NAMBUCCA

SHIRE COUNCIL

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

AGENDA ITEMS

04 August 2011

 

Council has adopted the following Vision and Mission Statements to describe its philosophy and to provide a focus for the principal activities detailed in its Management Plan.

 

Our Vision

Nambucca Valley ~ Living at its best.

 

Our? Mission Statement

 

?The Nambucca Valley will value and protect its natural environment, maintain its assets and infrastructure and develop opportunities for its people.?

 

Our Values in Delivery

?                Effective leadership

?                Strategic direction

?                Sustainability of infrastructure and assets

?                Community involvement and enhancement through partnerships with Council

?                Enhancement and protection of the environment

?                Maximising business and employment opportunities through promotion of economic development

?                Addressing social and cultural needs of the community through partnerships and provision of facilities and services

?                Actively pursuing resource sharing opportunities

 

Council Meetings:? Overview and Proceedings

 

Council meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month commencing at 5.30 pm.? Council meetings are held in the Council Chamber at Council's Administration Centre?44 Princess Street, Macksville.

 

How can a Member of the Public Speak at a Council Meeting?

 

1??????? Addressing Council with regard to an item on the meeting agenda:

 

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings and address the Council.? Registration to speak may be made by telephone or in person before 2.00 pm on a meeting day.? The relevant agenda item will be brought forward at 5.30 pm in agenda order, and dealt with following preliminary business items on the agenda.? Public addresses are limited to five (5) minutes per person with a limit of two people speaking for and two speaking against an item.?

 

2??????? Public forum address regarding matters not on the meeting agenda:

 

Council allows not more than two (2) members of the public per meeting to address it on matters not listed in the agenda provided the request is received before publication of the agenda and the subject of the address is disclosed and recorded on the agenda.

 

Speakers should address issues and refrain from making personal attacks or derogatory remarks.? You must treat others with respect at all times.

 

Meeting Agenda

 

These are available from the Council's Administration Building, the Regional Libraries in Macksville and Nambucca Heads as well as Council?s website: www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au


 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 04 August 2011

 

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 Aboriginal People present.

 

AGENDA?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Page

 

1??????? APOLOGIES

2??????? PRAYER

3??????? DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4??????? CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES ? Ordinary Council Meeting - 21 July 2011

5??????? PUBLIC FORUM

6??????? ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE ??

7??????? QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

8??????? General Manager Report

8.1???? Notice of Motion - Request for Replacement of Lights on V-Wall, Nambucca Heads

8.2???? Outstanding Actions and Reports

8.3???? Review of Code of Conduct

8.4???? Internal Reporting Policy

8.5???? Consultant's Brief - Organisation Review

8.6???? Grants Application Status Report - 22 July 2011

8.7???? Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

8.8???? Back to Bowra Hinterland Festival - Committee of Management

8.9???? Future of the Macksville Saleyards

8.10?? Amended Draft Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

9??????? Director Environment and Planning Report

9.1???? DA's and CDC's Received and Determined under Delegated Authority to 22 July 2011

9.2???? Outstanding DA's greater than 12 months, applications where submissions received not determined to 22 July 2011

9.3???? Report on Rural Financial Counselling Service for 2010

9.4???? Conflict of Interest Provisions for Council Accredited Certifiers

9.5???? NSW Home Saver Rebates Program

10????? Director Engineering Services Report

10.1?? Professional Lifeguard Services Report Update for the contract period 2010/2011

10.2?? Costs involved in replacing the plaque on Congarinni Bridge ????


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).

 

??????? ?


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.1????? SF1595??????????? 040811???????? Notice of Motion - Request for Replacement of Lights on V-Wall, Nambucca Heads

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Michael Moran OAM, Councillor ????????

 

Summary:

 

Quite some time ago Public Works installed lights on the V-Wall at Nambucca Heads.? Over the years the light poles have become corroded.? As Public Works installed the lights it is their responsibility to have them replaced.

 

The V-Wall is used by many residents and visitors on a daily basis.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council write to Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) requesting that they replace the corroded light poles on the V-Wall at Nambucca Heads.

 

 

 

Comments from Acting General Manager

 

Investigations have revealed that Public Works installed the lighting along the V-Wall on behalf of the then Department of Lands (Land and Property Management Authority).

 

The Public Works acted as a contractor only for the Department of Lands.?

 

The lights were installed around 1993 and paid for by the Department of Lands.? The lights were replaced approximately 2 years later as the first light poles were adversely effected by corrosive nature of the environment.

 

It appears that after the lights were commissioned the responsibility for the maintenance (replacement of light bulbs) became the responsibility of Council.

 

It was assumed that Council were responsible for the lights hence the item placed in the 2011/2012 budget.

 

However it is not determined whether the light poles are under Council responsibility and therefore it is in Council?s interest to pursue the Land and Property Management Authority in the first instance for funding.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager

ITEM 8.2????? SF959????????????? 040811???????? Outstanding Actions and Reports

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Michael Coulter, General Manager ????????

 

Summary:

 

The following table is a report on all outstanding resolutions and questions from Councillors (except development consents, development control plans & local environmental plans). Matters which are simply noted or received, together with resolutions adopting rates, fees and charges are not listed as outstanding actions. Where matters have been actioned they are indicated with strikethrough and then removed from the report to the following meeting. Please note that the status comments have been made one week before the Council meeting.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the list of outstanding actions and reports be noted and received for information by Council.

 

 

 

No

FILE

NO

COUNCIL

MEETING

SUMMARY OF MATTER

ACTION

BY

STATUS

JULY 2009

1

SF1272

16/07/09

Council consider as a first priority the provision of a data link and adequate server for backup in the quarterly review.? That Council consider suitable remote office space to house disaster recovery equipment at the quarterly review.

 

RO/IT

Hardware has been installed being:

1. ESXi host server in the library. This server runs VMware ESX which is then capable of hosting our servers in a virtual environment if required.

2. Platespin Protect. Installed on the ESX host is a virtual server dedicated to handling replications from our physical servers. Each physical server has a Platespin agent installed to facilitate this replication.

3. Fibre link between admin office and library DR site.

 

Planning is underway to update and then test Council?s disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

AUGUST 2009

2

SF544

20/08/09

Council adopt the Draft Bellwood Local Roads and Traffic Infrastructure Developer Contribution Plan and review within 12 months.

 

GM

September 2010.

Plan currently being reviewed.

Deferred to October 2010.

Not completed ? deferred to November 2010.

MANEX agreed to rehabilitate Bellwood between Pacific Hwy & Mumbler St with existing contributions.

To be included in Works Program for 2011/2012.

Enquiry to be made with D of P re progress of subdivision application.

 

DoP confirmed that subdivision application submitted, but not ready for public exhibition yet (8/3/11)

 

Confirmation from DoPi (14/06/11) that this major Project will continue under Part 3A with the Department being the Consent Authority.

 


 


JANUARY 2010

3

SF839

21/01/10

General Manager and Directors be reminded to report on potential revotes at quarterly reviews.

 

GM

On-going.

 

 

 

 

MARCH 2010

 

4

SF820

20/05/10

Quarterly performance review be presented to Clrs for comment at the first Council meeting of the month; with comments to be received by the next business paper deadline; and with the Performance review + Councillors comments to be considered at the following GPC.? Also dot points be replaced with no?s & an electronic copy to be provided to those Councillors who want it.

 

GM

On-going.

 

 

 

JULY 2010

 

5

SF638

15/07/10

Council formulate a plan of management for land which is occupied by the Valla Beach Pre-School.

 

GM

Scheduled for October 2010.

Deferred to November 2010.

Pre School unable to secure an easement over adjoining land for maintenance of bushfire buffer.? Plan of Management to be prepared following resolution of Pre School extensions.

 

 

6

SF218

15/07/10

Council review investigations to extend sewer to the Lower Nambucca and investigate effluent disposal issues in Eungai.

 

GM/

DEP

Letter sent to owners in Lower Nambucca.? Briefing and discussion with property owners to be arranged.

DEP to investigate Eungai.

De Groot Benson contacted concerning a meeting date in February 2011.

Information sent through to consultant.? Meeting now not likely to late March 2011.

Consultant advised that meeting will need to be deferred to May 2011 due to unavailability.

 

Staff workloads have not permitted to proceed in May.? June now targeted.

Now deferred to August.

 

Costings being prepared on a pressurised system so facts and figures will be discussed.

 


 

SEPTEMBER 2010

7

SF1471, SF611

2/9/2010

Write to Minister for Local Govt requesting that the LG (manufactured Home Estates etc) Regulation 2005 be amended to require proposals to locate new dwellings in caravan parks to be notified to council prior to placement

DEP

Letter sent on 10/9/2010.

No response as at 26/10/2010.

Response received from Minister for Local Government 5 November 2010 advising that the matter has been referred to the Minister for Planning for consideration. See Trim document 27096/2010.

No response from Minister for Planning as at 22/2/11.

 

No response from Minister for Planning as at 28/3/11.

 

Two further letters sent 24/5/11.? Ministers for Local Govt & Minister for Planning.

 

Both Ministers have responded, see TRIM documents 19582/2011 and 19970/2011 (attached).? The response from Department of Planning and Infrastructure outlined the current process and advises that as the current regulations are under review, Council concerns will be considered in the review.


OCTOBER 2010

8

SF1031

21/10/10

New policies be reported back to Council for determination.

 

GM

January 2011.

IPR current priority. Deferred to March 2011.

IPR and reformatting of Management Plan remain priorities.? Have had to defer again to April 2011. Now May 2011.?

 

Report presented to 21 July 2011 Council meeting.

 

NOVEMBER 2010

9

SF1471

04/11/10

That a Saleyard seminar be held for the community after Council has received the report from Council?s Property Officer and prior to making any final decision on the future of the Saleyards.

 

GM

Report scheduled for December 2010.

Report scheduled for January 2011.

Property Officer to write to CMA requesting funds for improving Saleyards effluent issue.

 

Awaiting response from CMA.

 

Report to 4 August 2011 Council meeting.

 

10

PRF54

18/11/10

Council approach LPMA re future management of Boultons Crossing (Gumma) Reserve

 

GM

Letter written to LPMA 26 November 2010.? Meeting with LPMA and Committee of Management arranged for 27/1/2011.

 

Meeting held on 27/1/2011.? Awaiting advice from LPMA on bringing more crown land into the reserve and grant opportunities.

GM to follow up with Committee of Management.

 

Report to Council on 16 June 2011.

Letter has now been sent to LPMA requesting that they make alternative arrangements for the management of the Reserve and suggesting a community based Trust.?

 


 

DECEMBER 2010

11

SF296

2/12/10

Signage at Ferry Street Macksville ? Council review after the Christmas break.

 

DEP

Report to Council in February 2011

Signs unable to be erected prior to Christmas.? Report deferred to April 2011.

 

Report further deferred to after April school holidays

Further delay due to signs have not been erected..

 

Signs erected.

 

12

SF844

16/12/10

That a Project Implementation Management Plan for the off-stream dam be developed to include provision for hollow bearing trees that are removed as part of the pre-clearing survey to be replaced by nesting boxes of similar dimension provided in suitable vegetation, with the catchment above the dam top water level.

 

DES

GHD commissioned.? Plan anticipated in March 2011.

 

To be included within the contract documentation as a condition imposed on the contractor obligations and compliance with the EIS.

FEBRUARY 2011

13

SF1508

3/2/11

Council revert to in-house monitoring of energy consumption and greenhouse gas production and revisit the option of engaging consultants for benchmarking in 12 months time.

 

DES

Report in February 2012.

14

SF1291

17/2/11

Paveline patching machine ? a further report be prepared of the year July 2010 to June 2011 for comparison with the same period in the previous year.

DES

Report to April 2011.

 

Report to August 2011 General Purpose Committee Meeting.

MARCH 2011

15

DA2010/234

17/3/11

Council develop a policy as to the cumulative impacts of locating fill on the floodplain at Macksville and also review the matrix in the Floodplain Risk Management Plan

 

DEP

Brief to be prepared and new floodplain study to be undertaken during 2011.

 

RTA have now engaged Consultants to prepare a new full and comprehensive flood study which will be provided to Council upon completion.? At this time Council will be able to proceed to complete a new Flood Plain Risk Management Plan incorporates a revised matrix.

APRIL 2011

16

SF29

7/4/2011

That a Committee be formed comprising the Mayor, library delegates, MCCS to investigate the possibility of forming a relationship with other local Council libraries and that the Committee report back to Council by Feb 2012.

 

DEP

MCCS to arrange an Inaugural Meeting.? Meeting has been arranged to discuss proposal with Coffs Harbour City Council on Monday 23 May 2011.

 

Meeting held ? report to come to Council for future direction.

 

 

17

SF358

7/4/2011

That the GM report on the options for the use of the funds in the S94 reserve for public recreation in the Macksville/Scotts Head catchment including foreshore redevelopment at River Street, Macksville.

 

GM

Report to Council in May 2011.? Deferred as Section 94 officer has been on sick leave.

 

Section 94 Officer has now resigned.? To be reported in August.

18

SF878

7/4/2011

That Council request a presentation from the Executive of the Mid North Weight of Loads Group at a GPC meeting.

 

DES

Request forwarded to Mid North Weight of Loads to present at a General Purpose Committee Meeting.

19

SF84

21/4/2011

Council write to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services & complain about RFS cost increases and controls re use of fuel cards and phones.? Also why IPART don?t review cost increases and why there is a prepayment for the Volunteer & Statewide Support contribution.

 

DES

Letters sent week ending 29 April 2011.

 

Response received and referred to Councillors.

20

SF84

21/4/2011

Council write to the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Local Member advising that increases in contributions to the RFS well exceed rate pegging and express Council?s concern about the lack of transparency in the increases sought.

 

GM

Letters sent week ending 29 April 2011.

 

Response received and referred to Councillors.

21

SF84

21/4/2011

Council write to the head of the local district of the RFS and request copies of annual reports of expenditure in this district for the past 5 years.

 

DES

Letters sent week ending 29 April 2011.

MAY 2011

22

SF959

5/5/2011

Council write to RTA and ask that the new 90km/hr zone on the Pacific Highway be extended from Valla Beach to Nambucca Heads and that feeder roads have appropriate markings.

 

GM

Letter sent 9 May 2011.

 

RTA meeting Council staff and undertaking an inspection? week commencing 4 July 2011.

 

Response received from RTA.

23

SF1306

5/5/2011

Council write to the Hon. Andrew Stoner MP and ask why there needs to be new arrangements for bush fire certificates and why they can?t continue to be provided by the RFS.

 

DEP

Letter sent 9 May 2011.

 

Acknowledgement letters received.? See TRIM documents 13583/2011 and 16456/2011.? No formal response as at 26/07/2011.

24

SF1595

19/5/2011

Council forward concerns raised over the determination of DA 2010/234 Proposed Primary School to the Joint Regional Planning Panel Secretariat with a copy to the NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley, the Hon. Andrew Stoner MP.

 

GM

Letter sent 26 May 2011

25

SF1595

19/5/2011

Council ask the Minister to make an urgent determination as to whether the issues raised in the letters of complaint and public representations regarding the JRPP?s determination of DA 2010/234 provide grounds for the Minister to exercise his responsibilities under Section 7(f) of the EPA Act.

 

GM

Letter sent 26 May 2011

26

SF1595

19/5/2011

The General Manager present an overview of the Annual Report to Councillors upon its completion.

 

GM

Overview report to be presented in November 2011

27

SF788

19/5/2011

Council consider refunding $4,451 in DA fees to Nambucca Valley Care subject to finalisation of 2011/12 budget.

 

GM

July 2011

Budget report to meeting of 30 June 2011 insufficient funds in donations budget to refund.

 

Letter sent to NVC advising of that budget is insufficient to provide a refund of fees.

 

28

SF909

19/5/2011

Manager Business Development prepare a digital economy strategy re identifying blackspots to be presented to the NBN Co for rollout consideration.

 

GM

September 2011

29

SF1031

19/5/2011

That a new policy covering donations to charities be prepared to cover all existing policies and to better ration the limited donations budget.

 

GM

In progress ? report to future meeting.

 

 

30

SF415

19/5/2011

Report on encroachment of Autumn Lodge onto Dawkins Park be deferred to GPC on 15 June 2011.

 

GM

June GPC

No quorum at June GPC, deferred to July.

31

SF86

19/5/2011

Council write to the Minister expressing concern about the (SES) levy being unaffordable and referring to recent cost increases from the RFS.

 

DES

Letter sent 26 May 2011

 

Copy of the Minister?s response provided to Councillors 5/7/11

32

DA2011/53

19/5/2011

Engineering Dept. provide a further report on the outcome of the GHD investigation (drainage catchment above Riverside Gardens) and whether there will still be an issue with the outlet under Riverside Drive once the detention basin has been cleared.

 

DES

GHD contacted and report anticipated end of June early July - proposed to present Council with a report for the GPC scheduled for August.

 

 

33

DA2011/53

19/5/2011

Council again lobby the State and Federal Governments for financial assistance to address the issues on the former Pacific Highway which is now Riverside Drive.

 

GM

Letters sent 9 June 2011

 

Response provided to Councillors

34

SF415

19/5/2011

Council write to Rob?s Hair Salon/Barber enquiring as to his willingness to manage a cigarette butt tray.

 

DES

Letter sent.

Smokers tray provided and signed Agreement received

JUNE 2011

35

SF959

2/06/2011

Council write to the NSW Scientific Committee and request they list the Indian Myna bird as a key threatening process.

 

DEP

Letter sent.

36

SF841

2/06/2011

Council write to the RTA requesting they design the new Nambucca River bridge at Macksville to provide 62m between the main channel piers and ensure the bridge is tall enough to allow yachts to pass under at maximum high tide.

 

DEP

Letter sent 8 June 2011.

 

No response as at 26/07/2011.

37

SF61

2/06/2011

Council seek clarification from the Australian Lifeguard Service re attendance times on page 159 of the report (beach attendance reported outside of patrol hours).

 

DES

Letter sent 15 June 2011

 

Report to August 2011 Council meeting

38

PRF15

16/06/2011

 

Council defer demolition of the old amenities at Coronation Park until 30 September 2011 to allow Trust to complete proposal to restore parts of the building.

 

DES

Report for Council in December 2011.

 

Letter sent to Coronation Park Trust advising the Executive of Council?s resolution.

39

SF674

16/06/2011

 

Premier and Minister be advised of history of Coffs Coast Waste and Council request a contribution to its costs in varying the contract from the proceeds of the Waste Levy.

 

GM

Letter sent

 

Acknowledgement letter received

JULY 2011

40

SF952

7/7/2011

Council receive a report on opportunities to improve the way Council manages native veg on native land including communication with contractors & Essential Energies including a report on work undertaken behind the Library.

 

DES

September 2011

41

SF952

7/7/2011

Grants Officer investigate grants for solar lighting and that the V-Wall be included in the quarterly budget review to see whether solar lighting can be funded.

