NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 July 2017

 

LATE AGENDA                                                                                        Page

 

9        General Manager Report

9.16   Regional Cultural Fund...................................................................................................... 2

10      Assistant General Manager Corporate Services Report

10.5   Regional Growth Fund - Stronger Country Communities Fund - Potential applications ......... 9    


         


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                     27 July 2017

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.16    SF2307            270717         Regional Cultural Fund

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

The NSW Government has now announced as part of the $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, a $100 million Regional Cultural Fund which will, “help the development of cultural infrastructure to enable bold and exciting arts and culture that reflects the rich diversity of regional NSW”.

 

The report concerns opportunities for grant applications for medium-scale and large-scale projects being an extension to the Nambucca Heads Library and secondly a “keeping place” museum for the Southern Gumbaynggirr peoples.

To seek funding under the program there is an expression of interest (EOI) process which opened on 17 July and which closes on 4 September 2017.  Those EOI’s which are successful will be announced on 23 October with final business cases due on 15 January 2018 with the final announcement made on 5 February 2018.

 

Recommendation:

 

1        The Library Service Strategic Plan Committee in association with Council’s Manager Community Development, library staff and Mr Allan Rudge be requested to develop general floor space requirements pertaining to an extension of the existing Nambucca Heads library building being the additional required floor space for the library collection, children’s area, “back of house”, computers, a meeting room facility as well as any other requirements by 24 August 2017.

 

2        Council engage Mr Allan Rudge to develop a concept plan for an extension of the Nambucca Heads library building in association with the Library Service Strategic Plan Committee and the library staff with the intent of having a concept plan with indicative budget available for lodgement with the expression of interest on or before 4 September 2017.

 

3        There be a further report to Council’s meeting on 31 August 2017 in relation to the concept plan for the extension of the Nambucca Heads Library prior to the lodgement of the expression of interest.

 

4        Council advise the Nambucca Heads, Unkya and Bowraville Local Aboriginal Land Councils of the opportunity for a keeping place for the Southern Gumbaynggirr peoples on land adjoining the Macksville library and further that Council would be open to discuss the ownership and the custodial arrangements for any building and collection with the opportunity to minimise operating costs by incorporating aspects of its operation into the Council’s library operations.  Further that a response by sought by 24 August if the Council is to lodge an expression of interest by 4 September 2017.

 

5        That the Nambucca Valley Arts Council; the Bowraville Arts Council Inc. and Council’s Business Advisory Committee be advised of the funding available under the Regional Cultural Fund and they be requested to put forward any initiatives by 24 August 2017.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are many options for potential grant funding.  It is anticipated that further options may be forthcoming from the Business Advisory Committee, the Nambucca Valley Arts Council, and Bowraville Arts Council Inc.

 

In relation to seeking grant funding for medium-scale and large-scale cultural infrastructure, the fundamental option is whether or not to seek such grants, knowing that the capital expenditure is likely to incur some additional recurrent spending.  The answer to this depends on the weighting attached to factors such as:

 

·      Level of confidence pertaining to Council’s financial sustainability

·      Required service levels across all of council’s activities

·      Anticipating changes in demand with population growth

·      Whether or not such opportunities for large capital grants will arise in the future.

 

It is certainly the case that the current levels of State Government grant funding available to regional NSW courtesy of the Restart funding are a generational opportunity.  Accepting that the service level from the already small Nambucca Heads library will further diminish with population growth, the opportunity should be taken to seek grant funding for its extension.

 

A museum or “keeping place” for the southern Gumbaynggirr people is a worthy initiative but represents a new facility or level of service and accordingly there would need to be negotiation with the Local Aboriginal Land Councils in relation to recurrent funding requirements; staffing; and governance before any agreement was entered into for the acceptance of a capital grant.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The NSW Government has now announced as part of the $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, a $100 million Regional Cultural Fund which will, “help the development of cultural infrastructure to enable bold and exciting arts and culture that reflects the rich diversity of regional NSW”.

 

Up to $25 million will be made available in the first round of funding.

The announcement states:

 

“Investment in arts and cultural facilities in regional NSW drives dynamic country towns and regional centres, with facilities and programs attracting visitors and giving regional artists more opportunities.

Cultural infrastructure also plays a role in supporting regional economic development and improving the lives of people living in regional environments. It ensures regional communities across NSW remain attractive and vibrant places for people to live.

Effective cultural infrastructure projects in regional NSW will ensure that arts and cultural facilities in NSW support a diverse and distinctive cultural offering, increased participation, regional development and the growth of the regional cultural sector.”

