NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

 

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

 

1??????? APOLOGIES

2??????? DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST ?

3??????? General Manager Report

9.1???? Organisation Review Report

4??????? Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1?? Discussion Papers - Swimming Pools Act and Planning System Review

10.2?? Request for Restriction on Use to allow for the removal of a tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent

10.3?? Walking Track Nambucca River to Shelly Beach. Emergency Evacuation Plan Wellington Drive

5??????? Director Engineering Services Report

11.1?? Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Production

11.2?? Paveline Patching Machine - Operation

11.3?? Use of Council Owned Land as Laneway Access? - Lot C DP 420534 Wallace Street Macksville? ???

?????????

Time

Description

Where

OS/CC

Item

Page

08.30 ? 8.35

Introduction of the new Rates Officer

CC

 

 

8.35 -8.45

Monitoring of energy consumption and greenhouse gas production

CC

11.1

91

8.45 ? 9.00

Paveline truck

OS

11.2

95

9.00 ? 9.15

Swimming Pool Act - Discussion Paper

Planning System Review - Discussion Paper

CC

10.1

46

9.15 ? 10.00

Organisation Review

CC

9.1

4

10.00

Morning Tea

CC

 

 

10.15

Use of Council Owned Land as Laneway - Lot C DP 420534 - Wallace Street Macksville

OS

11.3

97

10.45

Request for Restriction on Use to allow for the removal of a tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent

and

OS

10.2

72

 

Walking Track & Emergency Evacuation Wellington Headland Nambucca Heads

OS

10.3

78

1.00

Lunch

CC

 

 

 

 

 


NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST AT MEETINGS

 

 

Name of Meeting:

 

Meeting Date:

 

Item/Report Number:

 

Item/Report Title:

 

 

 

I

 

declare the following interest:

????????? (name)

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

For the reason that

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

Council?s Email Address ? council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au

 

Council?s Facsimile Number ? (02) 6568 2201

 

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

 


Definitions

 

(Local Government Act and Code of Conduct)

 

 

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

(Local Government Act, 1993 section 442 and 443)

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

??????? ?


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1????? SF1653??????????? 150212???????? Organisation Review Report

 

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

 

Summary:

 

The report responds to the findings of the Organisation Review Report.

 

Because of the scope of the Organisation Review and the affect of major expenditure decisions on other recommendations and the organisation structure chart generally, it is recommended that Council first consider whether it wishes to retain a senior management structure comprising two (2) Directors or revert to the previous structure comprising three (3) Directors.

 

It is considered that Council?s financial sustainability has to take priority and for this reason it is recommended that Council retain a senior management structure comprising two Directors and that a further report come to Council on an organisation structure to give effect to this.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1??????? That Council retain a senior management structure comprising two Directors and that a further report come to Council on an organisation structure to give effect to this and the remaining aspects of the organisation review.

 

2??????? That Council discontinue the General Purpose Committee meeting in favour of holding two Council meetings per month, one of which would commence at 3.00pm to allow for inspections.? The other Council meeting would commence at the normal time of 5.30pm.

 

3??????? That Council?s meeting schedule be changed from the first and third Thursdays of each month, to the second and fourth Thursdays.

 

4??????? That training be conducted for all supervisory staff in performance management and undertaking performance appraisals.

 

5??????? The performance appraisal system be re-modelled.

 

6??????? That the General Manager and all management staff participate in a leadership development program.

 

7??????? The existing staff recognition program be replaced with a system which has more awareness and support from staff.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can decide to have a senior management structure comprising two Directors or three Directors.?

 

The most likely scenario for the retention of two Directors is either through:

 

A.?? Making the position of Director Environment & Planning redundant or,

 

B.?? Retaining the status quo, ie no Director Corporate Services.

 

In weighing up the opportunity cost of this expenditure (say $160,000 per annum) Council needs to appreciate its overall financial situation and the calls for funding which will be forthcoming.

 

Our Asset Management Plans Summary indicates the Council should be spending about $2.12m per annum on sealed road rehabilitation and resealing when in fact we only spend about $1.23m per annum.? Similarly Council has about 44 bridges which are rated as being in either poor or very poor condition.? These condition ratings mean that the bridges need close monitoring and attention because of the potential for failure or they have already failed or failure is imminent.? The bridge replacement program for 2012/2013 lists the replacement of three bridges (Lavertys, Factory and Touts) at a combined cost of $940,000, all funded from loans.? This compares with the funding available in 2011/2012 to replace only one bridge at a cost of $325,000.? Another bridge replacement was grant funded (natural disaster funding).

 

Our estimated asset renewals ratio which currently sits at 0.84, whilst substantially improved, is still unsustainable.? That is, the Council?s assets are depreciating at a faster rate than they are being renewed.? For this reason, in the 2008 Fiscal Star review on Financial Sustainability of the Existing Financial and Infrastructure Policies of NSW Councils, this Council was determined to be ?unsustainable?.

 

Similar concerns were recently expressed by Council?s Auditor who said that;

 

?Council should aim to ensure infrastructure spending keeps pace with ?wear and tear? and Council should seek to improve its asset condition ? Infrastructure management will need to be a continued focus for Council in the long term and reflected in its Integrated Planning and Reporting.? (page 8 of Forsyth?s Audit letter dated 23/11/2011).

 

If Council retains two Directors so as to achieve enhanced funding of its asset renewals, senior management will have a more operational focus and be less likely to achieve the stated outcome sought by Council being to, ?take the time to really observe what service is actually being delivered?.

 

The trade off between maintaining assets and the capacity of senior management is a matter which Council needs to determine.? Additional expenditure on salaries will mean less expenditure on assets which in turn will certainly mean some more difficult and publicly unpopular decisions in the future.

 

The decision may also have an impact on Council?s Special Rate Variation application which has to be lodged before 24 February 2012.? IPART will assess Council?s application against 5 criteria, one of which is, ?an explanation of the productivity improvements and cost containment strategies the council has realised in past years, and plans to realise over the proposed special variation?.

 

It is considered that Council?s financial sustainability has to take priority and for this reason it is recommended that Council retain a senior management structure comprising two Directors and that a further report come to Council on an organisation structure to give effect to this.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Because of the scope of the Organisation Review and the affect of major expenditure decisions on other recommendations and the organisation structure chart generally, it is recommended that Council first consider whether it wishes to retain a senior management structure comprising two (2) Directors or revert to the previous structure comprising three (3) Directors.

 

Once this decision is made a further report will come forward dealing with the remaining aspects of the Review.

 

Background

 

Council considered a report on its organisation structure at its meeting on 30 June 2011.? It was resolved that:

 

?1.????? That Council adopt the revised organisation structure as an interim measure.

 

2.?????? 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.

 

3.???????? That Bellingen Shire Council be advised that Nambucca Shire Council is undertaking this work.

 

4.???????? That expressions of interest be obtained from suitably qualified organisations?.

 

Subsequently on 15 September 2011, the Council engaged the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW to conduct the independent organisation review.? The brief to the consultants listed the following issues for consideration:

 

?????? ?Overall staffing levels across the organisation

?????? Span of control for Managers and Directors

?????? Allocation of responsibilities and removal of any duplication

?????? Adequacy of staffing levels to address governance functions

?????? Opportunities to increase efficiencies and make savings

?????? Restructuring options across the organisation with possible redundancies (forced or voluntary)

?????? Suitability of remuneration packages for management positions

?????? Increase in FBT liability arising from the packaged vehicles for management positions?.

 

The independent organisation review is the conclusion of a process which commenced on 12 May 2011 when the Council adopted its draft 2011-2012 budget and management plan for exhibition.? It will be recalled that to present a close to balanced budget, Council had to reduce reserves and staffing levels and defer a number of capital items.? The major changes recommended by Council?s management to the initial draft were:

 

?????? Deferral of replacement of the footbridge over Deep Creek at Valla Beach (saving $600,000).? Repairs to the bridge were subsequently undertaken in lieu of replacement.

?????? Sale of one of Council?s three graders and reducing the organisation structure by two positions (saving $200,000).? The sale of the grader was subsequently reversed when the budget was adopted.

?????? Deferral of the next stage of the Works Depot upgrade (saving $200,000).

?????? Deletion of all capital expenditure on the Saleyards (saving 282,500).

?????? Replacing Weekes Bridge on South Arm with a single lane bridge instead of the planned two lane structure (saving $150,000).

?????? Deletion of all proposed strategic town planning consultancies including a revitalisation strategy for Macksville, reviewing and ground truthing of vegetation mapping and a rural lands strategy (saving $150,000).

?????? Deferral of planned replacement of Bellwood Park toilets (saving $150,000).

?????? Deletion of proposed Council expenditure on Regional Roads (saving $150,000).

?????? Deletion of funding for the Director of Corporate Services (saving $143,000).

?????? Deferral of the proposed rehabilitation of Tuna Street, Valla Beach (saving $132,000).

?????? Deletion of footpath sweeper and replacement of the Bridge Crew truck (saving $120,000).

?????? Deletion of proposed transfer to a pool replacement reserve (saving $119,000).

?????? Deletion of a transfer to the plant replacement reserve (saving $90,300).

?????? Deferral of planned expansion of the Nambucca Heads and Macksville cemeteries (saving $90,000).

?????? Deletion of a provision for clearing the Macksville (East Street) drain (saving $50,000).

?????? Deletion of proposed changeover from the Merit Customer Request System to the Authority Customer Request System so as to provide integration with Trim (saving $39,300).

?????? Reduction in allocation for PC replacement (saving $15,000).

 

Given these serious budgetary pressures, Council resolved to seek expressions of interest from its staff for voluntary redundancy so as to reduce the organisation structure by at least 2 persons.

 

Council subsequently negotiated offers of voluntary redundancies for the following positions:

 

?????? Labourer

?????? Site Leader Parks and Reserves

?????? Manager Planning and Assessment

 

Following the voluntary redundancy process, other opportunities for change to the organisation structure have arisen through resignations and Council?s decision not to renew its membership of the Clarence Regional Library.? The recent resignations relate to the following positions:

 

?????? Rates Officer

?????? Payroll Officer

?????? Property Officer

?????? Senior Health and Building Surveyor

?????? Manager Health and Building

?????? Cadet Accountant

?????? Cadet Engineer

?????? Ranger

 

2011 Organisation Review Report - Findings

 

Whilst the brief is primarily concerned with the organisation structure, the Report does not limit its findings to organisation structure alone.? The reason provided for this is that, ?the process has identified a number of other significant changes to be made to allow the council to truly commit to the path of sustainability? (page 60).

 

The following is a commentary on the reports findings.

 

1.? Introductory Information ? pages 14 - 16

 

There is no comment on the introductory information.

 

2.? Council Organisation and Employees ? pages 17 - 20

 

Notwithstanding the comments about poor morale, the report notes that retention rates of staff appear to be high, ?with 43% of the current employees holding tenure of over 10 years?? An Employee Survey was undertaken in 2009 and found that 61 percent of respondents said they would like to be working for Nambucca in 5 years time, with 19% saying no or unsure.?

 

On page 17 of the report it wrongly refers to a Group 11 Council being defined as, ?a developing LGA on the margin of a developed or regional urban centre?.? The report has confused the Australian Classification of Local Government numbering with the Division of Local Government Council grouping numbers.? According to the Australian Classification of Local Government, this Council is defined as Rural, Agricultural, Very Large 10,001 to 20,000 people.

 

3.? Benchmarking of Nambucca Shire Council ? pages 21 - 39

 

It should be noted that the comparison Councils used are not all in the same comparative classification used by the Division of Local Government.? Some of the Councils included in the comparative analysis have substantially larger populations than the Nambucca Valley.

 

3.1? Review Service Charges ? pages 23 - 25

 

The Council sits close to the median in the average rate per assessment for the three rating categories.? It is agreed that Council should investigate opportunities to increase revenue from user fees and charges.? The appointment of a full time Ranger would assist this but there are other opportunities in file retrieval fees and improving revenue from building certification.

 

3.2? Renegotiate repayment terms, offsetting income and borrowing costs ? page 28

 

As discussed in Section 3.3 below, the assessment that Council has, ?high cash savings?, is not supported.? Nonetheless the suggestion that any surplus working funds could be applied to retiring higher interest debt is worthwhile and should be the subject of a report to Council.

