30 August 2006

 

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that an ORDINARY MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Council Chambers, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 4 September 2006 at 7:00PM.

Attention is directed to the statement accompanying this notice of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

Yours Faithfully

 

 

Alan Travers

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           APOLOGIES

 

2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Ross Fowler - 3 September 2006 to 25 September 2006 inclusive.

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Ordinary Meeting - 21 August 2006.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Pecuniary Interest (The Act requires Councillors who declare a pecuniary interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

Disability Access Committee Meeting - 2 August 2006.

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

10.         URGENT REPORTS (to be dealt with in the master program to which the item relates)

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE



ORDINARY MEETING

 

Monday 4 September 2006

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

seating arrangements

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

report and recommendations of committees

 

 

master program reports

 


 

 

 

 

PRAYER

 

 

 

“Sovereign God, tonight as we gather together as a Council we affirm that you are the giver and sustainer of life.  We come together as representatives of our community to make decisions that will benefit this city and the people within it. 

 

We come not in a spirit of competition, not as adversaries, but as colleagues.  Help us to treat each other with respect, with dignity, with interest and with honesty.  Help us not just to hear the words we say, but also to hear each others hearts.  We seek to be wise in all that we say and do.

 

As we meet, our concern is for this city.  Grant us wisdom, courage and strength.

 

Lord, help us.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 


Statement of Recognition of Penrith City’s

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Cultural Heritage

 

 

Council values the unique status of Aboriginal people as the original owners and custodians of lands and waters, including the land and waters of Penrith City.

 

Council values the unique status of Torres Strait Islander people as the original owners and custodians of the Torres Strait Islands and surrounding waters.

 

We work together for a united Australia and City that respects this land of ours, that values the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage, and provides justice and equity for all.

 

 

 

 

 



MEETING CALENDAR

 

September 2006 - December 2006

 

 

TIME

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Ordinary Meetings

7.00 pm

4ü

9

6

4

18

25^

23

20 #

11

Policy Review Committee

7.00 pm

11@

16

13

 

 

#  Meetings at which the Management Plan quarterly reviews are presented.

v Meeting at which the Draft Management Plan is adopted for exhibition

#+  General Manager’s presentation – half year and end of year review

*   Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2006/2007 is adopted

@  Strategic Program progress reports (only business)

ü  Meeting at which the 2005/2006 Annual Statements are presented

 

^   Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor (only business)

 

·         Council has two Ordinary Meetings per month where practicable.

·         Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

·         Policy Review Meetings are held monthly where practicable.

·         Members of the public are invited to observe meetings (Ordinary & Policy Review) of the Council.

Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Executive Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649.

 

 



UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 

 OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

ON MONDAY 21 AUGUST 2006 AT 7:02PM

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

The meeting opened with the National Anthem.

STATEMENT OF RECOGNITION

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor John Thain read a statement of recognition of Penrith City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage.

 

PRAYER

The Council Prayer was read by the Rev Neil Checkley.

PRESENT

His Worship the Mayor Councillor John Thain, Councillors Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury (arrived at 7:34 pm), Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Mark Davies, Ross Fowler, Jackie Greenow, Karen McKeown, Susan Page, Garry Rumble, Pat Sheehy AM, and Steve Simat (arrived at 7:06 pm).

 

APOLOGIES

1010  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Susan Page that apologies be accepted for Councillors Aitken, Bradbury and Simat.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Greg Davies for the period 6 August 2006 to 3 September 2006 inclusive.

Councillor Kaylene Allison withdrew her application for Leave of Absence from 18-27 August 2006, inclusive.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Ordinary Meeting - 7 August 2006

1011  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Karen McKeown that the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of 7 August 2006 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Susan Page declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 13 – Going Public – A Conference for Women in the Public Sector and Politics, as she was a board member on the National Board of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA).

 

Councillor Steve Simat arrived at the meeting, the time being 7:06 pm.

 

 

MAYORAL MINUTE 

 

1        Commencement of Wallacia-Mulgoa Sewerage Scheme

 

1012  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor John Thain seconded Councillor Karen McKeown that the Mayoral Minute on Commencement of Wallacia-Mulgoa Sewerage Scheme be received.

 

Reports of Committees

 

1        Report and Recommendations of the Local Traffic Committee Meeting held on 7 August 2006     

1013  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Karen McKeown seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the recommendations contained in the Report and Recommendations of the Local Traffic Committee meeting held on 7 August, 2006 be adopted.

 

2        Report and Recommendations of the Policy Review Committee held on 14 August 2006       

1014  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Garry Rumble that the recommendations contained in the Report and Recommendations of the Policy Review Committee meeting held on 14 August, 2006 be adopted.

 

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        2005-2006 Management Plan - June Quarter and End of Year Review                         

1015  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on 2005-2006 Management Plan - June Quarter and End of Year Review be received.

2.     The 2005-2006 Management Plan Review as at 30 June 2006 be adopted.

3.     The voting of funds and estimates of income for 2005-2006 be amended to reflect the revised estimates, expenditures and revotes as detailed in the Management Plan Review.

4.     Council revote the works as detailed in the Recommended Revoted Works Lists for inclusion in the 2006-2007 Management Plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

2        Public Exhibition of draft Development Control Plan 2006                                              

1016  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Public Exhibition of draft Development Control Plan 2006 be received.

2.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulations 2000, Council adopt Penrith Development Control Plan 2006, as tabled at Council’s Ordinary Meeting of 21 August 2006.

3.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act Regulations 2000, Council give public notice of its decision in a local newspaper within 28 days.

4.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000, Council give public notice in a local newspaper of its intention to repeal the Development Control Plans set out in Attachment 1.

5.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000, after 14 days of giving notice of its intention to repeal the Development Control Plans set out in Attachment 1, Council give public notice in a local newspaper that the specified Development Control Plans have been repealed.

6.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Regulations 2000 Council submit the draft Local Environmental Plan amendment under Section 73A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to the Regional Office of the Department of the Planning, with the request that an Opinion be sought from Parliamentary Counsel that the Local Environmental Plan can legally be made and gazetted.

7.     Major variations to a development planning control in advance of the new Local Plan be advanced only where the proposal demonstrates that it:

(a)(i)    Is consistent with the adopted strategic direction for that site and or area, including any State Government Policy and Council Strategy.

(ii)   Contributes to the sustainability of Penrith as a City.

(iii)  Demonstrate social and economic benefit to the City’s communities.

(iv)  Deliver a planning response and urban design outcome equal to a development complying with the DCP.

(v)   Does not result in adverse privacy or amenity impacts for adjoining properties or the public domain.

(b)      The proposal is determined by the Approval Team as the delegate (unless the matter is called to Council).

 

 

 

 

 

 

3        Metropolitan Greenspace Program Grant Applications 2006-2007                                

1017  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Metropolitan Greenspace Program Grant Applications 2006-2007 be received.

2.     Council endorse the application for the 2006-2007 Metropolitan Greenspace Program grants for the Great River Walk (three grants) and South Creek corridor (one grant).

 

The City as a Social Place

 

4        Community Development Department - Projects and Key Achievements                     

1018  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the information contained in the report on Community Development Department - Projects and Key Achievements be received.

 

6        Corporate Partners for Change - Penrith Child Care Program                                        

1019  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Corporate Partners for Change - Penrith Child Care Program be received.

2.     Council’s involvement in the program is evaluated at the conclusion of the program to determine whether support of the initiative will be ongoing.

 

7        Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association Conference - Auckland, New Zealand

1020  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association Conference - Auckland, New Zealand be received.

2.     The Cemeteries Officer’s participation in the Australasian Cemeteries & Crematoria Association Conference in Auckland, New Zealand be supported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5        Extension of Jamison Park Netball Amenities Building                                                   

1021  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Extension of Jamison Park Netball Amenities Building be received.

2.     Council accept the tender of Caliber Contracting in the amount of $214,910.

3.     Additional funding of $68,556 be allocated from Council’s Recreation Reserve, for the construction of the Extension of Jamison Park Netball Amenities Building.

 

The City In Its Environment

 

8        Mulgoa/Wallacia Sewerage Scheme Implementation                                                      

1022  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Susan Page that the information contained in the report on Mulgoa/Wallacia Sewerage Scheme Implementation be received.

Councillor Bradbury arrived at the meeting, the time being 7:34 pm.

 

9        Successful Grant Application under the NRMA Insurance Communityhelp Grant Program  

1023  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Karen McKeown seconded Councillor Jackie Greenow

That: 

                   1.       Council officers identify which projects the grant monies will be used for.

                   2.       The information contained in the report on Successful Grant Application under the NRMA Insurance Communityhelp Grant Program be received.

 

10      The Western Sydney Recycled Water Initiative and the Penrith Recycled Water Scheme    

1024  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on The Western Sydney Recycled Water Initiative and the Penrith Recycled Water Scheme be received.

2.     Council authorise the General Manager to sign the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney Water for Stage 1 of the Penrith Recycled Water Scheme.

 

 

3.     Council write to the Minister for Water Utilities, David Campbell, and thank him for his support and efforts to have the Penrith Recycled Water Scheme advanced so quickly.

4.         A report be submitted on how Council can ensure that Sydney Water also establishes facilities to recycle water in the North Ward.

5.         Council write a letter to State Local Members, requesting representations be made to Sydney Water, seeking water quality information, in particular clarification of nutrient levels in South Creek, as a result of recycled water entering the Creek, and requesting information as to how these levels are controlled and measured.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

11      City Operations Directorate Report to end of July 2006                                                 

1025  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Steve Simat that the information contained in the report on City Operations Directorate Report to end of July 2006 be received.

 

12      Summary of Investments & Banking for the period 1 July 2006 to 31 July 2006          

1026  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy

That:

      1.     The information contained in the report on Summary of Investments & Banking for the period 1 July 2006 to 31 July 2006 be received.

      2.     The Certificate of the Responsible Accounting Officer and Summaries of Investments and Performance for the period 1 July  2006 to 31 July 2006 be noted and accepted.

      3.     The graphical investment analysis as at 31 July 2006 be noted.

 

13      Going Public - A Conference for Women in the Public Sector and Politics                     

1027  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor David Bradbury

 

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Going Public - A Conference for Women in the Public Sector and Politics be received.

 

2.     Councillors Susan Page, Kaylene Allison, Karen McKeown and Lexie Cettolin attend ‘Going Public – A Conference for Women in the Public Sector and Politics’, from 4-6 October 2006.

 

 

 

14      Action Taken on Resolutions of the 2005 LGA Conference                                            

1028  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Garry Rumble that the information contained in the report on Action Taken on Resolutions of the 2005 LGA Conference be received.

 

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

QWN 1      Inswim Swimming Centre                                                                                         

Councillor David Bradbury requested an update on his previous request to have a sign at the Inswim Swim Centre removed, and also requested a memo reply as soon as the matter has been addressed.

 

QWN 2      Werrington Lakes                                                                                                     

Councillor David Bradbury requested a memo reply regarding various matters raised in a resident’s letter, concerning possible improvements to the safety and amenity of the Werrington Lake area.

 

QWN 3      Possible Naming of Park after the Late Ted Little Senior                                     

Councillor David Bradbury requested a report to Council on the possibility of naming a park in the St Marys/Colyton area after the late Ted Little Senior, in recognition of his contribution to the local community.

 

QWN 4      Leave of Absence                                                                                                     

Councillor Ross Fowler requested Leave of Absence from 3 September 2006 to 25 September 2006 inclusive.

 

1029  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

 

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor John Thain, ruled that the matter was urgent and should be dealt with at the meeting.

 

1030  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy that Leave of Absence be granted to Councillor Ross Fowler from 3 September 2006 to 25 September 2006 inclusive.

 

QWN 5      Arterial Roads                                                                                                           

Councillor Ross Fowler requested a report to Council concerning an audit of State arterial roads in the Penrith City area, which are currently owned and maintained by the RTA, and seeking information as to whether the RTA has a plan for the maintenance and repair of these roads.

 

 

 

 

 

QWN 6      Leicester Way, St Clair                                                                                            

Councillor Steve Simat requested that a petition from residents in Leicester Way, St Clair, seeking the installation of traffic calming devices in Leicester Way, be forwarded to the Local Traffic Committee, with a copy to be provided to all East Ward Councillors.

 

QWN 7      Properties in Champness Crescent, St Marys                                                        

Councillor Steve Simat requested a memo reply concerning the untidy state of properties at Nos. 1, 3 and 5 Champness Crescent, St Marys, and requested that Council contact the owners of the properties in an effort to remedy this situation.

 

QWN 8      Penrith District Court                                                                                               

Councillor Mark Davies requested that a letter be written to the NSW Attorney General, the Hon Bob Debus MP, seeking clarification as to the possible relocation of the Penrith Court activities to Parramatta.

 

1031  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Mark Davies seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

 

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor John Thain, ruled that the matter was urgent and should be dealt with at the meeting.

 

1032  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Mark Davies seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

 

          That:

 

1.      A letter be written to the NSW Attorney General, the Hon Bob Debus MP, asking him to advise whether the Penrith District Court offices, and sittings at this Court in Penrith, which include the Cobham Children’s Court and the Community Justice Centre at Penrith, are to be relocated to the new legal precinct at Parramatta.

 

2.         A report be prepared for the next meeting, which considers the impact on local users of the justice system, should the Penrith Court activities be relocated to Parramatta.

 

QWN 9      Former Air Services Australia Land at Cranebrook                                               

Councillor Kevin Crameri requested an urgent report to Council regarding the Former Air Services Australia land at Cranebrook, with a copy of the flora report, and an indication of the land to be developed, to be provided to all Councillors beforehand.  The report to Council is to include detail on the following:

  • Rezoning application by IFC Capital Ltd
  • Maps
  • The conservation significance of the site
  • What options are available to Council to facilitate the acquisition of the Site by the NSW Government
  • Community consultation
  • Bush regeneration to eradicate weeds from the site.

 

Committee of the Whole

 

1033  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy that the meeting adjourn to the Committee of the Whole to deal with the following matters, the time being 8:18 pm.

 

Councillor Mark Davies left the meeting, the time being 8:19 pm, and did not return.

 

1        Presence of the Public

 

CW1 RESOLVED on the motion of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Pat Sheehy that the press and public be excluded from Committee of the Whole to deal with the following matters:

 

City as an Economy

 

2        Property Matter                                                                                                                 

 

This item has been referred to Committee of the Whole as the report refers to commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed (i) prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it; or (ii) confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the Council; or (iii) reveal a trade secret and discussion of the matter in open meeting would be, on balance, contrary to the public interest.

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

3        Property Matter - Council Property - Lease of Shop 9, Cranebrook Village Shopping Centre        

 

This item has been referred to Committee of the Whole as the report refers to commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed (i) prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it; or (ii) confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the Council; or (iii) reveal a trade secret and discussion of the matter in open meeting would be, on balance, contrary to the public interest.

 

The meeting resumed at 8:22 pm and the General Manager reported that the Committee of the Whole met at 8:20 pm on Monday 21 August 2006, the following being present

 

His Worship the Mayor Councillor John Thain, Councillors Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury, Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Ross Fowler, Jackie Greenow, Karen McKeown, Susan Page, Garry Rumble, Pat Sheehy AM, and Steve Simat

 

and the Committee of the Whole excluded the press and public from the meeting for the reasons set out in CW1 and that the Committee of the Whole submitted the following recommendations to Council.

 

CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS

 

2        Property Matter                                                                                                                 

CW2 RECOMMENDED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

 

          That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Property Matter be received.

 

2.     Council agree to the contents of the report in respect to the subject property.

 

3.     A further report be presented to Council’s meeting of 4 September 2006 relating to the value of the property.

 

3        Property Matter - Council Property - Lease of Shop 9, Cranebrook Village Shopping Centre        

CW3  RECOMMENDED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri seconded Councillor Ross Fowler

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on the Lease of Shop 9, Cranebrook Village Shopping Centre be received

2.     Council approve the deletion of the existing 3-year lease to Cranebrook Sales Pty Limited

3.     Council grant a new lease term of 5-years with a 5-year option period to new proposed tenant, Jim Aitken & Partners in accordance with terms and conditions as outlined in the report

4.     The Common Seal of the Council of the City of Penrith be placed on all necessary documentation.

 

ADOPTION OF Committee of the Whole

 

1034  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Pat Sheehy seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the recommendations contained in the Committee of the Whole and shown as CW2 and CW3 be adopted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:23 pm.

 

 

 

I certify that these 11 pages are the Confirmed Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penrith City Council held on 21 August 2006.

 

 

 

                                       ____________________                ______________

                                                Chairperson                                     Date

 

 

 



PENRITH CITY COUNCIL

 

Procedure for Addressing Meetings

 

Anyone can request permission to address a meeting, providing that the number of speakers is limited to three in support of any proposal and three against.

 

Any request about an issue or matter on the Agenda for the meeting can be lodged with the General Manager or Public Officer up until 12 noon on the day of the meeting.

 

Prior to the meeting the person who has requested permission to address the meeting will need to provide the Public Officer with a written statement of the points to be covered during the address in sufficient detail so as to inform the Councillors of the substance of the address and a written copy of any questions to be asked of the Council in order that responses to those questions can be provided in due course.

 

In addition, prior to addressing the meeting a person addressing Council or Committee will be informed that they do not enjoy any privilege and that permission to speak may be withdrawn should they make inappropriate comments.

 

It should be noted that speakers at meetings of the Council or Committee do not have absolute privilege (parliamentary privilege).  A speaker who makes any potentially offensive or defamatory remarks about any other person may render themselves open to legal action.

 

Prior to addressing the meeting the person will be required to sign the following statement:

 

“I (name) understand that the meeting I intend to address on (date) is a public meeting.  I also understand that should I say or present any material that is inappropriate, I may be subject to legal action.  I also acknowledge that I have been informed to obtain my own legal advice about the appropriateness of the material that I intend to present at the above mentioned meeting”.

 

Should a person fail to sign the above statement then permission to address either the Council or Committee will not be granted.

 

The Public Officer or Minute Clerk will speak to those people who have requested permission to address the meeting, prior to the meeting at 6.45pm.

