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Agenda

Ordinary Council Meeting

22 July 2019

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.

 

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Notice of Meeting

 

Dear Councillors

 

Notice is given of the Ordinary Council Meeting, to be held in the Council Chambers, 48 Longueville Road Lane Cove on Monday 22 July 2019 commencing at 7:00pm. The business to be transacted at the meeting is included in this business paper.

 

Craig - GMYours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

 

Council Meeting Procedures

 

The Council meeting is chaired by the Mayor, Councillor Pam Palmer. 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. To speak at a public forum you must register your details with Council by 5:00pm on the day of the Council meeting at which you will be speaking.  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 Executive Manager – Corporate Services on (02) 9911 3550.

 

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 22 July 2019

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 - 17 JUNE 2019

 

Mayoral Minutes

 

2.       Mayoral Minute - Emergency Services Levy Increase

 

3.       Mayoral Minute - Office Meeting with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces  

 

Petitions

 

4.       Off-Leash Dog Walking at Blackman Park - Shared User Path

 

5.       Petition from Residents of Lane Cove North Regarding Traffic Safety

 

Orders Of The Day

 

Notices of Motion

 

6.       Notice of Motion - Return and Earn Alternate Scheme in Lane Cove

 

Officer Reports for Determination

 

7.       Voluntary Planning Agreement  - 16 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove Post Consultation Report

 

8.       Customer Experience Strategy

 

9.       Local Government Conference NSW 2018

 

10.     Conduct of the September 2020 Local Government Election

 

11.     Asset Management Framework

 

Officer Reports for Information

 

12.     Alternative Methods of Delivery for Development Application (DA) Notifications

 

13.     Council Snapshot June 2019  

 

 

 

 

          


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Mayoral Minute - Emergency Services Levy Increase

 

 

Subject:          Mayoral Minute - Emergency Services Levy Increase     

Record No:    SU6479 - 41482/19

Division:         Lane Cove Council

Author(s):      Councillor Pam Palmer 

 

 

Executive Summary

                                                              

Each year, the NSW Government collects payments from councils and insurers to fund emergency services agencies in NSW, with councils required to pay 11.7 per cent of the budget. These charges are embedded in council rates and home insurance premiums.

 

From 1 July 2019 the NSW Government plans to collect an additional $160 million (in 2019/20) from NSW councils, communities and those paying insurance premiums to provide better workers’ compensation coverage for volunteer and career firefighters who are diagnosed with one of 12 specific work-related cancers.

 

Councils were sent bills with a letter from Revenue NSW in May 2019, saying NSW council contributions will increase by $19 million in 2019/20. The letter also foreshadowed increases in the

following year, but not the amount.

 

Lane Cove received an invoice from Revenue NSW for $759,252 for its 2019/2020 emergency services levy contribution. This is $79,500 more than last year’s levy (a 11.70%) increase. This will mean council will need to find additional funds and/or cut planned initiatives or services.

 

Council supports career and volunteer firefighters in NSW – as it does all emergency services workers and volunteers. Indeed, many NSW council staff and councillors are volunteers. We also support the Bill passed in November 2018 to address what was a workers’ compensation shortfall.

 

However, the sector was at no point advised that it would be required to cover the cost via significant increases to the emergency services levy, or what this cost would be. Proportional to council revenue, the extra $79,500 Lane Cove is being asked to pay is a considerable amount.

 

The Northern Sydney Region Organisation of Councils (NSROC) recently issued a press release calling on the NSW Government and Minister Hancock to hear the concerns of local Councils, to cover the $19m increase and work collaboratively with Councils to co-design a funding approach to find a fairer way to lessen the adverse impacts on the community. 

 

Local Government NSW is also calling upon the NSW Government to fund the first 12 months of this extra cost and work with local governments to ensure the implementation of the funding mechanism is fairer into the future.


RECOMMENDATION

That:-

1.       Council write to the NSW Premier and NSW Opposition Leader, NSW Minister for Customer Services, NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Local Government and Shadow Minister for Local Government, and local state member to:-

a)    Call upon the NSW Government to fund the 12 months of this extra cost rather than requiring councils to find the funds at short notice when budgets have already been allocated;

b)    Explain how this sudden increase will impact council services / the local community;.

c)    Highlight that councils were not warned of the increased cost until May 2019, despite the new laws being passed in November 2018;

d)    Explain that the poor planning and implementation of the increase is inconsistent with the Government’s commitment to work in partnership with the sector; and

e)    Ask the Government to work with local governments to redesign the implementation of the scheme to ensure it is fairer for councils and communities into the future; and

2.       A copy of the above letter be sent to Local Government NSW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Pam Palmer

Mayor

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Mayoral Minute - Office Meeting with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

 

 

Subject:          Mayoral Minute - Office Meeting with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces     

Record No:    SU6005 - 41636/19

Division:         Lane Cove Council

Author(s):      Councillor Pam Palmer 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The General Manager, myself and the Deputy Mayor met with a representative from Office of the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces on the 21st June 2019 to discuss the most pressing planning issues facing the Lane Cove community. Topics covered included future development in St Leonards South, the 2036 Plan for St Leonards / Crows Nest, the moratorium on residential planning proposals and Planning Proposal No.27 (rezoning of Girraween Park). We also briefly discussed issues to do with the appointment of Private Certifiers and progress on the St Leonards over-rail plaza. To date there has been no further correspondence on the matters raised.

 

Background

 

Council at its meeting held 15 April 2019 resolved:-

 

That the General Manager request a meeting with the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces the Hon. Rob Stokes MP to meet with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the General Manager to discuss current and future issues impacting the residents of Lane Cove LGA, including St Leonards South and our request for a moratorium on residential Planning Proposals, and to also discuss any other matters that the General Manager identifies.

Discussion

 

As stated above, three main planning issues covered with the department were St Leonards, the moratorium on residential planning proposals and Planning Proposal No.27.

 

St Leonards

 

A briefing on St Leonards South was given encompassing a history of the planning proposal with the relevant key themes of the proposal also covered. Issues around the significant sites identified in the 2036 Plan were also discussed as well as the SIC, the Over Rail Plaza Development and new St Leonards library.

 

Moratorium on residential planning proposals

 

Council’s request for a Moratorium was discussed.

 

Solutions around how to eliminate developer led planning proposals were canvassed with Council suggesting that the removal of the planning proposals review process by the District Planning Panel for proposals that are not supported by councils will assist in achieving this goal.

 

Planning Proposal 27 (rezoning of Girraween Park)

 

A history was given on the planning proposal and Council’s role in initiating the land swap with NSW Land and Housing Corporation in order to augment open space in the Mowbray Precinct.

Private Certifiers

 

The benefits of Council’s preferred model for appointment of PCAs were discussed.  Under this model, pre-registered PCA’s would be assigned by Council on a rotating basis.  This would remove any link between builders and PCAs.

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Pam Palmer

Mayor

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

  


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Off-Leash Dog Walking at Blackman Park - Shared User Path

 

 

Subject:          Off-Leash Dog Walking at Blackman Park - Shared User Path    

Record No:    SU7181 - 32735/19

Division:         Open Space and Urban Services Division

Author(s):      Helen Haigh 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council received a petition containing 86 signatures dated 20 May 2019 regarding off-leash dog walking at Blackman Park. The petition raised concern about the ‘restricted’ off-leash areas and ‘inadequate signage’ within the park. This report recommends maintaining off-leash dog walking on the grass sports field when not in use and on-leash dog walking on the shared user path.