 

3.3? Underutilisation of Unrestricted Cash ? pages 29 - 32

 

According to the consultants, ?council has strong working funds and good reserves, making good money on investments, however infrastructure is in need of attention?, (page 31).

 

On page 32 they state that;

 

?Council earns high interest revenue and has apparent cash reserves yet is in a high debt situation.? Based on these observations, the Consultants believe there could be opportunities to explore Council?s sources of revenue and identify efficiencies in Council?s financial management to affect its progress towards sustainability?.

 

Against the benchmarked Councils, Nambucca Shire Council earns 9.93% higher interest revenue than the median of its comparison group and achieves 5.14% more in contributions and donations.? However, it achieves 10.05% less fees for service and 5.71% less in ?other revenues?.? ?Other revenues? include fines, external works and other business activities.

 

There are some explanations for these outcomes.

 

Council was at a cycle in its capital works program for water and sewerage where cash reserves peaked in 2009/2010.? For example the estimated balance in sewerage reserves at 30 June 2010 was $18,122,832 which included $12,000,000 received from the State Government as an interest free loan for the Nambucca Heads Sewerage upgrade.? Now that the works have been completed the estimated balance in sewerage reserves as at 30 June 2012 will have reduced to $2,523,719.?

 

The estimated balance in water supply reserves at 30 June 2010 was $7,435,877 and is forecast to be $8,296,411 at 30 June 2012.? However this will obviously decrease significantly if Council proceeds with the proposed off stream water storage.

 

A factor in Council?s above average performance in contributions and donations is likely to be the success of the Grants Officer position which has been instrumental in securing additional revenue.? The Council as a whole has also been very persistent in chasing down grant opportunities from both the State and Federal Governments.? The promised $10m in Federal funding for the off river water storage and the $12m interest free loan provided for the Nambucca Heads Sewerage Augmentation being two of the more significant examples.

 

A contributing factor to the below average performance in fees for service is likely to be the level of private building certification.? As mentioned by the consultants, the use of a contractor for companion animal management and the difficulty of securing a part time Ranger have likely affected the level of revenue from fines.

 

Council?s budget for 2011/2012 estimates that the balance in the General Fund Reserves (excluding Section 94 funds) as at 30 June 2012 will be $3,091,700.? Of this total $1,254,400 is employee leave entitlements and $592,600 is for the cell construction and rehabilitation at the landfill.? The remaining internally restricted reserves which total approximately $1.2m generally have balances of $200,000 and less and apply to a range of strategically important commitments.? These are elections: office equipment/computer upgrade; Council buildings; plant replacement; land development; domestic waste; the Macksville Aquatic Centre; cemeteries; the Environmental Levy; and the Macksville Saleyards.

 

The only other opportunity Council has to apply cash reserves to infrastructure is to review the level of working funds which it holds.? There is no industry standard in determining the required level of working funds because of the different operational circumstances of councils, eg risk profile including the number and severity of natural disasters, level of unrestricted cash reserves, revenue base etc.? The current policy adopted in 2006 provides that Council holds 10% of general activities rate revenue as its minimum working funds.? This equates to approximately $1.2m.? Given the Shire has suffered 5 natural disasters over the past 3 years, which included Council having to fund the replacement of Deep Creek bridge at a cost of approximately $500,000, a working funds provision of $1.2m is not unreasonable.

 

At the moment Council is operating at a level about $580,000 above this minimum.? Any ?surplus? in working funds which exists at the end of this financial year can be allocated to infrastructure work in the 2012/13 budget.? This will require more diligence in maintaining working funds above the minimum and potentially reduce Council?s flexibility in responding to unexpected costs.

 

On page 31 of the report the consultants make the following remarks:

 

?The 2008 Fiscal Star review on Financial Sustainability of the Existing Financial and Infrastructure Policies of NSW Councils determined Nambucca to be ?unsustainable?.? The same year, a Promoting Better Practice Review undertaken by the Department of Local Government stated Council had a ?current strong cash position and ability to meet unforeseen contingencies. ?. (there was) however a need to adopt a long term strategic plan for future growth within the community?.? This included utilising ?available unrestricted cash resources in strategic projects to provide a coordinated approach to staffing.?? The consultants have not been able to identify where this has taken place?.

 

For the reasons provided, this assessment is not supported.? The assessment of Council?s Auditor is preferred.? In commenting on the audit of accounts for the year ended 30 June 2011, Council?s Auditor said:

 

?After funding both external and internal restrictions Council?s general fund has unrestricted funds of $0.7m (2010: $2.3m) which is considered adequate to cover working capital requirements?

 

The unrestricted ratio excludes all current assets and liabilities that are restricted to specific purposes such as water, sewer, domestic waste management functions and specific purpose unexpended grants and contributions.? This ratio is before setting aside cash to fund internal restrictions relative to the general function.? The ratio of 2.3 as at 30 June 2011 indicates that there is $2.30 of unrestricted current assets for every $1.00 of current liabilities.? The decrease in the ratio compared to the prior year back to similar levels in 2009 was as a result of general fund reserves being utilised to purchase plant as well as road and related infrastructure assets.? Councils ratio of 2.3 compares to the average of 3.84 (2010 data) for category 11 Councils and is lower than the State average of 2.71 (2010 data).? However, a ratio of greater than 2 is considered reasonable.?

 

In summary there is no evidence in the report of Council?s Auditor to indicate that Council had reserves of cash to, ?provide a coordinated approach to staffing?.

 

3.4? Comparison of Service Delivery ? Annual Reports and Financial Statements ? pages 32 - 33

 

The consultants state that Council?s Annual Reports have not been submitted on time since 2006/2007 financial year, the same period over which a Director Corporate Services has not been in place.? The Director Corporate Services left Council?s employment on 6 July 2007.

 

The Annual Report has to be submitted to the Division of Local Government (DLG) by 30 November each year.

 

The DLG requires the Council?s Audited Financial Statements to be submitted to the Division and the ABS by 7 November each year.

 

A review of Council?s records indicates its Annual Report was submitted to the DLG on the following dates:

 

?????? 24 November 2006

?????? 28 November 2007

?????? 28 November 2008

?????? Posted on website on 27 November 2009 but DLG advised by letter on 30/11/2009

?????? 14 December 2010

?????? 30 November 2011

 

Council?s records indicate the Audited Financial Statements were sent to the DLG on the following dates:

 

?????? 21 September 2006

?????? 20 November 2007

?????? 6 November 2008

?????? 3 November 2009

?????? 8 December 2010

?????? 24 November 2011

 

There are a range of factors which have contributed to the timing of Council?s Audited Financial Statements.? These include new requirements imposed by accounting standards; resignations of key staff and in recent years the conversion of Council?s financial software from Fujitsu to Civica?s Authority software.

 

The implementation process for the Authority software commenced in November 2009 and concluded in July 2010.? It has been reported to Council that delays in the financial reporting are continuing due to implementation issues associated with the conversion to the Authority software.? However this wasn?t an issue with the late statements in 2007.? If the resignation of the Director Corporate Services was a factor in the 2007 statements, it wasn?t relevant in 2008 and 2009 when the Audited Statements were completed by the 7 November deadline.

 

Whilst not reported in the Organisation Review Report, there have also been issues in completing the quarterly budget review within 2 months of the end of each quarter (except for the June quarter).? There have been occasions in the past when they have not been completed by the due date.? For example it was reported that the March 2009 quarterly budget review was delayed until Council?s meeting on 17 June 2009, ?due to issues relating to the finalisation of the draft management plan, staff availability and the impact the floods have had on the time for certain responsible officers in providing estimates?.? In 2011 Council did not consider the September quarter budget review until 15 December.? The March quarter budget review was also late being determined on 2 June 2011.? The timing of Council meetings on the third Thursday of the month means that if a budget review report is late for that meeting, the next meeting is not until the first Thursday of the following month.? Moving meetings back to the second and fourth Thursday of each month would provide staff with an additional week to meet the end of month deadline.

 

Whilst additional senior finance staff would always assist the Council meeting its statutory reporting deadlines, the timing of the completion of the Audited Financial Statements and Annual Report over the 6 years indicates a range of factors have caused delays.

 

3.5? Comparison of Service Delivery ? Department of Planning comparatives (DA processing times) ? pages 33 - 37

 

The report notes that the Council sits below the median for DAs determined and above the median for Complying Development Certificates and Subdivision Certificates.? The low level of development is matched by lean staffing.? Until November 2011, Council held 2 full time equivalent staff less than the median comparison group, which is now 3 less with the voluntary redundancy of the Manager Planning and Assessment.

 

It is agreed with the consultants that the low headcount in the Environment and Planning Department at present is reflective of the low level of development.? Whilst they regard the outcome as ?fortunate?, in previous organisation reviews Council has applied itself to ?matching? resources to workload.? There have been significant debates in relation to the non-replacement of town planners and administrative staff.? It is also agreed that as the property sector becomes more active, Council will have to consider increasing resources as otherwise the service level will be adversely affected.

 

3.6 Comparison of Management Structure ? pages 37 ? 38

 

In terms of this Council?s experience it was interesting that, of the 15 councils in the comparison group, five councils operated with 2 directors and seven councils operated with 3 directors.? These two alternatives were the ?norm? for the structure of senior management in the comparison councils.

 


3.7? Comparison of Management and Director remuneration ? pages 38 - 39

 

The Total Remuneration Package (TRP) data for Council?s General Manager, Directors and Managers (except the Manager Planning & Assessment) is $1,558,787.? The median for the TRP data for councils in the comparison group that contributed valid data is $1,594,280.? Therefore Council is very close to the median.

 

4.0? Consultant Findings ? page 40

 

4.1? Positives and Resources in Place ? page 40 - 41

 

The positive comments in relation to the ?small and local? character of the Council translating into Council?s standing as being approachable, being in touch with community issues, and being able to respond more readily is supported.

 

Whilst council amalgamations can achieve efficiency gains through economies of scale, these can be offset by reduced accountability leading to less efficient expenditure.? The operations of this Council are very transparent.? Both Councillors and Council staff are aware of this.? The community has also indicated a reasonable level of support for the performance of the Council in the resident satisfaction surveys.? Similarly the four external stakeholders who were interviewed as part of this report indicated that overall they perceived the service provided by Council to be at a good level.

 

4.2? Stakeholder View ? page 41

 

The four external stakeholders believe the service provided by Council to be at a good level.

 

Their advice was that the Council could more consistently uphold policy and respect staff as experts in their field.? They also believed that the organisation should be more accountable in making timely decisions and not deferring to another authority to determine.? They commented that Council should increase engagement with the community by increasing positive promotion through effective channels.? A priority was also that in order to increase revenue into the Shire, there was a need to raise the portfolios of economic development and tourism.

 

The Local Government Act provides the role of councillors is to:

 

?????? To provide a civic leadership role in guiding the development of the community strategic plan for the area and to be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the council?s delivery program

?????? To direct and control the affairs of the council in accordance with this Act

?????? To participate in the optimum allocation of the council?s resources for the benefit of the area

?????? To play a key role in the creation and review of the council?s policies and objectives and criteria relating to the exercise of the council?s regulatory functions

?????? To review the performance of the council and its delivery of services, and the delivery program and revenue policies of the council

 

Given this role, it is question of judgement for councillors as to how they manage conflict between what a policy might say and what they believe to be the right outcome and similarly the weighting to be attached to staff opinion.? Whilst we have limited time and resources, our system of local government is robust with many checks and balances operating in the open.? Some of the issues Council deals with are technical and in those circumstances there is an obligation on Council staff to convey the information in as plain a language as possible and equally for Councillors to ask questions if they are unsure.

 

The comments in relation to promotion, economic development and tourism are acknowledged.? It is a matter for Council as to the resources to be applied to these functions.? There is no ability to increase resources in these functional areas without reducing resources in other areas.

 

Internal View ? Councillor View ? page 43

 

Councillors are reported as making the following comments:

 

?The workshop participants expressed concern about the level and skills of resourcing within the organisation, based on the view of some community members who believe there are too many staff employed by Council and that it should be more service focused.