 

It is up to the Council or Committee to decide if the request to address the meeting will be granted.

 

Where permission is to be granted the Council or Committee, at the appropriate time, will suspend only so much of the Standing Orders to allow the address to occur.

 

The Chairperson will then call the person up to the lectern or speaking area.

 

The person addressing the meeting needs to clearly indicate:

 

· Their name;

 

· Organisation or group they are representing (if applicable);

 

· Details of the issue to be addressed and the item number of the report in the   Business Paper;

 

· Whether they are opposing or supporting the issue or matter (if applicable)     and the action they would like the meeting to take;

 

·           The interest of the speaker (e.g. affected person, neighbour, applicant,        applicants spokesperson, interested citizen etc).

 

Each person then has five minutes to make their address.  Those addressing Council will be required to speak to the written statement they have submitted.  Permission to address Council is not to be taken as an opportunity to refute or otherwise the points made by previous speakers on the same issue. 

 

The Council or Committee can extend this time if they consider if appropriate, however, everyone needs to work on the basis that the address will be for five minutes only.

 

Councillors may have questions about the address so people are asked to remain at the lectern or in the speaking area until the Chairperson has thanked them.

 

When this occurs, they should then return to their seat.

 

 

Steve Hackett

Public Officer

02 4732 7637                                                        August 2003

   


Reports of Committees

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Report and Recommendations of the Disability Access Committee Meeting held on 2 August 2006 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Leadership and Organisation

 

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE
 Disability Access Committee MEETING

HELD ON 2 August, 2006

 

 

PRESENT

Councillor Lexie Cettolin (Chair), Maeve Dunnett, Jill Huber, Allison Herbert, David Currie (5.15pm).

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Joe Ibbitson, Community Program Co-ordinator; Athena Kandris, Aged and Disability Services Officer; Ben Felten, Disability Access Officer; Vanessa Muscat, Environmental Health and Building Surveyor; Hans Meijer, Asset Systems Manager; Graham Howe, Building Projects Co-ordinator; Erich Weller, Community Development Manager; Steve Barratt, Building Approvals Unit Co-ordinator.

 

APOLOGIES

DAC 17 RECOMMENDED that apologies be accepted from Councillor Greenow, Councillor Thain, Carol Grayson.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Disability Access Committee Meeting - 7 June 2006

DAC 18 RECOMMENDED that the minutes of the Disability Access Committee Meeting of 7 June 2006 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

No declarations of interest.

 

Councillor Lexie Cettolin welcomed the new Committee.  Joe Ibbitson informed the meeting that Carol Grayson had declined to take up her position.

 

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

The City as a Social Place

 

1        2006 Nepean Disability Expo                                                                                            

Athena Kandris informed the committee there is a small working group working towards the 2006 Nepean Disability Expo to be held at Panthers Pavilion.

 

The working group has requested feedback from members of the Disability Access Committee in relation to mobility access, vision or hearing impairment.  It is hoped that the Expo will be as accessible as possible to everybody. 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions from the committee were:

 

·    consider hiring accessible toilets

·    using the sailing simulator from Sailability

·    activities with computers

·    Accessible Arts may consider putting on some activities

·    use of visual artists

·    activities for young children and older people

·    information from groups, e.g. Blind Society, Nature Nature

·    space for wheelchairs to move between activities

 

RECOMMENDATION

DAC 19 RECOMMENDED that:

 

1.     The information contained in the report on 2006 Nepean Disability Expo be received.

2.     A further report on the 2006 Nepean Disability Expo be prepared for discussion at the Disability Access Committee meeting in October.

 

2        Stronger Together - A new Direction for Disability Services in NSW 2006 – 2016

Athena Kandris presented her report and informed the committee of the mini launch of the Stronger Together policy at Penrith Library on 21st July 2006.  

 

RECOMMENDATION

DAC 20 RECOMMENDED that the information contained in the report on Stronger Together - A new Direction for Disability Services in NSW 2006 - 2016 be received.

 

3        Disability Access Improvement Program 2006-07

Ben Felten spoke to his report and advised the committee that the Disability Access Improvement Program is a project funded through Council at $25,000 per annum.  The table on the second page of the report shows the projects and amounts that have been allocated.  A definition of the projects is also provided.

 

Joe Ibbitson advised that it is a very preliminary notional budget and some amounts will need more fine-tuning.

 

Discussion centred around:

 

·    handrails within Council facilities

·    the Disability Action Plan causing different departments to think about different needs

·    funding allocated each year to bring Council facilities up to standard

·    website alternate formats

 

Lexie Cettolin enquired if there had been advice from State Rail regarding the tactile ground surface indicators (TGSIs) at Penrith Station.

 

Erich Weller replied that at an earlier meeting there was discussion regarding tactile ground surface indicators on Penrith Station State Rail property.  There is a gap at the bus interchange and the TGSIs start again with Council’s footpaths.  Erich suggested writing to State Rail to get a sense of their priorities.  The preferred outcome is that there are continuous TGSIs from the railway to Council land.

 

David Currie advised that the situation is the same at Kingswood and St Marys Stations.

 

Ben Felten previously presented information regarding Kingswood Railway Station.  There are no TGSIs on the station or outside the station and he had contacted State Rail.  There is an action plan to upgrade all of the rail stations in NSW but State Rail was unable to give Ben a timeframe when that would be completed.

 

Ben Felten highlighted issues such as other government bodies who may have responsibility for those areas such as the Water Board.

 

Erich Weller undertook to report back to the committee after firstly clarifying some of the issues regarding ownership and responsibility and then writing to the Minister and/or local member.

 

There was also discussion regarding the Plaza project intersection and upgrades to the Red Cow, which haven’t been completed.  Joe Ibbitson agreed to follow this up and report back to the committee.

 

Jill Huber reported a concern with Emu Plains railway station where there are three or four flights of stairs.  There are TGSIs at the top and bottom of the stairs but not in between.

 

Vanessa Muscat advised that if there is a continuous handrail it is not required to have TGSIs on intermediate levels. This is the standard.

 

Graham Howe said it was logical as the TGSIs at the top give a warning, there is a handrail to guide you down and TGSIs at the bottom notify you that you are off the steps.

 

Ben Felten advised members that Joe Ibbitson would bring the digital camera to the next meeting to take photos of members for the Disability Access Committee website.  It had previously been agreed that members would have a passport size photo and an email address that would come to Council.  The web page would also have information on the Disability Access Committee and its role.    

 

RECOMMENDATION

DAC 21 RECOMMENDED that:

 

1.      The information contained in the report on Disability Access Improvement Program 2006-07 be received.

 

2.      Council write to State Rail and local members regarding provision of TGSIs at railway stations.

 

3.      A further report be provided advising of land ownership, results of that correspondence and what further action will be required.

GENERAL BUSINESS

 

GB 1          Council Process for Dealing with Specific Issues                                                    

Joe Ibbitson reminded the committee that specific requests should be put through Council’s normal process and logged into Council’s system.  The requests could then be responded to more quickly.  If people do not know who to contact ring either Joe Ibbitson, Athena Kandris, Ben Felten or Erich Weller to get the name and contact details of the relevant Council officer. 

 

GB 2          Development of a National Centre for Universal Design at the University of Western Sydney

David Currie advised that at the Policy Review Committee meeting of 26th June 2006 a report was presented on The Development of a National Centre for Universal Design at UWS. 

 

DAC 22 RECOMMENDED that:

 

1.   The commitment of Council to the establishment of a National Centre for Universal Design at the University of Western Sydney be applauded.

 

2.   The Disability Access Committee embraces the principles of Universal Design, and recognises the benefits that would flow to an ageing population in our local community from this concept.

 

3.   Regular updates on the development of the National Centre for Universal Design be provided to the Disability Access Committee.

 

GB 3          Letter re Draft Plan of Management “Weir” Reserve, Penrith

 

David Currie advised that he had written a letter on 29th June to Raphael Collins regarding the proposed Draft Plan of Management on Council’s website for Weir Reserve in Penrith.  He said his letter was concerning access for disabled people and he hadn’t received a reply.

 

David Currie’s main concerns were:

 

·    uncertainty from reading the draft plan if some people with a disability will have access to the water edge within the proposed new rowing centre or at some other point.

·    whether this plan includes the updating of the current toilet block, near the wedding pavilion, to include disabled persons use, or at some location within this area.

 

Councillor Lexie Cettolin and Joe Ibbitson undertook to follow up on this matter.

 

GB 4          St Marys Village Carparks                                                                                      

David Currie referred to the issue of carparks in St Marys, which was reported at the June meeting.

 

Vanessa Muscat and Hans Meijer visited the carpark and identified some anomalies with the parking spaces.  Vanessa Muscat undertook to follow this matter through.

 

GB 5          Wheelchair Access to Sales Display Counters

Allison Herbert advised of a young man in a wheelchair who was concerned he could not access the sales tables of shops in Penrith and St Marys.  Allison asked if there was any awareness raising undertaken with shopkeepers. 

 

People can access the shopping centre but are stopped when they come to the front of the shop because they can’t get in and move around.  It was asked what sort of tables facilitate someone in a wheelchair to extend their armreach further to look at what is on the counter.

 

Steve Barratt suggested that awareness raising could be carried out with centre management.

 

Vanessa Muscat advised that there is no standard in regard to sale display counters, the standard doesn’t actually deal with on a sale counter in an individual shop.  There are no powers of enforcement for anyone to act upon.

 

Ben Felten suggested promoting the benefits of making it a more accessible shop through increasing sales and increasing customers.

 

Steve Barratt stated that the centre’s accessibility has benefits for everybody who has difficulty getting around in those places.  Steve advised he could write a letter with information to centre management asking that they work with shop owners to improve accessibility for everybody.

 

Erich Weller suggested liaising with the Local Economic Development Manager who has established relationships with business.

 

GB 6          International Conference

Athena Kandris advised of an international conference to be held on 7th and 8th September at Homebush.  The conference is being conducted by the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA).  There will be international and local speakers.  Some Council staff are attending the conference and there is an opportunity for a member of the committee who would like to attend as well.  Athena asked people to contact her if they had an interest in attending the conference.

 

GB 7          Orientation/Planning Day

Joe Ibbitson advised the meeting that options were being considered for an orientation/planning day for the new committee.  It was considered important that the committee attend a Code of Conduct training session.  This session would be followed by a meeting to evaluate the last three years of the Disability Action Plan.  Members provided their preferred days and availability for this session.

 

GB 8          DA for Penrith Stadium

Steve Barratt brought the plans for the Penrith Stadium refurbishment phase 1 to show the committee.

 

Lexie Cettolin advised if people on the committee wished, a field inspection could be arranged.  A representative with a vision impairment as well as a representative in a wheelchair might wish to participate.

Vanessa Muscat suggested that when coming up to the preliminary organisation inspection something could be arranged.  10 o’clock on a Wednesday is probably the best time.  It would take ¾ hour approximately to go through the safety procedures and up to two hours for the tour.  One of the stadium employees in a wheelchair will also attend.

 

Jill Huber advised she would invite Vanessa Muscat to the next PDRC meeting to present the plans of the Penrith Stadium to their members.

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 6.40pm.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the recommendations contained in the Report and Recommendations of the Disability Access Committee meeting held on 2 August, 2006 be adopted.

 

 

 


 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

1        2005-06 Annual Statements 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

2        State Plan 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

3        Establishment of Additional Off Leash Areas for Dogs and Closure of Boronia Park Off Leash Area 

 

4        Removal of Play Equipment 

 

5        Penrith Whitewater Stadium 

 

6        Draft Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2  

 

7        Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 100 DP 1058901 (No.81) Regentville Road, Jamisontown. Applicant: David Roberts Architects Pty Ltd;  Owner: Penrith Automotive Pty Ltd DA04/2605

 

8        Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 2002 DP 1022422 (No. 18) Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook. Applicant: Joanna Hull;  Owner: Joanna Hull DA06/0284

 

 

The City In Its Environment

 

9        Longwall Mining at locations within the Nepean River Catchment 

 

10      Adoption of Plan of Management for Weir Reserve 

 

THE CITY AS AN ECONOMY

 

URGENT

 

17      Development Application 05/1929 for proposed commercial development and basement car parking at Lot 110 DP 707681 (No.  331) High Street, Penrith. Applicant: Fiuggi Holdings Pty Limited;  Owner: Fiuggi Holdings Pty Limited DA05/1929

 

 

 

 

 

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

11      Footpath Improvement Program 

 

12      Richmond/Blacktown Road Upgrade 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

13      Financial Assistance Grant 

 

14      National Risk Management Conference 

 

15      2006 National General Assembly of Local Government 

 

16      Grassroots Sustainability Conference and 2006 Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR) Forum 

 

 


Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        2005-06 Annual Statements 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

1

2005-06 Annual Statements   

 

Compiled by:                Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager; Andrew Moore, Financial Accountant

Authorised by:             Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A sound long-term financial position is maintained in balance with pressures to provide new and expanded services.

Critical Action: Achieve agreed financial performance targets.

 

Presenters:                   Dennis Banicevic - PricewaterhouseCoopers - 30 June 2006 year end    

Purpose:

To present to Council the Draft 2005-06 Annual Statements.  The report recommends that the Annual Statements be referred for audit.

 

Introduction

This reports covers:

 

·    Addressing of the meeting by Council’s auditor

·    Legislative requirements

·    Background to the Financial Policies

·    Budget Amounts

·    Summary of Financial Results.

Addressing of the Meeting by Council’s Auditor

Mr Dennis Banicevic, a Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers will be addressing the meeting.  Dennis has over twenty years audit experience in Local Government and has a large number of New South Wales councils as audit clients and has been responsible for Council’s audit since the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers seven years ago.

Legislative Requirements

The Local Government Act requires the following steps:

 

1.   Council staff prepare the statements

2.   Council issues a statement that the accounts are in order

3.   Council refers the statements to its auditors for checking

4.   The auditor returns the statements with an audit opinion attached

5.   The statements are placed on public display and the community may make submissions

6.   The statements are formally presented during a council meeting.

 

This report recommends completion of 2, 3 and 4 at tonight’s meeting.  The auditors have received an advance copy of the statements and have now completed several weeks of their audit program.  It is considered appropriate that Council issue the required statement for the 2005-06 accounts.

 

This report also deals with formal requirements to complete the 2005-06 Financial Statements.

Background to Financial Statements

The financial statements are prepared by Council staff, using the accrual method of accounting, and comply with Australian Accounting Standards and the New South Wales Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial reporting.  The statements are required to be audited by an independent auditor, and lodged with the Department of Local Government before 7 November 2006.  

Summary of Financial Results

An in depth commentary and analysis of the year’s results is included in the Financial Statements.  The following figures are draft and may be subject to audit adjustment.  A final copy of the Annual Financial Statements will be provided, following the period of public exhibition.  The following are some of the key results:

 

All figures in $’000s unless stated otherwise

 

2005-06

2004-05

% Change

Revenue (including capital)

151,504

131,819

14.9

Operating Expenditure

123,488

118,276

4.4

Net Surplus

28,016

13,543

106.8

Operating result before capital

943

(4,321)

121.8

Capital Grants and Contributions

27,073

17,864

51.6

Net Assets

930,485

900,312

3.4

Total Equity at 30 June

839,261

811,245

3.5

Total Borrowings (excluding bank overdraft)

56,823

52,071

9.1

Cash and Investments

44,458

37,797

17.6

Unrestricted Current Ratio

1.19:1

1.11:1

7.2

Rates Outstanding Ratio

4.44%

4.05%

9.6

Debt Service Ratio

7.20%

8.53%

15.6

 

Council’s financial position as at 30 June 2006 continues to be sound. After allowing for $27.1 million of capital grants and contributions, Council finished the year with a surplus from ordinary activities of $28.0 million, 106.8% higher than the 2004-05 result.  The operating surplus helped finance $45.5 million of capital acquisitions during the year, taking total assets to $930 million and contributing to an increased net equity of $839.3 million.

 

Unrestricted current assets exceed current liabilities by a ratio of just over 1.19:1, marginally less than Council’s targeted minimum of 1.25:1, but greater than the Department of Local Government’s benchmark, and an improvement of 7.2% over the previous year’s result. 

Working Capital - an internal liquidity measure - is $2.9 million, the same as the previous year and remains well above Council’s adopted target of $2 million.

 

The outstanding loan liability increased by $4.7 million to $56.8 million, however new borrowings of $8.5m included in this figure have an associated revenue stream to fund their repayments. The amount of operating revenue committed to servicing this debt continues to decline and this year is 7.2%, down from 8.53% in 2004-05.

 

The Financial Statements document also includes an appendix that shows Council’s results against industry accepted local government performance indicators that were developed in 2001. These measures also demonstrate Council’s strong financial performance.  In addition, the appendix also includes some of the indicators used by Standard and Poors in determining Council’s AA credit rating.  This year we have also included some of the indicators recommended by the Inquiry into the Financial Sustainability of New South Wales Local Government (the “Allan Inquiry”).

International Financial Reporting Standards

As previously reported to Council, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) is adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for application to reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005.  The AASB has issued Australian equivalents to IFRS (AEIFRS).  The adoption of AEIFRS is first reflected in these financial statements.

 

This has entailed a restating of some of the comparative financial statements to amounts reflecting the application of AEIFRS to that comparative period.  Most adjustments required on transition to AEIFRS have been made, retrospectively, against opening retained earnings as at 1 July 2004.

 

The major changes applicable to local government and their impact are discussed below and further details are included in the Annual Financial Statements in Note 21.

Major Changes

Investment Properties

Council is required to identify and value investment properties at fair value (market value) for the first time and disclose in the Balance Sheet.  Subsequent year movements in the cumulative value of these assets will be recognised through the Income Statement.  It is anticipated that this change will have a positive impact on the operating surplus reported unless there is a downturn in the property market.  This change under AEIFRS will provide a more informative indicator of Council’s property strategy as it measures the movement in these assets and therefore enables a better assessment of the return/loss achieved.

 

The impact for the year ended 30 June 2006 was a positive impact of $276,000, the movement in the value of the investment properties between 30 June 2005 and 30 June 2006.

