16 May 2007


Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 21 May 2007 at 7:30pm.

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




1.           APOLOGIES


2.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE



Policy Review Committee Meeting - 30 April 2007.



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




6.           MAYORAL MINUTES


7.           NOTICES OF MOTION






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







Monday 21 May 2007


table of contents







meeting calendar



confirmation of minutes



master program reports










February 2007 - December 2007


























Ordinary Meetings

7.30 pm























Policy Review Committee

7.30 pm
























#    Meetings at which the Management Plan ¼ly  reviews are presented.

^     Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor [only business]

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

@   Strategic Program progress reports [only business]

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

ü    Meeting at which the 2006/2007 Annual Statements are presented

*     Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2007/2008 is adopted



-                 Council’s Ordinary Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 Policy Review Meetings are held on a three-week cycle where practicable.

-                 Members of the public are invited to observe meetings of the Council (Ordinary and Policy Review Committee).  All meetings start at 7:30pm.

-                 Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Public Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 47327649













His Worship the Mayor Councillor Pat Sheehy AM, Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury (arrived 7:59pm), Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Ross Fowler, Jackie Greenow, Karen McKeown, Garry Rumble, Steve Simat (arrived 8:05pm) and John Thain.



PRC 25  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that apologies be accepted from Councillors David Bradbury, Greg Davies, Mark Davies, Susan Page and Steve Simat.


CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 2 April 2007

PRC 26  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Karen McKeown seconded Councillor Ross Fowler that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 2 April 2007 be confirmed.




There were no declarations of interest.




The City as a Social Place


5        Proposal for a Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney West Area Health Service        

Dr Glenn Close from Sydney West Area Health Service made a presentation.

Councillor David Bradbury arrived, the time being 7:59pm.


Councillor Steve Simat arrived, the time being 8:05pm.


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


1.     The information contained in the report on Proposal for a Memorandum of Understanding with Sydney West Area Health Service be received

2.     A Memorandum of Understanding be developed between Council and Sydney West Area Health Service.





1        Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd                                                          

Mr Max Friend, Chairman of Penrith City Children’s Services Cooperative Ltd, made a presentation.

28  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor John Thain seconded Councillor Karen McKeown


1.     The information contained in the report on Penrith City Children's Services Co-operative Ltd be received

2.     Council continue to underwrite the operations of Penrith City Children’s Services Co-operative to 30 June 2008, subject to receipt of Annual Budgets

3.     Council write to thank the Board of Directors of Penrith City Children’s Services Cooperative, who give generously of their time each year to ensure a great service is provided to the community.



3        Review of the Immunisation Service                                                                                 

Mrs Beverley Bill, representing the Immunisation Clinic Nurses, made a presentation.

Mr Michael Edwards, CEO of the Nepean Division of General Practitioners, made a presentation.

Councillor Jim Aitken OAM left the meeting, the time being 8:29pm.


Councillor Jim Aitken OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 8:30pm.


PRC 29  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Ross Fowler


1.     The information contained in the report on the Review of the Immunisation Service be received

2.     Council discontinue the clinical component of the Immunisation Service and focus resources on the enhanced promotion of childhood immunisation

3.     Discussions take place with Community Health within three (3) months to take up the services currently provided by Council.

PRC 30  An AMENDMENT was MOVED by Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM seconded Councillor John Thain:


1.     The information contained in the report on the Review of the Immunisation Service be received

2.     The clinical component of the Immunisation Service continue with a further review of the service to be undertaken in twelve (12) months.

On being PUT to the meeting, the AMENDMENT was CARRIED and on becoming the MOTION was also CARRIED.

6        The future of the former Gipps Street Landfill site at Claremont Meadows                  

Mr Wayne Mitchell, Environmental Health Manager – Penrith City Council, made a presentation.

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM left the meeting, the time being 9:17pm.


Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 9:20pm.


Councillor John Thain left the meeting, the time being 9:31pm.


Councillor John Thain returned to the meeting, the time being 9:33pm.


Councillor Jim Aitken OAM left the meeting, the time being 9:41pm.


Councillor Karen McKeown left the meeting, the time being 9:41pm.


Councillor Karen McKeown returned to the meeting, the time being 9:43pm.


PRC 31  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor David Bradbury seconded Councillor Garry Rumble


1.     The information contained in the report on The future of the former Gipps Street Landfill site at Claremont Meadows be received

2.     A project to fully complete the remediation of the site by providing the final topsoil layer to the western half of the site be included in the 2007/2008 Management Plan with funding to be provided from the Waste Reserve

3.     A review be undertaken of the future location of the SES depot on the site

4.     Formal consultation take place with the Claremont Meadows community regarding the future facilities on the site, specifically access across Gipps Street to the site and inclusive of local sporting groups.



2        Parent Friendly Facilities in Public Buildings                                                                    

PRC 32  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor David Bradbury seconded Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM


1.     The information contained in the report on Parent Friendly Facilities in Public Buildings be received.

2.     The current review of planning policies includes the adoption of appropriate requirements to parent friendly facilities in public buildings.

3.     Any new Development Application which falls within the types identified in this report, be required to address the issue of providing ‘parenting rooms’.


4        Planning for an Ageing Community - Ageing Strategy Scoping Paper                            

Councillor Jim Aitken OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 9:57pm.


PRC 33  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Steve Simat


1.     The information contained in the report on Planning for an Ageing Community - Ageing Strategy Scoping Paper be received.

2.     The development of an ageing strategy for the City ‘Planning for an Ageing Community’ be undertaken in 2007-08.

3.     $60,000 be allocated for the development of an ageing strategy, ‘Planning for an Ageing Community’, in the 2007-08 Management Plan.



The City In Its Environment


7        Waste Performance Incentive Payments                                                                          

PRC 34  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Ross Fowler


1.     The information contained in the report on Waste Performance Incentive Payments be received.

2.     The proposal developed in this report be brought forward in the 2007/2008 budget process.

3.     The $50,000 received in 2006/2007 over the budgeted income be recommended to be transferred to a reserve as a part of the March quarterly review process.



The City as an Economy


8        Glenmore Park Stage 2 - Employment Development and Affordable Housing Strategies      

PRC 35  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler seconded Councillor Karen McKeown


1.     The information contained in the report on Glenmore Park Stage 2 - Employment Development and Affordable Housing Strategies be received

2.     Council agree in principle to the offer of $1.6 million from the Landowners Group for job creation activities in the City to be included in the proposed Glenmore Park Stage 2 Planning Agreement, the terms of which to be negotiated prior to Council’s formal endorsement 

3.     A further report be brought to Council outlining an approach to further investigating the options available to Council for delivering its economic and employment development programs

4.     Council agree in principle to the offer of $1M from the Landowners Group for the delivery of affordable, disability and community housing to be included in the proposed Glenmore Park Stage 2 Planning Agreement, the terms of which to be negotiated prior to Council’s formal endorsement

5.     A further report be brought to Council outlining a preferred process for the future delivery of affordable, disability and community housing

6.      A further report be brought to Council for formal consideration of the proposed Glenmore Park Stage 2 Planning Agreement.



Leadership and Organisation


9        Service Specification Program                                                                                           

PRC 36  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Karen McKeown seconded Councillor Steve Simat


1.      The information contained in the report on Service Specification Program be received

2.      The specification for Roads, Footpaths and Drainage Construction service be adopted

3.      The specification for Roads and Footpaths maintenance service be adopted

4.      The specification for Building Construction service be adopted

5.      The specification for Design service be adopted

6.      The Specification for Records and Document Management be adopted

7.      The annual budget allocation for Roads and Footpaths Maintenance Service be increased by the CPI in line with the increase in the Roads and Footpaths asset base starting in 2008-09.




There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 10:02pm.



Item                                                                                                                                       Page



Leadership and Organisation


1        2006-2007 Management Plan March Quarter Review


The City as a Social Place


2        Community Meeting at Regentville Hall


The City In Its Environment


3        Carbon Neutral Status of Council


The City as an Economy


4        International Links Visit to Korea and Japan, March 2007


Leadership and Organisation




5        ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007 








Leadership and Organisation


Item                                                                                                                                       Page


1        2006-2007 Management Plan March Quarter Review



Policy Review Committee Meeting

21 May 2007

Leadership and Organisation



Leadership and Organisation




2006-2007 Management Plan March Quarter Review   


Compiled by:                Mark Andrews, Strategic & Management Planning Coordinator

Vicki O’Kelly, Financial Services Manager

Authorised by:             Barry Husking, Chief Financial Officer   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's operating culture is flexible, efficient, integrated and aligned to Council's strategic objectives and program delivery.

Critical Action: Prepare, implement and review Management Plans and processes aligned to and consistent with Council’s Strategic Plan and Program.



To present the March Quarter progress report on Council's 2006-2007 Management Plan.  The report recommends that the Review be adopted, including revised estimates and expenditures as detailed in the report.



In accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, the 2006-2007 Management Plan Progress Report for the period ending 31 March 2007 is presented tonight for Council’s consideration. A copy of the progress review documents is provided under separate cover.


This is the third quarterly review of Council’s 2006-2007 Management Plan, which is the second year of Council’s Strategic Plan for the City of Penrith 2005-2009, Penrith City: the Competitive Edge.


Managers have provided details of progress in accordance with their identified responsibilities. This includes progress towards the attainment of critical actions, performance against budget and identified performance indicators for each Master Program. Commentary has also been provided on achievements for the year to date, as well as issues arising that have impacted on the delivery of the annual program.


The General Manager’s report in the document includes comments on key results and issues arising over the year to date, as well as indicating the focus of organisational efforts for the final quarter of 2006-2007.


Financial Position

The proposed year end budget position is a surplus of $46,100, after a number of recommended allocations and assumes that the recommendations included in this report and in other reports to tonight’s meeting are endorsed. The $46,100 projected surplus is made up as follows:




Original budget surplus............................................................................ 33.5

1st Quarter adjustments previously adopted by Council ......................... 202.0

September Review ............................................................................... 473.5

2nd Quarter adjustments previously adopted by Council ........................ (45.6)

December Review ................................................................................ 413.1

3rd Quarter adjustments previously adopted by Council......................... (100.0)

March Review - proposed................................................................... (930.4)


Projected Budget Year End Surplus.................................................... 46.1


The review recommends a number of both positive and negative adjustments to the adopted budget.  There are some adjustments to income projections and estimated costs that have led to a number of additional variations to the original budget.


The more significant variations (*F - favourable, U – unfavourable) for the quarter include:



Interest on Investments ........................................................................  200.0 F

Debt Servicing Costs ............................................................................. (83.4) U

Legal Expenses ................................................................................... (250.0) U

Provision for Salary Progression and Review ......................................... 350.0 F

Salary Savings ........................................................................................ 57.7 F

Rates – Legal Expenses.......................................................................... (87.0) U

Legal Costs recovered –Rates................................................................. 40.0 F

Abandoned Rates ................................................................................... 59.0 F

Other budget adjustments...................................................................... 210.2 F


These, together with minor variations and reallocations, are discussed in detail in the Financial Services Manager’s report in the summary review document.  As well as these variations that result from the day to day activities of Council there is an opportunity to make some further allocations of the December projected year end surplus ($1.0m) and these were discussed in conjunction with the formulation of the 2007-08 Management Plan at the Management Plan Workshops held in March and April.  The proposed allocations are listed below and further information is also provided on them.



