23 July 2008

 

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 28 July 2008 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 Stoneham

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Pat Sheehy AM - 2 July 2008 to 4 August 2008 inclusive.

 

2.           APOLOGIES

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 7 July 2008.

 

4.           DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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

Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

5.           ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.           MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.           NOTICES OF MOTION

 

8.           ADOPTION OF REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATION OF COMMITTEES

 

9.           MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

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

 

11.         QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

 

12.         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 28 July 2008

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

master program reports

 


 

2008 MEETING CALENDAR

February 2008 - December 2008

 

 

TIME

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

 

 

 

 

To be

confirmed.

 

 

Ordinary Meetings

7.30 pm

4

10

7

5v

 

14

4

8ü

25

 

21

19

23* 

 

 

29^

Policy Review Committee

7.30 pm

 

3

 

12#

 

7

 

1

18#+

31@

28

 

16

28

18#+

 

Councillor Briefing / Working Party / Presentation

7.30 pm

11

 

14

 

2Y

 

11

 

 

17

 

26

30

21

25

 

 

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

^     Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor

#+  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 2007/2008 Annual Statements are presented

*     Meeting at which the Management Plan for 2008/2009 is adopted

Y   Management Plan Councillor Briefings/Public Forum (May)

 

-                 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). Should you wish to address Council, please contact the Public Officer, Glenn McCarthy on 4732 7649.



UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

 OF THE POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING OF PENRITH CITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE PASSADENA ROOM, PENRITH

ON MONDAY 7 JULY 2008 AT 7:32PM

PRESENT

The Deputy Mayor Councillor Jackie Greenow, Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Kaylene Allison, David Bradbury, Lexie Cettolin, Kevin Crameri OAM, Ross Fowler OAM, Karen McKeown, Garry Rumble and John Thain.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Pat Sheehy AM for the period 2 July 2008 to 4 August 2008 inclusive.

 

APOLOGIES

PRC 47   RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor John Thain seconded Councillor Karen McKeown that apologies be received and accepted from His Worship the Mayor Councillor Greg Davies and Councillors Mark Davies, Susan Page and Steve Simat.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 16 June 2008

PRC 48    RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Garry Rumble seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 16 June 2008 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 There were no declarations of interest.

  

MASTER PROGRAM REPORTS

 

The City as a Social Place

 

1        The Kingswood Park Neighbourhood Action Plan 2008                                                   

Mr Erich Weller, Acting Director – City Services, gave a presentation on the Kingswood Park Neighbourhood Action Plan 2008.

PRC 49   RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor John Thain seconded Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on The Kingswood Park Neighbourhood Action Plan 2008 be received.

2.     The Kingswood Park Neighbourhood Action Plan be endorsed.

3.     A community newsletter be distributed outlining activities and actions to date in the Kingswood Park locality.

4.     The Works Schedule in the Local Open Space Development Contributions Plan be amended so that Lot 498 on Caloola Avenue be replaced by Lot 323 on the corner of Caloola Avenue and Illawong Avenue.

5.     A further report be prepared for Council outlining the design and costings of the installation of new playground equipment and development of a Neighbourhood Park at Lot 323 Caloola Avenue, Kingswood Park (the corner of Caloola Avenue and Illawong Avenue.

6.     The Community and Cultural Development Department and other Council officers involved in preparing the Action Plan be thanked for their efforts.

 

 

2        Neighbourhood Renewal Program - Priority Area Assessment Project                          

 

Councillor Jim Aitken left the meeting, the time being 8:17pm.

Councillor Jim Aitken returned to the meeting, the time being 8:18pm.

Mr Erich Weller, Acting Director – City Services, gave a presentation on the Neighbourhood Renewal Program – Priority Area Assessment Project.

PRC 50   RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Jim Aitken OAM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Neighbourhood Renewal Program - Priority Area Assessment Project be received.

2.     Council endorse the outcomes of the priority area assessment project and the proposed schedule of activity to 2012 as outlined in this report.

 

 

 Leadership and Organisation

 

3        Preparations for the 2009+ Strategic Plan                                                                        

PRC 51  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jim Aitken OAM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Preparations for the 2009+ Strategic Plan be received.

2.     Preparations for the 2009+ Strategic Plan continue as detailed in the report.

 

 

4        State Review of Taxes                                                                                                       

PRC 52  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Jim Aitken OAM

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on State Review of Taxes be received.

2.     A strongly worded submission be made to both the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal and the Local Government & Shires Associations opposing the reforms to the NSW Fire Services Levy and to Payroll Tax exemptions, as outlined in this report.

3.     Local State Members of Parliament be informed of the action being taken by Council and they be briefed on this matter, particularly the likely impact on ratepayers and small businesses in the Penrith City Council local government area if these proposals proceed.

 

 

 

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:47pm.

    



 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

1        Rationalisation of draft Local Environmental Plans applying to rural and industrial land

 

The City as a Social Place

 

2        St Marys Release Area - Submission of the Western and Central Precinct Plans

 

3        South Werrington Urban Village - Public Exhibition of Draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan Amendment

 

4        Youth Advisory Committees

 

5        Universal Design Playgrounds

 

6        Rowing Training and Development Facility - Weir Reserve

    

Leadership and Organisation

 

7        2008 Strategic Community Survey

 

8        Constitutional Recognition for Local Government

 

9        Revised Model Code of Conduct

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City in its Broader Context

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Rationalisation of draft Local Environmental Plans applying to rural and industrial land

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

The City in its Broader Context

 

 

1

Rationalisation of draft Local Environmental Plans applying to rural and industrial land   

 

Compiled by:                Allegra Zakis, Local Plan Team Leader

Authorised by:             Ruth Goldsmith, Local Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council's agreed strategies, where they relate to planning provisions, are implemented through the new Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan.

Critical Action: Develop the Citywide Penrith Local Plan and Development Control Plan by March 2009, as agreed with the Department of Planning.

     

Purpose:

To advise Council of the overlap between pre-existing draft Local Environmental Plans, and Stage 1 of the new Citywide plan - draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008.  The report recommends that a number of draft Local Environmental Plans, which apply to the same area as draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008, should be abandoned, effective from the first day that the draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan (Stage 1) 2008 is publicly exhibited.

 

Background

Council is preparing a new, comprehensive Citywide Local Environmental Plan (Penrith LEP 2008), and Stage 1 of that process is nearing exhibition.  The new plan is intended to progressively replace all other zoning plans that currently apply throughout the City.  Draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) applies to the City’s rural and industrial lands, St Marys Town Centre, and heritage places.  The draft Plan was initially submitted to the Department of Planning in October 2007, and indications are that approval to exhibit (a Section 65 certificate) will soon be issued.

Previous draft Local Environmental Plans

Over the past eighteen years, several site-specific draft plans (LEPs) have been prepared but, for various reasons, were never finalised.  As the draft plans were all commenced many years ago, none of the proposed zones are now consistent with the standard zones in the model LEP template.

 

The draft plans were not formally abandoned by Council when it was decided that they were no longer relevant, so the draft LEPs still have a legal status under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.

 

By law, draft environmental planning instruments (eg LEPs) must be listed on certificates issued under section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, to inform prospective purchasers of potential changes in the planning regulations applying to the land.  There are several draft LEPs, primarily in the rural areas, where draft LEPs have not proceeded.  Most have since been incorporated into the draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

 

A difficulty arises where there is more than one LEP or draft LEP applying to land.  It can give rise to confusion over conflicting standards within the various plans, and sometimes it is difficult to establish which plan should take precedence.

 

To avoid this situation, it is recommended that any draft LEP which applies to land wholly covered by draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) should be abandoned.  Draft LEPs which apply in part to land included in draft Penrith LEP 2008 should also be abandoned, but only to the extent that they overlap.  It is recommended that the effective date of abandonment should be the date that the exhibition for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) formally commences.

 

The earlier draft Local Environmental Plans are listed below.  A summary of the intent of each draft plan is provided in the attachment to this report.

§ Draft Penrith LEP 201 (Rural Lands) Amendment No. 4

§ Draft Penrith LEP No. 201 (Rural Lands) Amendment No. 7

§ Draft Penrith LEP applying to land in the Blaikie Road area

§ Draft Penrith LEP 1998 (Urban Land) Amendment No. 10 North Penrith

§ Draft Penrith LEP 1999 (Flora and Fauna Conservation)

Conclusion

There are a number of draft Local Environmental Plans that pre-date the Rural Lands Strategy and current planning process, that were prepared to address anomalies in zones or development standards.  Draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (Stage 1) incorporates these plans where necessary.  These draft plans have never been formally abandoned, despite no longer being relevant.

 

Although a minor procedural matter, the abandonment of the draft Local Environmental Plans as outlined in this report will simplify the issue of planning certificates and reduce the potential for confusion among the community.  These plans need to remain in place until draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 is formally exhibited, but should be abandoned effective from the commencement date for the exhibition.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Rationalisation of draft Local Environmental Plans applying to rural and industrial land be received.

2.    Penrith Local Environmental Plan 201 (Rural Land) draft amendment No.4; Penrith Local Environmental Plan 201 (Rural Land) draft amendment No.7 and the Penrith Local Environmental Plan relating to Blaikie Road, as exhibited in 1990 be abandoned, effective from the first date that draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 is publicly exhibited.

 

 

3.    Penrith Local Environmental Plan 1998 (Urban Land) draft amendment No. 10 North Penrith and draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 1999 (Flora and Fauna Conservation) be abandoned only to the extent that they apply to land subject to draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008, effective from the first date that draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 is publicly exhibited.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Draft LEPs to be abandoned

2 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 1 - Draft LEPs to be abandoned

 

 

 

Draft LEPs Proposed to be Entirely Abandoned

Draft Penrith LEP 201 (Rural Lands) Amendment No. 4

This draft LEP applies to land in the vicinity of Tadmore Road, Taylor Road and Church Street, Cranebrook.  The intent of the draft plan was to establish a consistent subdivision pattern of 2 hectares in the area, by proposing to change the zoning from Rural 1(a) with a minimum lot size of 40 hectares, to Rural 1(b) with a minimum lot size of 2 hectares.  The draft plan was exhibited in 1995.

 

The draft Penrith LEP 2008 applies a minimum lot size of 2 hectares to all of the land affected by this earlier draft LEP.  It is recommended that this entire draft LEP is abandoned, effective from the date that the public exhibition commences for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

Draft Penrith LEP No. 201 (Rural Lands) Amendment No. 7

This draft LEP applies to land on the Great Western Highway near Gipps St, Claremont Meadows.  The intent of the draft plan was to permit a service station / convenience store, car wash and restaurant to be established on one of the parcels.  The proposed uses (McDonalds restaurant and associated service station) have actually now been operating on the Great Western Highway site for some time, and the plan is therefore no longer required.  The draft plan was exhibited in 1997.

 

One effect of listing the specific uses permissible on the land was to extinguish existing use rights, which allowed one non-conforming use to change to another, with consent.  This approach is no longer relevant, as the recent changes to the planning legislation means that the land can continue to be used for its approved activities, but cannot change to another non-conforming use. 

 

It is recommended that this entire draft LEP is abandoned, effective from the date that the public exhibition commences for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

Draft Penrith LEP applying to land in the Blaikie Road area

This draft LEP applies to land in the vicinity of Blaikie Road, Penrith.  The intent of the draft plan was to encourage the consolidation of landholdings within the area of the plan, to enable the development of visitor and recreation facilities, and the retention of substantial open space precincts.  The draft LEP proposed the introduction of a Rural 1(e) zone, which defined a range of recreation type uses considered, at the time, to be appropriate in this area.  The draft plan was exhibited in 1990.

 

The provisions of this draft plan have been overtaken by more recent planning investigations, both as part of the Rural Lands Strategy and more recently the Riverlink Precinct Plan process.  This earlier draft plan is not relevant to the current policy directions for this area.

 

It is recommended that this entire draft LEP is abandoned, effective from the date that the public exhibition commences for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

Draft LEPs Proposed to be Abandoned in Part

Draft Penrith LEP 1998 (Urban Land) Amendment No. 10 North Penrith

This draft LEP applies to land in the North Penrith Urban Investigation Area, to the north of Penrith Railway Station.  The intent of the draft plan was to rezone land for a variety of urban and recreational uses, to allow a mix of residential and employment land.  The draft plan was exhibited in 2002.

 

The draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) proposes to zone the industrial areas of the site to IN1 General Industrial and IN2 Light Industrial.  Key provisions, which protect a line of trees associated with the heritage item ‘Combewood’, have also been included in draft Penrith DCP 2008.

 

This plan can be abandoned only as far as it applies to land included in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).  Until the draft Penrith LEP (Stage 2) has been prepared and finalised for exhibition, the remainder of the earlier draft plan applying to the North Penrith Urban Investigation Area must remain in place.

 

It is recommended that this draft LEP, as far as it applies to land included in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), is abandoned, effective from the date that the public exhibition commences for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

Draft Penrith LEP 1999 (Flora and Fauna Conservation)

This draft LEP applies across the City.  The intent of the draft plan was to identify and protect land that could act as flora and fauna corridors, between major areas of natural habitat such as national parks and nature reserves.  The draft plan was exhibited in 1999.

 

The draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1) has addressed the intent of the earlier draft plan through an Environmentally Sensitive Land Map, and Clause 6.4 Development on Environmentally Sensitive Land, which requires that activities on land identified on the map require development consent.  The proposed introduction of the E2 Environmental Conservation zone to riparian corridors, and areas of known biodiversity value, also contributes to delivering the intent of the draft Flora and Fauna Corridors LEP.  This addresses all land included in the draft Penrith LEP 2008 (stage 1), however the plan must remain in place as far as it applies to land in the remainder of the City.

 

It is recommended that this draft LEP, as far as it applies to land included in draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1), is abandoned, effective from the date that the public exhibition commences for draft Penrith LEP 2008 (Stage 1).

 

  


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


The City as a Social Place

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        St Marys Release Area - Submission of the Western and Central Precinct Plans

 

3        South Werrington Urban Village - Public Exhibition of Draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan Amendment

 

4        Youth Advisory Committees

 

5        Universal Design Playgrounds

 

6        Rowing Training and Development Facility - Weir Reserve

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

2

St Marys Release Area - Submission of the Western and Central Precinct Plans   

 

Compiled by:                Tony Crichton, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

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

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

     

Purpose:

To inform Council on the lodgement of the draft Precinct Plans and draft Planning Agreements for the Western and Central Precincts for the St Marys Release Area.  The report describes the key plans and supporting strategies submitted with the draft precinct plans and provides an examination of the key issues identified in the preliminary assessment. The report recommends that the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans be publicly exhibited and that public notice be given of the draft Voluntary Planning Agreements.

 

Background

In June 2003, the Minister for Western Sydney declared the Eastern, Dunheved North and Dunheved South Precincts to be the Stage 1 Release Areas for the St Marys Release.  The Eastern Precinct Plan was subsequently adopted by Blacktown City Council on 4 February 2004 and construction of that development, known as Ropes Crossing, is now well under way. 

 

In 2006, Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 30 – St Marys (SREP 30) (Amendment No.1) was gazetted and the Minister for Planning declared the Western, Central and Ropes Creek Precincts to be release areas in accordance with SREP 30. This represented the final declaration of Stage 2 Release Areas for the St Marys Release.  A precinct location plan is appended to the report, a coloured copy of which has been separately forwarded to Councillors. 

 

Council, at its Ordinary meeting held on 11 December 2006, resolved to adopt the draft Dunheved Precinct Plan and endorse the St Marys Penrith Planning Agreement and proposed work schedules.  Development Applications for the Dunheved North and South Precincts have now been submitted to both Penrith and Blacktown Councils for subdivision and filling of land, for construction of roads and stormwater detention basins and for riparian corridor rehabilitation.

