Ordinary Council Meeting - 02 July 2009


AGENDA                                                                                                   Page


1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER


4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 18 June 2009

5        Notices of Motion

5.1     Notice of Motion - Naming of Lane in Macksville  

6        DELEGATIONS—Motion to hear Delegations



9        General Manager Report

9.1     Outstanding Actions and Reports

9.2     Grant Application Status Report - 23 June 2009

9.3     Reclassification of the Bowraville - Bellingen Road from a Regional Road to a Local Road

9.4     Purchase of Macksville East Public School Site - Thistle Park

10      Director Environment and Planning Report

10.1   Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy and Changes to Youth Services at Council

10.2   NSW Sport and Recreation Traineeship

10.3   Report on Review of Nambucca Shire Council - On-site Sewage Management Plan

10.4   Report on DA 2008/269 Deck, Garage & Internal Alterations/Change of Use to Residential - 48 High Street, Bowraville

10.5   Outstanding DA's >12 months, applications where submissions received & not determined 23 June 2009

10.6   Report on Land & Environment Court Challenge by Nambucca Valley Conservation Association in regard to DA 2004/136

11      Director Engineering Services Report

11.1   Nambucca District Water Supply Bowraville Off-River Storage Steering Committee Minutes - 3 June 2009

11.2   Minutes from the Plant Committee Meetings held 29 January and 19 June 2009    




Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

Notice of Motion

ITEM 5.1      SF1269            020709         Notice of Motion - Naming of Lane in Macksville


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Moran OAM, Councillor         




The lane between West and Wallace Street, fronting onto Station Street, Macksville, is not named.


The main concern to the residents, who live off the lane, are experiencing problems in describing the location of the lane to emergency services.


Council should advertise for a name for this lane relating to the Provost family who have been in this vicinity for over 80 years.





1        That Council advertise calling for a name for the lane between West Street and Wallace Street, Macksville.


2        That consideration be given to a name relating to the Provost family.








There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.1      SF959              020709         Outstanding Actions and Reports


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         




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






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

















NoM - Council write to the appropriate department and request a total ban on night netting on all Nambucca Shire Council beaches.


The meeting with Dave Mitchell was held on the 25 March 2009 and as a result Council determined a number of actions:


1  That a letter be written to the Minister for Primary Industries seeking legislation that enables enforcement of the Code of Conduct for Ocean Haul Fishermen.


2  That information be sought on the success or otherwise of having a Professional Fishermen's Motor Vehicle Beach Access Permit.


3  That the Department of Primary Industries Representative raise the concerns of Nambucca Shire Council at the next meeting of the Ocean Haul Operators Management Advisory Committee.


4  That the Department of Primary Industries be asked to provide temporary signage on the beach that advises the public that Beach Haul fishing is underway with reference to the Department of Primary Industries Website.



Report on commercial fishermen to be prepared for Council after further consulting with the Department of Primary Industries. Ongoing discussions with DPI.

DPI recommended a local meeting with the representative of the commercial fishermen, DPI and Council.

Dave Mitchell (Commercial Fishermen Representative of the Ocean Haul Operators) has agreed to discuss this years operations with Council before the end of March.


David Mitchell has spoken to local commercial operators re Council concern.


Request for feedback sought from Kempsey Shire Council on the Professional Fishermen’s Permit Scheme.


Minister’s representative considering Council’s comment on a legislated Code of Conduct.


Season is late this year, expected late May.  The Department of Primary Industries will respond to any issues.  The Department of Primary Industries will be issuing guidelines that include the beach signs.


Floods have impacted on this year’s season.  Mullet prices are low.  Likely to be little impact this year.


JULY 2008








Item 9.9


Council make representation to Minister for Lands seeking agreed compensation for subdivision of Reserve 91694



Letter sent 15/07/08.

Follow up letter sent 14/11/2008.

Minister for Lands has advised by letter dated 8/1/09 that land will be made available to Council as per the agreement following finalisation of an Aboriginal Land Claim.

Follow up letter sent 9 April.



Item 11.4


That a new plan of management be prepared for Farringdon Playing Fields


Awaiting outcome of grant application before proceeding.

Outcome of grant expected early December but not yet received.

Funding declined.  Work on preparing plan to be scheduled.


Interested parties will need to identify potential uses for inclusion in revised plan of management.


Local cricket and soccer associations to be contacted regarding use of the fields.


No response as at 22 June 2009.








Notice of Motion - Riverbank Erosion - Riverside Drive Nambucca Heads – report re geotechnical engineers re stability of Riverside Drive





Subject to GHD undertaking evaluation.

Separate assessments underway for:


Ellis Ave & Doyle Lane Landslips:

      Awaiting further survey.


Catchment Assessment:

       Report being prepared by GHD.








Council review biennial the Community Infrastructure and Infrastructure Needs Study and review annually the Section 94 Community Facilities and Open Space Contributions Plan Works Schedule.



Report November 2009




That Council receive a report back on the Dept. of Local Government Circular 08-61 – Plumbing Inspections by Council.



16 April 2009

Matter deferred as AIBS and DEPA are currently investigating the consequences of this circular.







That during the first half of the 2009/10 year Council call for community input into a new Environmental Levy program for the 5 year period to the end of 2014/2015.



Programmed for September 2009.




Alliance Tender for the Provision of a Corporate Software System


That Council seek the agreement of the tenderers to an extended evaluation period which will conclude on 30 June 2009.



MIT consulting with tenderers.  Tender evaluation to occur April/May 2009.




That the Wellington Drive component of the Urban Design Strategy be deferred pending a further report to Council in relation to further studies re land slip, rising sea level and traffic/parking.



Report March 2009.

Deferred in Draft Budget.

16 April 2009 meeting.

Deferred until draft Nambucca River Master Plan prepared.






Preparation of landscape design for River Street, Macksville in consultation with Joan’s Army and Council staff.



Quotations being sought.

Late March.

Deferred to May 2009.

Deferred to June 2009.

Deferred to July 2009.





DES to enquire with Department of Public Works about opportunities to remove or refurbish the river gauging station in River Street, Macksville.


Letter sent to the Manly Hydraulics Laboratory.


The Dept of Commerce have advised that Council in 1981 raised no objection to the Department of Public Works proposal to install an automatic recorder after consideration of the approximate location and type of structure, The site is important because of the consistency with historical data. An alternative building or structure must still use the same site.



Letter sent re standard of building required.








That a new plan of management for the reserve within Kingsworth Estate be prepared by DES.  To include pedestrian and vehicular access arrangements and management of environmental values.



October 2009




Council write to Country Energy concerning energy being wasted with street lighting at the Pearl Estate off the Pacific Highway at Valla, pointing out there are no houses and the road is blocked to prevent access.



DES to meet Country Energy to discuss further.


Meeting 15 June 2009—Cancelled

Now 13 July 2009





That a report be brought to Council on its capacity to keep electronic information long term and in a fail safe condition.



MIT to report in July 2009.

MARCH 2009




That Council make representations to the DECC and RFS re requirements for bushfire asset protection zones around houses.



Letters to be prepared and sent.


Letters sent 16 March 2009.

Response from DECC received

No response from RFS as at 23 June 2009.





The RTA be requested to revise the speed limit along the Pacific Highway at Bellwood to 50km/hr.



Letter sent.


No response as at 24 March 2009.


RTA advised 6 April 2009 that they will review and advise Council of outcome.

Follow up letter sent to RTA.


No response as at 22 June 2009.





That Council review the Carparking Section 94 plan for Nambucca Heads..



Target report to Council in July 2009.  Report to consider priorities for contribution plan reviews.





That a report go back to the Land Development Committee on the outcome of advertising for expressions of interest for the purchase and development of industrial land in Nambucca Heads.




Report to come back following advertising.


DES to investigate potential for closure of part of the road to add to the industrial land.


Surveyor to identify services and boundaries.

APRIL 2009




Views of Chambers of Commerce, Nambucca Valley Tourism and High Schools be sought as to proposed marketing slogan and billboards and alternative suggestions



To be reported back in August 2009





That the future of the Pioneer Community Centre be subject to a further report to Council in 3 months time following receipt of any proposal from the CoM to retain the building.

Also Council seek the flat be vacated and obtain insurance details.


Report in August 2009.  Letter sent 20/4/09 to CoM requesting that the flat be vacated and requesting insurance details.


Committee of Management wish to be provided with reasons as to why the flat should be vacated (verbal advice to GM on 22/5/09).


Committee of Management advised that vacancy of flat recommended by the report on the building’s fire safety (by letter on 23/6/09).





Sub-Committee continue a review of Draft Management Plan so that it can be presented to Council in March 2010.


A report is to be prepared to the Sub-Committee on a staged process for reviewing the Draft Management Plan.  Report to be completed by June 2009.  Subcommittee to report by March 2010.





Council make representations to the Minister for Emergency Services and Minister for Roads to seek funding for the repair of landslips in Nambucca Heads which occurred as a consequence of the flood events in February and March 2009.  Also that Council make representations to the Insurance Council for the provision of insurance for land slip damage.



Letters sent 21 April 2009.


Follow-up letter sent 28 May 2009.


DES to write to RTA requesting a program as to when they will make determinations and when emergency funds will be available.




That Council write to Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Councils seeking a joint inspection of the Coffs Coast Waste Facility.



Letter of request forwarded on 1 May 2009.


Date set for 2.00 pm on Monday 29 June 2009.




That the revised road hierarchy plan, incorporating a grading program be deferred to the next GPC meeting with Councillors to provide any comments to Acting DES within 7 days.



Report to GPC 17 June 2009.


Deferred to GPC July 2009.

MAY 2009




That Council receive a report on progress and a timeline for completion of Stage 1 of the Climate Protection Program and that the report also identify the staffing resources and funds needed to complete the project.


To be considered with report on administrative staff due July 2009.



07/05/09 & 4/6/09

That the report concerning Wia-Ora sand and gravel quarry consider options for calling in bonds to undertake works.



To be reported 21 May 2009.

Deferred to June 2009 to enable all options to be considered.

See item in business paper 4/6/2009.


Council again write to Dept Water & Energy

Letter sent 10 June 2009.






That the staffing of the Department of Environment and Planning be reviewed in 6 months or upon resignation of any professional staff member, whichever occurs first.



Report to Consultative Committee 8 July 2009 and Council 16 July 2009.




Council receive a report relating to the need for administrative support across the organisation.



Report to Consultative Committee 8 July 2009 and Council 16 July 2009.




Council investigate the implementation and costs of an effluent management system at the saleyards



August 2009




Allocation for retaining wall at Little Beach be deferred for consideration at the September Quarterly Review



November 2009




Council consider a report on the operation of the saleyards as a business unit and what, if any, subsidy is to be applied to its operations.



November 2009




Council review the cycleway plan so as to ensure its funding requirements are realistic.



December 2009




Council receive a report on the funding and use of the reserves for the Council Chambers Upkeep, Self Insurance and Tourist Centre Upkeep.



September 2009




Council staff to undertake preliminary investigations in regard to bidding for the land (Thistle Park).



21 May 2009 (in closed)

Letter of offer sent to Minister for Education on 25 May 2009.

Report in business paper




Council write to Parliamentary Secretary for Roads seeking assurance that the Macksville Bridge will cope with future traffic flows; that Council be provided with a copy of the most recent reports on the structural integrity of the Bridge.



Letter sent 18 June 2009.




That the draft tree planting program for 2009/10 be referred to Council for its consideration.



Report July 2009




Use of Road Reserves and public land for commercial, community and charitable activities – that there be a further report to consider items 1-6 in the letter from the Chamber of Commerce.



Report in August 2009.

Meeting scheduled for 5.00 pm 16 June 2009 with Chambers of Commerce.

Formal responses requested from participants by end July 2009 for presentation to Access Committee before finalising policy.




Council seek from the Minister for the Environment acceptance that the sampling data for the old landfill indicate down stream impacts are minimal and re-installation of the leachate interception trench is not justifiable.



Local DECC office advised by letter of Council’s intention.

Formal proposal for Minister being prepared.







Council consider the provision of additional monitoring bores at the landfill with a report on the cost for installation and monitoring.



Report to July 2009.

proceeding to provide 3 addition monitoring bores at the Cost of $3,000




Thank you to Ray Hadley re Thistle Park when matter with Dept of Education has been finalised




Letter of offer sent to Minister of Education sent 25 May 2009.

JUNE 2009




Report on options for pedestrian safety for Wallace Street in consultation with M&D Chamber of Commerce



Report September GPC.

Preliminary concepts commenced.




Review of Tourism Function



Deferred to 16 September GPC


QWN 259


Cr Flack – Harriman’s Lane – Report to Council


This matter has been deemed an operation issue and a separate memo has been issued to all Councillors advising the actions in the matter.





Council request DECC & other depts to agree on a protocol for emergency clean up work.


Council formally thank staff involved in the flood events for their work and initiative.



DES issued thank you letter to all involved.

Draft agreements forwarded to three government departments.



General Manager made verbal thank you at Depot.





That Council seek more information regarding 4 yr funding agreement from Mid North Coast Headspace.



Request for additional information sent to Headspace Mid North Coast on 7 June 2009.