Ripples outstanding debts...................................................................... 478.0

Penrith Valley Cultural Precinct.............................................................. 500.0


Total ................................................................................................... 978.0


As was foreshadowed at the second 2007-08 Management Plan workshop a formal request from the Board of Directors of Ripples to waive the outstanding Debtors invoices totalling $245,123 (largely water rates and insurance premiums), one year’s loan repayments for the Hydrotherapy Centre ($133,000) and the cash advance of $100,000 provided in 2005-06 has been received and this review includes allocation of funds to support that request. Ripples results for recent years have not supported payment of these accounts. Council is currently providing a subsidy to Ripples, to underwrite its performance, therefore there is little chance of recovering these amounts.  The waiving of these debts will not affect Council’s consolidated financial result for the financial year.


A request for Council to provide an additional $30,000 subsidy in the current year has also been received. A subsidy of $220,000 was approved by Council at its 26 June 2006 Policy Review meeting. This was the projected cash deficit for Ripples for the 2006-07 budget year.  At the time Ripples requested that the annual subsidy be $250,000 however the increased subsidy was deferred by Council subject to further information from the actual operations of the Company later in the year.


Results to the 30 April 2007 show Ripples operating at an $85,000 deficit.  Ripples General Manager has advised that he estimates this deficit to be approximately $129,000 by financial year end.  These results again confirm that Ripples are highly unlikely to be able to meet the debt obligations listed above and support the need for the payment of the additional subsidy requested for 2006-07. The additional $30,000 is recommended and this can be provided from the 2006-07 surplus. It is likely that Ripples will require additional assistance for the 2006-07 financial year but as yet no formal request has been received.  Any further requests can be considered in conjunction with review of the end of year result.

Penrith Valley Cultural Precinct

Council has made a strong commitment to the development of this precinct at St Marys as a major City facility and has provided financial resources in keeping with this aspiration. While it has not proved possible to complete the project on the original timetable, this direction is clearly confirmed in Council’s Strategic Program and is reflected in the Draft 2007-08 Management Plan.


Given the clear priority which Council has assigned to accelerating the completion of the capital works associated with this project a number of Budget measures are incorporated in the 2006-07 Management Plan and 2007-08 Draft Management Plan. These include general revenue funding of $500,000 within the 2006-07 budget. This is now proposed to be increased to $700,000 to assist funding of revised project estimates. 


A meeting of the Penrith Valley Cultural Precinct Steering Committee meeting is set down for Monday 4 June, 2007 and strategies for progression of the precinct will be discussed. In addition to a proposed revote as detailed later in this report, other funding options being considered include transfers from other programs and grant funding. An application is being made to the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services GROW program for a Regional Project grant, the outcome of which is expected in August.


There are a number of proposed returns to reserve funds which will require a revote of the project to 2007-08. More details of the larger revotes or those that affect a special initiative are provided below.  Full details of all proposed revotes are provided in part B of the review document.

Penrith Valley Cultural Precinct ($300,000) - loan/s94 funded

The building works on the CWA Hall are nearly completed. A Development Application for the next stage of works, primarily being the Memorial Hall refurbishment has been approved and the construction documentation is being prepared for tendering. It is expected that construction will commence late first quarter of 2007-08.


The Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the former St Marys Council Chambers building has been completed. The recommended Access, BCA and Hazardous Materials studies are in the process of being commissioned. Minor rectification works to be undertaken as required. Completion of major works such as an accessible toilet and any refurbishment of kitchen was dependant on completing the CMP. To complete these works in 2007-08 a revote of $150,000 is required.


A concept design for the Childrens’ Services component of the precinct has been completed.  The preliminary Quantity Surveyor (QS) estimates for the combined service exceeded the proposed budget therefore it is proposed that the funds set aside for this component in the current year’s budget ($150,000) be carried forward into 2007-08 and a new task be added to the 2007-08 Management Plan to review a model for funding the delivery of Childrens’ Services in St Marys. 

Ripples and Penrith Swim Centre Water Savings Project ($364,750) - Grant funded

Specifications for the backwash facilities at the two centres have been completed by a specialist consultant as part of the tender documentation. There were some delays in identifying an appropriate consultant in the specialised field  The tender process is expected to commence late fourth quarter for both the Penrith Swim Centre and Ripples. The installation schedule for the backwash facility at Ripples will be determined in the context of other mechanical and equipment works that are subject to current specialist reports. A proposed program will be reported to Council.  Installation of the Penrith Swim Centre facility is expected in July/August 2007.

Glenmore Park ($235,000) and St Clair ($220,800) Skate parks - Reserve/s94 funded

As previously advised to Council the tender for construction was advertised and closed in March with only one submission.  A Quantity Surveyor has been engaged to assist with assessing the cost of the projects.  An evaluation of whether it is possible to have construction efficiencies from bundling the two projects is also being examined.  A tender for the two skate parks will be advertised within the next month however construction will not occur until 2007-08 after evaluation of submissions.

Civic Centre Extensions ($1.4m) - Reserve funded

The Development Application and Construction Certificate are approved and Expressions of Interest for the works are about to be called. Construction will commence in the first half of  2007-08 and will take approximately six months to complete.

Department of Community Services building St Marys ($1.6m) - loan funded

A preferred builder has been selected however contract negotiations continue with Department of Community Services and must be completed before the builder is engaged.  Once this is resolved works should be able to commence shortly thereafter and it is envisaged that the works will be completed within a twelve month period.

EAS strategy ($40,000) - General revenue funded

Three items within the Established Areas revitalisation program, a component of the AREAS special initiative, have unspent funds. It is proposed that the funds are revoted and used to develop a pilot project in 2007-08 to assist in achieving Council’s vision as outlined in Issue 12 – Magnetic Places. The funds will be used to establish seeding grants for community groups; local arts based organisations or land care groups to submit for funds to assist in the development of projects in parks or other public spaces that enhance the quality of the space. These funds will be prioritised towards projects that enhance place making in established areas of the city and will support the work being undertaken in the EAS strategy.


The funds have not been spent to date as the recruitment processes for the positions attached to the Neighbourhood Renewal Program has been slower than anticipated with some positions being advertised multiple times.  The use of these funds in a pilot will assist Council to assess the outcomes of the project in time for budget considerations for the 2008-09.

Summary of impact of Revotes and returns to Reserves

With these adjustments, the annual capital works program is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year. There are no projects where the recorded spending is materially higher than the officially adopted budget of the project.

Special Initiatives

The new 10-year special initiative, Asset Renewal and Established Areas Strategy (AREAS), commenced on 1 July 2006. The AREAS funding from additional rate revenue approved by the Minister for Local Government, is for additional infrastructure renewal and public domain maintenance (which includes roads, buildings, graffiti removal and cleaning) as well as greater attention to the needs of our older neighbourhoods.


Council also continues to advance three 10-year special initiatives which commenced in 2002-2003, for which additional rate revenue was also approved by the Minister. These are:

§ Enhanced Environmental Program (EEP)

§ Community Safety and Neighbourhood Renewal Program

§ Economic Development and Tourism - support for Penrith Valley Economic Development Corporation (PVEDC)

As previously agreed by Council, specific reporting on the progress of each of these initiatives is presented to Council, the community and the Department of Local Government at six-monthly intervals, through the half-year and end-of-year Management Plan reviews and the Annual Report. In addition, more detailed reports on key aspects of the programs are provided to Council by the relevant Managers at appropriate intervals during each year.

Management Plan Performance

The review documents incorporate detailed reporting on the annual progress of each of the six Master Programs from several principal aspects. They are presented in two volumes:





§ ‘Part A’  ~  Summary of key information

This includes: the General Manager’s report, the Financial Services Manager’s report, a summary of each Master Program at the Issue level and Key Results/highlights of the quarter.


§ ‘Part B’  ~  Performance and Financial detail

   (i)               Managers report performance within the Master Programs against:

(a)          Critical Actions - made up of a suite of Tasks and Projects             adopted by Council for this particular year;

(b)          ongoing Services with adopted Key Performance Indicators              (KPIs);

   (ii)              Additional performance and financial detail is provided on Capital and Operating Projects which have budgets allocated by Council;

   (iii)             A Budget progress statement in normal accounting format is provided for each Issue in the Master Programs;

   (iv)             Detailed information is provided in the financial statements of budget status and variations which are proposed to Council’s adopted program.


All reporting is Year to Date. Where actions have a life of more than one year, the report is on the progress within 2006-07 against the annual requirements of the item. The scheduling of the annual program (including some seasonal ongoing Services) is, of course, not necessarily even throughout the year. This is factored into the Managers’ activity plans and appropriately reflected in the performance ratings.


The report indicates that, from the statements provided by the responsible Managers:

§ 153 (92%) of the Critical Actions were ‘On Target’ for completion of the planned annual program as at 31 March 2007 and 11 (7%) were marginal, needing extra attention and 2 (1%) would not be delivered as planned (all items not on target have been reviewed with the General Manager and relevant Directors – and generally relate to projects requiring a revote of funds as noted above).

§ 23 Services with Management Plan KPIs were reported as being overall ‘On Target’ and 3 were marginal, needing extra attention.

§ 141 Capital and Operating Projects (37%) were completed by the end of the third quarter; of the remainder, 214 projects (57%) were ‘On Target’, 8 (2%) were marginal and 15 (4%) would not be delivered (these are mainly projects included in the proposed revoted works noted above).

Those Critical Actions which were scheduled in Council’s Strategic Program to commence after 2006-2007 are identified in the report in Part B. These are not included in the performance ratings.


Assessment of the progress of Council’s program is assisted by the provision of percentage and ‘traffic light’ indicators in reports. These are based on the responsible Manager’s statement of the progress of the annual requirements for that Management Plan assignment.




Guidelines for ‘Traffic Light’ Status Indicators:



Progress is on target for annual requirements/completion of the relevant action. Normally indicates completion of 90%+ of the scheduled requirements Year To Date.



Progress is marginal and extra attention is needed. Normally indicates completion of 75%-89% of the scheduled requirements Year To Date.



Progress is not on target and requirement may not be delivered. This should be addressed by the Manager’s commentary. Performance is normally rated as less than 75% of the scheduled requirements Year To Date.

Text Box: C

Completed (usually applies to Capital & Operating Projects with defined target dates).


The Review indicates substantial progress to meeting Council’s challenging annual program.


As Council’s established practice is to receive a formal presentation by the General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer at the mid-year and end of year reviews, no formal presentations will be made at this time.


The opportunity is, however, available for Council tonight to seek clarification or elaboration from the accountable officers on particular matters in any section of the Progress Report.


The review documents will be placed, in full, on Council’s website, as well as being made available to the public in hard copy and CD versions on request, and through the Civic Centre, Queen St Centre and all libraries.





1.     The information contained in the report on 2006-2007 Management Plan March Quarter Review be received

2.     The 2006-2007 Management Plan Review as at 31 March 2007, including the revised estimates identified in the recommended budget, be adopted

3.     The proposed budget reallocations detailed in the report be adopted.



There are no attachments for this report.








The City in its Broader Context



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






The City as a Social Place


Item                                                                                                                                       Page


2        Community Meeting at Regentville Hall



Policy Review Committee Meeting

21 May 2007

The City as a Social Place



The City as a Social Place




Community Meeting at Regentville Hall   


Compiled by:                Linda Sack, Neighbourhood Facilities Officer

Authorised by:             Tony Jarrett, Acting Facilities Operations Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Local centres, community meeting places and prominent meeting places are increasingly valued and recognised by communities as a focus of their neighbourhoods, or as a feature of the City.

Critical Action: Engage the City’s communities in identifying and creating community places that are valued and used.



To inform Council of the priority outcomes identified at the community meeting held recently at Regentville Hall.  The report recommends alcohol be prohibited and hours reduced for some functions at the Hall.



Regentville Hall is operated by a community managed committee.  Various weekly activities are operated from the Hall such as martial arts, dance groups, religious meetings and yoga classes.  The Nepean Food Service utilises office space and run associated activities in the Hall.  Casual functions such as engagements, weddings and birthday parties are held regularly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.