 

The draft Ropes Creek Precinct Plan in Blacktown LGA was publicly exhibited by Blacktown City Council in July – August 2007 but has yet to be adopted.  That draft Plan will not be adopted until after SREP 30 (Amendment No.2) is submitted to the Department of Planning (DoP) for public exhibition alongside the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans.

 

An Employment Development Strategy (EDS) for the whole of the St Marys Release Area former ADI site was completed in June 2003 and endorsed by the Minister for Planning in 2007.  It targets the delivery of 5,300 ongoing jobs both on and off the site over the life of the development.  Of these, 2,473 jobs were projected to be established on the site, and 2,827 established off site in both Penrith and Blacktown LGAs.  A total of approximately 3,460 jobs are intended to be created within the Penrith LGA, both on and off the site.   

 

In late 2007 the Department of Planning’s Employment Development Strategy Committee elected to support an amendment, initiated by Delfin Lend Lease (Delfin), to SREP30 to consolidate all employment zones from the Western, Central and Ropes Creek Precincts (BCC) to within the Central Precinct.  The Minister for Planning in December 2007 formally directed the preparation of a draft amendment to SREP 30, the principal aim of which was to rationalise and consolidate the employment zones in order to provide improved opportunities for employment generating development on the St Marys Release.

Planning Framework

The following key documents form the basis for planning for the Western and Central Precincts:-

·    Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 30 – St Marys (SREP 30);

·    St Marys Environmental Planning Strategy (EPS);

·    St Marys Development Agreement (The Deed).

 

The St Marys Development Employment Development Strategy (EDS) also forms an important component of the employment planning for the Dunheved South and Central Precincts.

 

SREP 30

 

SREP 30 is a comprehensive plan which includes zoning objectives and permissible uses, performance objectives and detailed development controls.  It includes a zoning plan, a structure plan and a map showing items of environmental heritage. 

 

SREP 30 also sets out the land use zones and other requirements regarding content, assessment and determination of precinct plans, including:

 

·    Matters to be included in a precinct plan;

·    Matters to be considered in assessing precinct plans;

·    Council may request that additional information be provided before a draft precinct plan is placed on public exhibition;

·    Council may adopt a draft precinct plan in the form it was exhibited or with amendments agreed to by the proponent. Alternatively Council may adopt a draft precinct plan with amendments not agreed to by the proponent but only with the agreement of the Minister;

·    Council may refuse to adopt a draft precinct plan but only with the agreement of the Minister;

·    Council has 6 months to assess and adopt the draft precinct plan from the date of lodgement otherwise the Minister may adopt the draft precinct plan, with or without such amendments as the Minister considers appropriate.

 

The Minister for Planning in December 2007 formally directed the preparation of a Draft Amendment to SREP 30.  The principal aim of the Draft Amendment is to rationalise and consolidate the Employment zones under the SREP in order to provide improved opportunities for the development of employment-generating businesses and industries on the St Marys site.  It is intended this will enhance the ability of the St Marys project to generate jobs in line with the employment targets that apply to the site through SREP 30, the Metropolitan Strategy and the North West Subregional Strategy.  The principal changes and benefits involve:

 

§ Consolidating small dispersed and isolated employment zones from across the Western, Central, and Ropes Creek Precincts into a single consolidated employment zone within the Central Precinct;

§ The existing quantum of employment zoned land (38 hectares) remains the same, ie, no net loss;

§ A consolidated Employment Zone in the Central Precinct takes advantage of the upgraded east-west road, the new road through the North and South Dunheved Precincts and the proposed new Dunheved Link Road between Links Road and Christie Street;

§ Reduces potential impact on residents on the western side of Northern Road;

§ Avoids traffic impacts on Northern Road caused by the previous proposal for employment development to front that road;

§ Negates need for a costly relocation of the 500 KV transmission lines in the Central Precinct.

 

The DoP intend to exhibit this amendment concurrently with the public exhibition of the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans once endorsed by Council.  DoP has provided Council with a preliminary draft copy of the proposed SREP 30 Amendment No. 2.  It should be noted that this plan may be subject to change following review by Parliamentary Counsel.  A copy of the SREP 30 Amendment 2 structure plan and zoning map is appended to the report.  A3 versions of the maps have been separately forwarded to Councillors.

 

Environmental Planning Strategy

 

The Environmental Planning Strategy (EPS) describes the approach to be taken in managing development and conservation on the ADI site. The EPS identifies:-

 

·    The aims for the future use and management of the site;

·    Specific performance objectives and strategies to address key planning issues;

·    Actions to be undertaken by State and Local Government;

·    Development controls; and

·    The obligations of developers.

 

 St Marys Development Agreement

 

The St Marys Development Agreement (The Deed) was entered into in December 2002 by Delfin, the Commonwealth Government and the State Government.  The Deed details the services and infrastructure to be provided, the timing of provision of those facilities and services and the various responsibilities of the developer and the State Government for the provision of services and infrastructure.

 

The Deed focuses on the relevant contributions and process for the transfer of the Regional Park to DECC and its establishment and embellishment, the upgrading of roads in the vicinity of the site, bus priority works and other transport contributions, affordable housing and employment delivery.

 

Planning for the Western and Central Precincts

 

Planning for the Western and Central Precincts began in late 2007.  Council’s Release Area Planning team has engaged with Delfin in the development of the draft Plans. 

 

A Councillor Briefing and presentation was provided by Delfin on 30 June 2008 and outlined the general approach being pursued in the precinct planning.

 

The St Marys Release Area comprises 1,545 ha.  The Western and Central Precincts are wholly located within the Penrith LGA and cover 1,011 ha.  These Precincts are being planned to deliver:

 

§ Western Precinct comprising 229 hectares of urban zoned land.

§ Central Precinct comprising 95 hectares of urban zoned land and 38 hectares of employment zoned land (133 hectares overall).

§ Approximately 3,420 dwellings in total, with around 8,900 people.

§ Initial residents in 2010 and final residents in 2021.

§ A project delivery timeline of around 10-13 years.

§ 565 hectares of Regional Park in Penrith (900 hectares overall).

§ 46 hectares of Regional Open Space in Penrith.

 

Delfin propose to commence the development of the site in the south western corner and village centre area of the Western Precinct in mid 2009, with development expected to continue for up to 10 years.  Filling works in the Central Precinct are expected to commence in 2009/10 with subdivision and development works commencing in 2012/13, and development expected to continue for an 8-10 year period.

Structure of the Precinct Plans

Delfin has submitted two draft precinct plans - a draft Western Precinct Plan and a draft Central Precinct Plan.  Each draft Precinct Plan includes a draft Planning Framework Plan and Environmental Management Strategies, a draft Development Control Strategy and 10 Management Plans and Strategies.  Each draft Precinct Plan consists of five parts.

 

Part 1 of the draft Precinct Plan provides a  description of the proposed development and development vision for that precinct;  Part 2 provides an outline of the statutory planning framework for the site;  Part 3 consists of an identification of site characteristics and key opportunities and constraints; Part 4  provides a Framework Plan and Environmental Management Strategies; and Part 5 (Development Control Strategy) provides a set of  controls for Urban Structure and Subdivision, Street Types, Dwelling Types and General Housing Siting and Design Controls. 

 

The following series of 10 Management Plans and Strategies, which provide more detailed investigations underpinning the two draft precinct plans, have also been included as appendices to these draft precinct plans:-

 

·      Bushfire Protection Assessment

·      Biodiversity Assessment

·      Archaeological Assessment

·      Feral & Domestic Animal  Strategy

·      Aboriginal Assessment of Indigenous Heritage Values

·      Weed Management Plan

·      Community Plan

·      Landscape/Open Space

·      Traffic and Transport

·      Water Soils & Infrastructure

·      Survey Plans

·      Contamination Management Plan

Content of the draft Precinct Plans

Part 1

 

Part 1 of the draft Precinct Plan provides an outline of the location of the Western and Central Precincts and of the proposed development vision for each precinct.  This vision is also placed within a context of Council’s vision for the City of Penrith. 

 

Part 2

 

Part 2 of the draft Precinct Plan provides procedural information and an outline of the statutory planning framework that applies to the St. Marys Release Area including these  precincts. It also provides a summary of the key controls from SREP 30 and the major conclusions of the Employment Development Strategy.

 

The Employment Development Strategy (EDS) applies to the development of the whole ADI site and was prepared to identify actions and initiatives to be implemented to meet the employment and business development performance objectives set out in SREP 30 and the St Marys EPS.  The key objective of the Strategy is to ensure the total number of jobs generated by the development is to approximate the number of workers who will reside on the site.  A second key objective of the EDS is to identify the appropriate types of target industries and jobs to be created. In particular, industries which have potential for further growth, meet sustainability objectives and recognise the existing and future characteristics of the labour force in surrounding areas.

 

An analysis for the full site (both LGA’s) has determined an expected population of 12,000 and the EDS identifies actions and initiatives that can achieve the jobs target of 5,300 ongoing jobs and possibly the provision of up to 6,900 jobs.

 

The EDS targets industrial uses for location in the Employment zoned land and service oriented uses in the land zoned Urban, Regional Park and Regional Open Space.  In addition to identifying direct employment initiatives that benefit the site and local area, the EDS also proposes a range of capacity building initiatives which will provide opportunities for education and training, serving to build a platform for long-term skill development and knowledge generation within the new and established communities.

 

Target employment generating uses in the Dunheved Precinct include:-

 

·    Light manufacturing (metal products, wood and paper products, chemicals and packaging);

·    Wholesale trade;

·    Environmental and agribusinesses including specialised food and beverage manufacturing and recycling businesses; and

·    Construction and manufacturing industries.

 

Part 3

 

Part 3 identifies the site characteristics of the Western and Central Precincts, thereby establishing the key planning issues, opportunities and constraints that have informed the preparation of the two precinct plans. This section outlines site characteristics and key issues derived from the preparation of the 10 Management Plans and Strategies. 

 

Part 4

 

Part 4 outlines the proposed Framework Plan and Environmental Management Strategies for key planning and environmental issues within the Western and Central Precincts.  It outlines the proposed urban structure, principal land uses and future character areas for each of these two precincts.  It also outlines subdivision layout principles, development phasing, road hierarchy, pedestrian/cycle network and public transport arrangements for these precincts. 

 

Western Precinct

 

Key features for the draft framework plan proposed for the Western Precinct include:-

 

§ Village Centre

§ Civic Plaza

§ Community Facilities , including a Community Resource Hub incorporating multi-purpose activity spaces

§ A temporary Neighbourhood Community Centre until permanent facilities are provided

§ Small Library Outlet

§ Education Focus Area north of Village Centre

§ Major Open Space with District Level Playing Fields

§ Multiple Access Points (4) to Northern Road

§ A collector ring road which serves the residential neighbourhoods

§ Local Parks

§ Potential Linkages to Regional Park

§ Riparian Corridor featuring Water Sensitive Urban Design

§ An asset protection zone (20m wide) around the perimeter of the site development to provide protection for properties from potential fires within the Regional Park

 

Central Precinct

 

Key features for the draft framework plan for the Central Precinct include:-

 

§ Village Centre

§ Civic Plaza

§ A smaller Community Activity Space

§ A temporary Neighbourhood Community Centre until permanent facilities are provided

§ Potential Linkages to Regional Park

§ Consolidated Employment Zone

§ Traffic Separation between Urban and Employment Zones

§ Active Playing Fields within adjoining Regional Open Space Zone

§ Riparian Corridor featuring Water Sensitive Urban Design

§ Pedestrian/Bus Access to Werrington County

§ An asset protection zone (20m wide) around the perimeter of the site to provide some protection for properties from potential fires in the bushland within the Regional Park

 

A copy of the draft Framework Plan for the Western and Central Precincts is appended to the report.  A coloured copy of the plan has been separately forwarded to Councillors.

 

Part 5

 

Part 5 of the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans contains specific objectives and development controls for urban structure, character areas, street types, subdivision design, dwelling types, siting and design of buildings and environmental management. This is the Development Control Strategy component of the draft Precinct Plan and essentially represents the DCP type controls that will be later used to assess future Development Applications.

 

The proposed Development Control Strategy provides a comprehensive outline of the specific objectives and development controls for urban structure, character areas, street types, subdivision design, dwelling types, siting and design of buildings and environmental management. 

 

These objectives and controls are designed to ensure that the development principles and key elements of the Framework Plan and Environmental Management Strategies identified in earlier parts of the plan are implemented.

 

Western Precinct

 

The principal character areas for the Western Precinct are listed below:-

 

§ Urban Area / Neighbourhood Character;

§ Village Centre Zone

§ Parkland Node

§ Northern Road Interface

§ Rural Interface Character Area

§ Bushland Edge

 

Central Precinct

 

The principal character areas for the Central Precinct are listed below:-

 

§ Urban Area / Neighbourhood Character;

§ Village Centre Zone

§ Parkland Node

§ Bushland Edge

§ Employment Zone

 

Key controls for the street network are as follows:-

 

§ The proposed street network in the Western Precinct consists of a collector ring road and a modified grid pattern for local streets;

§ The proposed street network in the Central Precinct has been devised to separate industrial traffic from residential traffic;

§ The proposed Collector Road carriageway width is 12m with two parking lanes but increases to 22.6m in the Main Street where angle parking is provided;

§ The proposed local street carriageway width is 8m with two parking lanes but increases to 11m if located along a bus route;

§ A combined footpath and cycleway are proposed along the collector street and two footpaths on the local street;

§ A footpath and shared footpath/cycleway are proposed along opposite sides of the Pedestrian Priority Local Street;

§ A public transport bus route and bus stops will be provided along the collector road;

§ All streets to have opportunities for tree planting.

 

The draft plan seeks to incorporate a variety of lot sizes, a range of building setbacks and private open space areas, a range of building heights, a range of housing and employment building forms and a perimeter Asset Protection Zone (APZ).

 

Key controls relating to subdivision are as follows:-

 

§ lot size for attached and semi-detached dwellings ranges from 125m² to 350m²;

§ lot size for detached dwellings ranges from 150m² to 2,001+ in five steps;

§ minimum lot size for detached dwellings along the Ninth Avenue rural interface is proposed to be 2,110m²+;

§ typical frontages range from 5-10m (attached) and 5-20m (semi-detached) to 10-40 m (detached);

§ minimum lot size for the Employment Zone (Central Precinct) is 1000m² (Torrens Title) and 150m² (Strata Title).

 

In relation to the proposed housing strategy, Delfin has proposed a total of approximately 3,420 dwellings and a population of approximately 8,900 people.   The strategy provides for a wide range of housing forms and adequately meets Council’s accepted 15 dwellings per hectare density standard.  Medium density housing is proposed for approximately 13-15% of the dwellings to be delivered.  The identified dwelling types range from detached and semi-detached forms through to a variety of live-work, shop-top and other multi-unit forms to multi-storey apartments.

 

The key Built Form controls for the proposed urban development are:

 

§ Minimum proposed front building setbacks for detached dwellings are 2m (attached and semi-detached),  3m (150-500m² lots), 4m (501-999m²), 6m (1,000-2,000m²)  and  9m (2,001+m²); 

§ Minimum proposed front building setbacks are 0m for ‘warehouse’,  ‘urban-sleeve’,  ‘live work’ and  ‘shop top’ and 2m for ‘apartments’;

§ The maximum proposed building heights are 2 storeys for all dwelling heights except ‘urban-sleeve’ and ‘shop top’ (4 storeys) and  ‘apartments’  (4-6 storeys);

§ Typical building heights are proposed to be 1-2 storeys (Urban Area, Rural Interface and Bushland Edge),  2 storeys (Parkland Node and Northern Road Interface) and 2-8 storeys (Village Centre Zone);

§ Blank building facades along primary street frontages are not permitted;

§ Building facades should be articulated using architectural elements, textures and colours;

 

Other controls are provided for waste management, landscaping, signage, fences and walls, outdoor storage, water use and other matters.

