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Agenda

Ordinary Council Meeting

17 June 2013

The meeting commences at 6.30pm. If members of the public are

not interested in any business recommended to be considered in

Closed Session or there is no such business, Council will ordinarily

  commence consideration of all other business at 7pm.

 


 

Notice of Meeting

 

Dear Councillors

 

Notice is given of the Ordinary Council Meeting, to be held in the Council Chambers on Monday 17 June 2013 commencing at 6.30pm. The business to be transacted at the meeting is included in this business paper.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

 

Council Meeting Procedures

 

The Council meeting is chaired by the Mayor, Councillor Scott Bennison. Councillors are entitled to one vote on a matter. If votes are equal, the Chairperson has a second or casting vote. When a majority of Councillors vote in favour of a Motion it becomes a decision of the Council. Minutes of Council and Committee meetings are published on Council’s website www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au by 5pm on the Thursday following the meeting.

 

The Meeting is conducted in accordance with Council's Code of Meeting Practice. The order of business is listed in the Agenda on the next page. That order will be followed unless Council resolves to modify the order at the meeting. This may occur for example where the members of the public in attendance are interested in specific items on the agenda.

 

Members of the public may address the Council Meeting on any issue for a maximum of 3 minutes during the public forum which is held at the beginning of the meeting. All persons addressing the Meeting must speak to the Chair. Speakers and Councillors will not enter into general debate or ask questions.

 

If you do not understand any part of the information given above; require assistance to participate in the meeting due to a disability; or wish to obtain information in relation to Council, please contact Council’s Manager Governance on 99113525.

 

Please note meetings held in the Council Chambers are recorded on tape for the purposes of verifying the accuracy of minutes and the tapes are not disclosed to any third party under the Government Information (Public Access)  Act 2009, except as allowed under section 18(1) or section 19(1) of the PPIP Act, or where Council is compelled to do so by court order, warrant or subpoena or by any other legislation.

 

 

 


Ordinary Council 17 June 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

APOLOGIES

 

 

OPENING OF MEETING WITH PRAYER

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO COUNTRY

 

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING OF MEETING

 

 

public forum

 

Members of the public may address the Council Meeting on any issue for 3 minutes.

 

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

 

1.      ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING - 20 MAY 2013

 

Mayoral Minutes

 

2.       Memorandum of Understanding with St Ignatius College Riverview

 

3.       Local Government Reforms - Sansom Review

 

Orders Of The Day

 

Officer Reports for Determination

 

4.       Marshall Precinct Draft DCP

 

5.       NSW White Paper

 

6.       Lane Cove West Public School Traffic Study - Drop-off Activity on Cullen Street

 

7.       Referendum on Constitutional Recognition

 

8.       A New Local Government Act for NSW

 

9.       Sister Cities Policy

 

10.     Tender for Supply and Installation of Traffic Signals at Mowbray Road / Beaconsfield Road and Ralston Street

 

11.     Organisational Structure

 

12.     Kindy Cove Child Care Centre National Quality Framework Assessment

 

13.     Lane Cove Traffic Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2013

 

Officer Reports for Information

 

14.     Council Snapshot   

 

 

 

 

        


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Memorandum of Understanding with St Ignatius College Riverview

 

 

Subject:          Memorandum of Understanding with St Ignatius College Riverview    

Record No:    SU5096 - 27254/13

Division:         Lane Cove Council

Author(s):      Councillor Scott Bennison 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

It is with great pleasure that I propose that Council sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St Ignatius College, Riverview to promote the advancement of those of Aboriginal background and the disadvantaged within our local community.  This MOU commits us to a best practice partnership which will serve as an example for local councils and schools in NSW. Initiatives under this agreement will serve to strengthen connections within the local community, and provide practical opportunities for students, council personnel, local business/industry, and other stakeholders to collaborate on projects and programs.


To mark the occasion I have invited the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, Member for Lane Cove, Minister for Fair Trading and former student of St Ignatius College to be here to witness the signing. The MOU will be signed by myself as Mayor and the General Manager, Mr Craig Wrightson for Council, and
Dr Paul Hine, Principal and Mr Paul Robertson, Chair of St Ignatius Council for the school.

 

Background

 

To date Council has enjoyed an informal relationship with St Ignatius College, Riverview having worked together on providing opportunities for students, particularly those students of Aboriginal background. Last year Council along with other local businesses, participated in a careers day with students from Riverview College. Students were given valuable exposure to different working environments, and the opportunity to meet staff and ask questions about various work force opportunities, requirements and pathways.

 

In October 2012 Council welcomed students and staff of Riverview College to the Council meeting which celebrated the raising of the Aboriginal Flag inside the Council Chambers.

 

Discussion

 

By signing this MOU each party will commit itself to actively promoting the advancement of young people to reach their full potential, with particular regard to those of Aboriginal background and those who are marginalized or disadvantaged. The main principles of the MOU are to foster alliances between various stakeholders, and to develop practical strategies and programs which support the development of young people, particularly in their transition from school to tertiary education and employment.

 

The MOU also has the potential to strengthen connections within our local community and enhance the social and cultural capital of Lane Cove. It’s programs and initiatives will promote multiculturalism and inclusiveness through opportunities for artistic and cultural events.

 

Potential programs for Council and St Ignatius to pursue under this agreement, include work experience programs, student scholarships, participation in civic and community events, involvement in the Local Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Volunteer and Community Services programs. 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Mayor and General Manager co-sign the Memorandum of Understanding with St Ignatius College, Riverview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Scott Bennison

Mayor

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Memorandum of Understanding between Lane Cove Council and St Ignatius College Riverview

2 Pages

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Local Government Reforms - Sansom Review

 

 

Subject:          Local Government Reforms - Sansom Review    

Record No:    SU833 - 26995/13

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Craig Dalli 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

This report outlines key actions in relation to Local Government Reform including a proposed draft response to the recommendations to the Samson Review. It is recommended that the actions taken be endorsed and a submission be finalised in response to the review.

 

Background

A Mayoral Minute was considered at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 20 May 2013 proposing Council establish a position on the proposed reforms outlined in the Independent Local Government Review Panel consultation paper titled ‘Future Directions for NSW Local Government’. As a result, it was resolved as follows:-

‘That Council:-

1.   Receives and notes the Mayoral Minute;

2.   Confirm its opposition to any forced amalgamations of councils and subsequent loss of local democracy, as per the option outlined in the Samson report;

3.   Investigate on a regional basis the potential for shared services as per the model outlined in this report;

4.   Participate in the meeting with neighbouring councils on 29 May and the NSROC workshop in June 2013, to consider and develop a regional response to the proposed reforms;

5.   Council delegate authority to the Mayor and General Manager to make a contribution towards funding an independent review of the methodologies applied by TCorp in undertaking an assessment of the financial sustainability of NSW councils; and

6.   Convene a Community Forum to discuss the Samson Report.’

 

Discussion

As per the resolution, the Mayor and General Manager attended a meeting of the Mayors of North Sydney, Mosman, Willoughby, Lane Cove and Hunters Hill on 29 May 2013, where it was unanimously resolved:-

1.   We reject the Sansom report with respect to amalgamations as not providing evidence or a case for improving services;

2.   We reaffirm our support for the state government’s position that there should be no forced amalgamations;

3.   We support regional organisations of councils as the instrument of shared services;

4.   We support in principle the merger of NSROC and SHOROC; and

5.   The General Managers be asked to investigate (a) a structure that would make the ROC more effective and (b) to identify further shared services possibilities.’

 

Since that meeting, Council has conducted a Community Forum on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 to outline to the community the potential impact of the reforms on local governance and democracy and to gauge their views on the proposals. Opportunities to have a say on the proposed reforms have also been promoted through a direct mail out to all ratepayers and Council’s website, including requesting feedback through a short survey.

 

Councillors will have the opportunity to participate in a forum on 20 June 2013 hosted by NSROC, which will not only consider the resolution of the Mayors but also the wide variety of other initiatives suggested by the panel to reform the sector.

 

The below table outlines a summary of the Panel’s Key Proposals and Options together with a draft response from Council based on discussions with staff, Councillors and other Councils. This will need to be further refined in view of the outcome of the NSROC forum.

 

Local Government Review Panel Proposal

Council Response

Sustainability and Finance

Develop a standard set of sustainability benchmarks; require all councils to appoint a qualified Chief Financial Officer; strengthen the guidelines for councils’ 4-year Delivery Programs; and place local government audits under the oversight of the Auditor General

Supported.

Improve the rating system and streamline rate-pegging to enable councils to generate essential additional revenue

Supported.

Progressively re-distribute grant funding to provide greater assistance to rural-remote councils with limited rating potential

As Council currently receives the minimum Financial Assistance Grant (FAG) entitlement, it would be significantly disadvantaged under this proposal if removed without compensation. If the current rate capping restrictions were relaxed, Council would have an opportunity to recoup any lost FAG funding and continue to maintain its services and infrastructure, it would require approximately a 4% increase in Rates.

Establish a State-wide Local Government Finance Agency to bring down interest costs and assist councils make better use of borrowings

Supported. This may involve the restructure and resourcing of the Division of Local Government to provide a “one stop” agency to assist councils.

Infrastructure

Maintain the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) for at least 5 years, with a focus on councils facing the most severe problems

Supported.

Create a Strategic Projects Fund for roads and bridges to help reduce the infrastructure backlog

Supported.

Investigate the Queensland model of Regional Roads Groups, as well as options for cost savings through strategic procurement initiatives

Supported.

Require asset and financial management assessments

Supported in principle subject to the process not being onerous on councils. It is currently suggested all services should be subject to this process, this is excessive and should be limited to key services.

