and development control.

 

Further to this on the 10 December 2009 Council received a letter from the Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW indicating that despite the federal government releasing its alternative ‘worst case’ projections for sea level rise, NSW Council’s should rely on NSW State Government projections. In addition to this DECC indicated the following:

 

Council receive an exemption from liability under section 733 of the Local Government Act 1993 for certain actions relating to coastal management, provided they act in ‘good faith’. It is considered that Councils will be able to demonstrate action in ‘good faith’ if they adopt the NSW government sea level rise benchmarks in their land use planning, development assessment and related decision making.’

 

During 2010 council completed a Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategy which examined how climate change will impact on the Bellingen, Kempsey and Nambucca Region and developed adaptation actions to assist in building our region more resilient to the impacts associated with climate change. The project was fully funded by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

 

On 16 December 2010 Council resolved the following in relation to these reports:

 

2          Council’s Strategic Planner Prepare a Climate Change Adaptation Policy for future adoption by Council to ensure that actions contained in the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy are given consideration in future decision making, policy implementation, strategic development by Council and Council staff.

 

All the previous resolutions of Council have now been addressed and a draft Climate Change Policy has been prepared. The draft Policy (as amended with the tracked changes) is included as a Circularised Document.

 

The Draft Policy gives consideration to the NSW Sea Level Rise Planning Benchmarks and associated guidelines and among other things it attempts to ensure Council maintains its indemnity under section 733 of the Local Government Act 1993, in terms of making flood planning decisions.

 

The objectives of the policy are as follows:

 

a          Incorporate the predicted impacts associated with climate change into its decision making process;

 

b          Ensure that decisions made by Council have regard to the life of the item as it relates to climate change matters.

 

c          Ensure that planning related decisions and advice are giving consideration to the most current manuals and guidelines published by relevant state government authorities.

 

d          To improve the resilience of the Council and the local community to the impacts associated with climate change.

 

A brief summary of the policy is provided below:

 

·              The policy introduces the climate change projections expected for Nambucca;

·              The policy ensures that decision making takes into consideration the impacts of climate change over time or a climate change design period.

·              Provides guidance on strategic planning, development assessment and enquiries relating to flooding and coastal issues, which will ensure Council fulfils its obligations under the Local Government Act 1993 for indemnity purposes.

·              Provides recommendations in relation to specialist studies;

·              Provides recommendations that relate to biodiversity;

·              The policy ensures that economic management and development aim to capitalize on the opportunities created by climate change.

·              The policy provides items or questions to be considered when managing Council’s Assets.

·              To allow authorities to plan for and have appropriate responses to emergency situations, the policy indicates that emergency management authorities and essential services shall be provided with copies of floodplain management plans; Coastal Management Plans; bushfire risk plans and all associated data.

·              Council will pursue funding opportunities;

·              Council will use the climate change adaptation strategy to actively assist Council and the community to build resilience to Climate Change.

·              The policy recommends that Council’s 20 year integrated community strategic plan should acknowledge and re-enforce Councils commitment to address issues associated with climate change.

 

Additional Changes to the draft Policy

 

In addition to those changes to the draft as a result of consultation with Councillors the following changes have also been made:

 

·              Attempting to designate a design life period for each an every plan, project and development type possible within the policy is difficult.  The policy has been amended to allow a merit based assessment of the design life, where if necessary Council staff can consult with government/ industry bodies, industry standards or guidelines.  The exception to this is Greenfield subdivision which should be given a 100 year design period.

 

·              In relation to sea level rise impacts the policy has been amended so that in only applies to tidal areas.

 

·              The following note has been applied to sea level rise planning decisions components of the policy:

 

            Note:         Where data giving consideration sea level rise is available for part of a flood plain, this data can be used to estimate sea level rise influence in other tidal areas and may assist in determining an appropriate flood level.

 

          This note allows Council to consider the predicted levels modelled in Draft lower Nambucca flood study when making decisions in areas less impacted by tidal influences.