 

Delivery of Community and Other Infrastructure

 

Studies undertaken in support of the development of the draft Precinct Plans have identified the ways in which social sustainability objectives will be achieved in each precinct, through:

 

·        Providing a range of dwelling types and densities to promote housing choice and affordability;

·        A village structure focused around an accessible village centre which acts as the focal point of the community;

·        A public domain which promotes social interaction and active neighbourhood life;

·        Design for safety and sense of security;

·        Early provision of public transport and connectivity with the surrounding area;

·        Promotion of community identity and sense of belonging, through interesting design, public art and recognition of cultural heritage; and

·        Physical and social integration with neighbouring communities, to promote social cohesion and inclusiveness.

 

Social sustainability will also be enhanced through the provision of a range of community facilities, human services and areas of open space.  These will be provided in accordance with the objectives of the St Marys EPS and the principles of Council’s adopted Sustainability Blueprint for Urban Release Areas. 

 

As a mechanism for delivery of community infrastructure, a Planning Agreement is currently being negotiated between Delfin and Council that will see the delivery of community infrastructure, open space and water management systems which would meet Council’s standard requirements for new urban development.  The elements currently being given consideration include: 

 

Community Infrastructure

§ A Western Precinct Community Resource Hub incorporating multi-purpose activity spaces, opportunity for an ‘e-learning’ centre and other community support facilities, and a smaller community activity space within the Central Precinct;

§ Temporary neighbourhood community centre in each precinct to operate until permanent facilities are provided;

§ Funding for a community development worker, based on salary for full-time equivalent worker for 2 years in each precinct (up to max. 3 years part time);

§ Distribution of resident information packages;

§ Community initiatives fund to support emerging community groups and initiatives;

§ Funding for community facilities studies

§ Community bus;

§ Contributions to city-wide cultural facilities;

 

Open Space

§ Local passive and active open space;

§ Contribution to district open space facilities including establishment of a central sports facility in the Central Precinct regional open space area;

 

Stormwater infrastructure

§ Stormwater basins and water management facilities in each precinct.

 

State Government social infrastructure is still being negotiated, but is likely, in addition to the key commitments already incorporated in the Deed previously entered into between Delfin and the Government, to include:

 

·        A new primary school within the Western Precinct, which is likely to also serve the Central Precinct. Residents will access existing schools with spare capacity in the surrounding area for high school education.

·        Community health and support services, programs and activities may be provided from the proposed Community Resource Hub.

 

Other social infrastructure, to be negotiated by Delfin, which could be provided by non-government or private sector providers may include childcare/early learning centres, private schools and medical centres.

 

The St Marys EPS sets out locational criteria for baseline community facilities. Built facilities will generally be located within the Village Centre, for reasons of convenience and accessibility and to promote the vibrancy of the centre.  However in the Central Precinct, the multi-purpose community activity space may be co-located with amenities associated with the Regional Open Space. The Planning Agreement will specify the timing of delivery of social infrastructure to ensure facilities and services will be available when required.

 

The provision of passive, active and district open space and the provision of community facilities is being considered as a package of obligations in which there is some flexibility in delivery.  This will provide an opportunity for both Council and Delfin to achieve optimum delivery outcomes.  These aspects will form the basis of the planning agreement between Council and Delfin and will be the subject of a further report to Council.

 

Identification of Key Issues

 

The following commentary discusses the key issues which have emerged from our assessment of the draft two Precinct Plans.

 

1. Filling of Land & Flood Management (comment by Major Project Manager)

 

The Western Precinct is not floodprone and does not require filling.  However, a portion of the Central Precinct is located below the 100 year ARI flood level and filling of the floodplain is required to place the proposed development above this level.  This was contemplated in the original development of SREP 30. 

 

When the Dunheved Precinct Plan was being prepared in 2006, the proponent was requested to undertake a rigorous flood modelling of the site to determine whether there would be any impacts from the proposed filling of the Dunheved as well as Central Precincts.  This flood modelling showed that the maximum increase in the 100 year ARI flood level upstream of the boundary of the site was 37mm and the maximum increase downstream of the boundary of the site was 11mm.  These flood impacts were reviewed by both Blacktown and Penrith City Councils as part of the Dunheved Precinct Plan process and the minor increase in peak flood levels was considered acceptable.   This modelling was also the subject of a peer review by an independent consultant.

 

As the final structure plan for the Central Precinct now identifies an education and village centre further to the north than was originally proposed, a change in fill area is now proposed. The primary Regional Open Space sports fields have therefore been moved from its previous location (in the southern portion of the Regional Open Space) to the northern portion of the Regional Open Space adjoining the education and village centre. This has the advantage of providing a filled area in close proximity to the adjacent school site.  The fill volume has remained substantially the same as that previously proposed.

 

The flood modelling results, incorporating all of the previous modelling assumptions, for the amended filling proposal now advanced for the Central Precinct indicate:

§ The maximum increase in flood levels upstream (south) of the site in the 100 year ARI event would be an additional 7mm (44mm total) and this increase is limited to within the Dunheved Golf Course;

§ There would be no change in flood levels downstream (north) of the site (11mm increase) in the 100 year ARI event;

 

These results, whilst increasing the previous levels marginally, are considered to be within acceptable limits.  During the exhibition period however, this issue should be specifically brought to the attention of Blacktown Council and DECC to obtain their comments.  

 

2.  Traffic and Transport Issues (comment by Major Project Manager)

 

Western Precinct

 

As a result of changes to the Regional Park boundaries, the earlier configuration of road access points off The Northern Road has changed.  The earlier concepts allowed for two full intersections and two left-in/left-out intersections off The Northern Road.  The southern full intersection was to be opposite Sherringham Road.  The amended proposal now places this intersection further north and it will now be a ‘T’ intersection.

 

The traffic demands for the estate development require The Northern Road to be upgraded to four lanes for the frontage of the site and extend to Andrews Road.  There is now no requirement from this development to signalise the Sherringham Road intersection.

 

The Federal Government has recently announced a funding allocation of $450,000 for the signalisation of the intersection of The Northern Road and Sherringham Road.  This follows Council’s unsuccessful bid for funding from the State Government through the Federal Blackspot Program administered by the RTA.  The RTA advised that the money currently available for the works ($450,000) was significantly less than their anticipated cost of signals (over $1m), notwithstanding that the initial estimate for the works was provided by the RTA.

 

Following the Federal funding announcement, Council has been working with Delfin to explore opportunities to integrate the signal works with the road works and deliver the upgrades ahead of Delfin’s projected timeframe of 2011.  These negotiations are currently ongoing.

 

Delfin has proposed to install roundabouts at key intersections on The Northern Road (not yet specified) as an interim measure.  Their analysis indicates that roundabouts would function at a satisfactory level of service in the interim before full development occurs.  Our assessment, however, is that the cost effectiveness of the provision of interim roundabouts is questionable and this is a matter that needs to be discussed with the RTA. 

 

The St Marys Western Precinct is planned to provide high accessibility by buses, pedestrians, cyclists and general traffic and create effective links into the surrounding regional road network and public transport system.  This is achieved through a combination of external bus priority works, contributions towards external traffic works and an internal development and transport network that caters for all transport modes.

 

Within the site a network of road, bus, pedestrian and cycle routes will be developed that will encourage the use of public transport and other sustainable modes, and reduce dependence on car travel.

 

Central Precinct

 

Vehicular access to the Central Precinct will ultimately be provided via the Western, Eastern and Dunheved Precincts utilising the proposed east-west road through to the remainder of the St Marys site when it is developed and the proposed connection to Links Road.  The predicted traffic volumes on the proposed collector roads on the site could be accommodated by a single carriageway in both directions.

 

The SREP30 also specifies an external, “Bus Only” access point at the south of the Central Precinct, connecting it with the Werrington County residential area at Leichhardt Avenue.  The limiting of the access to buses was in response to concerns raised by residents of Werrington County during the earlier SREP development.

 

The limited connectivity between the Central Precinct and Werrington County is an issue that warrants review.  It is our view that a greater level of connectivity should be provided and opportunities for general traffic access should be explored.  This will enable residents south of the site to conveniently access the facilities in the Central Precinct and other parts of the release.

 

3.  Ongoing Maintenance of Drainage, Riparian Corridors, Roads and Asset Protection Zone

SREP 30 nominates three zoned drainage basins within the St Marys Release Area within the Penrith LGA.  These basins are primarily water quality basins and will be staged over the St Marys project development period.  Precinct earthworks related issues will be mitigated via temporary or permanent basins within the respective precincts.  It is proposed that the first of the basins within the Regional Park to be constructed will be the south-western basin near Cambridge Gardens.  The St Marys EPS provides for maintenance of three years.

 

The three zoned drainage basins are proposed to be owned and maintained by Council after construction and a handover period of three years.  Similarly, local open space, riparian corridors, local roads and asset protection zones are ultimately proposed to be owned and maintained by Council.

An investigation of the likely ongoing maintenance costs to Council of these assets is being undertaken.  To facilitate this, it will be necessary for a Maintenance Management Plan and schedule of estimates of related costings to be prepared by Delfin and submitted to Council.

 

4. Biodiversity Certification

 

Federal Government

 

Various Commonwealth legislation requires development proponents to submit applications where it is considered that development may have a significant impact on the natural environment.  Delfin has previously made submissions to the Commonwealth Government in this regard.  This has resulted in the St Marys Release Area project receiving Commonwealth Certification under the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 (EPIP Act) for the purposes of Item 6 of Sch 1 of the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999 (ERCP Act).  Certification was granted in July 2002. 

 

Although the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) commenced in 1999, the site was deemed to be covered under the EPIP Act 1974.  This in effect means that development, once approved, can proceed on the site without further Commonwealth biodiversity certification requirements.

 

State Government

 

Delfin has initiated, in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), a process for pursuing biodiversity certification for the St Marys site in conjunction with the current draft SREP 30 amendment being advanced by DoP.  Biodiversity certification is a process which recognises, in an environmental planning instrument, that any subsequent development in the area requiring consent is regarded as not likely to significantly affect threatened species.  This removes the need to address the assessment of biodiversity significance, prepare species impact statements or obtain the concurrence of DECC at the point where a development application is lodged for Council approval. 

 

DECC has expressed in-principle support for the biodiversity certification of SREP 30 on the basis that it already includes a major conservation outcome for the St Marys site, endorsed by both State and Federal Government, being the 900 ha Regional Park.  It would also recognise the extent of exhaustive flora and fauna studies which have been previously undertaken for the site over the years.

 

It is understood DoP will incorporate the necessary biodiversity certification documentation and guidelines when they publicly exhibit the SREP 30 amendment. 

 

5.  Wianamatta Regional Park

 

DECC has recently advised that the Wianamatta Regional Park Plan of Management (PoM) Report is currently being finalised for submission to the National Parks Advisory Committee and Advisory Council.  This process is expected to conclude in early 2009.  DECC will also be shortly commencing the ‘masterplanning’ of the Regional Park and it is understood this can be undertaken concurrently with the PoM approval process.  Council will be further consulted in the development of these plans.

 

DECC has indicated the view that a number of areas within the Regional Park, where previous site disturbance has occurred and where there are lower environmental values,  have the potential to be more intensively developed for a range of recreation activities, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and the like.  These sites are intended to be linked by a looped walking track system through the bushland areas of the Park.  Opportunities will be explored to determine whether the final locations for these more intensive recreation sites can be located in close proximity to the Western and Central Precinct urban areas to afford further passive recreation opportunities to these communities.

 

The first section of Regional Park (63ha) located in the eastern end of the site in Blacktown LGA was transferred to the State Government in April 2007.  Guided wildflower tours are expected to commence in September/October this year in this gazetted section of the Park.  The second section of Regional Park is expected to be transferred in approximately 12 months time and will include the lands to the west of the Ropes Crossing development in Blacktown LGA.

 

The transfer of the Regional Park lands in Penrith LGA is intended to be progressed in stages in future years once Precinct Plans are approved and development advances and key issues such as public access, park infrastructure and urban interface requirements are resolved, and DECC advance the required masterplans. 

 

6. ‘Central Park’ Sports Precinct – Regional Open Space Zone

 

Delfin, in its commercial negotiations with the Federal Government over the acquisition of the St Marys site, agreed to expend up to $6.8M on the development of a major central sports facility in the Regional Open Space zone adjacent the Central Precinct intended to be transferred to the State Government’s ownership.  This ‘open space hub’ is presently intended to be located at the northern end of the Regional Open Space zone due to potential benefits of locating in proximity to the proposed Village Centre and Education Hub.  Delfin had recently placed on hold discussions with Council, other stakeholders and the Commonwealth Government regarding this facility to enable the fundamental precinct planning and SREP 30 amendment issues to be advanced.  Now that this planning process is well under way, it would be appropriate to resurrect the more detailed planning for the central sports facility to determine its inclusions, sporting focus, management arrangements and the timeliness of its delivery.

 

7.  Contamination Management Plan

As Council is aware, the St Marys Release Area has been the subject of extensive investigation and remediation through the 1990s to determine the extent of contamination risk on the site and the most appropriate means of removing that risk.  The work was undertaken with the full involvement of the EPA and subsequently authorised by an independent NSW EPA accredited Site Auditor who produced and issued the Site Audit Statements for the site.  The site has been remediated to a level where it is considered to pose a negligible risk to the public or the environment. 

 

A Contamination Management Plan (CMP) has been submitted in support of the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans and presents information from the remediation and validation reports for the area which covers these Precincts.  The CMP provides a framework for identifying and addressing any unexpected discovery of chemical contamination or potentially explosive ordnance and addresses requirements to ensure a safe working environment. 

 

8.  Proposed Dunheved Link Road

 

Independent of the precinct planning process, Council is currently negotiating a deed with Delfin for the joint development of lands owned by Council and Delfin along the old disused rail corridor within the Dunheved Business Park.  The finalisation of the Deed is nearing completion and it proposes that the accumulated profits from the development and sale of the land will fund the construction of the Dunheved Link Road.  This matter will be reported to Council when the project is further advanced.

 

Next Steps

 

As SREP 30 has established the Western and Central Precincts as separate precincts, Delfin has lodged a separate draft Precinct Plan for each of these two precincts seeking Council’s endorsement for its public exhibition and approval.  DoP intend to publicly exhibit an amendment to SREP 30 which seeks to consolidate the employment zones in the Central Precinct.  This amendment will be advanced in conjunction with the exhibition of the draft Precinct Plans.  DoP will also incorporate the relevant documentation pertaining to the proposal for biodiversity certification. 

 

The draft Precinct Plans submitted by Delfin are well formulated and researched and closely aligned with the adopted statutory planning framework established by SREP 30 and the EPS.  From our assessment of the proposed planning framework, development control strategy and related controls, the draft Precinct Plans are considered to be substantially ready for Council’s endorsement to enable their public exhibition. 

 

However, there remain some matters which require ‘fine tuning’ in terms of the documentation which would be placed on public exhibition.  It is intended that this process will continue over the next few weeks and it is considered that the draft Precinct Plans and accompanying information can be placed on exhibition in the second half of September 2008.  A further report will be brought back to Council by December 2008 analysing all of the submissions made to the public exhibition, suggested amendments to the Precinct Plans if required and seeking Council’s adoption of the Plans.

 

A coloured set of the final draft Precinct Plans and accompanying documents will be provided to Councillors on CD Rom prior to the exhibition.