Chairman of Headspace advised of Council Resolution on 6 June 2009.  Council resolved on 18 June to write to Minister Roxon requesting retention of funding.  Letter sent 23 June 2009.





Joint Regional Planning Panels – request extension of time


Letter sent 10 June 2009.




That the RTA be requested to contribute 50% of the funding to undertake repair of the landslip below Jason Cottages and the matter be reviewed at the budget review for the June 2009 quarter.



To be considered at September 2009 GPC.


Letter sent to RTA.




That the report on S138 applications, bonds and footpath specifications be deferred so as to enable more information to be provided on the standard of concrete




Report to be resubmitted to July GPC meeting.




That the RTA be requested to contribute 50% of the funding for the works required to stabilise Riverside Drive from landslip in addition to the Regional Road funding.






Council clarify ownership of the land (associated with the draft Scotts Head Reserve Masterplan) before proceeding further and when the information is obtained that Council proceed with a workshop and site visit to determine its position.




There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.2      SF706         020709         Grant Application Status Report - 23 June 2009


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Jenny Chance, Grants Officer          




At Council’s meeting on 7 December 2006 it was resolved that there be a quarterly return submitted to Council on grant programs.





That the list of grant programs and their status to 23 June 2009 be received.






Funding Amount


NSW Maritime – Maritime Infrastructure Program



Pontoon and Gangway at Lions Park, Ferry Street – Macksville.

Pontoon and Gangway at Tourist Office Finger Wharf – Nambucca Heads.

NSW Blackspot Program



Pedestrian refuge at Bowra Street, Nambucca Heads.

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Volunteers Grants Program



Nambucca District Little Athletics – Computer, camera and filing cabinets.


Nambucca Heads Junior Rugby League Football Club – Coffee maker and a step ladder.


Nambucca Heads Touch Football – Computer and a photocopier.


NSW Attorney General’s Department – NSW Crime Prevention Grant


Program to assist licensed premises to implement strategies towards a safer environment for women.

Department of Planning - NSW Coastline Cycleway Grants Program


Funding for shared pedestrian/cycleway along Pacific Highway, Nambucca Heads.

Department of Climate Change – Local Adaptation Pathways Program


Funding to assist councils to integrate climate change risk assessment into their broader decision-making processes. Joint application between Nambucca, Kempsey and Bellingen Shires.

Department of Sport and Recreation – Capital Assistance Program


Nambucca Tennis Club lighting upgrade.

Department of Environment and Climate Change - Regional Regulated Area Council Grant



To assist with costs associated with weighbridge at Nambucca Waste Management Facility


Department of Local Government – Playground Upgrades




Install border and softfall to Donnelly Welsh Park and Taylors Arm Sports Reserve.











Grant Program


Grant Details and Status


Department of Community Services (NSW) – Area Assistance Scheme


Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $110,000

Opens: Applications Submitted

Closed: 10 October  2008

Outcome: Successful applications to be announced mid 2009







Grant 1:$45,000

Council contribution: $3,200 (in-kind)


Grant 2:$110,000

Council contribution: $0.00





Grant 3:$30,700

Council contribution: $0.00








Grant 4:$24,761

Council contribution: $0.00




The Area Assistance Scheme (AAS) is a regional community development program run by the Communities Division, NSW Department of Community Services.

The AAS provides grants to local Councils and non-government not-for-profit organisations for projects that improve community well being and how communities function. The AAS works within a whole-of-government framework to deliver its outcomes. In 2008/09 the AAS will funds project between $10 000 and $110 000.


Council submitted or assisted in the following applications:


1) Argents Hill Hall – Improvements to hall including general maintenance and structural works.


2) Marine Rescue Building – Funding towards the construction of a new building for the Nambucca River Marine Rescue services to store 2 boats, other equipment and provide training and use of a meeting room.


3) Warrell Creek Hall – Improvements to hall including insulating part of the building and adding exhaust fans, new floor coverings in kitchen, refurbishing of stage area, fencing and boundary restoration works, new footpath, water tank, installation of alarm device for the septic overflow tank, new bbq, shade area and picnic tables.


4) Unkya Reserve – Improvements including new switchboard, safety circuit breakers, power points and lights to resolve safety and power overloading issues, replacement of old canteen roof and guttering, water tank and plumbing equipment, tiling in canteen and toilet block.





Department of Local Government – Playground Upgrades


Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $20,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closed: 21 November 2008

Outcome: Successful

Grant: $20,000.00

Council contribution: $0.00



A total of $2 million has been made available over two years. Round 1 grants for 2008/09 have been allocated and councils are now invited to apply for Round 2 grants for 2009/10.

The grants will only be available for local government and must be used to either provide new playground facilities and/or equipment or upgrade existing playground facilities and/or equipment. Councils must utilise grants received for playground projects on land which is council-owned or managed. Funded playground projects must be free to use and publicly accessible. Projects will be funded in 2009/10 to a maximum of $20,000.

All councils in NSW are eligible and encouraged to apply for funding under the program. There is a limit of one project application per council. Councils which were successful in receiving a grant under Round 1 of the Playground Equipment Upgrade may also submit an application under Round 2.


An application was submitted to install border and softfall to Donnelly Welsh Park and Taylors Arm Sports Reserve.



National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund Emergency Management Australia (EMA), the Division within the Attorney-General's Department.

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome: Successful applications announcement in July 2009

Grant: $150,000

Council contribution: $0.00



The National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund focuses on emergency management volunteers in recognition of their needs and the significant front line role they play in reducing vulnerability and enhancing community safety.

To ensure ongoing protection of communities it is critical that all volunteer agencies maintain their current levels of staffing and training.

The Australian Government is offering funding in 2009/10 through the National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund for projects which specifically address the recruitment, retention and training of volunteers.

Application submitted by Nambucca River Volunteer Marine Rescue Squad.



Country Halls Renewal Fund


Funding basis: 2:1

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: Always Open



Grant 1: $50,000

Council contribution: $0.00


Grant 2: $12,754.13

Council contribution: $6,377.07


Grant 3:: $17,052.00

Council contribution: $4,556.00


Grant 4:: $TBA

Council contribution: $0.00


Grant 5: $4,560.80

Council contribution: $0.00


Grant 6: $50,000

Council contribution: $0.00


Grant 7: 23,246.50

Council contribution: $0.00



$2.5 million over 5 years towards renewing country halls. The fund will be delivered by the Office of Rural Affairs.


Applications are currently being prepared for:




1) Argents Hill Hall – Repairs



2) Nambucca Entertainment Centre – External painting


3) Taylors Arm Hall – Kitchen, flooring and windows


4) Burrapine Hall – Repairs



5) Bowraville CWA Hall – Painting and repairs



6) Nambucca Senior Citizens Hall – Painting, flooring and repairs


7) Talarm Hall – General repairs


Notice of the program has been distributed to the Committees of Management for the halls



Norman Wettenhall Foundation

Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $10,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 31 March 2009

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant 1: $10,000

Council contribution: $0.00



Support is given to projects that enhance or maintain the vitality and diversity of the Australian natural living environment.


The objectives of the Foundation are:


·     to build capacity in local communities to effect long-term beneficial change in the natural environment

·     to support and encourage research into, and monitoring of, all aspects of Australia's natural environment

·     to support education relating to our natural environment

·     Principles



Pre-approval to lodge a submission has been received for funding towards seating and signage for the Crosswinds Wetlands Reserve.  An application has been submitted.




The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government – Indigenous Road Safety Grants

Funding basis: Fully funded up to $30,000

Opens: Application Submitted

Closing: 27 March 2009

Outcome: To be advised in June 2009

Grant: $30,000

Council contribution: $20,000



The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government is now inviting applications for Indigenous Road Safety Grants for 2009-2010. One or more grants up to a total of $30,000 will be awarded to applicants for projects that will help improve road safety for Indigenous people.


Application forms and detailed information about the grants are available from the Department’s website.




The grant is offered as a means to:


·     encourage innovative and worthwhile initiatives to help reduce road trauma affecting Indigenous people; and

·     increase the range of initiatives available to address road safety for Indigenous people.


An application has been prepared to fund engineering works, informative signage at Bellwood and a children's safety booklet. 


Department of Environment and Climate Change – NSW Climate Change Fund – Public Facilities Program


Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Application prepared

Closing: 30 April 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $463,515

Council contribution: $14,040 (in-kind)




$30m for water and energy saving projects in facilities open to the public eg schools, community buildings, sporting facilities, museums and art galleries. 


Eligibility criteria


Applications are open to providers of non-profit public or educational facilities for projects which:


§ publicly demonstrate how water and/or energy savings can work

§ stimulate investment in innovative ways to save, harvest and recycle water and/or reduce overall energy consumption (and related greenhouse emissions) and/or peak electricity demand.


An application submitted for funding towards lighting and air conditioning system upgrade in Council’s Administration Building and six outdoor solar lights.  This is complimented with funding towards a free community globe promotion and an educational information sheet.




Australian Government – Caring for our Country funding

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 6 March 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $100,000

Council contribution: $14,000



Caring for our Country funding

The Australian Government is now calling for investment proposals for projects that will meet the targets outlined in the Caring for our Country business plan 2009-10. Caring for our Country is an Australian Government initiative that seeks to achieve an environment that is healthy, better protected, well managed and resilient, and provides essential ecosystem services in a changing climate.


The Australian Government is seeking investment proposals for landscape-scale projects that achieve one or more targets in specific geographic locations or key assets.

Projects can be large, medium or small:

·    large-scale projects in the order of $20 million over four years

·    medium-scale projects of up to $3 million per annum (a value of $2-3 million would be expected for most medium-scale projects)

·    small-scale projects of between $20,000 and $100,000 per annum.


Council is working together with Landcare to submit an application that includes weed removal, field days, workshops and other on ground works and will involve a small devolved grant scheme for land owners and community groups.


Local Infrastructure Support FundBuilding the Country Package – Department of State and Regional Development – Expression of Interest

Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 20 March 2009

Outcome: Unsuccessful

Grant: $100,000

Council contribution: $0.00


$52 million over 5 years supporting infrastructure projects that are directly linked to economic development opportunities. The fund will be delivered by the Department of State and Regional Development.


Application submitted for infrastructure works at Macksville Saleyards.


NRMA – Community Grants Program

Funding basis: Fully funded up to $5,000

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 25 March 2009

Outcome: TBA


Grant 1: $4,998

Council contribution: $0.00

Grant 2: $5,000

Council contribution: $0.00



The Community Grants Program provides funding to support community and not for profit organisations that are making our communities safer, particularly in the areas of crime prevention, road safety, emergency readiness and response, and the environment.


1) Funding towards solar hot water system at E J Biffin Fields


2) Funding towards production of brochure for Crosswinds



Jobs Fund

Funding basis: Fully funded

Opens: Application submitted

Closing: 22 May 2009

Outcome: TBA


Grant 1: $4,500,000

Council contribution: $TBA

Grant 2: $441,350

Council contribution: $75,000



The Jobs Fund is a $650 million Australian Government initiative to support and create jobs and increase skills through innovative projects that build community infrastructure and increase social capital in local communities across the country. Through the Jobs Fund the Government will invest in one-off capital projects and provide seed funding for social enterprises. The Jobs Fund is a temporary resource. The aim of the Jobs Fund is to produce long-term improvements in communities affected by the global economic downturn. The Jobs Fund projects will focus on directly generating jobs for people in communities with already high unemployment levels, rising jobless rates or which are particularly vulnerable.


1) Funding towards Nambucca Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade


2)  Funding towards cycleway in Bellwood (Pacific Highway) in partnership with Green Team.




Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Grants


Funding basis: Fully Funded up to $100,000

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 29 May 2009

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $100,000

Council contribution: $0.00




The aim of the Restoration and Rehabilitation (R&R) program is to facilitate projects to prevent or reduce pollution, the waste stream or environmental degradation of any kind, run by community organisations and State and Local government organisations. Through these projects, we also aim to improve the capacity of communities and organisations to protect, restore and enhance the environment.

The Objectives of the Environmental Restoration and Rehabilitation Program are: 

    to restore degraded environmental resources, including rare and endangered ecosystems 

    to protect important ecosystems and habitats of rare and endangered flora and fauna 

    to prevent or minimize future environmental damage

    to enhance the quality of specific environmental resources

    to improve the capacity of eligible organisations to protect, restore and enhance the environment to undertake resource recovery and waste avoidance projects and to prevent and/or reduce pollution.


Application prepared for Macksville Saleyards



Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS) – Ministry of Transport


Funding basis: Fully Funded

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 25 June 09

Outcome: TBA

Grant: $100,000 approx

Council contribution: $0.00




The Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Grants Scheme (CPTIGS) is administered by the Ministry of Transport. It provides support funding to improve the amenity of passenger transport infrastructure in rural, regional and remote communities of NSW


Who Can Apply?


Local government, incorporated community organisations, transport operators and other interested organisations that have a current Australian Business Number are eligible.


Application prepared for upgrade of Cook Street Interchange, Bowraville.







Grant Program



Building the Country Package


Funding basis: Various

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: Various


Building the Country Package announced by the Rees Government. 