 

Types of projects that could be funded include:

·      building new local public cultural facilities

·      refurbishing existing local cultural facilities, such as libraries, museums and halls

·      digitisation of collections to enable wider access for regional communities

·      repurposing existing infrastructure for arts, screen, culture and heritage uses

·      projects that support touring exhibitions and community cultural engagement in regional areas.

Funds allocated within Round 1 of the Regional Cultural Fund will be provided in four categories:

·      small-scale regional cultural infrastructure grants of up to $60,000 for improving arts and cultural infrastructure and purchasing equipment for arts and cultural purposes

·      medium-scale regional cultural infrastructure grants between $60,000 and $1,000,000 to improve arts and cultural infrastructure and revitalise local communities and economies through strategic investment

·      large-scale cultural infrastructure investment grants over $1 million for cultural infrastructure in regional NSW, with a strong focus on partnerships with local councils and communities.

·      operational grants to support the delivery of arts, cultural, screen and heritage projects.

To seek funding under the program there is an expression of interest (EOI) process which opened on 17 July and which closes on 4 September 2017.  Those EOI’s which are successful will be announced on 23 October with final business cases due on 15 January 2018 with the final announcement made on 5 February 2018.

It is proposed that there be consultation with Council’s Business Advisory Committee, the Nambucca Valley Arts Council, and Bowraville Arts Council Inc., in relation to applications under all of the categories, and particularly for small scale and operational grants.

This report concerns opportunities for applications under the medium-scale and large-scale categories.

Nambucca Heads Library

The Nambucca Heads library building is about half the size of the Macksville library building yet caters for the largest number of library users.  The library is well under sized for its catchment population according to State Library benchmarks and any inspection of the library will demonstrate that on the ground it is a struggle to find space to undertake the functions required of a library.

 

The issue with the library floor space was identified in a report to Council at its meeting on 23 February 2017.  The report also discussed the changing nature of library services.  This is particularly evident at Nambucca Heads where the usage of computers is increasing; the floor area available for the weekly children’s Storytime is extremely limited; there is no small meeting room; and a tiny allocation for “back of house” activities.

 

Whilst Council has resolved to prepare a Library Service Strategic Plan and has appointed a Library Service Strategic Plan Committee it is the certainly the case that the restricted size of the Nambucca Heads library is an issue now and its significance will only increase over time.

 

There are options for the provision of additional floor space being a ground floor extension onto the adjoining, little used, concrete courtyard and/or an additional level.  A first floor extension would require a lift for disability access and may be problematic and expensive in terms of the site’s geotechnical conditions and continuity in library operations, but from the other perspective it is a commanding site in a central location and it would be a pity not to realise its full potential for an important public building.

 

Council’s procurement procedures manual provides that for the supply of a service below $5,000 including GST, that Council staff can engage a contractor.  Mr Allan Rudge who was instrumental in encouraging the Council in 1992 to build on the current site and who subsequently designed the building has a background in the site’s geotechnical issues.  Because of his association with the site and the existing building, Mr Rudge has expressed a strong interest in being involved in the preparation of a concept plan for its extension.

 

Depending upon the required consultation, the cost of this work should fall under $5,000.  Mr Rudge would need to accept the instruction to prepare the concept plan on the understanding that it would not bind Council to employing him to prepare plans for a development application and construction certificate as this would be a separate procurement process.

 


 

Aboriginal “Keeping Place”

 

It is the case that the Nambucca Valley has four local museums largely dedicated to our history post European settlement but no museum or “keeping place” for Aboriginal history pre and post European settlement.

 

It is understood that the Nambucca Heads and Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Councils have been seeking grant funding for their own respective “keeping places”, so far without success.  In addition to the capital cost of their construction, “stand alone” museums have substantial operating costs.  There would be a greater chance of securing grant funding for a single “keeping place” for the southern Gumbaynggirr people rather than separate “stand alone” premises potentially for each Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC).

 

By way of suggestion a “keeping place” with an emphasis on digital displays and records as opposed to artefacts could be constructed as a “pod” addition to the Macksville library on the vacant ground between the existing library and Dawkins Lake.  The potential for such a building was incorporated in the Master Plan for Dawkins Lake and whilst labelled a “Sustainability Centre” it would be equally suitable as a “keeping place”, with the linkage to the proposed bush tucker garden.

 

If the “pod” addition to the library was provided with a constructed linkage to the existing library as per Option 2 of the Master Plan there would be substantial savings in recurrent costs as access to the facility could be controlled via the Library.  For example the library strategic plan will consider the provision of RFID or radio frequency identification to improve the security of its collection and this technology could be readily applied to the security of the keeping place collection.