A petition was received with support of 25 signatories from local residents.  A number of issues were highlighted in the petition associated with the operation of functions including drunken patrons, fighting, abusive language, vandalism and disturbance to residents.


Residents in Jeanette Street, Cornelius Place, School House Road and Mulgoa Road were invited to attend the community meeting on Wednesday 18 April.  34 residents attended.  Councillor Mark Davies attended, as did Council staff – Yvonne Perkins, Community Safety Co-ordinator; Tony Jarrett, Acting Neighbourhood Facilities Manager; Linda Sack, Neighbourhood Facilities Officer and representatives of the Management Committee.


Outcomes of the Meeting

A number of issues identified by residents related to interaction with the Police Department and the temporary police station in Jeanette Street.  Residents have requested that another meeting be arranged with Police representatives attending to discuss these issues further.


Residents identified a range of issues that affect them through the operation of the hall.  Many issues will require further investigation, and others will be actioned, in consultation with the Hall committee, other Council departments, and residents.  For example, installation of bins outside the hall, car park lighting installation and improvements to booking administration.


It was agreed that updating the community on the progress of dealing with these issues would be done by regular letterbox drops.


Priority Outcomes

The residents at the meeting agreed that they did not want the hall closed to activities on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, however they wanted any activity to have minimal impact on them.  The meeting identified priority issues that could be implemented progressively. They were: 


1.   Banning alcohol at the Hall

2.   Increasing the Bond up to $1,000.00 for future function bookings and having the Bond relate to how the function affects the neighbourhood

3.   Requiring function security to be strengthened

4.   Reducing the event hours, with functions finishing at 10.00 pm and packed up and cleaned away and out by 11.00 pm

5.   Automated power cut-offs to reduce noise

6.   Implementation of an Alcohol Free Zone.


The community considers that the consumption of alcohol at functions is at the root of problems affecting Regentville residents.  The banning of alcohol at functions could possibly deter antisocial behaviour and help manage to disperse the crowd when leaving at the end of the evening.  Residents at the meeting highlighted that there was no evidence of anti-social behaviour other than with functions at the Hall.


A ‘no alcohol’ facility will affect the frequency of functions generally and therefore revenue for the Hall.  The Committee would need to explore alternate uses to maintain operating revenue. The Colyton Neighbourhood Centre is also a ‘no alcohol’ facility.


Increasing the bond to $1,000.00 for an event may deter certain types of events happening, but could also limit general function bookings at the Hall.  It is recommended that the security bond be increased to $500.00 initially.  However, combined with no alcohol and reduced hours, it is not likely that 18th or 21st functions will be booked in the future. 


The introduction of a condition of hire relating to an “outside” affect on the neighbourhood will make hirers more aware of their responsibilities.  How such impacts are measured and therefore ‘charged’ will need to be worked through.  Guidelines will be established for this Committee and all facility managers to manage bond retention in terms of effect on residents.


Strengthening of security at certain type of events would help with uninvited guests (gate crashers) at functions.  A number of councils already impose a requirement to employ a security guard for some functions.


The reduction in operating hours for functions could also deter the antisocial behaviour and better manage to disperse the crowd.  Colyton and Emu Heights Neighbourhood Centres have 10:00 pm close downs already.


The automatic shut down of power can be used to help manage the finish of a function by a set time.


The introduction of an Alcohol Free Zone in the outside car park, Jeanette Street and other adjoining streets could deter alcohol being consumed in these areas.  The process to establish an Alcohol Free Zone would be considered after monitoring of the Hall’s operations in the next few months.


Management Committee

A previous meeting of the Regentville Hall Management Committee decided to seek support of Council to:


·    Restrict bookings for 18th to 20th Birthdays at the Hall

·    Increase security bonds for 18th to 20th Birthdays to $500.00

·    The introduction of an Alcohol Free Zone outside in the car park and Jeanette Street


The Committee’s approach would restrict 18th to 20th Birthdays and retain the ability to consume alcohol at other functions.




The initial actions focus on reducing the attraction of Regentville Hall as a venue for some functions by restricting alcohol consumption, increasing bonds and reduce times.  This is likely to immediately reduce bookings for all types of functions, not just the 18th to 20th that appears to cause most disturbances.


Another meeting will be held in the near future, primarily to discuss issues of concern with the Police and to update the community on issues they have raised at the community meeting.





1.     The information contained in the report on Community Meeting at Regentville Hall be received

2.     The Security Bonds for 18th and 21st birthdays be increased to $500.00 at all neighbourhood facilities in 2007/08

3.     The consumption of alcohol at Regentville Hall be prohibited

4.     The operation of functions at Regentville Hall be monitored, and further priority measures as identified by the community be implemented if required.



There are no attachments for this report.






The City In Its Environment


Item                                                                                                                                       Page


3        Carbon Neutral Status of Council



Policy Review Committee Meeting

21 May 2007

The City in its Environment



The City in its Environment




Carbon Neutral Status of Council   


Compiled by:                Louise Petchell, Sustainability Unit Co-ordinator

Krystie Race, Sustainability Research Planner

Carmel Hamilton, Sustainability Education Officer

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager  

Requested By:             Councillor Karen McKeown

Councillor David Bradbury

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council leads our City by example and through advocacy by implementing sustainability initiatives.

Critical Action: Demonstrate Council’s leadership through actions and advocacy in reducing the consumption of natural resources, including water, energy and fossil fuels.


Presenters:                   Ross Kingsley and Louise Petchell - Corporate Development Department, Penrith City Council - Carbon Neutral Council    


To discuss the directions through which Council can best advance its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan and approach a more carbon neutral status for its own operations. The report recommends that while continuing to pursue the emission reduction actions identified in its adopted 'Carbon Neutral' Plan, Council also further investigate the increased use of accredited GreenPower and appropriate emission offset arrangements (this includes consideration of  tree plantings and the potential of carbon trading). In addition it is recommended that Council establish a working party to oversee key areas of the Sustainability strategy.



This report responds to a request from Councillor Bradbury at Council’s Ordinary meeting of 6 November 2006 for an investigation into the feasibility of establishing a carbon neutral park within the City of Penrith. The report also addresses a request made by Councillor McKeown at Council meeting of 5 March 2007 for a report into how Penrith can achieve a carbon neutral outcome / status.


Council’s Strategic Plan, strategies for sustainability and action plans address the conservation of energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the City of Penrith as part of the Issue, Sustainable Resource Management. The longer term goal of the Strategic Plan is that “The City conducts itself as a leading environmental practitioner through prudent consumption of resources and reduced resource disposal”. The broader picture of the City’s energy usage and greenhouse emissions and initiatives by Council to will be the subject of further discussions.


It is important to note that the present report is focused on the status of and strategies for Council’s own operations and the leadership role which Council plays in the City in terms of demonstrated commitment to reducing its own greenhouse impact. This is a critical component of Council’s address to the overall challenges of sustainable resource management, in keeping with the Term Achievement that “Council leads our City by example and through advocacy in implementing sustainability initiatives” and the Critical Action to “Demonstrate Council’s leadership through actions and advocacy in reducing the consumption of natural resources, including water, energy and fossil fuels”


Climate change and the greenhouse effect is increasingly being recognised by government, organisations and individuals as one of the most important issues to be addressed by the world over the coming years. Scientific evidence suggests that climate change is directly linked to the release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels for energy and the breakdown of organic matter.


The present report deals with only these direct aspects of climate change, in terms of Council’s own responsibilities and impacts. Climate change is clearly a very complex subject of emerging and critical importance and will be the subject of further discussion with Council in coming months and in the lead up to the next Strategic Plan.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Council’s Strategic Plan calls for it to exercise a leadership role within the local community in the consumption, management and procurement of resources, including energy, and to integrate the principles of sustainability into decision making systems, processes and operations. 


Similarly, Council’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan which was adopted in 2005, Carbon Neutral, sets out seven objectives to foster knowledge and understanding of greenhouse issues, and limit greenhouse gas emissions.  This report directly addresses objectives four  (Efficient and sustainable energy use and supply), and six (Greenhouse sinks and sustainable land management) of the plan, and details how Council can effectively move forward in these areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its own operations, ultimately becoming carbon neutral.


Achieving a carbon neutral status requires a corporation to take action to cancel out or offset the impacts of greenhouse gas or carbon emissions that result from their operations. To achieve carbon neutral status Council must calculate the quantity of carbon dioxide emitted as a result of its operations in tonnes of CO2 and undertake projects to create carbon offsets and/or purchase carbon offsets in order to effectively neutralise the impacts of those emissions.

Response to Date

Penrith City Council has been actively progressing and implementing energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives for some time through the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Cities for Climate Protection ™ Program (CCP).


Council joined the CCP program in February 2000, and over the following four years completed the program through the achievement of five key milestones, designed to result in real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at a local level. These milestones have included:


1.   An inventory of City emissions using 1995 data;

2.   Adoption of a greenhouse gas reduction goal;

3.   Adoption of an action plan to achieve the required emissions reductions;

4.   Implementation of the action plan; and

5.   A re-inventory of the Council’s and City’s emissions using 2002-2003 data to track progress.


Upon completion of the CCP project Council resolved to join ICLEIs CCP Plus program, an advanced program that has been specifically developed for those councils who have completed the CCP milestones but want to continue to strive towards further greenhouse gas reductions.


Since joining the CCP Plus program in 2004, Council has undertaken a review of its initial greenhouse gas reduction goal and action plan, and developed a revised emission reduction goal and greenhouse gas reduction plan, Carbon Neutral, to ensure continued success in reducing and offsetting greenhouse emissions.


Council’s current goal for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is the ‘stabilisation of per capita emissions by 2010 with a 25% reduction by 2015 based on 1995 levels’ for its own operations. Clearly, if Council’s determination of the future direction in terms of Carbon Neutral status may require revision of the current goals.

Council’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The milestone framework of the CCP and CCP Plus programs have provided Council with the opportunity to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are generated through Council’s operations, and to track progress towards the emission reduction goals that have been set.


Initially, emissions were calculated using data from 1995, which has been assigned as our ‘base year’. Through the milestone framework Council’s corporate emissions were again calculated using data from the period 2002-2003, quantifying our emissions in a ‘re-inventory year’.


This analysis indicated that, despite the implementation of abatement measures, there had been a total increase in Council emissions of more than 9% between the base year (1995-96) and the re-inventory year (2002-03).


A further analysis has recently been undertaken utilising data from the 2005-06 year. Results from this analysis indicate that despite the abatement measures taken to date, total greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, with an increase of almost 10% based on 2002-03 data, and almost 20% from the base year of 1995-96. 


The increase in greenhouse gas emissions has in part been attributed to an expansion of Council’s facilities and services between the base year and subsequent re-inventory years. It must also be recognised, however, that Council’s full operations have not to date been thoroughly reviewed and tested against energy efficiency principles and that significant areas of improvement remain to be made.  A range of relevant service improvement requirements, derived from Council’s energy management plans, have been included in the draft 2007-08 Management Plan.


Figure 1 below shows total emissions in the base year, re-inventory years and the forecast year. The forecast year, 2010, is a projection of Council’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions using base year data. This projection estimates corporate emissions if Council continued on a business as usual basis and made no significant further energy efficiency improvements, or greenhouse gas emission reductions. This is of course not the expected scenario but is a necessary point of comparison.

Figure 1 – Council’s CO2-e Emissions

* Based on a ‘business as usual’ scenario


These emissions calculations have not taken into account the emissions generated by the controlled entities other than the Children’s Services Cooperative, as the other entities are responsible for their own energy accounts. The facilities not included at this point include the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Lewers Regional Gallery, Ripples, and Penrith Whitewater Stadium.  Council contractors are also not able to be included at this point as the relevant figures are not available.