 

Background

 

The Blackman Park Plan of Management (2009) has been progressively implemented over the last 10 years.  Works carried out in line with the Plan include the installation of the synthetic sport fields, wetlands, scout hall and amenities block, shared user path, cricket wickets, a new basketball area and dog park.  The shared user path accommodates people walking and riding their bikes on a 1km loop around the park.

 

Blackman Park user numbers have increased since the implementation of the Blackman Park Plan of Management. The diversity of activities available in the Park attracts people locally and from further afield. The Park aims to contribute to developing a strong inclusive community that promotes access, equity and participation.

 

Discussion

 

Council received a petition containing 86 signatures dated 20 May 2019 regarding off-leash dog walking at Blackman Park. The petition raised concern about the ‘restricted’ off-leash areas and ‘inadequate signage’ within the park as set out in AT-2.

 

The following table summarise the matters raised in the petition, Council’s response and the proposed action / action undertaken to date in relation to this matter.

 

Matter Raised

Response

Action

Dogs not allowed within 10m of play equipment

This is mandated in the Companion Animals Act.

Council is obliged to enforce legislation

Dog Park restricts dogs to small area

The new Dog Park is 3,500m2 and Blackman 3 and 4 sports fields, total 18,000m2, which are available when not in use.

Walking Track has not previously been policed

Council engaged in 2019 a Ranger to ensure approved use of open space.

New Parks Ranger employed, however as part of the education process, no fines have been issued for non compliance.

No adequate signage

Signage has not been updated since renovations completed, it reflects the park configuration pre the synthetic fields.

Signage to be updated

Website vague and inaccurate

Council’s website states that off-leash dog walking allowed on sports fields when not in use

Website has been updated to include information on the new dog park facilities

Changes have been poorly communicated

No changes have been made.

Parks Ranger educating public. Signs to be updated

Define Effective Control

Companion Animals Act states that dogs are to be on leash for effective control

Rangers to inform dog walkers

Don’t understand why this is an issue

Companion Animals sets standards. A number of dog incidents have occurred at Blackman Park

New Parks Ranger employed

 

In considering the requests outlined in the petition, Council has had regard to the Companion Animals Act, NSW, 1998 which states:

·    Whilst in public the owner must have dog under effective control “by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash…”

·    Council can declare an area an off-leash dog area

·    Every Council area must have at least one dedicated off-leash dog park

·    Whether leashed or otherwise dogs are prohibited:

from being within 10m of playing equipment for the use of children

from being within 10m of an area used to prepare or consume food

·    Dogs are not prohibited from food preparation/consumption areas if they are on a footpath

 

Additionally, the number of reported dog incidents at the park has been considered.  There have been 15 dog incidents reported at Blackman Park in the past 18 months, as set out in AT-1. The incidents have included:-

·    Dogs (up to 5) running through the Scout Hall during gymnastics classes for 4 to 5 year old children,

·    Three (3) incidents where injuries sustained resulted in stitches by both children and adults; and

·    Three (3) incidents of a dog attacking another dog.

 


 

In considering the matters raised in the petition and taking into consideration the varied uses of the park, three (3) options for off-leash dog walking have been identified.

 

Option 1

 

Maintain Council’s current position, allowing off-leash dog walking on grass sports fields when not in use and keeping the shared user path as an on-leash area. This ensures all users feel comfortable using Blackman Park and reduces the risk of dog related incidents in the park.

 

Option 2

 

Implement the recommendations from the petition i.e. to maintain the off-leash dog walking on grass sports field when not in use and allow off-leash dog walking on the shared user path before 10am on weekdays and 8am weekends.

 

This option will satisfy the signatories of petition but will make the park less inclusive for non-dog  owners and increase the chance of dog related incidents occurring.

 

Option 3

 

Implement a modified option 2, allowing off-leash dog walking on the shared user path before 8am on weekdays and the path remains an on-leash area on weekends. This tightening of the leash free hours reduces the likelihood of impacting other park users.

 

Conclusion

 

Blackman Park user numbers have increased since the implementation of the Blackman Park Plan of Management. The diversity of activities available in the Park attracts people locally and from further afield.  The Park aims to contribute to developing a strong inclusive community that promotes access, equity and participation.  Dogs off-leash on the shared user path increase the risk of dog related incidents and exclude people afraid of dogs. It is recommended that Council endorse Option 1 and maintain off-leash dog walking on the grass sports field when not in use and on-leash dog walking on the shared user path.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

 

1.   Council maintains off-leash dog walking on grass sports field when not in use and on-leash dog walking on path the shared user path as outline in option 1; and

 

2.   The head petitioner be informed of Councils decision. 

 

 

 

Martin Terescenko

Executive Manager - Open Space and Urban Services

Open Space and Urban Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Blackman Park Dog Related Incidents 2018-2019

2 Pages

 

AT‑2View

Submission and Redacted Petition - Off-Leash Dog Walking at Blackman Park

4 Pages

 

AT‑3View

DRAFT Blackman Park sign for entrances (totem)

1 Page

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Petition from Residents of Lane Cove North Regarding Traffic Safety

 

 

Subject:          Petition from Residents of Lane Cove North Regarding Traffic Safety    

Record No:    SU5751 - 33570/19

Division:         Open Space and Urban Services Division

Author(s):      Sashika Perera 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council has received a petition comprising 50 signatures from residents of Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade, as well as visitors to Mindarie Park requesting council review and improve the road safety of Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade as a matter of urgency. 

 

The petition requests that the following actions be undertaken in order to improve safety in the vicinity for all users:-

·    Install additional lighting;

·    Install warning signs; and

·    Removal of vegetation overgrowth.

 

This report reviews the safety concerns raised in the petition and recommends that, in order to resolve the issues, Council:-

·    Notify NSW Police regarding the illegal right turn movements from Mowbray Road into Kullah Parade during peak hours;

·    Continue to work with Ausgrid on the deployment of new LED street lights;

·    Install signage to warn motorists of the nature of the subject roads; and

·    Remove vegetation overgrowth as requested.

 

Additionally, as Council has commissioned a consultant to undertake a traffic study for the Lane Cove North Precinct, it is proposed to include a review of road safety of Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade in this study.

 

Background

 

Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent are continuous local roads which are characterised by high density residential developments with a posted speed limit of 50km/h. The subject roads provide a direct connection to Mowbray Road at the northern end and a connection to Centennial Avenue via Elizabeth Parade at the eastern end.  One of the main trip generators in the area is the newly constructed Mindarie Park. Although the park was designed to attract pedestrian traffic, many visitors are driving to the park increasing the demand for parking in local streets.

 

The petitioner states that Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent are subject to increased traffic volumes, generated by the new residential developments and Mindarie Park. In addition to local traffic, vehicles wishing to travel citybound, often rat-run through the subject Roads to avoid the signalised intersection at Mowbray Road and Centennial Avenue. Further to this, the petition also calls for improved lighting, warning signs and removal of overgrown vegetation.

 

Discussion

 

Review Road Safety of Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade

 

Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent are windy roads with unrestricted parking on most of the northern side and a full time ‘no stopping’ restriction on the southern side. The northern side of the subject roads comprise of driveway entrances into residential developments. There are ‘No Stopping’ restrictions across some of the residential unit buildings to assist with visibility when exiting the developments.

 

Council has undertaken traffic counts on Gordon Crescent between Girraween Avenue and Elizabeth Parade for a period of one week between 26 June 2019 and 3 July 2019. The 85th percentile speed is recorded to be 45.6 km/h which is well below the posted speed limit of 50km/h. The seven-day average traffic volume and the average peak hour volume was recorded to be 1749 vehicles and 215 vehicles/peak hour respectively. This is a minor increase over the RMS environmental goal for a local road which is 200 vehicles/peak hour.