 

Financial Instruments

All financial assets and liabilities will have to be recognised in the Balance Sheet.  Most financial assets will be measured at fair value (e.g. Investments) with gains and losses included in income, except certain gains and losses that may be deferred.  An exemption from complying with this requirement, in relation to recalculating prior years comparatives to comply with the new standards, is available for first time adopters of AEIFRS and has been taken by Council.

 

Re-measurement of Employee Leave Entitlements

The transition to AIFRS and compliance within AASB 119 has resulted in the re-measurement of Council’s provision in relation to employee entitlements.  In the past only long service leave not expected to be within 12 months has been measured at present values and all other entitlements have been shown at nominal values.  The transition to AIFRS requires that all leave entitlements not expected to be taken within 12 months been shown at present values.  In addition a classification change between non current to current provisions has been made for all leave that Council does not have an unconditional right to defer in compliance with the transition.

Budget Surplus

Council has received a report on the year end budget position as part of the Management Plan review to the Ordinary meeting of 21 August 2006.  No adjustments have been made and the budget surplus for the year can be confirmed as $127,300. 

Legislative Requirements

The Local Government Act classifies various transactions as being write-offs of rates and charges.  The reasons for write-offs include properties becoming exempt from rates, pensioner rebates, changes in rating category, rounding down of payments by 4 cents, postponed rates, domestic waste charges reversed because they were levied in error, rates and charges reversed due to amended valuations.

 

The following tables summarise the rates and sundry debtors amounts written off under delegated authority, or pursuant to Council resolutions and are provided for information:

 

Rates And Charges Written Off

$

General Rates

46,146.76

Extra Charges

24,884.99

Domestic Waste

3,608.30

TOTAL

74,640.05

 

Pensioner Abandonment

$

General Rates     - Statutory

1,563,821.17

Domestic Waste - Statutory

518,030.11

TOTAL

2,081,851.28

 

Sundry Debtor Abandonments

 $

Sundry Debtor

22,337.49

TOTAL

22,337.49

 

Extra charges include interest and legal costs, and are written off due to financial hardship, and where the original rate or domestic waste charge is required to be written off.

 

Sundry Debtors abandonments are the aggregate of a number of small debts that are either unable to be pursued due to their small size or deemed to be uncollectible.

 

During 2005-06, stores and tools to the value of $9,932.44 were written off as summarised below.

 

 

Stores & Materials Written Off

$

Stores and Tools

9,932.44

TOTAL

9,932.44

The draft statements are presented for Council to form its opinion.  The required opinion is set out in the following recommendation.  If resolved, the Statement of Council's Opinion can be signed and handed to the auditors at tonight’s meeting.

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.   The information contained in the report on 2005-06 Annual Statements be received.

2.   Pursuant to S415 it is the Council's opinion that:

a.          The financial statements and schedules have been drawn up in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 and Regulations, the Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting, the Local Government Asset Accounting Manual, and Australian Accounting Standards.  The Code requires a phasing in of the new accounting requirements

b.          Apart from the non-recognition of land under roads as required by the phasing process, the statements comply with Australian Statements of Accounting Concepts

c.          The financial statements present fairly the Council's financial position as at 30 June 2006 and the operating result for the year then ended

d.          The statements are in accord with Council's accounting and other records.

3.   Pursuant to clause 21 of the Local Government Financial Management Regulation it is the Council's opinion that:

a.           The accompanying Special Purpose Financial report has been drawn up in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 and Regulations, the Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting, and the requirements of National Competition Policy. The Code requires the inclusion of various charges and subsidies which are not actually paid or payable

b.           The report is a special purpose report and is not required to comply with Australian Accounting Standards. The above legislative requirements differ from Australian Accounting Standards and hence the report does not comply with Australian Accounting Standards.

c.           The financial statements present a modelled scenario for comparative purposes.  They do not report an actual result.

4.   Council confirms its endorsement of the budget in the knowledge that some of its business activities are not making commercial returns.  The existence of notional subsidies represents Council’s commitment to its community service obligations.

5.   The Statements be forwarded to Council's Auditors.

6.   Abandonments for 2006 as detailed be written off.

7.   The balance of stores and materials be adjusted in the stores and materials registers in accordance with the various write-offs.

8.   The allocation of the budget surplus is considered as part of the September quarterly review.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


The City in its Broader Context

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        State Plan 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

2

State Plan   

 

Compiled by:                Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager

Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager

Craig Ross, Design and Technical Advice Manager

Geoff Shuttleworth, Economic Development and City Marketing Manager

Erich Weller, Community Development Manager

David Burns, Asset Manager

Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager

Bijai Kumar, Local Economic Development Program Manager

Authorised by:             Alan Stoneham, Director - City Strategy   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council’s preferred positions and priorities relevant to Western Sydney growth and development are considered by governments, regional forums and regional organisations in their own policy development.

Critical Action: Develop a structured dialogue with Local State Members, Ministers, government agencies, Councils of the region, WSROC and other regional associations concerning the supply of infrastructure and services, employment and sustainable housing delivery to the Region

     

Purpose:

To inform Council on the State Government's release of a draft State Plan for NSW.  The report recommends Council make a submission to State Government outlining a range of issues for its consideration in the finalisation of the State Plan.

 

Background

The NSW Premier, Morris Iemma on 8 August 2006 launched ‘A New Direction for NSW – State Plan’, a draft directions statement that has now been put to the community for input. 

 

The Premier has indicated that, for the first time, a single document will define the goals and outcomes which the Government will endorse to shape policy over the next decade.  Emphasis has been placed on community input into the Plan and a range of community and stakeholder forums are currently being arranged across the State.  The Mayor and General Manager attended a forum for Local Government representatives on 28 August 2006.

 

The Plan is intended to guide the entire public sector, providing clear goals and benchmarks against which the Government’s performance will be measured.  Once adopted, it will be incorporated into all aspects of State Government agencies including budgets, strategic planning and performance measurement.

 

A copy of the draft State Plan is included in the attachments.  The Plan and other media releases are available on the NSW Government website www.nsw.gov.au/stateplan.  A copy of the Premier’s Media Release is appended to this report.

Community Consultation

Up to 2,500 members of the public and community leaders are being invited on a random basis to attend 25 Community Forums across NSW in August and early September to be attended by the Premier, Ministers and senior public servants. 

 

The aim of the meetings is to elicit community views on what is most important within the draft Plan and to determine how the Government can work better to deliver the objectives contained in the Plan.  Full analysis of the detailed outcomes from the Community and other regional stakeholder forums will inform the development of the final State Plan.

 

In addition, the Government is receiving written submissions which close on 8 September and it is recommended that Council provide its views for the Government’s consideration.

 

The final State Plan will be released in October.

Overview of State Plan

The Plan focuses on five key themes:

 

1.   Plan Ahead – advocates the need for a State Plan to manage the challenges ahead and to ensure that the whole community has a clear set of shared priorities to work towards.  Emphasis is made on planning what the State does and actually doing what is planned.  The key thrust is to involve the community in the priority setting.  Government agencies will involve the community in developing their more detailed strategies to achieve the priorities identified and will continue to consult as the Plan is implemented over time.  In 2009, there will be an assessment of the progress of the Plan and to fine tune it for the next 10 years.

 

2.   Respect and Responsibility – focuses on strategies aimed at keeping people safe, tackling anti-social behaviour and building community harmony.  These initiatives emphasise a strong commitment to crime prevention and add a new focus on reinforcing the efforts of parents to teach respect and responsibility and supporting a more harmonious and integrated society.

 

3.   Improving Services – outlines plans to continue delivering quality Government services to the whole community in areas such as education and training, health care and transport.  It also includes new directions aimed at compassion and support for the most vulnerable in our communities with emphasis on people with mental illness and people with disabilities, children and committing to a customer friendly service culture.

 

4.   Growing Prosperity Across NSW – recognises NSW as Australia’s economic powerhouse accounting for 34% of national GDP and employing 3.24 million people.  Strategies emphasise the need for sound financial management and adopting a more active approach to being ‘open for business’ by reducing red tape and attracting investment to urban, regional and rural NSW.

 

5.   Environment for Living – outlines a continuing commitment to protecting the environment while delivering practical solutions that maintain reliable supplies of water and energy for both city and country.  Strategies also aim to improve air and water quality, protect the natural environment, reduce waste and improve the urban environment including opportunities for recreation.

 

Each theme in the document is supported by a series of identified priorities for improving the quality of life for the people of NSW over the next 10 years.  A series of success measures are also identified for each priority area.  The priorities are supported by a series of key strategies which identify the actions that will be undertaken by the Government in delivering the Plan.

Commentary on Key Directions in the State Plan

The basic concept of a State Plan which articulates the Government’s priorities with clear links to the budget process and heightened levels of Government agency accountability is to be applauded.  The Government’s recognition that the community has a role to play in sharing a vision for the delivery of Government services across the State is also strongly encouraged.  Many of the priorities and strategies identified provide logical and much needed services to the public.  Indeed, a number of the Government’s proposed initiatives are aligned with Council’s Strategic Program. 

 

A number of Council’s Managers have reviewed the draft Plan and have provided comments on where the priorities and strategies identified are in common with Council’s own strategic direction and where those matters have been advocated to Government.  That commentary is outlined below.

 

THEME 1:  PLAN AHEAD

 

The successes achieved by NSW have in many cases been planned for and it has been recognised that it is not only important to continue to respond to the challenges facing NSW but also to ensure that the Government delivers on what it has committed to. 

 

The State Plan will consolidate agency planning initiatives and provide the community with a clearer set of priorities which will be implemented over time by Government.  Importantly, the State Plan begins to articulate the measures by which the Government’s performance can be judged.  The key strategies identified, although in many instances being extremely broad in nature, nonetheless hold a more specific intention on what the Government will focus its endeavours on than has previously been the case.  The concept of ‘doing what we plan’ is strongly supported as is the desire expressed in the Plan to reappraise progress via further community consultation over the life of the Plan.

 

THEME 2:  RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY

 

Building Harmonious Communities

 

Harmonious communities is a fundamental goal that enables all of us to be included and feel that our contributions, not only to family and friends but also to the broader society, are valued and respected.  Over many years, the State Government has developed and delivered a range of strategies and actions that have supported the outcome of harmonious communities.  Also the Plan states community harmony is everyone’s responsibility.

 

Penrith Council’s Strategic Plan places significant emphasis on the local and regional leadership role Council must play to support community harmony.  Council has committed additional resources in recent years to developing and implementing a Disability Action Plan, implementing the recommendations of a Youth Needs Audit, as well as a range of initiatives supporting access to services and facilities by culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  Partnerships between Council, government agencies such as the Departments of Community Services, Education and Housing, local community organisation social service providers, and local communities are critical to deliver sustainable outcomes for local families and communities.

 

Most recently, Council has significantly expanded its Neighbourhood Renewal Program.  This Program, again with agency partners, the private sector, and residents, focuses on local neighbourhoods and suburbs with high levels of socio-economic disadvantage, isolation, and lower workforce participation.  The expanded Neighbourhood Renewal Program has a number of elements that deliver positive life opportunity outcomes, including employment and further training, volunteering, family support as well as local community capacity building.

 

In this combined effort over the last 10 years the capacity of our largely DOCS-funded local community organisation partners to work in local communities has been gradually reduced.  This is in part due to increased service delivery costs and the very limited growth in the Department of Community Services Community Services Grants Program.  Cuts to the Area Assistance Scheme (AAS) budget have also exacerbated this situation.

 

Recommendation

 

That the NSW Government allocate additional funds to the DOCS Community Services Grants Program and the Area Assistance Scheme to enable local community services to effectively deliver programs and initiatives that support harmonious communities in the City.  This relates specifically to the following key strategies identified in the Plan (page 19) including:

·    Supporting mentoring programs

·    Focused early intervention strategies

·    Investing in parenting

·    Increasing involvement of young people in community and cultural activities

·    Supporting cross-cultural initiatives.

 

Keeping People Safe and Tackling Antisocial Behaviour

 

The NSW Government initiatives to maintain community safety and tackle antisocial behaviour, as outlined in the State Plan, are strongly supported as a means to continue the reduction of crime and increase the proportion of people who feel safe within their community. 

 

Council is keen to receive details on how the priorities and key strategies identified in the State Plan will be implemented, and what opportunities will exist for the development of partnerships that will not only deliver state wide objectives but will also meet the needs of individual communities targeting similar crime and safety issues at the local level.

 

Penrith City Council is currently developing a new Community Safety Plan for the period December 2006 to December 2009. At present, a round of community consultations is taking place and it is anticipated that the issues identified during the consultation phase will require strategy development similar to those key strategies outlined in the State Plan. 

 

The State Plan also identifies a number of strategies that have been implemented to date and Council actively participated in some of those strategies at the local level.  This has included: regular attendance at PACT (Police Accountability Community Team) meetings; responds to Police requests for assistance and support for locally focused and targeted operations; and, Council staff involvement in a local Alcohol and Drug Summit (facilitated by the Member for Penrith).

 

Community Safety & Crime Prevention Strategies

 

Council’s Strategic Plan has identified Community Safety as a major issue to be addressed.  The current strategic plan has the longer-term goal that ‘Communities feel confident about their safety’. 

 

To achieve this longer-term goal a Community Safety Plan, building on a partnership with Police, the community and other stakeholders, will need to be maintained, implemented and supported by Council’s programs.

 

The Penrith Valley Community Safety Plan (adopted by Penrith Council and endorsed by the NSW Attorney General) has been in place since December 2002.  That Plan identified five key areas for strategy development, including personal safety, antisocial behaviour, fear of crime, issues affecting people and places, and theft of or from a vehicle.

 

There is a close alignment between these areas and those identified in the State Plan. 

 

Overseeing the development and implementation of the plan is the Penrith Valley Community Safety Partnership. The Partnership is a committee of Council, and members include Councillors, Council Officers, Police, Business and Community representatives and representatives from State Government authorities.

 

Council, with its partners has developed a series of projects which in many respects reflect the major changes identified in the State Plan, particularly relating to developing approaches to reducing domestic violence, reducing alcohol related assaults, and increasing people’s perceptions in their local neighbourhoods.

 

The Key Strategies requiring development, identified in the State Plan, are focussed on primarily social programs, and are not directly related to enhancements and maintenance of public spaces.

 

It is anticipated that Council’s 2006 –2009 Community Safety Plan will have a greater emphasis and focus on the development of localised partnerships and strategies to address issues that are impacting on local neighbourhoods. This will require the implementation of both public domain enhancements and social programs.

 

Currently, funding available from the State Government for strategy implementation for an endorsed Community Safety Plan is subject to competitive funding applications.  The total funding available to a Council with an endorsed Community Safety Plan is limited to $150,000 over the three-year life of the plan.  This limited State Government funding impacts on Council’s ability to fully implement the endorsed plan.

 

The NSW Government initiatives to maintain community safety and tackle antisocial behaviour as outlined in the State Plan, are strongly supported as a means to continue the reduction of crime and increase the proportion of people who feel safe within their community. 

 

Recommendation:

 

The achievement of the required outcomes of the State Plan will require significant funding on the part of the State Government.  This investment should not impact on the current level of funding available to Council for the implementation of Community Safety/Crime Prevention strategies.

 

If there is an expectation that Council will be required to assist in the delivery of State Plan objectives, above Council’s current level of service provision, then additional State Government resources will need to be allocated to Council.

 

Other issues may be better addressed by a coordinated regional approach, eg across Penrith, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury LGA’s, and this would require the support of the State Government in the provision of enhanced resources to facilitate the delivery of regional programs to achieve the desired outcomes.

 

THEME 3:  IMPROVING SERVICES

 

Better Quality Services

 

Improving government service delivery in health, education, transport and early intervention are fundamental goals to building inclusive and harmonious communities. 

 

The NSW Government’s Families First, Better Futures and Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategies are important recent initiatives that support this goal.

 

The NSW Government’s increased funding allocation to the DOCS child protection and early intervention role is an important initiative.  In addition, State agency partnerships with the community sector and local government have, through enhanced co-ordination and complementary service roles, added value to existing resources for the benefit of local communities.

 

Children’s Services

 

Penrith Council manages and delivers an extensive range of children’s services programs across the City.  This includes long day care, occasional care, before and after school care, centre-based and mobile pre-school, and additional support programs targeting special needs children.  These services cater for over 5,000 children and their families each year.

 

Council believes that quality early childhood experiences have a profound and lasting impact on outcomes for children and their potential to develop into the future citizens who form the community of Penrith.

 

There has been a considerable amount of work by the Commonwealth, State and Local governments in supporting the provision of child care services, and ensuring standards within centres to promote the development and wellbeing of children. However, factors that must also be addressed include affordability, consistent and appropriate standards and regulations across states, simplified funding models between Commonwealth and State Governments, and the availability of tertiary trained professionals (degree and Diploma Levels) in the delivery of programs to children and families in all early childhood service environments, including those from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

Essential to the success of meeting the State Plan’s initiatives is the need to have a co-operative and consultative process involving Commonwealth, State and Local Governments, to work with providers of Early Childhood services on agreed approaches that will address the current dilemmas evident in areas of over supply and under supply, that will ensure the consistent and ongoing provision of financially viable services that deliver effective early childhood service environments, and that will contribute to better outcomes for children.

 

A co-operative approach by Commonwealth, State and Local Governments can work towards the establishment of a National Framework that addresses the following areas:

 

·    A planning framework to provide funding for services for children with additional needs based on specified criteria

·    One system of service provision across Australia

·    One universal system of fee relief

·    One universal system of funding for family support within children’s centres

·    One universal system that recognises and resources the additional support requirements in services for children with additional needs

·    A national incentive program to increase levels of tertiary trained (degree/diploma) staff for centres

·    Planning instruments at the Local Government level to support service provision within Local Government Areas.

 

Recommendation

 

That consideration be given to the establishment of a joint consultative process between Commonwealth, State and Local Governments to review and develop policies designed to provide a consistent and comprehensive approach in every State to the provision of Early Childhood services that provide all families and their children with access to beneficial learning and care environments.

 

Customer Friendly Services

 

It is pleasing to note that as part of this priority the government will focus on improving access to the range of services that it provides throughout NSW.  Council's Strategic Plan recognises that Penrith provides a range of higher level services to residents of central west NSW where these services are not available locally. 