Productivity and Improvement

Introduce a requirement for regular ‘best value’ service reviews

Supported in principle subject to the process not being onerous on councils. It is currently suggested all services should be subject to this process, this is excessive and should be limited to key services.

Develop a consistent data collection and performance measurement system for NSW councils, and strengthen internal and performance audit processes

Council does not support the compulsory establishment of 'audit, risk and improvement' committees for all councils. The proposition that it should be mandatory for every council to have an unelected body overseeing the allocation of resources is overly bureaucratic and contradictory to the premise on which local government is founded, being a local democracy. The responsibility for efficient and effective local government should rest with the elected Councillors and professional senior management group. Given that a very large number of councils in NSW have been financially constrained for many decades, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of inefficiencies have already been dealt with. The issues confronting most councils are structural issues beyond the capacity of any 'audit, risk and improvement' committee to resolve.

 

The cost of resources required by each Council to support and sustain a permanent 'audit, risk and improvement' committee structure is not likely to yield proportionate productivity gains year on year.

Commission a review by IPART of the regulatory and compliance burden on NSW local government

Supported.

Better Governance

Mandate ongoing professional development for councillors

Supported.

Strengthen the authority and responsibilities of mayors and require popular election of mayors in all councils with a population of 20,000 or more

Not supported. This proposal is contrary to the existing Act, which was modelled on the Governance arrangements of a public company. It is noted that this proposal is also inconsistent with the Local Government Act Taskforce recommendations in respect of the Local Government Acts Review.

Provide additional governance options for larger councils, including a mix of ward and ‘at large’ councillors and a ‘civic cabinet’ model

Not supported.

Take steps to improve Council-Mayor-General Manager relations

Supported, although it is noted that such relationships at Lane Cove Council are strong and productive.

Structural Reform

Establish a network of around 20 ‘new look’, multi-purpose County Councils to undertake regional-level functions outside the Sydney metropolitan area

No comment. Non metropolitan councils are in a better position to inform the Panel on this matter

Introduce the option of Local Boards to service small communities and to ensure local identity and representation in very large urban councils

Not supported. Council supports current model of local governance in Lane Cove.

Encourage voluntary amalgamations of smaller rural councils to improve their sustainability, and convert small (in population) councils (generally less than 5,000) to Local Boards

No comment. Non metropolitan councils are in a better position to inform the Panel on this matter.

Promote a series of voluntary amalgamations in the Lower Hunter and Central Coast regions, including Newcastle-Lake Macquarie and Gosford-Wyong

No comment. Non metropolitan councils are in a better position to inform the Panel on this matter.

Seek to reduce the number of councils in the Sydney basin to around 15, and create major new cities of Sydney, Parramatta and Liverpool, each with populations of 600-800,000

Council is opposed to forced amalgamations. The main justification for the proposed amalgamations is the negative financial assessments undertaken by TCorp. These prove however, that there is no direct correlation with size, as despite being the second smallest Council on the North Shore, Lane Cove received the highest rating, sound of all NSROC Councils. Size will erode local democracy but will not guarantee to deliver financial sustainability.

Introduce a package of incentives for voluntary mergers that offers a higher level of support to ‘early movers’

Council supports this proposal for councils that wish to voluntarily amalgamate.

Western NSW

Establish a Western Region Authority to provide a new governance and service delivery system for the far west of NSW, based on a partnership between local, State and Federal governments and Aboriginal communities

No comment. Western Region councils are in a better position to inform the Panel on this matter.

Implementation

Appoint a Local Government Development Board for a maximum period of 4 years with a brief to drive and support a concerted program of reform

Supported.

Build on the new State-Local Government agreement to secure increased collaboration and joint planning between councils and State agencies

Supported in principle.

Strengthen recognition of elected local government in the NSW Constitution

Supported.

Focus Local Government NSW (the new single association of councils) and the Division of Local Government on sector improvement.

Supported.

 

Conclusion

 

Submissions on the proposed reforms outlined in the Independent Local Government Review Panel consultation paper close on 28 June 2013.  As consultation on the Local Government Reforms will continue after this Council Meeting, a submission will be prepared based on the consultation and the draft response shown in the table in this report and circulated to Councillors prior to sending it to the Independent Local Government Review Panel by 28 June 2013.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:-

 

1.   Receives and notes the report;

2.   Endorse the resolutions of the Mayors Meeting on 29 May 2013;

3.   Give authority to the Mayor and General Manager to finalise a submission on the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s consultation paper, subject to circulating the submission to Councillors for any feedback a week prior to the closing date.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

            


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Marshall Precinct Draft DCP

 

 

ubject:            Marshall Precinct Draft DCP    

Record No:    SU4630 - 27124/13

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):      Vivienne Albin 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Following Council’s resolution of 15 April 2013, the Marshall Avenue Planning Proposal was submitted to the Department of Planning and awaits finalisation. The planning proposal amends the current height and floor space ratio (FSR) of the block between Marshall Avenue and Marshall Lane, reducing the height and FSR for the western two thirds while increasing height and FSR on the eastern third of the block to allow a tower building form near the railway.

 

Site specific development controls are required to support the proposed Local Environmental Plan (LEP) changes. The current Lane Cove DCP contains a specific section in relation to the subject locality; however, this section of the DCP requires amendment to reflect the planning proposal. A draft DCP has now been prepared with input from staff, the St Leonards Community Liaison Committee, Loftex and another commercial property owners. The draft DCP is shown attached to this report as AT1. Council is requested to review and support the draft DCP for public exhibition.

Following public exhibition of the Draft DCP amendments, submissions will be collated, the DCP will be amended if appropriate, and put before Council for adoption.

 

Background

 

Relevant LEP changes

 

·    In October 2011, a planning proposal was submitted to Council for an amendment to the LEP height and FSR controls for the Marshall Avenue block to allow the tower form in the eastern part of the Precinct. After an extensive review involving an exhibition, a public meeting, and an extension to the timeframe, the planning proposal was supported by Council at its meeting on 15 April 2013. Once Council had supported the planning proposal, amendments to the supporting DCP section were considered.

 

Existing Development Control Plan

 

·    The comprehensive Lane Cove DCP came into force in February 2010 and remains the relevant policy document for the planning of the subject area. The DCP contains Localities for certain areas; the Marshall Precinct is contained within the St Leonards Locality as shown attached as AT 2. The DCP also includes generic controls including those for residential, commercial and mixed use development. Where there are no relevant locality controls, the generic controls apply.

 

·    The existing DCP block controls for the Marshall Precinct will be rendered only partially applicable by the soon to be gazetted LEP amendments in relation to height and FSR. The DCP block controls have also been superseded by the subsequent acquisition pattern that has taken place since the DCP was adopted.

 

Council, in 2009, to assist with various block plans for St Leonards in the DCP envisaged allotments in the Marshall Precinct to be amalgamated in a north-south direction across Marshall Lane, with future buildings running in north-south directions thereby reducing shadowing to dwellings to the south.

 

To date, amalgamations have occurred very differently to that envisaged. The current owner purchased all allotments between Marshall Avenue and Marshall Lane and plans to develop the lots in an east-west direction. The DCP controls for this Precinct need to be updated to reflect the recently endorsed Planning Proposal, amalgamation patterns and subsequent possible building forms.

 

St Leonards Community Liaison Committee

 

·    The St Leonards Community Liaison Committee (SLCLC) was establish to provide input into significant planning controls for land bounded by: River Rd to the south, the railway line to the east, the Pacific Hwy to the north and Greenwich Road to the west. The SLCLC has met on:-

 

-     27 November 2012;

-     11 December 2012;

-     13 February 2013; and

-     23 May 2013.

 

Further consultation with the Committee will occur during the proposed exhibition.

 

Action to date

 

·    On 9 May 2013, the Joint Regional Planning Panel approved a development application for the western section of Marshall Ave (15-25 Marshall Ave) for the construction of a mixed use building including a café and 66 apartments. The generic residential flat building DCP (Part C3) was used as the basis for assessment and it is felt that with the new planning proposal greater guidance and flexibility will be called for in the remainder of the Precinct.

 

Draft DCP prepared by Don Fox Planning submitted with planning proposal

 

·    At the time of submitting the planning proposal (October 2011), the applicant also submitted a draft DCP prepared by Don Fox Planning (see AT 3). This draft document has been reviewed and discussion held with the applicant prior to the preparation of this draft DCP for consideration by Council.

 

Given the LEP changes in the area and the lot amalgamation patterns to date, it is prudent to consider the planning controls afresh while building upon existing objectives for the locality.

 

Discussion

 

The aims of updating the Marshall Precinct DCP controls are to:-

 

·    Facilitate building forms that protect the sunlight, privacy and amenity of allotments to the south;

·    Facilitate development that does not unreasonably impact on the development potential of surrounding allotments;

·    Include controls relevant to actual site amalgamations so far;

·    Acknowledge Marshall Lane as retaining an important service function;

·    Protect street trees to retain the attractive Marshall Avenue streetscape;

·    Allow for connection of the Marshall Precinct to a potential future railway Plaza while not delaying development in the Precinct; and

·    To permit removal of the pedestrian mid-block connection in light of the growing importance of the railway Plaza.

 

The Objectives for the draft DCP for the Marshall Precinct (shown attached as AT1) are similar to the objectives contained in the existing DCP (shown attached as AT 2) which were supported by both the community and Council. 

 

Draft DCP Controls

 

·    Consider merits of through site link and remove it;

·    Propose one driveway location for the entire Loftex development;

·    Allow development of the precinct even though Plaza timing is uncertain; and

·    Propose cohesive setbacks of development.