 

Future Flood Studies

 

The parts of the Policy which give consideration to sea level rise are considered to be interim measure until such time that the Flood Risk Studies being undertaken within the shire are complete and the Councils Flood Risk Management Plan has been updated.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

·              Director of Environment and Planning

·              Councillors

 

Listed below are comments from Councillors and staff's response:

 

Page Number

Proposed Changes/Comments/Questions

Staff Response

Cr Michael Moran

 

Does not believe in Climate Change or coastal change

Comment not necessary

 

Staff are using this to produce more work

Policy Based on Council resolution 16 December 2010.

 

Mother nature will provide

Comment not necessary

 

Staff have delegation to make decisions when Councillors should have this role

Comment not necessary

2

Believe rainfall will remain the same and not increase

Comment not necessary

2

4.2 – Do not need new designs – build stronger

This section of the policy suggests the design take into account weather predictions over time. To do this design standards need to be given consideration against predicted impacts and associated costs. This may result in increases to design strength, durability or other variables.

2

4.2 – Council should not be telling industrial development how to be developed.  Does not envisage there will be many public facilities

Council’s Flood Risk Management Plan provides guidelines for commercial and industrial development. As we presently consider these types of developments in a flood planning context it is appropriate to give consideration to climate change impacts over time.

Council should ensure investment made into public infrastructure is not at significant risk to weather related impacts which are predicted to change over time.

3

4.3 – Does not see the need for strategic planning

Comment not necessary

3

4.3 (a) – Macksville can handle floods – this is not required

Clause 4.3a applies to the shire not Macksville in isolation. This simply requires LEP amendments to give consideration to flood risk management plans prepared for the shire.

3

4.3 (b) – Previous 100 year flooding caused Missabotti to come down Nambucca River through Macksville

Comment not necessary

3

4.5 – Council staff cannot issue comments as they have not seen floods

Council staff are required to provide flooding advice if requested. Advice is only provided on locations where studies have been completed. An alternative approach would be for Council to outsource flood enquiries to a private consultant and recover the cost from the applicant. It is noted fees to undertake these enquiries may become significant.

5

a – Missabotti

These are questions to be considered when planning/ designing specific infrastructure. It is likely a different response will be required dependant on the needs and location of asset.

5

b – No

5

c – Yes

5

e – No money available

5

f – Yes but finance not available

5

4.10 – there is no-one available to follow this through and people should be responsible for their own property/cattle/machinery

This provision indicates that Council will make studies available to Emergency Management organisations (such as SES)  and essential services (Energy suppliers).

6

Photo was not sea level rise or climate change – was the flood in 1950’s

The photo was added as it is a well known location in the shire shown under stress from flooding. It demonstrates what is possible at present regardless of climate change predictions.

It is intended to keep the photo in the Policy. However, Council may resolve to remove.

6

4.3 (d) – Let people pay for their own rainwater tanks – no rebates

Rainwater tank rebates were available through the NSW State Government up until 30/6/2011 and a rebate is still available through NSC under the Environmental Levy and Council’s Rainwater Tank Rebate Policy

6

5.0 – The three Shires are different – Coffs Harbour and Bellingen receive more funding for infrastructure

Comment not necessary

7

The State Government Fund Levy

Comment not necessary

7

The beach washed away in 1949, 1959-60, 1972, 2009, 2010, 2011

Comment not necessary

Cr Paula Flack

1

a      replace word 'its' with 'Council's'

b      Unclear as to the meaning of the word item in this context? Would 'matter' better fit the bill?

c      replace words 'are giving' with 'give'

d      for consistency delete the word 'the' in front of Council

Amended

Amended

 

Amended

Amended

2

4.1   Reference to The NSW Sea Level Rise Statement should include the date of the doc. ie 2009.  Also the data included in the SLR, temperature, precipitation and wind speed sections should be referenced including date. This is important given that CC data is constantly being updated as the science comes in.

        Precipitation (e) and the word 'to' between 'predicted' and 'remain' and also between 'expected' and 'vary'

4.2   First line, insert the word 'will' between 'Council' and 'ensure'. This last sentence of this para would benefit from a reference.  In other words what are these design periods based upon?

Referencing Added

 

 

 

Amended

 

Amended

 

 

Design Period reference added

3

4.3   first line - change capitals for 'Strategic Planning Projects' and 'Climate Change' to lower case.