 

With regards to skill set, the workshop participants appeared to be especially concerned with the Planning and Assessment Department, where the actual skill level was unclear and the Trainee program appeared to be failing. (note: there is no trainee program in this Department)

 

Workshop participants would like management to be able to take the time to really observe what service is actually being delivered; this includes the General Manager whose job scope was perceived as too heavy to be able to clearly see what is being delivered.

 

The need to become more service focused was expressed with particular reference to the Planning and Assessment Department who appear to have a reputation for being a regulator rather than service provider.? To assist in combating this reputation, the Councillors expressed a desire for more, if not compulsory pre-lodgement meetings for development applications.?

 

The comments partly concern organisational structure as well as perceived cultural and performance issues.

 

The opinion that there are, ?too many staff employed by Council?, is not borne out by the benchmarking in this report.

 

Internal View ? Staff View ? pages 44 - 57

 

Overall, staff communicated that they believed a good level of service is being provided to the community, however the consultants noted that there appeared to be no clear understanding of the organisation?s benchmarks and goals to know how the measurement of ?good? was determined.

 

Similarly it was reported that most feedback from staff stated that the organisation was too reactive, especially on smaller issues which takes the focus from the larger and more significant.? Most staff communicated that they wanted clear and achievable service levels set in consultation with the community.? It was also reported that staff are looking to the elected Council for timely leadership and guidance when difficult decisions need to be made.

 

The view from Council staff does not have to take into account the responsibilities of a councillor under Section 232 of the Local Government Act, particularly in relation to representing the interests of the residents and ratepayers.

 

The differing roles of elected representatives and staff will always mean there will be differences of perspective.? Rather than being a problem, this is a desirable feature of our local government system.? However these differences should be at the margin and not in relation to our mission, values and key policies.

 

It is agreed with the commentary that an improved understanding and acceptance of Council?s financial sustainability and the related issue of service levels should assist in reconciling differences in the perspectives of Councillors and staff.? This will hopefully be an outcome of the integrated planning process.? The suggestion that Council?s financial woes can be fixed by cutting staff, without having any effect on service levels, is not supported by the evidence.? Equally staff have to accept that Councillors have a different role.? Their perception of Councillors avoiding difficult decisions to, ?please a minority of the community?, can be entirely consistent with their responsibility in relation to representing the interests of residents and ratepayers.

 

The staff expressed general concern about the performance management system.? It is proposed that there be training for all supervisory staff conducting performance appraisals.? The format and content of the existing appraisal form should also be reviewed.

 

There was concern expressed in relation to some information technology issues (pages 46 & 47).? Whilst some of the issues raised are relatively minor, there is a more significant issue about smaller councils having the capacity to develop new computer software to its full potential.? It is a resourcing issue and in an ideal world should be an opportunity for shared resourcing between councils.

 

On pages 47 and 48, there are reported complaints from staff about Council?s requirements for business papers.? The consultants comment that Council holds the maximum number of Council meetings in the comparison group, twice the median.? Servicing meetings in terms of preparing agendas and minutes, as well as the attendance of staff and Councillors, is a cost to Council.?

 

Given the comments it is proposed that Council discontinue the General Purpose Committee meeting in favour of holding two Council meetings per month, one of which would commence at 3.00pm to allow for inspections.? The other Council meeting would commence at the normal time of 5.30pm.

 

In addition, to provide a better alignment with end of month statutory reporting deadlines (quarterly report on management plan, quarterly budget review, report on investments and the annual report) it is proposed that Council?s meeting schedule change from the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month to the 2nd and 4th Thursday.? This will effectively provide staff with an extra week to meet those deadlines and help to avoid the instances of overdue reports (elsewhere reported on).

 

The consultant?s found that overall morale for indoor staff is low and that this would be having a significant impact on organisation performance.? Reasons provided for this low morale were increased workloads as other roles have been reduced, staff perceiving little acknowledgement or appreciation of their efforts from Council?s leadership, and a perceived failure to address poor performers or those who exhibit a lack of care for the organisation?s performance.

 

Whilst the consultant?s reference the findings of the 2009 Employee Survey, there is less weight given to its findings than the more qualitative assessment they undertook.? In the 2009 Survey, on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is very low and 5 was high, overall job satisfaction rated a mean score of 3.30.? Forty percent rated their overall job satisfaction as high or very high, as against 18 percent rating it as low or very low.? 61 percent of respondents said they would like to be working for Nambucca Shire Council in five years time, with 19 percent saying no or unsure.

 

An overall employee satisfaction mean of 3.30 is hardly a disaster, but nonetheless there is plenty of room for improvement.

 

The report expresses some reservations about the General Manager?s management style and suggests that a ?deal with everything? management style may be contributing to accountability issues with other staff.? This comment has been taken on board.

 

The consultant?s believe that Council?s current structure is very lean, which is most evident in the volume of overtime claims, lack of staff backup during periods of absence and the removal of the Director Corporate Services position.? Nambucca Shire Council was in the 19th percentile in terms of equivalent full time staff, but served a population in the 56th percentile and had an ordinary expenditure in the 41st percentile.

 

The observations and comparisons do not necessarily demonstrate in absolute terms that this Council operates with the minimum staff.? However there is no evidence to suggest that the Council is overstaffed and indeed when considered in the context of the observations about morale, it would seem Council is approaching the limit as to how far staff resources can be cut whilst maintaining a functioning organisation.

 

More importantly, the Consultant?s findings suggest that other aspects of Council?s operations such as revenue sources and asset management will make a more significant contribution to Council?s financial sustainability and accordingly warrant more attention than calls to cut staff.

 

Recommendation 1:? Adopt more effective communication strategies ? page 60

 

It is agreed that communication strategies can always be improved.? As indicated in the report it is mainly a function of employee time.? For printed material there are also graphic design, printing and postage costs.

 

Considering the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services, there has been a reasonable output of newsletters to the community on the management plan, integrated water cycle management strategy and most recently the proposed special rate variation.? Council?s website has also been progressively improved.? We have also undertaken a resident satisfaction surveys in 2007 and 2010 as well as a youth survey and employee survey.

 

Recommendation 2:? Strategic focus on Organisational Development ? page 61

 

2.1? Performance management for key positions ? page 62

 

Without necessarily agreeing with the tenor of the criticism, it is agreed that performance management across the organisation could be improved.? It is a key responsibility for all supervisory staff, not just senior management.? Whilst there has been significant improvement in performance management over the last few years, the feedback from Council staff and the consultants indicates it is still below par.

 

Accordingly it is recommended that all supervisory staff attend training in performance management so that it is understood and owned by every supervising employee within the organisation.? The format for the performance appraisal system should also be re-modelled.

 

2.2? Workforce plans to focus on risk of retirements ? page 62

 

With an anticipated 30% of the current workforce likely to retire within the next 15 years, there is discussion in the report about the need for succession planning supported by salary packaging, developmental opportunities and other employment benefits.? Whilst this is desirable, there is less consideration of the limited opportunities and costs of delivering this in a smaller organisation.?

 

2.3? Attracting, promoting and retaining good employees ? page 63

 

As discussed, whilst all would agree in the value of providing opportunities for succession for younger employees who show potential, this is difficult to achieve in a smaller, leaner organisation concerned about controlling its costs.

 

It is agreed that the existing staff recognition program be reviewed to develop a system which has more awareness and support from staff than the existing program.

 

2.4? Mitigate risk and report on projects ? page 64

 

The recommendations in relation to the changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

Recommendation 3:? Invest in leadership and training development ? page 65

 

The consultants identified that council appears in need of improved management practices to achieve a culture of accountability and encourage staff empowerment and development, and most importantly effective leadership.? The consultants recommend that a leadership development program, from the General Manager down to Management level as well as high potential employees be sought and committed to.? The consultants believe that such a program should be an effective tool to realise the potential of an organisation and drive change.

 

They acknowledge that such programs can be costly.? By way of example, one of the best known leadership programs is run by Mt Eliza Executive Education, a part of the University of Melbourne.? Its 5 day residential Senior Leadership Program costs approximately $10,000 per person.? The cost to Council of putting the General Manager and all management staff through the program would be in the order of $150,000.? This is clearly beyond the resources of Council.?

 

Enquiries have been made with the Local Government and Shires Associations and the Local Government Managers Association in relation to delivering a leadership program ?in house?.? A quote has been received from the Local Government and Shires Associations for delivering a 4 day in-house leadership program for up to 20 people at a cost of $16,000.? A similar in house program would be used to deliver the training in performance management.

 

Recommendation 4:? Gain mutual respect and understanding for the roles of the elected Council and organisation ? page 66

 

The consultants recommend that:

 

??Councillors and the leadership team meet to discuss existing issues which impact on this relationship and expectations of each other; and workshop how the operational/policy divide affects them for a clear understanding of both parties roles? in the delivery of optimal service to the community?.

 

As discussed an improved understanding and acceptance of Council?s financial sustainability and the related issue of service levels should assist in reconciling differences in the perspectives of Councillors and staff.? This should hopefully be an outcome of the integrated planning process.

 

The consultants also recommend that the number of Council meetings be reviewed.? This has already been identified and agreed with in the recommendations.

 

Recommendation 5:? Ensure a greater focus on risk management ? page 67

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

Recommendation 6:? Improve internal service delivery ? page 68

 

Issues in relation to internal service delivery could be addressed by a Continuous Improvement Program.? The review of processes could occur across Departments and require the documentation of the process, the staff who are responsible and the performance which is required.? The delivery of the program will rely in part on the organisation structure which is adopted, ie whether the Council opts for 2 Directors or 3 Directors as senior management will require time to implement such programs.

 

Recommendation 7:? Adopt a strategic approach to the organisation structure ? page 68

 

The consultants comment that the review of organisation structure should be more strategic and an overall commitment to a sustainable structure should be made.? This recommendation is apparently based on staff concerns about the reactive yet delayed approach to the organisational structure, specifically as a position is vacated, its relevance is reviewed and the fact that this process can take time, impacting on the organisation.

 

The Local Government Act requires that a Council must review and re-determine the council?s organisation structure within 12 months of an ordinary election.? Since August 2009 Council has reviewed its organisation structure on an annual basis.? This is preferred to leaving it for 4 years.? One of the reasons for this is that, unlike other aspects of our operations, the Council has a greater ability to change the allocation of resources and its ?bottom line? performance.? Reducing our asset portfolio (selling halls, saleyards, not replacing bridges etc) is hard and publicly unpopular.? Increasing revenue through special variations is equally difficult.

 

The commentary does not acknowledge that a more static structure, whilst providing greater certainty to staff and more infrequent discomfort in dealing with change, will reduce the Council?s flexibility and authority in responding to change.

 

On page 70 there is discussion about total remuneration packages at this Council varying significantly from the median of the comparison group (both above and below) for some management and director positions.? The report recommends that prior to advertising any management or director positions, that the benchmarking data is reviewed and a TRP range agreed upon to ensure candidates with the appropriate skill set and experience are attracted to apply.

 

The view is not agreed.? Whilst Council participates in the LGSA salary benchmarking, in May 2009 Council engaged Mastertek to provide a much more comprehensive and researched investigation of this Council?s remuneration for its salaried positions.? This is because the LGSA annual salary benchmarking report relies on returns from councils with like jobs and sometimes the sample sizes are quite small.

 

Mastertek were engaged to review all full time roles, with a view to ensuring an ongoing alignment with Council?s philosophy of paying at a minimum of the 25th percentile of the market.? Key findings from the detailed analysis were:

 

?????? Overall, role by role comparisons to relevant market benchmarks suggests NSC?s Total Annual Remuneration (TAR) compares favourably to the market 25th percentile, and on average, is aligned with the market median.

?????? 73% of NSC employees are currently paid at or above the market P25.? Of the remainder (representing 33 employees), the majority fall very close to P25.? Only 4 employees are paid more than 10% below the P25.

?????? Entry level rates for operational roles (grades 3 ? 7) positioned at the market P25.

?????? Salary range maxima for operational roles is well placed against the upper quartile of the market.