 

Discussions have commenced between Council and Delfin on identifying and costing the community facilities and other infrastructure requirements which will need to be committed as part of the development of the Western and Central Precincts.  These negotiations will continue over coming weeks and are focussed on the objective of identifying complementary strategies for more efficient, effective and flexible delivery of facilities, services and infrastructure as contemplated by the SREP 30 planning framework.  A further report on the outline of the proposed Planning Agreement to be entered into between Council and Delfin will be brought forward for Council consideration once these commitments have been firmed up. 

Conclusion

Delfin has submitted draft precinct plans for the Western and Central Precincts which establish a strong compliance with the requirements of Council’s adopted Sustainability Blueprint for Urban Release Areas and other relevant planning policies.  The proposed Structure Plan and Development Control Strategy provide a comprehensive outline of the proposed specific objectives and development controls for urban structure, character areas, street types, subdivision design, dwelling types, siting and design of buildings and environmental management. 

 

The Western and Central Precincts represent the final development precincts within the St Marys Release Area.  It provides an opportunity for Council to pursue well planned, sustainable urban communities with appropriate provision for the full range of community and other infrastructure required to support their establishment.  It also represents the final opportunity within this site to plan for the delivery of new employment opportunities.

 

Importantly, the advancement of the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans provides the platform for another housing development opportunity to open up in the City and to provide a wider market choice to those in the residential market or those seeking a job closer to home.  In addition, the opening up of these precincts provides the mechanism for the staged delivery of Wianamatta Regional Park to the wider community.

 

Delfin has submitted a list of key community and other infrastructure requirements which will form the basis of the Planning Agreement currently being negotiated.  Those commitments would see the delivery of Council’s infrastructure requirements and base-line services delivered at the earliest possible stage to the incoming community.  When the draft Planning Agreement is further advanced, we will report the matter to Council for consideration.  The finalisation of the developer commitments and the entering into of the Planning Agreement will be required prior to Council adopting the Precinct Plans which will enable development applications to proceed.

 

Our assessment of the draft Precinct Plans and the proposed controls outlined earlier in the report indicates that Council is now in a position to endorse the public exhibition of the draft Precinct Plans for the Western and Central Precincts.  That exhibition will commence in the second half of September 2008, allowing some additional time to finalise those matters which require ‘fine tuning’ and further clarification in the documents to be published.

 

Accordingly, the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans are recommended for Council’s approval for public exhibition.  A further report will be submitted to Council assessing all the submissions received during that exhibition process for Council’s consideration prior to formal adoption of the Plans.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on St Marys Release Area - Submission of the Western and Central Precinct Plans be received.

 

 

2.     Council publicly exhibit the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans in accordance with the provisions of Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 30 – St Marys.

3.     Land owners in the vicinity of the Western and Central Precincts be advised of the exhibition details.

4.     Blacktown City Council and relevant government agencies be advised of the proposed public exhibition of the draft Western and Central Precinct Plans.

5.     A further report be submitted to Council outlining the proposed commitments to be included in the Planning Agreement for the delivery of community facilities and other infrastructure required for the development.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Proposed amendment to SREP 30 zoning map

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Proposed amendment to SREP 30 structure plan map

1 Page

Appendix

3. View

Locality of Precincts

1 Page

Appendix

4. View

Draft Framework Plan for Western and Central Precincts

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 1 - Proposed amendment to SREP 30 zoning map

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 2 - Proposed amendment to SREP 30 structure plan map

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 3 - Locality of Precincts

 

 

 

St Marys Release Area - Location of Precincts

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 4 - Draft Framework Plan for Western and Central Precincts

 

 

 

Draft Framework Plan for Western and Central Precincts – St Marys Release Area

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

3

South Werrington Urban Village - Public Exhibition of Draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan Amendment   

 

Compiled by:                Natasha Baker, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Cohesive communities are formed based on sustainable, safe and satisfying living and working environments.

Critical Action: Prepare and implement plans (based on Council's Sustainability Blueprint for new Release Areas) for each new release area that deliver quality, sustainable living and working environments..

     

Purpose:

To report on the public exhibition of the draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan (DCP) Amendment.  The report recommends that Council adopt the draft LEP and Penrith DCP Amendment, and refer the draft LEP to the Minister for gazettal.

 

Background

At its Ordinary Meeting of 8 October 2007, Council considered a report on a draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and draft Development Control Plan (DCP) for the South Werrington Urban Village Urban Area (SWUV).  Council resolved that:

 

“1.    The information contained in the report on South Werrington Urban Village - Public Exhibition of Draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan Amendment be received.

2.   In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Regulations 2000, Council submit the draft Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2007 – South Werrington Urban Village as attached to this report to the Director-General of the Department of Planning seeking the issue of a Section 65 certificate to enable the draft Plan to be publicly exhibited.

3.   In accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Regulations 2000, a draft amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Chapter 6 to incorporate the controls relating to South Werrington Urban Village as attached to this report, be publicly exhibited.

4.     A further report be provided to Council seeking endorsement of the proposed Planning Agreement and draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan as outlined in the report.

5.     The land owners group be advised of Council’s decision and that the Planning Agreement outlined in the report will need to be resolved and endorsed by Council prior to Council being in a position to adopt the draft Local Environmental Plan for referral to the Department of Planning and the Minister for approval and gazettal.

6.   A further report be presented to Council following public exhibition of the draft Local Environmental Plan, draft Development Control Plan amendment and draft Section 94 Development Contributions Plan, advising of the outcomes of the exhibition and making further recommendations relating to the adoption of the final plans.”

 

This report outlines the results of the public exhibition of the Draft Local Environmental Plan 2008- South Werrington Urban Village (LEP) and the draft Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 (DCP), and seeks adoption of the draft DCP and referral of the draft LEP to the Department of Planning (DoP) and the Minister for approval and gazettal.

 

Colour copies of the final Draft LEP 2008 (including  maps) and final Draft Amendment to Penrith DCP 2006, as amended in accordance with the details below, have been separately forwarded to Councillors.

 

At its Ordinary Meeting of 14 July 2008, Council considered a report on the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for SWUV and endorsed the public notification and finalisation of the VPA between Penrith Council and University of Western Sydney (UWS). The VPA is for the monetary contribution towards funding affordable housing delivery in the City of Penrith.

 

The VPA is currently on public notification which concludes on the 11 August 2008. At the completion of the notification period the VPA will be signed and legally entered into. Council has endorsed the finalisation of this agreement to be undertaken by Council’s Legal Officer. With the imminent finalisation of the agreement, Council can formally consider finalisation of the draft LEP and DCP.

 

Public Exhibition

 

Subsequent to Council resolving to advance the draft LEP for SWUV for exhibition, Version 3 of the DoP's Standard Template was gazetted. Discussions were held with the DoP where they requested that the draft LEP, prior to being exhibited, needed to be consistent with the Version 3 of the Template and also consistent with any advice given to the Local Plan Team in relation to Stage 1 of the Local Plan. As a result, a number of minor changes requested by the DoP were made to the draft LEP to enable the issue of a Section 65 Certificate to allow public exhibition. These changes included:

 

·      Reducing the number of aims of the plan.

·      Renumbering of clauses, removal of mandatory and optional clauses, additional mandatory clauses and additional land uses and definitions.

·      Removal of clauses not applicable to SWUV to avoid confusion and the inclusion of additional objectives for subdivision consistent with the Local Plan. This also required the SWUV related Local Provisions such as land use objectives specific to SWUV be incorporated into the DCP, which is discussed in more detail below.

·      Consistency with the Infrastructure SEPP which required the removal of clauses relating to road and rail.

·      The inclusion of a ‘model’ clause imposed by the DoP which addressed the State Infrastructure Levy in relation to Release Areas.

 

The draft LEP and draft DCP amendment were exhibited for public comment from 15 April 2008 until 16 May 2008. The draft plans were publicly displayed at the Penrith Civic Centre and St Marys Office, with the exhibition details advertised in the Penrith Press throughout the exhibition period.  The draft plans were also available on Council’s website. 

 

Land owners, adjoining owners, state agencies and local resident groups were notified in writing of the exhibition of the draft plans. 

 

A total of 20 submissions were received from the following:

 

1.   3 submissions from Landowners

·      Mr Fornari

·      Cityscape Planning and Projects (on behalf of landowner Detogi Pty Ltd)

·      BBC Consulting (on behalf of landowner UWS)

2.   6 submissions from other residents and landowners

3.   11 submissions from Public Authorities and Adjoining Councils

Assessment of Submissions

The major issues arising from the submissions and our assessment of those matters are summarised below:

 

1.   Landowners

 

Zoning – the industrial zoning was raised within one submission as being inappropriate, suggesting that there is limited demand for light industrial development and that this zone will not facilitate development likely to deliver the employment yields expected in SWUV. The submission suggested a number of alternative zones for consideration. The suggested zones include B4 Mixed Use, B5 Business Development, B6 Enterprise Corridor and B7 Business Park.

 

The suggested alternative zones were assessed however it is considered that the IN2 zone best reflects the WELL Precinct Strategy intentions for the area. The employment studies for WELL and SWUV recommended that the land within SWUV be zoned IN2 as there was a demand for light industry in the area particularly for light industrial uses such as warehousing, and the employment aspirations for the site will be realised given this demand. Council’s adopted Employment Strategy also recommends that land needs to be zoned to meet the demand for at least the next 15 years and at the current rate, available zoned and serviced industrial land will be exhausted by 2013-2020. With the recent Federal government commitment of $7m towards the Werrington Arterial construction, this employment land will be realised sooner due to its proximity to this major road.

 

Land Use tables – Two submissions were received requesting additional landuses be considered in the IN2 zone which included such landuses as bulky goods premises, registered clubs, business premises, funeral homes and transport depots. One submission proposed an additional 38 land uses to be included in the IN2 zone which included a variety of residential type developments. A large number of the suggested landuses are inconsistent with the mandatory objectives of the IN2 zone under the template to “provide a wide range of light industrial, warehouse and related landuses”. These land uses are also provided for in other zones within SWUV and also have been allocated elsewhere in the City-Wide Local Plan. In particular, residential development has been planned for within SWUV north of the east west collector which is consistent with the adopted WELL Concept Plan

 

Additional land uses have been added to the IN2 land use table to include the additional land use definitions introduced in Version 3 of the Standard template, these uses include Industrial Retail Outlets and Self Storage Units.

 

Part 7 of the draft LEP relating to State Infrastructure Levy Clause – this clause contains provisions that prevent development consent from being granted within a release area until the Director-General of the DoP has certified in writing that satisfactory arrangements have been made to contribute to the provision of designated State Infrastructure. The clause was requested by DoP and provides the opportunity for developer contributions towards regional infrastructure such as arterial road upgrades, Werrington Arterial and the proposed UWS Station.

 

One submission requested this clause be removed as the current and proposed legislation contain the necessary power to require a contribution for State Infrastructure without this provision. The other submission indicated that due to the industrial zoned land providing for local employment opportunities within the release, the demand for transport facilities both within and external to the site is reduced.

 

Advice from the DoP indicates that this clause will be required to be included in the draft LEP to enable gazettal and will be included as a DoP ‘model’ clause which will be incorporated into all future LEPs under the template. This clause is to be included to reinforce the provisions regarding SIC in the recent planning reforms which have been enacted by parliament but are not yet in force.

 

Part 7 of the Draft LEP relating to Urban Release Areas - This clause is another DoP required clause which prevents development consent being granted within a new release area unless there is a DCP that provides for certain matters has been prepared for the land. A land owner submission questioned the need for this provision. Council has endorsed the public exhibition of an Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 to provide controls for development within SWUV. The draft DCP Amendment considers all the certain matters contained in this clause and advice from the DoP indicated that if it could be demonstrated that the additional certain matters have been considered in the DCP then Council can request it to be removed. The removal of this clause removes the uncertainty as to whether an additional DCP would be required in addition to the DCP being considered as part of this report. It appears reasonable to delete this clause from the draft LEP as it will be redundant once the LEP is gazetted, as the gazettal is the trigger for the DCP coming into force.

 

Industrial Development Controls - Two submissions raised issues regarding the industrial controls in the LEP and DCP such as lot size, setbacks and minimum road frontage. It was raised that the controls were not flexible enough to cater for the range of land uses permitted in the IN2 zone.

 

An analysis by Council staff was undertaken of existing local industrial development and newer industrial development in other Council areas, such as Regents Park. This analysis was undertaken to ensure that the recommended changes to setbacks and lot size could deliver a diverse range of industrial and related land uses. The analysis found that lot sizes for industrial development across the City varied between 1000sqm – 2ha. In Regents Park, there were a number of newer industrial developments on smaller lots averaging 2000sqm and these lots were in the vicinity of residential development.

 

This analysis also found both locally and in other Council areas that there were no side or rear setbacks and that this assisted in providing the flexibility to deliver good building design. Development in Regents Park also have reduced front setbacks that compliment the streetscape and provide a human scale to these types of development which improves the amenity of the area.

 

In relation to the submissions regarding the minimum lot size, the intent of requiring the 4000sqm was to facilitate lots that could cater for a wide range of integrated industrial units. As indicated in the SWUV employment studies, the lots should have a point of difference such as diversity and flexibility in lot sizes to attract light industrial uses to the site. This section of the employment land will be located within a larger employment area in the long term in the Werrington Enterprise Park (WEP) (land over the North Werrington UWS Campus). A reduction in the lot size from 4000sqm minimum to 2000sqm seems reasonable and will still achieve a wide range of industrial uses that also enables sufficient site area to provide all the necessary elements of industrial development without impacting on the amenity of adjoining residential area. With the reduction of the lot size it is necessary to reduce the minimum frontage size from 40m to 25m.

 

In relation to the submissions regarding the side and rear setbacks, it was considered that the 6m side setback and 5m rear setback was too restrictive. Current Penrith planning controls for industrial development do not have a rear or side setback provisions, and development in the local area appears to be achieving high levels of design and landscaping, such as examples along Jack Williams Drive. As this DCP will form part of the wider Penrith DCP, and to promote flexibility, it seems reasonable to remove the side and rear setback controls in the DCP to allow a merit assessment.

 

The front setback (10 metres) was also raised as an issue. Given the uniqueness of SWUV having industrial and residential fronting a collector road that will service a wider employment opportunity in the Werrington Enterprise Park for the City, there is opportunity to consider a decrease in the front setback where it can be demonstrated that the building has high architectural treatment and improved landscape treatment within the front setback. This, in addition to the building height plane provisions in the DCP for industrial development will ensure that development, is consistent and of a form consistent with the future amenity of the adjacent residential area.

 

North South Road – one submission raised concern that the North South road through the release area should be included within the Contributions Plan for Werrington Enterprise Living and Learning Precinct (WELL). The North South road is required to enable development to proceed in the southern part of the precinct. Such roads have historically been successfully addressed at the development consent stage and the ownership of these parcels is not an impediment to achieving road construction. The WELL Development Contributions Plan was adopted by Council on 23 June 2008 and came into force on 1 July 2008. The road funding issue was addressed by Council when adopted the Contributions Plan.

 

This submission also raised the location of the North South road indicating that the current location would sterilise a very small portion of the landowners land to the east of this road adjacent to the Wollemi School property. The submission called for the road to be moved to the west. The current road layout allows for the proposed industrial lots to back onto Cobham with a road frontage to the North South road. This provides a sufficient lot depth to facilitate industrial development on the site, there is little scope to reduce this depth by relocating the road further west. In addition, the shifting of the North South road westerly as suggested by the landowner would also create an undesirable intersection with the East West collector road to the north which will have carriage of traffic typical of a business park when the development of the Werrington Enterprise Park is advanced. It is our view, that the road is appropriately located. However, when subdivision and road designs are advanced for this part of the estate, consideration can be given to any minor road alignment adjustment required to achieve best land utlilisation.