 

DES

October 2011

42

SF952

7/7/2011

That the suggestions made by John Tait in the Public Forum be put up as discussion paper.

 

DEP

September 2011

 

Matters being reviewed for inclusion in a discussion paper.

43

SF1208

7/7/2011

A report come back on the cost of a plaque for Congarinni Bridge opening

 

DES

August 2011

 

Report to August 2011 Council meeting.

44

SF959

7/7/2011

Council receive a brief report awaiting review and highlighting any new policies awaiting development

 

GM

July 2011

45

RF275

7/7/2011

Council receive a report on the Bowraville to Bellingen road including option for a media campaign.

GM

 

46

PRF72

7/7/2011

That a Plan of Management within Kingsworth Lake Reserve be prepared by Engineering Services.

DES

October 2011

47

SF415

21/7/2011

That Council request that Nambucca Valley Care Limited submit their Development Application indicating their proposed use for the community owned land and on receipt of a Development Application Council proceed to undertake the necessary community consultation for reclassification of the land as well as undertaking the public exhibition of the Development Application.

DEP

Letter sent to Nambucca Valley Care advising of Council?s resolution ? 27/7/2011

48

SF1031

21/7/2011

That the policies be organised and made functional under each Directorate and the regular review and updating of the policies be the responsibility of each Director.

GM

DEP

DES

Ongoing review

49

SF1560

21/7/2011

That Council receive a full briefing from the World Rally Organisers and the Manager Business Development

GM

Briefing organised for 17 August 2011 General Purpose Committee Meeting

50

SF1669

21/7/2011

That Council seek a proposal from Public Works to project manage the construction contract for the Off River Storage Project with a view to extending their engagement should the proposal be considered acceptable.

DES

Proposal being sourced from Public Works and will be reported to 21 September 2011 General Purpose Committee Meeting.

51

SF86

21/7/2011

That Council write to the Minister expressing Council?s disappointment that nowhere in the plan is there an expressed desire let alone a requirement for financial efficiency or sustainability.

DES

Letter sent to Minister 27 July 2011

52

SF1031

21/7/2011

That the policy for Climate Change Adaption be deferred to allow amendments to be made to the draft policy.

DEP

Policy under revision and to be reported to future General Purpose Committee Meeting.

53

SF1026

21/7/2011

A report to be provided on the cost of each Councillor.

GM

To be reported to a future General Purpose Committee Meeting.

Attachments:

1View

19582/2011 - Response regarding installations of relocatable homes

 

2View

19970/2011 - Response from Minister for Local Government regarding Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings

 

?

?


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Outstanding Actions and Reports

 



Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Outstanding Actions and Reports

 


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.3????? SF36??????????????? 040811???????? Review of Code of Conduct

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council last reviewed its Code of Conduct in October 2009. In March this year, Jeff Williams from Fraud Prevention and Governance Pty Ltd delivered Ethics and Code of Conduct training to all employees of Council. Whilst no significant issues were raised from the sessions, Mr Williams did make some comments in relation to Council?s Code which form the basis of this most recent review.

 

It should be noted that this review is distinct from the review of the Model Code of Conduct currently being undertaken by the Division of Local Government. Council?s own Code can include provisions that supplement the Model Code or are more onerous than those contained in the Model Code.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council adopt the suggested amendments to its Code of Conduct.

 

That Council re-instate its Internal Reporting (Protected Disclosures) Policy.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can decide not to adopt the suggested amendments.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council last reviewed its Code of Conduct in October 2009. In March this year, Jeff Williams from Fraud Prevention and Governance Pty Ltd delivered Ethics and Code of Conduct training to all employees of Council. Whilst no significant issues were raised from the sessions, Mr Williams did make some comments in relation to Council?s Code which form the basis of this most recent review.

 

It should be noted that this review is distinct from the review of the Model Code of Conduct currently being undertaken by the Division of Local Government. Council?s own Code can include provisions that supplement the Model Code or are more onerous than those contained in the Model Code.

 

The suggested amendments to Council?s current Code of Conduct are:

 

?????? The addition of a table at the beginning of the document to show each revision, relevant legislation/guidelines, related Council policies/documents; related registers and related forms.

 

?????? The additions of references to relevant Council policies ie

 

?? Harassment Prevention Policy (clause 6.9)

?? Aggressive and Abusive Conduct Policy (clause 6.9)

?? Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy (clause 6.20)

?? Secondary Employment Policy (clause 7.28)

 

?????? Amendments to the following provisions:

 

?? Other business or employment (clause 7.26-7.27)

?? Token gifts and benefits (clause 8.1, 8.3-8.4)

?? Access to Information and Council Resources (clause 10.8)

 


The following actions have also been implemented:

 

?????? The creation of a Conflicts of Interest Register for staff declarations (Councillor declarations are recorded in the Council minutes)

 

?????? The review of relevant forms ? Application for Secondary Employment, Disclosure of Gift or Benefit and Disclosure of Interest (staff).

 

It is also recommended that Council reinstate its Internal Reporting Policy which deals with the reporting of disclosures of corrupt conduct, maladministration or serious and substantial waste of public money by Council or its staff. Whilst the topic of Protected Disclosures is referred to in the Code, it only refers to reporting breaches under the Code and also does not include important detail such as what disclosures are / are not protected; roles and responsibilities; alternative avenues for disclosure; the rights of a person who is the subject of disclosure; notification procedure and timeframes.

 

Should the Internal Reporting Policy be re-instated, it is proposed that Clause 7 (Reporting under the internal reporting system) be reviewed to include the Manager Human Resources as a nominated disclosure officer. (Currently, Clause 7 states that staff can only report to the General Manager yet Clause 8 refers to nominated disclosures officers). Also, it will be necessary to review the Policy in line with changes to the Protected Disclosure legislation which took effect on 1 July 2011. The main change is that the legislation now covers contractors and suppliers.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Jeff Williams, Fraud Prevention and Governance Pty Ltd

General Manager

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

The importance of Council?s reputation cannot be underestimated.?

 

Economic

 

There are no economic implications.

 

Risk

 

The Code of Conduct should be viewed as an important means of reducing risk to Council by clearly setting out the required standards of behaviour for Council officials together with appropriate sanctions for any breach of its provisions.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is no budgetary impact.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Attachments:

1View

18571/2011 - Draft Revised Code of Conduct - August 2011

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Review of Code of Conduct

 

 

 


 


Policy Title

Code of Conduct

Policy Owner

General Manager

Prepared by

Human Resources

Approved by

Council

Date Approved

17 July 2008

Version

3

Revision Date

1 October 2009

Amendments

Provisions added in relation to:

 

?????? workplace bullying (6.7- 6.8)

?????? child protection (6.12-6.15)

?????? alcohol and drugs (6.16)

?????? occupational health and safety (6.17-6.18)

?????? fraud prevention (6.19)

?????? lobbying (7.29-7.30)

?????? caucus votes (7.31)

?????? public comment (7.32-7.34)

 

Revision Date

4 August 2011

Amendments

References to relevant Council Policies added ie

 

?????? Harassment Prevention Policy (6.9)

?????? Aggressive and Abusive Conduct Policy (6.9)

?????? Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy (6.20)

?????? Secondary Employment Policy (7.28)

 

Amendments made to the following provisions:

 

?????? Other business or employment (7.26-7.27)

?????? Token gifts and benefits (8.1, 8.3-8.4)

?????? Access To Information And Council Resources (10.8)

 

Relevant Legislation/Guidelines

Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)

Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 (NSW)

Division of Local Government, Model Code of Conduct (June 2008)

Division of Local Government, Guidelines to the Model Code of Conduct (October 2008)

 

Related Council Policies/Documents

Code of Meeting Practice

Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy

Internal Reporting Policy

Harassment Prevention Policy

Aggressive and Abusive Conduct Policy

Secondary Employment Policy

 

Related Registers

Conflicts of Interest Register

Gifts and Benefits Register

Secondary Employment Register

 

Related Forms

Disclosure of Interest Form

Disclosure of Gifts or Benefits Form

Application for Secondary Employment

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PART 1: CONTEXT. 3

1????? Introduction. 3

2????? Definitions. 4

3????? Purpose of the Code of Conduct 5

4????? Key Principles. 6

5????? Guide To Ethical Decision Making. 7

PART 2: STANDARDS OF CONDUCT. 8

6????? General Conduct Obligations. 8

7????? Conflict Of Interests. 11

8????? Personal Benefit 15

9????? Relationship Between Council Officials. 17

10??? Access To Information And Council Resources. 19

11??? Reporting Breaches. 22

PART 3: PROCEDURES.. 23

12??? Complaint Handling Procedures & Sanctions. 23

13??? Complaint Assessment Criteria. 28

14??? Conduct Review Committee/Reviewer Operating Guidelines. 29

 


PART 1: CONTEXT

 

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

 

1??? Introduction

 

Nambucca Shire Council strives for a reputation of integrity, accountability, fairness and best value.? Our ratepayers need to have confidence that as Councillors and employees, we will continue to strive to maintain the highest standards in our dealings with the community we serve.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Failure by a member of staff to comply with Council?s Code of Conduct may give rise to disciplinary action.

 

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

 

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

 

2??? Definitions

 

In the Model Code of Conduct the following definitions apply:

 

the Act???????????????????????????????????? the Local Government Act 1993

 

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

 

conduct review

committee ?????????????????????????????? a committee of three or more persons independent of Council who are selected from those appointed by Council to review allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct by Councillors or the General Manager in accordance with the procedures set out in Sections 12, 13 and 14.

 

 

conduct reviewer?????????????????????? a person independent of Council who is solely selected from those appointed by Council to review allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct by Councillors or the General Manager in accordance with the procedures set out in Sections 12, 13 and 14.

 

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

 

Council official?????????????????????????? includes Councillors, members of staff of Council, administrators appointed under section 256 of the Act, members of Council committees, conduct reviewers and delegates of Council

 

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

 

designated person???????????????????? see the definition in section 441 of the Act

 

misbehaviour???????????????????????????? see the definition in section 440F of the Act

 

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

 

person independent

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

 

The term ?you? used in the Model Code of Conduct refers to Council officials.

 


3??? Purpose of the Code of Conduct

 

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

 

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

 

?????? understand the standards of conduct that are expected of them

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

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

 

4??? Key Principles

 

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

 

4.1???? Integrity

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

 

4.2???? Leadership

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

 

4.3???? Selflessness

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

 

4.4???? Impartiality

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

 

4.5???? Accountability

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

 

4.6???? Openness

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

 

4.7???? Honesty

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

 

4.8???? Respect

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

 

 

5??? Guide To Ethical Decision Making

 

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

 

?????? Is the decision or conduct lawful?

?????? Is the decision or conduct consistent with Council?s policy and with Council?s objectives and the Code of Conduct?

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

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

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

 

Conflict of interests

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

?????? Do your personal interests conflict with your official role?

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

 

Political donations and conflict of interests

 

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

 

Seeking advice

 

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

 

?????? Independent Commission Against Corruption? ????????? 8281 5999

?????? NSW Ombudsman????????????????????????????? 9286 1000

?????? NSW Department of Local Government?????????? 4428 4100

 

 


PART 2: STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

 

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

 

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

 

Failure by a member of staff to comply with Council?s Code of Conduct may give rise to disciplinary action.

 

6??? General Conduct Obligations

 

General conduct

 

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

 

a)???? contravenes the Act, associated regulations, Council?s relevant administrative requirements and policies

b)???? is detrimental to the pursuit of the charter of a Council

c)???? is improper or unethical

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

6.3???? You must treat others with respect at all times.

 

6.4???? Where you are a Councillor and have been found in breach of the Code of Conduct, you must comply with any Council resolution requiring you to take action as a result of that breach.

 

Fairness and equity

 

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

 

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

 

Harassment and discrimination and workplace bullying

 

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

 

6.8???? You must not bully or support others who engage in such behaviour.? Bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour directed towards an employee or group of employees that creates a risk to health and safety.? Bullying comprises behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades, insults or humiliates a worker, possibly in front of co-workers, clients or customers and which includes physical or psychological behaviour.

 

6.9???? For further information, refer to Council?s Harassment Prevention Policy and Aggressive and Abusive Conduct Policy.

 

Development decisions

 

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

 

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

 

Child Protection

 

6.12?? In relation to children, our Council will engage only in practices that are respectful of and provide security of children and in no way degrade, endanger, exploit, intimidate or harm them psychologically or physically.

 

6.13?? All employees have a responsibility to report to the General Manager allegations and convictions that occur within the workplace.

 

6.14?? Reportable Conduct includes:

a)???? Any sexual offence, sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child (including a child pornography offence), or

b)???? Any assault, ill treatment or neglect of a child, or

c)???? Any behaviour that causes psychological harm to a child.

 

6.15?? The General Manager is required to report to the Ombudsman, within 30 days of becoming aware, any reportable allegations or convictions against employees.

 

 


Alcohol and Drugs

 

6.16?? You must not attend to Council duties if you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that could impair your ability to carry out your duties or cause danger to others.? If you are taking prescribed medication that could affect your duties, please discuss it with your supervisor or the General Manager.

 

Occupational Health and Safety

 

6.17?? Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, all Council officials while at work, must take reasonable care for the health and safety of people who are at the place of work and who may be affected by the person?s acts or omissions at work.

 

6.18?? Council officials must, while at work, co-operate so far as is necessary to enable compliance with any requirement under this Act or the regulations that is imposed in the interests of health, safety and welfare of any person.

 

Fraud Prevention

 

6.19?? Council seeks to limit its exposure to fraud by encouraging an ?awareness culture? that fraud within the workplace will not be tolerated.? ?Fraud? means an intentional dishonest act or omission done with the purpose of gaining an advantage, usually a financial benefit from a position of trust and authority.? The types of acts or omissions include, but are not limited to, theft, false pretences, evasion and manipulation of information, misappropriation, larceny, embezzlement and improper destruction or falsification of accounts or records.

 

A basic test for fraud could include the following questions:

 

a)???? Was deceit used?

b)???? Was the action unlawful?

c)???? Did it result in money or other benefits being received to which the person was not entitled?

d)???? Was an attempt made to do this?

 

6.20?? For further information, refer to Council?s Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy and Strategy.

 

7??? Conflict Of Interests

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is a pecuniary interest?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

7.8???? Designated persons are defined at section 441 of the Act, and include, but are not limited to, the General Manager and other senior staff of the Council.

 

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

 

What is a non-pecuniary conflict of interests?

 

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

 

7.11?? The matter of a report to Council from the conduct review committee/reviewer relates to the public duty of a Councillor or the General Manager. Therefore, there is no requirement for Councillors or the General Manager to disclose a conflict of interests in such a matter.

 

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

 

Managing non-pecuniary conflict of interests

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Political donations exceeding $1,000

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Other business or employment

 

7.26?? If you are a member of staff of Council considering outside employment or contract work, you must notify and seek the approval of the General Manager in writing. (section 353)

 

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

 

a)???? conflict with your official duties

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

c)???? require you to work while on Council duty

d)???? discredit or disadvantage the Council

e)???? jeopardise the health, safety and efficiency of the employee, co-workers or members of the public.

 

7.28?? For further information, refer to Council?s Secondary Employment Policy.

 

Personal dealings with Council

 

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

 

Lobbying

 

7.30?? Councillors and staff should be aware that at some time they are likely to be lobbied by a wide range of people including individuals, organisations, companies and developers.? The Code of Conduct and the Act recognise that appropriate lobbying of Councillors is a normal part of the democratic system, and that Councillors have a representative role in considering the views of the constituents and communicating with them.

 

7.31?? Generally, inappropriate and unlawful conduct on the part of someone lobbying a Council official usually involves an attempt to obtain preferential consideration or treatment based on factors other than the merits of a matter.

 

Caucus Votes

 

7.32?? Binding Caucus votes on matters is inconsistent with the obligation of each Council official to consider the merits of the matter before them.? Political group or meetings must not be used to decide how Councillors or Council officials should vote on matters like development applications, particularly where there are specific statutory considerations for each decision maker to consider.

 

Public Comment

 

7.33?? As a Council official you need to know whether you are permitted to make public comment on behalf of the Council or not.? If you are in doubt, authorisation should be obtained from the General Manager.? Public comment includes public speaking engagements (including comments on radio and television), expressing views in letters to the press, or in books or notices or on the internet, where it is reasonably foreseeable that the publication or circulation will enter into the public domain.

 

As a member of the community, Council officials have the right to enter into public debate in a private capacity.? However, Council officials must take care not to give the impression that their comments are made on behalf of Council.? Council staff and Councillors will need to clearly state that the public comment reflects only personal opinion.

 

Council officials (including Councillors) should ensure that they clarify whether or not they are acting on behalf of Council and/or in their public capacity when speaking publicly or attending functions, to avoid situations where this might be directly implied or indirectly inferred that they are representing Council.


 

8??? Personal Benefit

 

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

 

Token gifts and benefits

 

8.1???? Token gifts have little financial value, are not offered on a regular basis, ideally can be shared, offered in appreciation and do not exceed $30 in value.

 

8.2???? Generally speaking, token gifts and benefits include:

 

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

i)??????? the discussion of official business

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

iii)?????? conferences

iv)?????? Council functions or events

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

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

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

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

 

8.3???? If the gift is token, and acceptable, and has a value of less than $10, it does not have to be disclosed.

 

8.4???? If the gift is token and has a value of between $10 and $30, it has to be disclosed and recorded in Council?s Gifts and Benefits Register.

 

Gifts and benefits of value

 

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

 

Gifts and benefits

 

8.6???? You must not:

 

a)???? seek or accept a bribe or other improper inducement

b)???? seek gifts or benefits of any kind

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Improper and undue influence

 

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

 

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

 

9??? Relationship Between Council Officials

 

Obligations of Councillors and administrators

 

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

 

9.2???? Councillors or administrators must not:

 

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

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

c)???? contact a member of the staff of the Council on Council related business unless in accordance with the policy and procedures governing the interaction of Councillors and Council staff that have been authorised by the Council and the General Manager

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

 

Obligations of staff

 

9.3???? The General Manager is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the Council?s organisation and for ensuring the implementation of the decisions of the Council without delay.

 

9.4???? Members of staff of Council must:

 

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

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

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

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

 

Obligations during meetings

 

9.5???? You must act in accordance with Council?s Code of Meeting Practice and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 during Council and committee meetings.