Further discussion is provided below on the need to extend the scope of current energy and emission calculations to reflect a more complete picture of Council’s carbon ‘footprint’.

Completed Reduction Measures

Council has implemented a range of measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the initial Greenhouse Gas Reduction Local Action Plan 2001 and the more recent action plan, Carbon Neutral (adopted 2005). These plans set priorities for action and provide direction on where efforts to reduce emissions should be focused.


Measure to reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions have included:

·    undertaking an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) at the Civic Centre and Queen Street Centre;

·    purchasing a percentage of accredited GreenPower for all minor sites (currently 6% of Council’s total electricity purchase for minor sites);

·    an increase in the number of 4-cylinder vehicles replacing 6 cylinder vehicles in the Council fleet (a target of 55% 4-cylinder vehicles has been set for 2007-08);

·    the installation of energy efficient street lighting in a number of locations; and

·    the installation of energy efficient hot water systems at some Council facilities.


Cumulatively, these measures have resulted in the abatement of 6,245.3 tonnes CO2-e up to the end of the 2005-2006 financial year, with the greatest abatements coming from the EPC and the purchase of accredited GreenPower.

Priority Directions for Council

To continue its efforts to reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions, reach the adopted targets and ultimately achieve carbon neutral status Council will need to focus on three key directions. This suggested prioritisation is in accordance with international standards for greenhouse action.


These priorities are, in order of importance:

1.   Reducing Council’s energy use and direct greenhouse emissions

2.   Reducing the ‘carbon intensity’ of the energy which Council uses

3.   Offsetting the remaining emissions in order to move towards carbon neutral status.


Council will need to focus on all the three key areas, but in this logical order of priority, in order to achieve a carbon natural status in the most efficient and cost effective way. Reducing energy use and emissions must be the first order priority. Offsetting emissions will be more effective and less expensive if it is possible first to make significant reductions in emissions.


Reducing the ‘carbon intensity’ of the energy which Council uses, particularly by purchasing further accredited GreenPower (where financially prudent) is considered the second most favourable option as it actually prevents the generation of greenhouse gases by supporting the fledgling renewable energy industry in Australia. This is therefore a higher order priority than offsetting emissions, which is essentially an ‘end of pipe’ solution that addresses emissions after they have been generated.


It also makes economic sense to address the actions in this order as the costs associated with implementing emissions reduction projects are generally once-off payments, with the benefits reaped into the future – both as reduced emissions and reduced energy bills.  While the upfront costs of purchasing GreenPower and offsetting emissions may seem acceptable in the short term, over time, if there is no reduction in emissions, the cumulative costs involved will be significant and will probably continue to grow.


It is also important to note that as reducing energy usage and therefore emissions will directly reduce the costs associated with energy consumption, this yields additional financial benefits by avoiding the need for double payment - once for the initial supply of energy by a service provider and a second time to purchase the required GreenPower or offsets.


Further discussion is provided below on each of these priority directions and some of the implications for Council.


Priority 1 ~ Reducing Direct Emissions

As stated earlier, Council has been progressing greenhouse gas reduction measures since 2001 and has made considerable advances in abating emissions. The focus of Council’s continuing efforts is the implementation of actions identified in Carbon Neutral to improve energy efficiency and sustainable energy use. This priority and additional resourcing to support it has been recently discussed with Council in the Draft Management Plan process.


Implementation of the EPC at Council’s Civic Centre and Queen Street Centre has been responsible for the largest greenhouse gas abatements to date. In just 3 years this initiative has paid back an internal loan of $518,547 to set up the contract, saved $647,025 in electricity and water charges and 4,397.4 tonnes of CO2-e, which is equivalent to taking 1,022 cars off the road. In light of this success, a further expansion of the EPC or similar mechanism to include other facilities and activities has been identified as a high priority in Carbon Neutral and is being pursued. The use of EPCs also has other benefits, including an improvement to Council’s management and reporting capabilities through the provision of readily accessible and usable data on energy consumption and financial costs.


Council has established a Sustainability Revolving Fund as a funding mechanism for sustainability projects, with a particular emphasis on those with a payback in terms of energy and water savings. As the internal loan made to the EPC has now been paid off, the ongoing savings (set at $160,000 per annum) are directed to the Revolving Fund. This mechanism is now able to support an expanded range of projects which will contribute substantially to further outcomes both financially and environmentally. Additional resourcing for implementation of adopted water and energy plans has been flagged as one key direction.


In response to the new statutory requirements noted above, Council is presently finalising an Energy Savings Action Plan (ESAP). This plan has been developed to investigate opportunities for energy savings at Council’s top ten energy consuming sites. The ESAP will identify a range of priority actions for implementation at these facilities to make significant reductions to their greenhouse gas emissions. 


The monitoring and tracking of energy consumption data in a way that provides relevant and useful information is an essential component of managing emissions and supporting greenhouse gas abatements. A Data Management System (DMS) has recently been developed, as an application of the financial system, to allow the timely monitoring and reporting of energy and water consumption and costs, and track progress towards water and energy emission goals. The DMS is currently in a ‘testing’ phase with the application shortly to be rolled out for use by managers in regular reporting (as identified by the relevant requirements in the Draft Management Plan).


Council has also engaged the services of consultants to collect its electricity, gas and water consumption data and report this on a quarterly basis. This information will be used in conjunction with the DMS during its testing and start up phase to work through any issues that may arise, compare data and assist in developing energy and water related KPIs for our facilities.


Another key element of keeping Council’s greenhouse gas emissions low into the future is through the inclusion of greenhouse considerations into future contracts, tenders, purchasing and building design. Specific actions to address these issues are included within the Carbon Neutral and the Greenhouse Purchasing action plan which Council adopted in late 2006.


Recommendation: That Council continue to advance and accelerate where practicable the implementation of its adopted plans to reduce energy use and greenhouse emissions .

Priority 2 ~ Reducing Carbon Intensity of Energy Used

This priority refers to ‘changing the mix’ of energy sources utilised by Council in order to use a greater proportion of ‘cleaner’ energy over time.


The major aspect of this requirement is with regard to the purchase and use of accredited ‘GreenPower’. This is discussed in some detail below.


Other elements being investigated and pursued where feasible and appropriate include the potential for alternative fuel sources for fleet and/or plant vehicles (including contracted vehicles, such as has been specified in Council’s new waste contracts).

Purchasing Accredited GreenPower

Conventional electricity comes from a mix of sources, however approximately 90% of electricity generated within New South Wales comes from the burning of coal. Government-accredited ‘GreenPower’ is energy that has been produced entirely from clean renewable sources, with zero or minimal greenhouse gas emissions.


GreenPower is usually purchased directly from an energy retailer. This ensures that the supplier purchases the required amount of electricity from approved new, renewable sources. It is also possible to purchase the credits (renewable energy certificates or RECs) created by renewable energy generation independently of the electricity supplier, either retrospectively (based on actual energy consumption) or in advance (based on an estimate of emissions).


It is possible for Council to make significant reductions to its greenhouse gas emissions by simply increasing the percentage of accredited GreenPower that is purchased, but this benefit presently comes at a substantial direct cost.


In 2006-07 Council is forecast to spend approximately $728,000 on the supply of electricity (excluding network charges). This estimate is based on current usage for major and minor sites, and 2005-06 data for street lighting. The purchase of 100% GreenPower for all accounts excluding street lighting, in accordance with tariffs under existing contracts would impose an additional cost of approximately $352,000 per annum, while the purchase of 100% GreenPower for street lighting corresponds to approximately an extra $317,000 per annum. 


NB-:       The controlled entities, other than Children’s Services, have been excluded from calculations at this point, as they retain control of their individual energy accounts.


Thus on current costs, GreenPower is approximately double the price of conventional (mainly coal-generated) power available to councils. Lobbying efforts to support both the increase in renewable energy supply and more equitable pricing mechanisms (including consideration of ‘externalities’ or hidden costs of greenhouse pollution in non-renewable power) will need to be undertaken by local government.


Note that under the State Government’s Energy Management Policy, government departments and agencies are currently required to purchase a minimum of 6% GreenPower.


By way of comparison, Figure 2 below shows the amount of accredited GreenPower currently being purchased by a range of regional cities and other leading councils.


Figure 2 – Current GreenPower purchases by other councils



GreenPower for Buildings

GreenPower for Street Lighting

Major Australian Cities

City of Melbourne



City of Sydney



NSW Regional Cities




North Sydney










1 building - Energy & Resource Management Department


Other Councils





10% for major sites,

6% for minor sites



Council previously made the commitment to  purchase 6% of all electricity consumed at its minor sites as accredited GreenPower, costing Council an additional $10,073 per annum from 2005-06. If energy consumption from street lighting and the major sites are included, this amount of GreenPower corresponds to 0.8% of Council’s overall electricity consumption.


Council has existing contracts for electricity supply by Energex for its street lighting, Energy Australia for its major sites and AGL for minor sites, due to expire in June 2007. Under these contracts it is possible to purchase either a portion, or the entire amount of electricity consumed for each account as GreenPower. It is also possible to gradually increase the portion of GreenPower purchased over time to make significant emission reductions. A task has been included in the Draft Management Plan to review these contracts to seek not only optimum financial but sustainability outcomes.


It is worthy of note in this regard that for Council to be eligible to use the GreenPower logo on marketing materials and signage, in order to demonstrate our commitment to the environment, Council would need to meet the minimum purchasing level according to a scale set by government. Based on Council’s current annual energy consumption (including streetlighting) of 15.55 GWh, this would require Council to purchase 10% GreenPower, at an additional cost of approximately $35,000 per annum.


GreenPower purchase is a necessary and effective part of the approach of local government to greenhouse abatement. The major impediment is the higher cost compared to conventional electricity. However the decision to purchase a proportion of GreenPower should also consider the message it sends to the community of Council’s commitment to combating climate change and the ability of GreenPower usage to quickly and easily offset emissions.


The price of GreenPower is however expected to decline relative to conventional power over time, as the renewable energy industry grows and economies of scale are introduced. Should carbon trading become a more widespread eventuality the cost of conventional electricity is also likely to increase significantly, making renewable energy a more affordable option. This is further discussed below.


It is anticipated that GreenPower will be one of the focus areas of the WSROC Purchasing group in terms of securing a more favourable option for Western Sydney Councils.


For all of these reasons, it is considered to be most practical and appropriate for Council at this time to pursue a phased takeup of further GreenPower as a key component of its Carbon Neutral strategy. This will require more detailed examination and report.


Recommendation: That further investigation be undertaken with a view to developing a strategy for Council to extend its use of accredited GreenPower over time.

Priority 3 ~ Offsetting Remaining Emissions

Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for by offsetting, reducing or displacing the greenhouse gas in another place, typically where it is more economical to do so. Thus, offsets are so named because they counteract or offset the purchaser's greenhouse gas emissions.


Offsets are an essential part of an effective greenhouse gas reduction plan because they can be implemented quickly and at a relatively low cost. Given the level of emissions reductions that must be achieved to stabilise the climate, the growing sense of urgency for immediate action, and the societal cost savings that offsets represent, offsets are an indispensable component of real climate change solutions. It is critical, however, that offsets not become a substitute for actions to reduce emissions, as discussed above.


The retail carbon offsets market is emerging as a means of allowing individuals, households, and companies to go ‘carbon neutral’ and is growing rapidly. Several dozen companies and organisations now offer consumers the ability to purchase offsets in the retail marketplace.


These entities encourage consumers and companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, or to offset specific activities, such as airline flights, car travel, conferences, or other events.