 

Mid-block pedestrian connection

 

The existing DCP controls for the Marshall Precinct and the owner’s (Don Fox Planning) Draft DCP for the Precinct show a mid-block pedestrian connection from Marshall Avenue to Marshall Lane and then through to the Pacific Highway.

 

The proposed draft controls for the Precinct do not include a mid-block pedestrian connection. It is considered that the pedestrian connection may no longer be practicable or desirable as:-

 

-     A desire line proceeding north from Marshall Avenue along a mid block connection to the Pacific Highway is likely to be weak without any type of destination.

 

This may be significant if the existing bus stop, currently in the vicinity of the through site link and the highway, is proposed to be relocated. Council has progressed plans for a plaza over the railway line. The edge of the plaza may also contain an upgraded bus stop relocated from its location further to the west along the highway. In addition, there are no traffic lights at the top of the proposed pedestrian connection and therefore crossing the highway would not be possible where the proposed link terminated at the highway.

 

-     Marshall Lane is likely to remain a service lane for commercial properties facing the Pacific Highway and with the rear of the mixed use building facing onto Marshall Avenue. Service lanes are not traditionally attractive pedestrian environments.

 

-     The difficulty in obtaining a through site link to the highway where properties are in fragmented ownership patterns. If Council is to indicate on a map a through site link on a certain property, the development of that site may be adversely affected.

 

-     Attractive alternative pedestrian routes exist and should be encouraged. Currently Marshall Avenue is a gently sloping, leafy and relatively quiet streetscape. Pedestrians can enjoy strolling from the residential areas from the south and east to the railway station to the north east. Even if the entire block of 1-25 Marshall Avenue is developed, the proposed DCP requires retention of the street trees. Notwithstanding this, it is acknowledged that one, and possibly two, street trees may require removal when a driveway is planned.

 

Future improvement of the pedestrian experience between Marshall Ave and Canberra Ave is desirable and likely to occur through the Precinct development and the potential railway plaza development.

 


Vehicular Entry Points

 

The current DCP allows vehicular entry points from Berry Road, Marshall Lane and one access point along Marshall Avenue. The sensitive access point is the one along Marshall Avenue as single residential dwellings are directly opposite the development.

 

The current approved DA for 15-25 Marshall Ave shows a driveway approximately opposite No.12 Marshall Avenue.

 

This location may necessitate another driveway to provide access to future development on the eastern portion of the site. Consequently, the new DCP would address the number of driveway access points and potential amenity along Marshall Ave.

 

In discussions with the owner company representatives (Loftex), another option has been developed. One vehicular access point could be planned opposite the intersection of Marshall Ave and Holdsworth Ave. It is considered that this maybe a preferable solution for several reasons; any lights shining from cars exiting the development would mainly fall upon Holdsworth Ave roadway and not be directed into a house and any removal of street trees is minimised by the single access point.

 

The Railway Plaza

 

Council has progressed concept plans for a pedestrian plaza over the railway line at St Leonards.

 

The Railway Plaza project is seen as critical to the broader development of St Leonards as an attractive place to work and live. Residential and jobs targets provided by the NSW Department of Planning mean that there would be increasing pressure on transport nodes such as St Leonards. The Plaza would provide a passive space for pedestrians and include activation via shops and restaurants and possibly a community facility such as a childcare centre.

 

The development of the Marshall Precinct must be able to accommodate a possible future development of the railway plaza. However, it is also acknowledged that it may be difficult for buildings to be developed when a potential St Leonards Plaza is sometime away.

 

Discussions between Council and the owners of the Marshall Ave block support buildings at the end of the Marshall Avenue block being integrated with the potential plaza.

 

Setbacks

 

Setbacks for the eastern most building on the Marshall Ave block of the Precinct have been designed to establish of building footprint with minimal east west dimension and longer north south dimensions. This is to minimise overshadowing to the low density dwellings to the south.

 

Discussions with Loftex have indicated that building footprints along Marshall Avenue could be configured in three buildings or four. It is considered that three buildings with substantial setbacks between the buildings may be preferable as this configuration would permit:

 

-     20m separations between the buildings which would maximise solar access and view corridors; and

-     Large areas between buildings for landscaping.


Community Consultation

 

Statement of Intent

 

The consultation is designed to seek input from the residential and commercial property owners in the Marshall Avenue Precinct, residents in the St Leonards south area, resident action groups in the locality, property owners opposite the Precinct in Willoughby local government area (for example, The Forum) and Lane Cove. Any comments received will be reviewed and evaluated to determine whether or not to proceed with the draft DCP with or without amendments.

 

Method

 

Level of Participation

Inform

Inform

Consult

Form of Participation

Open

Targeted

Open

Target Audience

Lane Cove Community and community groups

Commercial and Residential property owners in the Precinct, Local community action groups, property owners in Willoughby local government area.

Lane Cove Community

Proposed Medium

Advertisement and

eNewsletter

 

Notification Letters and

Brochure / Letterbox Drop

 

Public Exhibition,

Website Exhibition and Survey

Indicative Timing

Late June to mid August 2013

Late June to mid August 2013

Late June to mid-August 2013

 

Conclusion

 

Given the soon to be gazetted LEP changes in the Marshall Precinct and the land acquisition patterns to date, it is necessary to revisit the precinct specific DCP planning controls while building upon existing objectives for the locality. The draft DCP controls seek to improve pedestrian amenity throughout the Precinct, provide transition in scale between buildings, maximise sunlight access for existing and future residents, minimise any adverse amenity impacts from vehicular entry points and ensure the retention of the tree-lined character of Marshall Avenue. Council is requested to consider and support the draft DCP for public exhibition.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:-

 

1.   Adopt the Draft DCP (AT1) dated 11 June 2013, for the purpose of community consultation for 6 weeks in accordance with the consultation strategy outlined in the report for the area bound by Marshall Avenue to the south, Pacific Highway to the north, the rail line to the east and Berry Road to the west. 

 

2.   Following exhibition of the Draft DCP, a report come back to Council on the results of the consultation.

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Draft DCP for the Marshall Precinct

6 Pages

 

AT‑2 View

Current DCP for Marshall Precinct

3 Pages

 

AT‑3 View

Draft DCP for Marshall Precinct prepared by Don Fox Planning October 2011

15 Pages

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

NSW White Paper

 

 

Subject:          NSW White Paper    

Record No:    SU4198 - 27472/13

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):      Stephanie Bashford 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The NSW White Paper provides a comprehensive review of the NSW planning system at State and local levels.  Its focus on integrated plans, incorporating infrastructure and inter-agency co-ordination, with legislation embedding community participation at all levels of planning, is supported and welcomed.

 

Council has conducted a substantial information and consultation program during May with community sessions, web information, community letter and surveys.

 

Key issues to emerge include:

 

·    Support for a greater strategic focus at the local planning level and the inclusion of Character Statements that reflect community aspirations and context.

·    Local Councils need to have a greater role to play in the identification and control of inappropriate action and/or development by builders and Certifiers.

·    The proposed 3 year time frame to use Section 94 contributions fails to recognise inherent time lags and complexities in infrastructure provision.

·    Strong support for a one-stop shop for Government referrals to minimise delays in assessment of merit based development.

 

The closing date for submissions on the NSW White Paper is Friday, 28 June 2013.

 

Background

 

The White Paper – A new planning system for NSW, with supporting draft legislation, was released by the NSW Government on 16 April 2013 for public comment.

 

This followed the publication of A New Planning System for New South Wales – Green Paper  in July last year, as part of the Independent Review of the NSW Planning System started in 2011. 

 

Discussion

 

NSW White Paper Objectives

 

The White Paper provides the first thorough and detailed revision of the NSW planning system since the introduction of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and Land & Environment Court Act in 1979.  It is focussed around five major reforms:-

 

(i)   Community Participation

 

·           A Community Participation Charter is to be legislated by the State Government.

·          A Community Participation Plan is to be prepared by the local Council and community.

·           Community Participation Templates to be prepared by Department for local use.

·          Communities are to be directly involved in shaping their local area by helping to develop the long-term strategic plans that will set the ground rules for development. 

 

(ii)  Strategic Planning

 

·          Emphasis on strategic planning to be undertaken early on with the community, with local representation on bodies responsible for the Regional Plan, Subregional Delivery Plan and a new Local Plan (replacing the current Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

·          Integrated planning, with clearly interrelationships between the State and Local Plans.

·          The LEP and DCP being replaced with a single new Local Plan incorporating a Development Guide, as well as the relevant State Policies.

·          Research evidence and sectoral strategies to be the basis for the plans.

 

(iii) Development Assessment.

 

·          Four levels of development approvals instead of three (apart from prohibited development): Exempt Development, Complying Development (assessed by private certifiers or Council staff) a new Local Code (to be assessed by Council staff only) and Merit Assessment development applications (DAs) where designs have variations from the Code.

·          Aim to move planning from a prescriptive to performance-based approach - a shift away from consultation at the development application stage, with 80% of developments to be code/complying assessed within five years.

·          Thirteen specific zones being set at the subregional level for significant areas, instead of up to thirty-five in LEPs.

·          Special Character Areas in the Local Plan, with Site Compatibility Statements allowing more flexibility for non-compliant land uses.

·          Block models and performance criteria replacing floor space ratio and strict numeric controls, in a Development Guide within the Local Plan, replacing the current Development Control Plan.

 

(iv) Infrastructure Integrated with plan

 

·          All Regional, Subregional and Local Plans will provide interrelated infrastructure programs, enabling clear “lines of sight” between them, with the aim of ensuring that growth and infrastructure occur in synchronisation.

·          All State authorities providing infrastructure will coordinated for the first time by a Chief Executive Officers Group.

·          Development contributions will be paid towards local and regional infrastructure.