The funding programs are designed to support people who live and work in country areas. 



Arts NSW – Project Funding


Funding basis: Various

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 6 July 2009


Project Funding through application


All eligible applicants can apply for Project Funding through the application process set out in the 2010 Arts Funding Program Guidelines. Funding is offered for four specific purposes:


Capital – A contribution of up to 50 per cent towards the development of arts and cultural infrastructure that increases access to purpose-designed and well-managed facilities, including multi-purpose facilities and hubs. Up to $100,000 but funding up to $250,000 may be considered in exceptional circumstances;


Creation and/or Presentation – Support for any stage in the creative development and/or public presentation of arts and cultural work.

 – up to $30,000 for a creative development, or

– up to $30,000 for a public presentation, or

– up to $60,000 for an application including both creative development and public presentation;


Performing Arts Touring – Support for greater access to professional performing arts programs throughout NSW. No limit;


Strategic Industry Development – Support for projects with sustainable long-term outcomes for the development of the arts and cultural industry in NSW. Up to $50,000 per annum.




Regional Arts Fund


Funding basis: 1:1

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 14 August 2009


Categories for the Regional Arts Fund include:


1 New Initiatives


This category assists groups to undertake projects in any artform that: extend knowledge, participation and/or development of arts and culture within communities; address cultural themes or issues of significance in local communities; are initiated by and with the community; provide opportunities for collaboration and skills development of locally based arts workers.


2 Partnerships


This category assists groups to undertake projects in any artform that: assist in the development of sustainable cultural networks;

promote partnerships that support community and cultural exchange; have long-term arts and community cultural development outcomes for communities; are initiated by and with the community. Partnerships can be with the non-arts sectors and specific target groups either within communities, between towns, within regions or across the state.


NSW Community Building Partnerships


Funding basis: Fully Funded for community groups, Council requires matching funds

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 10 August 2009


The NSW Government’s $35 million Community Building Partnership program will support local jobs, stimulate growth and improve community facilities.

Community groups and local councils across NSW will be eligible to submit applications for funding that will help support local infrastructure and jobs

The NSW Community Building Partnership will invest $300,000 into building local community projects in every electoral district – with an additional $100,000 to be invested in electoral districts with higher unemployment.


Jobs Fund – 2nd Round


Funding basis: Fully funded – Council contribution highly regarded

Opens: Opening soon – however as Nambucca Shire has recently been listed as a prioritised area, applications can be submitted now.

Closing: 10 August 2009



The $650 million is part of the Government’s Jobs and Training Compact. The Jobs Fund will support and create jobs and improve skills, by funding projects that build community infrastructure and create social capital in local communities.

The Jobs Fund comprises three streams of funding:


$300 million Local Jobs stream to support community infrastructure projects with a focus on the promotion of environment-friendly technology and heritage


$200 million Get Communities Working stream for self-sustaining projects which create jobs and provide activities and services to improve community amenity


$150 million Infrastructure Employment Projects stream for investment in infrastructure projects which generate jobs in regions affected by the economic downturn.



NSW Local Infrastructure Fund


Funding basis: Loan over 10 year term

Opens: Currently Open

Closing: 31 August 2009


The $200 million NSW Local Infrastructure Fund has been established as an 'interest free' loan scheme to bring forward infrastructure projects that are delayed due to a lack of funding.


The funding will provide an immediate local economic boost as water, sewer, drainage and roads infrastructure projects are provided for local communities.


The funding will also trigger construction in areas of high population growth and will assist in increasing the supply of serviced land for housing and employment.


The NSW Local Infrastructure Fund is a NSW Treasury Fund administered by the NSW Department of Planning.

Eligible projects


Funding is provided for local projects that will support urban development – typically roads and related infrastructure, stormwater, water and wastewater projects. Only projects costing at least $1 million will be funded.


For Council’s information, as at 23 June 2009, the Grants Officer has applied for 48 grants totalling $9,071,597.  Of that total Council has been notified that grants in the amount of $39,0526 have been successfully approved.  The remainder are still to be determined.



There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.3      SF769              020709         Reclassification of the Bowraville - Bellingen Road from a Regional Road to a Local Road


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         




Council has been advised by the Roads and Traffic Authority that following a review of NSW road classifications by a panel chaired by the former President of the NSW Shires Association and Australian Local Government Association, Mr Mike Montgomery, the classification of the Bowraville to Bellingen Road will change from a regional road to a local road.  Based on the RTA’s funding formula for Regional Roads it is estimated that the change in the road’s classification will cost Nambucca Shire Council $75,000 per annum in regional road funding.  Council must make representations to try and reverse this decision.





1        That Council make representations in conjunction with Bellingen Shire Council to the Roads and Traffic Authority and also to the Minister for Roads, the Hon. Michael Daley MP objecting to the change in classification of the Bowraville to Bellingen Road from a Regional Road to a Local Road.


2        That the Mayor of Bellingen Shire Council be requested to participate in a deputation with the Mayor of Nambucca Shire Council to the Minister for Roads to express the Councils’ concerns in relation to the withdrawal of funding.





There are options in relation to how Council should best lobby for the retention of the Regional Road classification.  It can make written representations and/or seek a deputation.





Council has received the attached correspondence from the Roads and Traffic Authority.


By way of background, a review of road classification was commenced in 2004 with a series of regional interviews in 2006.  At that time, the Mayor and Director Engineering Services made a submission on behalf of this Council seeking the retention of the Bellingen Road as a regional road based on:


a)         it being the only alternative to the Pacific Highway for access along the coast during emergencies

b)         its importance as a tourist route

c)         its importance to some residents who travel directly between Bellingen and Bowraville

d)         funding considerations – Council simply cannot afford to lose any part of the Regional Road funding and can’t automatically increase rates to offset the loss under rate pegging.


In essence, as part of an overall reduction of regional roads in NSW by some 230 kilometres, the Bowraville to Bellingen Road is to be reclassified from a regional road to a local road.  This means that both Councils (Nambucca and Bellingen) will assume full financial responsibility for their respective sections of the road.  Regional road classification provided a block grant for maintenance and capital expenditure on the road.  Based on the RTA’s funding formula for regional roads it is estimated that the change in the road’s classification will cost Nambucca Shire Council $75,000 per annum in regional road funding.


Council is responsible for the maintenance of the road which has a length of 14.7km within the Nambucca local government area.  This maintenance includes bitumen patching, maintenance grading and roadside mowing.  There are also three bridges on the road which will require replacement.  Byrnes Bridge was recently washed away and will require replacement under the Natural Disaster Declaration funding program. Capital works will also be required on the sealed section of the road which is approximately 6km in length.  The sealed section is not in good condition and with a rehabilitation cost of approximately $120 per lineal metre there will be a substantial capital requirement in future years.  Recent investigations indicate the cost to bring this section of sealed road to a satisfactory standard (being condition 2) is $297,000.


Given this liability, the loss of an estimated $75,000 per annum in funding will be keenly felt.


On the basis of the letter supplied by the Roads and Traffic Authority, the net reduction of 5 kilometres of State Roads and 230 kilometres of Regional Roads is a significant shifting of costs from the State Government to local government.  It would seem that given the length of such roads in NSW, that both Nambucca and Bellingen Councils are bearing a disproportionate burden of this cost shifting.


Council should make representations in conjunction with Bellingen Shire Council to the Roads and Traffic Authority and also to the Minister for Roads, the Hon. Michael Daley MP objecting to the change in classification of the Bowraville to Bellingen Road.


Despite the Minister’s news release that, “the Rees Government will boost road funding for local Councils”, the case for the Nambucca Valley is that we will lose substantial funding as a consequence of this review.




There has been consultation with Bellingen Shire Council.





There are no implications for the environment.



There are important social implications as access needs to be provided for residents along the road and also for tourists using the route.



Because the road is a tourist route it has important economic implications for both the Bellingen and Nambucca local government areas.



There is no discernible risk in making representations for the restoration of this roads funding.





Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets


The impact on Council’s budget is estimated to be -$75,000 per annum.


Source of fund and any variance to working funds


There are no implications for working funds as there are transition arrangements.




15545/2009 - Reclassification of Bellingen Road




Ordinary Council Meeting - 2 July 2009

Reclassification of the Bowraville - Bellingen Road from a Regional Road to a Local Road

Attachment 1

15545/2009 - Reclassification of Bellingen Road



Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

General Manager's Report

ITEM 9.4      SF600              020709         Purchase of Macksville East Public School Site - Thistle Park


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         




The Department of Education and Training have now advised they are prepared to accept Council’s offer to purchase Thistle Park for the sum of $25,000 plus GST subject to a number of restrictions.


The acceptance of the offer is good news and will save Council the substantial cost of re-establishing the Thistle Park turf wicket and drained centre square at the Donnelly Welsh fields.  Nearby residents should also welcome the retention of the open space in preference to a residential subdivision.


Council should proceed to acquire the land.





1        That Council enter into a contract for the purchase of Thistle Park for the sum of $25,000 plus GST subject to the following restrictions being placed on title:


·      A restriction that the land cannot be used for a non government school

·      A positive covenant that the land be used only for community purposes

·      That any part of the land not be onsold without the approval of the Minister for Education and Training and a Caveat be lodged for that purpose.


2        That the land be classified as “operational”.


3        Council offer the Nambucca District Cricket Association a 20 year lease of the land at nominal rental, subject to them being responsible for all insurances and maintenance.


4        Council affix its seal to any documents as required.


5        That Council thank the Minister, the Hon. Verity Firth and radio host Ray Hadley for their intervention in the matter.


6        That Council suggest to the Nambucca District Cricket Association that the field be named the “Phillip Hughes Oval” and that Mr Hughes be invited to a naming ceremony at the completion of his current cricketing commitments.





Council could reject the Department’s offer.





At Council’s meeting on 21 May 2009 it was resolved as follows:


1.   Council forward an immediate offer to purchase the land based on its value as 1(a2) flood liable high hazard storage agricultural land without a dwelling entitlement.

2.   In the event that Council is successful in acquiring the land, Council advise the Nambucca District Cricket Association that Council will lease them the use of the land at a nominal rental, subject to them being responsible for all insurances and maintenance.

3.   If the land is acquired then it be classified as operational.


The Mayor has now received a response from the Department of Education and Training to her letter of 25 May which is attached. 


The acceptance of the offer is good news and will save Council the substantial cost of re-establishing the Thistle Park turf wicket and drained centre square at the Donnelly Welsh fields.  Nearby residents should also welcome the retention of the open space in preference to a residential subdivision.


Council has previously resolved that the land, when acquired, be classified as “operational”.  The operational classification will mean that Council is not obliged to prepare a plan of management for the land nor will it need to provide any public notice of a lease or licence exceeding 5 years or seek the Minister’s consent if there are objections to the granting of a lease or licence.  As the land is proposed to be the subject of a long term lease to the Nambucca District Cricket Association with the Association being responsible for all insurances and maintenance, an “operational” classification is appropriate.





There has been consultation with Council’s Manager Financial Services and Council’s Property Officer.







The use of Thistle Park as a cricket oval will have less environmental impact that its development as a residential subdivision.




There are very positive social implications in providing a good quality cricket oval.  Cricket has always been a popular Australian team sport, not just as a spectacle but in developing leadership and team skills in our youth.




There are no significant economic implications.




There are no discernible risks.





Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets


No provision has been made for the purchase of the land in Council’s budget for 2009/2010.  Investigations are being undertaken into the funding of the purchase from Section 94 funds.  Any residual will need to be met from working funds.


Source of fund and any variance to working funds


At this stage the impact on working funds has not been determined but will not exceed $25,000.




15303/2009 Acceptance of offer to purchase Thistle Park




Ordinary Council Meeting - 2 July 2009

Purchase of Macksville East Public School Site - Thistle Park

Attachment 1

15303/2009 Acceptance of offer to purchase Thistle Park



Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.1    SF736              020709         Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy and Changes to Youth Services at Council


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Coral Hutchinson, Manager Community and Cultural Services         




For the past 5 years Council has received funding from the Department of Community Services (under its Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy) to employ an Aboriginal Youth Worker and conduct activities during School Holidays.


This report will provide Council with an update on changes being proposed by the Department of Community Services and will follow on from a report presented by Council’s Youth Development Officer on 5 February 2009 when Council resolved to:


1          Note the information and await a future report when there is formal notification of any changes.

2          Write to the Department of Community Services supporting the recommendation that the funding be transferred to the Better Futures initiative.


Council is advised that:


·              Funding for Better Futures has not yet been made available for the Mid North Coast.

·              The Youth Worker service will remain funded under the Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy.

·              The funding levels are now classified as “one-off” and not recurrent.

·              Formal advice that DoCS is no longer funding School Holiday Activities has now been received.

·              There will be a small July 2009 holiday program with the unexpended funds from 2008-09.

·              Whilst funding for 2009-10 will remain at 2008-09 levels, the focus will be on Bowraville.






1          That Council note that for the time being, funding for the Aboriginal Youth Worker project will remain with the Department of Community Services under its Aboriginal Child Youth and Family, Strategy and further, that the funding is now regarded as being “one-off” and therefore concludes at the end of 2009-10.