 

As one of the ‘six cities’ identified in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy it is important that Penrith has representation of all major State Government departments to provide access to these services.  The Government's commitment to construct a Government Office Building in Penrith will assist in achieving this priority.

 

Council, as outlined in the Building Harmonious Communities section of this response to the State Plan, has partnerships with the regional arms of State agencies, including Housing, DoP, DOCS, Health, Education, DADHC and the Police Service, that support neighbourhood renewal and early intervention outcomes.

 

As indicated in the State Plan, the NSW Government expects a concerted effort by government service agencies to implement continuous service improvement to ensure services remain relevant and responsive.  Council fully supports this objective and has its own service specification mechanisms to deliver access and equity, sustainability, customer focus and efficient services to residents across the City.

 

In the Strategies outlined in the Plan under this theme (page 29), reference is made to “the development of regional human service plans for co-located and integrated services”.

 

Council itself provides accommodation for a significant number of community, social and health service organisations that are funded by the State Government to deliver contracted services.  In many cases, these organisations service a city-wide or larger catchment and are not provided with the funds by government to afford commercial premises in Penrith City Centre or St Marys Town Centre locations.  Service provision from these centres is important because of public transport access, and to reduce the need for multiple trips to access services and support by the most vulnerable.

 

Recommendation

 

Council seeks State Government contribution of funds, both capital and recurrent, to support Council in providing suitable premises to enable the effective co-location of State Government funded community social service providers in the Penrith City and the St Marys Town Centres.  A number of these providers are regional services also accessed by disadvantaged residents from the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains LGAs.

 

The State Government should also seek to ensure that Penrith, as a regional city, is provided with the full range of Government services required to fully support the communities within the Sub-region it serves.

 

Health Care

 

The concept of a State Plan to better co-ordinate and improve healthcare services is commendable.  However, the Plan is thought to be too illness focused and does not address the need for equitable health outcomes, particularly for the most disadvantaged.  In NSW there are significant deficiencies between the lowest and highest socio economic groups.  For example higher levels of smoking, obesity, and stress are more evident in Western Sydney than other areas in NSW.  Targeted programs are needed to address these areas of disadvantage.

 

Council strongly supports the initiatives identified in the ‘Fit for the Future’ Strategic Plan recently exhibited by NSW Health.  The outcomes of the consultation and final strategy should be incorporated in the State Plan.  This Strategic Plan indicates that there are some significant areas of disadvantage in Penrith and Western Sydney generally including:

 

·    A large Aboriginal community with significant health challenges including lower life expectancy, higher rates of diabetes, smoking, low birth weight, otitis media and other illness

·    The second highest number of child residents in NSW

·    An ageing population – there will be a 35% increase in people aged over 70 in the next 15 years

·    Higher levels of smoking, obesity and stress than other urban areas

·    Higher incidence of cardiac disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory illness and injury

 

Council has recognised the importance of partnership and has established a long-term relationship with Sydney West Area Health Service.  This partnership supports the employment of an officer dedicated to health improvement through a combination of strategies including health promotion and health planning.  Long-term health improvements are being achieved by embedding health principles such as physical activity, safety and healthy food into future plans and policies for the City. 

 

Recommendation

 

The initiatives identified in the ‘Fit for the Future’ Strategic Plan be incorporated in the State Plan. 

 

As health is influenced by a range of factors outside the health system, the State Plan should recognise the importance of partnerships to deliver better health outcomes.  A partnership approach to planning, funding and delivery of health services will ensure better services. In this regard, the opportunity of securing long-term commitments through a formal Memorandum of Understanding between Councils and Area Health Services is recommended.

 

Transport

 

Bus Services

 

Council supports improved public transport services to the residents of the LGA and has for many years played an advocacy role in this regard.  Whilst Council is not the service provider for public transport services within the Penrith LGA, Council does have limited programs for public transport enhancements such as bus shelter program and footpath and bike path programs.  Bus services in the LGA are provided, under Government contract, by two private operators, Pearce and Westbus.

 

For some considerable time, Council has received representations regarding the bus service levels provided to the City’s residents, where comparisons have been made between the services provided in Penrith and those provided by State government run services.  These comparisons relate to frequency and duration of service and fares.  The commuting publics’ concerns have materialised in a 27% reduction in the use of bus services in the LGA between 2003 and 2005.  To quantify these concerns and establish a sound basis for improvements to the bus services in the area, Council has argued for a benchmarking exercise to be undertaken to compare the City’s service levels and fare structures to other similar areas. 

 

The State Government has carried out several reviews of public transport services in metropolitan Sydney and whilst the recommendations of the latest review (Unsworth report) have been handed down and addressed some of these issues, the full implementation is yet to occur.  The Unsworth recommendations have also resulted in the planning for Strategic Bus corridors between Penrith and Blacktown.

 

The recommendations also provide for a timetable for comprehensive reviews of services within zones.  The timetable indicates that the review for the Penrith LGA is planned for 2007-2008.  Given that there are a number of significant planning studies underway for the city, it is considered that this timeframe should be brought forward.  Council has made a request for this to occur through the Local Member, however, no response has been received to date.

 

Road Infrastructure

 

The State Plan does not provide much commentary on road infrastructure delivery but makes reference to the implementation of the State Infrastructure Strategy.  The Strategy holds very limited works in the Penrith LGA for roads and transport and lists: Easy Access - Werrington Station, EPEA – M7 link road and Mamre Road/M4 interchange upgrade.  Other major infrastructure items such as, Werrington Arterial, Parker/GWH intersection upgrade, the Jane Street Extension and the additional lanes on sections of Castlereagh Road and The Northern Road are not listed.  These infrastructure items are crucial to alleviate existing congestion on the arterial road network in Penrith and are fundamental to the future growth in the LGA.

 

These infrastructure issues have been the subject of numerous submissions to Ministers, Local Members and agencies for some time, however we are yet to receive a Government commitment to them despite Council identifying them as crucial to underpinning any further urban growth.

 

Rail Infrastructure

 

Emphasis is placed in the Plan on public transport increasing its share of peak hour commuters, however there are no strategies identified to increase rail infrastructure to deliver this outcome in the State Plan.

 

Previous planning studies carried out by the Department of Transport have identified the need for improved public transport to the UWS/TAFE Higher Education Precinct in Penrith, particularly for the projected future growth in student numbers.

 

The development of the proposed new railway station to service this precinct has been announced by three successive Ministers for Transport, however, to date, there is still no formal proposal to construct the station.  The planning studies for the WELL Precinct have been carried with the assumption that the station will be provided to achieve the necessary mode shift for the area. 

 

Recommendation:

 

Effective benchmarking exercises should be undertaken to compare the service levels and fare structures in Western Sydney LGAs to other similar areas.

 

The Ministry of Transport be required to accelerate the planning for the strategic bus network in the nominated Metropolitan Regional Cities to coincide with the development of the Regional City Plans.  This should be ahead of their planned timeframe of 2007/08. 

 

The State Plan should recognise the importance of road infrastructure enhancements required in Metropolitan Sydney to service the substantial growth targeted in the Metropolitan Strategy, particularly the growth nominated in Regional Cities.  A funding and implementation strategy also needs to be developed to address the delivery of  the infrastructure enhancements.

 

THEME 4:  GROWING PROSPERITY ACROSS NSW

 

Sound Financial Management

 

The key strategies in this chapter look sound and, if implemented effectively, will contribute to the goal of growing a prosperous State.  Having a 4-year infrastructure plan is a positive move and debt financing is an appropriate means of delivering these projects. 

 

Maintaining the State's AAA rating is a must for investment confidence and keeping borrowing costs low. 

 

A financially healthy Local Government tier will contribute to a prosperous State Government.  The recent findings of the "Independent Inquiry into the Financial Sustainability of NSW Local Government" (Percy Allan report) found that:

NSW Local Government is facing major challenges including a real infrastructure funding crisis, an inadequate revenue base, skills shortages and ever increasing demands being placed on Local Government by the community and other spheres of government.

 

Clearly, there is an ongoing need for the Government to develop further financial capacity opportunities for Local Councils to continue to effectively provide services to their communities.

 

If there was a means by which Councils in a strong financial position could gain leverage from the State's financial strength when sourcing debt finance the affordability of local infrastructure should improve.  The potential for this should be investigated.

 

Council has been investigating the feasibility of infrastructure bonds as an alternate means of debt finance.  Council would be well placed with its AA (positive watch) Standard and Poors' rating to participate in the bond market were it not for the cost of establishing the systems required to comply with the legislation that regulates how this investment product can be offered to the market, particularly to retail investors.  Council has lobbied for changes that would enable this initiative to progress but without success to date.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the State Government consider establishing an effective system of local government bonds.  This would open up opportunities for local communities to invest in local infrastructure and be of significant assistance to many Councils in the delivery of much needed services to their communities.

 

The State Government continue to explore opportunities for Local Councils to have a sound financial base in order to effectively delivery programs and services to their communities.

 

Strengthening Rural and Regional Economies 

 

Penrith City Council is committed to a highly productive regional and city economy, evidenced through the commitments made through the management plan.

 

Penrith City Council actively partners with business and educational institutions to work cooperatively around agreed initiatives to strengthen the City’s economic base. We are cognisant of the benefits of industry cluster development and the social, economic and environmental advantages of working with neighbouring Council’s to progress Western Sydney economic initiatives.

 

Whilst we have put in place the infrastructure to achieve much of this, many projects require additional funding so as to achieve the optimal outcomes. The Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation (PVEDC) targets some 5000 businesses within Penrith LGA, however is constrained by funding to undertake the projects that can really make a large difference to the responsiveness and output markets of the local economy.

 

Resources for a fully functioning business incubator are also required, so as to be able to nurture the infant industry participants to a state where they are viable, employing, value adding members of the City’s economy.

 

Just as the State Government is committed to provide the “infrastructure that serves the needs of the economy”, Penrith City Council has identified key infrastructure issues, that when resolved and provided, would be a catalyst for growth and serve the functioning of the Penrith as a regional City.  With this infrastructure provided, the City and regional economy within which Penrith City is located, will facilitate growth, increased employment, and less travel to work out of the City.

 

Penrith City Council is also committed to “maintaining profitable and sustainable primary industries”.  Of interest to the State Government should be the negative impact on profitability and sustainability of the predatory pricing practise of the large supermarket chains on small agricultural enterprises.  This not only impacts on the agricultural businesses within our LGA, but also impacts on all agricultural businesses within the State that are not of a size to withstand such practices.  Council believes intervention at the State Government level is warranted and necessary.

 

Penrith Council applauds the expansion of The Expenditure Review Committee to include the review of regulations.  At present, Council staff are undertaking a regulatory compliance review, with the view to reducing red tape and compliance costs and at the same time, increasing compliance for home based and small businesses. 

 

Recommendation:

 

There be continuing review in State Government policy areas which would assist in facilitating faster economic development.

 

Strategies to secure the long term conservation and viability of agricultural lands in the Sydney basin be incorporated in the State Plan.

More Rewarding and Higher Skilled Jobs

 

Penrith City Council recognises the need for a qualified, skilled workforce for responsive, sustainable economic growth. The Council, in conjunction with Penrith Valley Economic Development Committee, has established an IT and Education Taskforce. The taskforce requires project funding to implement training programs cognisant of the needs of business and the findings of a comprehensive skills audit conducted by Council.

 

Council believes that there is opportunity for the State Government to address the current skills shortage, by streamlining the accreditation of overseas qualifications to Australian qualifications.  The facilitation of a ‘conversion course’ that recognises existing knowledge that can place participants some 6 or 12 months ahead in their Australian study would fast track the availability of skilled labour.

Council also supports the State Government in their desire to increase participation rates, however feel that particularly with women, that there needs to be support infrastructure to allow this – for example, increased child care facilities.

Open for Business

 

Penrith City Council is committed to growing business, particularly in our City Centres, and is particularly committed to a strong, viable, diversified economy.

 

Council is currently seeking input from the Planning Research Centre of the University of NSW to inform our employment strategy, as well as our inward investment strategy. Our Economic Development Department has a range of investment prospectuses that have a priority on facilitating growth in our city centres and new release areas.

 

However Council requires assistance on how to attract public investment as well as private public partnerships for a growing Regional City that seeks to implement best practice models.  In this regard, Penrith City has been identified as being deficient in major government services, professional services, leisure facilities, international standard accommodation, fashion and restaurants as well as varied cultural facilities.

 

Recommendation:

 

That State Plan, consistent with the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, recognise the need to assist in attracting business investment to regional cities and develop clear strategies for this to occur.

 

THEME 5:  ENVIRONMENT FOR LIVING

 

Improved Urban Environment and Mobility

 

Affordable Housing

 

The quality of housing in which people live has a major bearing on their quality of life.  People, as far as is within their means, generally seek housing that provides securing and privacy.  However, many people have difficulty in accessing home ownership, or even private rental accommodation that is affordable.  A number of groups, including persons on benefits or pensions, people with a physical or intellectual disability, persons with a mental illness and victims of domestic violence have distinctive housing needs which, in combination with low incomes, can render them extremely vulnerable in the housing market.  Increasingly, low-income families are also vulnerable, even if one or both parents are in employment. 

 

The State Plan, unfortunately, does not have any substantial initiatives regarding Affordable Housing delivery, particularly for people on lower incomes.  State Government direction and policy has not been consistent on the matter of Affordable Housing.  The Plan sees additional expedited land releases as the principal responses to affordability from a State Government perspective.  In Council’s view that is far too limited in relation to policy initiative and a sounder approach is required.

 

Given the State Govt committment to 3% of lots in ADI and Homebush Bay developments, it is considered that the Government should exercise leadership in relation to all new release area developments providing for an appropriate level of Affordable Housing where non-market solutions, including subsidised rental opportunities, are advanced.  Affordable rental housing is a key objective for low to moderate income earners and as such should be mandated beyond a "voluntary planning agreement framework". 

 

Recommendation:

 

The Government introduce a clear policy for the delivery of Affordable Housing opportunities in new developments.

 

Cultural Planning

 

A particular focus in this theme of the State Plan is the ‘liveability’ of our cities and towns.  The Plan points out that the ‘six cities’ identified in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy require focussed attention.

 

Over the recent past the NSW Government has made significant funding contributions to the enhancement of recreation and cultural facilities in Penrith City.  This includes the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and the Penrith Regional Gallery.

 

Penrith City is a great nursery for artists and creative endeavour.  Its schools actively support the arts and the University of Western Sydney nurtures creative artists in media, communication, design, performing arts and fine arts.  However, upon graduation, there are few local opportunities and industries which can support these young people to further develop their skills and creativity.

 

Together with our significantly enhanced cultural facilities, Council is now poised to facilitate the development of cultural activities both within these facilities and through outreach and cultural development activity within the community.  This cultural infrastructure can act as an incubator, fostering creative talent which will help generate new industries.  Council already has a strong relationship with the local Indigenous community and was in 2005 shortlisted for an award from the NSW Local Government and Shires Association on the basis of the strength of this partnership in fostering cultural activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.  There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that resourcing Indigenous communities to direct their own cultural development has considerable economic, social and health benefits.

 

As the NSW Department of Local Government’s Cultural Planning Guidelines indicate, integrating cultural development strategies into local government operations can strengthen Council’s broader priorities and objectives.  Council has recently completed a Cultural Planning Framework and Action Plan as well as a City Centres Review process to enliven and invigorate the Penrith City Centre and St Marys Town Centre.

 

To achieve this Council seeks a triennial funding arrangement with the Ministry of the Arts to achieve sustainable growth for regional and sub-regional arts organisations and cultural development activity.  Council, in partnership with our flagship cultural facilities, needs to be able to work with the local community to foster creative industries and build partnerships through cultural development activities.

 

Recommendation:

 

The State Plan include a stronger reference to the opportunities and benefits in advancing cultural strategies and facilities in local areas, particularly in regional cities.

 

That the Minister for the Arts address the historical backlog in funding for Cultural development activities by supporting the development of a MoU between Councils and the Ministry of the Arts that includes a triennial funding agreement based on agreed outcomes for Cultural development activities both at a regional and local level.

 

Infrastructure

 

The draft Plan outlines strategies for setting targets for zoned and serviced land in greenfield developments and for dwelling supply in existing areas.  Reference is also made to promoting integrated land use and transport planning, particularly increasing public transport capacity and mechanisms to shift freight to rail. 

 

There remains a significant challenge in terms of ensuring the early delivery of required infrastructure to support new urban growth, particularly in Western Sydney.  The Metropolitan Strategy and the advancement of subregional plans has identified the need for effective infrastructure delivery to support the substantial additional housing growth targeted for the North West and West Central Subregions particularly.  However, little articulation of the major infrastructure requirements has yet occurred by Government.

 

Council’s deliberations with the Government on regional infrastructure elements are now the subject of the Regional Infrastructure Levy approach which currently sees a brokerage of infrastructure levy ‘offers’ between land owner/developer groups and State Government agencies.  A clearer process, in which local councils are able to engage with Government agencies is required to achieve higher levels of certainty in relation to infrastructure delivery and to be able to effectively inject infrastructure demands as they are identified into local planning outcomes.  Also, the early delivery of infrastructure to ensure the needs of new communities are met as they grow is crucial to ensure long term sustainability.

 

Importantly, the integration of land use with transport planning and the development of more strategic responses within LGAs such as Penrith where future urban growth in both established and greenfield locations is being planned is a fundamental response.  However, it has proved difficult to convince the relevant Government agencies to pursue this integrated planning approach and accordingly, the State Plan’s reference to promoting integrated land use and transport planning is strongly supported.

 

Recommendation:

 

The State Government actively support the early advancement of integrated transport and land use strategies for nominated regional cities in the Metropolitan Strategy and confirm its preparedness to the early delivery of identified infrastructure to new urban growth areas.

 

That Local Councils be afforded the opportunity to engage with the Department of Planning and other State infrastructure agencies in the negotiations related to regional infrastructure levies.

 

That the State Government provide a commitment to the delivery of critical infrastructure identified in the Government’s Subregional Plans. 