 

Concept Plan requirements – One submission raised the issue of the provision of requiring concept plans when there are a number of land owners as this can be difficult to co-ordinate. The submission also raised that the DCP provisions such as the structure plan, road layout and lot size provisions provide sufficient details of the intended future development pattern in SWUV, and due to this a further concept plan is not necessary. In addition, that any reference to requiring the provision of affordable housing within the concept plan should be removed from the DCP due to the current notified VPA being entered into which is discussed above.

 

It is agreed that the structure plan, road layout and lot size provisions do provide some elements required of the concept plan, however a concept plan is necessary to primarily ensure that the dwelling targets planned for the area are achieved. At the first subdivision it needs to be demonstrated to Council where the different lot sizes and the staging of this delivery are to be located in order to achieve the SWUV dwelling targets.

 

To overcome the concern regarding multiple land owners and the difficulty to get an agreed concept plan from multiple land owners, a dwelling yield map including related provisions has been included in the DCP which separates the release area into precincts which match up to the different ownerships. The dwelling yield map will help inform the concept plan and is a useful tool to assist in how to deliver the final numbers and provide a higher level of certainty and assurance that the dwelling numbers planned for the estate are going to be delivered.

 

The inclusion of the affordable housing requirements in the DCP will be amended to reflect the current notified VPA . The provision for affordable housing will still be included in the DCP as there remains a need to reinforce the market delivery of affordable housing units not covered in the VPA.

 

The Concept Plan provisions have been amended in the DCP to reflect the dwelling yield map and provide more specific requirements in relation to the Concept Plan.


 

2.   Other residents

 

Localised issues such as flooding and road construction – concern was raised by residents regarding the impact the development will have on the flooding of the surrounding area and the condition of the existing roads.

 

A Stormwater Strategy was undertaken as part of the precinct planning for SWUV with the impact on adjoining properties considered in the design. Controls within the draft Amendment to the DCP 2006 include recommendations from the Stormwater Strategy such as provisions in relation to ensuring that post development flows do not exceed pre-development flows.

 

The submissions, as they primarily relate to existing drainage conditions have been forwarded to Council’s Engineering and Asset Management Departments where appropriate action is being considered through Council’s Works Program.

 

Flora and Fauna - a submission was received from a local resident with flora and fauna experience indicating that a number of species were excluded from the species list in the Flora and Fauna report accompanying the rezoning for SWUV. This submission also raised that there was not a great deal of land dedicated for an Environmental Conservation E2 zone compared to the developable area and recommended that connectivity of vegetation be incorporated into the LEP. The submission suggested that the low lying section of the land adjacent to the proposed small neighbourhood park should be retained for conservation as it is a breeding resource for frog habitat in the area.

 

The applicant’s survey report states that the survey results of the fauna species is not a full inventory of species as this can only be done over a long and extensive field survey spanning all seasons, however the study provides reasonable information based on the assessment of the habitats on the site. Council officers are developing a Biodiversity database which lists identified species from experts and the general community in the area, this will enable future assessment of flora and fauna to consider these species, which will assist with site specific analysis when development applications come forward. The species listed in this submission will be included in the above database for future reference.

 

In relation to the small portion of land zoned E2, the land zoned in SWUV is part of a contiguous expansive parcel of land along the northern boundary of the WELL Precinct adjacent and along the Western Railway Line, not yet zoned but likely to be zoned E2 as part of the consideration of a rezoning for Werrington Enterprise Park. Department of Water and Energy (DWE) and Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) have viewed the SWUV Flora and Fauna report, and the zoning of the land, and have provided their support to the E2 zoning over the northern bushland and the riparian corridor through Claremont Creek. The inclusion of conservation zones within the LEP is a positive step towards biodiversity conservation which protects the land with high conservation value from future development.

 

In relation to the low-lying area of land on the site considered to be frog habitat, the existing condition of the site has been created to function as a detention basin for the site and there has been an embankment constructed in the past along the northern edge of this area to prevent overflow to Landers and Walker Streets. This water flows through pipes and an open channel to the existing culverts located beneath the Main Western Railway line. This low-lying land in periods of high rainfall could potentially provide periodic habitat for frog and other species. A long term and ongoing habitat provision for frog species is provided for in the E2 zone applied over the riparian land in SWUV.

 

There is also an identified local passive park adjacent to the low lying land which is proposed to have a dual function as a detention basin. When details of the design of this park come forward with the DA that creates the park, consideration will be given to wet pond detention which can provide the seasonal habitat for any frogs that may occupy the site in the wet periods on a more permanent basis than what can be provided for in the current situation.

 

When Development Applications come forward for the site there is further opportunity to engage in a detailed site survey to ensure impacts on Flora and Fauna are considered in line with the Threatened Species Conservation Act.

 

Views from Claremont Meadows Estate – one submission raised views and greenery viewed from Claremont Meadows residents backing onto the Great Western Highway will be lost with the future development. The green space detailed in the submission is that land west of the Cobham Remand Centre and adjacent to the access point of the North Werrington Campus. This land has been identified as a future Active Open Space area on the adopted WELL Concept Plan. Also, the industrial development adjoining the Cobham boundary will not be prominent due to setbacks and existing vegetation on and surrounding Cobham.

 

3.   Public Authorities and Adjoining Councils

 

There was general support for the proposed plans from the responses provided by the public authorities and adjoining councils. Any relevant comments have been incorporated where appropriate into the LEP and DCP where those words do not contravene the standard wording already developed for the Local Plan template.

 

A submission from the Ministry of Transport (MoT) was received that requested that the draft LEP and DCP better reflect State and Metropolitan transport policy. The draft LEP can not be readily altered except for additional land uses and very limited special provisions to suit individual Council area. Any other State policies requiring enforcement within the LEP need to be directly provided to the DoP for consideration in the template by the relevant State agency. The MoT has also indicated that the proposed Werrington Arterial should not be a fundamental component of the draft plan. The draft plan needs to be considered in the context of the WELL Precinct which identifies the Werrington Arterial, along with the proposed UWS Station, as fundamental infrastructure planned for the Precinct.

 

The RTA has provided Council with a letter supporting the inclusion of the Werrington Arterial corridor as a SP2 Special Infrastructure zone requiring acquisition for the future construction of the Werrington Arterial. We are currently endeavouring to ascertain the RTA’s likely timeframes associated with acquisition of the proposed arterial road corridor.

 

There are components in the DCP which identify bus and cycle routes and a road hierarchy to assist in the facilitation of the development which supports some of the MoT comments. Some minor changes to the Draft DCP have been made to reflect the MoT comments.

 

Conclusion

A list of the recommended changes made to the draft LEP and draft DCP as a result of our assessment of the submissions is appended to the report. Some minor revisions have also been made to the draft LEP to provide consistency with the City-wide Local plan which is awaiting a Section 65 certificate to exhibit the draft Plan. There have also been some refinements to the draft DCP, following further examination of that draft document in conjunction with landowners submissions and internal technical advice from Council officers.

 

The LEP and DCP for the SWUV area complete the statutory planning phase of the proposed estate and will provide the necessary planning controls for development to proceed. The planning for SWUV has appropriately considered the wider WELL Precinct Strategy previously adopted by Council and is consistent with the endorsed WELL Concept Plan.

 

The adopted WELL Contributions Plan and the VPA when legally entered into will provide the necessary  financial arrangements that enable the appropriate level of services and facilities to be delivered to the estate. When the VPA is entered into the adopted LEP can be forwarded to the Minister for final approval and gazettal.

 

Accordingly, it is recommended that Council adopt Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 (South Werrington Urban Village) and Amendment to Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 – South Werrington Urban Village.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on South Werrington Urban Village - Public Exhibition of Draft Local Environmental Plan and Penrith Development Control Plan Amendment be received.

2.     Council adopt Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008– South Werrington Urban Village, incorporating the amendments outlined in this report, and refer the Plan to the Department of Planning and the Minister for gazettal in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulations 2000.

3.     Council adopt Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Amendment – South Werrington Urban Village, incorporating the amendments outlined in this report, in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulations 2000.

4.     The Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 Amendment – South Werrington Urban Village take effect upon gazettal of Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2008 – South Werrington Urban Village.

5.     Those persons who made submissions to the exhibition of the draft Plans be advised of Council’s decision.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Recommended Changes to Draft LEP and Draft DCP - SWUV

2 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 1 - Recommended Changes to Draft LEP and Draft DCP - SWUV

 

 

 

Recommended Changes to Draft Local Environmental Plan 2008 – South Werrington Urban Village and Draft Amendment Penrith Development Control Plan 2006 – South Werrington Urban Village

Draft LEP

 

1.   Land Use Tables have been revised to include and remove some additional land uses:

·      Exhibition homes and Exhibition village permissible with consent in the R1 General Residential (R1) and R3 Medium Density Residential (R3) zones;

·      Semi-detached dwelling permissible with consent in the R1 zone;

·      Neighbourhood shops, removal of minimum floor space as covered by Clause 5.4;

·      Industrial retail outlets and Self storage units permissible with consent in the IN2 Light Industrial zone, 

·      Bushfire hazard reduction works, Telecommunications facilities and Car Parks removed from the Land Use Tables as covered in the Infrastructure SEPP;

 

2.   Changes to clauses:

·      Separate additional clause included relating to demolition requiring consent, as demolition removed from land use tables.

·      Revised objectives for Clause 4.1 Minimum subdivision lot size and Clause 4.2 Height of buildings;

·      Revised minimum areas in Clause 5.4 Controls relating to miscellaneous permissible uses;

·      Removal of Clause 7.7 Development control plans.

 

3.   Mapping:

 

·      The Lot Size Map has been amended by reducing the minimum lot size requirements to 2000sqm which was discussed in detail above.

 

Draft Amendment to DCP

 

1.   Concept plan requirement has been reworded to better reflect details required at subdivision stage in support of the provisions already provided in the DCP.

2.   An additional section relating to Dwelling Yields to ensure that dwelling targets are met. This provision is consistent with what was endorsed by Council for Glenmore Park Stage 2 and Caddens. This also assists with informing the Concept plan requirements and changes above.

3.   Additional objectives have been included in Section 2.0 Structure Plan; these objectives were requested by the DoP to be removed from the LEP and to be inserted in the DCP.

4.   Removal of a number of development controls relating to road and rail noise as covered in the Infrastructure SEPP.

5.   Amendments within the Section 6.0 Development for Employment Purposes:

a.   Minimum lot size reduced to 2000sqm and lot frontage reduced to 25m.

b.   Front setback allowance to reduce the setback if high architectural design and improved landscaping can be demonstrated.

c.   Rear and side setbacks removed and to be assessed on merit

d.   Amendment of the Landscaping section to reflect changes to setbacks.

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

4

Youth Advisory Committees   

 

Compiled by:                Kelly Watson, Youth Development Officer

Tracy Leahy, Acting Community and Cultural Development Manager

Authorised by:             Erich Weller, Acting Director - City Services  

Requested By:             Councillor Susan Page

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

Critical Action: Support community organisations to address the differing needs and issues of the various age groups through Council's policy responses, program initiatives and advocacy.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council regarding current models of Youth Advisory Committees and similar structures.  The report also summarises the resources required to establish a youth advisory committee.  The report recommends the information be received and council endorse holding of a Penrith Youth Summit to enable Council to provide further opportunities for consultation and participation by young people in Council processes.

 

Introduction

A report was presented to an Ordinary Meeting on the 10th March 2008 titled “Consulting with Young People – WSROC Regional Youth Advisory Committee”. As a result, Councillor Page requested a further report regarding a Youth Advisory Committee and the possible establishment of such a committee at Penrith City Council. Research has been undertaken regarding local, national and international methods of engaging young people in a local government context. Consultation was also conducted with other Councils, and with a variety of young people who are currently involved in Youth Advisory Committees across Australia.

 

Youth Advisory Committees are generally established with two key aims. The first aim is to engage young people in consultation and participation in local government processes. The second aim is to provide youth leadership opportunities. This report will suggest a possible further direction for Penrith City Council when considering these aims.

 

Background

The NSW Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was established under the Youth Advisory Council Act (1989) to advise the Government of New South Wales, through the Minister for Youth, on matters of concern to young people and on Government policies and programs. 

A report published in March 2007 by the NSW Youth Advisory Committee entitled “Review of NSW Local Government Social Plans” identified that approximately 34% of NSW councils engage some form of youth advisory structure when consulting with young people. Other NSW councils may choose alternate models of youth participation to engage young people, such as creating an annual forum or consulting young people on particular concerns as the need arises. Apart from Hawkesbury and Penrith all WSROC member Councils have youth advisory committees or similar structures.

 

Penrith City Council has existing strategies for consulting young people and encouraging youth participation. On the basis of an extensive report and discussion paper presented to Council in June 2005, Council reconfirmed its position to consult and involve young people in Council’s decision-making processes, with a focus on ensuring contributions from a range of age groups, family background and sub-cultures that in large part define youth identities, interests and priorities.  This approach to consultation and participation by young people in Council processes is in line with Council’s Participation Policy and Manual. In particular, Council’s approach to consultation and participation by young people in Council processes emphasises involvement and collaboration, rather than simply information.

 

The preferred methods for consultations with young people as outlined in the June 2005 report were small focus groups, forums where young people can meet elected representatives and discuss issues that are relevant to young people’s lives, and informal and friendly occasions or events. 

 

Council’s approach in consulting and involving young people as outlined in the June 2005 report has continued to be responsive, flexible and effective. Similar to the City of Melbourne’s approach, Penrith City Council recognises that no single method of consultation is likely to provide a bridge between the different youth age groups, sub-cultures, interests and priorities.

 

A successful example of Council’s approach is the recent support offered to Barkada, which is a group of Filipino young people from across Penrith City. Through Youth Week funding, Council supported the Barkada in holding a Youth Leadership Forum. As a result the Barkada, again with Council support, recently applied for funding from the Youth Action and Policy Association NSW (YAPA) to run a cultural camp in the area. Council will continue to support this group and its aims which are currently focussed on maintaining the Filipino language and culture as well as providing a range of social and recreational activities.

 

Council officers are regularly co-ordinating or participating with community and government partners in consultations with young people in the City.  In some cases, these will be project-based consultations with the aim of ensuring that a project is responsive to young people’s needs and aspirations.  In other cases, it may be to ensure that Council and other partner decision making processes take into account the views of young people and facilitate outcomes that do not adversely impact on young people.

 

A summary of the major engagement/consultation processes was provided in the previous report to Council on 10 March 2008, titled “Consulting with Young People – WSROC Regional Youth Advisory Committee”.  These engagement processes included:

·        early in 2007 a youth survey was undertaken as part of Council’s Cranebrook Street Work Project to assist with the effective delivery of this initiative in supporting young people in the area

·        in March 2007 young people in Cranebrook from the local high school participated in the Youth Services Expo to ensure young people in the area were aware of the range of local and City-wide services that are able to assist young people, including with employment and training

·        in April 2007 consultations were held with young people at the major city-wide Youth Week event to assist Council and community partners in developing effective programs for young people in the City

·        in July 2007 young people from a couple of local youth services were involved and contributed to the “Out and About” project led by the University of Western Sydney to canvas young people’s views on the use of different open space areas and to which extent these meet diverse local needs

·        during September and October 2007 a series of consultations were held with children and young people in Kingswood Park to gain their views on what they like about their neighbourhood and what they might like to change (these views have been included as part of Council’s Kingswood Park Neighbourhood Action Plan)

·        in November 2007 the Penrith Police Command, Council and youth services together consulted with young people who were frequenting the Plaza and surrounds on Thursday nights.  This information assisted further development of plans for the public domain area between the Westfields Plaza and the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and Council

·        as part of the development of the Cranebrook Skate Park considerable support has been provided by Council’s Youth Development Officer, Community Programs Co-ordinator and local community partners to involving young people in the design and final location selection for the skate park.