?????? Entry level salary rates for Management and Professional roles (grades 8 and above) appear to be below the market P25, highlighting a potential area of concern for NSC.

 

There were 16 positions in total which at step 3 were still below the market P25. Of these, 13 were very close to P25 and it was determined that other benefits provided by Council, particularly in relation to the remuneration packaging of motor vehicles was sufficient compensation for those at the margin.? Corrective action was taken for the remaining 3 positions.

?

Recommendation 8:? Establish a Corporate & Community Services Department ? page 71

 

8.1? Creation of Director Corporate & Community Services position ? page 71

 

Council did not replace the position of Director Corporate Services when the incumbent retired in 2007.? In the first instance there was a trial of the non-replacement of the position.? This was reported to Council?s meeting on 1 November 2007.? A number of criteria were listed for evaluating the trial including the ability to meet statutory deadlines for financial statements and reports and the completion of tasks in the management plan.

 

In November 2007 it was reported that there had been delays in receiving valuations of water and sewerage assets which were required for the annual statements but this problem was unrelated to the Director?s position.? It was also reported that the Finance Section, as a whole, were not resistant to the proposal but were concerned the General Manager could not perform a dual role of expressing the interests of the Corporate Services Department and being arbitrator on all departmental issues.? In this regard the staff felt they had lost participation and influence in organisation actions.? As a consequence of the review the Manager Financial Services attended MANEX meetings to provide specialist input on financial issues.

 

The monitoring of the trial was again reported to Council on 18 December 2008.? It was reported that there had been an issue with delays in completing the June Quarterly budget review and finalising the annual accounts for inspection by the Auditor.? However it was suggested that the resignation of Council?s Accountant earlier in the year was probably a bigger factor in the delays than the non-replacement of the Director Corporate Services.? The report said, ?if the Director is an experienced local government accountant he/she could provide assistance with these statutory processes.? Again it demonstrates the fact there is less contingency or redundancy in the structure?.? In general, the finance staff were reported as being concerned that the available staffing made it difficult to undertake Council?s required statutory reporting.

 

In February 2009 Council resolved to appoint a trainee finance officer to assist with the statutory reporting functions and in time provide some additional capacity in the event of resignations or unplanned leave.? Subsequently in the 2009/2010 budget, provision was also made for an Assets Manager to attend to, amongst other things, the statutory financial reporting for Special Schedule 7.

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

8.2? Achieve compliance in Finance ? page 72

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

8.3? Appoint a Manager Information Technology with a refined scope of responsibilities ? page 75

 

The remuneration for the position has been reviewed and the position has been filled.

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

8.4? Establish a Business Support Unit ? page 75

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

8.5? Raise the profile of Tourism ? page 77

 

The role of NSW local government in tourism is a topic worthy of a lengthy report.? Given the financial pressures on Council it not recommended that additional resourcing be provided to tourism.

 

8.6? Raise the profile of Economic Development ? page 77

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

Recommendation 9:? Refine the service of the Environment & Planning Department ? page 78

 

9.1? Make the position of Director Environment & Planning Redundant ? page 78

 

The consultants recommend the position be made redundant and that the General Manager assume responsibility for the Department so as to satisfy the parameters of the brief, being to ensure, ?no increase in recurrent salary costs to Council?.? However notwithstanding the recommendation, the consultants express reservations about the proposal.? In particular the proposal would require the General Manager take a fairly hands on role in Environment & Planning to mitigate the substantial risks which exist in the Department?s operations.? The outcome would not be dissimilar from the General Manager?s operational responsibilities in the absence of a Director of Corporate Services.

 

Council can reinstate a senior management structure of three Directors at a cost of approximately $150,000 - $160,000 per annum, equivalent to about a 2% rate increase.

 

In weighing up the opportunity cost of this expenditure, Council needs to appreciate its overall financial situation and the calls for funding which will be forthcoming.

 

Our Asset Management Plans Summary indicates the Council should be spending about $2.12m per annum on sealed road rehabilitation and resealing when in fact we only spend about $1.23m per annum.? Similarly Council has about 40 bridges which are rated as being in either poor or very poor condition.? The bridge replacement program for 2012/2013 lists the replacement of three bridges (Lavertys, Factory and Touts) at a combined cost of $940,000, all funded from loans.? This compares with the funding available In 2011/2012 to replace only one bridge at a cost of $325,000.? Another bridge replacement was grant funded (natural disaster funding).

 

Our estimated asset renewals ratio which currently sits at 0.84, whilst substantially improved, is still unsustainable.? That is, the Council?s assets are depreciating at a faster rate than they are being renewed.? For this reason, in the 2008 Fiscal Star review on Financial Sustainability of the Existing Financial and Infrastructure Policies of NSW Councils, this council was determined to be ?unsustainable?.

 

Similar concerns were recently expressed by Council?s Auditor who said that;

 

?Council should aim to ensure infrastructure spending keeps pace with ?wear and tear? and Council should seek to improve its asset condition ? Infrastructure management will need to be a continued focus for Council in the long term and reflected in its Integrated Planning and Reporting.? (page 8 of Forsyth?s Audit letter dated 23/11/2011).

 

The trade off between the level of service provided by staff and asset renewal is properly a question for the elected Council.? A decision to retain a management structure with three Directors instead of two Directors will ultimately affect Council?s capacity to renew and retain its assets.

 

9.2? Review the staffing levels for Planning & Assessment ? page 79

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

9.3? Achieve greater efficiencies within the Health & Building Services Department ? page 80

 

The recommendations in relation to changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

10:? Review resourcing requirements in Engineering ? page 83

 

10.1? Review the level of resourcing in outdoor staff ? page 83

 

The consultants report that Civil Works are not delivering to the management plan timelines due to a lack of staff resources, poor planning, lack of accountability and shifting priorities.? They recommend that the issue of insufficient outdoor staffing levels that drive the capital works program should be addressed immediately.

 

The consultants recommend that the full time equivalent staff and contractor pool for civil works be reviewed and potentially increased through enhanced recruitment and attraction strategies and priorities be adhered to as much as possible in the planned delivery program.

 

Whilst there is no identifiable source of funding to increase the outdoor workforce, Council has previously assessed potential cost savings and efficiency gains through utilising wages staff in lieu of contractors.? This was most recently assessed in relation to contract traffic control.? These reviews should continue.

 

The report indicates that the Manager Civil Works position should have a more, ?project management focused role? and that further efficiencies might be gained within the outdoor staff of the Civil Works team.

 

Proposals for changing the organisation structure will be discussed in a subsequent report.

 

10.2? Centralise the management of Assets ? page 86

 

It is agreed that more resources need to be applied to the collection of asset data.? Council?s Asset Management Plans will only be as good as the available data.? That data currently has gaps and other data needs to be updated.? The Manager Engineering Services proposes to use existing staff, electronic tablets and the existing Reflect software to improve the quality of data on Council?s assets.

 

11.? Continue to pursue shared service options ? page 87

 

Agreed.

 

Additional Suggestions from Employees ? page 88

 

?????? Introduction of electronic tablets for the collection of asset data - agreed

?????? Develop a more efficient land register ? the authority software provides for the linkage of registers with the property system and Council?s GIS.? Other registers are unlikely to achieve this level of linkage.

?????? Council could consider completing more health inspections in house ? agreed and will be the subject of recommendations in a subsequent report.

?????? Council could consider selling the saleyards ? has been investigated and discussions with the Nambucca District Agricultural Association Inc. are continuing.

?????? Council consider leasing more equipment ? may refer to leasing instead of purchasing plant.? Will depend on the level of utilisation.

?????? Establish a business planning forum between the community and organisation ? Council undertook many community forums in 2011.? Manager Business Development also undertakes forum specifically targeted at business.

?????? Review salary packaging to improve attraction rates, such as including rent assistance and training ? this is commented on elsewhere in the report.? Funding is the obvious issue.

?????? Enable all payments to the council to be made over the phone or internet ? This is currently provided for.? Presumably the comment is about requiring all payments to be made over the phone or internet.? Whilst financially desirable there are still a lot of people who prefer to visit the Administration Centre in person to pay their rates and charges.

?????? Centralised purchasing to reduce waste & irresponsible spending ? the Council can?t afford a specialised purchasing officer.? A purchasing officer as such is not going to ?reduce irresponsible spending? but may be able to secure some of our goods and services at a cheaper price.

?????? Review the induction program for an holistic understanding of the organisation from the outset of an employees life with the organisation ? agreed the induction program could be improved with an inspection of Council installations.

?????? Further review the website to increase its user friendliness such as linking fact sheets with acts ? agreed but requires resources.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Council?s staff have been invited to make submissions on the report by 16 January 2012.? Following representations by the United Services Union that this deadline be extended, it was subsequently agreed to extend the period for comment until Friday 10 February 2012.? At the date of preparing this report two submissions had been received which are attached.? Other submissions which are received will also be attached to the report.

 

The report is to be considered by Council?s Consultative Committee and their recommendations will be attached.

 

There has been consultation with the Mayor in relation to the proposal to report on the Organisation Review in two stages, with the first stage to determine the senior management structure.? Because of the impacts of this decision on the remainder of the organisation review it was agreed this occur first.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

To the extent that the organisation review allocates resources to Council?s functions it does potentially impact on the Council?s environmental performance.

 

Social

 

The Council is one of the largest employers in the local government area and decisions to make positions redundant and particularly forced redundancies will have a social impact.

 

Economic

 

There are no significant economic implications.

 

Risk

 

There are potential industrial issues with the Organisation Review Report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Unless Council opts to maintain an organisation structure with two Directors, it is impossible to include a Director Corporate Services at a salary package of approximately $160,000 per annum without substantially increasing Council?s operating costs.

 

The recommendations identify approximately $30,000 in training costs.? With the Council elections occurring in September 2012 and the requirement for induction training, there will be a need to increase Council?s training budget in the 2012/2013 operating plan.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

There is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

1View

36076/2011 - Submission - Safety and Risk Officer

 

2View

731/2012 - Submission? - Cr M Moran

 

3View

2483/2012 - Submission - Manager Business Development

 

4View

2762/2012 - Submission - Beach to Bush Animal Control

 

5View

2961/2012 - Submission - Terri Brown

 

6View

2953/2012 - Submission - Rhys Edwards, Area Health and Building Surveyor

 

7View

3028/2012 - Submission - DEPA

 

8View

3038/2012 - Submission - Karen Ferris

 

9View

3089/2012 - Subnmission - Jacqui Ashby

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

From:Mark Spry[EX:/O=NSC/OU=NSCDOMAIN/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=MARKS]

To:Michael Coulter[EX:/O=NSC/OU=NSCDOMAIN/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=Michaelc]

Received-Date:20111222

Received-Time:11:21:12 PM

Sent-Date:20111222

Sent-Time:11:21:12 PM

Subject:FW: Organisational Review

 

Michael,

 

Local Government Management Solutions made a recommendation of moving the position of Safety and Risk Officer to the Engineering Department.  I don't believe they understood the full scope of the role when making the recommendations.  It appears their understanding of the role is that it focuses entirely on OHS. 

 

I am not aware of any other local government where the Safety and Risk Officer or an OHS Officer's position reports to the Director Engineering Services.  The role of Safety and Risk Officer is often considered regulatory and perceived as a hindrance by the Engineering Services Department.  This often sees the Director Engineering Services and myself in debate over legislation, contractor management, practices and procedures.  There is also regular and often robust debate surrounding risk, insurance, negligence, due diligence, litigation and claims issues.  If the Director Engineering Services had direct authority over this position it would interfere with this process and compromise the roles impartiality. 

 

The report also recommended the General Manager dedicate more time to corporate governance and risk management.  The Safety and Risk Officers role will also overlap some of these areas.

 

Whilst reporting to the Human Resources Manager the position does not unduly burden the manager and at times helps free up time for the manager.  

 

The Safety and Risk Officer's position is intertwined with human resources and corporate services functions and therefore the position should remain under the authority of the Human Resources Manager.