4.3   (b) insert '4.3' to 'a' above' instead of just 'a' so there is no confusion as to what section is being referred to

Amended

 

 

Amended

4

4.6a shouldn’t changes to hydrological regimes in terms of increased runoff from development and land clearing also be considered?

 

 

 

 

4.7   Ditto shouldn't increased rainfall in context of clearing and development impacts to stormwater regimes be included in other specific matters?  Agree with 3rd para re accommodating changes.  One of the documents/actions required to facilitate this would be veg mapping/monitoring

4.9

List should include:

-       Increased storm damage to vegetation in particular street trees and road side vegetation

-       Increased damage to stream/river banks from flooding which impacts on/ destabilizes infrastructure such as roads (eg Ferry St, River St/Gumma Rd)) bridges (eg Dju Loom Bridge on North Arm), walkways (eg boardwalks), footpaths (eg northern bank of Nambucca River opposite Star Hotel).

This clause adds a modelling calculation to flood studies completed in the shire. It is assumed flood modelling would have allowances for environmental/landscape attributes such as urban areas etc.

 

Changes to rainfall patterns are referred to in section 4.2 which is referenced in this clause.

 

 

 

 

 

Amended where appropriate

6

5.0   The final sentence should also be included in a more up front spot in the policy and included in all 'disclaimers' and public notifications etc.

Amended

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The adoption of this policy will further Councils commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change in Environmental Assessment, infrastructure development/management and general decision making.


Social

The adoption of this policy will assist the community to become more resilient to the impacts associated with climate change.

 

Economic

Over time and with community acceptance and implementation the adoption of this policy will have positive economic benefits to the community by building resilience to climate change.

 

Risk

One of the key findings of the climate change adaptation reporting was that in order to maintain Council’s indemnity against climate change related litigation, Council must ensure it incorporates the state government benchmarks into its decision making. This is despite greater predictions being available within the scientific community.

 

Section 733 Exemption from liability-flood liable land, land subject to risk of bush fire and land in coastal zone of the Local Government Act 1993 states that Council does not incur liability for advice furnished, action done or omitted in good faith. This section of the Act also states:

 

4          Without limiting any other circumstances in which a council may have acted in good faith, a council is, unless the contrary is proved, taken to have acted in good faith for the purposes of this section if the advice was furnished, or the thing was done or omitted to be done, substantially in accordance with the principles contained in the relevant manual most recently notified under subsection (5) at that time.

 

5          For the purposes of this section, the Minister for Planning may, from time to time, give notification in the Gazette of the publication of:

 

            a        a manual relating to the management of flood liable land, or

            b        a manual relating to the management of the coastline, or

            c        a manual relating to the management of land subject to the risk of bush fire.

 

            The notification must specify where and when copies of the manual may be inspected.

 

The State Government has recently release documents related to coastal zone management, flood management and sea level rise which form the basis of section 5 above.

 

This policy has been prepared to ensure that advice and planning decisions made by Council take into consideration the state government policies and guidelines related to flooding and coastal management and key to this policy, Climate Change.  This should form the basis of ‘acting in good faith’ if the question ever arises.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Nil

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Nil

 

Attachments:

1View

8208/2009 - Advice from Statewide  -  DECC Draft Policy Statement on Sea Level Rise

 

2View

32067/2009 - Clarification regarding differing Sea Level Rise projections

 

3View

18767/2011 - Advice from Deacons regarding Draft Sea Level Rise Policy Statement

 

4View

 - CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - Draft Policy - Climate Change Adaptation (trim document 11999/2011)

 

  


General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 


General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 



General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 








General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 4

 

 

 

Policy - Recommended Climate Change Adaptation

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - Draft Policy - Climate Change Adaptation (trim document 11999/2011)

 

  Pages

 

 


General Purpose Committee                                                                                                  20 July 2011

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 10.1    SF1575            200711         Draft Asset Management Plan - Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Peter Baynes, Manager Assets         

 

Summary:

 

A Draft Asset Management Plan (AMP) for the Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre has been developed. 

 

This plan proposes additional annual maintenance expenditure requirements likely to be incurred over and above preventative maintenance.  The plan also identifies plant that is likely to require replacement either due to obsolescence or to ensure future code compliance.  Projected capital renewal and upgrade expenditure over the next five years amounts to $920,000.

