NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 March 2014

 

LATE AGENDA                                                                                        Page

 

 

   

9        General Manager Report

9.19   Addendum to Restructuring of Information Technology - Recomendation of the Consultative Committee ....................................................................................................................................... 2

10      Assistant General Manager Corporate Services Report

10.3   Approval to proceed with ClubGRANTS application........................................................... 7

11      Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

11.6   Request for donation of of soil - Macksville Public School................................................. 9

11.7   Natural Resources Commission - Review into Weed Management..................................... 11    

 

 

 

 

 

 


      


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                  27 March 2014

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.19    SF1851            270314         Addendum to Restructuring of Information Technology - Recomendation of the Consultative Committee

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Scott Norman, Assistant General Manager Corporate Services         

 

Summary:

 

The proposed restructuring of the Information Technology Section was considered by the Consultative Committee on Wednesday 26 March 2014 and made following recommendations:

 

1.         That Council note the following concerns raised by the Consultative Committee:

 

·      The report to Council hasn’t addressed the potential reduction in GIS and asset data collection and recording

·      The redundancy has been proposed prior to the position descriptions for the new positions being finalised

 

2.         That consultation with both GIS Officers be undertaken with a view to retaining staff via redeployment rather than redundancy.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the concerns raised by the Consultative Committee and takes them into consideration when determining whether to amend the corporate structure.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

None presented

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

In response to concerns raised by the Consultative Committee the following comments are offered.

 

·      The report to Council hasn’t addressed the potential reduction in GIS and asset data collection and recording

 

It is acknowledged the removal of one GIS position will reduce Council’s capacity in that area.  GIS is an important tool for identifying, planning, managing and reporting on Council’s assets and communicating with stake holders.  To be able to show a customer at the counter a picture or map of what you are trying to explain is invaluable.  GIS and the supporting data is a key component of Council’s asset management strategy and it is important Council remains committed to maintenance and development of GIS.  The proposed restructure does retain one GIS officer, one officer obviously can’t do the work of two and the priorities of that role will need to be reassessed to best meet Council’s requirements.  Asset data collection is one of the roles currently undertaken by the proposed redundant position, the surveyor and technical assistant positions also have an asset capture role.  How this data is collected will have to be reviewed for each class of asset.

 

While the importance of GIS should not be underestimated it is one component of what the Information Technology Section delivers and the appropriate allocation of available resources across the section will always be a balancing act.  Fundamentally the restructure seeks to redirect resources from GIS to other core requirements and to develop Council’s online capacity.

 

·      The redundancy has been proposed prior to the position descriptions for the new positions being finalised

 

A draft strategic document detailing the Information Technology’s Section current responsibilities and identifying probable future developments has been developed; this has allocated responsibility for each deliverable to an officer in the proposed structure.  These responsibilities will form the basis of new position descriptions. From the draft work it is apparent that dedicating two officer to GIS out of a total of four in the IT section is not an appropriate allocation of resources.

 

·      That consultation with both GIS Officers be undertaken with a view to retaining staff via redeployment rather than redundancy.

 

Discussions have been had with both GIS Officers and assuming the restructure proceeds discussions will continue.  Council has an obligation to consider redeployment prior to making a position redundant and this will be done once the position description for the new Information Technology Officers are finalised.

 GIS skill sets will not necessarily transfer easily to the requirements of information and communication technology development and support roles.  Computer science qualifications and related experience have traditionally been a better fit.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

This report was prepared in response to the Consultative Committees recommendations.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

There are no implications for the environment

 

Social

There are no significant social implications

 

 

Economic

There are no significant economic implications

 

Risk

Risks are detailed in original report

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

As detailed in the original report

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

As detailed in the original report

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

In addition to information provided in the original report it needs to be noted that Council’s capacity in GIS will decrease.  It is expected that capturing of asset data and ability to complete adhoc projects and development will suffer the most.

 

Attachments:

1

8315/2014 - Minutes - Consultative Committee meeting 26 March 2014

 

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 March 2014

Addendum to Restructuring of Information Technology - Recomendation of the Consultative Committee

 

 

PRESENT

 

Employee representatives: Teresa Boorer, Noel Chapman (Chairperson), Jeff Cutts (Alternate Indoor representative), Paul Dyer (Alternate Outdoor representative), Rhys Edwards (Alternate Depa representative), Lisa Hall, Tim Woodward and Graham Zell; Management representatives: Michael Coulter, Paul Gallagher and Scott Norman; and Secretary: Joanne Hudson.

 

Luke Moane and Wayne from the United Services Union attended as observers.

 

APOLOGIES

 

Anthony Brandie

 

 

 

ITEM 1        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 February 2014 be confirmed.