 

Improving Water Quality

 

The priority areas identified in the State Plan are supported, in particular, implementation of Metropolitan Water Plan and improved management of natural resources such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.

 

Penrith City Council has a strong affection for the Nepean River and has demonstrated this through many years of active participation in Catchment Management programs and planning.  The value and importance of the Nepean is deeply embedded in the psyche of the Council and Community.  Our Strategic Plan encapsulates this importance through long-term goals to restore the river to health.

 

The State Plan needs to recognise the national significance of the Hawkesbury-Nepean in a similar way to the Murray River.  The Hawkesbury-Nepean has long suffered because of water transferred out of the catchment to meet Sydney’s water needs.  This water provides up to 80% of Sydney’s water supply, which generates 70% of the goods and services produced in NSW.  Other facts that support its significance include:

 

·    Agriculture in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment generates $1.069 billion per year

·    Fisheries generate $6.3 million per year

·    Total tourism expenditure in the region is estimated at $1 billion per year

 

The implementation of the Metropolitan Water Plan will deliver long-term improvements to environmental flows in the river by strategies such as reducing demand for water and recycling initiatives.  However, these improvements will take up to 20 years to realise and the health of the river will continue to suffer in the interim.  Significant compensatory funding is needed to help protect the river’s health until environmental flows are returned.  This funding is necessary to combat the impacts of low flows such as the increasing incidences of aquatic weed and algal blooms. The recreational and social value of this iconic river will be seriously impacted without additional support.

 

Again, in recognition of the importance of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, a better Catchment Management model is recommended.  Council is concerned that the current Catchment Management model is not relevant to a highly urbanised Catchment such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean.  The Catchment Action Plan of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority is too heavily biased towards the rural areas of the Catchment and does not address the most critical issues of urban impact. 

 

Recommendation:

 

A River Manager for the Hawkesbury-Nepean with the ultimate accountability for the health of the River and with the powers and resources consistent with that accountability is recommended.

 

The continued support for and implementation of the Metropolitan Water Plan is sought as it is critical for both the security of Sydney’s water supply and also for the health of the Hawkesbury-Nepean.  In particular, Council strongly supports the water recycling initiatives and would like to continue to increase these opportunities further in Penrith.

 

The Plan needs to better recognise the significant recreational and cultural opportunities available in lands reserved for Parkland in Western Sydney.  The land reserved in the Ropes and South Creek corridors should be added to the Western Sydney Parklands and given appropriate funding so that its rehabilitation and development can be accelerated.

Plan Implementation

For the State Plan to be effective as the key tool of public policy to drive Government service delivery in NSW, a clear alignment with the State Budget, State Infrastructure Strategy and Metropolitan Strategy objectives is required. 

 

Importantly, there needs to be effective delivery mechanisms instituted and the means by which the Government’s achievement of its priorities can be measured.  The suggestion that there will be increased accountability on the part of State Government CEOs and Ministers through performance agreements with the Premier and through the public release of measures of achievement is a positive move forward. 

 

Although the draft Plan points to broad success measures in relation to the major priorities stated, there is no clearly enunciated process to judge the Government’s performance over time.  Similarly, the success measures quoted are relatively broad and would need to have additional key performance indicators ascribed to realistically determine whether the services and strategies being delivered are effective.  An open, publicly transparent mechanism for identifying success in terms of service delivery and for monitoring and reviewing areas where change to the State Plan priorities are required is needed. 

 

The Department of Planning is advancing the development of Subregional Plans which are aimed at providing greater detail and the mechanisms for implementation of the Metropolitan Strategy initiatives.  Those plans should provide a powerful means of directing strategic planning outcomes and the delivery of critical infrastructure identified across the LGAs within each Subregion.  Importantly, Local Councils need to be actively engage don the process of the Plans’ implementation and their ongoing monitoring and review.  To ensure that the Subregional Plans are effectively implemented, it is suggested that regular meetings with Local Councils and the major service and infrastructure delivery agencies occur. 

 

Recommendation:

 

The State Government establish an open, publicly transparent process for measuring the Government’s performance in delivering the State Plan’s strategies and priorities and that consideration be given to the establishment of a public review committee to independently review and audit the Government’s performance in delivering the State Plan.

 

The State Government establish implementation advisory panels for each Subregion to monitor delivery, and review where necessary, the Subregional Plans.  The panels comprise senior representatives of each LGA and the DGs of the State’s major service and infrastructure agencies and should meet regularly, at least on an annual basis. 

Conclusion

The State Government’s recognition of the need to develop a wide strategic response to managing Government priorities and service delivery into the future is strongly supported.  The concept of a State Plan which links budget processes with high levels of accountability will be of significant benefit in the Government’s implementation of its policy initiatives. 

 

It is critical that the Government’s activities be integrated across all agency areas to make the Plan work.  Importantly, the priorities and strategies identified in the Plan must be integrated into all aspects of the operations of Government and emphasis must be given to delivering on the Plan’s requirements and measuring Government agency performance over time.  In particular, the common theme running through the State Plan of improving services and ensuring Government agencies are more responsive to community needs is acknowledged.

 

It is accepted that a State Plan is by nature broad in its strategic response, however there would be advantage in fashioning the strategies with additional detail and in relation to Metropolitan Sydney, dovetailing relevant actions to those nominated in the Metropolitan Strategy and State Infrastructure Strategy.

 

Importantly, there is a fundamental need to ensure that there are open and transparent measures to effectively monitor the delivery of the State Plan strategies and priorities and to provide an effective means of plan review over time.  The Subregional Plan process as discussed in the report would provide one such vehicle for Local Councils to be more directly involved in policy delivery and particularly ensuring critical infrastructure requirements are met.  Establishing a public review committee with Government to oversight the State Plans delivery has also been suggested. 

 

Many of the State Plan’s initiatives require enhanced community service and facility delivery.  The Government’s projections for new urban growth will require to be underpinned by higher levels of infrastructure provision, particularly in the more established urban areas where there is as yet no clear means of regional infrastructure funding.  The early delivery of infrastructure to meet community needs and achieving greater certainty are fundamental requirements.   These issues will require a strong focus in the final State Plan.

 

It is pleasing that the State Government has embarked upon a wide community consultation process.  Given that, it is hoped that the commentaries received are thoughtfully examined and assist to fashion the draft strategies outlined. 

 

It is recommended that Council make a formal submission to the exhibition of the draft State Plan based on the commentary and recommendations outlined in this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on State Plan be received.

2.     Council make a formal submission to the exhibition of the draft State Plan based on the commentary and recommendations outlined in the report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

State Plan News Release

2 Pages

Appendix

2.  

Draft NSW State Plan

24 Pages

Attachment

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - State Plan News Release

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

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The City as a Social Place

 

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3        Establishment of Additional Off Leash Areas for Dogs and Closure of Boronia Park Off Leash Area 

 

4        Removal of Play Equipment 

 

5        Penrith Whitewater Stadium 

 

6        Draft Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2   

 

7        Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 100 DP 1058901 (No.81) Regentville Road, Jamisontown. Applicant: David Roberts Architects Pty Ltd;  Owner: Penrith Automotive Pty Ltd DA04/2605

 

8        Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 2002 DP 1022422 (No. 18) Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook. Applicant: Joanna Hull;  Owner: Joanna Hull DA06/0284

 

URGENT

 

17      Development Application 05/1929 for proposed commercial development and basement car parking at Lot 110 DP 707681 (No.  331) High Street, Penrith. Applicant: Fiuggi Holdings Pty Limited;  Owner: Fiuggi Holdings Pty Limited DA05/1929

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

3

Establishment of Additional Off Leash Areas for Dogs and Closure of Boronia Park Off Leash Area   

 

Compiled by:                Noel Fuller, Coordinator Ranger Services

Authorised by:             Barry Ryan, Waste and Community Protection Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Strategies are in place to respond to the social and health needs of the community.

Critical Action: Support community organisations and programs to meet identified community needs.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of proposed new off leash areas and closure of the existing off leash area in Boronia Park, St Marys. The report recommends that the areas identified in this report be advertised for public comment and a further report submitted to Council at the conclusion of the advertising period.

 

Background

Section 13 (6) of the Companion Animals Act, 1998 requires Council to have “at least one public place in the area of the local authority that is an off leash area”.

 

At present, Council has four off leash areas.  These are located at:  Victoria Street, Werrington; Boronia Park, St Marys; St Clair Avenue, St Clair; and Wedmore Road, Emu Heights.

 

The establishment of off leash areas has enabled owners of dogs to not only provide some exercise for their animals, but also assist in socialising with other dogs. Council Rangers and Animal Service Officers make regular inspections of off leash areas.

 

This report identifies the potential for additional off leash areas in Cranebrook and South Penrith, and the closure of the off leash area from Boronia Park, St Marys and establishment of an off leash area at Poplar Park, St Marys.

 

Current Situation

 

A potential site for an additional off leash area has been identified at Boundary Road, Cranebrook. This site is indicated on Appendix 1.

 

A potential site for an additional off leash area has been identified at Jamison Park, South Penrith. This site is indicated on Appendix 2.

 

Whilst Council’s existing off leash area located at Boronia Park, Boronia Road is still identified as an off leash area within the Penrith area it is not well patronised and has been reduced in size since the placement of netball courts in the area. This site is indicated on Appendix 3.

 

A new site that can be utilised as an off leash area has been identified at Poplar Park, St Marys, Poplar Park is within walking distance from Boronia Park. This site is indicated on Appendix 4.

 

The establishment of new off leash areas costs in the order of $2,500 per site, which provides for signage, waste disposal bins and dog waste bag dispensers. Funding for the three off leash areas is available through Councils Companion Animal Education Program.

 

Boundary Road, Cranebrook

 

The proposed off leash area off Boundary Road, Cranebrook (Drainage Reserve Lot 100, DP 261535 and Public Reserve Lot 102, DP 261535) would need to be identified by way of signage and provided with waste receptacles. The area is well grassed and has a small area of mature trees located at the west of the reserve. This area is well patronised by many people with companion animals and has good road and pedestrian access.

 

There is no requirement to fence this area, as there are naturally occurring boundaries that surround the area.

 

Jamison Park, South Penrith

 

The proposed off leash area of Jamison Park, South Penrith (Public Reserve Part Lot 1, DP 1057945, Lot A, DP 420410) would need to be identified by way of signage and provided with waste receptacles within the area. This area is well grassed and has numerous mature trees, which also assist in defining the boundaries of the area. This area is well patronised by many people with companion animals and has good road and pedestrian access.

 

This area was recommended by residents of South Penrith approximately two years ago after advertising for the establishment of a proposed off leash area within South Penrith.

 

Poplar Park, St Marys

 

The proposed off leash area of Poplar Park, St Marys (Lot 652, DP 215148) would need to be identified by way of signage and provided with waste receptacles to the southern side of the park. The area is well grassed and has several mature trees. This area is well patronised by many people with companion animals and has good road and pedestrian access.

 

Summary

 

Council’s Parks, Construction and Maintenance Manager has confirmed that the identified parks are suitable as off leash areas.

 

It is proposed to advertise Council’s intention to establish these areas as off leash areas.  After advertising and public comments are received, a further report will be submitted to Council.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Establishment of Additional Off Leash Areas for Dogs and Closure of Boronia Park Off Leash Area be received.

2.     Suitable advertisements be placed in the local papers advertising that it is proposed to establish an additional off leash area in Boundary Road, Cranebrook, Jamison Park, South Penrith and the closure of the off leash area at Boronia Park, St Marys and to establish an off leash area at Poplar Park, St Marys.

3.     A further report be provided to Council after advertising and public comments are received.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Boundary Road Cranebrook Off Leash Area

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Jamison Park South Penrith Off Leash Area

1 Page

Appendix

3. View

Boronia Park St Marys Off Leash Area

1 Page

Appendix

4. View

Poplar Park St Marys Off Leash Area

1 Page

Appendix

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - Boundary Road Cranebrook Off Leash Area

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 2 - Jamison Park South Penrith Off Leash Area

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 3 - Boronia Park St Marys Off Leash Area

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 4 - Poplar Park St Marys Off Leash Area

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

4

Removal of Play Equipment   

 

Compiled by:                Raphael Collins, Parks Construction & Maintenance Manager

Authorised by:             Ray Moore, Director - City Operations  

Requested By:             Councillor John Thain

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The City’s recreation and leisure facilities and services meet its needs and are optimally used.

Critical Action: Ensure facilities and services reflect the City’s diverse current and future recreation and leisure needs.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council about the anti-social behaviour occuring around the play equipment located in the reserve adjoining Illawong Avenue, Kingswood Park.  The report recommends the equipment be removed from the reserve.

 

Background

The play system is located in the Transgrid easement behind the shops on Illawong Avenue, Kingswood.  The equipment was installed 18 years ago and was partly funded from a Grant.  Over the last several years, the equipment has been targeted by vandals causing considerable damage to the play components.  The play system is also being used as a meeting place for youths who continually leave rubbish and broken glass around the area.  There has been representations from nearby residents concerning, the condition of the play equipment and the anti-social behaviour of youths.  The residents believe the problems would diminish if the equipment was removed.  Over the last year, Parks staff have spent a disproportionate amount of time making repairs to the equipment and cleaning up the area.

Current Situation

As part of a playground audit conducted by ‘Kico Australia Pty Ltd’, the Illawong Avenue play unit was inspected in October 2005.  The assessor found the equipment to be old (18 yrs) and required costly modifications due to corrosion.  The consultant recommended the equipment be removed for safety reasons.  The equipment was identified for removal in 2007.

 

The location of this play unit is inappropriate mainly because there is very little passive surveillance.  This may not have been such a problem 18 years ago when it was installed but it is now imperative that play systems be positioned in plain view from roads and residences.

 

The ‘Open Space Development Contributions Plan’ indicates that the park between Caloola and Illawong is the most appropriate location for a new play system (see plan).  This park is immediately north of the primary school and has good passive surveillance.  If Council agrees to remove the play system on Illawong Avenue, new equipment can be considered for the Caloola/Illawong park in a future funding program.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Removal of Play Equipment in the park adjacent to Illawong Avenue, Kingswood Park be received.

2.     The play equipment be removed from the park adjoining Illawong Avenue, Kingswood Park.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Illawong Play Equipment

1 Page

Appendix

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - Illawong Play Equipment

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

5

Penrith Whitewater Stadium   

 

Compiled by:                Gary Dean, Facilities Operations Manager

Authorised by:             Steve Hackett, Director - City Services   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The City’s recreation and leisure facilities and services meet its needs and are optimally used.

Critical Action: Ensure facilities and services reflect the City’s diverse current and future recreation and leisure needs.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council of a funding request from the Board of Penrith Whitewater Stadium.  The report recommends Council's support for the financial assistance.

 

Introduction

 

The following submission has recently been received from the Penrith Whitewater Stadium:

 

“We need to call in the outstanding Balance on the Australian Canoeing loan – This was part of the agreement with Council that if we needed these funds then they would make them available at no interest.  In last years budget we had capital expenditure for rafts.  This could not be facilitated as we did not have the funds.  We still require the rafts but cannot purchase them without the additional funds that were granted to Australian Canoeing in terms of the loan for the World Championships.  The outstanding Balance is $60,188.

 

In order to carry out a number of Capital improvements we also need to access additional loan funds to the value of $65,000 that were previously set-aside for us.  This expenditure will be required to finance the Maintenance Shed, which has been put on hold due to issues with land ownership and changing consent authorities.  Now that Council is the consent authority it is intended to press ahead with this building.  We also need funds to allow for the purchase/construction of a cool room due to the lack of space in the Café.  Some funding is also required for the Strategic Planning process we wish to undertake in order to adequately position ourselves within Penrith Lakes.”

Background

The situation that applies to both these requests is set out below:

 

·    Capital Improvements Loan

 

The Whitewater Stadium facility was constructed by the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) as one of the sporting venues for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.  The construction cost of $6.5 million was funded by OCA, International Canoe Federation and Council.  Council’s funds were sourced from a combination of an internal and external loan. Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd (PWS) was established to manage the facility and a Loan Agreement was prepared and executed between Council and PWS.

 

To facilitate the implementation of a longer-term capital improvement program, Council agreed (as part of its 2002/03 Management Plan) to establish a ‘reserve’ of $165,000 from which PWS could draw for its ongoing program.  Funds expended were then included in the approved loan repayment agreement.  PWS has accessed funds from this reserve for new works at the Stadium.

 

The overall financial position is explained in more detail by the Financial Services Manager below.

 

·    Australian Canoeing Loan

 

The PWS was the venue for the 2005 Canoe Slalom World Championships (29 September – 3 October).  Overall the event was a success.  Penrith City Council received wide recognition for its support and assistance given to the event both financially and ‘in kind’.  Also, Penrith LGA benefited substantially through international coverage/promotion of the City, local community participation etc.

 

Australian Canoeing was the host for these World Championships.  One element of the Event Budget was an amount of $107,000 to cover the operating costs of the Stadium for the duration of the event.  To assist Australian Canoeing, Council facilitated a loan arrangement between Australian Canoeing and PWS to cover these costs.  The loan was to be repaid over a four (4) year period.

 

Financial Services Manager’s comments

 

Council facilitated a loan agreement between Australian Canoeing and Penrith Whitewater Stadium last year as part of the 2005 Canoe Slalom World Championships.  At the time it was agreed that if this impacted adversely on Penrith Whitewater’s cash flow then Council would assist by advancing funds to the same amount as the loan.  Agreement will need to be made with Penrith Whitewater Stadium to forward the loan repayments to Council, as they are received from Australian Canoeing. Repayment of the loan to Penrith Whitewater forms part of Australian Canoeing’s annual business plan.

 

The Whitewater Stadium has also requested that $65,000 of loan funds, held by Council, be released to finance the construction of a maintenance shed and the purchase/construction of a cool room.  These funds have been available to Whitewater since 2002-03 as the undrawn portion of an internal loan agreed to by Council.