A wide variety of offset actions are available and possible. The most frequent involve planting trees, followed by renewable energy and energy conservation projects and travel and transport offsets. Other offset methods include organic waste composting, agricultural methane capture, and biomass co-generation. 


Several key aspects of the offsets approach are discussed in the following sections of the report.

Carbon Emissions Trading

The present situation in Australia with regard to carbon emissions trading is complex and information available can appear to be contradictory. To assist in Council’s deliberations on this matter, it is intended to arrange a presentation to an upcoming Councillor Briefing by an independent expert.


There is presently no national carbon trading scheme in Australia and the Federal Government has not committed to establish such a scheme. The Prime Minister has set up a Commonwealth-business Task Group (due to report later this month) to advise on the nature and design of a workable global emissions trading system in which Australia would be able to participate. The Prime Ministerial Task Group will also advise and report on additional steps that might be taken within Australia, consistent with the goal of establishing such a system.


The State and Territory Governments, however, have collectively set up a National Emissions Trading Taskforce and recently announced a commitment to set up a ‘National Emissions Trading Scheme’ to take effect by 2011 if the Federal Government does not itself move to do so.


The present report does not deal directly with these larger issues of carbon trading, but outlines the current requirements to achieve accredited ‘carbon credits’. This entails meeting the criteria set by either the NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (one of the first mandatory schemes of its type in the world when established in 2003) or the Federal Government’s Climate Friendly program.

Verification and Accreditation of Carbon Offsets

As sinks actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere they can potentially be used to create carbon credits against emissions occurring elsewhere. These carbon credits can then be used directly by agencies and businesses which generate greenhouse gas emissions or could be sold or traded into a future emissions trading system.


To be allowed to create carbon credit, formally known as NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Certificates (NGACs) a body must be accredited as an ‘Abatement Certificate Provider’ either under the NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (GGAS) or the Federal Government’s Climate Friendly program. This very complex area is briefly summarised below.


The objectives of the NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and use of electricity and to develop and encourage activities to offset the production of greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, GGAS allows parties undertaking eligible activities resulting in the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions to produce Abatement Certificates. To create Abatement Certificates, parties must be accredited by the Scheme Administrator, currently the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), as Abatement Certificate Providers.


The Federal Government’s Greenhouse Friendly program, administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO), allows businesses to obtain certification for any products or services whose whole-of-life greenhouse gas emissions - from production and transport through to use and disposal - have been offset through investment in corresponding greenhouse gas abatement. Certification entitles the participating companies to display the Greenhouse Friendly logo in conjunction with the sale and marketing of their certified product.


The program does not have a legislative basis. Instead it is structured around contractual relationships, which are used to ensure participants continue to meet their obligations.


Trading under the Greenhouse Friendly Program occurs on a project basis and participants are responsible for sourcing and funding investment in offsets. Companies seeking certification for a product or service must demonstrate that they have acquired an amount of abatement equal to the emissions of each product manufactured or service delivered. In practice, this means that participating companies need to show that they have a contract with another entity for delivery of offsets or some other legally acceptable evidence that they have caused the offsetting activity to occur. The companies have the choice of purchasing the abatement and taking ownership of it, or entering into a performance contract with a supplier for delivery of a certain amount of abatement. In establishing these contracts, companies can gain experience in dealing with the legal framework necessary for carbon credit trading.


Carbon accounts must be independently verified and open to audit. Participating companies, in consultation with the Program Administrator, are responsible for obtaining independent verification. They must select from the Panel of Independent Verifiers who are accredited as competent to verify greenhouse emissions in specific industry sectors in line with the rules of GGAS or Greenhouse Friendly.


The verifiers have a contract with the Program Administrator that requires them to operate in accordance with the program guidelines and technical requirements and to adhere to the Verifiers Code of Conduct. All services are provided to participating companies on a commercial basis. The rates charged are not determined by the Australian Greenhouse Office or the Program Administrator.

Carbon Offsets via Tree Plantings

Vegetation plays an important role in reducing the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air. An area of vegetation, which builds up a store of carbon in trees, shrubs and soil, is considered a greenhouse ‘sink’.


The establishment of forest sinks is an increasingly popular means of offsetting emissions. The Australian Government has developed a set of criteria which a proposed sink must meet in order to have sequestration formally recognised as offsets.  These criteria are consistent with those developed internationally, and which apply to Australia’s Kyoto emissions target, for eligible forest sink activities.


The criteria include requirements that any eligible forest or planting must:

·    Consist of trees with a potential height of at least two metres and crown cover of at least 20%;

·    Exist in patches greater than 0.2 hectare in area, and (for reasons of detectability) have a minimum width of 10 metres;

·    Be established since 1 January 1990, on land that was clear of forest at 31 December 1989;

·    Be established by direct human induced methods, i.e. planting, direct seeding, or human induced promotion of regeneration from natural seed sources; and

·    Occur in Australia.


Effectively, offset credits cannot arise from an organisation or council doing ‘business as usual’ but must reflect a special initiative taken under these rules.


To determine the area of forest sink required to offset emissions, the Australian Government has developed a framework, the National Carbon Accounting Toolbox. Indicative calculations using this framework have been undertaken to provide the following commentary. These are based on Council’s 2005-06 greenhouse gas emissions and on the assumption that plantings would be likely to consist of mixed environmental plantings, not monoculture or plantation species. It is however the case that the area required could be reduced if plantation species were used. 


These preliminary calculations indicate that, should Council wish to offset 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions using forest sinks, it would be required to plant 156 hectares of forest, with a guarantee that this planting would remain in place for a minimum of 20 years. If the guaranteed minimum age of the planting could be extended to 100 years, then the area required is reduced to 82.5 hectares.


Similarly, should Council wish to offset 10% of its emissions using forest sinks it would need to plant 15 hectares of forest with a guaranteed minimum tree age of 20 years, or 8 hectares with a guaranteed minimum tree age of 100 years.


If Council were to proceed with establishing a forest sink, it would clearly be preferable for it to form part of a corridor of vegetation as opposed to isolated pockets. There may also be opportunities to integrate with existing Council projects, for example, the recently-announced $2 million grant-funded project to revegetate sections of Ropes and South Creek. Similarly, Council’s existing programs of local revegetation have the potential to be integrated into a broader strategy for offsets, provided they can meet or be adapted to the necessary criteria outlined above. The intended feasibility study of a Botanic Garden, included in the Draft 2007-08 Management Plan, should also take this consideration into account.


It may also be appropriate to consider undertaking planting in other locations, either within Western Sydney, or within Lachlan Shire as an extension of the existing friendship agreement.


There is considerable debate on the effectiveness of forest plantings as carbon sinks, as sequestration is essentially a temporary measure. This is because most forests and ecosystems in the long term are in a steady state of absorbing carbon through new growth, and then emitting carbon during decay. However, if land has been cleared and is then reafforested then a net sequestration of carbon certainly occurs.


The establishment of forest sinks, where native plantings are utilised, provides a range of environmental benefits in addition to carbon sequestration, including protection of biodiversity and water quality, provision of habitat, and visual and recreational benefits.


Establishment of forest sinks is an important component of offsetting emissions and has been identified in Carbon Neutral as one of the strategies to be implemented to achieve emissions reductions, however the substantial land area which is required may limit its feasibility. Forest sinks will be most effective when used in conjunction with a suite of other offsetting and reduction measures, as well as in partnership with other jurisdictions or investors.


Carbon Neutral Park

Based on the calculations provided above, it is unlikely to be feasible to establish a park that will offset all of Council’s greenhouse gas emissions. It may however be possible to establish a carbon neutral park that is designed to offset a portion of Council’s annual emissions.


The potential to establish a ‘Carbon Neutral Park’ will require careful consideration of and investigation into a range of issues, including:

·    the location, availability and ownership of a suitable area of land

·    the size of the land available

·    the amount of greenhouse gas emissions able to be offset in the available land area

·    the process of achieving accreditation under a formal system (currently either GGAS or Greenhouse Friendly), so that the credits generated can be used to formally recognised as offsets against Council’s greenhouse gas emissions

·    the type of planting to be undertaken, for example local natives versus Australian natives versus exotics

·    the end use of the planting

·    the cost of establishing such a  park, undertaking annual maintenance and any accreditation and verification requirements associated with accounting for carbon credits.


There is the potential for a carbon neutral park to have benefits for the City that are additional to carbon sequestration. Similar parks in other areas have been used to fulfil a range of functions including community engagement (individuals, schools, community groups and businesses) in planting and maintenance activities, education on greenhouse and sustainability issues, the creation of habitat, the extension of wildlife corridors and rehabilitation of degraded areas. 


It is important to note, however, that there are presently no examples in Australia of a park or forest established by local government which fulfils the requirements for accredited carbon offsets. The only proven examples in Australia are commercial forests.


In this regard, Blacktown City Council has recently obtained grant funding from the NSW Environmental Trust for a proposed project to establish forest sinks in urban and rural areas, in conjunction with Liverpool Plains Shire Council and Greening Australia. The sinks will aim to be accredited under GGAS to create tradeable carbon certificates, enabling the generation of long term income and the ability to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Key goals of the project include establishing local government as an early adopter of this approach and attracting business and the broader community as financial and hands-on contributers to offset their carbon emissions. This project will be monitored very closely by other councils but again it is stressed that the model is as yet unproven. Greening Australia is presently seeking, but does not yet have, accreditation as a licenced ‘carbon pool manager’.


In a different approach, Wollongong City Council’s “Greenhouse Park” was created in 1999, with plans to plant over 20,000 trees on a 20 hectare site over a 10 year period. The project’s primary focus was as an environmental program for schools, with other benefits arising including its potential role as a greenhouse sink, the rehabilitation of a former landfill site, the provision of habitat for native fauna and the creation of a recreational space for the community. The project has not been accredited, so no carbon credits are able to be claimed to officially offset emissions generated by the council.


As previously endorsed by Council, a task has been included in the Draft 2007-08 Management Plan to investigate and develop a project plan for a carbon neutral park or similar measure as part of Council’s strategy. This will be in the context of an agreed overall approach to carbon offsets, as further discussed below.

Other Examples of Carbon Offsets

There are a range of carbon offset measures that are available to organisations and businesses in addition to forest sinks. Some examples of products that may be applicable to Council’s operations and are available commercially are outlined below. No specific recommendation or endorsement is made at this point, as all these possible directions will require further investigation and financial assessment.

1. BP Global Choice Commercial Fuels

BP Global Choice is a program that assists businesses in offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions generated by vehicle and machinery use. The product is offered to business customers as a premium over the normal fuel price. The increased cost of the fuel goes directly towards funding projects that will offset greenhouse gas emissions. The program has been accredited under Greenhouse Friendly.


Council’s new recycling contractor, Visy, has recently joined the BP Global Choice program for their entire Australian operations. The program will enable Visy to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their vehicles, including those used to collect recyclables within Penrith City.

2. Greenfleet

Greenfleet Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from transport by individuals and company fleets. It offers organisations the opportunity to offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by their fleet vehicles at a fixed price, based on either the number of vehicles in the fleet or the annual fuel consumption of the fleet.


Joining the Greenfleet program, based on fuel consumption by Council’s fleet vehicles during the 2005-2006 financial year, would impose a cost of $10,209 while offsetting 1,134 tonnes of CO2-e emissions.


A range of other councils and organisations have already committed to purchasing offsets on behalf of their vehicle fleets through the Greenfleet program. Although not accredited it is promoted by the AGO and widely used by other Councils, including City of Newcastle (350 vehicles), City of Sydney (fuel based offsetting), City of Melbourne (132 vehicles) and Campbelltown City Council (62 vehicles).