 

Currently, all local streets off Mowbray Road that provide a connection to Centennial Avenue have a right turn restriction between the morning peak hours of 7-9am Monday to Friday. The most likely intersection where illegal right turns can be done is the Mowbray Road/Kullah Parade intersection given the presence of the designated right turn bay.

 

Observations were carried out between 7.30am – 9am on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 to determine whether vehicles illegally utilise the right turn from Mowbray Road into Kullah Parade.  The observations indicated that there were 17 vehicles illegally turning right from Mowbray Road into Kullah Parade indicating that there may be some level of rat-running through Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent.

 

The crash record indicates that there have been two (2) crashes in the last five (5) years (June 2013 - June 2018).  Both crashes were off-carriageway crashes with one (1) occurring along a straight section and the other at a bend.  The Centennial Avenue/Elizabeth Parade intersection has also been subject to complaints regarding its difficulty in exiting and entering the intersection.

 

Council has commissioned a consultant to undertake a traffic study for the Lane Cove North Precinct. The study will investigate the Centennial Avenue/Elizabeth Parade intersection and recommend several options to improve safety at the intersection. It is recommended that Council include the road safety issues along Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent for review in the Lane Cove North traffic study.  The report is expected to be completed in the next financial year.

 

Installation of Additional Lighting

 

Streetlights are present at regular intervals along Kullah Parade and Gordon Cresent, with 14 street lights located between Mindarie Street and Elizabeth Parade. 

 

Ausgrid has proposed a program to replace 1184 Ausgrid street lights on residential roads within Council’s Local Government Area with energy efficient LED’s.  The program is scheduled to commence later this year. Whilst the initial completion target was within three (3) years, further discussions with Ausgrid indicate that the installation for the Lane Cove LGA will be completed in the first year.

 

The new LED lighting will provide the community with more effective lighting that is better distributed in the road reserve, is a high-quality white light and, in many cases, will substantially improve compliance outcomes.  Ausgrid’s LED deployments to date have had widespread acceptance and very low numbers of public complaints.  They have also recently introduced lighting options for narrow roads and shielding options to better address any resident complaints that may arise.

Installation of Warning Signs

 

The number of warning signs in Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade are minimal. Given the nature of the recorded crashes, it is proposed to install signage at either end to warn motorists of the windy road ahead.

Removal of Vegetation Overgrowth

 

Council’s depot staff have been informed of the need to trim vegetation along Kullah Parade and Gordon Crescent. The area has been inspected by Council staff and pruning has been added to the Works Program.

 

Conclusion

 

Council has reviewed the issues raised in the petition received regarding road safety of Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade and recommends the following actions be implemented to resolve these issues:-

1.   A review of road safety along Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade be included in the scope of the Lane Cove North Traffic Study;

2.   Council notify NSW Police regarding the illegal right turn movement from Mowbray Road into Kullah Parade;

3.   Council continue to work with Ausgrid on the deployment of new LED street lights;

4.   Appropriate signage to warn motorists of the nature of the subject roads be installed; and

5.   Vegetation overgrowth along Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade be removed

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:-

1.       This report be received and noted;

2.       The following actions be implemented to resolve the issues raised in the petition:-

a)    A review of road safety along Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade be included in the scope of the Lane Cove North Traffic Study;

b)    Council notify NSW Police regarding the illegal right turn movement from Mowbray Road into Kullah Parade;

c)    Council continue to work with Ausgrid on the deployment of new LED street lights;

d)    Appropriate signage to warn motorists of the nature of the subject roads be installed; and

e)    Vegetation overgrowth along Gordon Crescent and Kullah Parade be removed; and

3.       The head petitioner be informed.

 

 

 

 

Martin Terescenko

Executive Manager - Open Space and Urban Services

Open Space and Urban Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

        


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Notice of Motion - Return and Earn Alternate Scheme in Lane Cove

 

 

Subject:          Notice of Motion - Return and Earn Alternate Scheme in Lane Cove    

Record No:    SU840 - 40136/19

Division:         Lane Cove Council

Author(s):      Councillor Andrew Zbik 

 

 

 

Since the NSW Government Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme commenced in December 2017, Council has requested Tomra, the operator of the scheme, to assess a number of sites within the Lane Cove LGA to host a reverse vending machine.

 

Tomra has advised Council on numerous occasions that these sites were not suitable for a number of reasons including:-

·    The suggested sites were not prominent enough;

·    The suggested sites were within 20 metres of residential dwellings;

·    The suggested sites presented accessibility issues for truck access; and

·    The suggested sites would need electricity supply installed.

 

The three (3) closest Return and Earn reverse vending machines to the Lane Cove LGA are located at:-

·    Cnr Lower Gibbes St &, Smith St, Chatswood (12.4km or 32 minute return drive from Lane Cove);

·    Taronga Zoo (20km or 38 minute return drive from Lane Cove); and

·    Herring Rd &, Waterloo Rd, North Ryde NSW (15.4km or 34 minute return drive from Lane Cove).

 

Social enterprises such as CitizenBlue Ltd have established several locations with wheelie bins that collect drink containers to qualify for the ‘Earn and Return’ cash refund. A summary of the service provided by CitizenBlue Ltd is attached at AT-1.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That Council:-

1.   Take the initiative this calendar year to host a meeting with CitizenBlue Limited or other appropriate operator and local Primary Schools and Primary Schools Parent & Citizen Associations to discuss offering collection points/ wheelie bins at local primary schools;

2.   Identify what sites it may be able to offer to host collection points / wheelie bins at Council owned and operated facilities including but not limited to the Market Square Carpark;

3.   Identify what local charities or Council programs could benefit from the funds earned from the collection points/wheelie bins at Council owned and operated facilities;

4.   Continue to approach Tomra with suggestions for a permanent Return and Earn reverse vending machine in the Lane Cove LGA;

5.   Consider the suitability of a Return and Earn reverse vending machine to be incorporated into any further development or project initiated by Council or involving a Voluntary Planning Agreement; and

6.   Provide a report back to Council by December 2019 outlining what local collections points / wheelie bins have been able to be established at local Schools and Council venues where deemed appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

Councillor Andrew Zbik

Councillor

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Information Sheet - About CitizenBlue

1 Page

 

 

   


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Voluntary Planning Agreement  - 16 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove Post Consultation Report

 

 

Subject:          Voluntary Planning Agreement  - 16 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove Post Consultation Report    

Record No:    SU6268 - 40249/19

Division:         General Managers Unit

Author(s):      Jessica Quilty 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The purpose of this report is to outline the results of the community consultation for the draft Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for 16 Pinaroo Place. The draft VPA compromises of a proposed development at 30 Pinaroo Place, 20 and 22 Mindarie Street Lane Cove by NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC).The agreement proposes the transfer of land being 16 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove to Council for the purposes of a public park in return for the provision of a variation to the LEP height controls to achieve the FSR permissible under the LEP on the site. This report summarises the results of the public consultation that took place over a four (4) week

period. It recommends that Council proceed to enter into the VPA.

 

Background

 

Council at its meeting of the 15 April 2019 resolved:-

 

1.   Council receive and note the report;

2.   Council give notice of its intention to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement as outlined in the report with the owner of the subject site in accordance with the consultation strategy outlined in the report; and

3.   Following the community consultation, a further report be submitted to Council for determination.

 

In response to the increased residential density in the Mowbray Road Precinct, the JBA Mowbray Precinct Master Planning Study in December 2011 reviewed the 2010 Comprehensive LEP R4 zones with the aim of resolving height controls and identifying the open space needs in the Precinct to meet the anticipated population increase. The precinct did not contain any public Open Space of sufficient size to be upgraded to the standard of a neighbourhood park for recreation that would be able to cater for the increased residential population that was to come.