 

(v)  Building Regulation and Certification

 

The new “delivery culture” will include:-

 

·    Eplanning with a property-centric”” website where applicants may find out all relevant provisions, at both local and State level, for an individual site.

·    training sessions for practitioners and stakeholders in all areas of new planning system and a restructuring of the Department to emphasis strategic planning and community participation.

 

Consultation

 

Council has undertaken considerable consultation during the White Paper’s exhibition:-

 

·    Consultation Sessions on 16 and 21 May, attended by approximately seventy people, with the Department sending three representatives to the second session.

·    A Community Letter to all property owners.

·    Website information including webcasts of the above sessions and telephone and online surveys.

 

Staff have attended Departmental forums and meetings of northern councils.

 

Key issues for Council’s Submission

 

Key issues recommended to be raised in Council’s submission include:-

 

·   The shift to 80% code and complying assessment with only 20% merit DAs

 

Comment

 

Council’s ability to guide developments, of houses, in particular, to minimize overshadowing, view loss and other impacts on adjacent properties and adjacent bushland, is important in inner-city councils such as Lane Cove due to topography and amenity expectations.  This community is firmly of the view that it should be permitted to identify areas where such issues are of special concern and full merit assessment would be required, i.e. to determine the types of DAs to be within the 20% as part of its local Character Statements.

 

·   Building certification

 

Comment

 

All Councils should have significant responsibility and powers for implementing improvements to building regulation accountability, penalties and mechanisms to prevent the nexus between owner and certifier.

 

·   Zoning

 

Comment

 

Concern is expressed that the residential flats zones proposal would create uncertainty and inhibit orderly development.  The prevention of specific residential flats zones, as these are to be merged into mixed use zones, is not supported on the grounds that this would reduce the sense of community for residents in high density developments, due to the unpredictable balance between landscaped neighbourhoods and commercial frontages.  Both residential flats zones, and mixed use zones, should be permissible under the Local Plan.

 

·   Developer contributions (Section 94)

 

Comment

 

The proposed as a minimum three-year timeframe for Section 94 to be collected and used is inadequate and should, instead, be aligned with councils’ four-year Delivery Plan framework under the Local Government Act.  It is recommended that the legislation be relied on requiring a regular audit and review of each council’s commitment to using the funds in a timely program of works in coordination with the council’s budget.  Such information should be publically accessible.

 


Submission structure

 

The Department’s consultation on the White Paper, through extensive stakeholder and community meetings and online forums, indicates a strong desire to engage with the community and to seek its views on the details of the proposals.

 

The exhibition of the Draft Planning Bill with it is unusual and welcome; however it indicates that the Government is committed to progressing the fundamentals of the planning reforms and a rejection of these fundamentals is not part of the Government agenda.  The White Paper consultation is an opportunity for this Council and the Lane Cove Community to add value to the new legislation.  Council and the community are realistic in their expectations as to the types of submissions which would be most relevant and to which the Department is most likely to respond.

 

Council’s approach during the recent community consultation has been to support positive reforms and to proactively seek solutions to issues of concern and to provide constructive input that seeks to add value to the new planning regime.  At the same time, though, any matters which raise concern or are rejected are to be clearly stated in the submission.

 

It is intended that the draft Submission which is attached at AT 1 would be finalised after the community’s submissions and online survey responses are received by Council’s closing date of Monday, 17 June.  Council’s submission would then be finalised by the Department’s due date of Friday, 28 June 2013.

 

Conclusion

 

The NSW Government’s overarching objectives to provide a fully integrated State and local planning framework are strongly supported.  In particular, the local government representation at subregional and regional level, underpinned by community consultation, is welcomed, as is the coordination of State agencies’ infrastructure delivery.

 

A draft submission relating to key issues is attached at AT 1.  It focuses broadly on the key issues relating to the White Paper, in particular those of interest to the Lane Cove community raised during the consultation sessions in May, pending receipt of any further community submissions by Council’s closing date of Monday, 17 June.

 

The draft submission has regard to our community’s views and concerns made during the community consultation sessions in May.  In regard to the specific means to achieve those ends, a range of technical comments are also proposed for submission to the Minister’s Planning Review.

 

Council has undertaken considerable consultation on the White Paper, with webcast Community Sessions, letters to all property owners and online and telephone surveys.  The comments received so far have guided the Draft submission and feedback received by 17 June will be considered for Council’s final submission to be made by 28 June.

 

The Minister is to be commended for his support of local Character Statements.

 

Lane Cove Council and its community have reviewed the overall thrust and aspirations of the proposed legislation promoted by the White Paper and welcome the move to a greater strategic focus and streamlining of the planning system.  The key to the success of this new approach will be community consultation, an open and transparent culture that builds upon partnership between all stakeholders (Community/Council/State/Developers/Private Certifiers) and a willingness to promote effective processes that provide and call for flexibility and responsibility.

 

Notwithstanding, interalia, that the concerns raised within the community that local character and livability are primary issues to be protected, the aims of the new planning approach by the Minister is supported.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

 

1.         Council endorse the Report’s comments as the core submission to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure on the NSW White Paper.

 

2.         That the Mayor and General Manager review any further community submissions received up to the 17 June for consideration for the final submission to the White Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Draft Lane Cove Council Submission on NSW White Paper for Council Meeting 17 June 2013

6 Pages

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Lane Cove West Public School Traffic Study - Drop-off Activity on Cullen Street

 

 

Subject:          Lane Cove West Public School Traffic Study - Drop-off Activity on Cullen Street    

Record No:    SU5044 - 27268/13

Division:         Open Space and Urban Services Division

Author(s):      Tim Sullivan 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

This report outlines actions undertaken in response to requests by Council to improve safety at Lane Cove West Public School, through changed traffic arrangements, new AM Bus services and provision of a pilot ‘Walking Bus’ scheme. It is recommended the actions be endorsed and further work be undertaken.

 

Discussion

Council has completed a traffic study around Lane Cove West Public School as per the resolution of the Council meeting of 3rd December 2012. Consideration has also been given to the reinstatement of a morning school bus service and ‘Walking Bus’ scheme as resolved by Council on 18th February 2013. The study is shown attached as AT-1.

 

The traffic study addresses issues regarding:-

·    Pedestrian safety at the start and end of the school day;

·    Traffic congestion on Cullen Street;

·    Pick-up and drop-off behaviour on Cullen Street;

·    The trip distribution of student population; and

·    School transport options (‘Walking Bus’, morning school bus, etc).

 

Lane Cove West Public School provided the street addresses of their student population. Analysis of this data showed that:-

·    89% of the student population resides within Lane Cove LGA;

·    About a quarter of the student population lives within walking distance (400m) of the School;

·    35 students have committed to using an AM bus service should one be provided;

·    Only 20 of the committed bus-users live near the existing Bus 731 route; and

·    96 students live on side roads of the existing Bus 731 route.


Traffic surveys were conducted on the Cullen Street drop-off and pick-up activities during the start and end of typical school days. Results of the traffic surveys and site observations revealed that:-

·    There is no strong evidence that vehicles on Cullen Street regularly exceed the speed limit;

·    Up to 38 vehicles drop off students on Cullen Street during the start of the school day, almost all of which do so on the school side;

·    Up to 24 vehicles pick up students on Cullen Street during the end of the school day, half of which occur on the school side;

·    Cullen Street is restricted to a single lane to accommodate two-way traffic during the end of the school day;

·    There is limited width for School Bus 731 to manoeuvre when vehicles are parked on both sides of Cullen Street;

·    There are not enough Drop-off spaces on the school-side of Cullen Street;

·    There are about 90 crossing movements across Cullen Street at the start of the school day;

·    There are about 230 crossing movements across Cullen Street at the end of the school day; and

·    There are around 15 crossing movements away from the pedestrian crossing on Cullen Street during the start and end of the school day.

The potential demand for a morning school bus to be reinstated was assessed and a case will be presented to Transport for NSW. Lane Cove West Public School’s assistance with providing firm evidence of future patronage levels will be essential to the success of the request.

 

In relation to the provision of a ‘Walking Bus’, the key issue is the establishment of a group of parent volunteer ‘Drivers’ with backup.  The school has endeavoured to deliver a scheme in the past, however obtaining sufficient volunteers proved difficult. Council will request the RMS to consider a pilot program, to fund a ‘driver’ similar to a school crossing guard. Council will continue to focus on improving pedestrian facilities generally to facilitate future initiatives.

 

Four traffic improvement schemes on Cullen Street, which were discussed at the meeting held on 19th December between the School, P&C, Councillor Brent, Council’s Traffic Engineer and Road Safety Officer. The schemes include two Cullen Street road widening options, installation of a drop-off zone on Henley Street and the installation of a ‘No Stopping Zone’ opposite the school.

 

Upon evaluation of the schemes, it is considered that installing a ‘No Stopping Zone’ opposite the School would be most feasible at this time. Given that 38 vehicles are able to undertake drop-offs on the school-side of Cullen Street at the start of the school day it is believed that the 24 vehicles that currently undertake pick-ups at the end of the school day could be accommodated if their travel behaviour was changed.

 

It is also proposed that time-restricted parking controls are made consistent with the School Zone operating periods (8-9.30am and 2.30-4pm); the Drop-off Zone on the school side of Cullen Street is extended northwards; and that the length of the Drop-off restrictions was increased from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, in line with Council’s other school traffic schemes.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

 

1.              The Lane Cove West Public School be requested to conduct a survey, with the assistance of Council to confirm the number of students that would commit to using the morning bus service;

 

2.              The following proposed changes be submitted to the Traffic Committee for consideration:-

 

a)    Endorse the proposed changes to time-restricted parking in Cullen Street to be consistent with the operating hours of the school zone;

 

b)    Endorse the proposed ‘No Stopping Zone’ opposite the School on Cullen Street for a trial period to determine its effectiveness;

 

3.    Council request the Roads and Maritime Services to consider funding a pilot project with a paid ‘Walking Bus Driver’.

