Extraordinary Meeting of Council

21 January 2015

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 Extraordinary Meeting of Council, to be held in the Council Chambers 48 Longueville Road Lane Cove on Wednesday 21 January 2015 commencing at 7:00pm. 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 David Brooks-Horn. 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 Councilís 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 Councilís 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.




Extraordinary Meeting of Council 21 January 2015













Orders Of The Day


Notices of Motion


1.†††††† Review OF Local Government - Fit for the Future................................ 4






Extraordinary Meeting of Council Meeting 21 January 2015

Review OF Local Government - Fit for the Future



Subject:††††††††† Review of Local Government - Fit for the Future††

Record No:††† SU5558 - 2390/15

Division:†††††††† Lane Cove Council

Author(s):††††† Councillors David Brooks-Horn; Deborah Hutchens; Scott Bennison; Marc Gold; David Karpin and Soo-Tee Cheong†





The NSW Governmentís response to the Independent Local Government Review Panelís Revitalising Local Government Report was released on 10 September 2014, with the launching of the Governmentís package centred on the concept of Fit for the Future (FFTF).


As a result, Council at its meeting on 15 September resolved that:-


1.†† Council asserts its previous position that it does not agree with forced amalgamations;


2.†† The General Manager organise a community meeting in early October 2014 to discuss this Plan and gauge the communityís views; and


3.†† Council request a meeting with the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Paul Toole as soon as possible to discuss the options available to Lane Cove Council.


Additionally, Council at its meeting on the 13 October 2014 considered a detailed report on the FFTF package and outcomes of the Community Information Meeting on 8 October 2014 and resolved:-

ď1.† Notwithstanding the size of the Lane Cove Local Government Area and that Council has no debt, Council believes that it is ĎFit for the Futureí and therefore does not need to amalgamate with any other council(s);

2.†† Council advise the Minister for Local Government of this decision;

3.†† Council advise NSROC of this decision; and

4.†† Council initiate a public awareness campaign that highlights the most important issues for

our community and reasons for Councilís decisions.Ē


Fit for the Future Package


As Councillors will be aware, the Fit for the Future process involves councils (excluding those in the Far West) submitting FFTF proposals by 30 June 2015.


After 30 June 2015, a panel, not the Minister for Local Government, will be established to assess proposals with implementation commencing in October 2015. Mergers are expected to be completed by September 2016.


No targets for council numbers have been specified, however FFTF proposals have to meet the criteria that reads ďHas the scale and capacity consistent with the recommendations of the Independent PanelĒ. In terms of scale and capacity, the Independent Review Panel recommends a merger between:-

∑††† Lane Cove;

∑††† Hunters Hill;

∑††† Mosman;

∑††† North Sydney;

∑††† Willoughby; and

∑††† The eastern part of Ryde Council.




As Councillors would be aware, Lane Cove Council is an effective and sustainable Council underpinned by the following points, which are consistent with many of the Essential Elements of an Effective System of Local Government (outlined on pg 31 of the Final Report of the Independent Government Review Panel):-

∑††† An autonomous, sustainable and inclusive community;

∑††† A strong sense of community among our residents and businesses;

∑††† A strong financial position with ongoing operational surpluses and no debt servicing;

∑††† 2012 TCorp financial sustainability assessment of sound, the highest of all NSROC councils despite Lane Cove being the second smallest in the region;

∑††† Ongoing increasing rating revenues as a result of the NSW Metropolitan Strategy 30 percent growth target in dwellings for Lane Cove by 2031;

∑††† High quality community facilities including a modern 3000m2 library (with the highest borrowings per capita in NSW) and a regional standard aquatic centre and gymnasium;

∑††† Adoption of a long term Major Projects Strategy to self fund new infrastructure for the Municipality including recreational, transport / parking and cultural facilities, providing ongoing commercial returns on Council assets;

∑††† During 2014/15, Council is planning and delivering major capital projects totalling more than $26million;

∑††† Strong focus on asset management strategies;

∑††† The 2013 DLG Local Government Infrastructure Audit Report gave Council a moderate asset rating and indentified a relatively low per capita infrastructure backlog; and

∑††† A functional and strategic Council which is responsive to the needs and changes in the community.

In terms of the criteria and benchmarks required for Fit for the Future, Council meets all of the NSW Governmentís financial sustainability criteria (except the Debt Service Ratio benchmark of greater than 0 and less than 20% as it carries no debt). The criteria and benchmarks outlined in the FFTF package and Lane Cove Councilís positive performance against each of the targets are as follows:-










Operating Performance Ratio (greater or equal to break-even average over 3 years)




Own Source Revenue Ratio (greater than 60% average over 3 years)




Building and Infrastructure Asset Renewal Ratio (greater than 100% average over 3 years)




Effective Infrastructure and Service Management

Infrastructure Backlog Ratio (less than 2%)




Asset Maintenance Ratio (greater than 100% average over 3 years)




Debt Service Ratio (greater than 0 and less than or equal to 20% average over 3 years)







Real Operating Expenditure per capita over time (to be defined by NSW Government)





Community Response


In regard to the Community Information Meeting held on Wednesday 8 October 2014, around 100 residents were in attendance receiving presentations from the Mayor and General Manager. The overwhelming response from the community at the event was to strongly support Councilís position to oppose forced amalgamations. The community is concerned that any amalgamation in the form proposed by the Independent Review Panel will not achieve the objectives desired and result in the loss of local democracy and representation, diminution of access to Councillors and staff, loss of the sense of community and concerns about the responsiveness and impact on efficiencies in service delivery and provision of infrastructure.


Proposed Communications Strategy and Campaign


The Mayor and General Manager met with the Minister for Local Government on 16 October 2014 and the meeting was followed up with a formal letter. At the meeting and in the letter, it was stressed to the Minister that Lane Cove Council meets the financial sustainability criteria outlined in the FFTF package and our willingness to explore deepening of shared strategic planning and service delivery on a regional basis, whilst retaining our separate governance structure and importantly, local democracy.

Whilst the Mayor considered that the meeting with the Minister was quite positive, the Mayor recently received a letter from the Minister in response to the meeting which generally outlined the FFTF package and effectively confirmed the NSW Governmentís commitment to the package.


As a result, it is considered imperative that Council step up its opposition to any policy of forced amalgamation of councils. It is therefore proposed that Council engages with and informs the wider community about the impacts of forced amalgamations including loss of local democracy and representation, impact on service delivery, financial impacts including potential for rises in rates and charges and the diminution of the sense of community as soon as possible.




That Council:-

1.†† Reaffirm Councilís position that it opposes forced amalgamation of councils;

2.†† Involve and engage the community in highlighting the critical issues for our community and listening to their concerns;

3.†† The General Manager be authorised to source and appoint appropriately skilled consultants to assist with Councilís response to Fit for the Future;

4.†† Advise NSROC of this decision; and

5.†† Advise the Member for Lane Cove, the Hon. Anthony Roberts of Councilís proposed actions.







Councillor David Brooks-Horn





Councillor Deborah Hutchens





Councillor Scott Bennison





Councillor Marc Gold





Councillor David Karpin





Councillor Soo-Tee Cheong





There are no supporting documents for this report.