 

The JBA Study recommended that Council and Housing NSW undertake a land swap with respect to Council’s existing open space at 1 Girraween Avenue (1,332m2) and LAHC residential land at 10-20 Pinaroo Place (4,055m2).

 

The proposed outcome would enable a larger, more useable open space recreation area by integrating the Pinaroo Place properties with the existing open space at the corner of Kullah Parade and Mindarie Street. In return, No. 1 Girraween Avenue would be developed for residential purposes (R4) by Housing NSW. 

 

To facilitate the various land exchanges, Council entered in an agreement with Land and Housing Corporation. The agreement provided for land to transfer based on a valuation methodology. It provides that Council receives 5 lots in Pinaroo Place in exchange for the 1 Girraween lot as an equal value transaction. It also provides that Council would receive a 6th lot, 16 Pinaroo Place, in exchange for a VPA in relation to a proposed development at 30 Pinaroo Place, 20 and 22 Mindarie Street Lane Cove, which is the subject of this report

NSW Land and Housing Corporation is the owner of the Land located at1 6 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove. LAHC intends to lodge with Council a Development Application seeking approval to carry out the Development on the Land, located at 30 Pinaroo Place, 20 and 22 Mindarie Street Lane Cove. LAHC are seeking a height variation to Council’s LEP controls in order to achieve the FSR permissible for the site under Council’s LEP control for the site, being 1.8:1.  The site is sloping North to South, and minor breaches in height are contemplated due to the topography.

 

In return for the relaxation of the height control, NSW Land and Housing Corporation will transfer Lot 16 (16 Pinaroo Place) to the Council free of cost.

 

Discussion

 

The VPA was placed on public exhibition for four (4) weeks from 6 June to Friday, 5 July 2019 in conjunction with the proposed Stage 1 Concept Plan Development Application for this site. The consultation strategy involved the following:-

·    Public exhibitions at the Civic Centre and Libraries;

·    A website exhibition; and

·    An advertisement in the North Shore Times.

 

A total of five (5) submissions were received. Three (3) out of the five (5) submission did not address the VPA as such but rather expressed concern about over development in Lane Cove. One (1) submission requested that the height be reduced from six (6) stories to four (4). The current LEP height control of 17.5 metres, permits greater than 4 stories, therefore the suggestion cannot be considered. The remaining submission highlighted the lack of clarification during the planning proposal stage on exactly what properties have been transferred. It also suggested that Council come up with other solutions and renegotiate with LAHC to complete the remaining works associated with the public open space. The Deed with the LAHC provides that in the event the VPA does not proceed, Council is required to pay for 16 Pinaroo. Any which are used for this purpose will impact construction of the park. Council is therefore effectively balancing the merits of the land acquisition funding options.

 

Conclusion

 

The proposed VPA requiring the transfer of land (16 Pinaroo Place, Lane Cove) to Council for the purposes of a public park in return for the provision of a variation to the LEP height controls to achieve the FSR on the site provides an opportunity for significant benefit to the community through additional open space in the Mowbray Road Precinct. It is recommended that Council enter into the proposed VPA.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:-

1.       Council receive and note the report;

2.       Council enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement as outlined in the report with the developer of 30 Pinaroo Place, 20 and 22 Mindarie Street Lane Cove; and

3.       The General Manager be authorised to finalise the terms and conditions of the proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement and sign the Agreement on behalf of Council.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

General Managers Unit

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 


 

Ordinary CouncilMeeting22 July 2019

Customer Experience Strategy

 

 

Subject:          Customer Experience Strategy

Record No:    SU7520 - 37940/19

Division:         General Managers Unit

Author(s):      Jessica Quilty

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council as part of its Delivery Plan has identified as a priority actions to improve customer service. To achieve this, understanding each customer’s experience and the customer journey over time is critical to provide simplified and faster services to the community. The increasing focus on customer experience has arisen as customers now interact with organisations through a myriad of touch points in multiple channels and media, resulting in more complex customer journeys. Council’s in particular are now confronted with accelerating media and channel fragmentation, and omnichannel management is essential to manage integrated and seamless experiences. Lane Cove’s Customer Experience Strategy (CES) has been developed to respond to these emerging trends and the outlines Councils key customer experience objectives and defines the approach Council will take to facilitate the achievement of these objectives in addition to measuring their success.

 

Background

 

This CES has been developed to integrate traditional aspects of customer service with a clearly defined pathway for new initiatives that will improve the overall customer experience with Council. The intent is to align every point of contact, process improvement and enhancement in technology in a clearly defined roadmap that will achieve a great customer experience.

 

Discussion

 

As part of developing the CES, Council staff developed a vision statement of ‘surprisingly simple’ services to the community which ultimately represents the avoidance of complex and bureaucratic process for customers in order to engage with Council. Creating strong, positive experiences within the customer journey will result in improvements to the bottom line by improving performance throughout the journey at multiple touch points.

 

The strategy encompasses feedback from research, surveys and engagement with staff and customers. Since 2018 Council has been undertaking customer journey mapping which sets out a visual representation of every experience customers have with Council. It helps Council step into customer’s shoes to see Council services from the customer's perspective. It's also useful to gain insights into common customer pain points, how Council can improve the customer experience, and define what customers, and prospective customers, need in order to complete a 'purchase'. Council is undertaking customer journey mapping for all its services. Council also reviewed results from the Community satisfaction surveys as well as reviewing all feedback (complaints and compliments).

 

To aid in the shift of culture towards customer centricity, customer personas were created and included in the strategy which are a semi-fictional representation of Councils ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.  They focus on a specific customer segment, identifying key aspects of that segment’s typical customer’s needs and experiences.

 

There are a number of trends and challenges that affect Council’s ability to meet and exceed customer needs. One of the major trends is to digitize Council’s services to be available for the public 24/7.

In the current fast paced user friendly connected customer-centric driven world, people have come to expect that their needs will be met quickly and without friction or effort. The digitization of Council services is a unique service opportunity that many types of Council across the state are currently implementing. Not only does this improve the lives of residents, but also demonstrates Councils value that leads to the increase in community engagement. Today’s customers expect public services to be as personalised and responsive as the services they get from the private sector. With the average age of a Lane Cove resident being 36, this is very much the case. Council is reimagining how online services can be used to enhance the customers end-to-end experience of public services through various projects such as an enhanced Customer Request Management System, online forms, online bookings and a new website.

 

Customer to customer interactions through social media are creating significant challenges and opportunities for Councils. Customer experiences are more social in nature, and peer customers are influencing experiences as well. The explosion in potential customer touch points and the reduced control of the customer experience, organisations are now required to integrate multiple business functions to create and deliver positive customer experiences.

 

In order to implement the aims and objectives of the strategy an action plan has been created which outlines what key projects will be delivered when. The actions are broken into four main categories:-

 

·          Develop the Framework;

 

·          Improve and expand access to our services;

 

·          Deliver innovative technology solutions to improve your experience with us; and

 

·          Implement a culture of evaluation and improvement.

 

The framework is essential to establish a clear way forward from a policy point of view and consists of reviewing service standards, adoption of a compliments and complaints handing policy and internal charter as well as process reviews on key projects. Improving and expanding access to Councils services involves ensuring that Council is contactable through a number of methods. Customers will receive the same level of service and resolution regardless of the method of contact. As discussed previously, Council will be delivering new technology which aims to improve the end to end experience with effective and accurate service delivery. A challenge for Council is to align corporate culture with customer needs. This requires the adoption of a ‘customer-centric’ culture and mindset in designing policies and delivering services.