 

Kind Regards

 

Mark Spry

Safety & Risk Officer

Nambucca Shire Council

PO Box 177

Macksville NSW 2447

P: (02) 6568 0266  F: (02) 6568 2201

Email: mark.spry@nambucca.nsw.gov.au

 

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 





General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

Beach to Bush Animal Control

21 Allison Road NSW 2448

ABN 69 521 962 510

 

21 January,2012

 

The General Manager

Nambucca Shire Council

 

 

Subject: Representation Organisation Review- Beach To Bush Animal Control

 

 

Firstly thank you for providing a copy of the Organisational Review and for inviting representations. As a contractor to Council for over 7 years we understand the need to address the Contractor verse Employee question on a regular basis.

 

?Having said this it is also important to ensure that the contractor role and responsibilities is fully recognised.? It is obvious from reading the section relating to what is referred to in the report as ?The Ranger Position?, that the author has very little understanding of? either the Contractor?s or Councils responsibilities or even that the pound is Council owned and operated. There is no indication at all that any staff within council? with? any knowledge of this role was involved and as the holders of the contract we were not approached .

 

In an attempt to ensure that those responsible for any changes to the current situation are? aware of the contract inclusions, a summary of services proved is listed below:

 

???? Provide and maintain a 24 hour direct telephone service to take complaints,

???? Keep a record of all complaints received ? scan CSR?s/Merits into computer, advise council of any follow-up action required, maintain a database and history of all complaints received? this requires 10 hours per week in administration,

???? Keep detailed records/contemporaneous notes of all visits to complaint address?s to instigate further action or to be used for evidence in court,

???? Provide reports to council in relation to animals impounded, sold, destroyed.

???? Enter all dog attacks into the Companion Animal database for reporting to the NSW State government,

???? Respond to all complaints relating to all domestic animals and straying stock ? within 24 hours,

???? Patrol for straying stock, dogs and cats,

???? Attend to all animals held in the council owned pound facility ? this requires daily attendance to feed all animals and clean kennels/cages

???? Maintain pound grounds- this includes providing all equipment eg lawnmower, whipper snipper,

???? Euthanize all animals that have been held for the required period of time in accordance with the Companion Animal Act 1998, dispose of bodies,

???? Microchip all animals prior to leaving the pound and input details into the Companion Animal Register,

???? Monitor, replenish and re-order dog defecating bags,

???? Sell animals from the pound,

???? Take payments and receipt customers for animals released or sold from the pound.

 

In addition to providing these services we? also provide a four wheel drive vehicle with a protective canopy and tie down points suitable for the collection and transportation of dogs and cats. This vehicle travels around 35,000 kms per year.

?This contract needs staffing for 24 hours a day 7 days a week, which requires one full time contract regulatory officer, and one part-time employee regulatory officer to cover days off, sick leave and holidays. One employee admin assistant is also required for 10 hours per week.

 

A complete ?Specification of Work (Services)? can be found as Schedule B of the Regulatory Officer Contract.

 

We hope the above provides some clarification of services provided by Beach to Bush Animal Control and look forward to future discussions with council? in relation to? our existing contract..

 

 

Regards

 

 

Reg Clough & Debra Gersbach

Beach to Bush Animal Control

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

7 February 2012

 

 

 

Ms N Rich

Organiser

United Services Union

Suite 1, 157 Gordon Street

PORT MACQUARIE? NSW? 2444

 

 

 

E-mail:? nrich@usu.org.au

 

 

Dear Ms Rich

 

SUBMISSION IN RELATION TO THE ORGANISATIONAL REVIEW AT NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with a submission to the above organisational review.

 

My position at council is the Engineering Support Officer which is a part time position of 21 hours per week.? I provide administrative support to the department and also maintain Council?s maintenance management system ?Reflect?.

 

My concerns with the organisational review are as follows:

 

Relocation of GIS staff, Safety Officer and Property Officer to the Engineering Department.

 

The administrative support in Engineering consists of myself (part time position) and the Executive Assistant (full time position).? By increasing the Engineering Department by 4 full time staff ? basically by another 25 percent, the administrative requirements of the department would increase significantly.? I am already dealing with a large workload and am quite often struggling to keep up to date with the level of work required.

 

Requests have been made in the past to increase my hours, but I have been advised (through my supervisor) that there is not enough money in the budget to do this.


Business Support Unit

 

Whilst my position has not been highlighted to move into the Business Support Unit initially, it has been brought to my attention that the question of why myself and three other staff members, being the Executive Assistant Engineering, Executive Assistant Corporate Services and the Executive Assistant to the Mayor and General Manager have not been included.

 

I can only assume that by other staff asking this question and bringing attention to a point that they feel is unfair, that I could therefore be included with the staff that will be moved into the Business Support Unit at a later date.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I feel that not enough thought has been put into the recommendations of the organisational review and that it is a knee jerk reaction that is taking place.? I think council would be better off attending to the issues raised in the review to improve working conditions and morale for all staff.

 

I would also like the following questions answered with regards to my points above:

 

??????? Has any thought been put into the need to increase the administrative support function within the Engineering Department and if so, how does Council propose to deal with the extra work load.

??????? Will my position be included in the Business Support Unit?

 

I would like to thank you again for your time.

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

Terri-Anne Brown

ENGINEERING SUPPORT OFFICER

 

CC??? Mr Michael Coulter

????????? General Manager

????????? Nambucca Shire Council


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

Submission to Proposed Organisation Restructure

 

27/01/12

 

Joanne Hudson

Manager Human Resources

Nambucca Shire Council

MACKSVILLE, NSW 2447

 

Dear Joanne,

 

 

Following the recent review of organisation structure and recommendations released by the consultants ?Management Solutions? I would like to submit the following comments:

 

???? I am currently employed as one of two Area Health & Building Surveyors at Council. It is my belief that the proposed restructure of the Environmental Planning Department will have a negative impact on my position for the following reasons

o Increased workload with proposed non-replacement of Senior H&B Surveyor. This means that tasks normally handled by this position will be handed down to the Area Surveyors. This is in addition to an already heavy workload, which has been recognised in the review handed down by Management Solutions. This will result in the slowing down of the approvals process, which may result in lowered public satisfaction levels. An earlier survey of the public identified DA processing times as an area of concern to ratepayer and developers, so this is an area which will be high on the public agenda given the fact that this information is readily accessible online. This has the potential to further tarnish Council?s credibility and may have ongoing financial impacts if applicants seek to elect private certifiers for the issue of Complying Development and Construction Certificates.

o No clear pathway for advancement with the non-replacement of Senior H&B position and potential deletion of Director position. This is in breach of Council?s EEO obligations, as the pathway for promotion and advancement which was clearly delineated at the commencement of employment will be altered to provide obstacles to achievement in this field. For Area H&B officers, the deletion of the senior position will remove the opportunity for experience at this level. With no Director in place, the Manager?s position will become the final step for advancement.

o Limited mentoring by senior staff. The removal of senior H&B will limit access to experience in this field, which will have an impact upon both the conduct of daily work and professional improvement necessary to obtain higher qualifications. Some of these qualifications benefit Council as they will allow Council staff to compete against private certifiers in an increasingly tight and competitive market.

o Limitations to administrative functions due to removal of specialised administrative staff and rotation of admin staff. The removal of staff who are experienced at their particular roles, such as DA processing or On-site Sewage Management Systems, and placement of such staff into a ?pool? type arrangement will unduly impact the processing time for Council functions such as approval, complaint investigation and resolution. Staff who are not familiar with these roles will require training to achieve familiarity with processes and procedures, which will impact upon the time of those staff required to perform training.?

I thank you for the opportunity to place a submission, and trust this will be given consideration during the final organisation structure process.

 

Sincerely

 

Rhys Edwards

Area Health & Building Surveyor

Nambucca Shire Council


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 







General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

Submission in relation to Organisation Restructure

Karen Ferris- CurrentlyRecords Assistant and Rates Officer for 4 years to June 2007

In relation to my current position the changes suggested by the organisational review will be to my Manager. If adopted this would change from the Manager IT to the Business Services Coordinator.This may be a good thing as it will possibly give me more scope for variety in my work. However it is suggested in the consultant?s report that the position be given to a particular person which I disagree with. If positions or jobs change everyone should have the opportunity to apply if they wish.Also would this mean that the public officer for Records will also be the Business Services Coordinator?

In relation to Corporate Services Ihave worked in the Department with a Director and without I currently feel that there is no one running the Department and no one to turn to as a Senior Manager and have felt this way for a long time. In my current position I am shielded from most problems being faced by my colleagues. However having held the position of Rates Officer I fully understand the hardship faced by the recently resigned Rates Officer when software did not perform as it should. Software was implemented shortly before the IT Manager retired and since then staff have been left to work problems out for themselves. Not having a Director as someone to fight on your behalf has been felt by everyone. Corporate Services has also lost key staff since the review was undertaken.? Existing staff are expected to pick up the extra work load placing more pressures on them while this process is undertaken.

In relation the Department of Environment and Planning (DEP) if it hasn?t worked taking the Director away from Corporate Services why would it work swapping what has been done to Corporate Services to DEP. One of the positive things noted in the consultant?s report was the respect held by staff within the building for the Director of DEP, Mr Meyers, and his management ability. Why would it even be a consideration to change one of the only positive things in the report? Why would the consultants even suggest it?? Since this consultancy was undertaken there has been a significant loss of experienced staff within DEP. Once again existing staff are taking up the extra work load.

We mostly have good staff at Council but how much pressure are staff expected to endure. People performing duties in critical positions are finding jobs with better security, conditions and pay and are resigning. .

Management will decide the outcome but as staff we need our Managers to Manage and give guidance when required. Problems need to be dealt with not ignored. Money could be found if across all areas of Council anything undertaken is done once and done right.

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Organisation Review Report

 

?


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.1??? SF42??????????????? 150212???????? Discussion Papers - Swimming Pools Act and Planning System Review

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning ????????

 

Summary:

 

The NSW State Government is currently reviewing the Swimming Pools Act and also the NSW Planning System.

 

A copy of the discussion paper for the Swimming Pools Act and a link to the Planning System Review was circulated to Councillors to assist with discussion and the formulation of a response to both papers should Council resolve to make a submission.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1????????? That Council note the release of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 Review ? Discussion Paper and make a submission as outlined in this report

 

2????????? That Council note the release of the ?Issues Paper of the NSW Planning System Review? and not make a submission

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council could choose to make or not to make a submission to one or both of the discussions paper. However, due to the complexity and potential variation of responses to the questions raised in the Planning System Review no response be made.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

1??????? Swimming Pools Act Review

 

The Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet have released the Swimming Pools Act 1992 Review ? Discussion Paper. Submissions are invited and close on Friday 24 February 2012.

 

The Swimming Pools Act was originally introduced to provide for a level of security to minimize accidental drownings of children under the age of 5 years in backyard swimming pools. Initially the Act required a four-sided child resistant barrier to a prescribed standard to surround most private swimming pools. This included pool fences around pools, securing the windows and door openings from a house or utlising perimeter boundary fencing. The Act originally provided for some exemptions for swimming pools on large properties or properties with water frontage.

 

A number of reviews and amendments have been made since 1992 along with revised Australian Standards, yet the number of backyard swimming pool drownings or near drownings continued to occur and increased.

 

A comprehensive review was undertaken in 2008 which, coupled with recommendations from an unacceptable large number of Coronial? Enquiries have resulted in this Discussion Paper being released.

 

The Discussion Paper (attached) provides a general commentary on the proposed amendments and provides a series of 14 Questions with a Yes, No or Unsure response.

 

Having considered the Discussion Paper it is proposed that a submission be provided with the following responses to each question and also additional comments as provided for after question 14.

 

Responses recommended:

 

Question

Response

Question

Response

1

YES

8

YES with comment

2

NO with comment

9

NO with comment

3

YES with comment

10

YES

4

YES

11

YES

5

YES

12

YES

6

YES

13

YES

7

YES

14

YES

 

Additional comments recommended:

 

Question

Comment

2

The proposed $10 fee for this service to be provided by Council is insufficient and Council?s should be entitled to set an appropriate fee based on a fee for service.

3

Inspections fees for the issue of ?compliance certificates? should be a ?market fee? set by either the Council through its fees and charges, or by a Private Certifier and not restricted by legislation for Council's only.