 

 

 

ITEM 1A      LATE ITEM – NOMINATION OF CHAIRPERSON

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

That Assistant General Manager Corporate Services, Scott Norman, be elected Chairperson to take effect at the next meeting.

 

 

 

ITEM 2        FORTNIGHTLY PAYS

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

1        That the report be noted.

 

2        That Council commence employee consultation, initially with presentations to all staff then with individual work groups, on changing from weekly to fortnightly pays.

 

3        That indoor pay arrangements change from being paid in advance to being paid in arrears to match the outdoor pay arrangements.

 

4        That implementation have a lead time of at least six months to allow employees to arrange their affairs to accommodate the change.

 


 

 

 

ITEM 3        PROPOSED CHANGE TO ORGANISATION STRUCTURE – IT SECTION

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

1        That Council note the following concerns raised by the Consultative Committee:

 

·       The report to Council hasn’t addressed the potential reduction in GIS and asset data collection and recording; and

·       The redundancy has been proposed prior to the position descriptions for the new positions being finalised.

 

2        That consultation with both GIS Officers be undertaken with a view to retaining staff via redeployment rather than redundancy.

 

 

 

ITEM 4        VACANCIES UPDATE

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

That the information be noted.

 

 

 

ITEM 5        REDUNDANCIES AND PERFORMANCE OF VARIOUS DUTIES

 

 

The question was asked, if one of the reasons for the “big” restructure was that financial reporting deadlines weren’t being met, has the restructure left other areas within Council exposed to the same risk?

 

The General Manager responded that the thing that has made the biggest difference to meeting reporting deadlines is changing the Council meeting to the last Thursday of every month. Following on from that, it really depends on what our statutory obligations are but, the answer is, we have to be pretty adaptive.

 

 

 

ITEM 6        THANKS TO OUTGOING CHAIRPERSON, NOEL CHAPMAN

 

 

The Committee thanked Noel Chapman for his good work as Chairperson during his extended term.

 

 

NEXT MEETING

 

The next meeting of the Nambucca Shire Council Consultative Committee is to be held ……………

 

 


 

CLOSURE

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 11.00am.

 

Confirmed and signed by the Chairperson on

 

 

………………………………………………………….

NOEL CHAPMAN

CHAIRPERSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                  27 March 2014

Assistant General Manager Corporate Services Report

ITEM 10.3    SF1935            270314         Approval to proceed with ClubGRANTS application

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Colleen Henry, Grants and Contributions Officer         

 

Summary:

 

ClubGRANTS Category 3 is a new State government grant open to 10 April 2014 which provides between $500,000 and $2m per project to fund major shovel ready infrastructure projects whose development will increase participation in sport and recreation and encourage healthy lifestyles. A second round later this year will focus on health and community infrastructure projects.

 

Council is asked to support the preparation of a grant application for the rejuvenation of Macksville Park which will include a new or renovated amenities building, new skate park and new gym extension at the Macksville Aquatic Centre, as well as ancillary works such as footpaths and fencing. The project may also require the employment of a project manager to oversee the development.

 

An alternative project suggested by the Assistant General Manager Engineering Services for a project at Anderson Park Valla Beach could also be considered, however the Grants Officer believes this project is not as shovel ready as Macksville Park and the project is not as attractive as there is no funding available from Council.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council approve the preparation of ClubGRANTS 2014 grant application by the Grants Officer.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

That Council decide not to apply for funding under ClubGRANTS 2014.

 

DISCUSSION

 

ClubGRANTS Category 3 is a new State government grant open to 10 April 2014 which provides between $500,000 and $2m per project to fund major shovel ready infrastructure projects whose development will increase participation in sport and recreation and encourage healthy lifestyles. A second round later this year will focus on health and community infrastructure projects.

 

Particular emphasis is being placed on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, regional and remote communities, disadvantaged communities and culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Nambucca Shire meets three of those four attributes. Applications must be for new or significantly improved facilities, leading to greater community engagement and participation, particularly amongst the priority groups.

 

Macksville Park is the site of a number of sporting and recreation activities, and could become a recognised health and fitness precinct with the renovation of some key facilities and improvements in landscaping, footpaths and other ancillary elements. The existing amenities building between the touch football and rugby playing fields requires new electrical wiring and plumbing fixtures as well as an overall interior renovation.

 

Preference will be given to projects and services that have partnership contributions, either cash or in kind. Council would be able to contribute money set aside for the skate park under s.94 as well as some additional funding for the gym extension at the Macksville Aquatic Centre. The YMCA would be an important partner in the precinct and has indicated willingness to contribute funding to the gym extension project.

