Ordinary Council Meeting - 26 July 2012
LATE AGENDA††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Page
9††††††† General Manager Report
9.12†† Reduced 2012/2013 Financial Assistance Grant.................................................................. 2
10††††† Director Environment and Planning Report
General Manager's Report
AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:†††† Michael Coulter, General Manager ††††††††
Council has been advised by the NSW Local Government Grants Commission that its financial assistance grant for 2012/2013 will be $191,545 less than what was budgeted for.† The budget provision made for 2012/2013 was based on a 4% increase which has been the average increase over the past 8 years.
It is proposed that Council make representations to the Commonwealth Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean MP, about the foreshadowed loss of revenue and its impact on this Council.
If the reduction in grant income is confirmed, Council will need to consider budgetary options to respond to this loss of revenue.
1††††††† Council note the advice that the 2012/2013 Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grant is foreshadowed to be $191,545 less than the budgeted provision.
2††††††† Council make representations to the Commonwealth Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean MP, about the foreshadowed loss of revenue and its impact on this Council.
3††††††† If the reduction in grant income is confirmed, that the report on the September 2012 budget review consider budgetary options to respond to this loss of revenue.
Other than make representations in relation to the loss of grant funding, it would be premature at this stage to contemplate a ďmini-budgetĒ to deal with the foreshadowed loss of $191,545 in grant income.† However, if realised, this significant loss of grant income will need to be considered as part of the September quarter budget review.
Major components of Councilís revenue are its rates and the Commonwealth Governmentís financial assistance (FAG) grants.† For Councilís 2012/2013 budget these sources of revenue are budgeted to provide Council with $8,355,100 and $3,646,900 respectively.
The budgeted financial assistance grants for 2012/13 comprise a general purpose component of $2,546,800 and a local roads component of $1,100,100.
The budget provision made for 2012/2013 was based on a 4% increase which has been the average increase over the past 8 years.
Council has now received advice from the Local Government Grants Commission about the 2012-2013 financial assistance grants and in particular a significant negative adjustment for the 2011-2012 grants.† A copy of the Grants Commission letter is attached.
Each yearís financial assistance grants are based on forward estimates of the consumer price index (CPI) and population shares across states.† Each year an adjustment is required for the previous yearís grants which take into account variations in the actual CPI and population shares compared to the estimates used to determine that yearís grants.
According to the Grantís Commission, as a result of the actual CPI figures and population numbers being lower than the estimates used by the Commonwealth to determine the 2011-12 grants a national overpayment in 2011-12 of $52,875,758 has occurred.† The NSW share of this overpayment apparently represents $15,657,597.
The Grants Commission letter indicates that Councilís estimated entitlement for 2012-13 will be a general purpose component of $2,456,254 and a local roads component of $1,080,645 being a total of $3,536,899.† This in itself is in aggregate $110,001 less than the budgeted figure.
However, the Grants Commission advise that there will be a further reduction as a consequence of the ďoverpaymentĒ in 2011-12.† This equates to a further reduction in grant income of $81,544 meaning a total reduction in the budgeted revenue for financial assistance grants in 2012/13 of $191,545.† Of this total, compared to Councilís budget, there will be a reduction in the general purpose component of $146,102 and a reduction in the local roads component of $45,443.
The recent advice from the Grants Commission has been received 10 days after a letter from the Commission estimating Councilís entitlements for 2012-13 being $3,607,492, which was $39,408 less than the budgeted revenue figure.† That letter is also attached.† This letter noted that an adjustment to the 2011-12 estimated entitlements would be necessary because of variations in the CPI and Statesí population share estimates used by the Commonwealth to determine the 2011-12 funding levels and the actual CPI and population share figures.† At that time the amount of the adjustment was not known.
A reduction in budgeted revenue for 2012/2013 of $191,545 is significant.† It is proposed that the report on Councilís September quarter budget review include recommended actions to address this shortfall.† By this time Council will know its working funds result for 2011/2012.
It does make budgeting and financial planning difficult if Councils receive such advice only 13 days into the new financial year.† Whether or not the process can be changed to incorporate increases or decreases of financial assistance grant revenue into Councilsí budgetary processes is unknown.
Council should make representations to the Commonwealth Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean MP, about the foreshadowed loss of revenue and its impact on this Council.
Notwithstanding the advice in both letters that the details have been provided in confidence and not for media comment or publication, there are no grounds in the Local Government Act for the matter to be considered in closed.† It is understood that the recommendations are still subject to final approval by the Minister and presumably may be subject to further change.
There has been consultation with the Manager Financial Services.
At this stage there are no implications for the environment.
At this stage there are no social implications.
At this stage there are no economic implications.
As Council has been advised that the details are provided, ďin confidence and not for media comment or publicationĒ, Council may be criticised for reporting this in open meeting.† However there are no grounds in the Local Government Act for considering it in closed.† The matters listed in Section 10A of the Local Government for which Council may close a meeting are:
(a)††††† personnel matters concerning particular individuals (other than Councillors)
(b)††††† the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer
(c)††††† information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the council is conducting (or proposes to conduct) business
(d)††††† commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed:
††††††††† (i)†††††† prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it, or
††††††††† (ii)††††† confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council, or
††††††††† (iii)†††† reveal a trade secret
(e)††††† information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law
(f)†††††† matters affecting the security of the council, Councillors, council staff or council property
(g)††††† advice concerning litigation, or advice that would otherwise be privileged from production in legal proceedings on the ground of legal professional privilege
(h)††††† information concerning the nature and location of a place or an item of Aboriginal significance on community land.