8

Inspections fees should be a ?market fee? set by either the Council through its fees and charges, or by a Private Certifier and not restricted by legislation

9

This would be another reporting requirement of Council with nothing more than a statistic for the Department. Should this be legislated the information will be distorted as there may be pools that comply, pools that don?t and are required to be upgraded. This will be no different to the useless information that Council has to report to the Department on regarding Onsite Sewage Management Systems inspections. How will Private Certification be caught and tracked, will this be another matter for Local Government to manage and enforce?

 

 

2??????? Planning System Review

 

The Department of Planning released its Discussion Paper on its review of the NSW Planning System in December 2011. The 120 page document is a result of a large number of Community Information and Listening Forums held throughout NSW during the third quarter of 2011 by Mr Tim Moore and Mr Ron Dyer.

 

The discussion paper encapsulate the many questions, issues and matters raised through the community forums, stakeholder meetings, meetings with members of parliament and other submissions.

 

The discussion paper is divided into 6 main chapters as follows:

Chapter A.??? Introduction.?

Chapter B.??? Key Elements, Structure and Objectives of a new Planning System.

Chapter C.??? Making Plans

Chapter D. ?? Development Proposals and Assessment.

Chapter E.??? Appeals and reviews; enforcement and compliance.

Chapter F.??? Implementation of the new planning system.

 

Under each of the above chapters a discussion section on identified topics or issues is provided, followed by a question. There are some 240 questions in the paper to provoke comment and feedback.

 

Chapter D alone, contains more than 50% of the questions with 134, which is understandable considering that Development Proposals and Assessment comes in for the most public scrutiny.

 

Initially, it was considered that a response could be provided to each question raised and presented to Council for consideration. However, due to the current staffing numbers and workloads and as many of the questions are influenced by personal, professional or interest related biases it is not intended to go into such detail. Suffice to say, that many of the questions documented are questions that have been asked or mooted over the 30 years of the existence of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act throughout the state, and remain unanswered or definitively defined.

 

The 240 questions are specifically documented in the front of the discussion paper and are attached for Councillors information.

 

It is considered that there are many other larger Council?s, key industry groups and legislators that are better placed to comment and formulate specific responses to each of the questions raised to ensure the ?New? Planning System will in fact, achieve the objectives of all concerned.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Councillors were advised of the two discussion papers via Memorandum on 19 January 2012 for information and reading.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

There are no environmental impacts with this report. However the review of the Planning System does consider and provoke questions regarding environmental Management, and Ecologically Sustainable development.

 

Social

Both discussion papers have a significant public interest.

 

Economic

Introduction of mandatory registration of swimming pools and compliance checks will have an economic impact on Council's if the fees are regulated and not a market fee for the service. A number of questions raised in the Planning System Review discussion paper will have economic impacts.

 

Risk

There are no risks associated with Council making or not making submissions. However should Council consider that a submission is warranted in regard to the Planning System Review then now is the time to define the submission content to avoid missing the opportunity.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

There is potentially an impact on General Fund if the fees are legislated and do not reflect the actual cost of providing a service.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

Not applicable.

 

Attachments:

1View

3045/2012 - Swimming Pools Act Review Discussion Paper

 

2View

3046/2012 - List of Feedback questions from Issues Paper of the NSW Planning System Review

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Discussion Papers - Swimming Pools Act and Planning System Review

 















General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Discussion Papers - Swimming Pools Act and Planning System Review

 










General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.2??? SF600????????????? 150212???????? Request for Restriction on Use to allow for the removal of a tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Grant Nelson, Strategic Planner ????????

 

Summary:

 

The purpose of this report is to recommend Council allow a Restriction on Use to be varied to manage a tree that has be deemed unstable by Council. The tree is located at 66 Hopewood Crescent, Newee Creek.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1????????? That Council allow the Restriction On Use relating to the management of the fig tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent to be varied.

 

2????????? That Council recommend the land owner obtain the services of an Arborist to determine the most appropriate management actions for the tree and advise that it is Council preference to treat the tree without removal as long as all risks can be removed.

 

3????????? That the landowner be advised all costs associated with the tree management are to be their responsibility.

 

4????????? That the landholder be advised to consult with the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority to determine if a separate approval is required to manage this tree under the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1????????? That Council defer any variation to the restriction on use relating to the management of the fig tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent until such time that Council is provided with a report by an Arborist detailing tree health and management recommendations.

 

2????????? That Council assist with the clean up and management of the tree given it has the potential to impact on the public road.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council has received a request to allow the removal of a Fig tree (ficus sp) from Lot 20 DP 872403 66 Hopewood Crescent, Newee Creek. Council has no previous record of any enquires or complaints about the tree on the file.

 

Typically Council involvement in such request would be limited to general advice. This is because Council does not have a tree preservation order and the tree is located on private land.? However, in this instance the person who has made the request indicated that the tree was presenting a potential public hazard, and subsequent investigation has identified that the tree is protected via a restriction on use placed on the land at subdivision stage.

 

Background

 

Consent was granted for a 26 Lot subdivision in June 1992 (DA S18-3-85).Consent condition number 12 related to the landscaping and tree preservation is reproduced below:

 


??????????? 12 Vegetation shall be retained where:

 

??????????? a ?????? it is within areas of seasonally high water table (class B); and

 

??????????? b??????? it is on slopes in excess of 25% (class D); and

 

??????????? c ?????? protection along Newee Creek and its Tributary;

 

????????? Note: I advise that one means of satisfactory ?evidence? for the above would be restriction as to use to be placed on the title requiring Council?s consent for the removal of trees 500mm or more in girth.

 

Later when the Subdivision Certificate Plan was prepared by the applicant it included the following restriction on use to comply with the conditions of consent.

 

No vegetation shall be removed where:

 

??????????? a ?????? It is within areas of reasonably high water tables (class B); and

 

??????????? b ?????? It is on slopes in excess of 25% (class D); and

 

??????????? c ?????? Along Newee Creek and Tributary and trees with a girth of more than 500mm; and

 

??????????? d ?????? The existing large fig (ficus sp) trees located on Lots 19 and 20 shall not be removed, lopped, trimmed or damaged in any way including the root systems by way of excavation or construction works or by any other means. (our highlighting to emphasise)

 

Item d above, is presumed to be a result of the note to condition 12 which recommended trees greater than 500mm be protected (there were no other details on the file to explain the restriction). Council is the authority empowered to release or vary the restriction.

 

Council received a request to investigate the tree on the 31 January 2012, as it was stated that it was presenting a public risk via a potential impact to Hopewood Crescent. Given the potential public risk Council?s Parks and Reserves supervisor inspected the site on the 31 January 2012 at which time the following was noted:

 

????????? The ficus sp is a very large and majestic tree however the tree has multiple trunks (around thirty trunks) and appears to have serious decay and die-back in numerous areas. The make up and structure of the tree is such that as the girth of the trunks expand they push against each other and break away which is evident by one side of the tree failing. This will undoubtedly occur again at some stage and I consider the tree to be extremely unstable.

 

As the tree was protected through the restriction on use, Council?s Environment and Planning Directorate was requested to examine the issue.

 

Planning Discussion

 

In any instance, if a tree is identified as a threat to lives or property Council should allow appropriate action to be undertaken to ensure the threat is removed. Depending on the circumstances, appropriate action may include removal, pruning or other treatments.

 

As this tree is on private property it is the land holders responsibility to ensure the tree is managed in a safe manner. In this instance the land holder cannot take any action until Council permits the restriction on use to be varied.

 

Given Council?s initial assessment of the tree which indicates the tree to be unstable Council has accepted a duty of care in relation to this matter (Timbs vs Shoalhaven City Council 2004). Because of this it is recommended that Council vary the restriction on use to allow the tree to be managed to remove any threat to safety or property. Due to the majestic nature of the tree it would be preferred to simply prune the tree however this may not be an adequate action to ensure it is safe. Therefore it also recommended that the landowner seek their own expert advice as to the management of tree.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Director of Environment and Planning

Manager of Works

Parks and Reserves Supervisor

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The tree is identified as a majestic tree by Council Parks and Gardens supervisor and the appropriate level of consideration should be afforded to manage the situation.

 

Social

 

The majestic nature of the tree may be seen by some as having significance and this should be a consideration with the management of the tree following the Arborist report.

 

Economic

 

The cost of pruning, lopping or removal will need to be borne by the landowner. However Council may, if it considers that appropriate based on the public risk and danger, resolve to assist with the cleanup of that part creating the public risk.

 

Risk

 

Council is referred to the Supreme Court findings (Timbs vs Shoalhaven Council) which indicated that once Council demonstrates a duty of care in relation to a matter Council then needs to ensure that the assessment exercises a high degree of skill and care which may not be possible through a visual inspection. This particular case related to Council?s refusal to remove a tree which resulted in a tree causing the death of a person.? Conversely in this instance a visual inspection by Council has deemed the tree to be unstable. Should Council prevent the appropriate management of the tree and an incident were to occur there may be legal implications for Council from either the landholder or potentially, the adjoining landholder or the person affected.

 

Should Council require the landowner to prepare an Arborist report for the removal of the tree it is recommended that the matter be dealt with promptly.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

1????????? As the tree is on private property the matter should be resolved by the landholder at their cost. Council as the authority empowered to vary or remove the restriction has no responsibility to do or pay for required treatments.

 

2????????? Future legal costs may result if Council does not allow the tree to be managed after it has been identified by Council as a potential issue.

 

3????????? Council may resolve to assist in the management of the tree as it may present a potential hazard to the public road.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

Should Council provide assistance any costs incurred would be charged against the tree removal, vegetation management budget which currently has approximately $6,000. This budget will be used for the nesting boxes and replanting as resolved at the previous meeting for the tree removed in Pioneer Street Nambucca Heads. As such a supplementary vote may be required.

 

Attachments:

1View

2292/2012 - Tree Assessment Report 63 Hopewood Crescent Newee Creek

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Request for Restriction on Use to allow for the removal of a tree at 66 Hopewood Crescent

 

M E M O R A N D U M

 

 

TO: ??????????????????????????? MANAGER CIVIL WORKS

 

FROM:?????????????????????? PARKS AND RESERVES SUPERVISOR

 

SUBJECT:?????????????? TREE REMOVAL/PRUNING APPLICATION ASSESSMENT

 

DATE:??????????????????????? 31/01/12

 

FILE NO:?????????????????? SF629

 

 

 

Council has received an application and/or Customer Service Request from The owners of 63 Hopewood Crescent for the removal / pruning of a large and Fig Tree located on their property at the above address.

 

1?????? Council Officers Report:

 

The Ficus species is a very large and majestic tree however the tree has multiple trunks (around thirty trunks) and appears to have serious decay and die-back in numerous areas. The make up and structure of the tree is such that as the girth of the trunks expand they push against each other and break away which is evident by one side of the tree failing. This will undoubtedly occur again at some stage and I consider the tree to be extremely unstable.

 

2??????? OTHER APPROVAL NECESSARY????????????????? Road Obstruction (temporary)? Yes

 

3??????? No???? Destruction of Aboriginal Relic

 

????????? No???? Work carried out within 40 metres of foreshore

 

????????? No???? Block roads/streets/laneways

 

 

4????????? ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - The likely impact on surrounding environment (including neighbours) of the tree being removed or pruned.)

?????????

Habitat tree, Shade tree, Visually extremely majestic.


 

 

 

 

Please forward to Council for determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RICHARD WATTS

 

Enc?? Photograph


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.3??? SF1268??????????? 150212???????? Walking Track Nambucca River to Shelly Beach. Emergency Evacuation Plan Wellington Drive

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Greg Meyers, Director Environment and Planning ????????

 

Summary:

 

At the Council meeting of 19 January 2012, a motion was moved but lost when considering the Outstanding Actions and Reports item as follows:

 

That, in relation to Item 38 (LF2499) Report to Council re Emergency Evacuation in regard to Wellington Drive and the development of the track in the sand dunes to Shelly Beach, no work proceed on the proposed track between the caravan park and Shelly Beach until it has been considered at a General Purpose Committee which is to include an onsite inspection.

The motion was LOST.