 

In December 2010 Council resolved to endeavour to increase the pool reserves to meet these estimates as a significant deficiency in the current reserve and reserve contribution rate had been identified.  When setting the budget for 2011/12 sufficient funds were not able to be found to increase the reserve contributions.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the draft Asset Management Plan for the Macksville Memorial Aquatic centre be noted.

 

OPTIONS:

 

That the draft be rejected and an alternative be developed.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council has identified the need to improve its capabilities in terms of Asset Management for Infrastructure Assets.

 

An integral part of developing an Asset Management capability is to be able to document the following in relation to each class of asset managed by Council:

 

·              Required Levels of Service;

·              Actual Levels of Service;

·              Cost of providing services at the desired levels of service;

·              Lifecycle management plans;

·              Impacts of funding arrangements on service provision; and

·              Risk management plans.

 

An Asset Management Plan is a document to record and analyse this information in relation to a particular class of asset.

 

The draft Asset Management Plan (AMP) for the Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre is based on a template developed by the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) and an audit report by Stevenson & Associates, an engineering and consultancy firm specialising in public swimming pools.

 

The brief for Stevenson & Associates was to inspect and assess the different components making up the outdoor, hydrotherapy and toddler pools and to report on the following:

 

·              Construction Type;

·              Age;

·              Condition;

·              Anticipated Future Life;

·           Replacement costs; and

·           Maintenance Costs.

 

The brief also asked for comment on areas which were obviously non-compliant with current Health Regulations and Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

 

The outdoor pool is now over 50 years old and whist still operating satisfactorily the time will come where substantial work is required.  Coffs Harbour City Council and Port Macquarie City Council both have pools of a similar age and are in the process of expending significant sums (reportedly greater than $1M and greater than $4m respectively) on repairs and maintenance of the type detailed in our auditors report.

 

The AMP proposes additional annual maintenance expenditure requirements likely to be incurred over and above preventative maintenance.  The plan also identifies plant that is likely to require replacement either due to obsolescence or to ensure future code compliance.  Projected capital renewal and upgrade expenditure over the next five years amounts to $920,000.

 

In December 2010 Council resolved to endeavour to increase the pool reserves to meet these estimates as a significant deficiency in the current reserve and reserve contribution rate had been identified.  When setting the budget for 2011/12 sufficient funds were not able to be found to increase the reserve contributions.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Property Officer

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Continued compliance with environmental and health and safety legislative requirements will be ensured by including such requirements when establishing levels of service for the aquatic centre.

 

Social

 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys in November 2007 and October 2010 show that residents rate the aquatic centre as High Importance, High Satisfaction.  Ensuring the centre continues to function in a safe and healthy manner will help ensure ongoing social and health benefits to residents of the Shire and visitors.

 

Economic

 

Ongoing provision of a functional aquatic centre and its effective maintenance and operation will assist with ensuring the ongoing economic development of the Shire.

 

Risk

 

The recent experiences of neighbouring councils being required to spend substantial amounts on their pools (which are incidentally of similar age and design) underscores the importance of ensuring that there are sufficient reserves for this Council to attend to the same works as and when required.

 

In the event a patron becomes ill as a consequence of poor water quality Council will not be able to rely on its compliance with New South Wales Health Guidelines as a defence to any action for damages.

 


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Given the age and condition of assets at the aquatic centre it is inevitable that provision of adequate levels of service will necessitate an increased level of investment in maintenance and asset renewals. 

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre reserves, with possible grants and loans.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


General Purpose Committee                                                                                                  20 July 2011

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 10.2    SF1655            200711         Natural Disaster Funding Application - June 2011

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Noel Chapman, Manager Civil Works         

 

Summary:

 

The rainfall and flooding event experienced around the Nambucca Valley between 14-15 June 2011 has been declared as a natural disaster.

 

Council’s Senior Overseer has undertaken inspections of damage for inclusion as a natural disaster funding application.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the information on flooding event experienced between 14-15 June 2011 be received and noted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Note the information

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The rainfall and flooding event between 14-15 June 2011 has been declared as a natural disaster.

 

Council’s Senior Overseer has undertaken inspections of damage for roads and bridges for inclusion as a natural disaster funding application.