2          That Council note and endorse a change in focus for the Aboriginal Youth Worker project in that it will be focussed on Bowraville for 2009-10, further noting that this is at the instigation of the funding authority and not Council. 


3          That a review of the strategic direction for the Aboriginal Youth Worker project will be undertaken early 2010 or possibly before if there are changes to funding programs by the State Government.






Council has the option of not accepting funding under the proposed changes. 






For some months now, Council has been aware that the Aboriginal Youth Worker project (essentially the 3-day per week Youth Worker position) and the School Holiday Activities have been under review and that possible changes were likely. The Youth Development Officer’s report to Council 5 February 2009 outlined this is some detail and therefore won’t be repeated in this report. This report is focussing on the future.


“School Holiday Activities”


Since 2005, Council has received funding from the Department of Community Services to conduct activities during School Holidays as a proactive and positive approach to preventing boredom and juvenile crime. Over the past 5 years, there has been over 40 different types of activities including workshops, entertainment, sport and recreation, culture and education.


The Department has moved its funding towards a more results-based approach with a focus on purchasing outcomes. The result is that funding for all school holiday programs concludes 30 June 2009; and on 31 March 2009 Council received formal advice to this affect. 


A small program is planned for the holidays in July 2009 utilising the unexpended funds from 2008-09 however, this will essentially conclude a regular program during the 4 annual school holiday periods.


Changes to Funding


Council’s 2009-10 budget for the Youth Worker project will remain at 2008-09 levels due to a one-off payment. The level of funding (and whether or not funding will even be available) for 2010-11 is not known at this time, as the funding is now classified as “one-off” and not “recurrent”.


The funding will remain with the Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy but the conditions of funding will be different for 2009-10.


Change of Focus for the Youth Worker program


Council is advised that the Department of Community Services is requiring that the project will have a focus on Bowraville, but may run a small number of activities in other areas of the Shire.


The age group being targeted will remain at 12 to 17 year-olds.


Funding will permit the employment of the Aboriginal Youth Worker in a full-time capacity for 2009-10.


Council staff are currently conducting meetings with the Department of Community Services to discuss the implementation of this new approach. Following that, it will be necessary to meet with key agencies, Elders etc in Bowraville to determine a series of activities to be conducted by the Youth Worker throughout the coming year.


Council will be well aware of the tightening of funding generally and is therefore encouraged to support this change in approach at least in the short-term and in line with its previously stated position that the activities are managed to the available funding provided.


The funding authority and Bowraville community will need to be aware that arrangements and the strategic direction beyond 2009-10 would need to be reviewed early in 2010, noting that Council is unlikely to be in a financial position to continue the project if the funding is further reduced or withdrawn.




Director Environment & Planning






There are no environmental issues identified.




The Youth Worker project is based on improved social outcomes for children and young people in Bowraville.




Nothing identified




There are risks associated with delivering a program focussed on one community as distinct from being shire-wide, including raising community expectations, creating a reliance on that service/program and a reduced capacity to respond to needs in other areas and towns. Council also runs the risk that at the conclusion of 12 months the removal of a Bowraville focus will be interpreted as a withdrawal of a service to Bowraville by Council. Council will need to be up-front with the community in regard to this project to avoid the expectation that it will be ongoing.




Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets


At this stage it is unknown whether funding for the Youth Worker and associated programs will be available beyond 2009-10.


Source of fund and any variance to working funds


The position and related programs are fully funded from external sources.





There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.2    SF1234            020709         NSW Sport and Recreation Traineeship


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Coral Hutchinson, Manager Community and Cultural Services         




Council may recall that during 2008, there were successful negotiations with the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation regarding Council hosting a trainee for a 12 month period. The employer would be the Australian Training Company and NSW Sport and Recreation would provide the funding.


This report is to advise Council that the NSW Sport and Recreation traineeship has now been filled, and the trainee, Mr Daniel Hill commences Monday 29 June 2009. 






1          That Council note that the Sport and Recreation trainee will be commencing Monday 29 June 2009 for a period of 12 months.






The report is for information.




In May 2008, Council was approached by the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation regarding the possibility of acting as a host for a Sport and Recreation Trainee for the Nambucca Shire. The creation of this position (together with one at Kempsey Shire Council) was in recognition that the previous services of a Development Officer had been withdrawn from the community due to changes in funding from the Federal Government. 


Council was approached with this proposal and supported this concept in principle however, chose to delay the placement pending the successful recruitment of vacancies in Aboriginal positions as these people would act as mentors for a trainee.  On Thursday 5 June 2008 Council resolved, that:


Council advise the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation that it is currently not in a position to provide an Aboriginal Sports Trainee position with the necessary supervision and mentoring support but that it would be pleased to review the offer in six months following the anticipated appointments to the key positions of Youth Worker (Aboriginal) and Community Development Officer (Aboriginal).


The NSW Department of Sport & Recreation was notified of this resolution and 'extended the traineeship offer to a further six (6) months upon appointments of key Aboriginal positions'.


That being so and with both successful appointments to the positions of the Aboriginal Youth Worker and the Community Development Officer, the review of the trainee position and the appointment of the Sport & Recreation trainee have been completed and commencement of the position is due Monday 29 June 2009.


A few of the key operational responsibilities of the trainee are to:


·              liaise with the Aboriginal community, discussing needs and promoting participation in sport and recreation

·              Provide an awareness of programs and vacation activities to local schools and organisations

·              Planning and delivering programs and services and the monitoring of the outcomes.


The traineeship is for one (1) year only and has output measures of on-the-job training, knowledge of internal functions within Council and a successful completion of Certificate II in Sport and Recreation.





Manager Community and Cultural Services Coral Hutchinson










It is envisaged that there will be considerable social benefits with this position.












Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets


This position is externally funded for a period of 12 months with no ongoing commitment. The fully funded traineeship by the NSW Department of Sport & Recreation, is budgeted to provide for wages and the development and/or the delivery of programs.


Source of fund and any variance to working funds







There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Council Meeting

2 July 2009

Director Environment & Planning's Report

ITEM 10.3    SF1232            020709         Report on Review of Nambucca Shire Council - On-site Sewage Management Plan


AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Neil Pengilly, Senior Health and Building Surveyor         




Council will recall dealing with a report at its General Purpose Committee on 17 December, 2008 in relation to a review of Council’s On-site Sewage Management Plan 1999.


Council resolved that the draft Plan be placed on public exhibition and a further report be prepared for Council’s consideration.


The draft On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009 was subsequently placed on public exhibition, being advertised within the Guardian Newspaper, promoted on Council’s website and formally notified to nine (9) on-site sewage management consultants and thirty-nine (39) plumbing practitioners who operate within the Shire.


Submissions were received from three (3) consultants and two (2) plumbing practitioners. Copies of all submissions and a précis of the comments are attached. The main issues raised within the submissions are discussed within this report


A copy of the revised draft On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009 is also attached.






1        That the draft Nambucca Shire Council On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009 be adopted.


2        That authors of all submissions be advised of Council’s resolution.


3          That the adopted plan be placed on Council’s website with relevant fact sheets and checklists.






Council has the following options:


1        To adopt the draft On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009, as recommended;

2        Require further modification of the draft Plan prior to adoption; or

3        Resolve not to adopt the draft Plan.





During the consultation process, submissions were received from three (3) on-site sewage management consultants and two (2) plumbing practitioners.


Whilst appreciating that the design considerations are consistent for the assessment of all on-site sewage management systems, the submissions show distinct variation in their content and it is clear that different consultants/practitioners have differing viewpoints as to the most appropriate form of wastewater disposal.


Many matters raised within the submissions related to minor amendments involving clarification of requirements, revision of terminology and/or provision of additional information.  These amendments have been addressed within the revised plan.


Other matters raised are discussed as follows:


i) Exclusion of absorption trenches for onsite disposal.

Two submissions argue that the use of absorption trenches (normal septic tank installation) within the Shire is not appropriate due to matters such as unsuitable soil characteristics, lack of nutrient reuse and poor performance.



Soil mapping undertaken by the Department of Land and Water Conservation identifies many soil profiles within the Shire as unsuitable for effluent disposal by absorption due to a variety of considerations. The mapping, whilst being a valuable tool in the initial assessment of potential systems, is a broad based characterisation of soil profiles and does not indicate variations that may occur within subject properties.


As part of Councils assessment for installation of new systems a site and soil assessment report, specific to the subject site, is required to be submitted. The report includes details of the soil profile and characteristics at the location of the proposed disposal area to assist in identifying any local variations from the broad scale mapping. It is suggested that this site specific assessment provides the best opportunity to optimise the final design/configuration of the on-site system.


With respect to nutrient reuse, it is acknowledged that other forms of disposal (e.g. subsurface irrigation) are more efficient than absorption trenches. Where nutrient uptake is the dominant limitation in the design of the disposal system, the length of absorption trenching required to cater for the nutrients may result in this form of disposal system becoming economically unviable. However, nutrient loading is not always the dominate limitation and the broad based exclusion of absorption trenches is not supported. It should be noted that the use of absorption trenches will be further impacted by the design criteria required under the draft Plan with other forms of disposal systems becoming more viable.


ii) Surface spray irrigation from aerated wastewater treatment systems (awts).


The draft Plan prohibits disposal of effluent from awts by surface spray irrigation. One submission, whilst agreeing with the intention of the restriction, expressed concern that it may have implications within the awts industry given that surface disposal is permitted under the NSW Department of Health accreditation.



The accreditation provides for three forms of disposal, above ground spray irrigation, surface drip irrigation covered by mulch and sub-surface drip irrigation installed at around 100mm depth. The accreditation also states “Each of the three forms of irrigation is subject to the approval of the Council”. As such it is inferred that Council has the authority to refuse certain methods of disposal. Physical separation between humans and effluent disposal is considered a failsafe method in assisting to prevent the spread of disease.


Awts are essentially a compact treatment plant that processes all domestic wastewater from the premises to a tertiary standard (disinfection). There is a concern that in the event of a system failure or where inspection and servicing of the systems has been inadequate, surface spray of insufficiently treated effluent will result in an unsatisfactory risk of human/effluent contact. 


iii) Greywater reuse/separation from blackwater.


Two submissions identified concerns relating to the reuse/separation of greywater from blackwater. The matter has resulted in much debate within the industry as to the advantages/disadvantages of the system. The reuse of greywater was recently approved by legislation however practitioners have raised concern relating to its long term sustainability.



The benefits of reuse in relation to water conservation are undeniable, however the characteristics of greywater includes high salt content which over time will degrade the soils capability to accept the disposal of the wastewater. The salt level can be reduced by osmosis. However, this process is not practical with the systems currently available. Not withstanding, the Local Government (General) Regulation, 2005 and the NSW Department of Health currently provides opportunities for the diversion of greywater or reuse (after adequate treatment) and these opportunities have been carried over within the draft On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009.


iv) Concession for upgrade of existing systems.


Under Section 9.3 of the draft Plan, existing systems that are failing are required to be upgraded. One submission expresses concern that separate criteria is being applied when compared with new systems.




The Plan requires the same considerations to be undertaken whether a new or existing system is being addressed. Existing systems will only gain a concession where compliance with new requirements is not physically possible (e.g. where a small property does not permit the required buffers to be achieved).In these circumstances additional measures will need to be incorporated to address the identified deficiency.


A second submission is concerned with how Council will determine who has “appropriate knowledge and experience” when preparing assessments for upgrades of existing systems.



Existing systems differ from new installations in that the performance of the existing system provides a “history” as to how that particular design/configuration is suited to the subject site. This “history” is not available for installations on new properties. In this regard, Council will accept reports from suitably qualified plumbers with local knowledge and experience. The report will still need to assess similar criteria as for a new system. Council is still required to assess such a report to ensure it achieves compliance with the Management Plan and Regulations.


v) Ten (10) year Approval to Operate not supported.


One submission received states that from their experience “trench designs have failed after 7 to 18 years of system use”. The proposed Class 4 system would result in the approval/inspection period being extended at a time when the wastewater disposal area is nearing the end of its effective life.



Under Council’s Risk Evaluation (Section 12.1) it was proposed that where a Class 3 system (5 year Approval to Operate) had two consecutive satisfactory inspections the system would be re-classified as a Class 4 (10 year Approval).


The intention of extending the period to a 10 year approval was to reward system operators where the system has a proven record of satisfactory performance and is located such that any failure would have minimal environmental impact.


It is agreed that all wastewater disposal systems have a finite life which is dramatically influenced by various factors such as usage, design and environmental matters. As such the proposed re-classification to Class 4 has been deleted from the Management Plan. It is now proposed that the Class 3 systems will receive an Approval to Operate for a period of 7 years. This will assist in reducing the burden of inspection costs on the property owner while still monitoring the wastewater system for effective over the critical period.


vi) Mandatory inspection at change of ownership.


Two submissions suggested that mandatory inspection/upgrade of existing systems be undertaken where the subject property undergoes a change of ownership.