 

However, as there has been considerable community confusion and misinformation circulating about the walking track, along with several submissions being received, it is proposed that Council include a site visit so that it is fully aware and informed on this Our Living Coast project and the exact location of the proposed nwe track.

 

When preparing the Nambucca River Masterplan considerable discussion was held regarding the most cost effective means of providing for emergency access and evacuation. These discussion were limited and resulted in recommendations for the identification of an emergency "helipad" and also a turnaround point at the end of the river training wall.

 

The Masterplan identified the benefits of connecting the V-Wall to Shelly Beach through improved connection paths to overcome the "unsafe" nature of the existing paths descent down to the Shelly Beach amenities building. The proposed Our Living Coast Wellington Rock Rehabilitation Project goes someway in addressing these issues.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the location of the proposed 2.4m wide track from the Nambucca River towards the end of the training wall to Shelly Beach and that its location avoids any Endangered Ecological Community.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council could choose to withdraw its support for the proposed project which would see the forfeiture of the Our Living Coast funding as no other projects put forward by Council met with the approval of the funding body.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

A report was presented to Council at its 3 November 2011 meeting providing an update on the Our Living Coast Project which, amongst other things included advice of the approved On Ground Works schedule. The following is an extract from that report:

 

Project 2 Wellington Rock Rehabilitation Project ? Nambucca Heads (figure 1)

 

This project aims to enhance and protect the dune area near Wellington Rock. This project has come from Council's endorsed Nambucca River Foreshore Management Plan.

 

Stage 1 is the education program for the residents of the White Albatross Caravan Park, this is a simplified healthy household workshop series that started 12 October. There is a series of 5 workshops to reinforce sustainability, these are; energy, waste, biodiversity, composting and responsible pet ownership. Park residents will also be involved in rubbish removal from the area and planting native species.

 

Stage 2 is realigning, widening and rebuilding the walking track back from the frontal dunes to help stabilise the beach dune area, and closing some of the shortcut tracks. The east/west track from the caravan park to the intersection of the north/south track will be widened and the remainder retained as a beach access. There will be an interpretative walking track to indentify the important native vegetation. This track will better link the V Wall and Shelly Beach.

 

Stage 3 is a weed eradication program for the area and an intensive revegetation of the old tracks and sensitive areas.

 

Stage 4 will be installation of interpretative signage along the new walking track, and a community open day to launch the new walkway.

 

 

Figure 1 Wellington Rock works plan ?


Council may recall that all three partner Council's of the Our Living Coast Sustainability Project have had ongoing problems identifying and gaining the support of the Environmental Trust as complying projects for the expenditure of the funds for on-ground projects.

 

This particular project is fully funded except for the in-kind costs associated with the co-ordination role of Council's Environmental Compliance Officer.

 

Unfortunately, some misinformation has circulated within the community that this track is a recreational 4 wheel drive track and that Council is proposing to remove old Banksia trees and plough through an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) - (Themeda grassland on seacliffs and coastal headlands in the NSW North Coast).

 

Staff undertook a preliminary Ecological Constraints review in determining the most appropriate and cost effective location of the new track. In light of the community comments, a further review by DarkHeart Eco-Consultancy was commissioned which reaffirms that the concerns within the community are inaccurate and in fact, the relocation of the track will remove it from within the Themeda australis area which is part of an EEC. The relocated track will also remove it from the current "unsafe" location as identified in the Nambucca River Master Plan and avoids the need to remove any Banksia trees. Use of the track by 4 wheel drive vehicles will not be possible as the descent down to the Shelly Beach amenities building is via stairs at this time. In addition the track is proposed to include appropriate bollards/gates to stop motor cycles from accessing the track.

 

With the opportunity to address the "unsafe" nature of the walkway and also to provide for an alternative emergency vehicle access (long term) in the event that Wellington Drive is blocked, the identified improved and formalised track was designed through the Our Living Coast project to be 2.4m in width with gentle curves so that it may be capable of doubling for use by small emergency vehicles. This of course will be dependant upon additional funding and construction of the track on the northern end adjacent to the Shelly Beach car park in the future.

 

The Emergency Management Plan outlined in the Nambucca River Master Plan identifies the risk of Flood, Landslide/Rockfall and Tsunami as extreme.? Further in the EMP it addresses the V-Wall Precinct as follows:

 

V WALL PRECINCT

 

?????????????? Department of Lands (Coastal and Infrastructure) - requires access from the car park and along the breakwall to carry out remedial work. This could involve moving painted/rocks/armour from the river side of the breakwater as well as replenishing rock at sites of damage/instability along the breakwater. This would require traffic management to exclude the general public while work is being carried out.

?????????????? Emergency vehicle access is required along the breakwall. This will require the relocation of the first bench seat and the first light pole to allow sufficient width for a motor vehicle. A small cleared and grassed area is to be provided near the eastern corner of the caravan park to allow an emergency vehicle to turn around.

?????????????? The helipad should be a mown grassed cleared area. A marked emergency vehicle pullover bay is provided adjacent to the helipad and remain clear at all times.

?????????????? Recent land slip (February 2009) resulting in damage to first floor of a residential flat building in Wellington Drive.

?????????????? Localised land instability in Nambucca Heads due to ground moisture conditions and the geology/ topography of the headland and ridges can occur usually after extended heavy rain leading to ground saturation. The most significant event was a large landslip/rockfall above the White Albatross Holiday Park where the material reached the accommodation buildings in the park, although no major structural damage or injuries occurred. (Nambucca Emergency Risk Management Project, June 2008)

?????????????? Continued landscaping works to the rear of properties in Wellington Drive contributing to the risk of further slippage.

?????????????? Tree poisoning along the Ridge Street area also contributing to land slippage.

?????????????? Power boat/swimmer conflict ? danger for propellers - strong currents.

?????????????? Stairs to the beach near the start of the breakwall should be removed to discourage swimmers.

?????????????? NESB visitors particular swimming risk.

?????????????? Alcohol fuelled problems from the V Wall area to Gordon Park

?????????????? Headland slippage towards caravan park in mid 1990?s ? area has been rebenched, shaped and protected with mesh fencing.

?????????????? Rock fall near bus area off Wellington Drive in June 2008.

 

Hazard Draft

NSC ERMR

NRMP

Comments

Boating/swimmer accidents

-

Visitor numbers to the area may increase.

Upgraded Nambucca Marine Rescue shed will improve response time and capability

Land instability landslide)

Expand Retaining Wall Construction program to additional at-risk locations. Monitor identified high risk locations during adverse weather conditions (sustained rain periods or after intense rainfall)

No works proposed on northern side of Wellington Drive. Restrictive covenants on land in Wellington Drive to restrict vegetation removal and landscaping to steep areas

Northern side of Wellington Drive is considered a high-risk location.

Transport/pedestrian evacuation

 

Car parking area redesigned to accommodate large emergency vehicles. Helipad to be kept clear at all times. Evacuation route along Wellington Drive to be clearly signposted. Gordon Park to be designated evacuation assembly area

 

 

In the event that Wellington Drive is closed from Gordon park to the river mouth, the only available emergency evacuation is by boat (provided not in a severe flood/storm). Evacuation by helicopter would be in extreme situations and then only if there is adequate area to land etc.

 

The idea of the track from the end of the V-Wall to Shelly Beach being made 2.4m wide is to provide opportunity for a third form of emergency evacuation/attendance by small emergency vehicles. This however, will only become an option in the future if a connecting track from the "saddle" in the sand hill where the track is proposed near the Shelly Beach amenities down to the south/western end of the Shelly Beach car park. This current project does not incorporate this section of the track.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Darkheart Eco-Consulting

Environmental Compliance Officer

 

 


SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The proposed track connecting the Nambucca River V-Wall walkway to Shelly Beach has been designed and located to minimise impact on the existing environment. The project also includes the revegetation and rehabilitation of the existing tracks

 

Social

 

By providing a good trafficable walk way it is anticipated that more people will use the provided track and along with the Interpretive Signage provide the community with a greater understanding and appreciation of this area.

 

Economic

 

Other then the inkind contribution for the coordination role of Council's Environmental Compliance Officer the funds for this project are coming from the Our Living Coast

 

Risk

 

The proposed new walking track is to be sited to avoid the areas at risk of erosion or landslip. The design will ensure that the track is a good pedestrian finish and capable, in the future to allow for small emergency vehicles to traverse should the track be connected back to the Shelly Beach carpark other than by steps. Its location will avoid the EEC and need to remove established Banksia trees.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Other than for the inkind costs for the Environmental Compliance Officer the full cost of this project is funded from the Our Living Coast Sustainability Project funds for on-ground works.

 

The extension of the track from the "saddle" in the sand hill down to the Shelly Beach car park will be the subject of an additional funding applications which Council will consider in the future before it proceeds.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No variation sought.

 

Attachments:

1View

3069/2012 - Submission from Wilkinson

 

2View

3072/2012 - Submission from D Harris

 

3View

2766/2012 - Shelly Beach to V Wall Emergency Access Track Ecological Constraints Overview 030212

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Walking Track Nambucca River to Shelly Beach. Emergency Evacuation Plan Wellington Drive

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Walking Track Nambucca River to Shelly Beach. Emergency Evacuation Plan Wellington Drive

 

11/20 Bellinger Street,

NAMBUCCA HEADS 2448

31st January, 2012.

The Mayor & Councillors,

Nambucca Shire Council,

P.O. Box,

MACKSVILLE, 2448.

 

Dear Mayor Hoban & Councillors,

Re:? Track across the dunes from V Wall to Shelly Beach

 

We were very disappointed to read that Council has approved this new track and is going to pay for it with funds from the ?Our Living Coast? project. That project is to save not destroy and to let people see our marvelous coastline.? Most Townships on the Coast do not have this wonderful buffer zone that we in Nambucca Heads enjoy.

 

It is a track that will destroy an endangered ecological community listed in the Threatened Species Act ? Themelda Grasslands, together with several Coastal Banksia trees some 20 or 30 years old which the Black Cockatoos feed on.? We have planted two of these Banksia?s in our garden and it was not until they were about 7 years old did the Cockatoos start feeding on them.? Any replacement trees will deprive these birds of food for many years.

 

It is our understanding that under the NPWS Act and Threatened Species Act (NSW legislation) this precludes damage to listed? endangered species, and ?possible danger? is not a sufficient reason to over ride either act. I cannot understand how you have got permission from the Heritage Council. We can only assume that Council did not admit that this grassland is there.? Yet another act of vandalism by the Nambucca Shire Council.

 

Madam Mayor you should at least and go and see the grassland.? To the untrained eye it looks like a fine lawn of a species of couch. Kara Smith from Dune Care did her thesis on this grass and was not allowed to cut even one blade for her studies.? She is well qualified to comment and co-ordinates all the work we at Dune Care do making sure we only destroy weeds.? We understand your weeds officer is familiar with the good work done by the Volunteers at Dune Care.

 

There are already paths there that could be widened without destroying the grassland.?

 

Further destruction will occur by bike riders using this track once ?bolsters? are placed there.? In the unlikely event of a landslip closing Wellington Drive? people in an? emergency could be moved by boat or helicopter to safety.? It is no different should a bush fire occur cutting off the Hyland Park Community.

 

The vandalism that Council will incur by putting an unfinished track in, supposedly for ?evacuation purposes?? will be a track to no where destroying Australia?s Heritage and our Living Coast.

 

We continually hear Council saying we can?t afford to do this and that to fix problems and yet you can find money to destroy.? It?s amazing.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Dorothy and Graham Harris.

Sent by email.


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Walking Track Nambucca River to Shelly Beach. Emergency Evacuation Plan Wellington Drive

 






?


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.1??? SF1075??????????? 150212???????? Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Production

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Peter Baynes, Manager Assets ????????

 

Summary:

 

In October 2009 Council resolved to adopt a target of 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016 (copy of report is attached).? A presentation has been prepared for Council to highlight the progress to date.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council receive and note the presentation on the energy and greenhouse gases.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

In October 2009 Council resolved to adopt a target of 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.