 

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

 


Inappropriate interactions

 

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

 

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

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

c)???? Council staff refusing to give information that is available to other Councillors to a particular Councillor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

10 Access To Information And Council Resources

 

Councillor and administrator access to information

 

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

 

10.2?? The General Manager must provide Councillors and administrators with information sufficient to enable them to carry out their civic office functions.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Councillors and administrators to properly examine and consider information

 

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

 

Refusal of access to documents

 

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

 

Use of certain Council information

 

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

 

a)???? only access Council information needed to perform your civic duties

b)???? not use that Council information for private purposes

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

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

 

Use and security of confidential information

 

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

 

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

 

a)???? protect confidential information

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

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

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

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

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

 

Personal information

 

10.11? When dealing with personal information you must comply with:

 

a)???? the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

b)???? the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002

c)???? the Information Protection Principles and Health Privacy Principles

d)???? Council?s Privacy Management Plan

e)???? the Privacy Code of Practice for Local Government

 

Use of Council resources

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

a)???? the representation of members with respect to disciplinary matters

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Councillor access to Council buildings

 

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

 

10.20? Councillors and administrators must not enter staff-only areas of Council buildings without the approval of the General Manager (or delegate) or as provided in the procedures governing the interaction of Councillors and Council staff.

 

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

 

11 Reporting Breaches

 

11.1?? Any person, whether or not a Council official, may make a complaint alleging a breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

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

 

Protected disclosures

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Reporting breaches of the Code of Conduct

 

11.6?? You should report suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct by Councillors, members of staff of Council (excluding the General Manager) or delegates to the General Manager in writing.

 

11.7?? Where you believe that the General Manager has breached the Code of Conduct, you should report the matter to the Mayor in writing.

 

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

 

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

 


PART 3: PROCEDURES

 

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

 

12 Complaint Handling Procedures & Sanctions

 

12.1?? Complaints about the conduct of Councillors, members of staff of Council, members of Council committees and delegates of Council should be addressed in writing to the General Manager.

 

12.2?? Complaints about the conduct of the General Manager should be addressed in writing to the Mayor.

 

Complaint handling procedures ? staff, delegate and Council committee member conduct (excluding the General Manager)

 

12.3?? The General Manager is responsible for making enquiries, or causing enquiries to be made, into complaints alleging breach of the Code of Conduct regarding members of staff of Council, delegates of Council and/or members of Council committees (other than Councillors), and will determine such matters.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

a)???? censure

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

c)???? counselling

d)???? prosecution for any breach of the law

e)???? removing or restricting the person?s delegation

f)????? removing the person from membership of the relevant Council committee

g)???? revising any of Council?s policies, procedures and/or the Code of Conduct.

 

Complaint handling procedures ? Councillor conduct

 

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

 

12.9?? The General Manager must determine either to:

 

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

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

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

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

 

Complaint handling procedures ? General Manager conduct

 

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

 

12.11? The Mayor must determine either to:

 

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

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

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

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

 

Conduct review committee/reviewer

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

?????? provide procedural advice when requested

?????? ensure adequate resources are provided, including providing secretariat support

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

12.19? The conduct review committee/reviewer is responsible for making enquiries into complaints made under clause 11.1 alleging breaches of the Code of Conduct by Councillors and/or the General Manager and must determine either to:

 

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

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

c)???? make enquiries into the complaint, or

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sanctions

 

12.24? Before a Council can impose a sanction it must make a determination that a Councillor or the General Manager has breached the Code of Conduct.

 

12.25? Where the Council finds that a Councillor or General Manager has breached the code, it may decide by resolution to:

 

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

b)???? require the Councillor or General Manager to apologise to any person adversely affected by the breach

c)???? counsel the Councillor or General Manager

d)???? make public findings of inappropriate conduct

e)???? prosecute for any breach of law.

 

Councillor misbehaviour

 

12.26? Under section 440G a Council may by resolution at a meeting formally censure a Councillor for misbehaviour.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

?????? formally censured for the incident of misbehaviour concerned, or

?????? expelled from a meeting of the Council or a committee of the Council for the incident of misbehaviour concerned.

 

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

 

Reporting on complaints

 

12.33? The General Manager must report annually to Council on Code of Conduct complaints. This report should include, as a minimum, a summary of the:

 

a)???? number of complaints received,

b)???? nature of the issues raised by complainants, and

c)???? outcomes of complaints.

 

13 Complaint Assessment Criteria

 

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

 

a)?? whether there is any prima facie evidence of a breach of the Code of Conduct

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

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

d)?? whether the conduct the subject of the complaint could reasonably constitute a breach of the Code of Conduct

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

14 Conduct Review Committee/Reviewer Operating Guidelines[2]

 

14.1?? Jurisdiction of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

14.2?? Role of the General Manager and Mayor

 

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

?????? provide procedural advice when requested

?????? ensure adequate resources are provided, including providing secretariat support

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

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

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

 

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

 

14.3?? Composition of the conduct review committee

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


14.4?? Quorum of the conduct review committee

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Business may be conducted by video-conference or teleconference.

 

14.5?? Voting of the conduct review committee

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

14.6????? Procedures of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

14.7?? Procedural fairness

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

e)?? make reasonable enquiries before making any recommendations

f)??? act fairly and without prejudice or bias

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

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

 

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

 

14.8?? Complaint handling procedures

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

14.9?? Findings and recommendations of the conduct review committee/reviewer

 

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

 

a)?? censure the Councillor for misbehaviour

b)?? require the Councillor or General Manager to apologise to any person adversely affected by the breach

c)?? counsel the Councillor or General Manager

d)?? make public findings of inappropriate conduct

e)?? prosecute for any breach of the law

f)??? revise any of Council?s policies, procedures and/or the Code of Conduct.

 

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

 

a)?? the seriousness of the breach

b)?? whether the breach can be easily remedied or rectified

c)?? whether the subject has remedied or rectified their conduct

d)?? whether the subject has expressed contrition

e)?? whether the breach is technical or trivial only

f)??? whether the breach represents repeated conduct

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

o)?? where to comply with a Councillor?s obligations under this Code of Conduct would have had the effect of depriving the Council of a quorum or otherwise compromise the capacity of Council to exercise its functions

 

14.10? Amendment of the operating guidelines

 

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

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.4????? SF1031??????????? 040811???????? Internal Reporting Policy

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources ????????

 

Summary:

 

On 3 March 2011, various amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act 1994 were proclaimed including renaming the Act the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

 

The most significant change is that public authorities have until October 2011 to establish a policy and procedures for receiving, assessing and dealing with protected disclosures.

 

In accordance with Council?s legal obligation under section 6D of the PID Act, an Internal Reporting Policy has been developed and is recommended for adoption. The Policy is based on the NSW Ombudsman?s model policy and guidelines for councils.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1????????? That the responsibilities and actions required under the amended Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 be noted.

 

2????????? That the draft Internal Reporting Policy be adopted.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council?s options are limited as the NSW Ombudsman states ?the policy you develop for your council should be based on this model policy and the NSW Ombudsman?s guidelines?.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

On 3 March 2011, various amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act 1994 were proclaimed. Amongst other changes, the Protected Disclosures Act 1994 was re-named the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

 

This legislation sets out the system under which people who work in the public sector can disclose concerns they have about serious problems with the functioning of public authorities (including councils), such as corrupt conduct and serious maladministration. The object of the Act is to encourage and facilitate the disclosure of these kinds of problems, in the public interest.

 

The amendments that have been passed effectively widen the protections available to people who make disclosures and place obligations on public authorities to have systems in place to enable them to properly handle disclosures when they are made and collect data in relation to that work.

 

Responsibilities and actions required under the amended Act take effect in three stages:

 

Stage 1

 

As of 3 March 2011 protected disclosures can be made internally (as well as to the Information Commissioner) about a failure to exercise functions in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

 

Stage 2

 

From 1 July 2011 the Ombudsman has a new oversight role. There are new options for people who believe they have suffered or are threatened with retribution substantially in reprisal for making a protected disclosure, and a new obligation for organisations to have policies and procedures in place for receiving, assessing and dealing with protected disclosures by 1 October 2011.

 

Stage 3

 

From 1 January 2012, there is a new obligation for organisations to report annually on their work with protected disclosures from their staff.

 

In accordance with Council?s legal obligation under section 6D of the PID Act, an Internal Reporting Policy has been developed and is recommended for adoption. The Policy is based on the NSW Ombudsman?s model policy and guidelines for councils.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Nil

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Not applicable

 

Social

 

Not applicable

 

Economic

 

Not applicable

 

Risk

 

The purpose of any protected disclosures system is to promote integrity and to enable councils fix problems. It is in the public interest, and in Council?s interest, that councillors and members of staff are encouraged to come forward with information of this kind and are supported when they do so.

 

Failure to implement the changes required, will mean that Council is not meeting its legal obligations and not acting in the public interest.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There are no financial implications.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

 

 

Attachments:

1View

19915/2011 - Draft Internal Reporting Policy

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Internal Reporting Policy

 

 

 

 

 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

? INTERNAL REPORTING POLICY

 

 

 

Function:? Corporate Services

 

 

Adopted:? 19 February 2009 (1004/09)

Deleted: 20 October 2010

Last reviewed:? 18 August 2011

 

 

Our Vision

 

Nambucca Valley ~ Living at its best

 

Our Mission Statement

 

?The Nambucca Valley will value and protect its natural environment, maintain its assets and infrastructure and develop opportunities for its people.?

 

 

1??????? Policy objectives

 

The purpose of this policy is to:

 

?????? Address Council?s responsibilities under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PID Act), in particular explaining the process for handling reports that are classified as protected disclosures

 

?????? Demonstrate Council?s commitment to high standards of ethical and accountable conduct to promote integrity, accountability and good management within the Council

 

?????? Demonstrate Council?s commitment to supporting and protecting staff if they report wrongdoing

2??????? Applicability

 

This policy applies to:

 

Councillors

Staff

Volunteers

Individual contractors

3??????? Related legislation / documents

 

Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994

Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

Council?s Code of Conduct

Council?s Grievance Resolution Policy

Standard Contract of Employment ? General Manager and Senior Staff (other than General Managers)

NSW Ombudsman?s Guidelines on Public Interest Disclosures


?4???????? Organisational commitment

 

Council is committed to:

 

?????? creating a climate of trust, where staff are comfortable and confident about reporting wrongdoing

?????? encouraging staff to come forward if they have witnessed what they consider to be wrongdoing within the Council

?????? keeping the identity of the staff member disclosing wrongdoing confidential, wherever possible and appropriate

?????? protecting staff who make disclosures from any adverse action motivated by their report

?????? dealing with reports thoroughly and impartially and if some form of wrongdoing has been found, taking appropriate action to rectify it

?????? keeping staff who make reports informed of their progress and the outcome

?????? encouraging staff to report wrongdoing within the Council, but respecting any decision to disclose wrongdoing outside the Council ?? provided that disclosure outside the Council is made in accordance with the provisions of the PID Act

?????? ensuring managers and supervisors at all levels in the Council understand the benefits of reporting wrongdoing, are familiar with this policy, and aware of the needs of those who report wrongdoing

?????? providing adequate resources, both financial and human, to:

-????? encourage reports of wrongdoing

-????? protect and support those who make them

-????? provide training for key personnel

-????? investigate allegations

-????? properly manage any workplace issues that the allegations identify or create

-????? correct any problem that is identified

-????? reassess / review the policy each year to ensure it is still relevant and effective.

5??????? Roles and responsibilities

 

5.1???? All staff

 

The responsibilities of all staff include:

 

?????? reporting known and suspected wrongdoing within Council

?????? not making false or misleading reports of wrongdoing

?????? keeping the identity of internal reporters and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential

?????? assisting those dealing with a report, including supplying any information on request

?????? supporting staff who report wrongdoing

?????? not taking reprisals against another staff member that they suspect has reported wrongdoing

?????? notifying their manager or supervisor immediately of any suspicions they have that reprisal to an internal reporter is occurring or has been threatened.

 

 

5.2???? Staff reporting wrongdoing

 

The responsibilities of staff reporting wrongdoing include:

 

?????? only discussing the matter with authorised people and not alerting anyone who is the subject of a report that a disclosure has been made

?????? when they report, raising any concerns that they have about reprisals or workplace conflict with the person assessing their report or the disclosures coordinator

?????? assisting those assessing and dealing with the report, including supplying any information on request

?????? if needed, seeking support from their support officer, manager or supervisor, the disclosures coordinator or any external organisations and services

?????? at any time after they have reported, notifying their manager or supervisor, the disclosures coordinator

or principal officer immediately of any suspicions they have that reprisal is occurring or has been threatened.


5.3???? Staff receiving a report

 

The following positions within Council are responsible for receiving reports of wrongdoing:

 

?????? General Manager (principal officer/disclosures coordinator)

?????? Mayor (principal officer where the report concerns the General Manager)

?????? Manager Human Resources (disclosure officer)

 

The responsibilities of staff receiving a report ? whether they are a principal officer, disclosures coordinator or disclosures officer ? include:

 

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? when requested by a person wishing to report wrongdoing, arranging to meet with them privately and discreetly ? if necessary away from the workplace

?????? assisting the person to put their report in writing or ensuring that any reports received orally are documented, dated and signed by the person

?????? forwarding reports to the disclosures coordinator or principal officer for assessment

?????? advising the internal reporter to only discuss the matter with authorised people and not alert anyone who is the subject of a report that a disclosure has been made about them

?????? explaining to the internal reporter what will happen in relation to the information received

?????? advising the internal reporter to notify the disclosures coordinator or principal officer immediately of any suspicions they have that reprisal is occurring or has been threatened against them

?????? helping the internal reporter to communicate with the disclosures coordinator, principal officer or their support person if they are having difficulty doing this directly.

 

 

5.4???? Staff assessing a report

 

The following positions within Council are responsible for assessing what should happen in response to a report of wrongdoing:

 

?????? General Manager (principal officer/disclosures coordinator)

?????? Mayor (principal officer where the report concerns the General Manager)

 

The responsibilities of staff assessing a report include:

 

?????? determining whether or not the report is a protected disclosure

?????? deciding how the report should be progressed, whether it is a protected disclosure or not

?????? providing the principal officer with written advice about the initial assessment and the decision about how the report is to be progressed

?????? ensuring that a written acknowledgement is given to the internal reporter as soon as possible, but at least within two weeks of having received the report

?????? in consultation with the internal reporter, assessing the likelihood of their identity remaining confidential in the workplace if the report is investigated

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? if it is not possible to maintain confidentiality, developing a strategy for supporting the internal reporter and preventing reprisals ? and giving the internal reporter an opportunity to discuss this proposal

?????? in consultation with the internal reporter, assessing the likelihood of them being exposed to reprisal or workplace conflict

?????? in consultation with the internal reporter, appointing a support person to assist them ? someone who is not an investigator or someone with management responsibility for deciding the response to the report

?????? providing advice to the internal reporter?s manager or the principal officer on the systems and strategies that should be established to minimise any risk of reprisal that the internal reporter faces

?????? reminding all managers that they have an obligation to notify the disclosures coordinator or principal officer immediately of any suspicions they have or allegations they receive that reprisal to an internal reporter is occurring or has been threatened.

 


5.5???? Principal officers

 

Council?s principal officer is the General Manager or the Mayor when the report concerns the General Manager.

 

Principal officers are responsible for:

 

?????? establishing and maintaining a working environment that encourages staff to report wrongdoing

?????? establishing an effective internal reporting system to appropriately deal with reports of wrongdoing, support staff who report, and ensure reprisals are not taken against them

?????? ensuring adequate resources, both financial and human, are dedicated towards achieving these outcomes.

 

If wrongdoing is reported to the principal officer under s.8(1)(2) of the PID Act, this person has the responsibilities outlined for ?Staff receiving a report?. In addition to these general responsibilities, the principal officer must also refer actual or suspected corrupt conduct to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

 

The principal officer is responsible for assessing any reports that they receive in accordance with the responsibilities for ?Staff assessing a report?.

 

Irrespective of whether the principal officer receives or assesses a report, their responsibilities include:

 

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? ensuring that they are advised when an assessment decision has been made about a report and, if further action is recommended, given regular progress updates and a report of the outcome

?????? providing adequate resources to any support person appointed to assist an internal reporter

?????? providing adequate resources to any person appointed to investigate a report

?????? ensuring that appropriate systems and strategies are established to minimise any risk of reprisal that the internal reporter faces

?????? effectively managing the workplace situation, or ensuring that the workplace situation is effectively managed, if reprisal is threatened or does take place

?????? taking appropriate action against anyone who threatens or takes reprisal against a person for reporting wrongdoing

?????? taking appropriate remedial action in response to any findings that substantiate the allegations in the report

?????? implementing any organisational reform that is necessary to address systemic issues identified following? a report.

 

5.6???? Managers and supervisors

 

Managers and supervisors play a key role in establishing and maintaining a working environment that encourages staff to report wrongdoing and supports those that do. If a staff member has a concern or a report of wrongdoing that may be a disclosure under the PID Act, managers and supervisors should advise them to raise the matter with a nominated disclosure officer.

 

If a manager or supervisor is aware that one of their staff has made a report, their responsibilities include:

 

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? providing support to the internal reporter, including ensuring that they have access to any necessary professional support

?????? ensuring that appropriate systems and strategies are established to minimise any risk of reprisal that the internal reporter faces

?????? notifying the disclosures coordinator or principal officer immediately if they believe a staff member is being subjected to reprisal as a result of reporting wrongdoing

?????? effectively managing the workplace situation if reprisal is threatened or does take place taking appropriate action against any person who threatens or takes reprisal against a person for reporting wrongdoing.

 


5.7???? Disclosures coordinator

 

Council?s disclosure coordinator is the General Manager.

 

When the disclosures coordinator receives or assesses a report, their responsibilities are those for ?Staff receiving a report? and ?Staff assessing a report?. Irrespective of whether the disclosures coordinator receives or assesses a report, their responsibilities include:

 

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? continually assessing the likelihood of the internal reporter being exposed to reprisal or workplace conflict

?????? ensuring that appropriate systems and strategies are established to minimise any risk of reprisals that the internal reporter faces

?????? ensuring that the internal reporter is kept regularly informed about the progress of the matter

?????? ensuring that the time frames promised in the acknowledgement letter are adhered to.

 

If the disclosures coordinator becomes aware that reprisal against an internal reporter is threatened or is taking place or has taken place, their responsibilities include:

 

?????? taking all steps to enable the internal reporter to continue working without being subjected to reprisal, or changing the workplace so that their exposure to the detriment is minimised (for example, moving staff to a different location)

?????? ensuring a senior and experienced staff member, who has not been involved in dealing with the initial report, investigates the suspected reprisal

?????? ensuring that the results of that investigation and any arising recommendations ? including that appropriate disciplinary action be taken against anyone proven to have taken any reprisal ? are provided to the principal officer for a decision

?????? referring any evidence of reprisals to the police, the ICAC or the Police Integrity Commission (depending on the subject matter of the allegation) to see if there are sufficient lines of inquiry to establish that a criminal offence has taken place.

 

The disclosures coordinator is also responsible for ensuring Council meets its broader obligations under the PID Act, including:

 

?????? implementing an internal reporting policy that provides procedures for receiving, assessing and dealing

with protected disclosures

?????? reporting annually on the incidence and management of protected disclosures within Council and providing a copy of this report to the Ombudsman.