The Regulations currently require new owners to obtain an Approval to Operate an on-site sewage management systems. When properties are placed on the market a Section 149 Zoning Certificate is required to be obtained. The Certificate identifies whether the property has a current Approval to Operate and a Council form for Change of Details is attached. This form and advice is also included on Council Certificates relating to Outstanding Notices. When Council receives notice of a change in ownership details, the exiting Approval to Operate is transferred into the new owners name and the Approval continues to operate until its expiry date occurs. Council does not “require” the system to be inspected if the current Operating Approval is still valid. The purchaser may, at their discretion, request Council to undertake an inspection of the system to identify any deficiencies.


vii) Buffers distances to relate to type of disposal system not level of treatment.


Section 11.2 of the draft Plan outlines the requirements for buffer distances for effluent disposal areas. The buffer distances originally related to the “type of treatment” provided to the effluent but have now been amended to reflect the “type of disposal system” utilised. This change provides consistency with the Environment & Health Protection Guidelines.


viii) Inclusion of soil mapping.


As mentioned above the Department of Land and Water Conservation has produced a document entitled “Soil Landscapes of the Macksville & Nambucca” which includes detailed characteristics of soils found within the Shire. Whilst the maps themselves have not been reproduced (due to logistical and copy right issues) they have been referenced within the draft Plan. Council will further investigate the possible provision of this information on Council’s website subject to the relevant permissions being obtained.


ix) Improved description/reference to reedbed systems.


Two submissions raised concern relating to the description and references of reedbed systems as described in the draft Plan.



Additional information has been included and the description of the system altered to reflect that contained within the submissions.


x) Poor inspection/assessment by Council.


One submission was critical of Council’s efforts in relation to inspection and assessment of on-site sewage management systems. Examples of systems reportedly failing and being passed by Council were documented.



Several of the identified cases are known to Council however, from the comments made within the submission it appears that the author was not aware of the full details. The author was requested to provide property details of the case studies so that Council could initiate further inquires. However, this advice was never received. Notwithstanding, Council’s efforts in the assessment and inspection of systems can be improved.


Documentation required under the draft Plan will allow more critical analysis of a proposed system. In addition the adopted design criteria is expected to result in more durable systems that have a significantly increased lifespan.





In accordance with Clause 77 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, the draft On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009 was placed on public exhibition from 22 January 2009 until 13 March 2009.


The draft Plan was advertised in the Guardian newspaper on 22 January 2009 and 19 February 2009, promoted on Council’s website and formal notification sent to nine (9) on-site sewage management consultants and thirty-nine (39) plumbing contractors who operate within the Shire.


Submissions were received by Council until 13 March 2009.


From the notification process, submissions were received from three (3) consultants and two (2) plumbing contractors. Copies of all submissions are attached and the issues raised are discussed within this report.







The draft On-site Sewage Management Plan provides a strategy to ensure that the on-site disposal of domestic effluent occurs in a sustainable manner and with minimal adverse impact upon the environment.




There are no social implications from this plan.




The cost of installing, upgrading or replacing failed on-site systems places a financial burden on the property owner.




Exposure to litigation may occur where it is proven that Council has failed to meet its statutory obligations. The implementation of this plan will assist in reducing any such exposure.




Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets


The impact of the plan on current and future budgets is generally neutral. A minor reduction in income may occur where the frequency of inspections undertaken by Council are reduced. This reduction in income will be off set by a reduction in expenditure via payment to Council’s contractor undertaking the inspections.


Source of fund and any variance to working funds


Funding is derived from fees associated with the lodgement of applications and inspections undertaken by Council.






14228/2009 - Summary of Submissions - On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009



15112/2009 - Draft On-Site Sewage Management Plan



4495/2009 - Submission/comments for Draft On-Site Sewage Management Plan-Coffey Geotechnics



6328/2009 - Submission for draft on-site sewage management plan - Truewater Solutions



6356/2009 - Submission for draft on-site sewage management plan-John Craven



15301/2009 - submission - Rosewood Environmental Services for Draft On-site Sewage Management Plan



15297/2009 - submission-Jim Ebert (Mid Coast Reedbed Wastewater Systems) re Draft On-site Sewage Management Plan




Ordinary Council Meeting - 2 July 2009

Report on Review of Nambucca Shire Council - On-site Sewage Management Plan

Attachment 1

14228/2009 - Summary of Submissions - On-site Sewage Management Plan 2009





Submission lodged by: TRUEWATER SOLUTIONS







6 Goals

Minor change to wording to reflect that not only AWTS systems need maintenance.

Accepted. 9th dot point, amended by removing word “aerated”. (page 4)


Table 9.1 Treatment

Request to include “Biological Filter systems” in Table 9.1 under Secondary & Tertiary (Disinfection) systems.

Accepted. Biological Filter Systems added to Table 9.1 under Secondary Treatment Systems. (page 9)


paragraphs 1-11

Inclusion of Biological Filter systems  under section 9

Accepted. Biological Filter Systems referenced under 9.2 (6) Reedbed systems. (pages 10 & 11)


Subsurface Irrigation

Suggested rewording to include emitter lines and design standards.

Accepted. Suggested wording included in Disposal 9.3 - 4th dot point subsurface irrigation. (page 12)


Note: Fencing of disposal areas

Modification suggested to wording of note referring to protection of disposal areas.

Accepted. Change made to note on page 12


9.3 Disposal

Suggested modification to wording of Wisconsin mounds, referencing high watertable and flood prone areas.

Accepted. Amendments included in section 9.3 – 3rd dot point Mound Disposal. (page12)


11.2 Buffer Distances

Suggestion that buffer distances should be determined relative to the type of land application system, not the type of treatment system. Distances will vary with the type of disposal system

Accepted. Comment, Buffer distances are set within the “Environment & Health Protection Guidelines – On-site Sewage Management for Single Households” (page 20)


12 Risk Evaluation

Concern that systems could be passed twice as a Class 3 system (5 year Approval) and then granting a Class 4 (10 year Approval) would mean the disposal system would be then within the time span where high failure rate occur (15 – 20 yrs)

Accepted. Class 4 Risk Evaluation (10 year approval) has been deleted. The Class 3 Approval has been extended from a 5 year to a 7 year period. 7 year Approval allows monitoring of systems over period where failure rate generally increases but still reduces burden on owner in relation to number/cost of inspections. Class 3 Approval are for system that pose minimal environmental risk (page 21).


Special Notes Item 2

Expressing concern with the quality of maintenance servicing of AWTS systems. Having a contract and submitting service reports in some instances does not indicate the condition of the system due to unscrupulous operators.

Comment noted. These concerns are being looked into on a regional basis with Councils between Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbours and the NSW Health Department developing a draft policy on the accreditation of AWTS Service Agents.


13.1 Types of Systems

Inclusion of Biological Filter systems as a recognised approved system.

Accepted. Section 9.2, included Biological Filter Systems in this section as an approved type of system. (page 10)


13.1 Item 4 Wisconsin Mounds

Request that the definition of the mound system be expanded to describe when they can be used and in conjunction with what type of primary systems.

Accepted. Comments have been added into the document, section 9.3 (page 12)










Concerns about continuing use of trenches & ETA beds due to high rate of failure.

Accepted. Additional paragraph included in section 9.3 Absorption Trenches & Beds. (page 12). Rosewood supports use of trenches in suitable areas however the length is determined via the calculation for ETA beds which results in an increase of trench length compared to the standard calculation.



·      Raised need for reserve areas for subsurface irrigation areas as they can be rejuvenated.

·      Concern about having to show drainage lines and location of fitting when preparing reports.

·      Existing systems – concerns that not all plumbers have appropriate knowledge & experience to carry out accurate site/soil assessments & designs.

Accepted. Note included in site plan section of 9.4. (page 13)


Accepted. Paragraph included in plan under “The Application” to reflect the requirement for site details when lodging application to Council for approval to install or modify. (page 13)

Comment noted. Additional reference in section 9.4 referring to design consultant or suitably trained licensed plumber. Any report submitted is still required to be assessed by Council. (page 14)


11.1 (Table)

Query as to why Table has been modified to not include “Moderate limitations” suggestion that the table be changed to include Environment Health Protection Guidelines.

Accepted. Table 11.1 Site Limitations has been modified to include column for Moderate Limitations (page19)



·      Industry describe AWTS as secondary not Tertiary systems

·      Raising concerns about banning surface disposal of effluent from as it is an approved method when associated with AWTS.

·      Concerns about buffer distances for subsurface irrigation for tertiary & secondary systems.

·      Supporting merit based assessment for buffer distances when as proposed in the plan.

Not accepted. Environment Health Protection Guidelines include AWTS as tertiary systems.

Not Accepted. Accreditation by NSW Health provides three options for effluent disposal from AWTS. Condition of Accreditation requires Council approval for method of disposal and as such Council has authority to not approve certain methods. Concern with surface spray irrigation relates to health risk where AWTS is not maintained/serviced or malfunction occurs resulting in untreated effluent being sprayed over property.

Accepted. Setback distances have been amended to align with the Environment & Health Protection Guidelines (Page 20).






Submission lodged by: COFFEY GEOTECHNICS PTY LTD







Executive Summary

Clarify that the plan relates to dwellings only with households of 10 or less equivalent persons.

Accepted. Paragraph included in Executive summary to reflect this. (page 1)



Add dot point – To ensure appropriate land investigation & design of on-site sewage treatment& disposal systems.

Accepted. Dot point added under GOALS (page4)



Change to 10th dot point to reflect suitably qualified service contractors & consultants.

Accepted. Amendments made to the dot point to reflect suitably qualified service contractors & consultants. (page 4)



Review Process – clarify proposal to phase out surface irrigation systems on lawn area.

Accepted. Surface spray irrigation is prohibited for new systems. Council encourages existing surface spray systems to be replaced with subsurface irrigation or surface drippers under mulch cover (pages 5 & 11).



Add dates of publications being referred to within the plan.

Accepted. Dates added under heading Australian Standards & Guidelines. (page 7)


9.1 Table

Change heading to right hand column.

Accepted. Heading changed to read “Typical Land Application or reuse System” as suggested. (page 9)


9.1 Table

Amendments to Table to include different type of devices & land disposal systems.

Accepted. Changes made to include the various types of devices & land disposal systems as suggested. (page 9)



Dot point relating to mound disposal systems. Add comment that there are, other type of systems available but not readily used within the shire.

Accepted. Comment added under Mound Disposal Systems (Wisconsin Mound). (page 12)


9.3 & 9.4

AS/NZ 1547;2000 Currently under review & new version may incorporate changes for future designs.

Accepted. Comment included in 9.4 Design relating to review of AS/NZ 1547:2000 & Environment & Health Protection Guidelines 1998. (page 12)



Clarification that any new subdivision application must be accompanied by a land capability assessment.

New section added under 9.4 “New Subdivisions (Unsewered)” (page 14).



11.1 Table

Clarification as to who is required to assess the property in accordance with the Table. Is the consultant to recommend the inspection frequency.

Accepted. Council as the assessing/approving authority will determine the inspection frequency (page 19).



Suggested rewording to headings under Buffer Distances.

Accepted. Buffer distance headings changed for consistency with Guidelines (page 20).



Who undertakes the risk assessment?

Accepted. Risk assessment is used by the consent/approving authority to determine the recurring inspection frequency. (page 20)



Section 13.1 is out of place in the plan and should be merged with section 9.1

Accepted. Information moved to Section 9.










2 & 3

2, 5

No primary septics & trenches on new developments. They are the main trouble and the biggest risk to the environment & management policy.

Not accepted. The type of systems approved for use within NSW are accredited by the NSW State Health Department with Councils only approving the site installation of accredited systems. Septic tanks with trench disposal systems are an accredited system with NSW Health therefore legally available for use within the shire.



Address secondary treatment systems more thoroughly in the new draft. If nothing else it will encourage people to treat their onsite systems more seriously.

Comment noted. The intent of including different types of devices and disposal systems within the plan is to make users aware of the various types of systems. It is not Council’s role to promote any one particular type of system through the plan and it is appropriate to restrict the use of certain types of devices and disposal systems on particular sites as part of the approval process. The desk top assessment of an application to approve an onsite system will be as good as the details provided in the application. In many instances staff are dealing with systems that have no previous approvals in place or a site/soil assessment undertaken prior to the system being installed. In a large number of cases non accredited systems have been installed without the need or the property owner of the time obtaining an approval or seeking any inspections during installation.

19 & 20

11.1 & 11.2

Upgrade septics to secondary systems on all blocks within buffers especially if they are blatantly failing.

Comment noted. The inspection process carried out before continuing approvals to operate any system is & can be manipulated and staff & contractors have had to reinspect systems where due to the notification system it is obvious works have been undertaken to try and ensure the system will pass inspection. Again site/soil assessment reports have not been a standard requirement for upgrades where there have been existing trenches or a disposal system which has not failed over past 12 – 20 years.

It is not practical to retrofit all systems with secondary treatment systems and in unsewered urban areas where smaller residential allotments have systems that are failing the future options are limited and may require off site options which will involve Council. Problems are appearing in Eungai Rail, Eungai Creek, Taylors Arm & Upper Taylors Arm with systems failing and insufficient room on the smaller residential properties to replace disposal systems of install additional components to the existing systems. Additional requirements have been included in the plan for flood prone lands.



Insist on all real estate & solicitors to comply with state regulations on septics that are involved in a sale.