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Rylands

Executive Manager

Open Space and Urban Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Lane Cove West Public School Traffic Study - Drop-off Activity on Cullen Street

49 Pages

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Referendum on Constitutional Recognition

 

 

Subject:          Referendum on Constitutional Recognition    

Record No:    SU2073 - 26742/13

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Ian Naylor 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

At the Council Meeting on 20 May 2013, Council resolved that a report be provided to the next meeting “outlining Council’s case for support of constitutional recognition”. This report provides further information on the case for support of constitutional recognition including key messages for the community. This report recommends that Council promote the case for support of constitutional recognition and the Mayor write to local Federal Members of Parliament seeking their support for the passing of the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) Bill 2013.

 

Discussion

 

On 9 May 2013, the Prime Minister issued a media release shown attached as AT-1, announcing a referendum will be held at the next Federal election to financially recognise local government in the Federal Constitution. The legislation to allow the Commonwealth to fund the referendum was passed by Parliament on 15 May 2013. The legislation will enable the Commonwealth to use public funding to ensure voters are properly informed about the referendum through a national campaign to provide information to the public on the referendum reform process.

 

An Exposure Draft of the Bill to change the Constitution to include local government, the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) Bill 2013 was released by the Federal Government on 16 May 2013, formally introduced into Parliament on 29 May 2013 and passed by the Parliament on 5 June, 2013 by 134-2 votes.

 

The change proposed by the legislation is simple and pragmatic. Section 96 of the Constitution would be amended to formalise the capacity of the Commonwealth to provide funds directly to local government bodies formed by a law of a state. It will not change the status of councils, nor would it give the Federal Government any power over local government. It would simply remove the uncertainty which now surrounds direct funding programs such as Roads to Recovery which have been in place for many years under both sides of politics. Section 96 will be amended to read:-

 

 "...Parliament may grant financial assistance to any state or to any local government bodies formed by a law of a State on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit."

 

The words of the proposed amendment were designed specifically to give assurance to State Governments that, under the proposed change, Local Government would remain the responsibility of State and Territory Governments. Legal advice confirms that the Federal Government will not be able to ask Local Government to do anything that would contravene a State law, and that States will retain the right to legislate for their councils, including the ability to stop them from accepting Federal funding if they have concerns.

 

The case for constitutional recognition is summarised as follows:-

·    This referendum is about communities, it will not change the relationships between councils and state governments. It will simply formalise Commonwealth funding direct to communities which has been occurring for decades, but which has always been open to legal challenge. This referendum will put an end to this legal uncertainty.

 

 

·    This referendum is important for our communities to ensure that they can continue to receive the level of services and infrastructure they need. The role of local government has expanded considerably, since Federation and local government is being called on to assist in delivering Commonwealth Government initiatives at the local level.

·    The Roads to Recovery program has been extremely important for our community i.e. Council is currently in the 4th year of a 5 year Roads to Recovery Program providing $126,000 per annum to Council.

·    Community infrastructure programs directly funded by the Commonwealth have helped our community. For example, as part of the National Stimulus Package in 2009 to counter the Global Financial Crisis, more than $1 billion of funding was provided directly to local government as a means of promoting economic activity across the nation. Council used these funds for projects such as Library Square, partial funding of Gallery Lane Cove, and the refurbishment of the Police Station, playground and picnic area at Blackman Park.

·    Bipartisan support has been shown in the past to be essential for the success of referendums, and Council should urge our local Federal Member of Parliament, the Hon Joe Hockey Member for North Sydney, to support this referendum.

 

Communication Strategy

 

With less than 3 months to the Federal election all councils have a role in promoting the key messages in support for constitutional recognition of local government. It is recommended that Council  commence promoting the case for support in the next Quarterly Newsletter, the Mayor’s Column in The Village Observer and continue promotional activities including placing information on Council’s website in the lead up to the election.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

 

1.   Council promote the case for support of constitutional recognition of local government over the next 3 months in the Quarterly Newsletter, the Mayor’s Column, on Council’s website and any other relevant publications, as well as at appropriate forums.

 

2.   The Mayor write to local Federal Members of Parliament seeking their support for the passing of the Constitution Alteration (Local Government) Bill 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Press Release from the Prime Minister on Referendum for Local Government

1 Page

 

AT‑2 View

ALGA Fact Sheet on Constitutional Recognition

1 Page

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

A New Local Government Act for NSW

 

 

Subject:          A New Local Government Act for NSW    

Record No:    SU218 - 26012/13

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Ian Naylor 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The Local Government Acts Taskforce has released a discussion paper with proposals for enhancements to the NSW Local Government Act. This discussion paper is designed to provoke thought and discussion on how the legislation and regulatory regime can be best designed to provide an optimum framework for long term sustainable local government in NSW. This report outlines the main proposals of the discussion paper and makes suggestions for a response by Council to the discussion paper.

 

Background

 

The Minister for Local Government, the Hon Don Page MP, has appointed a four member Local Government Acts Taskforce to develop new, modern legislation that meets the current and future needs of the community, local government and the local government sector. It is expected that the work of the Taskforce will result in the development of a modern Act for local government in New South Wales that is streamlined, written in plain language, reduces unnecessary red tape and easy to use. After consulting with key stakeholders the Taskforce has now released a discussion paper "A New Local Government Act for NSW" which is shown attached as AT-1. The deadline for submissions on the discussion paper is 28 June 2013. The Taskforce has asked that submissions address the following questions:-

 

“1.               Do you support the proposed approach to the construction of the new Act and why? If not why not?

2.                What proposals do you support and why?

3.                What proposals do you think could be improved, modified and strengthened and how?

4.                What proposals do not have your support and why?

5.                Do you have any alternative proposals for the new Local Government Act that you think the Taskforce should consider? What are they and what are the reasons supporting your proposal(s)?

6.                Do you have any other comments relevant to the review of the Local Government Act and the City of Sydney Act?”

 


Discussion

 

The discussion paper outlines a number of proposals for improvement to the NSW Local Government Act. The proposals are detailed below along with a suggested response by Council:-

 



Local Government Acts’ Taskforce Proposal

Council’s Response

Approach and Principles for the Development of the New Act

The Taskforce proposes:-

i)          A flexible, principles based legislative framework, avoiding excessive prescription, written in plain language and in a logical form. The new Act should be confined to setting out the principles of how councils are established and operate.  When further detail or explanation is required as to how these principles are to be achieved then regulations, codes and guidelines will be used where appropriate.

Council supports the proposed framework for the construction of a new Act as long as the following key principles are maintained; written in plain language, less prescriptive, reducing unnecessary red tape and easy to use.

ii)          a more consistent approach be taken to the use and naming of the regulatory and other instruments, noting that there is inconsistent use of mandatory and discretionary codes, section 23A guidelines, practice notes, discretionary guidelines and the like.

Purposes of the Local Government Act

i)          The Taskforce proposes the following draft Purposes of the Act:-

“the purpose of this Act is to provide

(1)               a legal framework for the NSW system of local government in accordance with section 51 of the Constitution Act 1902 (NSW)

(2)               the nature and extent of the responsibilities and powers of local government

(3)               a system of local government that is accountable, effective, efficient and sustainable.”

 

 

 

Supported

 

 

 

Supported

 

 

Supported.

 


 



Local Government Acts’ Taskforce Proposal

Council’s Response

Role and Principles of Local Government

i)          the Taskforce proposes the inclusion of a new Role of Local Government and a set of Principles for Local Government that will replace the charter in the new Act as follows:-

“Role of Local Government

The role of local government is to lead local communities to achieve social, economic and environmental wellbeing through:-

i)          utilising integrated strategic planning

ii)          working in partnership with the community, other councils, State and Commonwealth governments to achieve outcomes based on community priority as established through integrated Planning and Reporting

iii)         providing  and  procuring  effective,  efficient and economic infrastructure, services and regulation

iv)         exercising democratic local leadership and inclusive decision-making”

The notion of a charter is that of a constitution, something that defines or describes an organisation’s functions. The notions of an organisation’s role and the principles governing the role are quite different. Hence, the proposal by the Taskforce involves a series of statements that are far more general in nature than the existing charter and arguably of far less use as a reference point in guiding the day to day conduct of councils. There seems to be no good reason why the existing Charter, perhaps with some amendments, cannot co-exist with the proposed new roles and principles of local government.

 

Principles of Local Government

Principles to be observed by local government are to:-

i)          provide community-based representative democracy with open, unbiased and accountable government

ii)          engage with and respond to the needs and interests of individuals and diverse community groups

iii)         facilitate sustainable, responsible management, development, protection and conservation of the natural and built environment;

iv)         diligently address risk and long-term sustainability;

v)         achieve and maintain best practice public governance and administration, and to act fairly, responsibly, ethically, and in the public interest, and

vi)         optimise technology, and foster  innovation and flexibility.”

 

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

 

Supported

 


 



Local Government Acts’ Taskforce Proposal

Council’s Response

Integrated Planning and Reporting

 

The Taskforce proposes that:-

(i)            IPR be elevated to form a central ‘plank of the new Act as the primary strategic tool to enable councils to fulfill their leadership role & deliver infrastructure, services & regulation based on community priorities identified by working in partnership with the community, other councils and the State Government.

(ii)           other provisions of the Act be drafted so as to better support IPR including accountability to the community, financial sustainability and partnership with the State and others to deliver community outcomes.