 

As part of the extension of Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Program into Londonderry and Oxley Park in 2008/09 further opportunities will be available for young people to contribute to the future of their neighbourhoods.

 

Current Models

The following section summarises some existing models of youth councils, advisory committees and other consultation/participation mechanisms.

Liverpool Council

Liverpool Council has one main engagement strategy when working with young people. This is the Liverpool Youth Council. The Liverpool Youth Council is a group of young people (12 to 24 years) who meet regularly to contribute to Council's policies and decisions towards young people. It aims to provide young people with a link to Council and to allow discussion regarding current youth issues and projects.  Liverpool Youth Council members serve a two year term. The LYC is annually allocated an amount of $10,000 to run events and forums. The Liverpool Youth Council is supported by an Advisory Committee, called the Friends of Liverpool Youth Council. The FLYC provide support and advice when needed and are kept informed of all Youth Council events and outcomes.

 

The Liverpool Youth Council is supported by two staff, one of which is the Youth Development Officer. The YDO allocates approximately one fifth of his time to resourcing and supporting this strategy. Liverpool Council also employs a Community Development Assistant which supports the Liverpool Youth Council for 12 hours a week. This means that in total, the Liverpool Youth Council requires an additional 19 hour a week position to run effectively. In busier times of the year, this may also be increased.

 

Further information on the Liverpool Youth Council can be found here: http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/liverpoolyouthcouncil.htm

 

Baulkham Hills Council

Baulkham Hills Council employs a range of strategies when engaging young people in participation and leadership opportunities. The Baulkham Hills Youth Advisory Council has a similar structure to the Liverpool Youth Council.  The Youth Advisory Council is comprised of twelve young residents aged 12 – 24. Committee members can serve for a maximum of two years. The Youth Advisory Council must elect a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson, and meet at least six times a year. Young people also attend workshops throughout the year. The Youth Advisory Council plans Youth Week events, and sometimes acts as a selection panel to prioritise grant recipients.

Baulkham Hills Council also runs an annual event called the Hills Youth Forum. The Hills Youth Forum is open to all young people aged 12 – 24 who work, study, or live in the Baulkham Hills Shire. The day is an appropriate avenue for SRC representatives of all ages to have their say on key issues affecting young people.  The day includes motivational speakers and information on how young people can involve themselves in the community.  From the Youth Forum young people have the opportunity to make recommendations to Baulkham Hills Shire Council on how council can support young people. Topics to be discussed at the upcoming 2008 Hills Youth Forum include Employment and Education, Culture and Identity, and Volunteering.

Baulkham Hills Council also creates specific committees of young people for particular events or strategies. An example of this is the HYPE Festival Committee, which runs two events for young people per year. Another example is a selection panel for the annual Excellence in Youth Awards.

These strategies are collectively supported by Baulkham Hills Council’s Youth Development Team. This Team has three full time workers. One of these is the Youth Development Officer, whose main task is to support and resource the Youth Advisory Council. The other workers in the Youth Development Team are the Mobile Youth Service Officer and the Youth Centre Coordinator. The Youth Advisory Council is attended by the Mayor, a Councillor, the Youth Development Officer and several members of Senior Staff. Administration is managed by the Youth Development Officer.

 

This means that on its own, the Baulkham Hills Youth Council requires a full time worker and continued commitment from both Councillors and Senior Staff. In busier times of the year, this commitment may also be increased.

 

Further information on the strategies used by Baulkham Hills Council can be found here: http://www.baulkhamhills.nsw.gov.au/Youth.html

 

City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne engages young people in a different way to either of the Councils outlined above.

 

A report entitled “Civic Engagement and Young People” was recently commissioned by the City of Melbourne, and published in November 2007. It contains several recommendations for councils when considering a youth operated structure such as a Youth Advisory Committee. The main recommendation is that a Youth Advisory Committee has limited effectiveness and requires a large amount of Council resources. It recommends that young people need a variety of mechanisms to engage and support them.

The report notes that:

 

“The creation of some form of Youth Advisory Committee as the sole (or even first) step is challenged both by the literature and by experience. While some form of youth-operated structure (Youth Council, Youth Advisory Committee, Coordinating Group, Action Committee or other mechanism) may emerge, this needs to be considered as part of a more complex process of supporting participation and engagement for all groups, throughout a local government area (LGA).”

 

In response to this research, the City of Melbourne established two key youth committees that are informal, project based and relevant to the immediate needs of young people. Both committees aim to give young people the opportunity to engage in and learn about local government processes and decision making.

The Signal Youth Committee was established in early 2007 and involves 12 young people aged 15 to 22 years from a variety of backgrounds with a specific interest in creative arts, multimedia, performance, arts and events. The Committee meets monthly and members work with different areas of Council to inform the development of the new Signal Creative Arts Space and its programming for 2009.

The Youth Communications Committee was established in December, 2007 to advise the City of Melbourne on ways to effectively communicate with young people and inform the development of new communication tools. The Committee is made up of 14 young people from a range of areas including creative arts, youth media and press, tertiary institutes, youth service providers and local schools. Members were appointed for a 12-month period. The committee meets monthly at different City of Melbourne venues.

Both committees require a small amount of administration support from the Youth Development Officer, but still have tangible and specific outcomes for young people. If a need arises for youth engagement around a specific issue, then a consultation or participation process can be initiated and tailored to address those issues.

Further information on the City of Melbourne’s Youth Committees, along with the “Civic Engagement and Young People” report, can be found here: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/info.cfm?top=43&pg=652

 

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) recently identified the need for a Regional Youth Council. WSROC is presently considering establishing a geographically based representative structure with bi-monthly meetings. Further investigation will occur as to how it might work with member councils to establish this Regional Youth Council.

 

The core business of the Regional Youth Council will be to address relevant issues from WSROC Strategic Planning Processes, the Biennial “Yo West Gathering” (a regional conference drawing together youth advisory committee representatives), the WSROC Board (or EMC), and Regional Youth Organisations. Some Councils in Western Sydney are likely to use their existing youth consultative committees or Youth Councils to select their representative. There will be mechanisms in place for those Councils who do not currently have a Youth Council to nominate a suitable young person to attend.

 

Key questions that are currently under examination in regards to this Regional Youth Council include the age range of Youth Council membership; the representational structure and meeting frequency; the engagement of and links with the WSROC Board structure; methods for Youth Council engagement with other young people and youth organisations; and ways to appropriately resource the Youth Council. There has also been acknowledgement that further research must be undertaken regarding the traditional Youth Council model. In particular WSROC have concern regarding the long term resource implications and sustainability of establishing a Youth Council.

 

Due to a staff resignation WSROC has not progressed their work on the Regional Youth Council.

 

Future Directions

There is common agreement that youth participation in local government processes and decision making is important in contributing to a responsive Council and inclusive City. What is being presently debated in the Youth Sector is what model is most effective to achieve the most positive and representative outcomes.

 

Earlier this year, the 2020 Summit drew many of Australia’s important thinkers to Canberra to participate in a broad debate about issues of national concern. Running concurrently was the 2020 Youth Summit and the 2020 Schools Summit. The Youth Summit and the Schools Summit gave children and young people an opportunity to voice their thoughts on a variety of topics. These ranged from democratic processes; environmental concerns; and a long term national health strategy. The 2020 Schools Summit report can be found here: http://www.australia2020.gov.au/docs/schools_summit_report.pdf  Further information on the 2020 Youth Summit can be obtained from this website: http://www.australia2020.gov.au/youth/ 

 

It is proposed that Council use a similar “summit” model to complement its existing youth participation and consultation strategies. To this end it is proposed that in late March or April 2009 a Penrith Youth Summit be convened and co-ordinated by Council.  The proposed timing of the summit is scheduled to enable students from tertiary institutions and high schools to attend.

 

The Summit would feature key speakers on leadership, information regarding Council’s broader strategic priorities that are relevant to young people and facilitated debate to identify key issues that concern young people. It is proposed that the Summit contain smaller focus groups on particular issues, for example arts or education. It will particularly aim to engage student leaders from the University of Western Sydney, TAFE NSW and local schools. A report regarding the results of the Penrith Youth Summit would be presented to Council.

 

This model will be developed in line with Penrith City Council’s Participation Policy and Manual. The development of the Penrith Youth Summit will be managed by the Youth Development Officer, and may be designed in consultation with a small youth committee. This youth committee would follow a similar strategy to the City of Melbourne, and convene principally for the purpose of the establishment and evaluation of the Summit.

 

A small budget of approximately $5,000 would be required.

 

Council has $5,000 in the 2008/09 budget as a financial contribution to the WSROC Young Women’s Leadership Program.  Because WSROC has been unable to gain adequate Federal, State or corporate funding for the YWLP, WSROC has decided to discontinue this initiative.  Thus the $5,000 for the YWLP can be utilised for this initiative.

 

The Penrith Youth Summit is proposed to be run between the hours of 9:30 am – 2:30pm, allowing for maximum participation of school students. The Summit would also be organised with the support of the Penrith Youth Interagency, particularly in facilitating the focus groups. This would also ensure participation from young people who may not be involved in formal school education.

 

The proposed model of the Penrith Youth Summit has the capacity to reach a large number of young people with positive results. It also further demonstrates to the community that Council has a commitment to hearing the voices and opinions of young people in the Penrith Local Government Area.

 

Youth Advisory Committee

This section of the report summarises what form a Penrith Youth Advisory Committee might take, as well as the resources required to support an effective youth committee.

 

Youth Advisory Committees are generally comprised of about twelve young people from across the Local Government Area. The young people would be recruited from diverse backgrounds and a geographical spread across the LGA, and it is proposed would be aged between 16 and 24.

 

Before the YAC commenced, a Terms of Reference and a Meeting Procedures document would be drafted.

 

Young people interested in joining the YAC would submit an application outlining their skills and interests, and detailing what they would bring to the Youth Advisory Committee. They would also need to demonstrate in what ways they believe they can represent young people in their communities – for instance they may be student leaders at their schools, or within their youth group. Young people will then be selected and undergo initial induction.  This induction would provide an orientation to meeting procedures, youth demographics in the LGA and other issues.

 

YAC members will also need to vote on positions such as Chair, Vice Chair, Communications Officer and Events Coordinator.  There would be a code of conduct for YAC members and understand the importance of confidentiality. They would also need to be provided with an orientation to other Council policies of relevance.

 

 

The Youth Advisory Committee would meet a minimum of eight times a year. Outcomes from these meetings may be to make recommendations to Council on relevant youth issues. The YAC might also meet to discuss Youth Week funding, and may be consulted on issues such as the design or location of a Skate Park. Members of the YAC may represent the Committee on other Youth Committees, such as the proposed WSROC Western Sydney Regional Youth Council.

 

The principal objective of the YAC would be to support youth participation in the civic life of the City.  The Youth Development Officer would submit reports to Council twice a year regarding the progress and activities of the YAC.  Between meetings views on particular matters might be sought from YAC members via an email network.

If Council decides to establish a Penrith Youth Advisory Committee additional resources would be required to support the YAC.  This position would need an allocation of fourteen hours a week and would require a recurrent annual budget of $26,629.46. This level of support is in line with the practices of other Councils who have established a Youth Advisory Committee or similar youth consultation/participation structure. Approximately $10,000 would be additionally required for catering, training, conference costs, administration and transport. This also is in line with other Council requirements. In total it is estimated an annual budget of $36,629.46 is required to establish and maintain a Penrith Youth Advisory Committee.

A project bid for the resourcing Penrith Council Youth Advisory Committee would need to be prepared and considered together with other priorities as part of the development of council’s budget for 2009/10.

Summary

Penrith City Council has a strong record of engagement with young people.

 

The approach Council has adopted in consulting and involving young people in the Council processes has continued to be responsive, flexible and effective. An example of this is the recent support offered to Barkada. The Barkada is a group of young Pilipino people from Penrith. Through Youth Week funding, Council supported the Barkada in holding a Youth Leadership Forum. As a result the Barkada, again with Council support, recently applied for funding from the Youth Action and Policy Association NSW (YAPA) to run a cultural camp in the area. Council will continue to support this group and its aims.

 

All Councils employ strategies to consult young people and to support participation by young people in Council processes. This report outlines current practice from a range of Councils and takes into consideration current research and consultation methods. Profiled in this report are Liverpool Council, Baulkham Hills Council and the City of Melbourne.

 

An update is also provided on the current status of the formation of the Western Sydney Regional Youth Council. The establishment of this model is being led by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) with participation from member Councils. At this stage no further progress has been made by WSROC on this initiative due to a staff resignation.

 

As an initial alternative to the establishment of a Youth Advisory Committee, this report recommends the holding of a Penrith Youth Summit in early 2009. The Penrith Youth Summit will bring together a range of young people from across the local government area. The Summit will feature key speakers on leadership, information regarding Council’s broader strategic priorities that are relevant to young people and facilitated debate to discuss pertinent key issues for young people. It will particularly aim to engage student leaders from the University of Western Sydney, TAFE NSW and local schools. This model can be implemented utilising $5,000 allocated by Council in the 2008/09 budget to the now discontinued WSROC Young Women’s Leadership Project.

 

The report also outlines the way a Penrith youth advisory committee might be structured and operate.  A budget of approximately $37,000 would be required to resource such a structure. This includes staff support and a budget for the operation of the committee. A project bid for the resourcing of Penrith City Youth Advisory committee would need to be prepared and considered together with other priorities as part of the development of council’s budget for 2009/10.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Youth Advisory Committees be received.

2.     Council endorse the holding   of a Penrith Youth Summit in 2009, and reallocate funds in the 2008/2009 budget for the WSROC Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP) for this purpose.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

5

Universal Design Playgrounds   

 

Compiled by:                Grant Collins, Recreation and Cultural Facilities Planner

Authorised by:             Roger Nethercote, Environmental Planning Manager   

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

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

     

Purpose:

To provide information about the early establishment of a universal design playground, with convenient public transport access. The report also includes information provided from other Councils around Australia on the installation and usage of the liberty swing in their local government areas and the involvement of Variety, the Children's Charity, with their establishment. The report recommends that the information in this report be received.

 

Background

On 12 May 2008 a report was presented to Council on the progress of planning for universal design playgrounds in the City.  The report highlighted the objective of  providing inclusive open space areas that all people with diverse abilities can enjoy together, without the need to create separate, specialised and fenced off areas in public open space.  That report also highlighted Council’s adopted policy direction detailed in the Open Space Action Plan which promotes inclusive open space design.  In particular, the report provided information about the principles for establishing universal design playgrounds in the City, as well as issues relating specifically to liberty swings.

 

Council resolved that a further report be presented to the Policy Review Committee which considered the early establishment of a universal design playground, with convenient public transport access, information about the installation and usage of liberty swings in other local government areas and the involvement of the Variety, the Children’s Charity (formerly known as the NSW Variety Club).  This report provides the results on the investigation of these matters.

Liberty swings

Council Survey

 

A survey was conducted seeking feedback from a range of Councils around Australia regarding the positive and any challenging aspects of installing liberty swings.  A total of 10 responses were received from Councils in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.  A summary of the key comments made by the Councils on their liberty swings is appended to this report. 

 

In relation to the positive views expressed, a common response was that the swing provided a positive experience for users who were appreciative of the facility being provided, and a record of repeat usage.  In regard to the negative responses received, the most common aspects expressed related to the installation of fencing and gate locking mechanisms which were regularly vandalised, providing an ongoing maintenance liability and inconvenience to users when the facility is not able to be accessed.

 

Current opportunities for access to a liberty swing

 

Kurrambee School in Werrington has a liberty swing installed within the school grounds.  The school operates under Department of Education policy that encourages the shared use of school facilities by the public outside of school hours.