Comment noted. Council through the 149 Certificate & outstanding Notices and Orders process indicates the current status of any operating approvals on onsite sewage management systems when a property is sold. Council also offers a pre purchase inspection service should a property purchaser wish to have a system inspected prior to purchase to ensure it is operating satisfactorily. An approval to operate a on-site sewage management system is held by the owner, therefore there is a requirement under the Local Government Act 1993 to have this approval changed over within 90 days of the transfer being notified to Council. This requirement is also drawn to any purchasers attention at the 149 Certificate & Outstanding Notices/Orders stage of the transfer process.



Upgrade to secondary systems on all blocks that are negotiating sales.

Not Accepted. Not a statutory requirement and property owners have the right to use accredited systems. Council staff through the assessment/approval process do provide advices where systems have shown a history of ongoing failure to look at alternative disposal options. In many cases site assessment reports presented by consultants provide the client with options and this does tend to mean the cheapest option is selected in many cases, not necessarily the best system. Staff are regularly advising applicants and plumbers that a designs that has been submitted for approval is not adequate and negotiate amendments to the designs for on-site disposal areas. While the recommendation has merit it is not legally enforceable.



Look at ways to bring about staged upgrades to lesson costs.

Comment noted. An ongoing concern with getting systems to a standard where an operating approval can be issued. In some cases 12-18 months elapses between detecting failures and being able to have the system upgraded due to financial restraints. These cases are assessed and monitored on a risk assessment basis to ensure where there is a direct environmental or health impact works are carried as soon as possible.



Be more thorough on consultants & plumbers in regards to calculations & designs of on-site systems.

Comment noted. This aspect is ongoing and designs are often challenged and varied to ensure compliance with either the guidelines or the Australian Standard for disposal areas. One area that is a key area of concern is the design criteria specified when seeking an approval to install or modify any system. In many instances attempts are made to have a 3 or 4 bedroom dwelling effluent system designed for current occupant numbers and not the maximum tenant capacity of the dwelling. Design capacity and daily flow rates are now specified on any such approvals along with conditions to install water saving fixtures and use water saving appliances. At the end of the day on-site sewage management systems rely on good water management and awareness of how to manage the type of system installed.



Be more thorough with inspections on existing systems.

Comment noted. Council endeavours to be as thorough as possible when undertaking inspections however some property owners will go to great lengths to deceive Council.



Look at what other Councils are doing in regards to onsite management & implement policy that will bring about real change not just add to the problem. A difference can be made in 5-10 years with systematic approach to upgrades.

Comment noted. Draft Management Plan applies more stringent requirements for on-site disposal. If taken to the nth degree, the Management Plan could require tertiary treatment for all systems however this is not the intent of the legislation nor is it a practical option. The intent is to design a system that is suitable for its location and proposed use.



Make AWTS add subsurface irrigation where sprinklers are used.

Note Accepted. New AWTS systems are not permitted to have surface sprinklers under the draft plan. Council does encourage owners of existing surface disposal systems to modify to subsurface disposal however Council cannot “require’ the change unless the existing system is failing.




Submission lodged by: JOHN CRAVEN








Comments on what legislation and matters must be taken into consideration in determining applications for approval.


Comments noted. Guidelines indicate limited opportunity for use of absorption trenches, however under suitable conditions disposal by absorption is still permitted.



The fact that Local Governments have not implemented

policies that reflect the Regulations & Guidelines is a ticking time bomb.

Comment noted. Council’s draft Management Plan reflects the requirements of the Regulations and Guidelines.



Trenches can not achieve the objective of protecting surface & ground water.

Reuse of grey water is not the best  use of resources as it contains the lowest level of nutrients & can have deleterious effects on soil through high pH and salt content.

Not Accepted. Trenches are an accepted form of disposal. New design/assessment criteria may result in other forms of disposal being more cost effective. Greywater reuse has been legislated and supported by NSW Dept Health as a permitted activity. Council’s draft Management Plan reflects this position.



Soil landscapes maps of the shire need to be made available in digital format to assist consultants & staff when assessing applications.

Most soils within the shire are not suitable for trench disposal of effluent.

AWTS create additional work load for Council administration staff & they have high failure rate

Accepted. Reference to soil mapping is now included within the Management Plan. Council requires a site specific soil assessment to be undertaken for new systems to ensure suitability of the site for the proposed system (page 13).

Monitoring of AWTS does create additional work load for Council however this type of system is accredited by NSW Dept of Health.



Concern that systems are being inspected and passed when they are not operating effectively.

Grey water is best treated by mixing with black water.

Comment noted. See earlier comments on same matter.

Grey diversion/reuse is permitted under the legislation and Council’s draft Management Plan reflects this.



Change of ownership as a potential trigger for upgrading wastewater systems.

Not Accepted. If the existing system is operating satisfactorily Council cannot legally enforce a property owner to upgrade the system. As mentioned above Council does provide information on S.149 Certificates and Certificates for Outstanding Notices/Orders  in relation to onsite sewage management systems.



Reference to specific clauses of the regulations, enables system types to be rejected if they don’t address all aspects of the Act & Regulation.

Comment Noted. Council as the approval authority is required to consider certain matters before issuing any Approval to Operate/Install. These considerations are undertaken as part of Council’s assessment of all onsite sewage management systems. Most systems have advantages/disadvantages and so, to a certain extent, satisfy the required considerations to varying degrees.



Reedbeds need to be included in section 9 & definition of reedbed systems is considered to be inadequate.

Accepted. Table 9.1 & section 9.2 have been revised. (pages 9 & 10)



Greywater has long term deleterious effects on soils due to high pH & salts.

Comment Noted. Greywater diversion/reuse is creating debate within the industry however current Regulations permits the activity.



Most soils within the shire are unsuitable for disposal trenches & ETA Beds become large dams & do not distribute & allow reuse of nutrients.

Subsurface irrigation allows for more even distribution of hydraulic & nutrient load.

Comment Noted. Site/soil assessments will dictate the suitability of a particular form of system. The design standards may result in trenches and ETA beds becoming financially unviable. It is agreed that subsurface irrigation allows a more even disposal of hydraulic and nutrient loading.

12 & 13


Design criteria for new and existing systems when modifying them need to be the same. There is no difference to risk to the environment.

Comment Noted. The variation for upgrades to existing systems is limited to where full compliance with the current requirements cannot be complied with.



Concern about existing on-site systems belonging to tourist facilities along Nambucca River & their impacts on the oyster industry. Need for independent testing & more serious inspections.

Comment Noted. Council is aware of the properties and is currently in contact with the property owners in relation to an upgrade of the systems.



Trenches will not achieve objective of the plan.

Reedbeds energy efficient and simple to maintain.

Grey water diversion devices need maintenance & can pose a risk to health for occupants.

Comment Noted. See earlier comments relating to use of absorption trenches. Greywater diversion/reuse can pose health risk as with any wastewater system. Owner/operators need to take appropriate precautions.



Concerns that some systems are being passed following inspections & they are failing. Systems passed when disposal areas can not be identified.

Comment Noted. See earlier response regarding Council inspections.



Reedbeds need to be included in this section.

Accepted. 13.1 has been combined with 9.1 & 9.2 and reference to reedbeds have been included. (pages 9 & 10)



Definition of reedbeds needs to be included

Accepted. This section has now become section 14 and the reference to reedbeds has been included in the definitions. (page 23)



Additional information & comments:-

Suggested additional conditions to be placed on operation approvals for on-site sewage management systems.

Need for many systems within the shire to have secondary & Tertiary treatment systems installed to permit reuse.

Trenches that are failing can have extended life if secondary treatment systems are installed.

Concerns that systems can be over designed & options for detecting change in occupant numbers.

Comments Noted. The draft Management Plan requires any system within an high risk area (e.g. within 100mm of a water course) to be a secondary/tertiary system. Primary systems are only an option where site/soil characteristics are suitable.

It is acknowledged that secondary/tertiary systems provide improved effluent that will increase the life of the disposal system.

Council requires the wastewater system to be designed according to the potential occupancy of the dwelling not the current occupancy. For example a 4 bedroom dwelling may be occupied by 2 people however Council will require that the system be suitable to accommodate 6-7 persons. By designing for potential occupancy, the risk of the system failing is lessoned where overloading by extended stay of visitors or a increase in occupancy rate occurs.



Page 7



Ordinary Council Meeting - 2 July 2009

Report on Review of Nambucca Shire Council - On-site Sewage Management Plan

Attachment 2

15112/2009 - Draft On-Site Sewage Management Plan



Nambucca Shire Council




















Prepared by:

Environment and Planning Department

Date:   June 2009





3     SCOPE. 2

4     AIMS.. 3

5     OBJECTIVES.. 3

6     GOALS.. 4



8.1           APPROVAL. 6

8.2           NON COMPLIANCE. 6





9.1           TREATMENT.. 9

Table 9.1: Treatment Levels for Land Application Systems. 9


9.3           DISPOSAL. 11

9.4           DESIGN.. 12

9.5           FLOOD PRONE LANDS. 15


10.1         RESPONSE. 16

10.2         ACTION PLAN.. 17

10.3         FUNDING.. 17


11.1         SITE LIMITATIONS. 19

Table 11.1:  Site Limitations. 19

11.2         BUFFER DISTANCES. 20


12.1         EVALUATION.. 21

Table 12.1:  Risk Evaluation Classifications. 21

12.2         INSPECTIONS. 21

Table 12.2:  Risk Assessment Matrix. 22


14    DEFINITIONS.. 24



Ordinary Council Meeting - 2 July 2009

Report on Review of Nambucca Shire Council - On-site Sewage Management Plan

Attachment 2

15112/2009 - Draft On-Site Sewage Management Plan







This On-Site Sewage Management Plan (strategy) was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government (General) Regulation, 2005.


The plan relates to domestic wastewater (non commercial/industrial activities) for on-site systems treating up to 2000 litres per day.


The Local Government Act 1993 requires all on-site sewage management systems to be licensed by Council.


On-site sewage management systems (which include septics, aerated wastewater treatment systems, composting toilets, reedbeds, sand filters, biological filters, membrane reactors, greywater systems, etc) are required in all non-sewered areas.


These systems treat wastewater from a premise before being disposed of to an on-site land application area. Land application areas may include absorption/evaporation beds, subsurface irrigation or drip irrigation.


The Plan provides information to applicants and the community about On-Site Sewage Management Systems and what must be included in an application to install, modify or operate such a system.


On-site systems that are not performing satisfactorily may lead to significant environmental and public health issues. As such the long term viability and satisfactory performance of the system is fundamental in minimising any potential adverse impacts.






Nambucca Shire Council is a medium sized coastal/rural Shire located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. It comprises a mix of towns, villages, rural residential and rural areas.


The Shire is bounded generally to the north by Bellingen Shire and on the south and west by Kempsey Shire. It is roughly triangular in shape, being 1,433km2 in area with a coastline of approximately 20km. The Shire geographically represents the catchment units for the Nambucca River and its tributaries.


The Shire can be divided topographically into two (2) broad areas. The western part comprises the rugged topography of the eastern edges of the New England Plateau, dominated by steep hill slopes and valleys with a significant area having slopes in excess of 33%. The eastern part of the Shire is characterized by the gentle slopes of the Nambucca River and Taylors Arm flood plains and adjacent undulating lands.


From the elevation of 0.0 metres at the mouth of the Nambucca River to approximately 900 metres in the western part of the Shire.


Much of the Shire comprises steep land (60%), with the remaining areas undulating (20%) or flat (20%). The most productive rural land is on the alluvial flats of the Nambucca River and its tributaries with some grazing on undulating slopes. Agricultural production comprises 19% of the total Nambucca area. Tourism and aquaculture make up a significant portion of the economy of the area. The principle type of aquaculture within the shire is oyster farming with leases along the Nambucca River.


As at 19 November 2008 there were 2897 On-Site Sewage Management Systems registered with the Nambucca Shire Council.



3        SCOPE



The Local Government (General) Regulation, 2005, the State Government document entitled Environment & Health Protection Guidelines – On-site Sewage Management for Single Households (which is currently under review) and the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1547 - On-Site Domestic Wastewater Management (1994 & 2000) provide a framework for implementation of ecologically and socially sustainable On-Site Sewage Management practices. It is intended that this should be achieved, as far as possible, by a process of community and user education and by implementation of appropriate operating requirements in a manner that is sensitive to the local circumstances. Strategic management of existing septic systems and attention to address sewage management issues in new release areas is an important task for Council. Sewage management strategies need to be linked with related strategies for urban sewer services, and a greater emphasis placed on storm water and pollution control.


Regulations gazetted on 6 March 1998 require owners of relevant premises to apply to Council for approval to operate and amend a system of sewage management. The Council is required to grant an operating approval (eg, a sewer management license). The granting of any such approval allows the Council to monitor performance on a regular basis and to levy an inspection fee (frequency will depend on area sensitivity) to cover reasonable costs.


4        AIMS


This management plan is intended to:


¨          Provide a framework to manage and regulate the impact of On-Site Sewage Management Systems in the Nambucca Shire Local Government area and to ensure community accountability.