 

The existing loan arrangement with Whitewater has two differing aspects to it. The first is an amount made available from Council reserves of $768,570 in 2001-02 initially with a second drawdown of $75,140 in 2004-05. The initial advance was due to be repaid in June 2008. The addition of $75,140 has extended this advance to June 2011. The second is the servicing of an actual borrowing on an “interest only” basis of $1,500,000 this loan matures in June 2008, the original intention was for this loan to be redrawn at this time on a principal and interest basis for an additional period of 10 years, following finalisation of the original internal loan.

 

This latest request to advance $65,000 will be the third draw down of the internal loan agreed to in 2001-02. The interest rate applicable to this advance will, as it was for the first two drawdowns, be the bank bill swap rate at the time the advance is made.  A new repayment schedule will be agreed with Whitewater to allow the repayment of the loan within existing repayment terms.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith Whitewater Stadium be received.

2.     Council advance $60,188 from internal reserves to Penrith Whitewater stadium in expectation of the loan repayments due from Australian Canoeing.

3.     Council make an agreement with Penrith Whitewater Stadium that the repayments for the loan with Australian Canoeing are forwarded to Council as they are received.

4.     Council advance $65,000 to Penrith Whitewater Stadium to be added to the current loan agreement.

5.     A new loan repayment schedule is provided to Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

6

Draft Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2    

 

Compiled by:                Natasha Baker, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: New release areas provide for a diversity of housing opportunities, including affordable housing, consistent with emerging community needs and which facilitates the development of diverse neighbourhoods.

Critical Action: Prepare and implement plans for each new release area in collaboration with the development sector and key Government agencies that provide a wide diversity and mix of housing types that meet current and emerging community needs.

     

Purpose:

To seek Council's endorsement to publicly exhibit a draft amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 to guide development of the Claremont Meadows Stage 2 South West Precinct.  The report recommends that Council resolve to exhibit the draft amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2 to allow for community and stakeholder comments.

 

Background

Claremont Meadows Stage 2 is located adjacent to the existing Claremont Meadows Estate (Stage 1), bounded by the M4 Motorway to the South, the South Creek Corridor to the east and Caddens Road and the former Gipps St tip site to the north.  This area is subject to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 1998 (Urban Land) (Amendment No.14) – Claremont Meadows Stage 2 (draft LEP) which is with the Minister awaiting gazettal, Penrith Development Control Plan (DCP) 2006, Chapter 6, Section 6.3, Claremont Meadows Stage 2 and Claremont Meadows S94 Plan.

 

Claremont Meadows Stage 2 is separated into two distinct precincts identified as the eastern precinct and the south western precinct.  The land was originally zoned for residential purposes in 1984 and comprises multiple land ownerships.  Landcom was the developer of Claremont Meadows (Stage 1).

 

Initial servicing constraints related to the Stage 2 area have more recently been overcome which has made key infrastructure available to support new development.  Also, emerging environmental considerations in the locality required that development of Stage 2 would require a revised planning approach.

 

In June 2004, Council adopted a draft LEP for the Stage 2 area and submitted the Plan to the Department of Planning (DoP) for adoption and gazettal.  The draft Plan contemporised the approach to the residential zonings including identifying suitable multi-unit housing sites, and incorporated the newly identified biodiversity conservation areas and drainage / open space lands required for acquisition.  The DoP has advised recently that procedural issues concerning the nomination of the relevant state government agency for acquisition of land required for the Werrington Arterial, have been resolved and the draft plan can proceed to gazettal.  Also in 2004, Council adopted the Claremont Meadows Development Control Plan (DCP) and Section 94 Contributions Plan Draft Amendment No 1.

 

A site plan of the Stage 2 area is appended to the report.

 

Current Situation

 

The underlying residential zonings from 1984 have enabled consideration and approval of a number of subdivisions for residential development ahead of the gazettal of the new draft LEP for Stage 2.  These subdivisions have been generally in accordance with the draft LEP and the adopted DCP for Stage 2. 

 

To date, subdivision applications have been approved in the last 2 years, which would deliver around 80 dwellings in Stage 2.  The estimated potential for the entire Stage 2 area is approximately 480 dwellings. Negotiations for appropriate subdivision outcomes are currently underway with other landowners in Caddens Road.   Council negotiated a deed of agreement with Landcom in 2005 that will result in the transfer of environmentally sensitive land within that subdivision to Council.  A similar arrangement will occur for conservation lands within the south western precinct due to significant Cumberland Plain Woodland in this area.

 

Draft Amendments to the Claremont Meadows Stage 2 DCP

 

Investa Residential NSW Pty Ltd has submitted a precinct plan, on behalf of various landowners, to implement residential development activity within the portion of the south west precinct located east of Claremont Creek, and west of Gipps Street.  The residential area will provide for approximately 360 dwellings, comprising single dwellings and dual occupancy on corner lots, and with smaller lot housing around a neighbourhood park.  A range of planning studies has been submitted in support of the precinct plan for the south western precinct. A copy of the proposed south western precinct plan is appended to the report.

 

The current DCP is set up to guide the development of the eastern precinct with specific performance standards for that sub precinct and guidelines for the preparation of a precinct plan (masterplan) for the south western precinct.

 

The DCP has performance standards that are relevant to the whole Stage 2 area as well as requirements that are specific to each of the precincts.  Listed below are the proposed draft amendments to the performance standards within the development control plan.  Most of the performance standards detailed within the eastern precinct are relevant to the south western precinct, and have been consolidated to reflect this.

 

1. Sustainability

 

Since adoption of the Claremont Meadows Stage 2 DCP, there has been the finalisation and subsequent adoption of the Sustainability Blueprint for Urban Release Areas, which was adopted as a policy by Council in June 2005.  Draft amendments to this section are to bring the Claremont Meadows Stage 2 Section of Penrith DCP 2006 into line with Council’s current policy position on sustainability, and therefore require demonstrated compliance with Part B of the Sustainable Planning and Development Criteria, which is to be submitted with any development application received for development/subdivision within Claremont Meadows Stage 2.

 

2. Residential Development

2.2 Traditional Residential

 

This section is amended to refer to the relevant residential chapters of Penrith DCP 2006 for each of the precincts. Reference is made to the residential chapters that relate to single dwellings and to multi-unit housing for the eastern precinct and to dual occupancies for the south western precinct.

 

An additional performance standard has been included, relating to development adjoining Gipps Street and Kent Road, which requires varying setbacks and articulated building form to ensure visual amenity is maintained when viewed from the road.

 

3. Areas of Ecological Sensitivity

3.1 Remnant Bushland

 

A Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) has been submitted for land zoned 7(a) and 7(b) Flora and Fauna Conservation.  The VMP is preliminary at this stage, with a final VMP being presented when the land is to be acquired by Council.  An additional performance standard has been included for the entire Release Area, which requires consideration of the Vegetation Management Plan.

 

3.5 Bushfire Hazard Assessment

 

The Bushfire Hazard Assessment submitted by Investa, for the south western precinct, make recommendations in relation to widths of Asset Protection zones and roads.  These recommendations will be incorporated into additional performance standards.

 

5. Recognition of Surrounding Land Uses

5.1 Major Roads (Werrington Arterial, Great Western Highway and the M4 motorway)

 

a)   South Western Precinct

 

Given Claremont Meadows Stage 2 adjoins M4 Motorway consideration has been given to ensuring a quality release area is developed with particular regard to acoustic amenity.  The installation of landscaped acoustic barriers has been confirmed with Acoustic Assessments submitted for the eastern and south western precincts with the masterplan information as being the most practical means of reducing noise impacts along with consideration of the location, design and setback of dwellings and layout of the internal road pattern.  Any acoustic barriers need to be designed in such a manner that this not only provide acoustic amenity for residents, but also are sited and treated to provide an appropriate visual response to the public domain.

 

The necessity for acoustic measures to be installed, as part of any future subdivision within Claremont Meadows Stage 2, requires the acoustic performance standard to be modified.  The requirement for various forms of acoustic treatment, in addition to acoustic barriers such as landscaping, earth mounds, building setbacks and façade treatment to be given consideration.  Details relating to acoustic barrier construction type, colour, materials and the maintenance of the acoustic barriers and treatment, will be required to be submitted with development applications for subdivision. These details will be required at the subdivision stage to ensure design outcomes are cohesive with other performance standards relating to noise within this Section of the DCP.

 

b) Eastern Precinct

 

There are two different setback requirements within the eastern precinct .  Those that relate to the north of Caddens Road, and those to the south.  The reason for the differing setbacks is land availability and road layout within the precinct.

 

The setbacks required for the north of Caddens Road in the Eastern Precinct is a 15m buffer along Gipps Street, to minimise the impact of the adjacent road (future Werrington Arterial) on residential development and to ensure that acoustic barriers do not dominate the landscape.  This buffer is in addition to the road reserve, and will provide the opportunity for landscaping, access and acoustic protection.  This has not changed from the adopted Claremont Meadows Stage 2 DCP.

 

However, the setback for the south of Caddens Road, within the Eastern precinct, are proposed to be a minimum of 20m, due to the need for a perimeter road being added to the plan which runs parallel to Kent Road.  This  buffer includes the building setback, footpath, internal road reserve, landscaped verge and replicates the proposed setback treatment for the south western precinct side of Kent Road.

 

6. Minor Amendments

 

A number of other minor updates to clauses which contemporise the original DCP to reflect current development standards, have also been made to the draft amendment.

         

Next Steps

 

The Eastern Precinct has commenced development and has development controls to guide the development through the adopted Claremont Meadows Stage 2 DCP.  The statutory DCP provisions require the draft amendment to Penrith DCP 2006 be exhibited to allow commencement of development in the south western precinct.  This Section requires public exhibition which will include letters to affected and adjoining landowners and notification in the local newspaper. The outcomes of comments received from the public exhibition process will be further reported to Council.

 

Conclusion

 

The development of a draft LEP and DCP for Claremont Meadows Stage 2 responded to the need for more contemporary planning controls for land that was already zoned for residential development. 

 

The draft amendments to the Claremont Meadows Stage 2 Section of the Penrith DCP 2006 also allow residential development to progress, particularly in the south western precinct. Interest has been received from landowners to finalise planning provisions for Claremont Meadows Stage 2 so development can occur. 

 

It is recommended that Council resolve to publicly exhibit a draft amendment to Part 6 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2 of Penrith DCP 2006. A further report will be presented for Council’s consideration, with the outcomes of the public exhibition of the draft amendment to progress the development of the south western precinct of Claremont Meadows Stage 2.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Draft Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2  be received.

2.     In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Regulations 2000, a draft amendment to Penrith DCP 2006 Chapter 6 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2 Development Control Plan be publicly exhibited.

3.     A further report be presented to Council, following exhibition of the draft amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Chapter 6 Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2, advising of the outcomes of the exhibition, and consideration of formal adoption of the amendments.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Locality Map - Claremont Meadows Stage 2

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

South Western Precinct Plan

1 Page

Appendix

3.  

Draft Section 6.3 Claremont Meadows Stage 2 of Penrith Development Control Plan 2006

45 Pages

Attachment

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - Locality Map - Claremont Meadows Stage 2

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 2 - South Western Precinct Plan

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

7

Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 100 DP 1058901 (No.81) Regentville Road, Jamisontown  Applicant:  David Roberts Architects Pty Ltd;  Owner:  Penrith Automotive Pty Ltd   

DA04/2605

Compiled by:                Allison Cattell, Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Paul Lemm, Development Services Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Redevelopment of existing areas contributes to safe, sustainable, affordable and satisfying living environments and cohesive communities.

Critical Action: Work in partnership with the local community to foster understanding of the reasons why established areas are redeveloping.

     

Purpose:

To seek endorsement from Council to vary a restrictive covenant associated with an industrial property aimed at protecting existing trees.  The report recommends that this restriction be removed with the common seal of Penrith City Council being affixed to all necessary documents.

 

Background

In 2003, Council approved an application for the consolidation and re-subdivision of 7 existing allotments into 2 over the subject site.  Lot 100 was one of the resultant lots along with another dedicated as a drainage reserve.

 

A restrictive covenant, among other covenants in accordance with Section 88B of the Conveyancing Act 1919, was imposed by Council on Lot 100, DP 1058901 (81) Regentville Road, Jamisontown. The terms of the restrictive covenant for Lot 100 state:

 

“1.  No building or related development shall be permitted within those parts of Lot   

100 designated (R) on the abovementioned plan” (Appendix 1).

 

At the time that the restriction was made, an Arborist Report considered the trees to be in good health and recommended their retention.

 

Subsequent to the registration of the restrictive covenant, development approval was granted for a Motor Showroom and 11 Factory Units on the site, at a Council Meeting on 4 July 2005. This development necessitates the removal of the trees closest to Regentville Road, identified in the restrictive covenant (Appendix 2). A more recent Arborist Report found that the health of the subject trees in this area had declined, and subsequently recommended their removal.

 

Penrith City Council is the authority whose consent is required to release, vary or modify the terms of the restriction.

Site description

The subject site has a frontage of approximately 80 metres to Mulgoa Road, is accessed only from Regentville Road, and is located on the southern edge of the industrial area bounded by Mulgoa Road, Jamison Road, Abel Street and a drainage reserve that is part of Surveyor’s Creek (Appendix 2). Residential properties are located to the south of the site, on the opposite side of the drainage reserve. Industrial land uses are located to the north and east of the site.

 

The land directly adjoins a vacant site fronting Mulgoa Road to the north.  There is a service station located on the corner of Batt Street and Mulgoa Road. An existing factory building adjoins the site with frontage to Regentville Road. The site is a level, vacant and irregular shaped lot, which is 1.568 hectares in size. The site contains approximately 55 trees of varying degrees of health, identified as remnant Sydney Coastal River Flat Forest (SCRFF). The restrictive covenant that is the subject of this application applies to an area of approximately 224m2 adjoining the northern boundary toward its eastern end (Appendix 2).

Proposal

The proposal is to vary the restrictive covenant over the area of land designated (R), which is nearest Regentville Road (Appendix 2), to enable the approved building in this area to be constructed. The development of the site for the approved Motor Showroom and Factory Units will result in the removal of two existing trees.

Assessment of the proposal

The assessment report for the Motor Showroom and 11 Factory Units (DA 04/2605) considered the variation of the restrictive covenant to be worthy of support on application being made at a later stage in the development process. Further, the subject trees nearest Regentville Road that are currently protected by the restrictive covenant have declined in health, and a recent tree report prepared for the site has recommended their removal.

 

As the location of the restrictive covenant reflects the location of the trees, there is no need for the restriction in that area of the site to remain once these trees are removed. As such, it is recommended that Council remove the restriction on the title, in the area on the northern boundary that is 14.6 metres away from Regentville Road (Appendix 2). It is further recommended that the remaining restrictions marked (R) on Lot 100 of DP 1058901 remain as a restriction-as-to-user on the site.

Conclusion

The aim of the restrictive covenant was to protect existing native trees. Given Council supported a recent assessment that the trees in question were in poor health, and subsequently approved a Motor Showroom and Factory Units over the site, compliance with the restrictive covenant as it relates to this part of the site, is not justified.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 100 DP 1058901 (No.81) Regentville Road, Jamisontown be received

2.     The terms of the restriction on the use of the land referred to in the Section 88B Instrument of the Conveyancing Act 1919 applying to Lot 100 DP 1058901, be varied in part as detailed in the application to extinguish the restriction

3.     The Common Seal of Penrith City Council be affixed to all necessary documentation to vary the covenant.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

81 Regentville Road - 88B Instrument

6 Pages

Appendix

2. View

81 Regentville Road - Site plan

1 Page

Appendix

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - 81 Regentville Road - 88B Instrument

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 2 - 81 Regentville Road - Site plan

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

8

Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 2002 DP 1022422 (No. 18) Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook  Applicant:  Joanna Hull;  Owner:  Joanna Hull   

DA06/0284

Compiled by:                Stephen Krimmer, Environmental Health and Building Surveyor

Authorised by:             Paul Lemm, Development Services Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Redevelopment of existing areas contributes to safe, sustainable, affordable and satisfying living environments and cohesive communities.

Critical Action: Work in partnership with the local community to foster understanding of the reasons why established areas are redeveloping.

     

Purpose:

To seek endorsement from Council to vary a restrictive covenant associated with a residential property and imposed on the subdivision.  The report recommends that this restriction be removed with the common seal of Penrith City Council being affixed to all necessary documentation.

 

Background

 

Council approved subdivision application DA992497 for the creation of seventeen (17) new allotments for residential purposes (See Appendix No. 1).  As part of that approval, a restrictive covenant under Section 88B of the Conveyancing Act 1919 was imposed.

 

The restriction on the use of land secondly referred to in the abovementioned Deposited Plans states:

 

No building works or tree removal shall take place within the areas designated “B” on the lots burdened. The authority empowered to release, vary or modify the above restriction is Penrith City Council provided that any such release, variation or modification shall be made and done in all respects at the cost and expense of the person, persons or corporation requesting the same”.

 

The subdivision is approximately five years old and has been fully developed. It is located between The Northern Road to the east, Andromeda Drive to the west and Corpus Christi Primary School to the south. This area is currently level, clear of any vegetation and surrounded by existing colourbond fencing.

 

The applicant has requested the above restriction be varied to allow for an in-ground swimming pool to encroach within the area identified as the restricted area on the Deposited Plan. (See Appendix No. 2)

 

Assessment of Proposal

 

The restrictive covenant was imposed to protect adjoining remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland at the time of the subdivision approval.  A proposed landscape plan was submitted and approved with the original subdivision, which detailed the retention of the existing vegetation and proposed further landscaping of the site.

 

The landscape plan proposed approximately eight native trees to be planted within the rear five metres of the site. The landscaping was completed in accordance with the landscape plan but has not been maintained.  Subsequently, no vegetation exists and the area is made up of lawn.

 

A requirement to maintain the landscaping was not included as part of the subdivision approval. It is arguable whether Council can insist on compliance and given the consent was non-specific in relation to this matter.

 

An application to approve the construction of an in-ground swimming pool has been received from the current owner. It is proposed to locate the pool 1.9 metres inside the area of the site captured by the restrictive covenant.