 

The major hurdle will be determining the specifications for the amenities building and getting it costed accurately before the deadline. Development Approval is in hand for Macksville Skate Park and underway for the gym extension. No DA is required for a new amenities building. If Council approves the grant application be proceeded with, the Grants Officer will work with appropriate Council staff to meet the deadline.

 

An alternative project suggested by the Assistant General Manager Engineering Services for a project at Anderson Park Valla Beach could also be considered, however the Grants Officer believes this project is not as shovel ready as Macksville Park and the project is not as attractive as there is no funding available from Council.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services

Manager Community and Cultural Services

Manager Business Development

Strategic Planner

Technical Officer – Assets

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There may be some minor environmental benefits achieved through water conservation associated with new plumbing fixtures in the amenities building.

 

Social

 

The grant would have significant social benefits for residents and visitors.

 

Economic

 

There may be economic benefits associated with this funding as the precinct may become a destination for travellers to divert to while on the new Pacific Highway.

 

Risk

 

Any risks would be associated with the actual construction of new facilities and would be managed through a risk management plan developed in association with the project implementation. 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The s.94 allocation for the Macksville Skate Park would be able to be expended as the grant funding would provide the matching funding required under s.94 apportionment. This allocation is earmarked for 2015. 

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No funds are required at this time.

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

 

There are no changes to service levels or resourcing/staff implications.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.   


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                  27 March 2014

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.6    SF24                270314         Request for donation of of soil - Macksville Public School

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services         

 

Summary:

 

Council has received a request from the Macksville Public School to donate a small tipper truck of soil towards the establishment of a kitchen garden, facilitating the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at the school.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council provide an allocation of $ 150.00 from Council working funds towards the supply of soil (one small tipper truck) for the establishment of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at Macksville Public School.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

·           Adopt the recommendation to provide funding this financial year from working funds or the donation policy.

 

·           Not accede to the request and resolve not to provide funding towards the establishment of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Macksville High School has requested Council’s consideration to fund a supply of soil (small tipper truck) to establish a kitchen garden so that they can facilitate the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program at their school.  This request is worthy of consideration by Council as it will enhance the education of local school children.  Detailed below is some information from the Australian Government website in relation to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program:

 

‘The Australian Government has committed $12.8 million over four years commencing from 2008-09 for up to 190 primary schools across Australia to participate in the national roll-out of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program.  The focus of the Program is for primary school students to learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh food in the belief that this approach will provide a better chance of positively influencing children’s food choices.

 

The aim of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is pleasurable food education for young children. The underlying belief is that by introducing this holistic approach we have a chance to positively influence children’s food choices and help to encourage healthy eating habits.

 

A Kitchen Garden is a garden created to provide edible, aromatic and beautiful resources for a kitchen. The creation and care of a Kitchen Garden teaches us about the natural world, about its beauty and how to care for it, how best to use the resources we have and develop an appreciation of the wide range of possibilities for both the cook and the gardener. There are four major components to the program: Growing, Harvesting, Preparing, Sharing.

 

In the Kitchen Garden Program children across years three to six spend a minimum of 40 minutes a week in an extensive vegetable garden which they have helped design, build and maintain on the school grounds according to organic gardening principles. They also spend one and a half hours each week in a kitchen classroom preparing and sharing a wonderful variety of meals created from their produce. The program employs two part-time specialist staff; a gardener and a cook, to run these sessions.

 

There are two special factors about the Kitchen Garden Program. The first is the intrinsic link between the garden, the kitchen and the table. The emphasis is on learning about food and about eating it. No part of the Program can exist without the other. The second is the program is embedded in the curriculum.’

 

Bunning’s (Kempsey) are also supporting the initiative and their team members supported a large working bee on 18 March 2014 when they updated and rejuvenated the existing ‘Munch and Crunch’ garden.  Bunning’s supplied all new materials however they were unable to supply the soil to fill the new garden beds created.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Macksville Public School

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

There are no environmental implications associated with this report.

 

Social

 

There are social issues associated with this report.  The program recognises the importance of intervening early in life to positively influence children’s food choices.

 

Economic

 

There are no economic issues associated with this report.

 

Risk

 

There are no risk issues associated with this report.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

There will be a direct impact of $ 150.00 on the current 2013/14 budget associated with this report should Council elect to adopt the recommendation.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

A variation to working funds to the value of $150.00 will be required should Council elect to adopt the recommendation.

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

 

The level of service will remain unchanged in the event that Council elect to adopt the recommendation within this report.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.  


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                  27 March 2014

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM 11.7    SF917              270314         Natural Resources Commission - Review into Weed Management

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Paul Gallagher, Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services; Noel Chapman, Manager Civil Works; Tim Woodward, Noxious Weeds Inspector         

 

Summary:

 

The Minister of Primary Industries requested that the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) conduct a review into the effectiveness and efficiency of weed management in New South Wales.