 

The Senior Overseers Preliminary estimates are as follows:

 

Flood Damage Report – Preliminary Estimates for roads and bridges

 

North Arm Road                                                          $670,000

North Congarinni Road                                                 $  40,000

Simpson’s Ridge Road                                                $150,000

South Arm Road                                                         $  85,000

South Congarinni Road                                                $  30,000

Rhones Creek Road                                                    $220,000

Sullivan’s Road Bridge Approach                                  $  50,000

Allgomera Road                                                          $  20,000

Moran’s Road                                                             $  30,000

Taylors Arm Road                                                       $190,000

Lanes Bridge Foot Walk                                              $  70,000

Shelly Beach                                                              $  10,000

Estimate to date for roads and bridges                  $1,656,000

 

 

It should be noted that these are initial estimates only and are subject to Roads and Traffic Authority approval and detailed design for major works in excess of $100,000.

 

The total estimate to date is $1,565,000.

 

There are other damages to Council infrastructure that will be included in a claim comprising of loss of softfall material to playgrounds, damage to fences and shelters, damage to beach access paths.  The cost of these would have not been determined as yet and are subject to assessment through the Public Works.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Director Engineering Services

Senior Overseer

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no issues as a result of this report.

 

Social

 

There are no issues as a result of this report.

 

Economic

 

There are no issues as a result of this report.

 

Risk

 

There are no issues as a result of this report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Repair damage subject to successful claim.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Natural disaster funding.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


General Purpose Committee                                                                                                  20 July 2011

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 10.3    SF415              200711         Encroachment of Autumn Lodge onto Dawkins Park RF203

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Phillip Smith, Surveyor         

 

Summary:

 

ENCROACHMENT OF AUTUMN LODGE

 

Council at its Ordinary Meeting held on 19 May 2011 received a report on the encroachment onto Dawkins Park.  Council resolved to defer the decision until an onsite meeting at the next General Purpose Meeting.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council consent to the boundary adjustment and sale of part of Dawkins Park being an approximate area of 2380m2 to Nambucca Valley Care Limited for the purpose of rectifying the encroachments provided that:

 

a        The necessary community consultation and reclassification of the land is carried out prior to sale;

 

b        Nambucca Valley Care Limited enter into a Deed of Agreement with Council undertaking to pay all costs associated with the sale including (but not limited by) survey, legal, valuation, land value and Council fees.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council may not wish to commit to the sale of encroaching land without knowing the outcome of community consultation as regards the reclassification of part of Dawkins Park.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Nambucca Valley Care (NVC) have become aware of a considerable encroachment of their infrastructure and improvements upon the Public Reserve at Dawkins Park following the completion of a detail survey by Amos & McDonald on the Autumn Lodge Village.

 

NVC have submitted a survey plan showing a proposed boundary adjustment between their Autumn Lodge property and Dawkins Park. and are seeking to acquire an area of 2380m2 to rectify the encroachment. If Council are amenable to the boundary adjustment, NVC are prepared to meet all costs associated with the boundary adjustment.

 

It seems reasonable that the proposed boundary adjustment will follow the bottom of the bank on the western and northern side of Autumn Lodge. But the acquisition of the area adjacent to the Pacific Highway seems excessive and may need to be reduced in size.

 

It is noted that Dawkins Park is community land and before the encroaching area can be sold it has to be re-classified as operational land. This is a rigorous and time consuming process involving rezoning and community consultation.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

·              John Butler, CEO Nambucca Valley Care Limited

·              Bill McDonald, Amos & McDonald Surveyors


SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no perceivable environmental impacts.

 

Social

 

The recommendations are compatible with the improvement of aged care.

 

Economic

 

Improvements to Autumn Lodge should benefit economic activity within the Shire.

 

Risk

 

The closure of Short Street would reduce Council’s Public Liability.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The valuations on the parcel of land at Dawkins Park and Short Street will assist Council to determine the sale price of the land and will provide an income to Council emanating from the sale.

 

All costs involved in the process will be met by Nambucca Valley Care.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

Not applicable.

 

Attachments:

1View

11640/2011 - Proposed Boundary Realignment - Autumn Lodge

 

  


General Purpose Committee - 20 July 2011

Encroachment of Autumn Lodge onto Dawkins Park RF203