 

Community Consultation

 

The consultation is designed to ascertain the community’s views on the Customer Experience Strategy. Any comments received will be reviewed and evaluated to determine whether to incorporate any amendments or additional supplementary provisions

 


 

Method

 

Level of Participation

Inform

Inform

Consult

Form of Participation

Open

Targeted

Open

Target Audience

Lane Cove Community 

Key Message givers e.g. Advisory Committees, Community Groups and Neighbourhood Associations, Volunteer Groups, contractors

Lane Cove Community

Proposed Medium

Advertisement and

eNewsletter

 

Notification Letters

Public Exhibition,

Website Exhibition

Indicative Timing

July to September

 

Conclusion

 

The ultimate goal of the Strategy is to improve service quality, promote transparent and efficient interaction, enhance the level of public trust in government, and drive better community outcomes.

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

1.   Council adopt for the purpose of public exhibition, the Draft Customer Experience Strategy.

2.   Council undertake community consultation for a period of six (6) weeks as per the consultation strategy outlined in the report; and

3.   Following the exhibition period, the Draft Customer Experience Strategy, together with a report on any submissions received and any proposed amendments, be considered at the Council meeting to be held 16 September 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

General Managers Unit

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Draft Customer Experience Strategy

15 Pages

 

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Local Government Conference NSW 2018

 

 

Subject:          Local Government Conference NSW 2018    

Record No:    SU7373 - 32131/19

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Craig Dalli 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Council has received correspondence from Local Government NSW concerning their Annual Conference, the pre-eminent policy making event for the local government sector.  In preparation for their Conference, Local Government NSW have asked all councils to consider the key issues affecting their communities.  These issues will be discussed and debated during the business sessions of the Conference.  This report recommends that Council consider the primary issues affecting the Lane Cove community, submit motions for debate and endorse the delegates including the four (4) voting delegates for the motions at Conference.

 

Discussion

 

The Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Annual Conference is the pre-eminent policy making event for the local government sector. At conference, delegates vote on motions which help determine the policies and priorities for LGNSW and the sector. It is a key event for local government where councillors come together to share ideas and debate issues that shape the way the sector functions and is governed.

 

The Annual Conference of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) will be held from Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 October 2019 at the William Inglis Hotel, Warwick Farm in south-west SydneyA Program for the Conference will be released closer to the date of the event.

 

Under LGNSW rules and the formula for calculating voting entitlements, Council will be entitled to nominate four (4) voting delegates for voting on motions considered at the Conference and positions in the Board elections.

 

Council is invited to submit motions for possible debate at the conference to advance the sector wide policy agenda. Further details of the requirements and criteria for submission of motions to be considered at the Conference are outlined below.

 

Criteria for Motions

 

To ensure debate centers on advancing the sector wide policy agenda, proposed motions should seek to be strategic (as opposed to operational), affect members state-wide and introduce new or emerging policy issues and actions.  As much as possible proposed motions should call on a specific body (e.g. LGNSW, state government, federal government, a specific Department or Minister) and have a specific outcome that the motion is aiming to achieve.  The motion should state whether it is seeking to change any LGNSW Fundamental Principles (shown attached at AT-1). The wording should be unambiguous.  

 

Members are encouraged to review available Action Reports of the previous conferences (attached at AT-2 and AT-3) before submitting motions for the 2019 Conference to ensure newly proposed motion wording reflects recent developments and does not duplicate existing positions.

 


 

Motions will only be included in the Business Paper for the Conference where they comply with the following seven (7) board endorsed criteria:-

 

1.   Are consistent with the objects of the Association;

2.   Relate to Local Government in NSW and/or across Australia;

3.   Concern or are likely to concern Local Government as a sector, not focused on a local issue only;

4.   Seek to advance the Local Government policy agenda of the Association and/or improve governance of the Association;

5.   Have a lawful purpose (a motion does not have a lawful purpose if its implementation would require or encourage non-compliance with prevailing laws);

6.   Are clearly worded and unambiguous in nature; and

7.   Do not express preference for one or several members over one or several other members.

 

Motions are to be submitted online by 12 midnight Monday, 19 August 2019 to allow printing and distribution of the Business Paper before the Conference.

 

Categories

 

Councils have been requested to identify issues or motions relating to the following overall categories:-

 

·      Economic

 

Own source revenue (e.g. rates, fees, charges etc.), intergovernmental fiscal relations (e.g. grants, cost shifting etc.), financial management and governance including long term financial planning and asset management, financial sustainability, economic policy affecting Local Government, local and regional economic development (including tourism), transport (e.g. roads, bridges, airports, pedestrian and cycle facilities, rail), Local Water Utilities, stormwater and floodplain infrastructure, other infrastructure and disaster management and recovery.

 

·      Infrastructure

 

Public Transport provision (i.e. including buses, trains, light rail etc). Infrastructure provision, upgrade, maintenance and management i.e. Roads, bridges, airports, pedestrian cycling facilities. Traffic management and pedestrian safety, telecommunications and digital economy infrastructure particularly in rural areas, financial assistance and incentives from State and Federal Governments for infrastructure delivery and maintenance.

 

·      Planning

 

Land use planning (including environmental, heritage conservation and development planning).


 

·      Environment

 

Ecologically sustainable development, waste management in accordance with the waste hierarchy and extended producer responsibility, natural resource management, protection of local, regional and state natural environments including air quality, rivers and waterways and biodiversity, biosecurity and weeds management, pollution prevention including energy consumption and soil contamination, environmental risk management through reduction of hazards and pollutants and remediation/rehabilitation of degraded environments, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and responsible resource consumption and conservation.

 

·      Social and Community

 

Social planning, social impact assessment, access, equity and social justice, community development and community cultural development, community halls and neighbourhood centres, ageing and disability services, women’s services, youth services and children’s care and education services, issues of concern and interest to NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, cultural services (performing and visual arts, art galleries, performing arts centres, museums, public art, community arts, festivals, celebrations, heritage, new media and digital arts), Libraries, Health services (regulatory activities reducing public health risks, promoting healthy lifestyles, immunisation, early childhood health centres or rural medical services), Recreation facilities and services, and crime prevention planning.

 

·      Governance of councils

 

Local Government legislative and regulatory settings (e.g. Australian and/or NSW Constitutional recognition, Local Government Act review), corporate governance (e.g. role differentiation for Mayors, Councillors, General Managers and senior staff, Codes of Conduct, Political donations), structural reform (e.g. amalgamations and/or boundary changes, shared resources and services), Local Government elections (e.g. financial impact of electoral reforms on councils, impact of electoral reforms), participation (e.g. women’s participation rates as councillors, cultural diversity in leadership, other opportunities for citizens to genuinely participate in council processes), and policies and programs of other spheres of government that impact on Local Government governance or citizen involvement in local democracy.

 

·      Accountability of councils

 

Industrial relations and employment related legislation, industrial awards and rates of pay, WHS and workers compensation compliance, human resources policy, practice and benchmarking, workforce planning and development, staff and councillor training and development, skills shortages, staff attraction, retention and productivity, employment security, workplace change, Code of Conduct, leadership and management capacity, capability framework and council governance.

 


 

Suggested Motions

 

In view of the criteria and categories for Motions, as well as recent Council resolutions on relevant issues, the following draft Motions for the 2019 Conference are suggested for consideration by Council:-

 

Title:                 Impounding of Illegally Parked Vehicles

Motion:              That LGNSW support suggested changes to relevant legislation to allow Council Rangers the authority to have vehicles impounded where they are illegally parked across driveways preventing access. Such legislation is to include safeguards to prevent the misuse of these changes including a requirement that the removal be initiated by an owner of the affected property.