 

The NRC called for submissions (closed 6 December 2013) into the current weed management arrangements within NSW and a draft report was released in February 2014 by the NRC.

 

A late report has been prepared following the attendance at a regional forum by Councils Noxious Weed Inspector and Cr Ainsworth. Feedback into the NRC draft report is required to be submitted on 6 April 2014.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council acknowledge the proposed changes to weed management may have effect on the funding and statutory/regulatory functions that currently exist for Council.

 

2        That Council lobby the Local Government Association to be regularly updated on any correspondence or changes to the draft recommendations implemented by the Natural Resources Commission.

 

3        That Council acknowledge that weed management is best delivered at a local level to ensure that new weed incursions are expediently controlled and widespread species are under effective management within current resource levels and funding limitations.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

That Council develop a response to the NRC review in regards to the questions raised by the NRC review.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The Draft Report in its entirety can be located on the NRC’s website www.nrc.nsw.gov.au.  The NRC has a summary of draft recommendations, attached, on pages 8 and 9 of the Draft Report (NRC Document No. D13/6066) which outlines the potential new direction for weed management within NSW. The draft report outlines some of the changes that may affect the current Local Control Authorities roles within weed management at a local level.

 

It is proposed within the draft report to continue supporting local level service delivery of the management of widespread weeds by Local Control Authorities (Council), with the dissolving of existing weed management committees and the forming of new weed committees based on the Local Land Service (LLS) boundaries (modelled similarly to the Bushfire Management Committee model) as sub committees to the LLS.

 

Local Land Services are the proposed agency for the management of all aquatic weed species, land tenure neutral and also, “assigning responsibility for enforcement action beyond the initial issuance of a weed control notice to LLS. These responsibilities include potentially taking an issue to court, or undertaking weed control and seeking compensation from the landholder” (Page 90 NRC Review – Enforcement Provisions). This system appears to be duplication of regulatory officers and also has potential legal ramifications for Council. If an LCA officer has to be subpoenaed for a Court Case involving weed management it is not clear as to who will cover the costs associated with such action.

 

Furthermore both Local Control Authority staff and the Local Land Services will have to have linked information data systems (mapping, documentation, photographic evidence, etc. and data share agreements) to provide accurate sharing of information if the LLS staff are to take on all regulatory functions after weed species have been identified to be established within any given property. 

 

There is also very little mention of funding arrangements and it is not clear as to whether Local Control Authorities will receive a similar level of funding from the state to perform weed management functions within the local area. 

 

The draft report, available for viewing online, also outlines that enforcement provisions of any new legislation should provide more substantial penalties, based on the severity and type of the offence (section 5a – Page 9 of the Draft NRC report). Under the current Noxious Weed Act the Sections 18a, 18 and eventual 20 (entry and control of weeds at the owner expense) presently provides an effective piece of legislation allowing the LGA to manage high priority weed species and prevent the spread into adjoining lands. There is only one negative associated with the legislation in that the same rules are not applied to public land managers, and Notices can only be issued to public land managers through application to the Minister of Primary Industries.

 

The Section 20 provisions should be retained within any changes to legislation as this provides the control authority to control high priority weeds at the land holder’s expense, without the potentially expensive and time consuming process of court action. 

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Rod Ensbey - Regional Invasive Pest Officer NSW DPI

North Coast Weeds Advisory Committee

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services

Manager Civil Works

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Noxious and environmental weeds threaten areas of high conservation value, pose a threat to native flora and fauna populations

 

Social

 

Invasive plant species can impact agricultural production, reduce access and aesthetics of natural areas for locals and tourists alike, and some species have a negative impact on human or animal health.

 

Economic

 

The NRC review into weed management may have an impact on current funding arrangements for the management of Invasive Plant Species, but Council will remain responsible for weed management within Council owned or managed lands into the future.

 

Risk

 

The draft report of the NRC review has raised an uncertain future for weed management within the Local Government system; there is uncertainty over existing funding and State management models, and also the perceived duplication of regulatory functions by Local Government Weed Officers and Local Land Services staff.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

Council has a legal obligation to control Noxious Weed Species on Council owned or managed lands and ongoing funding is required. The NRC review does not clearly outline if current funding arrangements will be retained - NSW DPI North Coast Weeds Action Program – Council received $63,000 (incl GST) for the 2013-14 year.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

No additional funds are required.

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

 

Unknown at this stage dependent on future funding opportunities. 

 

Attachments:

1

8129/2014 - Extract of Summary Draft Report Natural Resources Commission - Report Attachment

 

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 March 2014

Natural Resources Commission - Review into Weed Management