 

5.8???? Support people

 

When staff report wrongdoing, a person should be appointed to provide support to the internal reporter. A support person should also be made available to anyone who is the subject of the report if appropriate or requested. This internal support shall be in addition to external sources of support such as employee assistance services or unions.

 

The support person should be independent of the investigation and the resulting decision-making process.

Their appointment should be made in consultation with the internal reporter or anyone who is the subject of the report.

 

Support people within Council may include managers, supervisors, Human Resources staff and union delegates. The responsibilities of staff appointed to provide support include:

 

?????? keeping the identity of the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report confidential, if this is possible and appropriate

?????? initiating and coordinating appropriate action to support internal reporters, particularly those who are suffering any form of reprisal

?????? advising internal reporters and anyone who is the subject of a report on the avenues available within Council to handle any concerns they may have arising out of the report

?????? advising internal reporters and anyone who is the subject of a report on the external organisations and services they can access for support ? such as stress management, counselling services, legal or career advice

?????? ensuring the internal reporter and anyone who is the subject of a report has access to any necessary professional support

?????? monitoring the workplace situation for reprisal or conflict

?????? notifying the disclosures coordinator or principal officer immediately of any suspicions they have that reprisal to an internal reporter is occurring or has been threatened.

 

 

5.9???? Staff who are the subject of a report

 

The responsibilities of staff who are the subject of a report of wrongdoing include:

 

?????? only discussing the matter with authorised people

?????? not seeking to identify the internal reporter

?????? assisting those dealing with the report, including supplying any information on request

?????? not taking reprisals against another staff member whom they know or suspect has reported wrongdoing

?????? if necessary, seeking support from their manager or supervisor or any available external organisations and services.

6??????? What should be reported?

 

You should report any wrongdoing you see within Council.? Reports about the four categories of serious wrongdoing ? corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious and substantial waste of public money, and government information contravention ? will be dealt with under the PID Act as protected disclosures and according to this policy.

 

6.1???? Corrupt conduct

 

Corrupt conduct is defined in sections 8 and 9 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988. Corrupt conduct includes the dishonest or partial exercise of official functions by a public official. For example:

 

?????? the improper use of knowledge, power or position for personal gain or the advantage of others

?????? acting dishonestly or unfairly, or breaching public trust

?????? a member of the public influencing or trying to influence a public official to use their position in a way that is dishonest, biased or breaches public trust.

 

6.2???? Maladministration

 

Maladministration is defined in section 11 of the PID Act as conduct that involves action or inaction of a serious nature that is either:

 

?????? contrary to law

?????? unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory

?????? based wholly or partly on improper motives.

 

Some examples are:

 

?????? awarding contracts and tenders to private parties that are related by family, friendship or association

?????? failing to make a decision in accordance with official policy for no appropriate reason

?????? refusing to grant someone a licence for reasons that are not related to the merits of their application

?????? issuing an order against a person without giving them procedural fairness.

 


6.3???? Serious and substantial waste in local government

 

Serious and substantial waste is any uneconomical, inefficient or ineffective use of resources, authorised or unauthorised, that could result in the loss or wastage of public funds or resources. This includes all revenue, loans and other money collected, received or held by, for or on account of the Council.

 

Serious and substantial waste can be:

 

?????? Absolute ? where the waste is regarded as significant.

 

?????? Systemic ? where the waste indicates a pattern that results from a weakness within an organisation?s systems.

 

?????? Material ? where the waste is about the organisation?s expenditure or a particular item of expenditure, or is to such an extent that it affects an organisation?s capacity to perform its primary functions.

 

Some examples are:

 

?????? misappropriation or misuse of public property

?????? the purchase of unnecessary or inadequate goods or services

?????? overstaffing in particular areas

?????? staff being remunerated for skills they do not have, but are required to have under the terms or conditions of their employment

?????? programs not achieving their objectives and therefore the program?s costs being clearly ineffective and inefficient.

?????? poor project management practices leading to projects running over time

?????? having poor or no processes in place for a system involving large amounts of public funds.

 

Waste can results from such things as:

 

?????? insufficient safeguards to prevent the theft or misuse of public property

?????? purchasing practices that do not ensure goods and services are necessary and adequate for their intended purpose

?????? poor recruiting practices

 

6.4???? Government information contravention

 

A government information contravention is a failure to properly fulfil functions under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). For example, this could include:

 

?????? intentionally overlooking documents that are clearly covered by an access application

?????? destroying, concealing or altering records to prevent them from being released

?????? knowingly making decisions that are contrary to the GIPA Act

?????? directing another person to make a decision that is contrary to the GIPA Act

 

6.5???? Other wrongdoing

 

Although reports about the previous four categories of conduct can attract the specific protections of the PID Act, you should report all activities or incidents that you believe are wrong. For example, these could include:

 

?????? harassment or unlawful discrimination

?????? reprisal action against a person who has reported wrongdoing

?????? practices that endanger the health or safety of staff or the public.

 

These types of issues should be reported to a supervisor, in line with Council?s policies on Harassment Prevention, Grievance Resolution and Occupational Health and Safety.

?

Even if these reports are not dealt with as protected disclosures, Council will consider each matter and make every attempt to protect the staff member making the report from any form of reprisal.

7??????? When will a report be protected?

 

Council will support any staff who report wrongdoing. For a report to be considered a protected disclosure, it has to meet all of the requirements under the PID Act.? These requirements are:

 

?????? The person making the disclosure must honestly believe on reasonable grounds that the information shows or tends to show wrongdoing. This means that a protected disclosure cannot be based on a mere allegation or suspicion that is unsupported by any facts, circumstances or evidence.

 

?????? The report has to be made to one or more of the following:

-????? General Manager

-????? Mayor

-????? Manager Human Resources

-????? one of the investigating authorities nominated in the PID Act ? see section 12 below

 

Reports by staff and councillors will not be considered to be protected disclosures if they:

 

?????? mostly question the merits of government policy, including the policy of the governing body of the Council.

 

?????? are made primarily to avoid dismissal or other disciplinary action.

 

?????? contain intentionally false statements or are intended to mislead or attempt to mislead the recipient (these are offences under the Act).

8??????? How to make a report

 

You can report wrongdoing in writing or verbally. You are encouraged to make a report in writing as this can help to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation.

 

If a report is made verbally, the person receiving the report must make a comprehensive record of the disclosure and ask the person making the disclosure to sign this record. The staff member should keep a copy of this record.

 

If you are concerned about being seen making a report, ask to meet in a discreet location away from the workplace.

9??????? Can a report be anonymous?

 

There will be some situations where you may not want to identify yourself when you make a report. Although these reports will still be dealt with by the Council, ?it is best if you identify yourself. This allows us to provide you with any necessary protection and support, as well as feedback about the outcome of any investigation into the allegations.

 

It is important to realise that an anonymous disclosure may not prevent you from being identified. If we do not know who made the report, it is very difficult for us to prevent any reprisal action.

10????? Maintaining confidentiality

 

Council realises many staff will want their report to remain confidential. This can help to prevent any action being taken against you for reporting wrongdoing.

 

We are committed to keeping your identity, and the fact you have reported wrongdoing, confidential. However there may be situations where this may not be possible or appropriate. We will discuss with you whether it is possible to keep your report confidential.

 

If confidentiality cannot be maintained, we will develop a plan to support and protect you from risks of reprisal. You will be involved in developing this plan. You will also be told if your report will be dealt with under the Council?s Code of Conduct, as this may mean certain information will have to be tabled at a Council meeting.

 

If you report wrongdoing, you should only discuss your report with those dealing with it. If you discuss your report more broadly, you may affect the outcome of any investigation.

11????? Who can receive a report within Council?

 

You are encouraged to report general wrongdoing to your supervisor. However the PID Act requires that ? for a report to be a protected disclosure ? it must be made to a public official in accordance with this Policy and any supporting procedures.

 

Any supervisor who receives a report that they believe may be a protected disclosure must refer the staff member making the report to one of the positions listed below. The broader responsibilities of these positions are outlined in Section 5 of this Policy (Roles and Responsibilities).

 

If you are Council staff and your report involves a councillor, you should make it to the General Manager or the Mayor. If you are a councillor and your report is about another councillor, you should make it to the General Manager or the Mayor.

 

Only the following positions within Council can receive a protected disclosure:

 

?????? General Manager

?????? Mayor

?????? Manager Human Resources

12????? Who can receive a report outside of Council?

 

Staff are encouraged to report wrongdoing within the Council, but internal reporting is not your only option.? If you follow the guidance below, your report can still be a protected disclosure.

 

You can choose to make your report to an investigating authority. You can do this first, or at any stage after your initial report to the Council.? If your report is about the General Manager or the Mayor, you should consider making it to an investigating authority.

 

You can also choose to make a report to a Member of Parliament or a journalist, but only in limited circumstances.

 

12.1?? Investigating authorities

 

The PID Act lists a number of investigating authorities in NSW that staff can report wrongdoing to and the categories of wrongdoing each authority can deal with. In relation to Council, these authorities are:

 

?????? the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) ? for corrupt conduct

?????? the Ombudsman ? for maladministration

?????? the Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet ? for serious and substantial waste in local government?

?????? the Information Commissioner ? for disclosures about a government information contravention.

 

You should contact the relevant authority for advice about how to make a disclosure to them. Contact details for each investigating authority are provided at the end of this policy.

 

You should be aware that it is very likely the investigating authority will discuss the case with the Council. ??We will make every effort to assist and cooperate with the investigating authority to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately and there is a satisfactory outcome. We will also provide appropriate support and assistance to staff who report wrongdoing to an investigating authority.

 


12.2?? Members of Parliament or journalists

 

To have the protections of the PID Act, staff reporting wrongdoing to a Member of Parliament (MP) or a journalist must have already made substantially the same report to one of the following:

 

?????? a person nominated in this policy ie General Manager, Mayor or Manager Human Resources

?????? an investigating authority in accordance with the PID Act.

 

Also, the Council ?or investigating authority that received the report must have either:

 

?????? decided not to investigate the matter

?????? decided to investigate the matter, but not completed the investigation within six months of the original report

?????? investigated the matter but not recommended any action as a result

?????? not told the person who made the report, within six months of the report being made, whether the matter will be investigated.

 

Most importantly, to be protected under the PID Act, if you report wrongdoing to an MP or a journalist you will need to be able to prove that you have reasonable grounds for believing that the disclosure is substantially true and that it is in fact substantially true.

 

If you report wrongdoing to a person or an organisation that is not listed above, you will not be protected under the PID Act. This may mean you will be in breach of legal obligations or Council?s Code of Conduct? by, for example, disclosing confidential information.

 

For more information about reporting wrongdoing outside the Council, contact the disclosures coordinator or the NSW Ombudsman?s Public Interest Disclosures Unit. Their contact details are provided at the end of this Policy.

13????? Feedback to staff who report wrongdoing

 

Staff who report wrongdoing will be told what is happening in response to their report.

 

When you make a report, you will be given:

 

?????? an acknowledgement that your disclosure has been received

?????? the timeframe for when you will receive further updates

?????? the name and contact details of the people who can tell you what is happening.

 

This information will be given to you within two (2) working days from the date you make your report.

 

After a decision is made about how your report will be dealt with, you will be given:

 

?????? information about the action that will be taken in response to your report

?????? likely timeframes for any investigation

?????? information about the resources available within Council to handle any concerns you may have

?????? information about external agencies and services you can access for support.

 

This information will be given to you within ten (10) working days from the date you make your report.

 

During any investigation, you will be given:

 

?????? information on the ongoing nature of the investigation

?????? information about the progress of the investigation and reasons for any delay

?????? advice if your identity needs to be disclosed for the purposes of investigating the matter, and an opportunity to talk about this.

 

At the end of any investigation, you will be given:

 

?????? enough information to show that adequate and appropriate action was taken and/or is proposed to be taken in response to your disclosure and any problem that was identified

?????? advice about whether you will be involved as a witness in any further matters, such as disciplinary or criminal proceedings.

14????? Protection against reprisals

 

The PID Act provides protection for people reporting wrongdoing by imposing penalties on anyone who takes detrimental action substantially in reprisal for them making the protected disclosure.

 

Council will not tolerate any reprisal action against staff who report wrongdoing. The criminal penalties that can be imposed include imprisonment or fines. Detrimental action is also misconduct that justifies disciplinary action. People who take detrimental action against someone who has made a disclosure can also be required to pay damages for any loss suffered by that person.

 

Detrimental action means action causing, comprising or involving any of the following:

 

?????? injury, damage or loss

?????? intimidation or harassment

?????? discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment in relation to employment

?????? dismissal from, or prejudice in, employment

?????? disciplinary proceedings.

 

14.1?? Responding to reprisals

 

Council will act to protect staff who report wrongdoing from reprisals.

 

When a report is received, we will ensure that a thorough risk assessment is conducted. This will identify any risks to the member of staff who reported the wrongdoing, as well as strategies to deal with those risks.

 

If you believe that detrimental action has been or is being taken against you or someone else who has reported wrongdoing in reprisal for making a report, you should tell your supervisor or the disclosures coordinator immediately.

 

All supervisors must report any suspicions they have that reprisal action against a staff member is occurring, or any reports that are made to them, to the disclosures coordinator.

 

If the disclosures coordinator ecomes aware of reprisal action against a person who has made a disclosure, they will:

 

?????? ensure a senior and experienced member of staff, who has not been involved in dealing with the initial disclosure, will investigate the suspected reprisal

?????? assess the results of that investigation and make a decision

?????? give the results of that investigation to the Mayor for a decision if the allegation of reprisal action is about the General Manager

?????? if it has been established that reprisal action is occurring against someone who has made a disclosure, take all steps possible to stop that activity and protect the member of staff who made the disclosure

?????? take appropriate disciplinary or criminal action against anyone proven to have taken or threatened any action in reprisal for making a disclosure.

 

If you report reprisal action, you will be kept informed of the progress of any investigation and the outcome.

 

The General Manager may issue specific directions to help protect against reprisals. If the allegation of reprisal action is about the General Manager, the Mayor may issue similar directions. These may include:

 

?????? issuing warnings to those alleged to have taken reprisal action against the member of staff who made the disclosure

?????? relocating the member of staff who made the disclosure or the subject officer within the current workplace

?????? transferring the member of staff who made the disclosure or the staff member who is the subject of the allegation to another position for which they are qualified

?????? granting the member of staff who made the disclosure or the subject officer leave of absence during the investigation of the disclosure.

 

These directions will only be taken if the member of staff who made the disclosure agrees to it. The disclosures coordinator (General Manager) will make it clear to other staff that this action was taken in consultation with the staff member and with management support ? and it is not a punishment.

 

If you have reported wrongdoing and feel that any reprisal action is not being dealt with effectively, contact the Ombudsman or the ICAC ? depending on the type of wrongdoing you reported. Contact details for all these investigating authorities are included at the end of this policy.

 

14.2?? Protection against legal action

 

If you make a disclosure in accordance with the PID Act, you will not be subject to any liability and no action, claim or demand can be taken against you for making the disclosure. You will not have breached any confidentiality or secrecy obligations and you will have the defence of absolute privilege in defamation.

15????? Support for those reporting wrongdoing

 

Council will make sure that staff who have reported wrongdoing, regardless of whether they have made a protected disclosure, are provided with access to any professional support they may need as a result of the reporting process ? such as stress management, counselling services, legal or career advice.

 

We also have staff who will support those who report wrongdoing. Council?s Manager Human Resources is responsible for initiating and coordinating support, particularly to those who are suffering any form of reprisal.

 

All supervisors must notify the disclosures coordinator if they believe a staff member is suffering any detrimental action as a result of disclosing wrongdoing.

16????? Sanctions for making false or misleading disclosures

 

It is important that all staff are aware that it is a criminal offence under the PID Act to wilfully make a false or misleading statement when reporting wrongdoing.

17????? Support for the subject of a report

 

Council is committed to ensuring staff who are the subject of a report of wrongdoing are treated fairly and reasonably. If you are the subject of a report, you will be:

?????? treated fairly and impartially

?????? told your rights and obligations under our policies and procedures

?????? kept informed during any investigation

?????? given the opportunity to respond to any allegation made against you

?????? told the result of any investigation.

18????? Review

 

This Policy will be reviewed by Council every twelve/eighteen months. For any advice or guidance about this review, contact the NSW Ombudsman?s Public Interest Disclosures Unit.

19????? More information

 

Staff can access advice and guidance from Council?s disclosures coordinator and the NSW Ombudsman's website at www.ombo.nsw.gov.au.

20????? Resources

 

The contact details for external investigating authorities that staff can make a protected disclosure to or seek advice from are listed below.

 

For disclosures about corrupt conduct:

Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)

Phone: 02 8281 5999

Toll free: 1800 463 909

Tel. typewriter (TTY): 02 8281 5773

Facsimile: 02 9264 5364

Email: icac@icac.nsw.gov.au

Web: www.icac.nsw.gov.au ?

Address: Level 21, 133 Castlereagh Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

 

For disclosures about maladministration:

NSW Ombudsman

Phone: 02 9286 1000

Toll free (outside Sydney metro): 1800 451 524

Tel. typewriter (TTY): 02 9264 8050

Facsimile: 02 9283 2911

Email: nswombo@ombo.nsw.gov.au

Web: www.ombo.nsw.gov.au

Address: Level 24, 580 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

For disclosures about serious and substantial waste in local government agencies:

Division of Local Government in the Department of Premier and Cabinet

Phone: 02 4428 4100

Tel. typewriter (TTY): 02 4428 4209

Facsimile: 02 4428 4199

Email: dlg@dlg.nsw.gov.au

Web: www.dlg.nsw.gov.au

Address: 5 O?Keefe Avenue, Nowra, NSW 2541

 

For disclosures about breaches of the GIPA Act:

Information Commissioner

Toll free: 1800 463 626?

Facsimile: 02 8114 3756

Email: oicinfo@oic.nsw.gov.au

Web: www.oic.nsw.gov.au

Address: Level 11, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.5????? SF1653??????????? 040811???????? Consultant's Brief - Organisation Review

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Joanne Hudson, Manager Human Resources ????????

 

Summary:

 

At its Special meeting on 30 June 2011, Council resolved as follows:

 

?????? That Council adopt the revised organisation structure as an interim measure;

 

?????? That a review of the current organisation structure, particularly at the management and director levels, be undertaken as soon as possible by an independent organisation;

 

?????? That Bellingen Council be advised that Nambucca Shire Council is undertaking this work;

 

?????? That expressions of interest be obtained from suitably qualified organisations.