 

Whilst resources will be required to maintain the “keeping place” collection and provide interpretative education it would be far more cost effective to undertake this in conjunction with the existing library.  For example the library already has a number of volunteers who make important contributions to the library operations and their operations could be extended to the “keeping place”.

 

This initiative for a single “keeping place” in the Nambucca Valley for the southern Gumbaynggirr people has to be supported by the three Local Aboriginal Land Councils as it is culturally their keeping place, and not the Council’s.  The ownership of the land on which the building is located could be open to negotiation with an agreement in place to control its operation in association with the library.  There would also need to be negotiation in relation to recurrent funding requirements; staffing; and governance, for example by an Incorporated Association.

 

At this early stage it is proposed that Council write to the three Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs); apprise them of the opportunity for grant funding; outline the concept of a “keeping place” associated with the Macksville Library and seek their feedback regarding the proposal.  Without unanimous agreement from the respective LALCs a project of such social and cultural significance could not proceed.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with:

 

Council’s Grants Officer

Council’s Manager Community Development

Nambucca Heads library staff

Mr Allan Rudge

Council’s Coordinator Strategic Planning and Natural Resources

Ms Louise Robinson, CEO of the Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council

 


 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

At this stage there are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

At this stage there are no significant social implications.  The recommendation effectively provides for further consultation to identify and resolve matters.

 

Economic

 

At this stage there are no particular economic issues.

 

Risk

 

The major risk with any new community infrastructure is the additional operating costs, particularly staffing.  This is discussed in the report.  Consolidating floor space extensions with an existing facility will minimise the required additional staff resources. 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

At this stage there are no budgetary impacts.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there will be a minor impact on working funds being the employment of Mr Rudge to prepare a concept plan.

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

 

At this stage there is no service level or resourcing implications.

 

Attachments:

1

27824/2017 - Dawkins Park Concept Design Option 2

 

2

27825/2017 - Dawkins Park Central Facility Options

 

  


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 July 2017

Regional Cultural Fund

 


Ordinary Council Meeting - 27 July 2017

Regional Cultural Fund

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                                     27 July 2017

Assistant General Manager Corporate Services Report

ITEM 10.5    SF2307            270717         Regional Growth Fund - Stronger Country Communities Fund - Potential applications

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:    Teresa Boorer, Grants Officer         

 

Summary:

 

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is a part of the recently announced Regional Growth Program.

 

Nambucca Shire Council is in Tranche A for this Fund and applications for grant funding close on 9 August 2017.

 

An email was distributed on 20 July 2017, asking for input and prioritisation of a list of potential projects. This email was sent to Councillors, some Council staff, and all the Chambers of Commerce.

 

The replies were varied and priorities were very different across the board.

 

Given the short turnaround time to submit applications and the necessity to obtain quotes, at least two (2), for all submitted applications, and the need for community consultation, it will be necessary to submit applications we can prepare in this limited timeframe.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

Council submit applications under the Stronger Country Communities Fund for the following projects:

 

(a)      Lighting for Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads, for both the Rugby League and Soccer fields at approximately $420,000 plus replacement of retaining wall at approximately $100,000 – up to $520,000;

 

(b)      Bowraville Connections – amenities upgrade, children’s playground and BBQ area at Hennessey Tape Oval – up to $500,000; and

 

(c)      Macksville Fitness Precinct – lighting for the Rugby League field, major kitchen renovation for the clubhouse, and heating of the Macksville Pool – up to $400,000.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

There are numerous options for grant funding under this program, however to prepare the applications in the short timeframe available limits the viability of applications for some projects.

 

Council can choose to apply for funding for the three projects recommended above, or apply for another project, or other projects that appeared in the email, however time is a major constraint.

 

Council may choose to apply for funding in the next round for the Fund Program which would grant more time for preparation of applications for the larger projects identified in our adopted plans and strategies.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

The NSW Government has committed $200 million over the next two years for applications to support local infrastructure projects that will improve amenity and help sustain the social bonds at the heart of strong regional communities. The Stronger Country Communities Fund opened on 7 July 2017 and applications for Tranche A, of which Nambucca Shire Council is one of the listed Councils, close on 9 August 2017.

 

Given the requirements for the applications to have community consultation, two quotes and to demonstrate community need in the applications, priority needs to be given to those applications we can prepare in the limited timeframe and those that we know we can achieve.

 

Notwithstanding the need for all the projects identified in the email sent out on 20 July 2017, the funding program is noted to be run over 2 years, and this will give us time to source the quotations, engage in community consultation, and prepare the well thought out and well worded applications needed for the bigger projects, in the next round of funding announced for this program.