(iii)          where possible relevant provisions from other sections of the Act be incorporated into IPR to reduce duplication.  For example, capital planning and expenditure approval provisions could be moved to the IPR resourcing strategy provisions; and community consultation processes should reflect IPR community engagement principles and need not be repeated throughout the Act.

(iv)          the IPR provisions be simplified to increase flexibility for council to deliver IPR in a way that is locally appropriate.

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

Council supports this proposal and suggests the requirement to produce an End of Term Report and State of the Environment Report be reviewed as these reports are a duplication of the reporting requirements of IPR. Similarly, the requirements of the Annual Report should be simplified to avoid duplication with IPR reporting requirements.

 

Supported.

Community Consultation and Engagement

 

The Taskforce proposes the following set of principles to guide councils regarding how consultation and engagement might occur:-

·           commitment to ensuring fairness in the distribution of resources (equity); rights are recognised and promoted (rights); people have fairer access to the economic resources and services essential to meet their basic needs and to improve their quality of life (access); and people have better opportunities to get involved (participation).

·           ensuring that persons who may be affected by, or have an interest in, a decision or matter should be provided with access to relevant information concerning the purpose of the consultation and the scope of the decision(s) to be taken.

 

Supported, Council’s Community Consultation Policy and Methods Guide address these principles and provides for different methods of consultation depending on the scope and type of the proposal or project.

·           ensuring that interested persons have adequate time and reasonable opportunity to present their view to the council in an appropriate manner and format.

·           ensuring that the views presented  to  the council will be given due consideration.

·           ensuring that council, in exercising its discretion as to how consultation will proceed in any particular circumstance, has regard to the reasonable expectations of the community,  the  nature  and  significance  of the decision or matter, and the costs and benefits of the consultation process.

·        arranging for special consultative procedures in particular instances.

 

Technology

The Taskforce proposes that:-

(i)      as a general principle the Act should support the optimal and innovative use of technology by councils to promote efficiency and enhance accessibility for the benefit of constituents.

(ii)     the Act allow each council to determine the most appropriate use of technology taking into account the principles for local government and community engagement through  the  IPR  framework  discussed above.

Council supports changes to the Act to allow councils to choose to utilise technology to consult with the community in order to reduce advertising costs and to potentially target a wider audience.

Elections

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      use of postal voting at all council elections as a means of increasing efficiency and voter participation and reducing council election costs.

(ii)     the following possible improvements to electoral provisions:

·           the most appropriate voting system –Exhaustive preferential; optional preferential; proportional, or first past the post

·           the option of utilising electronic voting in the future

·           mechanisms for removing the need for by-elections, when a vacancy occurs either   i the first year following an ordinary election or up to 18 months prior to an ordinary election

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

·           half term elections for councillors, similar to Senate elections

 

·           the ward system being abolished

 

 

·           improving the adequacy of and access to candidate information prior to elections

·           the enrolment process and maintenance of the non-residential roll, particularly in the City of Sydney

Not supported. This would place an increased cost on Council in respect of elections and may impact on the continuity of Council decision making.

Not supported. This  recommendation is contradictory to the Independent Local Government  Review  Panel’s  recommendations regarding Governance (which Council supports).

Supported.

 

Supported.

Meetings

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      the provisions relating to council meetings be:

·                 reviewed, modernised and any unnecessary prescription and red tape removed,

 

 

·                 designed to facilitate councils utilising current and emerging technologies in the conduct of meetings and facilitating public access; and

·                 consolidated into a generic mandatory Code of Meeting Practice that may if necessary be supplemented to meet local requirements, provided the amendments are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act and standard Code of Meeting Practice.

 

 

Council supports this proposal and reiterates its previous position that the confidential reasons contained in Section 10 need to be reviewed to allow Council to consider nominations for awards and the like in Closed Session of Council.

Supported

 

 

Supported.

Appointment and Management of Staff

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      the strategic responsibilities of the council be clearly separated from the operational responsibilities of the general manager in determining the councils structure and be aligned with IPR by:

·                 the general manager being responsible for determining the organisation structure and for recruiting appropriately qualified staff necessary to fulfill each role within the structure

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

·                 the council being responsible for determining those services and priorities required and to provide the resources necessary to achieve the Councils Delivery Program, and

 

 

 

 

·                 the general manager being responsible for the employment of all staff and there be no requirement for the general manager  to consult with the council in relation to appointment and dismissal of senior staff.

(ii)     all positions meeting the criteria as a senior staff position be treated as such, appointed under the prescribed standard contract for senior staff, identified as a senior staff position within the organisation structure, and the remuneration be reported in the councils annual report.

(iii)     in line with the principle of reducing prescription:

·                 each council to determine how it deals with regulatory responsibilities that fall outside of the Local Government Act, rather than prescribe the appointment of a Public Officer, and

·                 the EEO provisions be incorporated with the IPR processes and procedures

(iv)     the current prescription in the Act relating to the advertising of staff positions and staff appointments be transferred to regulation or to the relevant industrial award.

Supported on the basis that the term “resources” is clarified in the Act. In this regard, it may be clearer if the relevant section requires that council determine the financial resources (but not the human or material resources - which are more appropriately management's responsibility) that should be supplied and apportioned through approval of the budget in order to achieve the Delivery Program. It is recommended that this dot point proposal be amended to read "....provide the financial resources necessary...".

Council is of the view that consultation with the Council on the appointment of senior staff positions should still continue as this is the practice in private companies.

 

Supported.  In respect of the determination of senior staff positions, this should not be solely based on remuneration of the position but should have regard to where the position is placed within the structure of the organisation.

 

 

Supported

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support transfer to regulation but not to a relevant industrial award as these awards are subject to the risk of industrial negotiation every three years. In addition, Council proposes the Act should also include the following changes:-

1.         Section 348 - Amend the requirement that Senior Staff positions must be advertised at least twice in a newspaper circulated in the State. The new Act should show greater flexibility and allow councils to advertise online for these positions due to the large increase in people  searching online for job vacancies;

 

 

2.         Section 351 – Amend the provisions for temporary appointments to 24 months, currently only parental leave vacancies can be temporarily appointed for 24 months and all other temporary vacancies 12 months;

3.         Section 354F – Currently, the Act states that in the case of an amalgamation or boundary adjustment forced redundancies cannot take place for 3 years. Council considers 2 years would be sufficient.

4.         There should be more flexibility in the Act allowing councils to identify talented staff below senior staff level and the ability to appoint staff to positions without the need for advertisement. This process would promote greater staff loyalty and provide council with value for professional development investment. This practice is common in the private sector.

Pecuniary Interest

 

The Taskforce proposes that:-

(i)      the pecuniary interest provisions be reviewed to ensure they are rewritten in plain language, easily understood and any unnecessary red tape removed.

 

 

 

 

 

(ii)     consideration be given to utilising available technology to assist with the submission and maintenance  of  pecuniary  interest disclosures and to facilitate appropriate access to this information.

 

Council supports this proposal. Over the years there have been issues with designated staff being required to complete disclosure returns. The review should give consideration to disclosure returns only being completed by staff classified as senior staff. Alternatively, that non-senior staff are not required to disclose property they have an interest in, as this has led to safety concerns for the staff member. The requirement by staff to disclose conflicts of interest is covered by the Model Code of Conduct.

Supported.

Delegations

The Taskforce proposes that the provisions in the Act relating to delegations be reviewed to ensure they are streamlined; written in plain language; and are reflective of the roles and responsibilities of the council and the general manager to facilitate the efficient, effective and accountable operation of local government.

Supported.

 


 



Local Government Acts’ Taskforce Proposal

Council’s Response

Financial Governance

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)         there be greater scope for a focus on principles and the definition of financial systems/minimum standards within a new legislative framework and for assimilation with the mechanisms of IPR in line with frameworks proposed for other parts of the legislation.

(ii)        there be rebalancing of the regulatory focus of the legislative framework towards systems and risk management rather than process prescription.

(iii)        to await the Independent Panel work on many of the issues associated with fiscal responsibility including; rating issues; asset and financial planning; rates and charges; management of expenditure; and audit practices before recommending legislative positions on these matters.

 

Council supports this proposal on the basis that there is opportunity to make submissions in respect of any significant changes being proposed associated with fiscal management.

 

 

Supported.

 

 

Supported.

Procurement

The Taskforce proposes:-

i)          the adoption of a more principles-based enabling approach to procurement combined with a medium level of regulation designed to ensure support of the principles of value for money, efficiency and effectiveness, probity and equity, and effective competition.

ii)         in relation to the current tendering threshold of $150,000 rather than the legislation setting  a dollar value threshold a more flexible principles-based approach be taken to councils setting the threshold based on risk assessment of the proposed procurement.

iii)         the delegations section of the Act be reviewed to facilitate councils entering into collaborative  procurement arrangements such as via ROCs and allowing councils to delegate procurement to general managers with a ‘report back’ mechanism.

iv)        any regulation of council procurement support councils utilising available technologies that can assist with efficient, effective  and economic procurement processes that are accessible to all relevant stakeholders and are fair, open and transparent.

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

Council supports this proposal.  If no changes result to tendering provisions, at very least as a measure to encourage regional procurement and resource sharing, contracts entered into through ROC’s be exempt from the tendering reporting to Council provisions.

Supported.

 

 

 

Supported.

 


 



Local Government Acts’ Taskforce Proposal

Council’s Response

Capital Expenditure Framework

 

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      that a capital expenditure and monitoring framework be developed to enable the appropriate management of risk by councils. This framework should be tailored to risk levels, including significance of the project (including materiality and whole of life costs) and not   base on   arbitrary   monetary thresholds or procurement vehicles.