 

A Consultant?s Brief has been prepared and is attached for Council?s consideration and endorsement.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Consultant?s Brief in relation to the Organisation Review be endorsed.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can make amendments as it sees fit.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At its Special meeting on 30 June 2011, Council resolved as follows:

 

?????? That Council adopt the revised organisation structure as an interim measure;

 

?????? That a review of the current organisation structure, particularly at the management and director levels, be undertaken as soon as possible by an independent organisation;

 

?????? That Bellingen Council be advised that Nambucca Shire Council is undertaking this work;

 

?????? That expressions of interest be obtained from suitably qualified organisations.

 

A Consultant?s Brief has been prepared and is attached for Council?s consideration and endorsement.

 

Expressions of interest are being sought from Local Government Management Solutions (LGSA), IAB Services and Blackadder & Associates.? All three organisations have extensive experience in the review of local government organisations.

 

It should be noted that the brief is focussed on management positions but will review all salaried staff positions. The brief will require the consultant to investigate opportunities to increase efficiencies and make savings through restructuring and possible redundancies (voluntary or forced).

 

For any new positions, such as a Director Corporate Services, it is proposed that the consultant be required to identify equivalent savings through making existing positions redundant. Therefore, one of the parameters in the brief is that there shall be no recommendations which will increase Council?s recurrent salary costs. If this instruction is not provided there will be a significant risk of recommendations coming forward which are financially unrealistic.

 

The organisation review will create uncertainty within Council?s salaried staff. Depending upon the recommendations which come forward, it may have adverse consequences for individual employees, their families and the community generally. There may also be industrial implications. Council will need to closely adhere to the provisions of the Award and be committed to consultation with affected staff and their unions as well as providing support for any affected staff under Council?s Employee Assistance Program.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

 

There will be consultation with Council?s Consultative Committee following the preparation of a draft report.

 

A letter has been sent to Bellingen Shire Council advising them of the organisation review.?

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Not applicable at this stage.

 

Social

 

Not applicable at this stage.

 

Economic

 

Not applicable at this stage.

 

Risk

 

Council needs to establish its requirements in the brief so the consultant can perform the work accordingly. If Council?s needs are not made clear, the quality of the report may be compromised.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The work is expected to cost in the vicinity of $15,000.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There are no funds allocated for the work. This will be addressed by a variation to the budget once the cost has been finalised.

 

Attachments:

1View

19878/2011 - Consultant's Brief - Organisation Review

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Consultant's Brief - Organisation Review

 

 

 

Consultant?s Brief

Independent Review of

Council?s Organisation Structure

 

July 2011

 

 

 

1?????? Objective

 

The purpose of the review is a structure which enables Council to fulfil its core functions as well as deliver services in the most efficient way.

 

2?????? Introduction

 

At its Special meeting on 30 June 2011, Council resolved as follows:

 

?????? That Council adopt the revised organisation structure as an interim measure;

 

?????? That a review of the current organisation structure, particularly at the management and director levels, be undertaken as soon as possible by an independent organisation;

 

?????? That Bellingen Council be advised that Nambucca Shire Council is undertaking this work;

 

?????? That expressions of interest be obtained from suitably qualified organisations.

 

3?????? Background

 

Council?s current organisation structure includes the following management positions:

?

General Manager

Director Engineering Services

Director Environment and Planning

Manager Financial Services

Manager Business Development

Manager Information Technology

Manager Human Resources

Manager Assets

Manager Civil Works

Manager Water and Sewerage

Manager Technical Services

Manager Health and Building

Manager Planning and Assessment

Manager Community and Cultural Services

 

 

 

Nambucca Shire Council

Consultant?s Brief - Independent Review of Organisation Structure

July 2011

 

 

3?????? Background (continued)

 

The position of Director Corporate Services was vacated in July 2007 and not replaced, eventually being deleted from the structure. The decision was largely made on economic grounds: in removing the position, Council was able to afford a Manager Assets to develop and implement Council?s asset management strategy and system in time for the implementation of the new Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework for local government.

 

4?????? Issues

 

Some of the concerns/issues which are to be addressed in the review include:

 

?????? The number of managers for the size of the organisation

?????? Span of control

?????? Duplication of responsibilities

?????? Inadequate staffing to address governance functions

?????? Increase in FBT liability arising from the packaged vehicles for management positions

?????? Opportunities to increase efficiencies / make savings, including the option of restructuring jobs across the organisation and possible redundancies (voluntary or forced)

?????? Whether remuneration packages are appropriate for management positions

 

5?????? Parameters

 

?????? No increase in recurrent salary costs to Council arising from the recommendations, acknowledging there may be one-off costs associated with redundancies.

 

?????? Priority for review is Council?s salaried staff, with particular focus on management positions.

 

6?????? Timing

 

The review is to be finalised by October 2011.


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.6????? SF1389??????????? 040811???????? Grants Application Status Report - 22 July 2011

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Colleen Henry, 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 applications and their status to 22 July 2011 be received.

 

Successful grant applications (not yet acquitted):

Grant and date of approval

Funding Amount

Amount -Council

Description

Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program

November 2010

$165,000

None required

Macksville Park ? Storage Building $45,000

Macksville Pool ? Additional Lane $20,000

E J Biffin Fields ? carpark rehabilitation $68,000

Bowraville Public amenities ? upgrade $32,000

Office of the Premier

Community Building Partnership Program

December 2010

$70,938

Matching funding

Amenities Anderson Park, Valla Beach - $34,000

Playground Anderson Park, Valla Beach - $15,000

2NVR Assistance for relocation - $10,000

History in Print Project (Microfilm Reader) $11938

Sport and Recreation Participation Program

December 2010

$9,888

None required

Staying Strong exercise program to be delivered as part of Safe and Savvy Seniors (SASS), at Macksville Senior Citizens? Centre

Federal Government election commitment? (confirmed)

$120,000

None required

Relocation of 2NVR radio station to Tewinga Hall

Better Boating program

 

$40,750

 

 

$14,290

Matching funding

 

Matching funding

Public pump-out facility at Nambucca Heads jetty

 

Lions Park Boat Ramp widening Macksville

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water etc

$1 million

None required

Detailed design for off river water storage

Saluting Their Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (Grants Officer Assisted Community Group)

$4,000

NA

Rebuilding of Taylors Arm War Memorial

Additions since last report:

Grant and Date of Notice

Amount

Amount - Council

Description

NSW Aboriginal Affairs

$12,000

N/A

Support for Indigenous Sports Facilitation program ? purchase of equipment and salaries to run sports camp.

Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority

$37,000

$16,000

Weed control, revegetation, monitoring of 60ha area between Swimming Creek and Deep Creek

Indigenous Sport and Recreation Program, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

$46,300

N/A

Partially funded application for salaries and operational expenses for running of four sports camps/school holiday programs.

Total year to date

$1,520,166

Applications made but not yet determined:

 

Funding Body

Amount

Amount - Council

Project Name

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

No closing date

 

$10 million

TBC

Off-river water storage (subject to a number of conditions including detailed plans, relevant approvals, Council funding, confirmation of final project costs.

Coastline Cycleway Grant 2010-2011

Closed November 2010

$50,000

$50,000

Completion of 350m section of cycleway between Nambucca Heads and Macksville.

Department of Sport and Recreation Facilities Grant

Closed 15 April 2011

$960

NA (matching funds to come from NHTTC)

1 Table Tennis Tables for NH Table Tennis Club (NHTTC)

$406,870

$206,870 (2011/12 budget)

2. EJ Biffen Drainage Improvement

 

$19,042

NA (matching funds to be provided by group)

3 Bowraville Cricket Club Nets and Pitch

$62,194

$20,000 (2011/12 budget)

4 Unkya Reserve Playground equipment and toilets

Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government - Regional Development Australia Fund

Closed 13 May 2011

$1,615,000

None required

Community Transport Project ? Purchase of land and building for Nambucca Heads depot

Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Volunteers Grants

Closed 8 June 2011

$5000

$4171

$1729

$4998

$4760

$4650

$1999

$4998

None required

Macksville Showgrounds

Mary Boulton

Talarm Hall

EJ Biffin

Coronation Park

Valla Beach

Argents Hill Hall

Welsh?s Park CoM

 

Unsuccessful applications in this period:

Grant and date of application close

amount

Amount - Council

Description

Cancer Council Alive and Well

Closed 18 February 2011

$4,000

$4,000

Trees and works associated with Macksville Foreshore and Bellwood Park

Department of Health and Ageing

Closed 18 February 2011

$703,607

NA

Healthy Communities Initiative

Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Closed 25 March 2011

 

$14,000

 

$6,310

Matching dollar and in kind (from 2011/2012 budget)

1 Bowraville Folk Museum internal and external access upgrades

2 Nambucca Senior Citizens Centre external access upgrade

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.7????? SF1460??????????? 040811???????? Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Michael Coulter, General Manager ????????

 

Summary:

 

In 2010/2011 the Minister for Local Government provided Council with a 2 year time limited special rate variation to continue its environmental levy and to fund works not covered by the Natural Disaster Declaration being the replacement of the Deep Creek bridge and the stabilisation of Riverside Drive.

 

As it stands, if Council elects not to seek a special rate variation for the 2012/13 financial year and do nothing, it will need to reduce its general income for the 2012/2013 rating year by $392,091, plus the equivalent proportion of the increase from the general (rate peg) variation increases for the 2010/2011 to 2011/2012 rating years inclusive.? This effectively means that Council will need to remove the environmental levy which constitutes about 4% of Council?s rate income and reduce operating costs in other areas by at least $66,600 per annum to meet the loan repayments for the work undertaken on Deep Creek bridge and planned to be undertaken on Riverside Drive.

 

In addition, considering the information which Council has about the $40m backlog of work required to bring its assets up to a satisfactory standard as well as the estimate that the standard of those already depreciated assets is continuing to decline at a (net) rate of $3.5m per annum, Council should seek a further incremental increase in its general rate of 2% over and above the rate peg.? The additional revenue of $160,000 per annum would again be used to fund loans to bring forward work identified in its current 5 year Infrastructure Management Plan (to become the Asset Management Plan in the IPR).

 

In considering a proposal for a special rate variation in 2012/2013 Council should also review its rating structure to further assess the capacity to pay for the different segments of our community.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

A?????? That Council advertise its intention to seek a permanent special rate variation of 10.04% in 2012/2013 under Section 508(2) of the Local Government Act comprising the following:

 

1??????? 3.0% being a provision for the rate peg;

 

2??????? 5.04% for the permanent continuation of the expiring special variation for the Environmental Levy and loan financing for the replacement of Deep Creek Bridge and the stabilisation of Riverside Drive;

 

3??????? 2.0% being for additional revenue to fund a loan program to bring forward capital works indentified in Council?s Infrastructure (Asset) Management Plan.

 

B?????? That Council undertake a review of its rating structure.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council has discretion in determining its position on expenditure and rating, except that it requires the approval of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) should it wish to increase its general rates more than the announced rate peg.? The consequences of not seeking the recommended special variation are self evident but are also outlined in the report.

 

The Council can operate with reduced funding but there has to be acceptance by the community of a reduced level of service.? A reduced level of service can take many forms including load limited bridges; poor road pavements; closing facilities such as a library or the saleyards; or not undertaking work funded under the environmental levy etc.

There is no evidence from the resident satisfaction surveys undertaken by Council that suggests the community would prefer to trade off rate increases for a reduced level of service.? Rather the evidence suggests the majority support modest rate increases which are targeted at capital works such as replacing bridges and rehabilitating roads.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Local Government Act 1993 provides 3 mechanisms for increasing a Council?s rate revenue.

 

Section 506 provides for an increase in rate revenue in accordance with the rate peg limit.? The rate peg for a particular year is determined by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and is normally announced in December.? IPART has set the rate peg for 2011/2012 at 2.8%.

 

Section 508(2) provides that the Minister (now IPART) may approve a variation allowing a single percentage increase in income that may remain in the revenue base temporarily or permanently.

 

Section 508A provides that the Minister (now IPART) may approve increases in general income in more than 1 year (multi-year) that will remain the revenue base permanently.

 

A summary of the variations requested by councils for 2011/2012 and the decisions by IPART are attached.? The IPART fact sheet provides some background to the process of seeking special variations.?

 

The summary of determinations made in relation to applications by Richmond Valley Council; Great Lakes Council and Byron Shire Council are also attached.? They provide background in relation to IPART?s considerations and particularly their five assessment criteria being:

 

1??????? Demonstrated need for the rate increase implied by the special variation

 

2??????? Adequate community consultation

 

3??????? Reasonable impact on ratepayers

 

4??????? Sustainable financing strategy consistent with the principles of intergenerational equity

 

5??????? Productivity improvements the council has realised in past years, and plans to realise over the requested special variation period.

 

 

Previous Special Variations

 

The following table indicates all of the special variations Council has applied for since 2000.


 

Year

% Sought (incl. rate peg)

% Approved (incl. rate peg

Period

Reason

2000/01

14.7

7.55

Ongoing

Unable to maintain an acceptable level and standard of works & services.

2001/02

6.65

2.8

n/a

Unable to maintain an acceptable level and standard of works & services.

2002/03

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2003/04

9.65

9.65

2.34% ongoing

4% for 2 years

2.34% related to the maintenance of infrastructure and management of assets.? 4% related to introduction of an environmental rate to complete a backlog of essential environmental projects.

2004/05

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2005/06

13.5

7.73

5 years

Extension of the environmental rate issued in 2003/2004 for continuation of environmental projects.

2006/07

6.11

6.11

Ongoing

Strategy to raise $5m in loan funds for expenditure on capital works to rehabilitate rural roads, urban streets and renew bridges.

2007/08

5.3

5.3

Ongoing

Part of strategy to raise $5m in loan funds.

2008/09

5.0

5.0

Ongoing

Part of strategy to raise $5m in loan funds.

2009/10

4.67

4.67

Ongoing

Part of strategy to raise $5m in loan funds.

2010/11

7.64%

7.64%

2 years

Funding $500,000 in loan repayments for Deep Creek bridge & Riverside Drive stabilisation.? Also provides for an extension of the environmental levy for a 2 year period.

2011/12

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

As it stands if Council elects not to seek a special rate variation for the 2012/13 financial year and do nothing, it will need to reduce its general income for the 2012/2013 rating year by $392,091, plus the equivalent proportion of the increase from the general (rate peg) variation increases for the 2010/2011 to 2011/2012 rating years inclusive.

 

This effectively means that Council will need to remove the environmental levy which constitutes about 4% of Council?s rate income and reduce operating costs in other areas by at least $66,600 per annum to meet the loan repayments for the work undertaken on Deep Creek bridge and planned to be undertaken on Riverside Drive.

 

In the assessment of the special variation by Byron Shire Council in 2011, IPART stated that;

 

?Byron Shire Council has applied for a special variation in all but 1 of the past 11 years and a special variation has been approved on 7 occasions.? Most of these special variations have been permanently included in the rate base.? We are rejecting council?s request because the council?s financial planning to date has not been sufficiently rigorous to identify the underlying reasons why it continually requires special variations.? It has also failed to identify any alternative options for addressing the prospective deterioration in its financial position?.

 

If Nambucca Shire Council submits a special variation application for the 2012/2013 financial year it will have submitted applications in 9 of the past 13 years.? Council has received special variation approval on each of the 8 occasions it has been requested, except on 3 occasions the variation approved was less than the variation requested.

 

IPART undertook a major review of the revenue framework for local government in 2008 and 2009 with the final report being published in September 2010.? IPART?s findings included the following statement (page 77).

 

?On a recurrent basis, we found that more than two-thirds of all NSW councils are sustainable, but those in the rural and fringe categories are less likely to be sustainable.? On a capital basis, the evidence is less reliable and more difficult to interpret.? However, based on the available information, we found that more than half of NSW councils are managing to maintain capital expenditure at levels considered sustainable, even though many appear to significantly underutilise debt to fund long lived assets.? Like previous studies, we found that there are infrastructure backlogs which may mean council?s capital sustainability is at risk.? However, the lack of reliable information made it impossible to measure the extent of the backlogs and the risk they pose.?

 

So the consideration of financial sustainability can be a ?catch 22?.? Acknowledging and acting on an infrastructure backlog may count against the Council with a perception that numerous applications for a special variation suggest a lack of a sustainable financial strategy.

 

What is clear from the special variation determinations made by IPART in June 2011 is that to be successful Council has to work just as hard in scrutinising its operational expenditure, asset service levels and fees and charges as it would otherwise have done if it were not seeking a special variation.

 

Outcomes of the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IPR) Process

 

Council has made substantial progress in documenting community values and priorities, being an important component of the Community Strategic Plan.? This has been undertaken through two resident satisfaction surveys, the last being in October 2010 as well as a series of forums and ?away? Council meetings.

 

Council has also made good progress in preparing asset management plans for its infrastructure.

 

At the same time there has been increasing scrutiny of operating expenses.? A round of voluntary redundancies conducted in 2011 has resulted in offers of redundancy being accepted for 2 full time positions.? Council has also resolved to undertake an independent review of its organisation structure.? In terms of non-operating expenses there has also been increasing scrutiny in relation to the service levels and the costs of assets.? Recent reports on the Boulton?s Crossing Reserve and the Macksville Saleyards are two examples.

 

Notwithstanding that the work on the IPR process is incomplete, it is absolutely certain that by operating within the rate peg Council will continue to fall behind in asset renewal at a rate of about $3.5m per annum.? Besides falling further behind Council will not make any impression on the existing backlog where an estimated $40m is required to bring general fund assets up to a satisfactory condition.

 

This decline in financial standing will manifest itself in an inability to meet requirements for major capital expenditure.? Examples include replacing bridges, rehabilitating roads, replacing plant and equipment and undertaking unplanned capital expenditure such as the replacement of the Deep Creek bridge.

 

As indicated in the IPART reports, a Council?s liability for asset management has to be balanced against the community?s capacity to pay which they express in their third criterion as a ?reasonable impact on ratepayers?.? Like the Richmond Valley Council, socio-economic indicators suggest that the Nambucca Valley is among the most disadvantaged in NSW.

 

In considering capacity to pay, Council should be considering funding increases provided to other utility providers and economic conditions generally.? For areas such as the Nambucca Valley the available funds that people have to pay utility charges are relatively fixed and to this extent Council?s General Fund is competing with other utilities for a share of that ?fixed? funding.

 

In 2011/2012 Essential Energy (Country Energy) prices will be increasing by 18.1% adding approximately $316 to an annual bill of $1,747.? However there is a forecast of a further 24% price increase to occur in 2012/2013.

 

Council has increased its water usage charges in 2011/2012 primarily to fund the construction of the proposed Bowraville Off River Water Storage.? The water usage charge has increased from $1.49 per kilolitre in 2010/2011 to $1.93 per kilolitre in 2011/2012.? This is a 29.5% price increase which will add $107 per annum to the average usage account.? The access charge for a standard connection has also increased from $73.00 in 2010/2011 to $88.00 in 2011/2012.? This is a 20.5% increase which combined with the average water usage charge will add a total $92.00 to an average annual water account.