 

The owner has proposed to landscape within this area and around the proposed in-ground swimming pool.  The landscaping will comprise a mixture of Melaleucas (Paperbark), Callistemon (Bottlebrush) and Grevillia.  The proposed landscaping is in excess of the landscape plan approved on the original subdivision development application. It is considered that a better outcome will be achieved by allowing the relatively minor encroachment of the in-ground swimming pool into the area depicted as restricted to user in this instance.

 

Development approval of the in-ground swimming pool and landscaping would enable Council to require compliance and ongoing maintenance controls to be included in the development consent conditions.  The installation of the in-ground swimming pool is considered to have minimal impact on the area nominated by the Section 88B as it will be at ground level and form part of the landscaping for the site.

Conclusion

The intent of the Section 88B restriction sought to protect existing vegetation from clearing.  The proposed in-ground swimming pool and associated landscaping is considered to be consistent with the original intent of the Section 88B restriction.  For the reasons outlined in the report it is considered that the landscaping proposed would more than compliment the existing site and reinstate vegetation to its rear setback. 

 

The remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland would not be adversely affected, as no trees are to be removed and proposed landscaping will compliment and enhance the existing landscaping within the subdivision.

 

The proposal will not compromise the character and amenity designed for the locality, and will improve the amenity of the area due to the extensive landscaping proposed within the restricted area.

 

It is recommended that the restrictive covenant be removed over Lot 2002 to allow the encroachment of an in-ground swimming pool.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Variation of Restrictive Covenant applying to Lot 2002 DP 1022422 (No. 18) Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook be received

2.     The terms of the restriction on the use of land secondly referred to in the Section 88B Instrument of the Conveyancing Act 1919 applying to Lot 2002 DP 1022422 (No. 18) Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook be varied as detailed in the report

3.     The Common Seal of Penrith City Council be affixed to all necessary documentation to vary the covenant.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

18 Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook deposit plan

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

18 Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook site plan

1 Page

Appendix

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 1 - 18 Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook deposit plan

 

 

 


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Appendix 2 - 18 Cassar Crescent, Cranebrook site plan

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City In Its Environment

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

9        Longwall Mining at locations within the Nepean River Catchment 

 

10      Adoption of Plan of Management for Weir Reserve 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City in its Environment

 

 

The City in its Environment

 

 

9

Longwall Mining at locations within the Nepean River Catchment   

 

Compiled by:                Graham Pares, Environmental Health Coordinator

Authorised by:             Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager 

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Effective land use management policies, regulatory practices and controls are being implemented to protect the environment.

Critical Action: Develop and implement sustainable land use management strategies that protect the environment.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the latest developments in respect of long wall mining in the Nepean Catchment. The report recommends that Council write to the Premier, the Minister for Planning, and the Minister for Primary Industries, Natural Resources and Mineral Resources expressing opposition to the approval of any mining operations that present any level of risk to the Nepean River.

 

Background

A previous report on the subject of long wall mining was considered at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 13 December 2004.  Long wall mining is the process whereby wide horizontal tunnels are bored up to 500 metres underground to obtain access to ‘panels’ of coal.  The residual tunnel then presents opportunity for earth subsidence after all coal has been removed, unless appropriate design measures are included in the mining works.  The report highlighted that previous longwall mining activity, within the Nepean River catchment, had resulted in cracking of the riverbed in the Cataract River, due to subsidence within the mine.  A study commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources (now known as Department of Planning) regarding the impact of long wall mining in the Cataract River, reported that:

 

·    Immediately above the confluence with the Nepean river, the Cataract River was a noticeably different colour and gas bubbling was apparent along the navigable length of the Cataract River

 

·    The loss of surface water does not allow the current environmental flow releases to reach the lower levels of the Cataract River

 

·    Water quality in the Cataract River deteriorated almost immediately upstream of the junction in the Nepean River, with dissolved oxygen decreasing rapidly from 100% down to a minimum of 8.3%. (Reductions in dissolved oxygen will affect fish, macro invertebrates and microrganisms directly, and indirectly affect all other aquatic organisms that rely on these biota)

 

As a result of the impact of subsidence, BHP Billiton had to undertake rehabilitation works to attempt to seal the cracks in the riverbed and undertake to restore water quality.  One of the attempted remedies has involved the pumping of 1.5 – 2 megalitres per day of water into the river system to restore environmental flows.

 

Opposition to the consideration of further long wall mining within the catchment was endorsed by Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils, and was the subject of a motion that was passed by the Local Government Association at its 2005 Conference, in recognition of the impact of this long wall mining activity.

 

Upon resolution of the Council report, correspondence was forwarded to the NSW Premier, advising of Council’s adopted position, opposing any consideration of further long wall mining under or near the Nepean River.

Proposed Further Activity

Council has been advised, through reports presented to the Local Government Advisory Group (LGAG) of the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority (HNCMA) and Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), that there are presently four new applications for extensions of long wall mining developments in the Nepean, Upper Cataract, Upper Georges and Bargo Rivers. 

 

This approval process for any proposed extension of mining activity is broken up into 5 steps:

 

Step 1 – Preliminary Sensitivity Assessment of Mining Areas

This involves the initial assessment of options for mine planning, and includes a review of geological information, mine layout, development requirements, and access to the coal resource. This assessment is also meant to preliminarily assess the sensitivity of surface features to underground mining, to make provision for mitigating measures.

 

Step 2 – Preliminary Mine Planning Assessment

A preliminary evaluation of alternative mine plans is undertaken to determine other mine plans. The data collected in the previous step is utilised to avoid undermining sensitive surface features.

 

Step 3 – Detailed Sensitivity Assessment

An assessment of surface features and mining constraints is undertaken. This concludes the collection of baseline data on surface features, subsidence impacts and mitigation measures and identifies mine planning constraints.

 

Step 4 – Detailed Mine Planning

This step extends on the information gathered in the previous step, and involves a detailed re-evaluation of alternative mine plans. When completed, a final preferred mine plan and associated mitigation measures are produced.

 

Step 5 – Preparation of the Mining Approval Application

This step involves the preparation of a Subsidence Management Plan (SMP) to support the subsequent longwall mining approval application. The SMP will include the following:

 

·    Impact assessments and proposed mitigation measures for natural features, prepared in consultation with relevant government and community stakeholders

 

·    Infrastructure Management Plans (IMP’s) for major infrastructure. These are prepared in consultation with individual infrastructure owners, and provide a documented approach to managing infrastructure subsidence

 

·    Property Subsidence Management Plans (PSMP’s) for private properties. Property owners will be consulted in relation to the timing and extent of property subsidence. For non-residential properties, PSMP’s will be developed in consultation with the property owner

 

The proposed extensions have progressed to Step 5 and Subsidence Management Plans (SMP’s) have been exhibited.  Although the proposals did not include mining under the Nepean River, the SMPs prepared for the proposals in the Bargo and Douglas Park areas indicated that the proposed mining within established buffer zones for the Nepean catchment were assessed as having moderate potential for cracking of the river bed, with the consequences rated as very slight to moderate in respect of environmental damage.  An independent review of the SMP prepared as part of Step 5 of the approval process revised the potential for cracking of the riverbed as likely-almost certain, concluding that the consequences were severe in respect of environmental damage.  The discrepancy in the ratings occurs as the system of value judgements, used to determine the significance of consequences, was different for the independent review. 

 

Considering the discrepancies between the independent reviews of the SMP’s, and the impacts identified within the SMP, regarding the assessed magnitude of impacts, Wollondilly, Camden and Campbelltown Councils have resolved to request that the Minister for Planning and the Minister for Natural Resources establish a Commission of Inquiry to consider the detail of any development proposal for long wall mining that may be submitted for approval. 

Conclusion

Council has previously established its opposition to the consideration of long wall mining, within the Nepean River Catchment, given the disastrous consequences of subsidence in the Cataract River Catchment including:

 

·    Loss of effective environmental flow within the river system

·    Destruction of aquatic habitat, with a change in water quality and chemistry occurring as a result of gases escaping from the mine

·    Constant use of significant amounts of potable water  (1.5 – 2 megalitres a day) to maintain minimum environmental flows after repairs to the riverbed were effected

 

With the present climatic conditions, the fact that potable water is still being used to maintain flows that were reduced, as a result of cracking of the Cataract River bed, is of significant concern.

 

The Subsidence Management Plans indicate that the potential for similar impact exists, and independent review of the plans only upgrades the potential magnitude of the impact.  The principles of ecologically sustainable development include the concept of the precautionary principle.  The precautionary principle is the idea that, if the consequences of an action are potentially severe or irreversible, the absence of full scientific certainty should not be used to prevent avoidance of harms. This includes the possibility of not taking the action in question. 

 

The State Government has indicated in the 2006 Metropolitan Water Plan, that greater releases are planned for the four dams in the Upper Nepean Catchment, to return natural environmental flows in the Nepan as a means of addressing issues such as the management of aquatic weeds.   Given the national significance of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River system, and the present significant investment in strategies designed to reduce water consumption and return environmental flows, it would appear beyond reason to place such an asset at any risk.  The approval for expansion of long wall mining operations will now be assessed by a panel of experts, appointed from the NSW Department of Primary Industry, Natural Resources and Planning, prior to a recommendation being made to the Minister of Primary Industry regarding the applications.  It is considered important that, at this time, Council affirm its opposition to any proposal that places the security of the Nepean Catchment at risk.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Longwall Mining at locations within the Nepean River Catchment be received.

2.     Council write to the NSW Premier, Minister for Planning and Minister for Natural Resources, Primary Industries and Mineral Resources expressing its strong opposition to any consideration of approval for any mining activity that places the Nepean River at risk.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City in its Environment

 

 

The City in its Environment

 

 

10

Adoption of Plan of Management for Weir Reserve   

 

Compiled by:                Raphael Collins, Parks Construction & Maintenance Manager

Authorised by:             Ray Moore, Director - City Operations   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Effective land use management policies, regulatory practices and controls are being implemented to protect the environment.

Critical Action: Develop and implement sustainable land use management strategies that protect the environment.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council about the submissions received during the exhibition of the draft Plan of Management for Weir Reserve.  The report recommends that the plan be adopted in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act.

 

Background

At the Ordinary Meeting on 15 May, Council recommended that the draft Plan of Management for Weir Reserve be exhibited in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993.  Subsequent to that meeting, the Plan was exhibited for the required 28 days.  Submissions received from the community have been considered and a detailed commentary of each one is provided in this report.

 

The purpose of the Plan of Management for Weir Reserve is to provide a clear framework for the protection of the reserve’s assets, improvements to recreational infrastructure, and environmental management of the reserve.

 

Key features of the Plan of Management are the management strategies that contain a capital works program (Action Plan) that identifies key work activities to be implemented over a 5 year time frame, subject to funding.

Current Situation

A total of 5 submissions were received, concerning the draft Plan of Management, following the exhibition period.

 

·    David Currie, Disability Access Committee:

Mr Currie enquired about disabled access to the water’s edge, if the proposed new rowing centre is developed.  Mr Currie also asked if the proposed work on the existing toilet block would include access for disabled use.

 

Comment

 

This issue of disabled access to the water’s edge has been addressed previously at Disability Access Committee meetings.  If the new rowing centre was to proceed, then access via a ramp will be considered as part of the Development Application process.

 

In regard to the existing toilet block, there is a proposal from Penrith Lakes Development Corporation (PLDC) to provide a pump station near the existing toilet facilities.  Ongoing discussions have been occurring with PLDC about the new pump station.  When the project proceeds, PLDC will be providing toilets for disabled use.

 

·    Kevin Flynn, Venue Manager, Sydney International Rowing Centre (SIRC)

 

Mr Flynn raised concerns about the possible impact a new rowing centre at Weir Reserve would have on the SIRC facility.  Mr Flynn conveyed that any development for rowing at Weir Reserve should be done through a co-ordinated approach with SIRC, to ensure facilities are not duplicated, which could put them in direct competition for government funding.

 

  Comment

The issues raised in Mr Flynn’s letter are generally outside the scope of the Plan of Management.  Notwithstanding, New South Wales Rowing Association (NSWRA) does not share the views of Sydney International Rowing Centre in regard to the proposed rowing facility at Weir Reserve.  Essentially, NSWRA wishes to encourage the use of the Nepean River for recreational purposes by providing more flexible training opportunities.  To this end, the development of the proposed rowing centre will provide appropriate boat storage facilities that will encourage greater participation across all levels of rowing.

 

·    David Colbourn, Resident of Jamisontown

 

Mr Colbourn believes the proposal for a future rowing centre is an excellent idea.  Mr Colbourn also believes Weir Reserve would provide a great opportunity for a ‘demonstration site’ for landscape excellence. Different types of gardens were suggested such as a ‘cacti and wedding’ garden.  He also suggested an area such as Peachtree Creek has the potential to be a ‘dry rainforest’, that would include a walkway along the Creek which would connect up with the Great River Walk.

 

Mr Colbourn also mentioned that Council should consider the provision of a restaurant/function centre to cater for weddings and community meetings.

 

            Comment

 

The demonstration of a variety of landscape treatments is not suited to Weir Reserve.  The plant community along the River foreshore has been determined by the classification of this area being a ‘Sydney Coastal River flat forest community’ which is an endangered ecological community of plants, as defined in the ‘Threatened Species Act 1995’.

 

The suggestion to rehabilitate the banks of Peachtree Creek is identified in the Plan of Management.  However, the construction of a pathway alongside the Creek is not supported, due to the potential of bank erosion and instability.  Risk Management in this area would make the path impractical.

 

A restaurant/function centre would not be appropriate for Weir Reserve because it would duplicate what is already provided at the Nepean Rowing Club.  These additional facilities would not be consistent with the passive recreational open space in this portion of the reserve.

 

Conclusion

The draft Plan of Management provides strategies and actions that will allow Council to effectively manage these lands for public purposes.  The Plan of Management addresses a number of objectives, the most noteworthy of these being:

 

·    to provide a vision for the future of this significant area; and

·    identify the values attached to this reserve by the community.

 

The Plan of Management looks at significant elements that are proposed for Weir Reserve, such as the PLDC pump station/plant room, Great River Walk, and the new Regional Rowing Centre.  Once the Plan of Management is adopted, the proponents of the Rowing Centre can work with Council officers to advance their plans for the facility.

 

The action plan and accompanying capital works program will depend largely on the availability of funding.  Opportunities for funding from grants and specific partnerships will be enhanced by having the draft Plan of Management in place.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Adoption of Plan of Management for Weir Reserve be received.

2.     Council adopt the Plan of Management for Weir Reserve in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act.

3.     Public notice be given of Council’s decision to adopt the Plan of Management for Weir Reserve.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

The City as an Economy

 

 

There were no reports under this Master Program when the Business Paper was compiled


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

11      Footpath Improvement Program 

 

12      Richmond/Blacktown Road Upgrade 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

11

Footpath Improvement Program   

 

Compiled by:                Michael Alderton, Road Network Services Engineer

Authorised by:             David Burns, Asset Manager

Requested By:             Councillor Greg Davies

Councillor David Bradbury

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A plan is being implemented for bus shelters, cycleways and footpath networks having regard for the access, health and recreational needs of the community.

Critical Action: Develop and implement footpath, cycleway and bus shelter programs, incorporating recommendations from the PLAN Study and identify the recurrent maintenance costs and funding sources.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the progress of the current Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan and provide information on the process for assessment of footpath requests.  The report recommends the information be received.

 

Background

At its meeting on 17 September 2001, Council adopted the Pedestrian Access & Mobility Plan (PAMP) – Footpath Improvement Programme and its associated list for Footpath Improvement Program. 

 

The Plan is used as a guide (by Council) for the provision and/or improvements of pedestrian facilities in the Penrith LGA.  It also assists Council in providing appropriate, safe and convenient pedestrian facilities.

 

The objectives of the Plan are:

 

·    to facilitate improvements in the level of pedestrian access and priority, particularly in areas of high demand;

·    to provide links with other transport services to achieve an integrated network of facilities;

·    to ensure that pedestrian facilities are appropriate and relevant to the surrounding land use and user groups;

·    to improve pedestrian safety and amenity in the LGA;

·    to increase community use of pedestrian facilities and promote walking as a viable alternative for shorter trips, and hence reduce car dependency;

·    to facilitate the integration of walking into the transport system as a legitimate transport mode in its own right.

 

 

Assessment process

 

The program was based on providing footpaths on at least one side of all local streets where pedestrian conflict would be unacceptable, and where a strong pedestrian desire line exists.  In addition, footpaving on both sides of trunk collector, distributor and arterial roads has been proposed, where the daily traffic volume exceeds 6,000 vehicles.

 

Footpath paving projects are assessed and prioritised using the following criteria and weightings. A score is calculated for each project.

 

Criteria Weightings

Proximity to pedestrian generators and attractors (on road distance)

Within 250m of travel

250–500m of travel

>500m travel

15

10

0

Estimated traffic volumes (2 way flow)

6000+ vpd

>2000-<6000 vpd

<2000* vpd

Through reserve/off-road path

10

5

0

5

Nature of Predominant Users (young/aged/disabled/parents with prams)

Yes/No

5/0

Evidence of wear

Continuous worn track

Discontinuous worn track

Continuous slight evidence

Discontinuous slight evidence

No evidence

20

15

10

5

0

Table 1

 

New footpath construction projects that are identified by Council Staff, the general public and Councillors are assessed against the criteria set out in the table above. A total score is determined by conducting a site visit and weighing a score against proximity to pedestrian generators and attractors, estimated traffic volumes, nature of predominant users and evidence of wear.

 

Once assessed, projects are added to the list in accordance with their score. These new projects may take priority over existing projects on the list due to their higher score and hence higher priority.

 

A threshold of greater than ten points has been set to determine projects to be included in the outstanding footpath list. Any projects assessed scoring a total of 10 points or less after assessing all criteria are placed on a separate list for construction in future programs beyond 2010/2011or if there are savings in the current program when all other higher scoring projects are constructed.

 

From the original list there were 15 projects in South Ward, 33 projects in North Ward and 34 projects in East Ward that scored a total of 10 or less. Due to their low score they are not intended to be constructed in the current program.

Each financial year, projects are taken from the list, in accordance with their ranking, and added to the construction schedule for that year.