 

Council?s energy consumption is predominately driven by electricity used for light and power at buildings throughout the shire, electricity used for water and sewerage treatment and pumping and fuel for Council?s vehicle and plant fleet.? Conversion factors allow for a calculation of greenhouse gas emissions based on energy and fuel consumption.?

 

A presentation has been prepared for Council to highlight the progress to date.

 

Key issues of note are:

?????? A significant reduction in electricity consumption at Council?s administration centre.

?????? Seasonal variations in water and sewerage electricity consumption.

?????? Signs of reduction in fuel usage.

 

Overall progress toward achieving the 5% reduction target is promising, however, more investigation of energy usage at Sewerage Treatment Plants and fuel usage across the fleet is warranted.? Achieving the targeted reductions will require input from managers of individual business units.? As reductions do occur, further incremental reductions will become increasingly harder to achieve and will require more analysis and management of energy usage.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Director Engineering Services

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Continued efforts to reduce energy consumption will have a positive effect in also reducing production of greenhouse gasses.

 

Social

 

By reducing greenhouse gasses Council has an ideal opportunity to set a good example to the wider community.

 

Economic

 

No issues arise from this report.

 

Risk

 

No issues arise from this report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Despite decreases in energy consumption the overall costs for electricity may well rise as electricity prices increase.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

General Fund, ?Water Fund and Sewer Fund.

 

 

Note:? A copy of the presentation notes will be distributed at Council?s meeting.

 

 

 

Attachments:

1View

25224/2009 - Climate Change - Achievement of Milestone 1

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Production

 

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 9.4????? SF1075??????????? 141009???????? Climate Change - Achievement of Milestone 1

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Noel Chapman, Manager Civil Works; Michael Coulter, General Manager ????????

 


 

Summary:

 

Council has been a participant in the Cities for Climate Change Protection (CCP) Program since November 2007.?

 

The program identified a number of milestones for the reduction of greenhouse gases.

 

As an aid to fulfilling the milestones organisations were given access to a web based database (ICLEI Oceania) for the input and analysis of energy consumption and the resulting carbon emissions.

 

Input of Council data had commenced however funding for the website was discontinued on the 30 June 2009.? Council was provided with a spreadsheet of raw data input and this has now been developed internally to provide a history of Council?s energy usage and emissions.? It should be noted that Council has not subscribed to the CCP Partners Program.

 

The results are provided in the summary table circularised.? The data was used to calculate a forecast year and this is the basis for the achievement of milestone 1 (a Checklist is attached).

 

 


 

Recommendation:

 

1??????? That Council note the achievement of Climate Change Protection (CCP) Milestone 1.

 

2??????? That Council note the impact of 5% and 10% reduction targets.

 

3??????? That Council progress to Climate Change Protection (CCP) Milestone 2 with a target of a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.

 

 


OPTIONS:

 

?????????????? Adopt the recommendations

?????????????? Change the recommendations

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

All available data was collected for Council buildings, water and sewerage supply, street lighting and fleet operations from 2006 to date.? The data for 2006 was considered to be unreliable therefore a base year of 2007 was adopted (see table circularised).? The data supplied by CCP for community analysis had adopted a base year of 2006.? This data was adjusted by a population growth factor of 0.5% to bring it in line with the adopted base year of 2007.

 

The forecast year data (excluding community data) has been calculated as follows:

 

Interim Year + (Interim Year) ? Base Year x 4

 

The community forecast is based on an assumed population growth of 0.5% per annum based on actual growth as provided by the Bureau of Statistics.

 

It should be noted that accurate forecasting is difficult due to random fluctuations in usage from one year to another.? This is particularly significant where usage has reduced between the base year and interim year.? It has been assumed that if the interim year value is less then the base year value then the forecast is based on a 0.5% increase per annum from the base year figure.

 

Data has also been calculated for reduction targets of 5% and 10% respectively.? These are provided for information and as a guide for Council if proceeding to Milestone 2.? Guidelines for Milestone 2 are attached.

 

Australia?s National Emissions Target Fact Sheet is also attached.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

?????????????? General Manager

?????????????? Engineering Support Officer

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The adoption of carbon emission reduction strategies would have a positive impact on the environment.

 

Social

 

Council participation would provide strong leadership for the community and improved social well being.

 

Economic

 

Could result in lower operational costs due to reduced energy usage.? This could mitigate future carbon offset costs.

 

Risk

 

Delay in adopting emission reduction strategies will make it more difficult to achieve reductions in the future.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There is no direct impact on budgets as a result of this report.? The adoption of carbon reduction strategies could reduce or at least contain operating costs in the event of any emissions trading scheme.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No funds are required as a result of this report.

 


Attachments:

1

Circularised Document - Summary of Carbon Emissions

 

2

Circularised Document - Base Year Data

 

3

25241/2009 - Achievement of Milestone 1 - Checklist

 

4

25242/2009 - Achieving Milestone 2 - Setting reduction goals

 

5

25558/2009 - Australia's National Emissions Target - Fact Sheet

 

?


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.2??? SF741????????????? 150212???????? Paveline Patching Machine - Operation

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Noel Chapman, Manager Civil Works ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council at its meeting on 16 July 2009 resolved that:

 

"Council receive a report on Paveliner performance in terms of cost per cubic metre and other relevant parameters and including the Director Engineering Services' opinion on efficiency or otherwise of the machine and what is required to improve performance.? Also options for addressing loose stone and the option of a sweeper attachment.? Comparative data is to be provided for a defined period of usage."

 

The report uses data collection from Council Maintenance Management System, Reflect, for the six month period July 2011 to December 2011.

 

The table shows a general correlation between the target and actual rates for most criteria.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1??????? That the report on the operations of the Paveline for July 2011 to December 2011 be noted.

 

2??????? That a further report be prepared of the year July 2011 to June 2012 for comparison with the same period in the previous year.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

1??????? Note the report

2??????? Request further information

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The statistics show the following average figures:

 

 

JULY 10 ? DECEMBER 10

JULY ? DECEMBER 2011

Square metres patched over 6 months

15,478.00

10,750.00

Square metres per day

164.66

115.59

Cubic metres of aggregate per day

8.23

5.78

Tonne of aggregate per day

5.98

5.71

Cost per square metre of patching

N/A

N/A

Cost per tonne

N/A

N/A

 

Note:? These figures include some use of premix and broad area spraying not separately identified.? The broad area spraying results in an under estimation of area treated and an apparent higher cost per square metre.

 

The target or benchmark for comparison is twofold.? The initial report to Council forecasts figures of:

 

i)??????? 25,200 square metres per annum

ii)?????? 120 square metres per day

iii)????? 6.0 cubic metres of aggregate per day

iv)?????? 9.0 tonne of aggregate per day

v)?????? $14.50 cost per square metre of patching

vi)?????? $193.33 cost per tonne.

 

The other comparison to be made is against the older style of patching using a Flowcon and Pre-mix material.? Those forecast figures are:

 

a)?????? 10,500 square metres per annum

b)?????? 50 square metres per day

c)?????? 2.5 cubic metres per premix per day

d)?????? $44.23 cost per square metre of patching

e)?????? $368.58 cost per tonne of premix.

 

As a result of the change to the Authority Finance System the costing link to the Maintenance Management System has been lost.? Discussions are being held to establish a link.? In the meantime cost comparisons are not available.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

?????????????? Director Engineering Services

?????????????? Manager Assets

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Raw materials are sourced from quarry/mining operations.? There are no other methods available to reduce environmental impacts.

 

Social

 

There are no issues as a result of this report.

 

Economic

 

Better road surface reduces transport costs.

 

Risk

 

Loose stone can create a traffic hazard.? More experience gained by operators will minimise the impact.? Better quality emulsion is also having a positive impact.? The truck is currently fitted with a broom to enable sweeping as required.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

As the operation improves the road system will benefit which could reduce the budget requirement in future years.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No additional funds are required as the result of this report.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.

?


General Purpose Committee?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 15 February 2012

Director of Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.3??? SF600????????????? 150212???????? Use of Council Owned Land as Laneway Access? - Lot C DP 420534 Wallace Street Macksville?

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:???? Phillip Smith, Surveyor ????????

 

Summary:

 

Council has received several complaints regarding the state of repair of a parcel of land adjacent to Wallace Lane Macksville owned by Council being Lot C DP 420534.? The parcel of land is used as laneway access to a private internal car park being Lot D DP 420534.? Access/egress from the private car park to Wallace Lane is facilitated by a right of carriageway over the Council land.

 

There appears to be some confusion over the status of the land and whether or not Council is responsible for maintenance.? The subject parcel of land, which is currently being used as a laneway access (Lot C DP 420534) was sold to Council in 1962 for the amount for ₤1 and is freehold land owned by Council and has never been dedicated as Public Road and remains ?Operational Land?.

 

A report was presented to Council in March 2008 recommending that the subject land be sold to the adjoining owners.? The Motion - That Council offer this land to the three adjoining land owners who do not have access entitlement, as tenants in common, to ensure access is not denied to any one property ? was lost.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council offer Lot C DP 420534 for sale to one or more of the adjoining owners provided that all interested parties are given legal access to Wallace Lane.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

??????????? Council sell Lot C DP 420534 to the adjoining land owners to access the private internal car park being Lot D DP 420534??

??????????? Council seek an annual contribution towards the maintenance of the parcel of land from the businesses benefiting from the use of the parcel of land

??????????? Council dedicate the unnamed lane as Public Road and provide funding for future maintenance

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Lot C was transferred to Council for ₤1 in 1962 for a public right of way.? The transfer included a right of footway and carriageway in favour of Lot D.? It seems that the intention was for Council to take over maintenance of the lane, (why otherwise transfer the land for only ₤1).? But there is nothing in the Council Minutes of the time to confirm this.

 

Lot D and Lot 12 DP 659758 (National Bank) are the only lots to have a legal right of carriageway over the Council land. Land to the south (Skylight Arcade, Optometrist, Department Store) does not have legal access over the Council land, but still use the Council land to get access to Wallace Lane.

 

Lot D is a private car-park used by adjoining businesses. Council may elect to maintain a ?laneway status? for the parcel of land which provides access to a private car-park.? The cost of repairing the parcel of land for vehicle access as a laneway to trafficable standard is estimated at $10,000.(as there are drainage issues associated with the area).

 

Council considered the sale of the land in March 2008 and resolved not to sell the land.

 


CONSULTATION:

 

Director, Engineering Services

Manager Civil Works

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

There are no perceivable environmental impacts.

 

Social

Concerns of local businesses regarding access and maintenance issues

 

Economic

See above

 

Risk

There are liability considerations for Council if an accident occurs on Council land.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

Provision of annual funding towards the maintenance of the site.? Legal costs for sale and valuation fees are estimated at $2000, and value of land is estimated at $40000.? If Council take over maintenance ? cost to bring the site up to a minimum standard is estimated in the vicinity of $10,000

 

There are drainage issues associated with the site and further costs to drain the site are anticipated

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

Additional working funds will be required for ongoing maintenance

 

 

 

 

Attachments:

1View

1643/2012 - Site plan- Council land off Wallace Lane

 

2View

7007/2008 - MINUTE Offer to Purchase Council Land (Council - 20/03/2008)

 

??


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Use of Council Owned Land as Laneway Access? - Lot C DP 420534 Wallace Street Macksville?

 


General Purpose Committee - 15 February 2012

Use of Council Owned Land as Laneway Access? - Lot C DP 420534 Wallace Street Macksville?

 

 

For Action

Council

20/03/2008

TO: Senior Administrative Officer (John Harris)

 

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

Subject:

Offer to Purchase Council Land

Target Date:

27/03/2008

Notes:

 

Doc No.

3265/2008

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

152/08 LOST MOTION:??? (Waller/Flack)

 

That Council offer this land to the three adjoining land owners who do not have access entitlement, as tenants in common, to ensure access is not denied to any one property.

 

 

?Open Item in Minutes ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

This action sheet has been automatically been produced by the Minute Secretary using InfoCouncil, the agenda and minutes database.

Please forward updated action sheet to the Governance Unit (by email or hard copy post) once completed.

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ACTION TAKEN BY OFFICER

 

ONGOING / COMPLETED

Completion date: ____________

 

(Please update once item is actually completed)

 

Details:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

? ?