Ordinary Council Meeting
16 December 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.
1. Regional Waste Project - Application to Minister for Joint Participation Agreement ..................................................... 3
Subject: Regional Waste Project - Application to Minister for Joint Participation Agreement
Record No: SU4277 - 66137/13
Division: General Managers Unit
Author(s): Craig Wrightson
The purpose of this report is to seek Council’s approval to apply to the Minister for Local Government for consent under section 358 of the Local Government Act 1993 to enter into a participation agreement with each of the other member councils of NSROC who are participating in the regional waste project. The Northern Sydney Councils Waste Alliance Agreement will specify the roles and responsibilities of councils in participating in and managing a joint contract for waste disposal and processing.
Council at its meeting of 20 May 2013 resolved to participate in preparing to tender jointly with other NSROC Councils for processing and disposal services for residual waste. The report to Council made at that time set out the proposed governance arrangements for the regional waste project and Council resolved to participate in a formal alliance arrangement with NSROC Councils to ensure transparent protocols in relation to the regional waste service.
The alliance agreement between Councils has been drafted and is designed to establish a clear legal relationship between councils for the purpose of cooperative procurement of waste services, and to spell out the rules and procedures for the management of the service.
In July 2013 the advice of the Division of Local Government was sought in respect of the alliance agreement. The Chief Executive advised that councils must seek the Minister for Local Government’s approval to enter into the agreement, as it is deemed to fall within the requirement that a council obtain prior approval from the Minister to form an ‘entity’. This position was as anticipated in the earlier report to councils. However the advice from the Division of Local Government was that the wording of the adopted recommendations was not sufficiently specific and that each council planning to enter into the agreement would need to pass a specific resolution to support making an application under section 358.
The regional waste tender is a joint procurement opportunity made possible by the broad harmonisation of NSROC Councils’ waste disposal contract termination dates. Between 2014 and 2015 all seven NSROC councils are in a position to join a shared contract for waste services. The benefits of the shared approach to the market were set out in detail in the report considered by all NSROC Councils in May/June, and the strategic and likely commercial advantages explained in that report are unchanged.
Establishing the alliance agreement requires a special resolution by Councils, as noted above, in respect of section 358 approval. Under DLG Circular 07/49 as well as requiring a special resolution from participating councils, the submission to the Minister will have to address four other criteria, namely:
· Is the proposal consistent with the functions of the council or an existing service that the council provides?
· Will the proposed entity be legally separated from the council?
· Is the council currently financially viable?
· What is the impact of the proposal on existing council staff?
None of these criteria present problems for the application by NSROC Councils, as there is no staff displacement related to the project, legal separation is not relevant, councils are financially viable and waste management is an existing and core role of local government. The alliance agreement allows for other councils to join the arrangement.
NSROC Councils have already contributed funds to the establishment of the agreements and no further contributions are required to implement this recommendation.
The regional waste project has taken longer to deliver than expected for a number of reasons, including staffing changes at NSROC and the emergence of the merger proposal between NSROC and SHOROC.
As it is now clear that these matters can be concurrently managed while the project is progressed, it is a matter of some urgency to seek the Minister’s approval to enter into the alliance agreement that will set out the roles of councils in decision making and governance for the operation of the shared waste contract.
1. Apply to the Minister for Local Government for consent under section 358 of the Local Government Act 1993 to enter into a participation agreement with each of the other member councils of NSROC who are participating in the regional waste project.
2. Note the Northern Sydney Councils Waste Alliance Agreement will specify the roles and responsibilities of councils in participating in and managing a joint contract for waste disposal and processing.
General Managers Unit
There are no supporting documents for this report.