Category:          Governance of Councils

Council Ref:      Minute Number 38 – 18 March 2019

 

Title:                 Code of Conduct Size Comparison – State vs Local

Motion:              That LGNSW calls on the State Government to provide an explanation of the discrepancy in size between the Code of Conduct for Local Government Councillors in comparison to that of State Government Parliamentarians.

Category:          Governance of Councils

Council Ref:      Minute Number 40 – 18 March 2019

 

 

Title:                 Expenditure Caps for Local Government Election Campaigns

Motion:              That LGNSW request the NSW State Government endorse the recommendations made in the “Inquiry into the impact of expenditure caps for local government election campaigns” that was tabled in October 2018.

Category:          Governance of Councils

Council Ref:      Minute Number 58 – 15 April 2019

 

Title:                 Roads and Maritime Services Pinch Point Program Expansion

Motion:              That LGNSW advocate to the NSW State Government to expand the Roads and Maritime Service Pinch Point program to extend it to intersections and identified pinch points that cross both State roads and Regional roads.

Category:          Infrastructure

Council Ref:      Minute Number 87 – 20 May 2019

 

Title:                 Increase in Elections Costs

Motion:              That LGNSW request the NSW State Government review the IPART Determination which recommends that Councils meet 97% of the NSW Electoral Commission’s costs in administering Local Government elections.    The determination will result in an average increase of 62% on the cost of the 2016/2017 elections and is a further cost shift to the sector.

Category:          Governance of Councils

 

Title:                 Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018

Motion:              That LGNSW request the NSW State Government to:-

1.   Finalise the Building and Development Certifiers Bill, which has not progressed since September 2018.

2.   Select as the preferred method of selection of Private Certifiers, whereby respective councils have a pool of Certifiers that residents can utilise, with council retaining overarching control of the process:-

Category:          Governance of Councils

 

Conclusion

 

For Council to participate fully in the 2019 by Local Government NSW Annual Conference, it is recommended the Council give consideration to the primary issues affecting the Lane Cove community, including the suggested Motions outlined in this report, and submit them for consideration by LGNSW for inclusion on the 2019 Conference Agenda. It is further recommended that Council authorise Councillor attendance at the Conference and nominate four (4) voting delegates.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council:-

1.    Give consideration to the suggested Motions outlined in this report and other primary issues affecting the Lane Cove community and submit same for debate at the 2019 Local Government NSW Annual Conference;

2.    Authorise delegates to attend the Conference;

3.    Nominate Council’s four (4) voting delegates for motions before the Conference; and

4.    Give delegated authority to the Mayor to request the General Manager to submit any further proposed motions after consulting with Councillors prior to the deadline for submitting motions.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

LG NSW Fundamental Principles

1 Page

 

AT‑2View

LGNSW - 2017 Annual Conference Action Report

18 Pages

Available Electronically

AT‑3View

LGNSW - 2018 Annual Conference Action Report

17 Pages

Available Electronically

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Conduct of the September 2020 Local Government Election

 

 

Subject:          Conduct of the September 2020 Local Government Election    

Record No:    SU7270 - 77416/18

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Kirsty Beram; Craig Dalli 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

The next Ordinary Election of Council is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 12 September 2020.  Originally Council was required to resolve by 11 March 2019 whether to engage the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) to conduct its 2020 local government election.  However, recent amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) have extended this deadline to 1 October 2019.  Where councils do not enter into an election arrangement with the NSWEC, they must engage an electoral service provider to administer their election.

 

The reason for this extension was to allow sufficient time for the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review the costs of conducting local government elections in NSW as requested by the State Government. IPART’s draft report has been issued and a Facts Sheet is  attached as AT-1.

 

As a result of the review, IPARTS’s recommendations will result in a 55% increase in the expected cost of the 2020 Lane Cove Local Government Election, compared with the 2017 election cost, i.e. from $192,000 in 2017 to $297,000 in 2020. 

 

Given the considerable cost increase proposed, it is recommended Council obtain a competitive pricing from a private electoral service provider, such as the Australian Election Company and that a further report be considered at the Ordinary Council Meeting of 16 September 2019.

 

Background

 

In 2011 the Local Government Act was amended to provide councils with the flexibility and choice to determine if they wish to manage an election or appoint the NSW Electoral Commission to do so.

 

For the 2012 Election, Lane Cove conducted its own election in conjunction with an independent Returning Officer, his staff and the support of some seven (7) other councils who also undertook their own elections. The councils met regularly to ensure that legislative compliance was delivered, training was developed for key personnel, stationary was procured jointly and efficient systems were devised.  However, this impacted on day to day operations, diverted the focus of key staff at the time.

 

In 2016, with the deferral of the elections to September 2017 due to the merger proposal, none of the councils Lane Cove previously partnered with planned to conduct their own election, as they had either conducted their election in September 2016 or had been amalgamated.  As a result, and given the relatively short timeframe to prepare for the election, Council appointed the NSW Electoral Commission to conduct the 2017 Local Government Election.

 

The next Ordinary Election of Council is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 12 September 2020.  Originally, Council was required to resolve by 11 March 2019 whether to engage the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) to conduct its 2020 local government election.  However, recent amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) have extended this deadline to 1 October 2019.  Where councils do not enter into an election arrangement with the NSWEC, they must engage an electoral service provider to administer their election by way of formal tender, should the expected cost may exceed the new tender threshold of $250,000.

 

The reason for this extension was to allow sufficient time for the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review the costs of conducting local government elections in NSW as requested by the State Government. IPART’s draft report has been issued and a Facts Sheet is attached as AT-1.

 

Discussion

 

IPART Review of Local Government Election Costs

 

IPART have recommended a costing methodology based on an ‘impactor pays’ hierarchy, where the ‘impactor’ (who is defined as the entity that creates the costs, or the need to incur the costs) should pay the costs.  In the context of this review the ‘impactor’ has been defined as councils. It suggests the hierarchy promotes cost-reflective pricing that helps to:-

·    “Ensure the NSWEC’s costs are transparent and subject to appropriate scrutiny;

·    Promote efficient decisions over time by councils in relation to the provision of election services, and

·    Ensure that the NSWEC is not unduly advantaged or disadvantaged in competing with private providers of election services (and thus help to facilitate competition in the provision of election services, and the efficiency gains over time associated with such competition).”

 

As a consequence of IPART’s recommended methodology, councils will be required to pay 97% of the NSWEC’s costs of administering local government elections.  This equates to an average increase of 62% on managing the 2016/17 elections and an actual increase for Lane Cove of 55%.

 

These recommendations are of concern firstly, it is debatable as to whether defining council’s as the ‘impactor’ is appropriate given that Local Government election activities and the current market constraints are a direct result of state government policy, procedures and legislation.

 

Furthermore, the recommendations and impacts thereof, appear to be at cross purposes with the intent of the costing methodology, which the review stipulates ‘is required to minimise the financial burden on councils and ratepayers, while also encouraging the NSWEC to provide its election services in an efficient and cost-effective.’

 

Among other things, IPART is recommending that councils meet the “efficient” costs of contestable election services provided by the NSWEC on the following basis:

·      The direct costs of contestable services are allocated to individual client councils;

·      Indirect costs of contestable services are allocated to all client councils, mostly on a per-elector basis; and

·      The NSW Government pays for non-contestable election services (because no mechanism exists to charge for these services), with the exception of ‘enrolment’ activities (e.g. the provision of a paper or electronic copy of the residential roll to councils) - these should continue to be paid for by both client and non-client councils.

 

The allocation of direct costs using the impactor pays principle is supported, so long as the costs can be reasonably identified as being relevant to the local government area (e.g. clearly itemised, and not bundled as is the current practice).  However, the allocation of indirect costs based on this hierarchy is not supported and appears to be a further cost shifting exercise based on flawed rational.