3. Virgin Blue Airlines Flight Offsets

Virgin Blue Airlines also has a service available to customers to allow the emissions generated by domestic air travel to be offset. This program has been accredited by Greenhouse Friendly and guarantees that the emissions generated by flights will be offset through approved abatement activities.


Offsets are purchased at the time of booking flights and incur minimal additional charges. For example, the cost of offsetting a one way trip to Melbourne under this program is an additional $2. 

Cost of Greenhouse Gas Abatement Certificates

The price of seeking to go carbon neutral varies widely. Carbon neutral websites sell offsets that range from $5 through to $25 per tonne, with an average of about $10 per tonne (Source: Clean Air – Cool Climate, 2006 A Consumers Guide to Retail Carbon Offsets).


Price competition in the retail offsets market is starting to appear, and while there is not necessarily a link between the cost of producing a carbon offset and its quality, it is likely that a general correlation between price and quality in the retail offset market exists. For this reason, it is important to evaluate the quality of the offsets used by companies against a range of sustainability criteria.

Scope and Boundaries of Emissions

The concept of carbon neutral status is not simply defined and careful consideration will need to be given to defining the scope and boundaries to be used in future to calculate Council’s emissions for offsetting as part of its overall strategy.


 A range of definitions of Council’s impact could be applied in seeking to achieve carbon neutral status, varying from only those emissions generated by electricity and gas consumption at directly owned and managed buildings, through to many other possible types of emission. The broadest definition would also include emissions arising from:

·    electricity consumption by street lighting;

·    electricity and gas consumption by the controlled entities;

·    electricity and gas consumption at Council managed and organised events, where these are not held within Council owned buildings;

·    fuel consumption by fleet and plant vehicles;

·    fuel consumption by non fleet vehicles, rail and air transport during travel by Councillors and staff for any business purpose ; and

·    fuel consumption by vehicles, bus, rail and air transport during travel by members of external organisations and the community to attend Council managed and organised events, for example Australia Day celebrations

·    the journey to work impact of staff (a component included by Waitakere City Council in New Zealand in calculating its greenhouse emissions.


Council will need to consider the appropriate and practical limits to be placed on emissions and offset calculations in any strategy to become carbon neutral.


Calculating emissions directly from the consumption of electricity and fossil fuels in council owned and managed buildings, street lighting and in fleet vehicles is relatively easy, primarily because there are standard methods of calculation available for use, and internal systems are now in place to automatically capture and analyse this data. This has been used to calculate corporate emissions as part of the CCP and CCP Plus programs according to the boundaries set by those programs.


Calculating emissions from other sources presents many more challenges.   These include difficulties in accessing, recording and managing the relevant data, the increased difficulty of undertaking the actual emissions calculations, and the need to rely more heavily on assumptions rather than evidence within these calculations.


Recommendation: To pursue the Strategic Task included in the Draft 2007-08 Management Plan to “Develop a strategy and project plan for carbon offsets of Council’s operations including a carbon neutral park or similar intention.”

Case Studies

To assist Council’s deliberations on these matters, the following information is provided on three major Australian cities and their approaches to the objective of carbon neutrality for their own operations. It is not suggested that direct benchmarks should be established with these councils, however the range of responses is important to consider.


Investigation of the carbon neutral objectives and directions taken by a range of comparable Western Sydney and regional councils is also being undertaken and will be further reported.

1.City of Melbourne

In 2003 the City of Melbourne published an ambitious plan for becoming carbon neutral, Zero Net Emissions by 2020: A roadmap to a climate neutral city. The plan covers both corporate and city emissions and contains actions to reduce and offset all emissions generated through a combination of improving building design, purchasing and promoting the uptake of renewable energy products, reducing corporate emissions and working as partners with the community to reduce emissions from homes and businesses.


Targets have been set to reduce the City of Melbourne’s corporate emissions by 30% by 2010 and to achieve carbon neutral status by 2020. The key activities that will be undertaken to address this include:


-     Increasing the purchase of accredited renewable energy from 23% to 50%; and

-     Sequestering the remaining emissions (50%) through partnering and investments in mallee forests for renewable energy generation and eucalyptus oil production.

It is worthy of note in regard to the latter point that Penrith City Council is currently in the very early stages of discussions with the ‘Lachlan Renewable Energy Alliance’ regarding the concept plan for a major mallee forest project in Lachlan Shire.

2.  City of Sydney

In November 2006, the City of Sydney Council resolved to become carbon neutral by 2008. The plan calls for a detailed emissions inventory to be undertaken early in 2007-08 and then work with leading environmental organisations to develop tender specifications calling for the supply of accredited offsets and GreenPower to offset all Council emissions immediately.


The cost of this action when reported to City of Sydney Council was estimated at $1M-$1.5M per annum, depending on the optimum mix of GreenPower and offsets chosen.


City of Sydney’s strategy for achieving carbon neutral status includes the upfront reduction of emissions through energy efficiency projects, targeting all Council properties, street lighting and the vehicle fleet. It has been calculated that the greenhouse gas abatements arising from these projects should be in the range of 24% by 2014, with the majority of abatements occurring by 2008. Remaining emissions will be addressed by a combination of purchasing accredited GreenPower and purchasing carbon offsets that have been approved by IPART under the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme.


The highly ambitious plans announced by the City of Sydney will be closely monitored to further inform Council’s own carbon neutral strategy.

3.  City of Newcastle

Newcastle City Council has been an acknowledged leader in sustainable resource management, particularly in the Cities for Climate Protection alliance and has achieved notable results including web-based reporting of energy consumption for the City.


The Council’s corporate target is to reduce emissions by 30% by 2008, based on 2000 levels. Newcastle City Council has no plan at this stage to go fully carbon neutral. It has however expressed strong in principle opposition to carbon offsets to achieve a carbon neutral status, as this is viewed as avoiding the central issue of reducing energy use and emissions.


Newcastle’s approach is to invest directly (approximately $200,000 per annum) in measures to minimise energy and water consumption.


As indicated by the report, a comprehensive but carefully staged address of the three key priority areas of:

1.   Reducing direct emissions

2.   Reducing the carbon intensity of energy consumed

3.   Offsetting remaining emissions


is considered the most appropriate and effective strategy to continue and accelerate efforts to reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions, reach current goals and ultimately achieve carbon neutral status.


A significant amount of further investigation is required in order to assess in more detail the optimum combination of these methods to support Council’s strategy. Many elements of this work are underway as outlined in the report.


One key factor in this response will be the leadership provided by Council itself, as well as by senior management and the appropriate organisational teams. This will prove even more important in the formulation of key issues in the lead up to Council’s next Strategic Plan. That Plan will need to lead the City in terms of critical emerging challenges such as the broader aspects of Climate Change.


In responding most effectively to the challenging nature of these requirements, the organisation would benefit from the establishment of a specific Council forum to guide and confirm the directions of the Carbon Neutral strategy, as well as the development of issues for the next Strategic Plan. In the first instance, it would be appropriate to establish a Working Party of Council which would also be charged with developing the ongoing terms of reference under which Council could best be engaged for these purposes.


At the broader local government level, effective leadership by alliances and regional organisations of councils and through the Local Government and Shires Associations will also be of great importance. In this regard, it is notable that the Mayor has recently confirmed Council’s intention to join the ‘Australasian Mayors Council on Climate Protection’ which is facilitated by ICLEI. A report will be provided to the next Ordinary Meeting of Council on the recent ICLEI 2007 Conference, at which this new alliance was launched. This initiative is seen as another step in the commitment of this Council and of local government generally to lead the way on reducing greenhouse impact and combating climate change.





1.     The information contained in the report on Carbon Neutral Status of Council be received

2.     Council continue to advance and accelerate where practicable the implementation of its adopted plans to reduce energy use and greenhouse emissions, according to the priority directions discussed in the report

3.     A Working Party comprising all interested and available Councillors be established to address the further development of Council’s Sustainability strategies including Carbon Neutral and its leadership role.



There are no attachments for this report.


Acronyms Used in this Report

AGO           Australian Greenhouse Office

CCP           Cities for Climate Protection

CCP Plus    Cities for Climate Protection Plus

CO2-e              Carbon Dioxide Equivalent

DMS           Data Management System

EPC            Energy Performance Contract

ESAP          Energy Savings Action Plan

GGAS         NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme

ICLEI         International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
                   (Council is a member of ICLEI Oceania - Local Governments for Sustainability)

IPART        NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal

REC            Renewable Energy Certificate


The City as an Economy


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4        International Links Visit to Korea and Japan, March 2007



Policy Review Committee Meeting

21 May 2007

The City as an Economy



The City as an Economy




International Links Visit to Korea and Japan, March 2007   


Compiled by:                Jill Turner, City Partnerships Officer

Authorised by:             Geoff Shuttleworth, Economic Development and City Marketing Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Programs are attracting domestic and international visitors to the City for access to cultural and sporting exchange and experiences and language education and training.

Critical Action: The City's international relationships are maintained and opportunities for enhancing these relationships are explored.



To inform Council of the outcomes of the visit to Council's international links in Hakusan and Fujieda City, Japan and Gangseo-gu, South Korea in March this year. The report recommends that the information in the report on the international links visit to Hakusan and Fujieda City, Japan and Gangseo-gu, South Korea be received.




Council has relationships with six cities in other countries including Japan, Peoples Republic of China, South Korea and England. A series of reciprocal programs are in place with these international relations focussing on cultural and economic outcomes.


This international relations program has expanded considerably in recent years and the strategic relationships that have been developed have provided the City with economic, cultural and social benefits. Council also acts as a facilitator of many of the reciprocal exchange activities and this has provided a solid foundation for the business and cultural communities within our City to establish international networks.


At the Ordinary meeting of 4 December 2006, Council was advised that an invitation had been received from the Mayor of Hakusan City in Japan for a delegation from Penrith City led by the Mayor to attend the official launch of a major cultural exchange between the two cities, that featured a major photographic exhibition - “The Tracksuits of St Marys” and accompanying musical performance by the two pre-eminent cultural institutions in the City - now part of the entity known as Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Limited the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and the Penrith Regional Gallery.


The Mayor of Penrith Councillor Pat Sheehy led the delegation. Also in attendance was Councillor Jackie Greenow, the General Manager, Alan Travers and City Partnerships Officer, Jill Turner.  The Lady Mayoress also accompanied the delegation paying all of her own expenses.


In addition John Kirkman, CEO of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Limited and Valda Silvy, Director, Conservatorium of Music were also in attendance with a team to curate the exhibition and conduct the musical performance that accompanied the exhibition.


The visit also presented the opportunity to visit the City’s other international links in Gangseo-gu, South Korea and Fujieda City, Japan to discuss potential future economic and cultural initiatives between the cities.

Next Steps

While in each City, meetings were held with relevant City officials based around agendas that were set prior to the visit to canvass potential opportunities for future economic and cultural collaborations between the cities.


A brief background on each of these agenda items and the outcomes of the discussions along with the follow up action that is required by the relevant Council officers follows:


Agenda Item: 2009 Anniversary Celebrations - Fujieda (25 years), Hakusan (20 years):


For some time Penrith has been negotiating with CLAIR (Japanese Local Government Association) in Sydney about hosting their annual forum in 2009 to coincide with anniversary celebrations with both Hakusan and Fujieda in 2009. Attendance and participation in this conference by Hakusan and Fujieda are seen as a key component of the anniversary celebrations.


The meetings with Hakusan and Fujieda were advised of Penrith’s proposal to co-host the annual CLAIR Forum in late 2009 on a theme of sustainability. 2009 was chosen because of the respective 20th and 25th relationship anniversaries with Hakusan and Fujieda. Both cities were enthusiastic about their role in the forum and its link with the anniversary celebrations and gave in principle support to their participation.