The current capital expenditure guidelines provide a general overview of the capital expenditure review process but lack detailed explanation of appropriate economic and financial appraisal methodology. Many councils may not have the expertise in house to enable reviews to be completed with confidence and often employ consultants at additional cost. However, Council staff still need sufficient knowledge to understand the process so that they can review an external consultant’s appraisal in a confident manner.

The NSW Treasury Policy and Guidelines Papers are general principles which agencies should apply to their particular situation and develop procedures for undertaking appraisals in their field of operation in consultation with Treasury. These principles are based on the utilisation of economic and financial appraisal techniques to ensure the efficient allocation of resources. A framework should be developed which is consistent with the Treasury Guidelines and makes it mandatory for all NSW councils to apply a consistent financial methodology to all significant capital projects.

It may be appropriate that an independent level of review be obtained either from NSW Treasury, DLG or alternative external organisation that can confirm these financial assessments for high value projects.

Public Private Partnerships

The Taskforce proposes that PPP projects continue to be subject to regulation and aspects that could be streamlined or simplified be identified and mechanisms for ensuring PPPs be considered for inclusion in the IPR framework.

Council supports this proposal, particularly streamlining of the PPP approvals process which can be quite exhaustive and potentially add significantly to the project cost.

Acquisition of Land

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      no change at this time to the acquisition of land provisions as they remain essential to councils  continued  service  and infrastructure deliver, are generally working well and there are no strong reasons to support change.

(ii)     council plans for the acquisition of land be linked with the IPR processes, and in particular the expressed opinion of the community in the community strategic plan on the need for additional public land or the sale of public land, be included in Delivery Program provisions.

Council believes that change is needed to address the risks associated with VG valuations. Decisions to acquire land should have reference to the 'value for money' principles and proper market value. Most procedures in government require two valuations, as valuations are not scientific (like engineering), but opinion based. In order to make informed decisions about acquisitions, the VG should have to provide a pre-acquisition "appraisal" and/or "valuation", depending on the circumstances, and should be accountable for the advice.  The acquiring authority could then make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed.

 

There should also be a right for council to ask for second opinion of valuation. Currently the VG issues a valuation for compensation. Only the dispossessed owner has the right to object, which protects against an undervaluation. However, there is no protection for the acquiring authority for an over valuation. The only opportunity for the authority is opened up when the dispossessed owner objects, then the authority can seek a different valuation,  however  it  comes  at significant cost. Proceeding to the Land and Environment Court is costly, risky, time consuming and not socially ideal.

 

 

There is some risk if planned acquisitions (and particularly financials) are identified in the community strategic plan. It potentially precludes free market competitive processes and the opportunity for cost minimisation for Council. It is also noted that opportunities for strategic land acquisition do not always arise in a predictable manner.

Public Land

 

The Taskforce proposes:-

(i)      the current processes for council land management,  being  complex  and inconsistent with the Crown Lands regime, be simplified and complementary.

 

 

(ii)     the Local Government Act:-

·                 require councils to strategically manage council-owned public land as assets through the IPR framework

·                 balance reasonable protections for public land use and disposal where the land is identified as having significant value or importance

·                 end the classification regime of public land as either community or operational land and instead, require the council resolution at the time of acquiring or purchasing land to specify the proposed use or uses

 

·                 provide that a proposed change in the use or disposal of public land, including consultation mechanismsshould  be dealt with through the councils asset management planning and delivery program

 

 

Supported as long as councils are given greater flexibility in the leasing/licensing of public land for longer than 5 years without approval from the State Government. It is suggested that as a minimum the provisions apply to leases/licenses for greater than 21 years.

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

 

Support the end of the classification regime but not the requirement for council resolution at the time of acquiring land.  Instead it is proposed that the resolution occur as part of the IPR process which is in line with central plank of the new Act as proposed by the Taskforce.

Supported.

 

·                 retain the requirement for a public hearing to be held by an independent person where it is proposed to change the use or dispose of public land identified as having significant value or importance.  The results should be reported to and considered by the council before a decision is made and proposals should be addressed through council’s community engagement strategy

·                 recognise the LEP zoning processes and restrictions applying to council owned public land

·                 review the prescribed uses to which public land may be applied to accommodate other uses appropriate to the current and future needs of the community.

·                 cease the need for separate plans of management for public land to be prepared and maintained, and in lieu, utilise the asset management planning and delivery program.

·                 cease the need for a separate report to be obtained from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure where proposed leases and licences of public land are referred to the Minister for Local Government for consideration.

Not supported. This matter is addressed through the community consultation charter for the Local Environmental Plan process and does not require a separately mandated public hearing process.

 

 

 

Supported.

 

Supported.

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

Supported.

Approvals, Orders and Enforcement

The Taskforce proposes:-

i)          regulatory provisions be reviewed to ensure that the Act provides guidance on regulatory principles but contains flexibility and less prescription in their implementation, with statutory minimum standards or thresholds the council must meet, and councils discretionaryon-the-ground’ functions.

ii)          within this framework, the prescriptive processes of approvals and orders be streamlined and, subject to risk assessment, be placed into regulations where possible, allowing the Act to focus on  high priority areas and principles.

iii)      certain approvals be repealed or transferred to other legislation, such as the installation of manufactured homes and the operation of caravan parks and camping grounds. Installation of domestic oil and solid fuel heating appliances should be transferred to the Environmental  Planning and

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

Supported.

 

Assessment Act; approvals for filming activities on public land be deleted or transferred to other legislation; approvals for amusement devices be transferred to health and safety legislation; and approvals for engaging in activities on public roads be transferred to roads and transport legislation.

iv)     given that maximum penalties have not increased since 1993, penalties for offences in the Act and Regulation be reviewed to ensure they are proportionate to the seriousness and nature of the offence, and act as a deterrent to re-offending.

v)         to have regard to the findings and recommendations of the reports by IPART as they affect local government that are due mid-2013.

vi)         The Taskforce invites comments as to whether there are currently activities requiring approval that are low-risk or redundant and therefore can be removed from the legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

 

 

Supported.

 

 

Supported.

Performance of Local Government

The Taskforce will await the report and recommendations of the Independent Panel before considering any legislative provisions but invites submissions on whether the performance of local government and its constituent entities should be further monitored and reported.

Supported.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council make a submission on the discussion paper: A New Local Government Act for NSW based on the comments included in this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

A New Local Government Act For NSW - Discussion Paper - April 2013

Online Only

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Sister Cities Policy

 

 

Subject:          Sister Cities Policy    

Record No:    SU4964 - 26866/13

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Ian Naylor 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council at its Meeting on 22 April 2013 resolved that a report come back on the Sister Cities Policy dealing with the community concerns about costs and determine ways of mitigating these costs. This report provides options for mitigating costs in relation to overseas delegations and recommends that Council give consideration to including one of these options tinto the Sister Cities Policy.

 

Background

 

Council currently has two sister city relationships, a relationship with Hu Zhou in China approved at the April Council Meeting and a long standing relationship with Gunnedah Shire Council which has involved resource sharing, sharing knowledge, providing advice to Gunnedah staff and allowing Gunnedah to set up stalls in the Plaza to promote living in Gunnedah.

 

Discussion

 

During the community consultation on the Draft Sister Cities Policy earlier this year, concerns were raised with the amount of money and resources that would be used in relation to sister city relationships. The long standing relationship with Gunnedah is primarily a resource and knowledge sharing relationship with Lane Cove staff providing advice and expertise to assist Gunnedah wherever possible.

 

The Sister Cities Policy provides that any travel or expenditure in relation to sending an overseas delegation is to be approved by Council and any other expenditure and use of Council resources related to Sister City relationships shall be authorised by the General Manager.

 

In order to mitigate the costs associated with Council sending an overseas delegation Council could consider:-

 

1.   Council paying for Councillor expenses related to an overseas sister city visit and civic events excluding airfares, such as accommodation, travel and meal expenses while on official business; or

2.   Council paying for Councillor expenses related to an overseas sister city visit and civic events while on  official business excluding airfares and accommodation; or

3.   Council not paying any expenses for Councillors related to an overseas sister city visit.

 

If Council elects to pay for Councillor expenses related to an overseas sister city visit ie. Option 1 or 2, then the Sister Cities Policy will need to include specific provisions from the Division of Local Government Guidelines on the Provision of Facilities and Payment of Expenses to Mayors and Councillors. These guidelines require that any proposal for overseas travel in relation to sister city relationships needs to be a reported to Council for approval prior to the trip and include specific details on the purpose of the trip, expected benefits, total cost and Councillors undertaking the trip. The report to Council cannot be in the form of a Mayoral Minute. After any overseas travel a detailed written report is to be presented to a Council Meeting on the aspects of the trip relevant to the community and details of overseas travel also needs to be included in Council’s Annual Report.

 

If Council were to host a Sister City delegation then costs would be mitigated by using council facilities to hold any civic events, using existing preferred suppliers of goods and services and seeking sponsorship of civic events.

 

Conclusion

 

This report provides Council with options for mitigating costs related to overseas sister city delegations. These options provide a mechanism for mitigating the costs and addressing the issues raised during consultation on the Draft Sister Cities Policy. The Sister Cities Policy will be amended to reflect the resolution of Council. Given these amendments are in response to the previous consultation, further consultation is not considered necessary.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council give consideration to options for mitigating the costs of overseas sister city delegations and the Sister Cities Policy be amended accordingly..