¨          Assist Nambucca Shire Council in prioritising resources for efficient regulation and monitoring of On-Site Sewage Management Systems within the shire area.


¨        Co-ordinate environmental assessment, data collection and monitoring which is related to On-Site Sewage Management.


¨        Allow for site assessment on risk management basis and consideration of alternate solutions on environmentally sensitive sites.


¨        Provide opportunity for education of system users through ongoing auditing programs.






This plan has been designed to achieve the following objectives:


¨          The protection of surface water and ground water.


¨          The protection of land and vegetation.


¨          Minimise the health risk associated with On-Site Sewage Management facilities.


¨          Encourage the re-use of resources eg the reuse of grey water after treatment through a council approved system.


¨          Promote ecologically sustainable development.



6        GOALS


¨          To continue building and maintaining a database of all On-Site Sewage Management Systems.


¨          To map and maintain details of soil and site conditions and suitability for On-Site Sewage Management Systems. The mapping overlay being placed on Council’s GIS and use of this information in conjunction with site specific soil reports should provide beneficial data for all new systems being installed.


¨          To ensure that all land application areas comply with environmental and health protection standards and Council operating requirements.


¨          To adopt a partnership approach with householders and service agents to support continual improvement of On-Site Sewage Management systems.


¨          To determine the structures and facilities needed to support On-Site Sewage Management Systems.


¨          To ensure that all On-Site Sewage Management Systems are inspected by qualified people at regular intervals and are maintained as required.


¨          In co-operation with householders, to develop a site specific Sewage Management Plan for each household using an On-Site Sewage Management System.


¨          To review Council’s development standards and approval criteria for subdivision, development and building works to ensure that appropriate provision is made for sustainable On-Site Sewage Management when residential development occurs in non-sewered areas.


¨          To consult all wastewater treatment system agents to ensure that maintenance reports certify that the system’s operation and land application of effluent is being done in compliance with the site requirements and constraints.


¨          To promote the use of suitably qualified service contractors and consultants that are acceptable to council. Such contractors/consultants may be recognised on a regional basis.


¨          To ensure appropriate land investigation and design of on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems.





A review process must be undertaken on a regular basis for the following reasons:


¨          To ensure that the resources, structures and facilities are in place to support On-Site Sewage Management Systems.


¨          To ensure that references to guidelines, standards and legislative requirements are up to date.


¨          Compare and review the management plan against the previous years of implementation to asses’ community concerns and any improvement that can be made to the plan.


¨          Refine and enhance Council’s regulatory role in the management of On-Site Sewage Management Systems.


¨          Provide improved assessment standards and techniques.


This current review has the benefit of eight (8) years, of implementation and the following issues are being addressed as part of the review process:


¨          Upgrading of existing systems that are not performing satisfactorily.


¨          The phasing out of “long drop” toilets (pit toilets).


¨          Upgrade of greywater systems on larger rural properties.


¨          Upgrade access to tanks to ensure good maintenance and operation of the entire on-site system.


¨          Undertake ongoing education of operators and owners of on-site sewage management systems.


¨          Identify properties that have unregistered systems.


¨          Follow up on systems installed with unauthorised land uses.


¨          Encourage replacement of existing surface disposal systems from AWTS with subsurface irrigation or dripper systems with suitable covering.






8.1       APPROVAL


Under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993, Council approval is required for the installation, construction or alteration of a human waste treatment device or storage facility and drains connected to it.


Council approval is also required for the ongoing operation of an On-Site Sewage Management System. Failure to obtain an approval or to comply with the conditions of an approval are offences liable to a maximum penalty of twenty penalty units (currently $2200).


An Approval to Operate must be held by the property owner for any on-site sewage management system. Where a change in ownership occurs, the new owner is required to obtain an Approval to Operate from Council within three months of the change.

Clause 26 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 sets out the details that are to accompany an application for the installation of a sewerage management facility with Clause 29 specifying the matters Council must take into consideration when assessing an application to install or alter an on-site sewage management system.


Council has responsibility under the provisions of the Local Government Act to maintain a register of On-Site Sewage Management Systems within their local government area.


Local Government therefore has responsibility to ensure that each approved system is maintained and serviced correctly. Furthermore, Local Government has a legislative responsibility to ensure that approved systems are installed and operated according to approved specifications and any special conditions.


NOTE: A helpful fact sheet and checklist containing specific details that must accompany an application is available from the council either on-line or from the Council’s Administrative Centre





The failure to operate or maintain a system in accordance with a Council approval or the requirements of NSW Health may lead to operating licenses being suspended/withdrawn, Orders issued or penalty notices being served.





The following Acts and Regulations contain provisions that are applicable to on-site sewage management systems:


¨          Local Government Act 1993


¨          Local Government (General) Regulation 2005


¨          Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997


The commencement date of the On-Site Sewage Management Legislation was the 6 March 1998 (date of the gazettal). The legislation provides that:


¨          Land owners with On-Site Sewage Management facilities installed prior to the 6 April 1998 must apply to the Council to register their system and for approval to operate a System of Sewage Management.


¨          New performance standards for approvals to install, construct or alter an On-Site Sewage Management facility apply from the 6 March 1998.


¨          Land owners who install new On-Site systems after the 6 April 1998, must obtain Council approval to operate a system of sewage management prior to the intended date of occupation of the premises.


¨          Council’s were required to adopt an approved fee for applications for approval to operate any new system installed from 6 April 1998 by resolution and public notice under Section 612 of the Local Government Act 1993. This fee is included in Council’s Annual Management Plan.





The relevant Standards and Guidelines are as follows:


¨          AS/NZS 1546.1:1998 - On-site Domestic Wastewater Treatment Units – Septic Tanks


¨          AS/NZS 1546.2:2001 – Waterless Composting Toilets


¨          AS/NZS 1546.3:2001 - Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems


¨          AS/NZS 1547:2000 – On-site Domestic Wastewater Management


¨          AS/NZS 3500:2003 – Plumbing and Drainage


¨          NSW Department of Health - Certificates of Accreditation for Septic Tanks and Collection Wells


¨          NSW Department of Health – Greywater Reuse in Sewered Single Domestic Premises, 2008


¨          Environmental Health Protection Guidelines – On-site Sewage Management for Single Households, 1998


¨          Nambucca Shire Council On-site Sewage Management Plan, 2009





Council must not approve an application which would not comply with performance standards prescribed by the Regulation and must take into consideration, relevant guidelines and directions that have been issued by the Director General of Local Government.


In 1998 the Local Government Act 1993 was amended to include new regulations for On-site Sewage Management (OSSM) Systems.


The current regulations specify that On-Site Sewage Management Systems should be designed, installed and operated to ensure the following environmental and health performance objectives will continue to be met over the long term:


¨          Prevention of health risk.


¨          Protection of land.


¨          Protection of surface waters.


¨          Protection of ground waters.


¨          Conservation and re-use of resources.


¨          Protection of community amenity.


Clause 44 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, requires that a system of sewage management must be operated in a manner that achieves the following specific performance standards:


¨          the prevention of the spread of disease by micro-organisms,


¨          the prevention of the spread of foul odours,


¨          the prevention of the contamination of water,


¨          the prevention of degradation of soil and vegetation,


¨          the discouragement of insects and vermin,


¨          ensuring that persons do not come into contact with untreated sewage or effluent (whether treated or not) in their ordinary activities on the premises concerned,


¨          the minimisation of any adverse impacts on the amenity of the premises and surrounding lands,


¨          If appropriate, provision for the re-use of resources (including nutrients, organic matter and water).



9.1       TREATMENT


Wastewater requires varying levels of treatment, depending on the method of disposal and the sensitivity of the site. Treatment is generally classified as primary, secondary or tertiary.


Primary treatment is the separation of suspended material from wastewater by settlement and/or flotation in septic tanks, primary settling chambers, etc prior to discharge to either a secondary treatment process or to a land application system.


Secondary treatment is generally an aerobic biological process involving the settling or filtering of effluent from a primary treatment system and provides an improved “quality” effluent.


Tertiary treatment is the disinfection of effluent to destroy or remove pathogenic micro-organisms.


The following table indicates the level of wastewater treatment required for the relevant land application system:


Table 9.1: Treatment Levels for Land Application Systems







·     Septic Tank

·     Greywater Tank

·     Waterless Composting Toilet

·     Wet Composting Toilet

·     Combustion Toilet

·     Soil Absorption system

·     Burial (compost)

·     Soil Mound

·     Evapotranspiration system

Secondary (without disinfection)

·     AWTS

·     Greywater Treatment

·     Primary Device and Sand Filter

·     Primary Device and Reed Bed

·     Biological Filter System

·     Membrane Reactor

·     Subsurface irrigation

·     Soil Mound

·     Evapotranspiration

Tertiary (with  disinfection)

·     AWTS

·     Greywater Treatment

·     Primary Device and Sand Filter

·     Biological Filter System

·     Membrane Reactor

·     Subsurface irrigation

·     Soil Mound

·     Evapotranspiration

Greywater Tertiary

·     Greywater Treatment Device

·     Subsurface irrigation

·     Toilet Flushing

·     Washing Machine Use


Source: Environment and Health Protection Guidelines (Modified)





1        Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)


Aerated wastewater treatment systems provide tertiary treatment of effluent and are accredited by NSW Department of Health. They are essentially a compact treatment plant that processes all domestic wastewater from premises. They contain a primary settling chamber, an aeration chamber, a clarification chamber for the further settling of suspended solids and a chlorination chamber for disinfection. It is a requirement of NSW Health that the systems are inspected and serviced on a quarterly basis.


2        Biological Filter


A biological filter system generally treats all wastes by filtration through various layers of media. The media is inoculated with worms, beetles, mites and other soil fauna that assist with the degradation of the waste material. For tertiary treatment the effluent is disinfected (generally by UV light) prior to discharge to the disposal field.


3        Composting Toilets (Wet & Dry)


Composting toilets use a process of biological degradation by micro-organisms to convert waste material into humus. The compost from compost/humus toilets must be removed on a regular basis and can be disposed of on-site by burial. The design and configuration of the systems vary significantly.


4        Grey & Black Water Split Systems


These systems provide primary treatment and comprise of two tanks - one receiving wastewater from the toilet, and the other receiving wastewater from the combined laundry, shower & possibly kitchen (depending on proposed method of disposal/reuse). Some systems included a 'grease-trap' in the plumbing between the kitchen and the septic tank, to limit the amount of fats and oils going to the tank.


5        Greywater Diversion/Treatment System


Greywater is wastewater from all fixtures excluding the kitchen, toilet or urinal. Greywater “diversion devices” may be used for subsurface disposal within the property in conjunction with an approved on-site sewage management system. The diversion of greywater should not occur during periods of wet weather or when illness within the premises exists. Where reuse within the home for washing machine or the flushing of toilets is proposed a greywater “treatment system” accredited by NSW Health is required to be installed. NSW Health has various publications available that outline the requirements for diversion and/or reuse.


6        Membrane Filtration


With membrane filtration, the membrane acts as a semi-permeable filter that allows wastewater to pass through whilst trapping bacteria, suspended particles and dissolved solids. There are four main types of membrane filtration-reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration and microfiltration. The type of filtration system used will depend on a number of factors including surface area, contaminants, pH and end use.


7        Pumpout


Due to unsuitable site conditions for wastewater disposal, Council only allows, under extreme circumstances, the installation of pump out systems. This involves the use of a collection well which stores treated wastewater from the septic tank. The stored wastewater is then pumped out into approved tankers which transport the wastewater to Council sewage treatment works where treatment and disposal occurs


8        Reedbed Systems


Reedbed systems consist of a primary settling unit, secondary treatment module (sub-surface flow wetlands) and final treatment via subsurface irrigation. They treat wastewater through settling of solids within the primary chamber. Biological and physical filtering/treatment of the wastewater is then undertaken in the secondary module via gravel media and selected plants which reduces the levels of pathogens, Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and suspended solids. As the wastewater flows through the media, the root system reduces the nutrient load and uptakes moisture via transpiration. Final distribution is to an irrigation area.


9        Sand Filters


With sand/membrane filtration, effluent that has undergone a primary treatment is collected in a sump or holding well and is pumped intermittently for distribution through a bed of coarse sand. A diversion valve is placed in the return line to the sump, and the effluent is directed to a land application system.


10      Secondary/Tertiary Treatment Systems


After the wastewater has undergone primary treatment the effluent may be further refined to secondary or tertiary quality. By this further process pollutant levels within the wastewater can generally be reduced to a level that is readily manageable. However, effluent from some treatment systems may still be biologically active and contain high levels of pollutants. There have been many developments in the area of ancillary on-site sewage management systems. These systems can be added to the main treatment train with the objective of improving the effluent quality, and so enabling the treated wastewater to be managed in a larger number of ways. These ancillary systems are not considered to be treatment systems requiring certification by NSW Health. At this stage they are considered optional, but they are worthy of consideration.