Action: Follow up with CLAIR Sydney now that in principle agreement has been reached with Hakusan and Fujieda and send further material about the CLAIR Townsville Forum 2006 to both cities (City Partnerships Officer). Once CLAIR has confirmed Penrith as the venue for the 2009 conference set up an initial steering group to organise the forum (Economic Development & City Marketing/Corporate Development)


Agenda Item: Cultural Activities - Japan (Hakusan & Fujieda ) and Gangseo-gu, Korea


In each City visited there were discussions held to investigate possible future cultural collaborations between each other following a number of significant cultural collaborations in recent years, particularly with Japan where we have participated in events such as the Shimai Toshi exhibition, the Taiko drummers and the inaugural community dance exchange with Fujieda. The CEO of  Penrith Visual and Performing Arts is happy to continue to be involved in cultural exchanges with Japan (both Hakusan and Fujieda), building on the successful visual arts and performance programs as mentioned above that have taken place in recent years. 


Hakusan and Fujieda demonstrated considerable enthusiasm when asked about their willingness to take part in a tripartite cultural festival to coincide with the 2009 CLAIR Forum, to celebrate the respective 20th and 25th anniversaries.  Many ideas of possible citizen involvement as individuals or groups were raised.  The involvement by Japan to come to Penrith would need to be reciprocated with return visits to Japan by Penrith performers.


During the visit to the Asano Drum Factory in Hakusan, a video was shown of the cross-over event when break dancers combined with taiko drummers in a New York performance - Fujieda has world champion break-dancer Tsuyoshi Karasawa who has performed in Penrith and Hakusan has the Asano Taiko drum factory and its performers. This was seen as an ideal opportunity to emulate this cross-over event and incorporate local Penrith drum performers at the 2009 celebrations in Penrith


NOTE: It is important to note that Asialink has held Penrith up to the Federal Government as an example of best practice of serious and beneficial cultural projects at a regional level, which should favourably support any future grant applications. 


Action: Prepare a discussion paper on the preferred options for the cultural component of the 2009 anniversary celebrations for consideration and discuss options with both cities (CEO –Penrith Performing & Visual Arts). Also request a copy of Asano’s video of the performance in New York. (City Partnerships Officer)


In discussions on cultural activities with Gangseo-gu, they indicated their preference for the first stage in any cultural exchange would be for a Penrith composer to visit one of Gangseo’s annual festivals.  They took the delegation to the new Heo Jun Museum in Gangseo-gu, dedicated to the first doctor to publish works on oriental medicine, including herbal medicine and acupuncture. The CEO of Penrith Performing & Visual Arts felt it would be more beneficial to send a curator to Gangseo-gu in the first instance to assess the opportunities for future collaborations


Action: Explore with Gangseo-gu opportunities for sending a curator from Penrith to Korea to look at incorporating artists/composers into exhibitions and performances staged in Penrith (CEO – Penrith Performing and Visual Arts).  Also consult UWS Department of Music and Faculty of Medicine to see if they could be involved in Penrith and/or Gangseo because of both their electronic music strengths and their courses in traditional Chinese medicine (CEO - Penrith Performing & Visual Arts/City Partnerships Officer).


Agenda Item - Rotary Clubs


Following on from the previous visit to Hakusan when discussions took place about the possibility of Rotary Clubs being put in touch with each other this agenda item was included to canvass if interest still existed in establishing contact between the clubs with a view to undertaking various projects together.


Hakusan has two Rotary Clubs, one of which is particularly keen to form alliances with Penrith District Clubs (Penrith has four clubs and a number of current Councillors are affiliated with these clubs). Nepean Riverlands Probus Club was also recently hosted by Xicheng District of Beijing during their China tour, and may now be keen to be further involved with international links.


The enthusiasm of the clubs in Japan represent good opportunities for community based exchanges between them and Penrith City to be pursued.


Action: Contact the four local Penrith clubs to advise them of the enthusiasm, particularly from the Hakusan Rotary club. (City Partnerships Officer)


Agenda Item - Penrith Valley Special Visits Network (PVSVN)


The Penrith Valley Special Visits Network (PVSVN) is a group of Penrith Valley operators who aim to service overseas visitors who are focussed on attaining new skills and qualifications while enjoying the Australian experience and it was felt that these short courses or accredited training programs could be offered to each City with many cities from Korea already using the Network through our association with KLAFIR (Korean Local Authorities Foundation for International Relations).


Translated information on the Special Visits Network’s educational tour options was given to each of the three cities visited .  Gangseo-gu currently organises with China for ten-day family language tours to learn the Chinese language. We indicated that we offer business and government groups tailored programs, which can incorporate homestay.


This could also link to Rotary and other service clubs, and be extended beyond business tours.


Action: Write to all three cities to clarify if they have read the PVSVN material and if they see any opportunities for future study visits. (City Partnerships Officer)


Whilst discussion took place about the opportunities to utilise the PVSVN, Gangseo-gu also spoke of its aim to provide equal access to education for women.  Councillor Greenow gave an overview of the ALGWA conference and the opportunity for women to participate in local government. Representatives were invited to attend the ALGWA conference in 2008.  Gangseo-gu gave an undertaking to put their Women’s Association in touch with Penrith.


Action:  Send the program for the May 2007 ALGWA Conference to Gangseo-gu (Personnel Services Manager).  Ensure the Women’s Associations of each city are put in touch with each other (City Partnerships Officer).


Agenda Item - Commerce


At the last meeting with Gangseo-gu in 2003, there was discussion about the benefits that could be derived from putting local businesses in touch with each other through a business profiles publication that highlights local industries who already export or are keen to export and through putting local Chambers of Commerce in touch with each other.


At the meeting in Gangseo-gu, the delegation was given a booklet of small-medium businesses in Gangseo-gu (in response to our agenda item which said we were preparing a booklet on local Penrith businesses).  Vice President of the Gangseo-gu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hee Myung-Kwon (President being overseas on business) said they have 1300 members producing high-quality products and that they are keen to have dialogue with Penrith business organisations. 


Action: Meeting to be set up with the Mayor, General Manager, Local Economic Development Program Manager,  PVEDC and potentially Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce, initially to identify which companies in the Penrith area are doing business already with Korea and/or Japan who could be put in touch. Also seek the advice of Penrith and Korean businessman Mr Kie Man Yoo for his advice on what would be the best way to facilitate business opportunities between the two cities (Local Economic Development Program Manager).


Agenda Item - Council’s Strengths in Sustainability and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Penrith City Council is a recognised leader in local government for its sustainability program as well as its Spatial Information Management Systems and there is a wealth of knowledge that can be passed on to those who may wish to consider implementing these systems in their cities. It was felt that this visit presented an opportunity to demonstrate how Penrith has implemented these systems and what benefits they can offer as well as engaging in the possibility of Penrith providing some form of assistance to help implement these programs into our international relations operations if they desire. Translated information on these items was tabled at meetings with each City.


Action: Prepare a letter to go to each City to see if they have reviewed the information with a view to potentially putting relevant managers in direct contact with each other and then if required or desired arrange a teleconference to see if there is room to work together on these issues (City Partnerships Officer) . Also, invite representatives from each city to take part in the 2010 International Geographical Surveying Conference, with which Penrith has an involvement (Information Management & Technology Manager).


Agenda Item - Children’s Services


There have been two successful visits to Penrith by Early Childhood students from Kinjo College, Hakusan and during the latest visit in March 2007 there was some discussion about the possibility of extending the program.


Whilst in Hakusan, the delegation discussed this possible extension of the one-day Kinjo College visit program (early childhood) along with a visit to the Kinjo campus.  In addition to 2-year early childhood and visual arts programs, the University offers 4-year degree programs in business and in health science. Hakusan have expressed an interest in our programs of working with children with special needs so an extension of the program to two days could include the JSPAC/Gallery programs for children with special needs, WSITAFE Kingswood Campus, UWS - (particularly special needs programs), and the Nordoff-Robbins Therapy Centre at UWS Penrith campus.


Action: Find out more about Japanese early childhood education for children with special needs (City Partnerships Officer) and forward this information on to our Children’s Services Department to allow them to develop an appropriate program.


Agenda Item - Korean Sister School Relationship with Jamison High School


One of Penrith’s state high schools, Jamison High School, has approached Council, aware of our relationship with Gangseo-gu to investigate the possibility of developing a sister school relationship with a school in Gangseo-gu.


In response to this request by Jamison High School to put them in touch with a Korean High School and pre-visit email correspondence, the delegation met with President Kim Jun Ho and Principal Kim Wan Ji and other staff at Semin Technology High School which is a vocationally oriented private senior high school in Gangseo-gu.  The logo of this very well equipped senior high school is “IT industrial manpower - the school which moves on to college”. 


It has a major emphasis on IT (mobile communications, cyber business, web business, visual arts and web design, multi media room) as well as cookery (and as extra curricular activity bartending). 


Not only the school’s new President, but also the Mayor of Gangseo-gu, are keen to see the establishment of a formal relationship allowing both student (15-16 years) and staff exchange.


Action: Suggest to Jamison Principal Graham Hodgkins that he telephones Semin High school at pre-arranged time to organise for Kim Jun Ho to visit Penrith for further discussions (City Partnerships Officer to brief Principal). The specialisation of the school is such that it may be beneficial to also invite Jamison to include TAFE and UWS  in any visit program to Penrith.


Other Meetings 


EBS Television , Seoul, South Korea


In May 2006 KLAFIR facilitated an EBS film shoot in Penrith Valley focussing on innovation in local government. Their program in which Penrith featured highlighted three cities from across the globe as positive models of government. As part of their visit to Penrith they also interviewed representatives of the International Regatta Centre , Penrith Whitewater Stadium, TAFE, UWS and Muru Mittigar. EBS - the Korea Educational Broadcasting System are the pre-eminent educational broadcaster in Korea  and the fourth largest free-to-air broadcaster in the country.


Following this filming of Penrith for an educational broadcast in Korea prior to their general elections, the delegation was given a tour of EBS.  They propose to return to Penrith to film a segment on the International Regatta Centre sometime in the near future.


Action: As part of the City Partnerships program, place this item on the agenda for the next partnership meeting with UWS bringing along a representative from UWS with a view to the two television stations looking at the possibility of working together and exchanging ideas and information.




KLAFIR is the Korean Local Authorities Foundation for International Relations. KLAFIR's Sydney Office was established to promote the globalisation of Korean local governments, support sister-city relationships between local governments in Korea and Australia, direct the overseas training of Korean public officials and to provide information on local governance and other programs related to international exchanges between the two countries.


KLAFIR and Penrith City Council became aware of each others activities around two years ago when information on the Penrith Valley Special Visits Network (PVSVN) was presented to a KLAFIR delegation that was studying with the University of Sydney’s Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific. Since that time a number of delegations of officials from Korea have visited Penrith to attain new skills and qualifications through the network.


On a courtesy visit to KLAFIR head office in Seoul, South Korea the new Director and staff for the Sydney office were introduced by KLAFIR’s President.  He expressed his commitment to continuing to send training groups to Penrith.  He also invited Penrith to take part in KLAFIR’s very successful K2H (Korea Heart to Heart) training program for local government staff, and agreed that it would be possible to negotiate work placements through their program at Gangseo-gu District Office.


Action: Arrange for further discussions with the KLAFIR Sydney office about their K2H program and the opportunities for Penrith Council to become involved.  Gangseo-gu will be “happy to build on what Penrith has started with KLAFIR” (Personnel Services Manager/Workforce Development Manager/Economic Development & City Marketing Manager/City Partnerships Officer).