In deference to the request from the Grants Commission it is recommended that Councillors take no individual action to publicise the matter or to seek media attention to the issue.† Similarly it is proposed that Council make representations direct to the Hon Simon Crean and that there be no media release.
Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets
The loss of $191,545 in anticipated grant funding will have a significant affect on Councilís budget.† To put this in context it represents 2.3% of Councilís rate income and after allowing for the rate peg of 3.6% is considerably more than the additional 1.4% funding which IPART allowed Council to levy over and above the rate peg.
Source of fund and any variance to working funds
At this stage there is no impact on working funds.† Any impact on working funds will be determined following the Ministerís final decision and Councilís September quarter budget review.
18026/2012 - Advice of negative adjustment for† 2011-2011 financial assistance grant
16906/2012 - Advice of Council's Estimated Grant Entitlements 2012 -2013
Director Environment & Planning's Report
AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:†††† Grant Nelson, Strategic Planner; Michael Coulter, General Manager ††††††††
The purpose of this report is to obtain a Council resolution to pursue an Amendment to the Nambucca LEP 2010 to ensure that a subdivision resulting in a lot less than the minimum lot size may occur on rural land where it is related to a permissible land use and does not result in an additional dwelling entitlement.
NOTE: This matter requires a ďPlanning DecisionĒ referred to in Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requiring the General Manager to record the names of each Councillor supporting and opposing the decision.
1††††††††† Pursuant to the Clause 55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Council prepare a Planning Proposal to support the proposed clause identified in this report.
2††††††††† The Planning Proposal and associated material be submitted to the Minister for Planning for consideration under Clause 56 of the Act.
3††††††††† In the event that a negative Gateway Determination be received, Council pursue this with its local member and also the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.†† The submissions should indicate the unnecessary red tape created by the existing arrangements and the stifling of permissible development which results from having to locate permissible uses on entirely inappropriate lot sizes.† Further it should also be noted that the proposed amendment is consistent with what was previously possible under Councilís former LEP 1995.
Council resolve not to pursue this amendment.
On 16 September 2010 Council reviewed the recently gazetted Nambucca LEP 2010 and identified a number of anomalies and other future amendments to pursue in the LEP. One of these amendments was to incorporate a clause that would allow special purpose subdivision in Rural Areas. Essentially the clause would allow rural land to be subdivided below the minimum lot size where Council is satisfied the use of the land after the subdivision will be for an approved use other than residential accommodation.†
Such clauses were common in NSW LEPís and an equivalent clause was present in the Nambucca LEP 1995.† The reason such clauses were common is that there are a plethora of permissible uses in rural zones which donít require and/or cannot afford a large holding.† For this reason it was considered reasonable to provide such a clause in the LEP 2010 and the matter was forwarded to the Department of Planning (DoP) for consideration. The gateway determination advised the matter could not proceed as the clause was not part of the standard instrument template.
No further action has been taken to pursue this amendment and to date any enquiries regarding this type of subdivision have been advised that they would require an LEP amendment to change the minimum lot size.
More recently the Armidale-Dumeresq Shire has placed their draft LEP 2012 on exhibition and it includes a local clause to permit subdivision of the type proposed in this report. As an LEP requires approval from the DoP for exhibition it appears the DoP may have reconsidered their position on these types of subdivisions or a local model provision to allow this type of subdivision has been developed.
It is recommended that Council support staff in the preparation of a planning proposal to incorporate the following clause in the LEP 2010 and the planning proposal and associated material be forwarded to the minister for gateway determination.
4.2A ††† Exceptions to minimum lot sizes for certain rural subdivisions
1††††††††† The objective of this clause is to enable the subdivision of land in rural areas to create lots of an appropriate size to meet the needs of permissible uses other than for the purpose of dwelling houses or dual occupancies.
2††††††††† Land in a zone to which Clause 4.2 applies may, with development consent, be subdivided to create a lot of a size that is less than the minimum size shown on the Lot Size Map in relation to that land, where the consent authority is satisfied that the use of the land after the subdivision will be the same use permitted under the existing development consent for the land (other than for the purpose of a dwelling house or a dual occupancy).
3††††††††† Development consent must not be granted for the subdivision of land to which this clause applies unless the consent authority is satisfied that:
a††††††† the subdivision will not adversely affect the use of the surrounding land for agriculture, and
b††††††† the subdivision is necessary for the ongoing operation of the permissible use, and
c††††††† the subdivision will not increase rural land use conflict in the locality, and
d††††††† the subdivision is appropriate having regard to the natural and physical constraints affecting the land.
General Manager, Director of Environment and Planning
This proposal amendment will not affect the way environmental issues are addressed in the Development application process.
This proposal amendment will not affect the way social issues are addressed in the Development application process.
The proposal will not place any economic burden on Council. It will remove an unnecessary LEP amendment phase for some development applications Ė ensuring sustainable use of Council and developer resources.
Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets
Nil as the planning proposal will be prepared in-house
Source of fund and any variance to working funds