 

General economic conditions also remain difficult with a relatively slow property market, limited new investment, and a general lack of confidence.

 

It is suggested that regardless of Council?s asset liability, on a capacity to pay basis there should be consideration to seek a permanent special variation in 2012/13 of 2% over and above the rate peg and a proposal to renew the expiring special variations mentioned previously.? This would provide Council with ?additional? revenue of $160,000 per annum which would again be used to fund loans to bring forward work identified in its current 5 year Infrastructure Management Plan (to become the Asset Management Plan in the IPR).

 

The previous program of small special variations to fund borrowings to support a relatively rapid improvement in the condition of Council?s roads and bridges has been very successful.? The condition of Council?s assets has improved markedly and there is a relatively high level of ratepayer acceptance of the strategy as evidenced by the results of the resident satisfaction survey.? There is a continuing high level of acceptance of the need for additional spending on core infrastructure.? At the same time Council?s overall satisfaction rating has also increased.? This suggests that residents accept such initiatives where Council can demonstrate the additional funding is not being directed to operating expenses.? A recent letter from the Nambucca Heads Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (attached) is reflective of this sentiment.

?

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Council staff have arranged to meet with representatives of IPART in Sydney on 8 August to discuss their requirements for a special variation application.? IPART has previously advised that councils which consult in the formulation of applications for a special variation have a greater prospect of succeeding.

 

The consultation process will be enhanced by staff being able to discuss a proposal with IPART.

 

The recommendation is a proposal which is to be subject to extensive community consultation.? At the conclusion of that consultation all public submissions will be reported to Council prior to finalising any proposal to be put to IPART.

 

IPART announced in June 2011 that they intend to bring forward the deadline for special variation applications to January.? IPART require that any application for a special variation be submitted with evidence of substantial community consultation as well as the completed documentation required under the IPR process.? To meet the January deadline Council needs to form an opinion now as to whether it will be seeking a special variation and the quantum of that variation.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There will be implications for Council?s management of the environment if the environmental levy is not renewed in 2012/2013.

 

Social

 

There are social implications in increasing Council?s rates and charges.? Socio-economic indicators suggest that the Nambucca Valley is among the most disadvantaged in NSW and its residents, in general terms, have less capacity to meet increased funding requirements from utilities.? There have already been substantial increases in the price of electricity and water.

 

Council should undertake a review of its rating structure prior to completing any submission to IPART and prior to completing the IPR process to further assess the capacity to pay for the different segments of our community.

 

Economic

 

There are unlikely to be significant economic impacts from the proposed special variation.? Whilst they will mean additional costs for business, the relativity of those costs with other local government areas is also important.

 

Risk

 

There are risks that Council will not receive any approval for a special variation which will mean that its environmental levy program will have to be wound up and expenditure reduced in other areas to meet a loan repayment schedule of $66,600 per annum.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The report concerns a proposed special variation which would impact on Council?s 2012/2013 budget.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

19597/2011 - Summary of variations and decisions by IPART

 

2View

19594/2011 - Richmond Valley Council's application for a special variation

 

3View

19595/2011 - Great Lakes Council's application for a special variation

 

4View

19592/2011 - Byron Shire Council's application for a special variation

 

5View

19722/2011 - Conditions of roads in Nambucca

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

 

















Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

 

















Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

 







Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Application for Special Rate Variation in 2012/2013

 


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.8????? SF299????????????? 040811???????? Back to Bowra Hinterland Festival - Committee of Management

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Lorraine Hemsworth, Executive Assistant ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council at its meeting 7 July 2011 resolved the following:

 

?That Council welcome the new Committee members as a Section 355 Committee of Management and seek a Treasurers report on the current status of the Committee?s financial position and grant acquittals.?

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Back To Bowra Hinterland Festival Committee of Management Annual Financial Report for 1 July 2010 ? 30 July 2011 be received and noted.

 

OPTIONS:

 

Receive the report

Request further information on report

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Back to Bowra Hinterland Festival Committee of Management reformed after the resignation of the previous President of two years.

 

A report was presented to Council on 7 July outlining the new Committee of Management.? A letter was forwarded to the Committee welcoming the new members and requesting Financial Report.

 

Attached is the Annual Financial Report 1 July 2010 ? 30 July 2011.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Nil

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There is no impact on the environment.

 

Social

 

There is no social impact.

 

Economic

 

There is no economic impact.

 

Risk

 

There is no risks associated with this report.

 


FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is no direct or indirect impact on current and future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no variance to working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

19939/2011 - Annual Financial Statement 2010/2011 Back to Bowra Hinterland Festival Committee of Management

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Back to Bowra Hinterland Festival - Committee of Management

 


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.9????? SF15??????????????? 040811???????? Future of the Macksville Saleyards

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Steven Williams, Property Officer; Michael Coulter, General Manager ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council resolved amongst other matters to undertake the minimum work required to make ready the saleyards for a long term lease arrangement and to advertise by tender for suitably qualified parties to operate the saleyard under a long term lease arrangements. To date no works have been undertaken due to insufficient funds being voted to address any of the works identified in the independent risk assessment report.

 

The premise for leasing the yards is to reduce the financial and OH&S risk the current operation and facility presents to the Council.?

 

Council has also resolved to convene a public meeting prior to determining the future of the saleyards

 

The operation of the saleyards in its current form presents an unacceptable level of risk to Council.? The potential risks include:

 

??????????? The financial risk of a continuing and increasing operating deficit;

 

??????????? The operational risk of? potential damage, injury or loss of life arising from the operation of the ????????? yards; and,

 

??????????? The risk of breaches of environmental and workplace safety legislation as a consequence of the structural and design deficiencies at the yards.

 

Despite being a commercial venture there is a perception, particularly amongst saleyard patrons, that the facility provides a community service and as such the determination of the future of the yards should not be subject to economic rationalism alone.

 

This report is submitted to Council to:

 

1?????? Report on the outcome of an Expression of Interest (EOI) to operate and lease the Macksville saleyards to identify prospective Lessees; and,

 

2?????? Detail the cost estimate for the minimum work required to ready the yards for leasing.

 

GJ Kennedy made the one and only submission to the EOI. This submission however did not present any proposal for the operation of the yards for Councils consideration. The ordinary application of tendering guidelines would render the submission nonconforming and would not be considered.

 

Given the industry forecasts/prediction that the smaller yards are not viable in the long term the sale of the yards is not considered a feasible option. In the event Council excises the yards from the show ground and sells them and the enterprise subsequently fails Council will end up with an alienated portion of land within the Showground. This shared use of the showground land immediately surrounding the yards makes this an impractical outcome.

 

Under current arrangements, the operation of the saleyards will require a commitment to provide a substantial and ongoing annual subsidy to meet infrastructure work and operational deficiencies. This is in contrast to Council?s current budget position wherein no funds have been made available for the substantial work required at the yards

 

Given the lack of progress on addressing the inadequacies identified in the South Eastern Workplace Safety risk assessment and audit it is also possible that Council does not have insurance coverage in the event of a third party personal injury or property loss claim.

 

Against this background it is recommended that a Saleyard Forum be undertaken to consider two options:

 

1???????? The closure of the Macksville Saleyard (preferred);or

 

2???????? The leasing of the Saleyard (less preferred).?

 

The status quo is not a viable option as it does not establish any boundaries for Council?s long term financial or OH&S liability.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

A?????? That Council undertake a Saleyard Forum open to the public to discuss two options for the Macksville Saleyards being:

 

1??????? Their closure (preferred) for the reason they are not commercially viable and Council is unable to fund the capital works which will be required for their retention and continued operation; and,

 

2??????? Their leasing to G J Kennedy (less preferred) on terms to be negotiated.

 

B?????? That the Saleyard Forum be chaired by the Mayor and representatives of the following organisations be invited to attend:

 

?????? Saleyard Advisory Committee;

?????? G J Kennedy;

?????? Saleyard Operators of Australia;

?????? Macksville Showground Committee of Management;

?????? Department of Agriculture;

?????? Kempsey Regional Saleyards;

?????? Office of Environment & Heritage;

?????? WorkCover;

?????? Jardine Lloyd Thompson;

?????? The Hon. Andrew Stoner, Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1??????? Close the Macksville Saleyard

 

????????? This is the preferred option for the following reasons:

 

1????? Given Council?s other responsibilities it cannot afford to retain the saleyard and undertake the on-going work which will be required to not only maintain the asset but to meet existing and future regulatory requirements.? If the upgrading works are paid from yard fees they would need to be substantially increased to uncompetitive levels.

 

2????? If Council does not undertake necessary upgrading work it has a potential exposure to regulatory action and in the case of an injury may not have public liability insurance coverage if the injury could have been avoided by the application of prudent and diligent risk management practices.

 

3????? Evidence from the industry points to a rationalisation of smaller saleyards and there is a significant risk for Council in increasing investment in a financially unsustainable asset.

 

4????? There are design problems with the Macksville Saleyard which cannot be remedied at the existing site.? The saleyard has minimal cross fall and drains in 2 different directions.? There is no room for expansion.

 

5????? There is a major regional saleyard complex at Kempsey with the additional cost for the transport of stock estimated at $4.25 per head compared to the additional cost of saleyard fees at Macksville being $1.30 per head more than Kempsey.? That is a net difference of only $2.95 per head (full grown cattle).

 

6????? The Kempsey market is larger and may attract more buyers.

 

7????? There is anecdotal evidence that local cattle producers already sell some or all of their stock direct to purchasers or at other saleyards.

 

8????? Of the 28 different facilities and services which were rated in the 2010 resident satisfaction survey, the saleyard was rated as having the lowest importance.? It is queried whether Council should be increasing its investment in a facility with this ranking at the expense of more highly valued services such as sealed roads, clean streets, libraries and bridges.

 

????????? The reasons for retaining the Saleyard relate to its direct economic impacts.? In terms of direct economic impacts, G J Kennedy report that the Saleyard aspect of their business employs 2 permanent full-time employees and 4 casual employees all of which would be potentially lost in the event of closure of the yards.? There are also indirect economic impacts which have not been quantified.

 

2??????? Lease the Macksville Saleyard

 

????????? This is the less preferred option as it only ameliorates some of the issues identified with retaining the Saleyard.? Depending upon the terms of the lease, Council?s ongoing financial liability should be more certain.? Again depending upon the terms of the lease, the risks to Council should be reduced.

 

????????? There will still need to be significant funds invested in the Saleyard. Council has not budgeted funds for capital works at the Saleyard. Council could seek to negotiate lease terms requiring the Lessee to attend to the required work at the Lessee?s expense but would need to strictly oversee the timely and satisfactory completion of the work.

 

3??????? Retain the Existing Arrangements

 

????????? The ?do nothing? option means Council will be not be establishing any boundaries around either its long term financial or OH&S liability.? The first response for any budgetary issues will be an expectation that Council will fund any shortfall.? Council will also be directly exposed to any OH&S incident.? If the incident is related to identified safety improvement works which have not been undertaken, Council will also risk having no public liability cover.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Background

 

At Council?s meeting on 4 November 2010 it was resolved that a Saleyards seminar be held for the community after Council has received this report and prior to making any final decision on the future of the Saleyards.

 

In the term of the current elected Council there have been more than 10 significant reports on the Macksville saleyards.? A summary of the reports and resolutions is as follows:

 

05/06/08?????? Notice of motion seeking a report on the provision of toilets at the Macksville saleyards.

 

16/10/08?????? Report to Council advising the cost of constructing a dedicated toilet block for the saleyards would be in excess of $100,000; that the showground toilets were about 100m away; and that there were other priorities.? It was resolved that Council receive a budget on the saleyards to determine whether facilities can be funded in some manner and for consideration in the 2009/2010 budget and seek grants to assist with funding.? It was also resolved that Council investigate the saleyard?s effluent management.

 

04/12/08?????? Report in response to the resolution on 16/10/2008 to provide a budget on the saleyards.? It was reported there was a net operating deficit in 2008/2009 of $35,100; that significant costs were incurred in the 2008/2009 financial year finalising the shade sail installation ($15,000) and replacing the internal fencing with steel fencing ($26,000); that the waste management system is deficient and required investigation of an affordable and reliable solution; that the grandstand is non-compliant with reports of falls; and drawing Council?s attention to the national trend towards the rationalisation of saleyards.? Council resolved to note the trend of rationalisation of the saleyard industry; to consider increasing the saleyard improvement budget by $4,000 to remedy safety risks in the saleyard enclosure; to consider a budget variance of $10,000 to obtain a report on the optimum waste management system; and to reconvene the Saleyard Advisory Committee to determine mid to long term operational strategies for the Macksville Saleyards.

 

07/05/09?????? Minutes of Saleyards Advisory Committee (Mayor, Mr Michael Jones and Council?s Property Officer) held on 21/4/2009 reported to Council.? Resolved to meet twice a year; to investigate the implementation and costs of an effluent management system to replace the existing periodic pump out; that the priorities for capital improvement be the effluent management system and the replacement of the grandstand; that the priority for general maintenance be the installation of guard rails around the water troughs in the new pens; that staff are attending to replacement of pens leading to the weighbridge to rectify safety issues.? It was also noted that the existing toilet facilities are sufficient.

 

08/10/09?????? Council formalised appointment of Mayor, Property Officer and Mr Michael Jones to the Macksville Saleyards Advisory Committee

 

08/12/09?????? Saleyard Advisory Committee notes that the current operation is not economically self sustaining; that Council allocate $5,000 to the Saleyards Operation Budget to finance a workshop conducted by legal consultant Gerry Holmes to identify risk exposure and management issues association with the Council operation of the Macksville Saleyards; that Council liaise with Bellingen Shire Council staff with a view to conducting a joint workshop; that Council explore the continued operation of the Macksville Saleyards; that Council allocate $7,500 for an asset audit and safety report; that there be a report on the possibility of connecting effluent to the sewer.

 

17/12/09?????? Council considers a major report on the future of the Macksville Saleyards.? Report notes that total expenditure has generally exceeded revenue by an average of $10,000 for the previous 10 years.? Report compares yard fees at other saleyards; transport costs to other saleyards; the condition of the asset and risk.? Council resolves to:

?????????????????? ?1? note that the current operation is not economically self sustaining and that the continued operation in its current form presents an unacceptable risk to Council from an OH&S perspective ?

2? allocate funds in the amount of $5,000 to finance the Gerry Holmes workshop

3?liaise with Bellingen Shire Council staff with a view to conducting the risk management workshop

4?explore the continued operation of the Macksville Saleyards

5?allocate funds in the amount of $7,500 to commission an Asset Audit and Safety Report to identify the costs of work required to render the Saleyards fit for use to enable continued operation and leasing ?

6?That a report be presented to Council on the outcome of the workshop and asset safety audit

7?That a report be presented on the possibility of connecting effluent from the Saleyards to the sewer system.

 

21/1/10?????? Council considers a report on connecting the effluent system to the town sewer system.? Resolved to note that it is not economically feasible to connect the Saleyards effluent to the town sewer system.

 

20/5/10?????? Council considers minutes of Saleyards Advisory Working Group and resolves to:

????????????????? ?1? note the Saleyard Advisory Working Group?s assessment and rankings of the risks identified in the South Eastern Safety Report of the Macksville Saleyards dated January 2010.

????????????????? 2? reconsider the budget allocation for the 2010/2011 budget to allow the cost of addressing the risks identified in the South Eastern Safety Report of January 2010.

????????????????? 3? receive a report on all future options for the Saleyards.?

 

17/6/10?????? Council considers a report on the workshop which was conducted by Mr Gerry Holmes on 31 March 2010.? The consultants estimate the cost of remedying all areas of non compliance to a minimum compliance level at $800,000.? The Saleyards Advisory Committee estimates the cost of work requiring immediate attention at $279,000 although Council staff estimate the same work to cost $480,000.? The report canvasses the options of leasing or selling the saleyards; doing nothing; continue trading and determine a subsidy; or cease trading and close the saleyards.? Council does not accept any of the staff recommendations and instead resolves to seek a report as to what might constitute a reasonable charge for persons selling livestock through the Macksville Saleyards and provide information regarding fees charged at neighbouring saleyard complexes.

 

14/7/10?????? In response to the 17/6/2010 resolution Council considers a report on a comparison of saleyard fees.? Report states for grown cattle the Macksville Saleyards is the second most expensive with Casino, Grafton, and Kempsey being cheaper with Dorrigo being more expensive.? Macksville is $1.30 per head more expensive than Kempsey.? Report estimates that the additional cost of trucking cattle to Kempsey would be $4.25 per head.? Council resolves to:

????????????????? ?1 .. consult with the Showground Committee of Management to identify an area for the exclusive use of the saleyards.

????????????????? 2?. undertake the minimum work to make ready the saleyards for a long term lease arrangement (say 15 years).

????????????????? 3? advertise by Tender for suitably qualified parties to operate the saleyard under a 15 year lease arrangement on terms deemed necessary by Council?s legal advisors.

????????????????? 4? that a report come to Council on the response to the Tender for suitable parties to operate the saleyard under a long term lease arrangement.?

 

7/10/10?????? Council resolves that a representative from both the farmers and buyers be included on the Saleyards Advisory Committee.

 

4/11/10?????? In response to a notice of motion, Council resolves that a Saleyards seminar be held for the community after Council has received the report from Council?s Property Officer and prior to making any final decision on the future of the Saleyards.

 

29/11/10????? Saleyard Advisory Working Group considers reports on effluent management at the Saleyards and traffic management and infrastructure.? Cost of the effluent management system is estimated at $188,500.? The costing for traffic management is to be reported to Council as part of the overall future management plan for the saleyards.? Council adopted the minutes at its meeting on 16 December 2011.

 

16/12/10????? Council resolves via a notice of motion to appoint Mr George Hicks OAM to the Macksville Saleyard Committee.

 

5/5/11???????? A series of questions with notice are considered at Council?s meeting.? They concern when did Councillors decide to tender to lease in the Land Newspaper?? When did Councillors receive their report on the functions of the effluent?? Has there been a meeting with farmers?? Has Mr Hicks attended any meetings of the Saleyard Advisory Committee?

 

Other relevant background information in relation to the saleyard is the risk assessment undertaken in 2010 and also the resident satisfaction survey also undertaken in 2010.

 

The risk assessment determined the saleyard operations as the third highest risk area for the Council.? This risk profile has been borne out by recent injuries at other saleyards including Dorrigo and Inverell.

 

The 2010 resident satisfaction survey asked about the importance of the saleyards and also the level of satisfaction with the service it provides.? Of the 28 different facilities and services which were rated, the saleyard was rated as having the lowest importance.? Out of a rating scale of 5, with 5 being the most important and 1 being the least important, the saleyard resulted in a mean importance score of 3.26.? This compares with scores such as 4.72 for water supply; 4.63 for sealed roads; 4.61 for the garbage and recycling service; 4.43 for clean streets; 4.40 for libraries; 4.36 for bridges and 4.35 for sewerage services.? There was also a decline in the importance of the saleyards from the 2007 survey of 4.5%.? Conversely the importance of other services increased.? For example the importance of libraries increased by 6.1%.