 

For example, the justification for including joint common ‘capital related costs and overheads’ in NSWEC estimates, i.e. those costs which are generally incurred by the NSWEC regardless of whether they run Local Government Elections or not, seems in practice to be contradictory to ensuring the NSWEC competes on a level playing field with private providers of local government election services.  IPART have stipulated that these costs would be passed on to councils by private sector operators, however most councils engaging private operators incur substantially lower costs than those proposed by the NSWEC. Therefore, including these costs in NSWEC estimates serves to drive up the cost of their service further, creating greater disparity with private sector providers. It is also considered that as the NSWEC is funded by the State Government, it is therefore not competing on a level playing field in any event.

 

Whilst the NSWEC’s inflated costs may also be partly explained as resulting from operating in a monopolistic market where they have not experienced sufficient competitive pressures to ensure their costs are efficient, it is considered premature to apply these proposed recommendations without first implementing market reform to ensure impediments to competition are removed and competitive pressures are increased.

 

In their review IPART have recommended a series of reforms that include:-

·      The mandatory unbundling, component pricing and offering of the NSWEC’s individual local government election services, with the NSWEC providing binding quotes for each individual election service;

·      The establishment of independent regulatory oversight of the performance of all providers;

·      Reducing the period before an election by which a council has to resolve to engage the NSWEC from 18 months to 9 months;

·      Provision of assistance to councils to further develop their election management capabilities through a training program delivered by OLG; and

·      Legislative change to ensure that a council’s general manager becomes responsible for producing a valid election result if and when the council ceases to engage the NSWEC for all election services.

However, it is not expected that these reforms will be implemented prior to the 2020 election but rather in the longer term to better facilitate market competition post 2020.

 

Estimated Costs and Funding

 

As noted above, if implemented, IPART’s recommendations will result in a 55% increase in the expected cost of the 2020 Lane Cove Local Government Election, compared with the 2017 election cost from $192,000 in 2017 to $297,000 in 2020.  Ironically, the NSWEC own proposal would result in an increase of only 33% to $256,000 in 2020.

 

The following table shows a comparison of costs over the last four (4) elections, demonstrating substantial ongoing cost increases over time in the delivery of election services by the NSWEC.

 

Year

2004

2008

2012

2017

2020

Conducted By

NSWEC

NSWEC

General Manager

NSWEC

NSWEC

Cost

$82,000

$173,510

$112,497

$145,992

(direct costs)

(inclusive of internalised costs)

$192,000

$297,000

Difference from previous year

 

á 112%

â 16%

á  31.5%

 

á 55%

 

Council contributes funds to its reserve to cover Election cost on an annual basis.  As at 30 June 2019 Council had $111,000 allocated in reserve.  An additional $100,000 has been provisioned in the 2019-20 Budget resulting in a reserve balance of $211,000 by 1 July 2020, should no election costs be incurred prior to that date. 

 

However, based on the findings of the IPART review and the expected increase in election costs resulting from the implementation of the proposed recommendations, Council will need to increase its reserve funding further in 2020-21 to cover:-

1.   The additional costs of the 2020 election, over and above the $211,000 in reserve; and

2.   An increased annual contribution for the expected costs of the 2024 election.

 

2020 Election Options

 

The provision of local government election services at present is a near-monopoly. The NSWEC is the dominant provider of election services in a highly concentrated market, with just one other private provider.  Its dominance is reinforced by government ownership and its position as sole provider of electoral services to the NSW Government.  The market for private commercial providers is limited in that their customer base is restricted to local government, companies, clubs and associations with no access to State / Federal markets.  Furthermore, the potential for business is further limited by the periodic four (4) year Local Government Election cycle.

 

While Council has conducted its own election in the past, it is no longer feasible due to the lack of experience and staff.

 

New preference counting rules that come into effect from the 2020 election. which mean that it will no longer be possible for votes to be manually counted, make it impossible for councils to administer their own elections without the assistance of an expert electoral services provider (either the NSWEC or a commercial provider).

 

Therefore, there are two (2) options available to Council in regard to the administration of the 2020 Local Government Elections:-

·    NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC); or

·    Engaging the services of a private contractor such as the Australian Election Company. 

 

The engagement of the NSW Electoral Commission presents the lowest risk to Council in terms of transparency, independence and impact of staffing resources. Council is also exempted under the Act from having to call tenders even if the cost exceeds the now $250,000 legislated tender threshold, if the NSWEC is chosen. 

Under the legislation if a Council wishes to appoint the NSW Electoral Commission, it must resolve to enter into an arrangement with the Electoral Commissioner by 1 October 2019 and must enter into an election arrangement with the NSWEC no later than 1 January 2020.

Given the likely substantial costs associated with the provision of this service by the NSWEC (i.e. $297,000), it is recommended that Council seek alternative pricing from the Australian Election Company or alternative service providers before making a decision as to who to engage to conduct the 2020 Local Government Election.


 

Conclusion

Council must resolve by 1 October 2019 whether to engage the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) to conduct its 2020 local government election.  Alternatively, it must engage a private electoral service provider to administer its election. 

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal recently undertook a review of the costs of conducting local government elections in NSW as requested by the State Government.  The recommendations of their draft report, if implemented, would see Council’s costs increase by 55% in comparison to the costs of the 2017 election (from $192,000 in 2017 to $297,000 in 2020) if Council were to engage the NSWEC. 

As such, it is recommended that Council obtain comparative pricing from the Australian Election Company for the conduct of the 2020 Election and that a further report be received at the September Ordinary Council meeting in relation to appointing an expert electoral services provider (either the NSWEC or a commercial provider).

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That:-

1.    The report be received and noted;

2.    Council obtain a cost estimate from commercial electoral service providers for the conduct of the 2020 Local Government Election; and

3.    A further report be received at the September 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Fact Sheet - IPART Draft Review of Local Government Election Costs

4 Pages

 

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Asset Management Framework

 

 

Subject:          Asset Management Framework    

Record No:    SU6799 - 30184/19

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):      Craig Dalli 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

In August 2017 Council adopted an Asset Management Framework and Methodology that requires an update for incorporation into the Infrastructure Asset Management Plan. The purpose of this report is to make changes to the Asset Management Framework previously adopted by Council so it can be applied with the 2018/19 Financial Statements.

 

The main changes relate to revised residual values for assets and a revised asset deterioration curve which reflects these Council’s infrastructure software system (Assetic) model, which is Council’s fixed asset register for infrastructure for accounting purposes. 

 

Background

 

The Infrastructure Asset Management Plan was last updated and adopted in August 2018 and it is considered prudent to review residual values on a regular basis.

 

Council has previously prepared its financial treatment of assets for audit and passed the initial preparedness test, however, the second phase was postponed by the Office of Local Government. The documentation of the methodology will also greatly assist any future audit as it has had further external scrutiny and comparisons undertaken.

 

Discussion

 

The updated Asset Management Framework will be utilised to determine the gross replacement cost and written down values of Council’s infrastructure assets. The framework uses a cost based approach to determine unit values and an asset deterioration curve to assess the useful life for infrastructure assets. The methodology uses widely accepted industry standards with valuations carried out based on benchmarked market rates for inputs. The updated residual valves reflect contemporary standards.

 

The infrastructure valuation methodology assumes a deterioration curve where consumption is slow in the initial years and more rapid as the asset condition deteriorates. This updated Framework and the resulting curve and condition reflect actual results from the use of Council’s Assetic system whereas Council previously applied a model deterioration curve.