11      Septic Tank


Historically, septic tanks have been the most common method of on-site wastewater treatment in un-sewered areas of the Shire. A septic tank provides primary treatment of effluent and usually comprises two chambers. These chambers can be separate or within the one tank. The first or primary chamber allows some of the solids to settle to the bottom of the tank and oils and fats to rise to the surface to form a scum layer. The solids that settle to the bottom of the primary chamber undergo anaerobic decomposition forming sludge. The second chamber permits further settling of solids and creation of a scum layer before the effluent is discharged to a land application area (usually absorption trenches or evapotranspiration areas).


Alternative systems to those listed above will be considered by Council where such system is accredited by NSW Dept Health.



9.3       DISPOSAL


Effluent that has been treated may be discharged to a land application area. Application areas vary in their design and method of disposal to suit a range of factors including, type of treatment system, climatic conditions, site constraints, etc.


Note: Conventional treatment methods of wastewater cannot remove all bacteria or viral organisms. Exposure or contact may result in adverse health effects and as such the surface disposal of effluent via spray irrigation or other method is not permitted within Nambucca Shire.


Common disposal systems within the Nambucca Shire are:


·        Absorption Trenches and Beds


Absorption trenches and beds are designed to dispose of treated effluent by percolation into local soils. As absorption is the primary method of disposal this style is ideally suited to soils with a mid range percolation rate. Soils that are too dense will not permit the migration of the effluent leading to flooding of the trench. Conversely soils that drain too freely (sand, gravel, etc.) may not provide adequate filtration of the effluent and risk contamination of groundwater supplies. Absorption trenches and beds are historically the most widely used on-site disposal systems throughout the Shire. However, under current design guidelines their future use will become less common due to unsuitable soil profiles and a significant increase in the required sizing of the trench/bed to satisfactorily accommodate the wastewater loading. The increase in the required area is likely to result in other forms of treatment/disposal becoming more financially viable.


·        Evapotranspiration Area


Evaporation/transpiration areas place effluent into the root zone of plants allowing transpiration and evaporation while sub-soil soakage is maintained. They generally have a large surface to depth ratio in order to maximise effluent infiltration of the vegetation root zone. Climatic conditions are a critical consideration in the design of these systems as wet weather may have a significant adverse affect on the efficiency of the evapotranspiration area. The sizing of the area needs to address the infiltration of rain water and due to high seasonal rainfall of the Nambucca Shire many consultants do not promote the use of these systems.


·     Mound Disposal System (Wisconsin Mound)


Although not common within Nambucca Shire a mound system can be considered where alternative methods are not suitable. An elevated mound is typically a large mound of varying height made of sand or other course media. A network of small diameter pipes with small perforations distributes the effluent uniformly over the absorption area of the mound. The effluent infiltrates into and percolates through the media before being absorbed into the natural earth. The mound system is commonly used to receive wastewater from a septic tank or secondary treatment system with its primary function as the land application component where other types of land application are not suitable.


·        Subsurface Irrigation


Subsurface irrigation is generally employed with a pressurised system utilised in conjunction with an AWTS or other secondary treatment system. The effluent is typically disposed of via emitters in direct soil contact at depths of 150mm-350mm depending on the system design or in shallow trenches over a large area which can incorporate gardens or the like. The pressurised system permits even distribution of the hydraulic and nutrient load over the disposal area. The area can be located at a higher elevation than the treatment chamber and therefore provides more opportunities to maximise reuse.


Where any disposal area may be subject to vehicular traffic or stock access, fencing or other suitable barriers are to be constructed to protect the disposal area.



9.4       DESIGN


Historically, the design and selection of on-site sewage management systems only received cursory consideration which was reflective of the technical standards and requirements of the time. With the release of Australian Standard 1547-1994 (subsequently superseded in 2000) and the State Governments Environment and Health Protection Guidelines for On-Site Sewage Management (1998) the standards of design altered to reflect the need for specific site, soil and climatic assessment.


It is also relevant to mention that prior to the Approvals provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 the NSW Health Department had responsibility for the approval of all sewage management installations in un-sewered areas.


The primary reference documents for the design and installation of on-site sewage management systems within Nambucca Shire are:


1        Local Government (General) Regulation, 2005

2        AS/NZS 1547-2000 – On-site Domestic Wastewater Management,

3        Environment and Health Protection Guidelines – On-site Sewage Management for Single Households, and

4        Nambucca Shire Council On-site Sewage Management Plan.


Special note should be made that only under extreme circumstances will an on-site sewage management system be permitted within 100 metres of a permanent waterway or environmentally sensitive area. With such a proposal, the system must include a secondary or tertiary treatment component and be sited to maximise any available buffer.


To assist in the preliminary investigation of suitable on-site sewage management systems, Council has information available for perusal relating to soil profiles and characteristics within the Shire. Soil Landscapes of the Macksville & Nambucca (2000) prepared by the Department of Land and Water Conservation contains useful information to assist in the preliminary assessment. The document is not to be used as a substitute for site specific soil analysis as variations from the mapping may occur resulting in an inadequate system being proposed.


New Systems


The installation and operation of any new on-site sewage management system requires the prior approval of Council.


An Application to Install an On-site Sewage Management System shall include a written report detailing the type of system proposed and a specific site and soil assessment for the subject property.


Council will assess the application for compliance with the reference documents as listed above.


The application to install an on-site sewage management system shall include:


1        On-site Sewage Management Report

·        The report is to be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced consultant,

·        The report shall provide a detailed site and soil assessment which addresses climate, topography, geology and vegetation aspects,

·        A recommendation for the most appropriate form of on-site sewage management system,

·        A recommendation for the proposed configuration and location of the system along with supporting calculations.


2        Site Plan

·        Drawn to a scale of 1:200 or larger,

·        Showing the location of the on-site system and disposal area with distances from all buildings, property boundaries, and any drainage lines, culverts or watercourses within 100m.

·        Showing a “reserve” disposal area equivalent in size for duplication of the disposal area (Note: the reserve area generally applies to septic tank/absorption trench systems and may be of a lesser size or removed completely where improved treatment/land application systems can justify the reduction/removal),

·        Indicating the position of all wastewater drainage lines,

·        Indicating the distance to any environmentally sensitive area eg rivers, creeks, farm dams, bores, dry gullies, etc.


3        Manufacturers Specifications and Accreditation Certificates

·        Full specifications of the proposed on-site sewage management system,

·        Certificate of Accreditation from the NSW Department of Health.


Existing Systems


Existing systems that are failing and require modifications are to be upgraded to comply with the requirements for new systems where possible. A system is considered to have “failed” when it does not satisfactorily address the performance standards identified within this plan.


Where compliance with the new requirements is not possible, Council will consider alternative proposals on a case by case basis. The protection of the environment and public health are dominant considerations in such a circumstance.


A preliminary assessment of the site constraints and soil condition are to be accompanied by the modified design along with supporting calculations. The preliminary assessment may be undertaken by persons with appropriate knowledge and experience (eg a design consultant or suitably trained licensed plumber).


New Subdivisions (Unsewered)


For new subdivision proposals, a land capability assessment is required to be undertaken to demonstrate that each proposed lot is capable of accepting the on-site disposal of wastewater. The assessment does not need to specify the design details of each particular system as the final design will be influenced by criteria set down by the future home builder and such information is generally not available at subdivision stage.


The information submitted (as a minimum) should include:


1        Land Capability Assessment

·        The report is to be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced consultant,

·        The report shall provide a detailed site and soil assessment which addresses climate, topography, geology and vegetation aspects of each lot,

·        Recommendations for appropriate systems for different landforms across the subdivision.


2        Site Plan

·        Drawn to a scale of 1:200 or other suitable size,

·        Showing the location of the effluent disposal envelopes in relation to the building envelopes,

·        Showing a “reserve” disposal area equivalent in size for duplication of the disposal area (Note: the reserve area generally applies to septic tank/absorption trench systems and may be of a lesser size or removed completely where improved treatment/land application systems can justify the reduction/removal),

·        Indicating the distance to any environmentally sensitive area eg rivers, creeks, farm dams, bores, dry gullies, etc.






New Installations:


The design and installation of new on-site sewage management systems should ensure all components of the system are located above the 1:100 year flood level. Where this cannot be achieved the treatment system components are to be located above the 1:100 year flood level/or sealed to prevent access of flood waters with the disposal area to be assessed in accordance in the type of system proposed.


Electrical components, vents and inspection openings of wastewater treatment devices should be sited above the 1:100 year flood level.


Amendments/modifications to existing systems:


Where existing systems are installed below the 1 in 100 year flood level for a site, options to ensure the following security of the system are to be implemented:


¨          Tanks and collection wells are to be sealed to prevent flood water infiltrating the system,


¨          Overflow Relief Gullies if installed are to be terminated above the 1 in 100 year floor level, provided this level is not above the fixture flood level or floor waste level in the building connected to the system. See AS 3500 for details.


¨          Where flood free land is available on the site, consideration be given to pumping liquid effluent to a disposal area above the 1 in 100 years flood level.


For land where no established flood levels are held by Council, documented evidence is to be submitted demonstrating the site is unaffected by flooding (eg historical information, photographs, etc).




10.1     RESPONSE


Applications for installation of an on-site sewage management system were not required in rural areas prior to the building regulations being extended to these areas from the 1 March 1982. This has resulted in a variety of standards and type of systems for on-site sewage management being installed within the rural areas of the shire during these unregulated years.


It is therefore considered important that any management response to the issue of On-Site Sewage Management systems and the disposal of waste should seek to achieve a balance between:


a        Improving Council’s approach to achieving sustainable long term outcomes and;


b        Encouraging facility owners to upgrade these older systems to ensure that their systems are operating and being maintained appropriately and also acknowledging the limitation that apply to these older systems.


The situation that exists in un-sewered areas is such that sustainable long term outcomes should be achievable in most cases using On-Site Sewage Management Systems. In order to achieve more sustainable and long term outcomes for on-site wastewater management it is necessary to identify the fundamental principles which apply to wastewater management. For the purposes of this plan the following principles have been adopted:


1        Conservation and Re-Use of Resources


The resources in domestic wastewater (including nutrients, organic matter and water) should be identified and utilised as much as possible within the bounds posed by the other performance objectives and regulatory requirements. Water conservation practices should be encouraged and subsequent wastewater production minimised.


2        Appropriate Treatment And Disposal


The level of wastewater treatment and the methods of disposal required depend not only on the nature and sensitivity of the receiving environment, but also on the potential uses of the treated wastewater and bio-solids.


3        Reliability


All on-site sewage management systems require, to varying degrees, maintenance and servicing to be undertaken. It is inappropriate to install a sewage management system and to expect it to perform adequately without maintenance and performance inspections being carried out. Education of the system user is considered fundamental to the satisfactory performance of an on-site sewage management system.


4        Long Term Impacts


The above principles have been used to identify a range of goals and actions which are considered integral to achieving more sustainable sewage management outcomes in un-sewered areas. These goals and actions have been developed into an action plan.


5        Public Health And Health Impacts On Occupants


Poor maintenance of components of an on-site system can severely impact on health of the surrounding public and that of the tenant or occupier of the premises connected to the system. Both blackwater (toilet waste) and greywater (all other sources) contain high bacterial loads and can be breeding grounds for insects and a vector for disease.



10.2     ACTION PLAN


The objectives and goals have been developed to reflect, in responding to the issue of sewage management in un-sewered areas, a multifaceted approach which requires:


¨          Education/information.


¨          Service provision.


¨          Efficient and effective administration.


¨          Facility provision.


¨          Appropriate regulation and enforcement.


It is suggested that if the on-site sewage management issue is viewed in this context then regulatory and enforcement mechanisms will be minimised and generally accepted.


The regulatory process has been developed to ensure compliance with both stages of the approval process being Installation and Operation of the system. Aspects of Council’s Action Plan have been included in Council’s Annual Management Plan for quarterly reporting.



10.3     FUNDING


Council is able to raise revenue for On-Site Sewage Management programs and services through:


¨          Ordinary rates for general administration and services.


¨          Special rates levied on particular parcels of land that have access to, benefit from or contribute to the need for particular programs and services.


¨          Charges for On-Site Sewage Management services.


¨          Approved fees for service (including regulatory services to individuals).


¨          Develop a charge under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.


In developing a revenue strategy it is considered important to develop an approach which is:


¨          Administratively efficient.


¨          Cost efficient.


¨          Fair, equitable and minimises financial impact.


¨          Guarantees implementation.


Having regard to the above it is proposed that actions which involve environmental assessment, monitoring and reporting and community education be funded through charges levied on premises using sewage management facilities.


Provision has been made within Council’s Management Plan for the development and ongoing monitoring of the On-site Sewage Management Plan. The legislation requires individual site management plans to be developed.


Accordingly provision has been made within the management plan for annual fees and charges to be adopted for the following activities:


¨          Approvals to install and operate an On-Site Sewage Management System fee (one-off payment).


¨          Approval to amend an existing on-site sewage management system.


¨          Renewal fees for issuing an operating approval for existing systems.


¨          Pre purchase inspection of on-site sewage management system.


¨          Registration fee for existing systems installed prior to 1999.


¨          Issue a copy of an operating approval.


¨          Application to change ownership details on operating approval.


Note: Council is the only authority who can issue approvals to operate an on-site sewage management system under Section 68 (6) of the Local Government Act 1993.