 

In discussion with the school principal, it is understood Federal funding provided to the school was used to install the liberty swing with the assistance of Community Development and Support Expenditure funds for the shade facilities.  As part of the initial funding arrangement to install the liberty swing, it was agreed that public access would be permitted with a formal arrangement in place.  This agreement would be required to help protect the school against any potential damage to school facilities outside of school hours.  Currently, the Kurrambee School allows access to the school facilities by Anglicare and the Baptist Church and is amenable for community groups to negotiate access to their facilities on weekends.

 

This could provide a shorter term solution, enabling public access via a written arrangement between organised groups with the Kurrambee School to enable access to an existing liberty swing in the City.

 

Information from Variety, The Children’s Charity

 

Advice was sought from Variety, the Children’s Charity (formerly the Variety Club of NSW) regarding their involvement in establishing liberty swings.  The opportunity was also taken to explore the group’s potential involvement in developing a universal design playground in the City.  That advice is outlined below:

 

“The situation with Variety and Local Councils vary according to many factors including Council's attitude and level of involvement, money Variety has at the time of interest, and when applicable if Variety has a specific sponsor at that time with an interest to have a swing at a particular location.

 

As a ‘rule of thumb’ if we cannot convince a Council to pay for a swing plus installation, and we are keen to have a swing in that area we may offer to pay for half the cost of the swing and Council pay for the other half plus the cost of installation.

 

If Council was prepared to cover the cost of installation as described above plus half the cost of the swing Variety would cover the cost of the other half. Installation includes the cost of soft fall and fencing as well as physically putting the swing in the ground. To give you an indication of the costs involved installation is from $13000 to $17000 on average and the swing price is $23,000 plus GST.”

 

Variety also indicated potential support for larger scale projects that promoted more inclusive universal design options, which encourage shared play experiences for all children with diverse abilities.

 

The report to Council on 12 May 2008 highlighted a range of issues concerning the establishment of a liberty swing in public open space areas controlled by Council.  Those concerns fundamentally related to experiences other Council’s have had in maintaining the installation over time, ensuring continuous access and overcoming vandalism difficulties.  The recent survey of Councils has indicated these difficulties remain, despite the very positive feedback from liberty swing users who are appreciative of the experience they provide.  The previous report also provided the views of others with experience with people of diverse abilities and a common issue identified was that free-standing liberty swings in public open space areas tend to isolate certain users and does not facilitate shared play experiences where all children can socialise and interact within a playground facility.

 

In our view, it would be preferable to pursue opportunities for a liberty swing with those establishments that provide dedicated services for people with diverse abilities, such as Kurrambee School. 

Early Establishment of a Universal Design Playground

The report to Council on 12 May 2008 outlined the endorsed locations of district level universal design playgrounds and the Section 94 funding arrangements for facilities at Gipps Street and Penrith Lakes.  In addition, some universal design elements are intended to be incorporated in the play facility to be constructed in the next 12 months in association with the Glenmore Park Child and Family Precinct.  Concern was expressed by Councillors that these options may take too long to deliver, and earlier delivery options should be explored.

 

A number of organisations which assist people with diverse abilities were approached in order to understand their preferences and priorities in relation to the criteria for the establishment of universal design playgrounds.  Those organisations were:

·    The Spastics Centre, Kingswood.

·    Lifestart, St Marys.

·    Kurrambee Special School, Werrington.

·    Penrith Disability Resource Centre, Penrith.

·    Royal Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Glenmore Park.

 

From that feedback, the following site selection criteria were used to determine potential sites to develop a playground suitable for all people with diverse abilities that is in addition to the above sites already proposed in the District Open Space Facilities Development Contribution Plan:

 

·    Access to public transport including rail and bus and ease of access to the park,

·    Socio-economic considerations / need,

·    Access to other facilities including car parking, toilets, shelter, recreation and community facilities, shops and services,

·    Proximity to other services accessed by children and people with diverse abilities,

·    Proximity to other planned universal design district facilities at the Penrith Lakes and the Gipps Street landfill site and equitable distribution of facilities across the City,

·    Community safety considerations, and

·    Passive surveillance opportunities and potential for vandalism.

 

Using the site selection criteria, the following sites were considered by Council Officers to be the best available options in the City for the establishment of a universal design playground in the shorter term:

 

·    Wainwright Park, Kingswood.

·    Rance Oval / Parkes Ave Reserve, Werrington.

 

Attributes of Wainwright Park, Kingswood

 

The key positive aspects in relation to this site are:

 

1.   Close proximity to both rail and bus public transport (300m).

2.   Pathway access from the Kingswood Railway Station and bus stop to the park is adequate.

3.   Socio-economic considerations support this facility at this location.

4.   Community safety considerations support this development at this location.

5.   The adjacent Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre provides shelter and a community meeting point to encourage social interaction which was highlighted as an important consideration.

6.   Public off street parking provided adjacent to the neighbourhood centre.

7.   Close proximity to other support services for assisting people with diverse abilities including the Spastics Centre at UWS, Kingswood Campus and there is the potential for additional child, family and crisis support services to be located in the Kingswood area.

8.   Close proximity to the Nepean Hospital (500m).

9.   Close proximity to local shops.

 

Attributes of Rance Oval / Parkes Avenue Reserve, Werrington

 

The key positive aspects in relation to this site are:

 

1.   Close proximity to rail and bus public transport (200m).

2.   Pathway access from the Werrington railway station requires a couple of road crossings and pathway upgrades to access the park.

3.   Socio-economic considerations support this facility at this location.

4.   Arthur Neave Memorial Hall provides shelter and a community meeting point to encourage social interaction which was highlighted as an important consideration.

5.   The Local Open Space Development Contributions Plan includes $250,000 for a new amenities building at Rance Oval and $80,000 for park furniture, pathway access and landscaping in Parks Ave Reserve, which could be tailored to support the establishment of a playground.

6.   Public off street parking provided adjacent to Rance Oval but pathway access would have to be developed to link across to the playground.

7.   Close proximity to other support services for people with diverse abilities including Kurrambee School.

8.   Close proximity to local shops.

Both sites offer a range of positive opportunities that also have good access to both bus and rail transport as sought by Council. The principal element which would distinguish Wainwright Park as the better option is its proximity to the Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre and the social interaction this facility could provide. Although the Arthur Neave Memorial Hall provides some parallel connections, the more significant advantage for the Rance Oval site is that existing funding under the Local Open Space Developments Contributions Plan which could expedite the early establishment of such a facility.

Establishment Costs of a Universal Design Playground

Set out below are the indicative costs associated with the construction of a universal design playground in Penrith.  It should be noted that these are broad cost estimates prepared without the benefit of a detailed design.

 

item

 

Cost  ($)

 

 

 

Shade structure

 

30,000

Rubberised soft fall ($170 per square metre) for 155m²

 

27,000

Recreational pathway link to and around the playground

 

50,000

Perimeter fence to entire playground

 

18,000

Landscaping

 

25,000

Selected inclusive playground elements, delivery and installation

 

80,000

 

 

 

Total

 

230,000

 

These costs apply to a universal design playground generally and do not include site specific costs relating to site preparation, kerb ramps, road crossings and line marking, signage and lighting, which would be determined once a particular site has been selected.

Financial Services Manager’s Comments

If Council resolve to pursue the early establishment of a universal design playground, in advance of the two identified sites in the District Open Space s94 plan then from a funding perspective the Rance Oval/Parkes Avenue Reserve location has some advantages.  There is already some identified funding available, including $80,000 within the Local Open Space s94 plan for provision for park furniture, pathway access and landscaping works in Parks Ave reserve.  These works could be directed towards the establishment costs of a universal design playground.  Some additional funding ($40,000) may be available from the Recreation Reserve to facilitate the early establishment of such a playground.  This would leave in the order of $110,000 funding to be found.  Other funding sources investigated include Variety, The Children’s Charity and the John McLean Foundation however, even if both these avenues are successful, it is likely an additional funding contribution will still be required from Council. 

 

The Local Open Space s94 plan also has provision for a new amenities block at the Rance Oval location which would complement the playground.

 

At this stage of the year there is no identified funding source for this project.  If Council were of a mind to seek the advancement of an additional universal design playground, further investigation including more detailed design and clarification of the costings for the Rance Oval/Parkes Avenue reserve location would need to be instigated and reported back to Council. The resulting shortfall would then need to be assessed against other competing priorities Council has identified.

Summary

In relation to encouraging access to a liberty swing in the City, the report notes that the installation provided at Kurrambee Special School at Werrington could be made available to user groups through a negotiated arrangement outside of school hours.

 

In our view, additional liberty swing facilities would be best considered as part of an existing support service for people with diverse abilities or another private entity where ongoing support and surveillance is provided. This also has the advantage of providing other supporting infrastructure and amenities that are required by people who access this facility.

 

The report identifies, through consultation with a range of support agencies, a preferred list of siting criteria for locating an additional universal design playground. The report has identified two preferred locations for the early establishment of a universal design playground - Wainwright Park in Kingswood and Rance Oval / Parkes Avenue Reserve in Werrington.

 

Given the existing Local Open Space funding availability for Rance Oval / Parks Ave Reserve, this site would be preferred if Council wish to advance a universal design playground. It is noted however that a funding shortfall exists which would need to be considered in relation to other identified Council priorities.

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on Universal Design Playgrounds be received.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Universal Design Playgrounds -  Feedback Survey - Liberty Swings

2 Pages

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Appendix 1 - Universal Design Playgrounds -  Feedback Survey - Liberty Swings

 

 

 

Feedback Survey 2008 - Liberty Swings

 

Positive Feedback

 

­ “There has been a great deal of positive feedback.  People have returned to their place of abode after visiting Mount Gambier on a weekend and phoned to thank Council for the opportunity that having the Liberty Swing had given their child with a disability.  A second Liberty Swing was installed in Mount Gambier at a location that was more accessible to the local Special School based on the success of the first installation.” (City of Mount Gambier, SA)

 

­ “Persons who use the swing are very appreciative. The liberty swing is a great asset, and brings a lot of joy to wheelchair bound persons that are unable to use the greatest majority of playground equipment. ” (Cairns Regional Council)

 

­ “The feedback from all users of the swing is positive.  The swing is located under a shade sail in a popular foreshore park with good off street parking facilities, barbecues, picnic shelters and other playground equipment.  It is adjacent to a busy boat ramp which makes it an ideal day trip destination.” (Moreton Bay Regional Council -Redcliffe District)

 

­ “We have had quite a number of groups & individuals who have provided positive feedback. Many come from outside the BHSC area to use the swing.” (Baulkham Hills Shire Council, NSW)

 

­ “The Schools with special needs children has stated how wonderful it is.” (City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria)

 

­ “The liberty swing is highly valued by the people who use them.” (Baulkham Hills City Council)

 

­ “You get a lot of positive feedback from the kids who use the liberty swing.” (Auburn City Council)

 

­ “One user group commented that they think it is an excellent facility for people with wheel chairs.” (City of South Perth) 

 

 

 

Negative Feedback

 

­ “I wish that fund raising organisations did more to promote liberty swings in special schools and less in public parks, as it fails in inclusivity. The fencing that separates and isolates it from the rest of the playground due to safety reasons sends a really bad message. The issue of access and maintenance is also tricky with 1 of the 2 locks on a liberty swing that I have observed  in a  public park consistently not working. Another unexpected observation is children without disabilities wanting to use the swing, they beg for a ride and cue up to use it, but cannot without the MLAK access key.”  (Landscape Architect Consultant and Horticulturalist)

 

­ “There are maintenance problems due to the liberty swing attracting vandalism because it is so obviously different to the standard playground equipment.” (Parramatta City Council)

 

­ “The users do appreciate the swing but there are huge issues to access it.” (Blacktown City Council)

 

­ “The liberty swing is prone to vandalism and you have to think how it will be managed. It should be put in a place where there is constant supervision.” (Baulkham Hills City Council)

 

­ “The lock on the fence around the liberty swing keeps getting vandalised and broken, kids just want to get on it with their bikes.” (Auburn City Council)

 

­ “The facility is fenced and there is therefore no public access to the swing.” (City of Geelong, Victoria)

 

­ “It was unable to be used once as there had been vandals who had jammed something into the lock to try & open it.” (City of South Perth, WA)

 

­ “The number one problem with placing equipment like liberty swings in public parks is the issue of vandalism. Our liberty swing had a good fence around it with a locked gate but it was vandalised. It should be placed in a secure environment where there is constant supervision.” (Campbelltown City Council) 

 

­ “Although it was initially designed in response to social exclusion, where the child with disabilities is relegated to watching rather than participating in cooperative play, the dominant message built into the Liberty Swing and its enclosure is the segregation of its ‘special’ users from other park-goers. Trying to solve a social problem by reducing it to an issue of design and mechanics has created a new series of problems. The Liberty Swing does not invite spontaneous involvement or interaction. Able-bodied children cannot join in, though they are reportedly intrigued by the novelty of the swings.”

(UWS Out and About Research Team, 2008)

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

The City as a Social Place

 

 

The City as a Social Place

 

 

6

Rowing Training and Development Facility - Weir Reserve   

 

Compiled by:                Andrew Robinson, Recreation Manager

Authorised by:             David Burns, Director - City Operations   

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

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

     

Purpose:

To provide a summary of the history, current status and proposed future direction for the proposal from NSW Rowing Association (NSWRA) to construct a rowing centre of training and development at Weir Reserve.  The report recommends that the information outlining the status of the Rowing Development and Training Centre at Weir Reserve be received and, that Council endorse the progression of the proposal to develop the Rowing Development and Training Centre at Weir Reserve through the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee and the associated sub-committees as detailed in this report.

 

Background

Council’s 2004–2005 Management Plan, (and Strategic Program) identified the following Critical Action “Foster centres of sporting excellence at appropriate venues”.

 

As a consequence, discussions took place over a period of time involving Council’s Facilities Operations Manager, the Parks Construction and Maintenance Manager, University of Technology, Sydney Union, University of Technology Rowing Club and Sydney Boys High School Foundation to establish a centre of excellence for rowing and canoeing at Weir Reserve.

 

These discussions lead to a presentation by the President, Directors and authorised representatives of NSW Rowing Association (NSWRA) to the Mayor and Council officers in August 2004 where it was proposed that a partnership with the City of Penrith and the Penrith community needed to be developed to establish Penrith as the premier rowing location in the Pacific Rim. In principle support was given to the concept conditional on further investigations being continued, involving:

 

·              Suitability of the Nepean River as a site and the connectivity with the Sydney

          International Regatta Centre (SIRC) through both rowing programs and physical geographical linkages;

·              Planning controls and designs;

·        Land tenure;

·        Funding of the facility with no financial demands placed on Council;

·        Car parking;

·        Plans of Management being compatible with the objectives of the Plans of

Management for this area;

·               Consideration of all stakeholders utilising the area;   

 

Subsequently, a report was submitted to an Ordinary Meeting of Council in February 2004 outlining the vision for Weir Reserve and the role the operation of a rowing development facility at this location could play in complementing programs at SIRC to ensure that Penrith is a centre for rowing. The report also advocated that:

 

‘To maximise these opportunities and to ensure that there is appropriate facility development, rowing program development, promotion of the sport and the promotion of the City through the sport, NSWRA is advocating the formation of a coordinated partnership approach which embraces NSWRA and Council, with input from the existing facility providers (eg SIRC) and rowing program providers (ie clubs, universities and schools).  As such NSWRA has suggested that a “Rowing Development and Promotional Committee” be established, consisting of relevant stakeholder representatives.  The brief for this Committee would be to:

 

·                Establish Penrith as a premier location for Australian and Pacific Rim rowing;

·                Develop and enhance a regular program of athlete training as well as a program

           of national and international events at SIRC;

·                Maximise the opportunities and benefits to the area that hosting major events provide

           by working with local enterprise, accommodation providers, local tourist attractions;

·        Develop a rowing facility development plan for the City that provides the opportunity

 for recreational and elite level rowing at the identified venues and, which ensures that 

 the venues continue to operate sustainably.  This plan, in the first instance, will:

 

-      Examine existing provision locally, regionally and nationally and identify the

       ‘gaps’,

-      Complete the concept for a new Penrith Valley Rowing Centre (at Weir Reserve) and ensure its development,

-           Establish the ongoing role of SIRC in conjunction with the State Government,

-      Highlight the maintenance requirements needed for rowing on the Nepean River,             and

-      Investigate the support and ancillary services required to sustain all year round

       training programs and athlete and spectator visitation to the City.  It is

       estimated that there are over 250,000 Australians who participate in, or have an

       interest in rowing.