 

Responses were received from Mayor Hoban, Councillors Jones, Reed and Smyth and also from the Valla, Nambucca Heads Chamber of Commerce.

 

The listing of potential projects was:

 

(a)  Sporting Fields Lighting for Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads – both fields;

 

(b)  Bowraville Connections - Amenities, BBQ area and Children’s Playground as part of the Concept Plan;

 

(c)  Upgrade of Dawkins Park as noted in the Dawkins Park Macksville Landscape Enhancement - June 2016 (see Page 6 of plan);

 

(d)  Sporting Fields lighting - combined application for Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads and Macksville Park, Macksville;

 

(e)  Revitalisation of V-Wall precinct including lighting, upgrade of amenities, realigning carpark, reclaiming open space and landscaping (see Page 69 of Nambucca River MasterPlan);

 

(f)   Revitalisation of Macksville Town Centre as identified in Macksville Town Centre Revitalisation Plan (particularly see Pages 7 & 8) including River Street amenities, street tree planting, lighting - in trees, on foreshore and Macksville Bridge, Wallace Lane upgrade, outdoor dining & public art;

 

(g)  Heating of the Olympic sized swimming pool at Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre;

 

The responses listed the priorities for the potential projects quite differently, and an overview of the responses, with noted priorities, is below:

 

·      Sporting Fields Lighting for Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads – both fields;

Priority #7 for both Councillor Reed, and the Chambers of Commerce; #3 Councillor Smyth and #6 Mayor Hoban;

·      Bowraville Connections - Amenities, BBQ area and Children’s Playground as part of the Concept Plan;

Priority #4 for Councillor Reed, and #3 Chambers of Commerce; #1 for both Mayor Hoban and Councillor Smyth;

·      Upgrade of Dawkins Park as noted in the Dawkins Park Macksville Landscape Enhancement - June 2016 (see Page 6 of plan;

Priority #3 for Councillor Reed, and #6 Chambers of Commerce; #2 for Mayor Hoban and #5 Councillor Smyth;

·      Sporting Fields lighting - combined application for Coronation Park, Nambucca Heads and Macksville Park, Macksville;

Priority #5 for Councillor Reed, and #8 Chambers of Commerce; #7 for Mayor Hoban and #4 Councillor Smyth;

·      Revitalisation of V-Wall precinct including lighting, upgrade of amenities, realigning carpark, reclaiming open space and landscaping (see Page 69 of Nambucca River MasterPlan);

Priority #6 for Councillor Reed, and #1 Chambers of Commerce; #3 for Mayor Hoban and #2 Councillor Smyth;

·      Revitalisation of Macksville Town Centre as identified in Macksville Town Centre Revitalisation Plan (particularly see Pages 7 & 8) including River Street amenities, street tree planting, lighting - in trees, on foreshore and Macksville Bridge, Wallace Lane upgrade, outdoor dining & public art;

Priority #1 for Councillor Reed, and #4 Chambers of Commerce; #4 for Mayor Hoban and #6 Councillor Smyth;

·      Heating of the Olympic sized swimming pool at Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre;

Priority #2 for Councillor Reed, and #5 Chambers of Commerce; #5 for Mayor Hoban and #7 Councillor Smyth;

 

Councillor Jones responded to the email, however didn’t prioritise projects, but commented that “the more applications the better. Councillor Jones advised he was supportive of all efforts.

 

The Valla Beach, Nambucca Heads Chambers of Commerce also suggested we apply in Tranche B for funding for murals, artwork and signage, however Nambucca Shire Council can only apply in Tranche A. Tranche B and Tranche C invite applications for the same funding, but from different groups of rural councils.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with:

 

Councillors

General Manager

Manager Community Development

Manager Finance

Manager Assets

Coordinator Strategic Planning and Natural Resources

Manager Business Development

All three Chambers of Commerce

 

Comment from General Manager

 

The large “sand bag” retaining wall at Coronation Park built in the 1970’s needs to be replaced with a longer lasting concrete solution.  An estimate of cost for this work is $100,000.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

At this stage there are no implications for the environment.

 

Social

 

At this stage there are no significant social implications.

 

Economic

 

At this stage there are no particular economic issues. Funding applications for less than $1 million do not require a co-contribution from applying Councils.

 

Risk

 

The major risk with any new or improved community infrastructure is the additional operating costs.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

At this stage there are no budgetary impacts.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there are no variances to working funds.

 

Service level changes and resourcing/staff implications

 

At this stage there is no service level or resourcing implications.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.