 

According to the 2010 resident satisfaction survey, satisfaction with the saleyards is relatively high.? Out of the 28 different facilities and services which were measured the saleyards had the eighth highest satisfaction rating.? The lowest levels of satisfaction were with unsealed roads, climate change planning, youth activities, sealed roads, economic development, public toilets, estuary management, bridges, DAs, weed control, environmental monitoring and protection and stormwater drainage.

 

As a consequence of the resolutions indicated above the following investigations and consultation has been completed:

 

1????????? Reconvened the Saleyard Advisory Committee to consult on industry requirements and to obtain first hand feedback on the risks identified in the safety and risk audit compiled by Eastern Work Place Safety. Council has received minutes of the meetings of the Saleyard Advisory Committee.

 

2????????? Meeting with the Showground Committee of Management to determine the impact of proposed changes to the showground and sale yards and the cost to ameliorate the impact on the showground.

 

3????????? Report on the management of effluent at the yards having regard to the significant site constraints and the environmental issues including SEPP62 (sustainable Aquaculture), SEPP (Infrastructure),? EPA Act 1979 and POEO Act 1997.

 

4????????? Consideration of legal advice on the management of risk at the yards noting that the only way to avoid ongoing liability in relation to the premises is to either close the yards or sell the yards.

 

5????????? Formulation of a traffic management plan to address heavy vehicle and light vehicle movements and parking on sale days.

 

6????????? Expression of Interest has been called seeking appropriately qualified parties to submit a proposal for the operation of the yards under a long term lease arrangement.

 


Financial Position

 

A snap shot of Council?s budgets for the saleyards over the past 5 years provides an indication of their financial position.

 

Budget

2006/2007

2007/2008

2008/2009

2009/2010

2010/2011

Operating Expenses

51,300

45,600

37,300

47,100

180,800*

Operating Revenue

-62,600

-68,100

-67,200

-70,200

-76,500**

Non Operating Expenses

8,200

21,000

32,200

8,400

8,600

Overheads

5,200

21,800

19,800

23,000

36,500

Net Saleyards Cost

2,100

20,300

22,100

8,400

149,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual (30 June review)

 

 

 

 

March review

Operating Expenses

40,671

50,249

51,697

62,002

218,700*

Operating Revenue

-59,609

-72,307

-70,502

-82,845

-76,500

Non Operating Expenses

19,169

8,008

35,894

3,392

8,600

Overheads

14,800

20,900

21,000

23,200

Included

Net Saleyards Cost

15,031

6,850

38,089

5,749

150,800

 

*??????? the 2010/2011 budget made provision for $100,000 to rectify the effluent management issue at the saleyard.? This funding was not spent has not been carried forward.

**?????? Actual operating revenue for 2010/2011 was $89,958

????????? ?

With Saleyard fees being relatively high compared to competing saleyards in other areas, Council is financially exposed to any requirement for capital expenditure.? The need to improve effluent disposal is one example.

 

The asset management plan for the saleyards, which is yet to be finalised, should document the annual requirement for a reserve to fund depreciation and as far as known the compliance cost required to meet regulatory standards.? Currently there is unfunded depreciation of $9,600 per annum as well as a backlog in work requiring immediate attention which the Saleyards Advisory Committee estimates will cost $279,000.

 

If Council wishes to retain the existing management arrangements for the Macksville Saleyard then expenditure will need to be significantly increased and sustained at that level for an indefinite period.

 

Mitigation of Risk at the Yards

 

Council?s insurer has advised that unless it can be demonstrated that Council is actively addressing the safety issues detailed in the safety audit report it will not be covered under the Public Liability Insurance policy.

 

The rationale for leasing the yards is to reduce the risk the current operation and facility presents to the Council and community.? It must be understood however that leasing the yards does not remove liability under s10 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Similarly, whilst Council is afforded some protection from public liability claims in accordance with the provisions of a lease, it is not uncommon for injured plaintiffs to claim against the landlord if the tenant has insufficient funds to meet a claim or where the cause was the landlords act or omission.

 

Should Council pursue a leasing option for continued operation of the yards it would be necessary to clearly and explicitly disclose that no warranty is made as to the compliance or otherwise of the structures at the yards.

 

Notwithstanding the above staff, have received legal advice which recommends that the following areas be rendered ?fit for purpose? at the time of leasing.

 

1????????? The shared use of the area immediately surrounding the yard means that Council cannot remove itself from the burden of risk for this area unless it excises part of the showground for the exclusive use of the saleyards. The Showground Committee have expressed a strong reluctance to accept any further excise of showground land pointing out that there is no land which is surplus to their needs.

 

2????????? Council will remain liable for rectification of pollution if it cannot be demonstrated that the tenant was responsible for or caused the pollution. The proposed effluent management system is designed to overcome this liability and has been accepted in principle by the Office of Environment & Heritage. The required work is not funded in the current budget and it is difficult to see from where the money can be sourced. Council could seek to negotiate lease terms requiring the Lessee to complete the required work at the Lessee?s expense. In such event however Council would need to strictly over see the timely and satisfactory completion of the work.

 

Presumably the Lessee would need to consider an increase in yard fees to meet the costs for the required work, which of itself is problematic to the viability of the yards.

 

The ongoing risks associated with the operational aspects and the infrastructure aspects would then be carried by the Lessee, albeit not completely

 

Council adopted the recommendations of the Saleyard Advisory Committees prioritisation of risk and work required at the ordinary meeting on 20 May 2010.? The Committee sought the allocation of sufficient funds to complete the work ?requiring urgent and immediate attention? which was estimated at $279,000. More recent estimation of effluent control works amount to $200,000 alone

 

The Showground Committee of Management has requested:

 

1????????? That two banks of stallion stables ( totalling 10 stables)? proposed for removal to accommodate the on site effluent management system be replaced.

 

2????????? That the proposed car parking and truck parking areas remain under Council control as they are necessary for the show day marshalling activities. In this regard a lease agreement would need to include provision for the grant of a license in favour of the Lessee to use the car and truck parking areas.

 

Council has received a report on the on site effluent management and stormwater generated from and through the yards.? Fundamental to the proposed system is the requirement for the yards to be thoroughly washed down after each sale to enable stormwater run off to be directed to a wetland drainage system adjacent to Rodeo Drive. In the event this cannot be achieved and maintained the system will not comply and Council?s risk exposure will remain (ie, a greater exposure and potential fines for pollution events).

 

The current auction licensee has advised that the requirement to thoroughly wash down the yards after each sale is not practical and cannot be economically achieved. Recent attention by GJ Kennedy has resulted in a significant improvement in the presentation and cleanliness at the yards. GJ Kennedy has also implemented a wash down system which substantially reduces water consumption at the yards. These measures of themselves however still require a pump out system. The Office of Environment & Heritage has advised that the pump out method is unacceptable.

 

One of the significant risk issues indentified in the risk and safety audit completed in 2010 was the shared use areas in and around the yard.

 

With regard to the proposed leased area; the use of the yards by community groups will be at the discretion of the Lessee as Council will not retain control of the area once leased.

 

With regard to the area immediately surrounding the yards which is used for marshalling on show days and otherwise for light and heavy vehicle parking on sale days; it has been suggested that Council exclude this area from the lease agreement so as to retain control of the land to ensure availability to the showground committee. The lease will require specific provision for the licensed use of the parking areas by the Lessee on sale days. Council will otherwise remain responsible for the structures, maintenance and operation of this area.

 

A request for expressions of interest to lease and operate the yards was advertised in The Land and the Guardian newspapers on 21 April 2011 with one submission being received to 12 May 2011 from G J Kennedy. This submission however did not include any proposal for the operation of the yard.

 

Minimum work required to lease the yards

 

The minimum work required to enable leasing includes

 

 

Work required

Estimated cost

1

On site Effluent management system

$201,000

 

?????? Removal and replacement of existing stables*

?????? Remediation of drainage around yards

?????? Implementation of effluent management system

?????? Acquisition of machinery required for cleaning

 

2

Traffic management

$50,000

 

?????? construction of additional access

?????? security fencing

?????? roadside signage

?????? re graded road access

?????? entry sign

?????? traffic management signage

?????? saleyards safety signage

 

3

Safety Equipment and signage ( fire extinguishers etc)

$3,000

4

Legal and surveying work

$10,500

5

Tendering costs

$5,000

TOTAL

$269,500

 

* The estimated price to demolish and reconstruct the frame, external walls and roofing for five stables in the area nominated by the showground committee is $30,000. Council or the showground committee would need to then attend to the timber stable lining and gates. There are ten stallion bays in the existing stables.

?

At the time of leasing Council must also ensure that the following is (or will be made) fit for purpose:

 

1????????? Roadways

2????????? Pedestrian Access

3????????? Workplace amenities

4????????? Holding yards

5????????? Loading yards

6????????? Lighting

 

NOTE should Council elect to continue operating the yards substantially more work is required to render the yards a safer work environment including attention to the grandstand, sale ring area, sale ring and office roof structure, timber pens, gates and latches and barriers between public access and the stock pens

 

Source of Funds

 

The infrastructure work is not funded in the 2011/2012 budget.

 

There is currently $30,800 in the saleyard equipment reserve which was established to manage the weighbridge asset.

 

The required funds and the ongoing operational deficit would need to be allocated from working funds or by way of a loan (in turn serviced from working funds). It should be noted that under a lease arrangement Council will not receive operating revenue.

 

Advice from Office of Environment & Heritage

 

The Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH formerly DECCW) has conducted a site inspection of the yards. The purpose of the inspection was to determine the acceptability of the proposed effluent management system prior to expending (what will be) significant resources on the project.

 

OEH advise that the current disposal methods (pump out and dispersal to paddocks at Newee Creek? catchment) is unacceptable and arrangements must be made to discontinue this practice..

 

OEH supports the proposed effluent management proposal in principle and are seeking details of the final design and time frame for implementation.

 

If Council does not take action to redress the current arrangements the OEH will be at liberty to issue clean up and/or prohibition orders and penalties arsing from breaches of the Protection of the Environment Operation Act 1997.

 

Consideration of available statistics

 

Council is in receipt of reports on the operation, stock turnover and financial performance of the yards.

 

The Nambucca Economic Portrait based on census data from the 2001 and 2006 census and the ATO National Regional Profile Data record the following:

 

??????????? Rural production in the Shire accounts for 6.8% of? total workers,? of which 131 workers are classified as ?farmers?.

??????????? The Nambucca Shire has a 2% greater proportionate representation in the rural production sector to other mid north coast shires.

??????????? 1% of the workforce is recorded as being involved in agricultural support industries.

??????????? The rural production workforce diminished by 3.6% between 2001 and 2006.

??????????? ATO data records that the rural production sector in the Valley, whilst declining, comprises the largest number of registered business proportionate to the total number of business.

??????????? Data suggests that these businesses comprise largely sole trader enterprises.

 

Staff have made enquiry of the Livestock Health & Pest authority, Australian Bureau of Statistics and ABARE to seek data on the current livestock production within the Shire. There are no definitive and current Shire specific herd numbers or producer numbers available. The ABS census 2006 however recorded a Shire herd size of approximately 23,000 head of cattle.

 

This would suggest that the current turnover at the yards (on average 10,000 per annum) could be significantly increased. The questions that arise therefore are:

 

1????????? Will turnover of say 15 -20,000 change the economic performance of the yards?? On the data to hand the answer would be ?marginal to no?. Doubling current income from the yards would not meet the estimated additional loan repayment (say $50,000p.a), administration ( say 25,000p.a) , maintenance ( say 50,000p.a).

 

2????????? Economic return aside the crucial question is; Can the yards accommodate an increase in turnover? The answer is ?yes ? if there is an increase the number of sales?. The problem that arises from this is that an increase in the number of sales beyond 25 per year necessitates a truck wash facility. Provision of a truck wash is estimated at $100,000 and will require space which is simply not available unless more land is excised from the Showground and additional design capacity/treatment in the effluent disposal system incorporated into the system. In reality therefore the answer is ?no?.

 

Background report on the future of saleyards generally

 

Councillors are directed to the following link http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2008/s2571961.htm. The link provides a brief video report on the future of saleyards and the direction of livestock marketing and sales in Australia. Whilst produced in 2009, the content is pertinent to the issues facing this Council with regard the Macksville saleyards

 

Commentary in the report suggests that there is general concurrence that the days of Council operated saleyards has now passed. Commentary also suggests that private enterprise can conduct the sale of livestock (including through saleyards) more efficiently, with better attention to livestock welfare and can achieve better prices.

 

The report highlights the regionalisation of saleyards generally and in so doing underlines the importance of turnover and economies of scale.

 

The report runs for approximately 20 minutes.

 

 

Insurance considerations

 

Council staff raised the question of how Council?s insurers would respond to a third party personal injury or property loss claim given the inadequacies identified in the risk assessment audit. In response Council?s insurers have advised that Council?s commitment and attention to addressing the identified risks should ensure indemnification under Councils insurances.

 

It must be noted that no significant improvements or actions have been made to address the inadequacies identified in the risk assessment report. In other words Council may not have effective insurance coverage at the yards and would be required to meet any third party personal injury or property loss claim for damages from working funds.

 

Councils Safety & Risk officer has recommended that prior to committing funds to the work required at the yards legal advice should be sought to ensure Council has a clear picture of the level of indemnity provided by StateWide and to form an agreement between StateWide and Council which clearly defines each parties obligations to "take all reasonable precautions".    

 

 

Consideration on the future and ongoing operation of the Macksville Saleyards

 

The decision for Council is to either:

 

1????????? Determine that it is a community service and to subsidise the ongoing operation and thereafter to adequately fund the infrastructure work required and take immediate action to complete the work; or

 

2??????? Determine that it is a commercial enterprise and on the strength of data to hand close the facility; or

 

3??????? A combination of the two.

 

Considerations in making this decision include:

 

?????????????? The rural production sector comprises 6.8% of jobs in the Shire and accounts for the greatest number of business. Sole trader status comprises the majority of rural enterprises in the Shire.

?????????????? Leasing is not a risk avoidance panacea? - Council will distance itself somewhat but not remove risk altogether

?????????????? The sale yard operation has the third highest risk profile to Council

?????????????? The sale yard returned the lowest importance rating in the satisfaction survey

?????????????? Based on historical performance the yards are expected to continue to return an operating deficit. If the cost of remediation works are included in the equation the deficit is substantial.

?????????????? There is insufficient space and infrastructure to accommodate increased throughput. Even if it were possible, throughput would need to increase exponentially to render the yards viable given the infrastructure cost any expansion would attract.

?????????????? It is foreseeable given the above that any lease agreement would require an operating subsidy, similar to the swimming pool.

?????????????? The proposed effluent system, designed to be contained on site, relies heavily on consistent and thorough wash down. If this cannot be achieved Council will potentially remain liable for any pollution event. The effluent system proposed will cost approx $200,000 to implement. Covering the yards with a roof to reduce storm water run off is estimated to cost a minimum of $500,000.

 

Outside of a commitment to heavily subsidise the Macksville sale yards it is difficult to justify the cost of the required remediation work.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

?????????????? Saleyard Advisory Committee

?????????????? Showground Committee of Management

?????????????? Council?s Insurer

?????????????? Office of Environment & Heritage

?????????????? Council Risk and Safety Officer

?????????????? G J Kennedy

 

 

Director Environment and Planning comment:

 

The Saleyards are also used occasionally as Council's stock pound for impounded cattle, horses, goats etc. This will need to be taken into consideration in the future in any lease agreement or sale. Should it not be incorporated, Council will need to investigate another alternative as Council is required to have available stock impounding yards, which may have a budgetary impact.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Remediation of the effluent management system at the yards will serve to protect the environment from pollution generated by the saleyard activities.

 

Social

 

The closure of the yards will have an immediate and certainly profound effect on the local agent and their staff and will certainly have a flow on effect throughout the local industry and companion industries and rural community.? It is foreseeable that local retailers will see a downturn on sale days.

 

G J Kennedy report that the Saleyard aspect of their business employs 2 permanent full-time employees and 4 casual employees all of which would be potentially lost in the event of closure of the yards.

 

Closure is unlikely to directly impact on cattle production in the Shire with regional markets expanding to accommodate local production.? Presumably local carriers would share this market.

 

Economic

 

The economic impact of the Macksville Saleyards has been previously reported although it should be noted that the overall economic impact of the Saleyard has not been quantified. It is presumed however that local businesses benefit from increased passing trade on sale days and that associated businesses benefit likewise.? Specialist investigation and reporting would be required to quantify the level of trade which would be lost to local business in the event of the Saleyards closing.

 


Risk

 

The risk to Council in continuing the current operation has been clearly highlighted.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is no funding in the budget for 2011/2012 for any capital works at the Saleyard.? There is no funding to provide an effluent management system nor to undertake the work identified by the Saleyard Advisory Committee as requiring urgent and immediate attention the cost of which was estimated by the Committee to be $279,000.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

15083/2011 - Office of Environment & Heritage

 

2View

6104/2011 - Advice from Jardine Lloyd Thompson

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Future of the Macksville Saleyards

 



Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Future of the Macksville Saleyards

 




Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.10??? PRF10????????????? 040811???????? Amended Draft Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Steven Williams, Property Officer ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council resolved on 17/02/2011 to implement the Scotts Head Holiday Park, Crown Reserve, Community and associated Freehold Land Master Plan (hereafter referred to as the Master Plan?).

 

The Master Plan affects the Adin Street Reserve which is Council owned land classified as ?community land? and sub categorised as a ?sportsground?.

 

Implementation of the Master Plan renders the current Plan of Management and more specifically the sub categorisation of the community land inappropriate.

 

This report is to present an amended Plan of Management which is Circularised for Council?s consideration prior to advertising the draft Plan for public exhibition and feedback. A pre-draft of the plan was submitted for councillors and directors comments on 23 June 2001 feedback has been received form Cr Court and Cr Flack. A pr?cis of their suggestions and the amendments made are included as an annexure to this report.

 

In short, the amended Plan of Management re-categorises the land from the sub category of ?sportsground? to ?general community use?. Further the Plan of Management specifically provides for the lease of part of the Reserve to the operator of the Caravan Park.

 

More generally the draft Plan of Management makes provision for the implementation of the Master Plan as well as management of the Reserve in the interim.

 

It is recommended that Council give public notice of the draft Plan of Management and invite submission for a period of not less than 42 days.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1????????? That Council note the reclassification proposed by the draft Plan of Management for the Adin Street Reserve to ?General Community Use?.

 

2???????????????? That Council give public notice of the draft Plan of Management for the Adin Street Reserve and invite submissions for a period of not less than 42 days.

?