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Tender for Supply and Installation of Traffic Signals at Mowbray Road / Beaconsfield Road and Ralston Street

 

 

Subject:          Tender for Supply and Installation of Traffic Signals at Mowbray Road / Beaconsfield Road and Ralston Street    

Record No:    SU5119 - 27719/13

Division:         Open Space and Urban Services Division

Author(s):      Tim Sullivan 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council called for tenders in accordance with Council’s Tender and Quotation Procedure for the Supply and Installation of Traffic Signals at Mowbray Road, Ralston Street and Beaconsfield Road.

 

As Council has been working on a tight timeframe due to RMS requiring the contract to be awarded before 30 June 2013, tenders have only just been received and assessment is still being undertaken.

 

It is anticipated that a late report will be distributed by 14 June 2013 for Council’s consideration.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council receive and note the report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Rylands

Executive Manager

Open Space and Urban Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Organisational Structure

 

 

Subject:          Organisational Structure   

Record No:    SU212 - 26059/13

Division:         General Managers Unit

Author(s):      Craig Wrightson 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Under s332 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) a Council must determine an organisational structure and those positions within the organisational structure that are senior staff positions.   A copy of Council’s current organisational structure is shown attached as AT-1.

 

Under s333 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) the organisational structure must be re-determined by Council within 12 months of any ordinary election.

 

It is recommended that both the current organisational structure and senior staff positions be endorsed by re-determination.

 

Background

 

In the first 12 months of a new Council it is expected that Councillors will gain a reasonable understanding of how the Council’s organisational structure works and will have some view on its appropriateness or otherwise in achieving the goals of Council.

 

The current structure has largely been in place since mid 2003 and on the whole works reasonably effectively in enabling Council to perform its responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

 

Discussion

 

The Local Government Act 1993 sets out a Charter for Councils as shown attached as AT-2.   The Charter sets out a broad range of responsibilities for local government authorities.

 

Council applies a Quadruple Bottom Line Framework and sets out its forward delivery program and reports on its performance within it’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework which also highlights the responsible areas of Council for each of the required actions.

 

Council operates under a flat organisational structure with four Executive Managers each responsible for a Division of Council reporting directly to the General Manager.

 

Whilst there have been minor adjustments to the structure when required, it has largely been in place since 2003 as stated above and whilst reviewed from time to time continues to work reasonably effectively. Changes made to the structure since the September 2012 Ordinary Election include the redesign of the previous Media Manager into the position of Manager - Communication and Events to reflect the greater emphasis on effective communication with our community and the focus on staging of an increasing number of events.  The role was also transferred to the Human Services portfolio, to consolidate these activities. Additionally, the Geographic Information Service function has been transferred from Strategic Planning Section to the Information Technology Section, as there is greater technical support available for this function within the Information Technology Section.

 

The positions of Executive Manager Human Services, held by Ms Jane Gornall, Executive Manager Environmental Services, held by Mr Michael Mason, Executive Manager Corporate Services held by Mr Craig Dalli and Executive Manager Open Space & Urban Services held by Mr Wayne Rylands are designated senior staff positions. It is not proposed to change the responsibilities of these positions at this time.

 

Conclusion

 

The current organisational structure and senior staff positions should be endorsed by re-determination.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:-

 

1.         Re-determine the organisational structure as detailed in Attachment 1; and

 

2.         Determine the positions of Executive Manager, Open Space & Urban Services; Human Services; Environmental Services and Corporate Services as senior staff positions within the organisational structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

General Managers Unit

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Current Organisational Structure

1 Page

 

AT‑2 View

Charter for NSW Councils

1 Page

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Kindy Cove Child Care Centre National Quality Framework Assessment

 

 

Subject:          Kindy Cove Child Care Centre National Quality Framework Assessment    

Record No:    SU5120 - 25139/13

Division:         Human Services Division

Author(s):      Megan McDermid; Melise Piccolo 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

In December 2009, all of the Australian Governments agreed to a partnership to establish a National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (National Quality Framework). The National Quality Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement and education.

 

The National Quality Framework (NQF) consists of:-

·    A National Quality Standard for Early Education and Care and School Age Care;

·    A national quality assessment and rating process; and

·    Streamlined regulatory processes.

 

The implementation and administration of the NQF is overseen by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

 

Background

 

The purpose of the NQF is to ensure that children have the best start in life. The National Law, National Regulations and National Quality Standards (NQS) provide the scaffolding for services to provide care and education environments in which children receive stimulating, positive experiences and interactions that will foster all aspects of their development.

 

Through the National Quality Framework (NQF) the Australian Government operates an assessment and ratings program for family day care centres, outside hours school care, preschool/kindergartens and long day care services in Australia. 

 

As part of the National Quality Framework each child care centre needs to be assessed.  The frequency between assessment and ratings visits is dependent on the last rating received and can vary between 1-3 years.

 

Council’s Kindy Cove Child Care Centre has recently been assessed and rated for NQF by NSW’s regulatory Authority, NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate, Department of Education and Communities (DEC).  The visit assessed against the National Standard and has replaced the separate NSW Licensing visits and National Child Care Accreditation Scheme, combining both into one visit.

 

This was the first time Kindy Cove has gone through the process under the National Quality Framework.

 

Kindy Cove was required to achieve and maintain at least a rating of Working Towards National Quality Standards for parents to be eligible to receive the Child Care Benefit (CCB).  Ratings given could be:-

 

·    Significant Improvement Required;

·    Working Towards National Quality Standards;

·    Meeting National Quality Standards;

·    Exceeding National Quality Standards; and

·    Excellent (a separate rating granted by ACECQA for services with an Exceeding; rating which is applied for separately).

 

The process of assessment and rating is long and involved including:-

 

1.         Preparing and submitting a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) – submitted by          Kindy Cove in September 2012; 

 

2.         Hosting a two day site visit by two authorised officers in November 2012.   These             officers  gathered evidence and recorded it in the NQS Assessment and Ratings    Instrument.  To do this the officers:-

 

(a)        Observed – watched what children, families, educators and                                                  co-ordinators and staff members were doing;

(b)        Discussed – Talked with key contact person, educators, co-ordinators,                               about practices within the service; and

(c)        Sighted – Looked at documentation required by the National Law and                               National Regulations and other documents as evidence to support                                                 particular practices at the service.

 

3.         Providing an Assessment and Rating result; the rating for each quality area           and overall rating are provided to each Centre. The rating is required to be         displayed by the Centre. There is a draft report provided for comment and a final    report provided once the feedback had   been assessed. Kindy Cove received their final Report in April 2013.

 

The Quality Areas assessed were:-

 

1.         Educational program and practice;

2.         Children’s health and safety;

3.         Physical environment;

4.         Staffing arrangements;

5.         Relationships with children;

6.         Collaborative partnerships with families and communities; and

7.         Leadership and service management.

 

Shown attached as AT-1 is a copy of Kindy Cove’s Rating.  As can be seen from the Certificate, Kindy Cove achieved an overall rating of Exceeding National Quality Standards, with an Exceeding rating for 5 of the 7 quality areas.

 

Kindy Cove’s next accreditation study is due in approximately April 2016.

 

Conclusion

 

Involvement in the assessment and ratings process is an ongoing commitment for Long Day Care Centres.  As well as the reports to be completed and the authorised officers’ visit, in the time leading up to the Quality Improvement Plan being submitted, parents and staff assisted the centre by being involved in committees reviewing procedures and the services that Kindy Cove offers.

 

Between assessment and ratings visits there is also a provision for ad hoc visits to the Centre by the NSW Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate, Department of Education and Communities (DEC)  authorised officers and thus the Centre always needs to be at its best.

 

The rating has meant that the Directors and staff of the Centre have some time to prepare for the refurbishing of Kindy Cove which is being planned to be undertaken in the first half of  2014. The Centre was opened in 1976 and while the building still functions as a long day care centre it is showing its age. An architect has been appointed to prepare the plans for the Development Application for the refurbishment and the staff are currently providing input into the changes being discussed.

 

As Kindy Cove has received an ‘Exceeding’ National Quality Standard rating it is expected that the next official assessment visit will be in 2016. Council should be proud of this achievement and the work and enthusiasm of all of the staff and parents involved in obtaining this successful result. 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:-

 

1.   Receive and note this Report.

 

2.   Notes the receipt of an Exceeding National Quality Standard of rating at Kindy Cove Child Care Centre.

 

3.   Write to all the staff at Kindy Cove and congratulate them on the excellent result achieved.

 

 

 

 

Jane Gornall

Executive Manager - Human Services

Human Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Kindy Cove Child Care Centre NSW Department of Education and Communities Assessment and Ratings

1 Page

 

AT‑2 View

National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating Report for Kindy Cove Child Care Centre

48 Pages

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Lane Cove Traffic Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2013

 

 

Subject:          Lane Cove Traffic Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 21 May 2013    

Record No:    SU1326 - 26589/13

Division:         Open Space and Urban Services Division

Author(s):      Tim Sullivan 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The Lane Cove Traffic Committee Meeting was held on Tuesday, 21 May 2013.  The Agenda is included as AT-1.  The Traffic Committee recommendations are shown in the Minutes of the Meeting, included as AT-2.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council adopt the recommendations of the Lane Cove Traffic Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 21 May 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Rylands

Executive Manager

Open Space and Urban Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Agenda - Lane Cove Traffic Committee 21 May 2013

27 Pages

AT‑2 View

Minutes - Lane Cove Traffic Committee 21 May 2013

6 Pages

 

 

  


Ordinary Council Meeting 17 June 2013

Council Snapshot

 

 

Subject:          Council Snapshot     

Record No:    SU220 - 27253/13

Division:         General Managers Unit

Author(s):      Millie Stephen 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Attached for the information of Councillors is a review of Council’s recent activities, entitled Council Snapshot.  This report provides a summary of the operations of each Division.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council receive and note the report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

General Managers Unit

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Council Snapshot

56 Pages