 

Current situation

The original projects were identified using major pedestrian generators, including employment and activity centres, shopping centres, and recommended pedestrian facilities and links, within a general radius of 1.5km to 2km from these concentrations.  It also highlighted pedestrian accessibility and mobility issues, and considers recreational walkers within a 4km radius. Once these projects were identified they were assessed against the criteria weightings in Table 1 and allocated a total score.

 

The following table provides a summary of the listed projects adopted when the plan was prepared in 2001/2002.

 

 

Total number of projects on 2001/2002 list

Total number of projects constructed

% constructed of total number of projects.

South Ward

100

60

60%

North Ward

70

53

75%

East Ward

86

66

76%

 

The 2006/2007 financial year is the 6th year into the current 10 year program. A total of 66,000 lineal metres of footpaving with a total cost of $3,200,000 will be constructed from the original listed projects by 2007/2008. This is a total of 82% of the total projects constructed from the original list across Council’ s 3 Wards.

Additional projects

The original Plan was adopted in September 2001. Since that time, numerous requests for footpaving have been received. These requests have then been assessed using the assessment process referred to in Table 1 and included in the outstanding list.

 

The following table provides a summary of the current list of additional projects at 30 June 2006 with a total score greater than 10.

 

 

Total number of additional projects

Total number of projects constructed including 06/07

% constructed

South Ward

32

13

40%

North Ward

37

32

86%

East Ward

38

28

73%

 

The percentage of projects constructed in South Ward may seem low, this however is a reflection of the size of the projects constructed in this Ward.

 

The following tables provide a summary of expenditure, and lengths of footpath constructed under the plan, from 2001/2002 projected to the end of 2006/2007.

 

 

SOUTH

Actual Cost

NORTH

Actual Cost

EAST

Actual Cost

TOTAL

Actual Cost

2001/2002

 

2002/2003

 

2003/2004

 

2004/2005

 

2005/2006

 

2006/2007

$239,668

 

$240,590

 

$230,392

 

$285,916

 

$145,860

 

$250,000

$256,947

 

$206,598

 

$235,178

 

$252,226

 

$173,580

 

$250,000

 

$255,795

 

$176,206

 

$266,633

 

$221,436

 

$164,400

 

$250,000

$752,410

 

$623,394

 

$732,203

 

$759,578

 

$335,880

 

$750,000

Total 2002 to 2006

$1,392,426

$1,374,529

$1,334,470

$3,953,465

 

 

SOUTH

Actual length (metres)

NORTH

Actual length (metres)

EAST

Actual length (metres)

TOTAL

Actual length (metres)

2001/2002

 

2002/2003

 

2003/2004

 

2004/2005

 

2005/2006

 

2006/2007

 

5120

 

5317

 

3999

 

5401

 

2430

 

3150

5578

 

5372

 

5717

 

3295

 

2893

 

4270

7160

 

4215

 

5657

 

4452

 

2840

 

4023

17858

 

14904

 

15373

 

13148

 

8163

 

11443

Total 2002 to 2006

25417

27125

28347

80889

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remaining Program

The following table provides a summary of the total number of projects constructed combining the original list and additional projects.

 

 

Total number of additional projects from original list and additional projects

Total number of projects constructed including 06/07

% constructed

South Ward

132

73

57%

North Ward

107

85

79%

East Ward

124

94

75%

 

The following table provides a summary of the remaining projects on completion of the 2006/2007 program.

 

 

Total number of projects remaining unconstructed

Length (Lineal metres)

Value

South Ward

59

27,800

$1,834,800

North Ward

22

13,666

$  901,956

East Ward

30

23,800

$1,570,800

Total

111

65,266

$4,307,556

 

Given the current funding of $750,000 per year, the outstanding list will take 6 years to complete. This timeframe takes CPI into account.

 

The list is expected to grow over the next 4 years remaining in the current program as additional requests for footpaths are received, assessed against the criteria and added to the outstanding list, if warranted.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on Footpath Improvement Program be received.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

12

Richmond/Blacktown Road Upgrade   

 

Compiled by:                Michael Alderton, Road Network Services Engineer

Authorised by:             David Burns, Asset Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Road network capacity, safety and efficiency are improved and traffic congestion is reduced.

Critical Action: A program is being implemented to address deficiencies and areas of congestion in the Local Road Network.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the resolution of Hawkesbury City Council regarding the upgrade of Richmond Road/Blacktown Road between from the intersection of Blacktown Road and Bourke Street and the intersection of Richmond Road with the M7.  The report recommends Council support Hawkesbury City Council in urging the State Government to undertake the upgrade of Richmond/Blacktown Road.

 

Background

Council received a letter from Hawkesbury City Council, dated 8 August 2006, regarding the upgrade of Richmond Road and Blacktown Road.

 

Hawkesbury City Council advised that, it passed the following resolution at its Ordinary Meeting on 25 July 2006:

 

“The State Government be requested, in the strongest possible terms, to undertake the upgrade of Richmond/Blacktown Road to a dual carriageway standard similar to the Windsor Road Project, between Richmond and its intersection with the M7 including Council’s previous proposals regarding the Driftway and Blacktown Road.”

 

Hawkesbury City Council, in its letter, requested that Penrith City Council support Hawkesbury City Council’s position in urging the State Government to undertake the necessary works to assist in providing a safe and accessible state road network.

Current position

Richmond Road is classified as a State Road under the care and control of the Roads and Traffic Authority. In February 2001, the Roads and Traffic Authority advised Council that it would conduct a feasibility study of remedial measures for the intersections of Richmond Road/Llandilo Road and Richmond Road/St Marys Road, with a view to improving traffic flow and safety. The Roads and Traffic Authority advised that it intended to upgrade and signalise one of these intersections but not both intersections. Penrith City Council’s preference was sought on this issue, and Council advised the Roads and Traffic Authority that it would prefer both intersections to be upgraded, but if priority was required, Council would prefer the intersection of Richmond Road and Llandilo Road to be improved first.

 

In May 2004, the Roads and Traffic Authority advised it was investigating traffic control signals for the intersection of Richmond Road and St Marys Road, Berkshire Park, due to the major links provided by the St Marys Road to Shanes Park, St Marys and Mt Druitt. The Roads and Traffic Authority did not advise the timing for these works.

 

In August 2005, Penrith City Council requested Allan Shearan, MP Member for Londonderry, to make representations to the Minister for Roads, to expedite the intersection improvements at the Richmond Road/Llandilo Road intersection, in the interest of road safety on these sections of Richmond Road, as the Roads and Traffic Authority indicated it would only signalise Richmond Road/St Marys Road.

 

In November 2005, the Minister for Roads, the Hon Joseph Tripodi MP, advised that both intersections had been identified for upgrading in the Richmond Road Route Improvement Strategy, and that investigations at the intersection of Richmond and St Marys Road revealed that the installation of traffic signals is the most appropriate intersection treatment. The proposed works would be included in a future program of works.

Auslink Blackspot program

Council has recently submitted projects to the Roads and Traffic Authority for funding consideration under its 2007/2008 Auslink Blackspot program. The intersections of Richmond and St Marys Roads,together with the intersection of Richmond Road and Llandilo Road, are considered blackspots under the Roads and Traffic Authorities current assessment criteria. These intersections have been submitted for assessment in the 2007/2008 Auslink Blackspot program.

Conclusion

Richmond Road/Blacktown Road has a long history of safety issues with a number of fatal and serious injury accidents. This is generally due to the age and condition of the road pavement, combined with horizontal and vertical alignment, and a number of inadequately controlled intersections. When the road is upgraded, pedestrian and vehicle safety will be improved.

 

It is therefore recommended that Council support Hawkesbury City Council’s position on the upgrading of Richmond Road and Blacktown Road, by requesting the local State Members of Parliament to Lobby the Minister for Roads to undertake the necessary works to provide a safe and accessible Richmond Road/Blacktown Road between from the intersection of Blacktown Road and Bourke Street and the intersection of Richmond Road with the M7.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Richmond/Blacktown Road Upgrade be received.

2.     The local State Members of Parliament be requested to lobby the Minister for Roads to undertake the upgrade of Richmond Road/Blacktown Road between from the intersection of Blacktown Road and Bourke Street and the intersection of Richmond Road with the M7.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

13      Financial Assistance Grant 

 

14      National Risk Management Conference 

 

15      2006 National General Assembly of Local Government 

 

16      Grassroots Sustainability Conference and 2006 Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR) Forum 

 

 



Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

13

Financial Assistance Grant   

 

Compiled by:                Natalie Eglem, Management Accountant - Budget

Authorised by:             Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A sound long-term financial position is maintained in balance with pressures to provide new and expanded services.

Critical Action: Achieve agreed financial performance targets.

     

Purpose:

To provide Council with information regarding the 2006-07 Financial Assistance Grant from the Federal Government. The report recommends that the report on the Financial Assistance Grant be received.

 

Background

A significant part of Council’s annual revenue ($9.6m in 2006-07) is derived from the Financial Assistance Grant. Local Government financial assistance grants are general purpose grants that are paid to local councils under the provisions of the Commonwealth Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.

 

The grant to be received in 2006-07 consists of two components, a general component  ($8.0m) and a roads component ($1.6m). The calculation of the grant is an extremely complex exercise and Council has no control over many of the factors.  As it is an allocation of a pool of funds, the impacts of social and economic factors in other areas of the state will have an impact on the amount available for Penrith.

 

Council made a number of submissions to the Grant Commissions after they visited Penrith in November 2004 however, none of the submissions resulted in a change to the factors used to calculate the grant distribution, as our existing measures were considered adequate. 

Current Situation

The Financial Assistance Grant (FAG) allocated this year was $235,765 more than estimated during the budget process.  At the time of preparing the budget, it was expected that the increase in the grant would be minimal and an increase of only 2.0% on 2005-06 actual was factored in. When the grant was announced in August the result was actually a 4.57% increase on the previous year.  The roads component of the grant was an additional $66,353, compared to 2005-06 actuals, which according to Council policy, is added to the roads budget. 

 

This increase in the Financial Assistance Grant has been included into the Long Term Financial Model and a 1% increase applied from 2007-08 onwards.

 

 

 

 

 2002-03

 2003-04

 2004-05

 2005-06

 2006-07

Total Financial Assistance Grant

8,741,720

8,793,431

8,714,034

9,167,872

9,586,765

General Purpose Component

7,312,488

7,330,556

7,233,103

7,607,106

7,959,646

Roads Component

1,429,232

1,462,875

1,480,931

1,560,766

1,627,119

% Increase on prior year

Total Financial Assistance Grant

7.67%

0.59%

(0.90%)

5.21%

4.57%

General Purpose Component

7.60%

0.25%

(1.33%)

5.17%

4.63%

Roads Component

8.04%

2.35%

1.23%

5.39%

4.25%

 

 

It is suggested that, due to the uncertain economic situation experienced in 2005-06, the additional funds received from the general purpose component ($200,646) not be allocated at this time. The opportunity to allocate these funds could be considered as part of the September Quarterly Review process.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on Financial Assistance Grant be received and Council’s budget be adjusted accordingly.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

14

National Risk Management Conference   

 

Compiled by:                Ken Muir, Risk Management Co-ordinator

Authorised by:             Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A contemporary system of risk management and internal control is operating.

Critical Action: Develop and implement an enterprise risk management policy and plan including integrated risk management, compliance and internal control systems that identify, assess, monitor and manage risks throughout the organisation.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the Risk Management Institution of Australiasia (RMIA) National Risk Management Conference being held in Melbourne from November 12 to 15.  The report recommends that the information be received.

 

Background

The Risk Management Institution of Australasia (RMIA) is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to advancing the discipline and practice of risk management.  Within the ranks of RMIA members can be found organisations representing most of Australia’s leading industrial and commercial companies, plus many federal, state and local government authorities.  The basic aims of RMIA are to provide a forum for people with the responsibility for the management of risk to interact, as well as promoting the profession and providing educational opportunities in risk management.

 

RMIA:

·    promotes risk management to industry and government;

·    lobbies on risk management issues on behalf of its members; and

·    conducts an annual national conference .

 

Council has been an active member of RMIA since 1999 because RMIA is recognised as the best organisation to support risk and insurance management for local government.

Current Situation

RMIA will conduct its national annual conference in Melbourne from 12 to 15 November 2006.

 

There will be a number of plenary sessions and workshops relating to enterprise risk management, emerging risk management concepts, organisational cultural issues, and a whole day devoted to risk management for local government. Well credentialed speakers from both Australia and overseas will deliver an insight into how risk management is meeting current demands and future challenges.

 

Westpool sponsors two members of the Westpool Board and all members of the Management Committee to attend. The Westpool Board members selected to be sponsored by Westpool to attend the 2006 conference are the current Chairman of Westpool Councillor Ross Fowler, and Stephen Kerr, Director of Corporate Services of Parramatta City Council. Council’s Risk Management Coordinator will also attend.

 

Given the content relevance of this Conference to Risk Management, Council’s Financial Services  Manager, Vicki O’Kelly, will also attend.  Attendance will provide a continued opportunity to highlight Council’s commitment to risk management and maintain professional networks.

Costing

Total for attendance at the conference, by the Financial Services Manager, will be approximately $2,100, including registration fees of $1,320, plus airfares and accommodation. The costs will be funded from the Corporate training budget.  The cost of attendance by Councillor Fowler and Council’s Risk Management Coordinator will be funded by Westpool.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on the RMIA National Risk Management Conference be received.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Ordinary Meeting

4 September 2006

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

15

2006 National General Assembly of Local Government   

 

Compiled by:                Glenn McCarthy, Executive Officer

Authorised by:             Glenn McCarthy, Executive Officer   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The organisation is managing its statutory requirements and the needs of a participatory community in a transparent and balanced way.

Critical Action:  Review and monitor policies and procedures to enable the organization to engage more effectively with the community while meeting its statutory and public interest obligations.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council that the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will be conducting the annual National General Assembly of Local Government from 27 - 30 November 2006 in Canberra.  The report recommends that Council consider attendance at, and submission of motions to, the National General Assembly of Local Government and select its voting delegate and observers.

 

Background

The 2006 National General Assembly of Local Government will be held in Canberra from 27 - 30 November 2006.

 

The National General Assembly, which is sponsored by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), will have as its theme, “Pushing the Agenda”.

 

Each Council is entitled to one voting delegate at each plenary session. Two significant changes for this year's Assembly are the return of full plenary debate and strict assessment of all motions submitted against the criteria of national significance.  All motions adopted by the General Assembly will be put forward to the ALGA Annual General Meeting for further consideration.

 

In the past, in addition to selecting its voting delegate, Council has elected to send additional Councillors as observers.

 

In 2005, Council’s voting delegate was the Mayor (Councillor John Thain), and the additional observers Councillors Mark Davies, Garry Rumble, Lexie Cettolin and Jim Aitken.

Submitting Motions

A Call for Motions has been received by Council and motions will need to be submitted by Friday 8 September 2006.  In order to address the delegate feedback regarding consistently poor motions and debate at previous National General Assemblies, for the 2006 Assembly, motions submitted for debate will need to be related to issues of national significance, and, to issues that fit within the jurisdiction of local government across Australia.

 

As in previous years, motions of similar substance will be grouped together and distilled into composite motions for consideration. Any motions received that are deemed to be primarily concerned with local or state based issues will be referred to the relevant State Association for consideration at that level.

 

Motions adopted by the National General Assembly will be formally considered by the National Executive of the Australian Local Government Association at their Annual General Meeting on 30 November 2006.

 

The following have been identified, either by Council or by the Managers responsible for various tasks under Council’s Management Plan, as possible issues for which motions can be framed for debate at the National General Assembly.

 

Motion 1

The Association calls upon the Commonwealth  Minister for Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to support the establishment of  a joint consultative process between Commonwealth, State and Local Governments to review and re-develop policies and programmes, in order to establish, at a National level, a consistent and comprehensive approach to the provision of early childhood services across all States, that provides all families and their children with access to beneficial learning and care environment.

 

National Objective:

To ensure that Local Government as a key provider of children’s services is represented and included in consultation processes and forums with Commonwealth and State Governments, to address the current crisis in the provision of early childhood services.

 

Background:

Issues associated with the funding of early childhood services (long day care, occasional care, preschools and family day care) and out of school hours services have been well articulated at successive Australian Local Government Association Conferences. The complexity and multiplicity of Commonwealth and State funding and policies relating to Early Childhood  Services significantly contributes to the inequities relating to access to services that is experienced by families 

 

Whilst recent changes have been introduced by Commonwealth and  NSW State Governments, these measures are not resolving the increasing concerns  related to early  childhood services. Children’s access to services is dependent upon where they live, the families income or social status, or whether or not  their parents are in the paid workforce. Until the differences in approaches by each State are resolved, and until a National strategy is in place to provide one approach to early childhood care and education, children cannot be guaranteed equitable access to effective early childhood environments that research informs us contribute to better outcomes for children.

 

There is an increasing amount of evidence that points to the early intervention required to reverse the poor physical and mental health, education and employment outcomes for children within vulnerable families, and in the disadvantaged sectors of the community, which result in increasing social and financial costs to the community and to Government. A national and universal approach to the provision of Early Childhood services across all States is cost effective for the country, and access to these services should be the right of every child. 

 

Current concerns with the provision of Early Childhood Services:

 

·    the lack of effective planning instruments involving stakeholders, to determine how best to provide a range of early childhood services and OOSH  services in communities where there are identified areas of need

·    the inequity of Commonwealth and State operational funding across the country to children’s services

·    the failure of funding and child care benefit to keep pace with rising costs

·    the inequities and inadequacies of funding for the inclusion of children with additional needs

·    the  inadequacy of funding for ongoing programs to overcome barriers for families  of ATSI and CALD backgrounds and for children with disabilities and  those with challenging behaviours regardless of the early childhood service type attended

·    the inequities between Commonwealth and State funding for fee relief in early childhood services and  OOSH services

·    the dilemmas that result from short term funding for programs to build the capacity of services and families.

 

These inequities result in:

 

·    the downgrading of staff levels and the qualifications essential to achieve developmental and learning outcomes for children

·    the  impact on the quality of programs of the shortage of degree level early childhood teachers

·    deterioration of facilities and increasing risks of potential breaches of licensing regulations