3???????????????? That a report comes to Council with details of the submission for the draft Plan of Management.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The Local Government Act 1993 requires Council to give public notice of the draft Plan of Management and to invite submission for a period of not less than 42 days. There are no options in this respect.

 

The Master Plan provides for the relocation of holiday vans onto the area of land currently designated as cricket field as part of the redevelopment of the caravan park. It is proposed that the park operator will lease this part of the Reserve under a long term tenure. The use of the reserve for this purpose is not consistent with the core objectives of the ?sportsground? sub categorisation. To implement the Master Plan the categorisation must be changed.

 

The Local Government Act 1993 provides that community land may only be leased or licensed if the Plan of Management for the land expressly authorises such tenure. (s43 (1) (b) LGA 1993).

DISCUSSION:

 

Council resolved to adopt the Scotts Head Master Plan after a lengthy consultation process.

 

The Master Plan provides inter alia for the redevelopment of the Adin Street Reserve which is owned by Council and classified as community land with a sub categorisation as sportsground.

 

The proposed use of the Adin Street Reserve under the Master Plan is not consistent with the core objectives of the sub categorisation of ?sportsground?.

 

The sub categorisation of ?general community use? is required to enable implementation of the Master Plan.

 

The draft Plan of Management addresses two specific issues over and above the ongoing management of the reserve and the implementation of the Master Plan.

 

1????????? The recategorisation of the land to ?general community use?. Section 36I of the Local Government Act details the core objectives of the categorisation, being to:

 

??????????? ?promote, encourage and provide for the use of the land, and to provide facilities on the land, to meet the current and future needs of the local community and of the wider public:

 

??????????? (a)??? in relation to public recreation and the physical, cultural, social and intellectual welfare or development of individual members of the public, and

 

??????????? (b)?? in relation to purposes for which a lease, licence or other estate may be granted in respect of the land (other than the provision of public utilities and works associated with or ancillary to public utilities).?

 

2????????? Specific authorisation of leasing of part of the Reserve. The proposed long term tenure of part of the reserve to the Caravan Park operator must be specifically addressed and authorised by the Plan of Management.? In this respect sections 46, and more particularly 47 stipulates the requirements for leasing and licensing of community land. These provisions, including public notification of a proposed lease will be applied in due course. The starting point however is to ensure that the Plan of Management makes provision for the proposed lease.

 

Comments provided by Councillors Flack and Court are listed below:

 

Comments in regard to Draft PoM for Adin Street Reserve from Cr Flack

Page Number

Proposed Changes/Comments/Questions

Staff Response

3

paragraph 3

Suggest greater detail of or reference to community involvement

Inserted new paragraph 5

3

paragraph 3

Suggest a brief overview of the history of the matter particularly the change of sub category from sports ground to general community use

Inserted new paragraph 3

3

Paragraph 4

Query previous deferred motion to rename oval to Johnny Wallace Oval ( from ordinary meeting of 31/12/2009). Should this be considered as part of the current revision of the plan f management

This aspect has not been addressed the current draft as the previous motion referred to the renaming of the sport oval. As the Reserve is no longer a sports filed the matter has not been included in this process.

5

Paragraph 4.2.1

Suggest reference to management of land by CoM pursuant to Master Plan and in accordance with the PoM

Inserted new paragraphs 1 and 2

5

 

 

4.2.2

Query on management of Reserve by more than one CoM. How will this be managed

 

Suggest that representative from each CoM be on other CoM

Included annexure 1 showing demarcation of area of responsibility for each CoM


 

5

Paragraph 4.2.3

Suggest reference to specific legislation controlling use of Reserve for camping

The historical use of the reserve for camping has not been compliant with the regulations. (ie illegal)

 

Prohibition of camping outside of the Holiday park (and lease area) was considered in a first draft of the plan.

Given the long standing use of the Reserve for this purpose. However the use of the Reserve for peak season camping allows camping but only in accordance with the current requisition. This will mean that the CoM will need to provide suitable amenities /toilets/car spaces? as a condition of allowing camping on the reserve.

 

Inserted reference to the relevant legislation

6

 

Table 1

First row

Suggest Land conservation be referred to as ?Environmental Management?

Amendment made

 

Amend reference to ?natural fauna and flora? to ?native??

Amendment made

 

Suggest that assessment of the objective ? Protection and enhancement of the areas of native flora and fauna ? is not consistent with the objective.

Amendment made ? reference to termite treatment deleted as not part of Councils practice in any event.

 

Suggest map existing native veg and in particular hollow bearing trees

No amendment made as Parks & Reserve supervisor advises that there are insufficient resources available to conduct this study

 

Suggest replacement of lost hollows (ie from fallen limbs, trees removed etc) with appropriately sized nesting boxes.

Parks & Reserves supervisor advises that he is not aware of any such hollows but that installation of nesting boxes is potentially feasible. No amendment made to draft at this stage

 

Suggest provision for control of intruded pest species weeds and feral animals

Inserted ?Periodic inspection and assessment of pest species and feral animal encroachment onto Reserve?

Second row

Should gross pollutant traps be provided

No amendment made as considered part of Master plan works

Fourth row

Suggest lease should be agreed and in place before PoM is adopted.

The PoM simply authorises a lease arrangement. Section 47 of LGA requires a further consultation process for the granting of a lease.

 

LPMA advise that they require details of the provision for leasing under the PoM before they can produce a business plan for a prospective lease

8

table 1 cont?d

Prohibition of animals on the Reserve should include companion animals

Noted. Amendment made

9

Suggest notation to the? effect the CoM must also abide by the PoM

Noted. Amendment made

10

Table 2 row 2

Note: strongly oppose the removal of any mature native tress top undertake proposed work. The PoM should state that the works be designed in such a way as to retina all existing mature native trees.

Noted. Amendment made

Row 3

PoM should include preparation of a village green planting plan

Query what a?? ?consolidated tree planting? is

Noted. Amendment made

Row 4

Relocate and expand amenities should include reference to an intention to wherever possible apply sustainable principles into any upgrading works ie water tanks, solar and passive lights auto turn off taps

No amendment made as this aspect forms part of council responsibilities under the LGA council charter at section 5

12

Para 4.5.3

Suggest clarify the current use of the land. Reference to a grassed parcel does not reflect the many mature tress situated on the Reserve

Noted. Amendment made

Page 13

Para 5

Future use should reference the leased area as well as the general community use area

Noted. Amendment made

5.1

Suggest future development controls reference the Master Plan and LGA

Noted however no amendment made. Reference is made to the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005

Para 6

Suggest reference to relevant legislation controlling camping on the Reserve

Noted. Amendment made

 

Suggest any Reserve use fees should be set in consultation with CoM

Noted. Amendment made

Para 6.1

Suggest greater explanation of the tendering process for leasing etc

Noted. No amendment made as intention of section is to highlight that a further process is required and regulated in the event of leasing all or part of the Reserve

7

Approval for activities on the land

Council resolved on 16 April 2009 (1154/09) that: In relation to camping on Adin Street Reserve, that every year Council request a copy of the public liability insurance for the Scripture Union Mission with Council to be noted as an interested party.

 

Any leasing arrangements for activities on the available community land ie that not leased by LPMA, should require demonstration of adequate and appropriate insurance cover for the activity to be undertaken.

 

14

Query why this section is an annexure to the PoM

This is an attempt to improve the functionality of PoM generally. The annexure includes a class of content standard to all PoM. Rather than the operative provision of the plan.

Implementation heading

Suggest that a more positive slant be used in this paragraph.

Noted and amendments made

Management principles

Strongly agree

 

15

Natural heritage heading

Seek reference to Council rather than General Manager

Noted amendment made

Climate heading

Should acknowledge State Government Sea Level rise predictions and also storm surges

 

Flora heading

Should refer to ?native? rather than ?Natural?

Noted amendment made

Fauna heading

Suggest reference to ? existing native vegetation in and adjacent to reserve? rather than reference to just the mature trees

Noted amendment made

 


Comments in regard to Adin street Reserve PoM from Cr Court

Summary of comments received verbally

Page Number

Proposed Changes/Comments/Questions

Staff Response

General

Suggest that reference to sports field generally be deleted as no longer a consideration in light of the Master Plan

Noted. Plan amended accordingly

General

Suggest that a new COM be established as the current COM (Scotts Head Junior sports club COM) is more concerned with the Buz Brazel sports field not the Adin street Reserve

Noted. Amendment made

15

Flora heading

Reference to flora on the reserve is not complete need to cite the broader range of native and endemic trees in and adjacent to he Reserve

Noted.? Amendment made

 

 

Comments below are in regard to Adin Street Reserve PoM from Cr Court

Received 24 July 2011 after closing period - Property Officer on annual leave and no staff comment provided however can be amended at the close of Public consultation

 

Section

Proposed Changes/Comments/Questions

Staff Response

4.2.3

Remove first and third paragraphs.? The Adin Street Reserve Committee of Management will, in conjunction with Council, make decisions re camping

 

A section relating to the formation of the Committee of Management should precede the first section where it is mentioned. Note that the committee previously looking after this area now looks after Buz Brazel Oval

 

 

 

 

 

Noted. Amendment made

4.4

Under Management Issue ? Economic ? Objectives and Performance Targets

 

?Raise additional funds by permitting some overflow camping adjacent to relocated semipermanents?.

 

The term ?additional? has been used as funding from the lease income should be available for community areas of Scotts Head

Under ?Income? ? delete? Council to set fees for major events?.

Replace: ?Provide and maintain sporting fields and facilities?? with ?Maintain unleased portion of Adin St Reserve?.

 

And, in the next column, for the second sentence, delete ?of field? and delete the next two sentences as the Tennis Courts are looked after by a separate Committee of Management.

 

Delete: ?Emergency Use? and associated objectives etc

 

Under ?Social?, delete ?Reserve keep maintained and clean for events?. The Reserve should be kept clean and well maintained always. And, have the Committee of Management up next to Council under Responsibility.

 

Under Management, delete ?Establish and maintain a Committee of Management for the tennis facility. This committee already exists.

 

4.6.2

Please update zonings.

 

4.6.3

Under Active Recreation, change ?compliment to complement.

 

Annexure

14

Include with Funding for management of the Reserve the fact that the lease will be a major source of revenue.

 

15

Flora heading

Reference to flora on the reserve is not complete need to cite the broader range of native and endemic trees in and adjacent to he Reserve

Noted? Amendment made

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

?????????????? General Manager

?????????????? Manager Assets

?????????????? Manager Business Development

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The recommendations do not give rise to any environmental issues.

 

Social

 

The recommendations do not give rise to any social issues which have not already been considered in detail during the process of drafting and adoption the Master Plan.

 

Economic

 

The draft Plan of Management provides for the long term tenure of part of the reserve. The proceeds of the tenure will assist in the ongoing management of the Reserve. Similarly the Master Plan identifies the continued operation and development of the caravan park is crucial to the economic viability and health of the Scotts Head township generally.

 

Risk

 

The recommendations do not affect the risk profile for the Reserve.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

The grant of a long term tenure will assist in the ongoing management of the Reserves.

 

The draft Plan includes cost estimates for ongoing maintenance. The cost of implementation of the Master Plan has not been considered in this report.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

The recommendations do not require access to or a variance in working funds.

 

 

Attachments:

1View

?- CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - DRAFT Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

 

??


Ordinary Council Meeting - 4 August 2011

Amended Draft Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

 

 

 

 

 

Placeholder for Attachment 1

 

 

 

Amended Draft Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENT - DRAFT Plan of Management - Adin Street Reserve, Scotts Head

 

??Pages

 

?


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.1????? SF1589??????????? 040811???????? DA's and CDC's Received and Determined under Delegated Authority to 22 July 2011

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Barbara Parkins, Executive Assistant ????????

 

Summary:

 

For Council?s information, below are listed Development Applications and Complying Development Applications received by Council and applications determined under Delegated Authority.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the Development Applications/Complying Development Applications received and determined under delegated authority.

 

 

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS RECEIVED TO 22 JULY 2011

 

DA Number

Application Date

Applicant/Owner

Development

Address

Estimated Value

2011/117

12/07/2011

Nambucca Bakery Caf?/ Hong Hoang

Alterations to Industrial Shed

Lots 90 & 91 DP 826617 & Lot 95 DP 1041228, 5-9 Kylie Street, Macksville

200,000

2011/118

13/07/2011

Alan Rudge Architects/ D Spalding

Commence Aqua Bubble Business and Erect Shade Sail

Lot 7002 DP 1064231, Bellwood Park, Riverside Drive, Nambucca Heads

0

2011/119

14/07/2011

Mick Brooks Building Designs/ R & S Edwards

Rural Dwelling & Decomission existing dwelling to a 10b

Lot 3 DP 1098738, 16 Mitchells Road, Valla

700,000

2011/120

22/07/2011

Virginia Howell

Residential Dwelling & demolition of existing

Lot 3 Section 12 DP 758749, 10 Parkes Street, Nambucca Heads

450,000

2011/121

22/07/2011

Perry Homes/ D&M Kearlsey

Dwelling-House

Lot 42 DP 1149595, Timbertop Circuit, Valla

329,000

 

 

 

COMPLYING DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS RECEIVED TO 22 JULY 2011

 

DA Number

Application Date

Applicant/Owner

Development

Address

Estimated Value

2011/629

18/07/2011

William Dolphin Pools/Noonan

Swimming Pool

Lot 2 DP 1046366, 19 Alfred Close, Nambucca Heads

93,280

 


DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS/COMPLYING DEVELOPMENTS AND MODIFICATIONS DETERMINED UNDER DELEGATED AUTHORITY TO 22 JULY 2011

 

CONSENT/ DA

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

DEVELOPMENT DETERMINED

EST VALUE $

2011/098

Lot 51 DP 825987, 554 Gumma Road, Gumma

Garage

11,450

2011/102

Lot 38 DP 755562, Eungai Creek Road, Eungai Creek

Shed

15,000

2011/107

Lot 128 DP 1039015, 14 Thornbill Glen, Nambucca Heads

Awning

4,000

2011/101

Lot 23 DP 1116110, 20 Sharwill Drive, Valla

Retaining Wall

10,000

2011/109

Lot 46 DP 228703, 97 Ocean View Drive, Valla Beach

Patio Cover

10,200

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

?


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.2????? SF1589??????????? 040811???????? Outstanding DA's greater than 12 months, applications where submissions received not determined to 22 July 2011

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Barbara Parkins, Executive Assistant ????????

 

Summary:

 

In accordance with Council resolution from 15 May 2008 meeting, the development applications listed below are in excess of 12 months old (Table 1) (none are in excess of 12 months old).

 

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

 

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

 

 

Recommendation:

 

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

 

 

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

 

DA NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED/
STAFF COMMENTS

2011/011

01/02/2011

13 Lot Large Lot Residential Subdivision plus new road

Lot 1 DP 1087301, Wirrimbi Road, Newee Creek

? Entrance to property compromised

? Traffic concerns

? Co-ax cable underneath subdivision

? Protection of natural waterways and erosion and siltation

? Area floodprone

? Fire hazard concerns with bushland

Concerns will be addressed when assessing the application

Additional information received from applicant and referred to DECCW (Office of Water) 23/05/2011.

Still waiting on advice from DECCW.

Response received from RFS requesting additional information. Applicant advised accordingly.

Applicant has submitted the information which will be referred to the RFS for further assessment

 

 


 

DA NO

DATE OF RECEIPT

PROPOSAL

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION

SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED/
STAFF COMMENTS

2011/053

18/03/2011

16 Unit Residential Dwellings & Associated Landscaping, Driveway and Communal Areas

Lot 1 DP 1108420, 17-23 Piggott Street, Nambucca Heads

? Use of open space area

? Loss of views

? Traffic issues

? Water run-off and drainage

? State of the road surface

? No footpaths

 

Additional information received 18/4/11.

Second referral provided to Engineering Department to address drainage issues.

Further additional information required from applicant.

Still awaiting flood study information from applicant.

The applicant has advised the information will be submitted by 29 July 2011.

 

2011/090

27/05/2011

2 x Shade Sails

Lot 83 DP 228703, 128 Ocean View Drive, Valla Beach

? Concern with drainage run off

Amended plans to be submitted by the applicant Adjoining owner notification ended 23 June 2011

Some information received 8 July 2011.

Footings are in the sewer easement ? applicant advised to revise plans or withdraw the DA

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report. ?


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.3????? SF1120??????????? 040811???????? Report on Rural Financial Counselling Service for 2010

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Coral Hutchinson, Manager Community and Cultural Services ????????

 

Summary:

 

The Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW was established in 1992 to foster sustainable economic development in the rural sector. The service includes financial counselling to assist people in rural industries to deal with the stresses of natural and economic change.

 

Nambucca Shire Council has been an active supporter of the service via a small budget allocation to assist with the operation of the service and in recognition of the importance of our rural sector. Mr Terry Pearce, the current Rural Financial Counsellor is based in Macksville, with offices in Matilda Street. The office covers the region from Halfway Creek (north of Woolgoolga) to Port Macquarie.

 

Council is now in receipt of the 2009-10 Northern Region Annual Report which provides information on outcomes, numbers of clients, issues dealt with, and other information of interest to Council.

 

The Service thanks Council for its continued support.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the availability of the 2009-10 Annual Report for Rural Financial Counselling Services NSW ? Northern Region, and the key issues dealt with by the Service?s Macksville office.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

No options are being presented as the report is for information.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The report to the AGM from Mr Terry Pearce, the Rural Financial Counsellor based in Macksville is attached at the end of this report.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Rural Financial Counsellor

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Nothing identified.

 

Social

 

Nothing identified.

 

Economic

 

Nothing identified resulting from this report, however a viable rural economy is the main rationale for continuing to support this service.

 

Risk

 

Nothing identified.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

An allocation of $3,800 is included in Council?s 2011-2012 budget.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Nothing required.

 



Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 4 August 2011

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 9.4????? SF934????????????? 040811???????? Conflict of Interest Provisions for Council Accredited Certifiers

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Phillip Gall, Manager Health and Building ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council has been provided with the Building Professionals Board?s preferred approach to addressing the potential risks associated with conflict of interest when dealing with the issuing of Construction Certificates associated with Council projects or staff of Council.

 

Council accredited Building Surveyors are currently exempt under section 66(1)(c) of the Building Professional Act 2005 and Clause 18A of the Building Professional Regulation 2007 when carrying out certification work on applications for works by other Council employees and where the Council is the applicant for the works.

 

The preferred approach is for larger developments with a Capital Investment Value (CIV) of more than $5 million then Council would need to engage an independent certifying authority to certify the works.

 

The CIV has been selected to be consistent with the definition in the Major Development SEPP as it relates to development values that can be dealt with by Council before matters are referred to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). The CIV value is not considered to be a true reflection of the Construction Certificate costs of a project where there may be high infrastructure costs associated with any particular development project.

 

Comments on the preferred approach are to be submitted by Friday 5 August 2011.