Solar Boat Challenge


The delegation was invited to visit the Roland DG factory prior to leaving Australia as a result of our relationship with the Australian arm of the company and its involvement in the Solar Boat Challenge. Australian Managing Director, Marcus Adler also attended to raise Head Office awareness of the importance to Penrith of the Solar Boat Challenge and how both parties could work together to grow this event in the future.


Action: Forward letter to Fujieda indicating the visit to Roland DG and asking them to consider participating in the 2008 Solar Boat Challenge and Roland’s head office to follow through to invite Fujieda City Hall to visit their factory (City Partnerships Officer).


Other Items Raised


Urban Redevelopment


This item was raised in the meeting with Gangseo-gu City officials based on the delegation’s observation of the development happening in Gangseo-gu and their city.


In line with Seoul Government’s strategy to renew the whole Han River frontage, Gangseo-gu is planning to overhaul its older areas, including the biggest redevelopment at Magok, which will become a waterside lake city linking to the River.  The proposed development is over 20-30 years, and will concentrate on cutting edge research and development Information Technology centres. 


Action: At an appropriate time in the future it may be possible to put Gangseo-gu in touch with Shellharbour City Council to learn about their Shell Cove development. This is the largest tourist-residential development ever undertaken by a local government authority in Australia. Featuring 3,000 lots, golf course and boatharbour, the completed project will incorporate a 300-berth marina and a 1.5 km harbourfront promenade with residential development, retail outlets, restaurants and other tourist venues. (General Manager/Director of City Planning)


Fujieda Retail Plaza


From discussions with Fujieda it is redeveloping its city centre with a large retail plaza and hotel. There is also an international airport being built at Shizuoka, the prefectural capital, twenty minutes away. Mayor Matsuno specifically cited Penrith Plaza as an inspiration for their development.


Action: Suggest prospective developers or Fujieda City Councillors would be welcome to visit Penrith for talks with the developers of Penrith Plaza after consultation with them (Director City Strategy).


As can be seen in the briefing paper a range of opportunities were canvassed with each City that was visited.


As Council has identified the potential benefit to the City from international and cultural engagement, programs such as those detailed in this briefing paper demonstrate the wide range of opportunities available to the City through our investment in these programs.


In the true sense of partnerships, these discussions opened the way not only for Council, but also its own partners and others in future collaborations and initiatives and to identify areas where we can offer or be offered opportunities for collaboration. As these come to fruition, the strength of the relationships will continue to grow to the benefit of our City.




          That the information contained in the report on International Links Visit to Korea and Japan, March 2007 be received.



1. View

Images from Mayoral delegation visit to Gangseo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea and Hakusan City, Hamamatsu and Fujieda City, Japan March 2007

2 Pages



Policy Review Committee Meeting

21 May 2007

Appendix 1 - Images from Mayoral delegation visit to Gangseo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea and Hakusan City, Hamamatsu and Fujieda City, Japan March 2007






MARCH 2007


Official meeting in Gangseo-gu with Mayor Kim Do-Hyun and Government officials to discuss agenda items relating to economic initiatives, knowledge-sharing  and cultural exchanges


With President of Korean Local Authorities Foundation for International Relations and new Australian Director-General who arrived in Sydney shortly after our visit.  KLAFIR supports Korean government staff coming to Penrith for training through the PV Special Visits Network


Semin Information High School, Gangseo-gu who are in discussions with Jamison High School, Penrith to agree a Sister School relationship

Official meeting with Hakusan City officials to discuss future economic and cultural joint initiatives, particularly focussing on the proposed CLAIR Forum in Penrith in 2009


Official opening of the Tracksuits of St Marys photographic exhibition in the Matto Museum, Hakusan, which the Mayor was invited to open and which was the primary reason for the trip


Friendship Junior Concert, Hakusan Concert Hall with Matto Junior High School performers, Jenny Du, Melissa Field and Lorenzo Rositano from Penrith Conservatorium of Music




Roland DG engineers, President Tomioka and Australian Managing Director Marcus Adler at the new Hamamatsu digital factory.  Roland DG initiated the Solar Boat Challenge in Australia at the International Regatta Centre, which it is now anticipated will become an international event in future years



Street recycling station in Hakusan City which could be investigated as a future model for recycling in Penrith






The City Supported by Infrastructure



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






Leadership and Organisation


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5        ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007 









Urgent Reports






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5        ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007 



Policy Review Committee Meeting - Urgent Report

21 May 2007

Leadership and Organisation



Leadership and Organisation




ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007   


Compiled by:                Carmel Hamilton, Sustainability Education Officer

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: The principles of sustainability are central to Council's decision-making systems and processes and its operations

Critical Action: Implement a program to mainstream sustainability within the organisation consistent with the recommendations of the Sustainable Penrith Action Plan and leading practice.



To advise Council of the outcomes of the ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference held in Melbourne on 2 to 5 May, 2007 and of the launch of the Australasian Mayors' Council on Climate Protection.  The report recommends that the information be received.



The ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference was held in Melbourne from 2 to 5 May 2007. Five delegates from Penrith City Council attended the conference – Alan Stoneham (Director ~ City Strategy), Ross Kingsley (Corporate Development Manager), Louise Petchell (Sustainability Unit Coordinator), Carmel Hamilton (Sustainability Education Officer) and Liza Cordoba (Senior Environmental Planner).


Due to other commitments at this time, a Councillor representative was not able to attend the conference, however the Director ~ City Strategy represented Council at a special session leading to the launch of the Australasian Mayors Council for Climate Protection and in receiving a recognition award for ICLEI members (both matters are further discussed below).


The conference saw a gathering of over 400 delegates, including local government leaders from across Australia and New Zealand, with some representatives from Federal and State agencies and other industries, including water and energy utilities. The focus of the conference was on strengthening the capacity of local government for effective and lasting action in the area of sustainability, with conference themes including: eco-innovative cities, climate change, responses to a water and carbon constrained future, local economic development and sustainability reporting.


The conference reflected on the successes and challenges of the past decade and aimed to develop a series of directions for the next decade of sustainability in local government.

Achievements of the ICLEI Partnership

ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.  The international organisation is known as ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Penrith City Council has been a member of ICLEI Australia/New Zealand (now ICLEI Oceania) since February 2000 and has actively participated in a number of sustainability programs for both Council’s own operations and the wider community. These programs have included: Cities for Climate Protection and subsequently CCP Plus, the Water Campaign, the Australia/New Zealand Sustainability Reporting Alliance and more recently the Triple Bottom Line Capacity Building (TBL) program.


Council’s partnership with ICLEI has been fundamental to key elements of its Sustainable Penrith Program (including greenhouse, water and corporate strategies) and the recognised leadership position in sustainability which Penrith City now holds. The two year TBL program which commenced in late 2006 is a further driver for organisational improvements and an opportunity to share experience and practice with other councils. Particular sessions were provided at the conference for this networking.


The 2007 conference celebrated ICLEI’s ten years of operation, and the successes that have been achieved. Particularly notable is that during this period councils across Australia, working in conjunction with ICLEI under Cities for Climate Protection, have been responsible for the abatement of nearly 9 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Local government has clearly emerged as a leader in Australia’s response to the key sustainability challenges of our time and ICLEI has been instrumental in this.


All members of ICLEI Oceania (some 220 councils) were presented at the conference with a “Decade of Achievement” award to mark this milestone in the alliance.

Conference Themes

The first day of the conference commenced with a series of concurrent workshops covering topics including – Redesigning Water Management through Water Sensitive Urban Design; Accelerating Sustainable Public Lighting Actions; and Triple Bottom Line Tools for Embedding Sustainability into Council Operations. These workshops were followed by a Sustainable Industries Networking Event that allowed delegates to discuss technical solutions to implementing sustainability solutions with a range of industry representatives.

Day two of the conference began with a welcome from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne John So, and keynote speeches delivered by Steve Herbert, Parliamentary Secretary representing the Victorian Government and Wayne Wescott, ICLEI Oceania Chief Executive Officer.

A panel discussion followed which invited key speakers to debate the question ‘In a world that increasing values carbon, what does this mean for the acceleration of local governments’ abatement action?’. Key themes arising from the debate included the important role that local government can play as leaders in the uptake of new and sustainable technologies, and the support it can lend to genuine sustainability initiatives in its area. The debate also reinforced the need for local government to undertake strategic and comprehensive community education across the range of sustainability issues.

The afternoon concluded with a series of concurrent workshops covering the topics: Engaging Communities and Stakeholders in Sustainable Outcomes; Beyond Hurdles: A Showcase of Sustainability in Action; Integrating Sustainability into Your Organisation; Transport Strategies for Sustainable Outcomes; and Adaptation Initiative: Building Capacity for Climate Change Variability Impacts.

Day three of the conference had a strong emphasis on the way ahead, and commenced with a panel debate on the question ‘How is climate change shifting the way we plan for the future?’ featuring leaders from local government and business. The debate centred on the role that local government could play in moving sustainability forward over the coming decade and how the reality of climate change has altered the approach to planning and operations.

A final series of concurrent workshops followed with topics covered including: Advancing Local Economic Development; Local Governments Responding to Water Scarcity; and Reporting as a Driver of Sustainability Innovation. A special session was held for elected representatives where Professor David de Kretser, AC, Governor of Victoria presented the keynote address.

The afternoon of the third day saw the launch of the Australasian Mayors Council for Climate Protection (AMCCP), discussed below. The launch was followed by a final ‘Pathways’ session, which provided delegates with the opportunity to reflect on the conference outcomes and future challenges for local government. Delegates discussed the importance of a strategic understanding of sustainability by councils and the role of cross-departmental teams. The value of working collectively as an industry and learning from each other was also a key theme.

The final day of the conference involved a series of four field trips to highlight a range of sustainability initiatives that have been implemented around the City of Melbourne, including visits to two of Australia’s leading ‘6-star’ rated green buildings and the CERES Environment Park.

Australasian Mayors Council for Climate Protection

The Australasian Mayors Council for Climate Protection (AMCCP) has been established to build the capacity of local governments to undertake a non-partisan and accelerated approach to advocacy and action on climate protection. The AMCCP will act as a voice for the more than 240 Mayors of the Cities for Climate Protection from across Australia and New Zealand and will promote actions that will support these councils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.


The AMCCP was launched by Ian Kiernan, Chairman of both Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World, together with two members of its steering group, Cr Nick Berman, Mayor of Hornsby Shire Council and Cr Fraser Brindley of the City of Melbourne. As noted in a separate report to tonight’s meeting, although unable to attend the conference, the Mayor has recently confirmed this Council’s intention to join the AMCCP.


The new alliance intends to use the strong results that have already been achieved by the member councils of ICLEI to leverage influence on the broader policy environment and develop an Australasian agenda to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the quality of life for local communities and provide for economically sound investments. It will undertake this role by engaging other spheres of government and the broader community.


Importantly, as an increasing number of councils move towards carbon neutrality for their own operations and for their local government areas, the AMCCP will support the development of a ‘Carbon Neutral Communities’ initiative to support this work.


Key roles for the AMCCP will include:

·    advocating an agenda for accelerated action on climate change

·    forging innovative partnerships

·    identifying opportunities for collective action

·    identifying and working to overcome barriers to creating carbon neutral communities

·    broadening the base of technical expertise and on-the-ground experience available to participating councils.


The ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007 provided an opportunity for councils to participate in setting the scene for the next decade of sustainability in local government as well as to learn more about the importance of embedding the principles of sustainability within their own operations. The delegates have returned to Council with a strong sense of the urgency that is required to continue to implement and accelerate sustainability initiatives for the City of Penrith.




That the information contained in the report on the  ICLEI Oceania: Accelerating Now! Conference 2007 be received.



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