 

Council originally conducted actual condition inspections in 2011. In 2018 condition assessments for roads, footpaths and kerb and gutter were carried out by Infrastructure Management Group (IMG). In relation to pits and pipes Total Drain Cleaning (TDC) have been engaged to condition assess 20% of Council’s drainage assets per year starting in 2019/20 due to cost restraints. The entire drainage network will effectively be condition assessed over a five year period. Council’s methodology considers Condition 3 as satisfactory. These ratings across all asset classes are utilised to calculate the asset performance ratios required for external reporting as follows:-

·    The Building and Infrastructure Renewal Ratio – This ratio measures the rate at which assets are being renewed relative to the rate at which they are depreciating;

·    The Infrastructure Backlog Ratio – This ratio shows what portion the backlog is against the total value of Council’s infrastructure; and

·    The Cost to Bring Assets Back to an Agreed Service Level – This ratio provides a snapshot of the portion of outstanding renewal works compared to the total value of Council’s assets

 

Conclusion

 

The framework is in accordance with current accounting standards and industry practice. It is therefore recommended to update the Infrastructure Asset Management Plan in accordance with this framework continue to use Condition 3 as the satisfactory standard. 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:-

1.       Council adopt the Asset Management Framework detailed in AT-1 and it be applied to the 2018/19 financial statements; and

2.       Update the Infrastructure Asset Management Plan having regard to the Framework.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Asset Management Framework

9 Pages

 

 

  


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Alternative Methods of Delivery for Development Application (DA) Notifications

 

 

Subject:          Alternative Methods of Delivery for Development Application (DA) Notifications    

Record No:    SU6840 - 29052/19

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):      Michael Mason 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

This report investigates the current notification process for development applications and Planning Proposals, details Council’s obligations under the EP&A Act and local practice to ensure such is timely and appropriate. It recommends the notification periods for Development Applications remain and Council continue it’s current practices and allow submissions to be made to Council having regard to the circumstances of each case.  For Planning Proposals, Council exceeds the required notification period by a minimum of 2 weeks ensuring reasonable opportunity for community consultation.

 

Background

 

Council in its meeting on 18 March 2019 resolved that the General Manager investigate and provide a report to Council:-

 

1.     On alternative delivery methods, including the cost, for the delivery of Development Application (DA) notifications to residents in the notification areas determined by Council, including the option to post DA Notices on the subject property; and

 

2.     Establishing procedures and extending the use of appropriate delivery methods to give notice to Councillors and residents about the receipt, status and consideration of planning proposals. 

 

Legislative Provisions

 

Clause 89 (1) (d) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 states,

 

(d)     a statement that the application and the documents accompanying that application may be inspected at the consent authority’s principal office for a period specified in the notice during the consent authority’s ordinary office hours,

 

Clause 89 (3) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 states,

 

The period referred to in subclause (1)(d) must include:

(a)   In the case of nominated integrated development or threatened species development, the period of 28 days, and

(b)   In any other case, the period of 14 days,

 

Clause 4.6 of the Lane Cove Council Notification of Development Applications Policy states,

 

Submissions concerning the application are to be lodged in writing within ten (10) working days from the date of the notification.

The current notification process for non-integrated Development Applications is outlined in Council’s ‘Notification of Development Applications Policy’ attached at AT-1.  Development Application information is accessible to Councillors and the community as follows:-

·    All non-integrated Development Applications are notified to the public for a period of 14 days (10 working days + weekends);

·    Members of the public wishing to provide written comment must do so within 14 days of the date of the notification letter; and

·    The plans and supporting documents are available for viewing at the Civic Centre, weekdays, 8.30am-5pm and Lane Cove Library, during opening hours. The public is also able to view supporting documents online at www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au, as well as search and track current and historical applications and determinations.

 

Discussion

 

Development Proposals

Council currently sends notifications by ordinary mail. The following table list the cost to deliver a letter and service options provided by Australia Post:

 

Mail Options for Letters

 

Ordinary Mail

Priority Mail

Registered Mail

Express Post

Cost

$1 per letter

$1.50 per letter

$5.20 +

$6.70 +

Anticipated Delivery

2-3 days

1-2 days

1-2 days

1-2 days

Service Offered

No tracking

No tracking

Tracking and Recipient must sign for letter

Tracking and confirmation of delivery

 

On occasion the notification of development proposals require extensive mail outs of whole precincts and may include hundreds of properties. As such, the overall cost of providing this service to the community can be a significant consideration.

 

The perceived delay in the delivery of notification letters by Australia Post is difficult to confirm as mail can be delayed, lost or overlooked by residents.  While there may be an option to track notification letters, the cost ($5+ per letter) would not justify the benefit to be gained.

 

Council has explored other alternative methods of delivery such as email and hand delivery. Due to system configuration, emails are unable to be linked in Council’s property system. It would also take some time for Council to build up an email register and that register would also need to be kept up to date. As there is no specific obligation for residents to keep this to date there is a high probability of not all affected residents being notified. Due to the size of some notification areas, hand delivery is also not a viable option due to staffing resources. Council’s experience with letterbox delivery companies suggests less reliability in delivery. In 2018/19 Council posted 16,408 notification letters, at a cost of $16,408. It is not viable to engage and manage additional staff resources to perform the deliveries. 

 

For significant development proposals such as integrated, threatened species development and residential flat buildings a Development Notice is posted on the property.  This practice serves to bring notice of a significant development proposal to the general public passing by. The extension of this practice to all development applications is not supported given the expense, resource implication and increase streetscape litter for what is a local issue of generally limited impact.

 

Only significant development proposals (Residential Flat Buildings and the like) require notices to be placed on potential development sites.

 

Since the introduction of Private Certification and greater codification of development into Complying Development (CDCs) there has been a narrowing of the type of development to those that pose a significant potential to adversely impact adjoining residents.

 

It has been an informal practice in recent times if a request or concern is received for additional time to prepare or submit a submission prior to the notification closing date, then an additional 7 days to lodge a submission is granted.

 

Planning Proposals

 

Formal community consultation for Planning Proposals are generally not undertaken prior to Gateway approval.  This ensures the community is not consulted on proposals not supported by Council and that all relevant information (studies and reports) are undertaken and available as part of any exhibition process. Councillors will also be notified on the status of new and existing planning proposals.

 

Planning Proposals have been recently been added to and are updated on Council’s webpage which includes information on when it was lodged with Council, the status and relevant links.  A range of other communication methods have been developed which include inspection sites (Council offices/library and pop-up displays), references in Newsletters and monthly reports (Snapshot).  Planning Proposals are only referenced and updated on the Department of Planning webpage when a formal submission is received. Councillors will also be notified on the status of new and existing planning proposals.

 

Conclusion

 

Council’s notification, exhibition and delivery methods meet and exceed the minimum State recommended measures for Community Consultation.

 

Residents and Councillors are encouraged to view and comment on development proposals that may affect them or their community.  Planning Proposals are notified and exhibited for a greater period given they represent potential changes to policy and land use.

 

While the ordinary mail delivery method for notification of development applications has limitations, Council staff exercise discretion and flexibility when receiving submissions for development applications.

 

Council has recently provided comprehensive information on its website on Planning Proposals upon receipt and is updated throughout the process.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Notification of Development Application Policy (ES-01)

4 Pages

 

 

 


 

Ordinary Council Meeting 22 July 2019

Council Snapshot June 2019

 

 

Subject:          Council Snapshot June 2019    

Record No:    SU220 - 38251/19

Division:         General Managers Unit

Author(s):      Craig Wrightson 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

Attached for the information of Councillors is a review of Council’s recent activities.  This report provides a summary of the operations of each Division for June 2019.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

General Managers Unit

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Council Snapshot

40 Pages