 

·               Investigate funding opportunities with State Government and local businesses to

          support both facility and program development at SIRC and Weir Reserve.;

·               Establish a rowing development and promotional program for the City which         engages the local community in the sport;

·        Be advisory and consultative for the ongoing management and operation of the Rowing Development and Training Centre.

 

At this meeting, Council resolved the following:

 

“1.    The information contained in the report on a Partnership between Penrith City Council and NSWRA to develop rowing in Penrith, be received.

2.       Council endorses the principle of establishing the “Rowing Development and Promotional Committee” with NSWRA and that Council’s representatives be the Facilities Operations Manager and the Recreation and Cultural Facilities Coordinator.

3.       The Committee’s Terms of Reference be generally in accordance with that outlined in this report.     

4.       A formal approach be made to Sydney International Regatta Centre, universities, local schools and rowing clubs regarding input to the Committee.        

5.       A further report on the final composition of the Committee be submitted to Council at a later date.

6.       Councillor Lexie Cettolin be appointed to the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee.”

 

Current Status

Although not all resolutions of Council (from the September 2004 report) have been implemented to date, such as the formation of a Rowing Development and Promotional Committee, projects and partnerships have developed, and been completed, which have promoted and ensured a degree of momentum still exists as all stakeholders work towards the established goal of creating Penrith as a major centre for rowing. These include:

 

i)          NSWRA has continued to promote Weir Reserve as a unique opportunity  for the development of a premier Rowing Development Centre and has received support from:

 

-     The Board of Nepean Rowing Club (NRC)

This support is conditional subject to them remaining engaged through the rest of the facility development process and that their concerns are considered through the design and management planning process.

 

-     The Venue Management Advisory Committee (VMAC) at SIRC

This Committee includes representatives of Australian Rowing, NSW Dept. Sports and Recreation, the Olympic Coordination Authority, NSWRA, SIRC’s Venue Manager and the Venue Manager of Penrith Whitewater Stadium. There is an understanding that activities at the Weir Reserve Development should be complementary and not compete with programs at SIRC i.e. Weir Reserve being predominantly long distance training and sports development and, SIRC being utilised as a centre of excellence for competition and shorter course training. To this extent, representatives of SIRC’s Venue Management and VMAC will contribute to the proposed Rowing Promotion and Development Committee.   

 

-     NSWRA have held discussions with NSW  Department of Sport and

     Recreation and during which the following concepts and issues were considered.

-         The Penrith City Rowing Centre has been conceived to be a complementary

           and supporting facility to the rowing activities and facilities of the SIRC, as             well as providing additional sporting activities to the communities of the             Penrith Valley;

-         NSWRA’s research has indicated that there is a far greater potential for rowing in the Penrith area than can be catered for by the regatta facility at SIRC without compromising the venue’s use for existing events;

-         SIRC is Australia’s premier rowing event venue, made all the more so due to the high standard of facilities and event management. NSWRA needs to make more of this opportunity by focusing in the future on more Australian and International Rowing Regattas being hosted at SIRC;

-         Complimentary training facilities at the Penrith City Rowing Centre for visiting rowing teams will only add to the ability of SIRC to attract greater use of the venue for large events;

-         There is significant interest by the Rowing Associations in the eastern states to hold a greater number of Australian regattas at SIRC;

-         There is also particular interest by sponsors in developing an international series at SIRC.  This series would be based on northern hemisphere crews training at the Penrith City Rowing Centre on the Nepean River and then racing at SIRC at events;

-         It is noted that those organisations currently holding boatsheds at SIRC would still require those facilities for regattas and selection trials etc.

 

ii)       After consultation with stakeholders and the development of the Weir Reserve Plan of Management (adopted by Council on 4 September 2006), NSWRA commissioned an architect (Finn Murray of Bartholomew J) who has developed concept plans for a Rowing Development Centre. These concept plans seek to address the Planning Guidelines in the Plan of Management.

 

The concept designs show that the complex has been designed as two separate buildings each with seven boatshed bays. One is single level, the other has a second level with dormitory style accommodation above, complete with breakout areas, gymnasium, kitchen and office spaces.

 

A possible allocation of the 14 boatshed bays would be:

 

·· Six bays allocated to community and school clubs which would provide enough space for 132 boats (360 seats or rowing places plus coxswains);

·· Four bays allocated to local and visiting university squads which would provide enough space for 80 boats; and

·· Four bays allocated to elite squads from Rowing Australia and Institutes of Sport including visiting international squads,

 

The office areas can be allocated to accommodate the complex’s house management, development officer, space for boatshed leaseholders and conference facilities.

 

The buildings have been designed to be as energy and resource efficient as possible by way of incorporating:

 

·· Natural cross ventilation- the ground floors of the buildings are largely impervious to breeze and the upper floor plan of the two storey building has been purposely designed to create breeze paths and minimise the need for mechanical ventilation;

·· Significant shading on the upper floors – to minimise the need for artificial cooling in summer;

·    Roofs that allow low winter sun to enter the building for passive solar heating in winter;

·· A significant roof area for rainwater harvesting and large storage tanks for water re-use in the complex in toilets and in the washing of boats;

·· Full thermal insulation to the upper floors of the building (the ground floors are open to full ventilation and only need to house boats);

·· Energy saving lights, fixtures, fittings and appliances;

·· The re-use of existing vegetation on the site wherever possible;

·· The proposal is to allow for equitable access and usage by compiling with the relevant disability access design codes.

 

The concept designs have been included under a separate cover to this report.

 

iii)      As highlighted in (ii), Council Officers have prepared, and Council has adopted (4

          September 2006), a Plan of Management for Weir Reserve. The Plan of Management

          describes the proposed  developments and provides guidelines for assessing potential

          impacts (positive and negative) within the context of the reserve’s community land.

          Development of this plan included a public meeting and the taking of submissions from

stakeholders including landholders, Nepean Rowing Club and SIRC.

 

iv)      Officers have attended Venue Management Committee meetings at SIRC and have

retained an overview of both the future direction for SIRC in terms of facility

development, program and event development as well as facilitating use of SIRC.

 

v)       Council’s Events section and City Marketing Department have supported rowing events

and activities through facilitating the promotion of various championships, assisting with support for events such as Head of the River, and contributing resources through Council’s sponsorship policy.

 

Future Direction

Meetings have taken place, independently, in February 2008 with both NSWRA and also the Venue Manager at SIRC to establish a strategy to further evaluate and progress the proposed project for the development of a rowing facility at Weir Reserve. Subsequently, a discussion has been held with Nepean Rowing Club. Through these meetings it has become apparent that there is a spirit of cooperation that can be engendered between all parties to ensure that any future rowing facility development is for the benefit of rowing and the City as a whole.

 

On this basis, it was agreed that NSWRA provide business plan proposals for the Weir Reserve development. The information requested and the responses are as outlined in the following paragraphs.

 

1.         The current rowing facility development strategy, as well as the rowing development program strategy, for Rowing Australia and NSW Rowing, establishing how the Weir Reserve Development fits in with these strategies.

Rowing continues to grow in NSW due to both local community demand and interstate interest in the existing rowing facilities and natural resources in Penrith.

 

Due to the increased pressure on the Sydney Harbour waterways and the easy access to Penrith, the City is already witnessing significant demand on SIRC’s facilities for normal training, recreational rowing and events. Increased activities on the Nepean have been limited by the lack of boatshed facilities.

 

The number of rowers of all types (recreational, school, elite, university, masters and community) who use the Parramatta River, west of Sydney Harbour Bridge, is approximately two thousand.

 

Due to the increasing crowded nature of the Sydney waterways those clubs are looking for complimentary storage and training facilities on the Nepean River where uninterrupted and enjoyable rowing can be had on the 15 kilometres of navigable river.

 

It is intended that at least one third of the proposed facility will be made available to community and school clubs at a rental for use of the facility (not the river or launch pontoon) with applicants from the Penrith Local Government Area having preference and rentals to be set accordingly.

 

Rowing Australia and NSWIS uses SIRC for trialling and selection races and long distance training and trialling is held on the Nepean River to prepare the NSW and Australian team for the Olympics and World Championships, as well as by international teams.

 

Detailed discussions will be held in the near future with Rowing Australia and NSW Institute of Sport to take options on leases in the Rowing Development and Training Facility when NSWRA progresses to preparation and submission of a Development Application.

 

As a Centre for Rowing, Penrith will provide a venue for rowers from across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia and the eastern Pacific Rim who will come to take advantage of the waterways and associated facilities and a part of the Rowing Centre space will be available for lease by these squads. Camps for clubs, school, State and National teams will be a major feature of the rowing program for the City.

 

In relation to the growth of the sport of rowing, the Development Policy of NSWRA is to make the sport of rowing more accessible to the metropolitan and regional citizens of NSW by:

·    creating funded coach positions in community clubs supported by a State coach co-ordinator (it is proposed that a Rowing Development Officer will be based in Penrith);

·    supporting and administering coach development and education in association with Rowing Australia;

·    establishing a pathways program to guide young people through school and club based rowing programs while at school and then through to the under 21 program for both community and fully competitive programs;

·    supporting the National Elite Development Plan, a scheme supported by Australian Sports Commission and the NSW Institute of Sport, which is aimed at identifying and growing the participation of young rowers in clubs.

 

Included within this accessibility philosophy is provision for rowers with a disability. The “Disrow” program currently at SIRC and spearheaded by the Lakes Rowers will continue to be supported by NSWRA at SIRC due to the ideal topography and water access available via the Olympic class facilities.

 

By contrast, access to the Nepean River at Weir Reserve suffers the natural disadvantage of the river being a steep descent from the boatshed areas. However, this is not a barrier to participation and rowers with a disability currently use the facility and can be accommodated should they choose to use the facilities.

 

2.       Funding arrangements for the project

NSWRA has identified a potential private funding source for the construction of the facility and there is ongoing discussion with this funding source. It is anticipated that the funds will be confirmed once the project reaches Development Application status.  When funded it is suggested that the name of the facility will become ‘Sponsor Rowing Centre’ and will reflect the source of the funds for the project. Council will be advised of this proposal once NSWRA have confirmed the funds for the project. Based on the current concept designs the estimated project cost will be $10.75m.

 

NSWRA intends that the capital works will be fully funded and the working capital for the initial period will be derived from pre-leased contracts made prior to construction.

 

Furthermore, NSWRA has provided an indicative business plan for the venue which indicates that there will not be a direct need for Council to support the facility, other than provision of the land. The cost to Council at this stage will be for ongoing grounds maintenance in the Reserve, the extent of this is to be agreed. 

 

NSWRA is a non-profit organisation and therefore all positive cash flows will be retained for the benefit of the facility.

 

3.       NSWRA lease expectations e.g. length and type of lease desired.

NSWRA is currently seeking legal advice in relation to a lease agreement.

 

Council’s Property Manager has provided the following advice to NSWRA.

 

“The land identified for the future location of the NSW Rowing Association’s building is within the Weir Reserve area located on the eastern side of Bruce Neale Drive and generally opposite the Nepean Rowing Club that is zoned 6(a) Public Recreation/Community Uses in accordance with LEP 1998 (Urban Lands).

 

Council owns the majority of parcels of land in this location (apart from Crown land) that is classified as “Community” land and the future survey consolidation of these parcels will identify the exact location of the new building and any expense in undertaking the survey for the consolidation should be met by the Association.  The leasing of “Community” land would require a separate lot in subdivision in excess of 3 years as required by the Land Titles Office.

Land that is classified as “Community” land in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 cannot be sold, but certain rules and regulations are required over the leasing of the land.  There are two concepts within the Act that needs to be considered over leasing the land up to 5 years or from 5 years to 21 years.  Subject to all the regulations in contacting all the adjoining owners, advertising sign on the site and appropriate advertising in the local papers, a formal report will need to be presented to Council following the outcome of any submissions over the intention of the NSW Rowing Association.

 

If Council decides to lease the land for a maximum of 5 years, a formal Council resolution is required.  Where leases are required for a period of 5 years to 21 years and a Council resolution has been granted, the Minister for Lands is required to give approval to the lease.  If an organisation wishes to have a lease over “Community” land that is regarded a profit organisation, then Council is required to call tenders for the leasing of this land.  The NSW Rowing Association is considered to be a non-profit organisation and consequently the calling of tenders in leasing the land is not necessary.

 

If the leasing arrangement is considered by a profit organisation then an acceptable rental figure would be determined.  A non-profit organisation rental figure can be adopted as a nominal amount (say $1.00 per annum) but all the outgoings which include Council rates, water and sewerage rates, electricity, security, waste management, pest control, insurance, cleaning of car park rubbish, repairs and maintenance will be the responsibility of the tenant (NSW Rowing Association). 

 

The leasing of the land is an information item in this report and will be subject to a formal Council resolution after the Development Application is consented to.”

 

4)      Facility and river management responsibilities

NSWRA shall be responsible for all costs in running and maintaining the facility within the prescribed boundaries (which in general will not include the park, public roads, public car parks and their associated services but will include the boat handling facility on the river bank). 

 

NSWRA are proposing to appoint a management contract for the management and maintenance of the facility. It is envisaged that the proposed manager may be a company wholly or partly owned by NSWRA. The proposal is that the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee will be responsible for approving the management contract.

 

On 27 February 2004, the Council endorsed the formation of a Rowing Development and Promotional Committee with a further report on the final composition of the Committee be submitted at a later date.

 

With the completion of the Plan of Management for Weir Reserve and the Concept Design Plans,  there is the need to formally consult on a regular basis between all stakeholders and NSWRA. It is proposed that the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee is formed as a matter of immediacy, subject to Council’s final approval, based on the structure outlined below:-

 

·       Councillor to be appointed by Council after the September elections

·       Recreation Manager, PCC

·       Director of City Operations, PCC

·       Director NSWRA

·       Facilities Development Officer NSWRA

·       NSWRA Liaison Officer

 

Following the establishment of the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee it is proposed that the following sub-committees will be put in place:

 

·          Facility planning and design development (including local rowing clubs);

·          Operational management with SIRC (via Venue Management and Advisory Committee), local rowing clubs, NSW Maritime, other identified river and reserve users/stakeholders etc; 

·          Major events promotion in association with Penrith  enterprises, State Major Events Board, Rowing Australia, SIRC and sponsors.

 

In relation to the maintenance of the river, Council’s Environmental Health Manager has advised:

 

“The management of aquatic weeds in the Nepean River has become a significant issue in recent years.  Rowing and other recreational activities have been seriously impacted by the growth of the aquatic weed ergeria densa which is well established in much of the Nepean Weir pool.  This weed can only be controlled by regular harvesting.  Longer term control strategies involve significant increases in environmental flows in the River, but this will take many years to achieve.

 

To date the responsibility for harvesting of the aquatic weeds has been unclear, with contract work being funded on an ad hoc basis each summer by the State Government.  However funding has now been secured from the Australian Government for a weed harvester to operate on a permanent basis in the Hawkesbury/Nepean River.  This funding will go to the Hawkesbury River County Council (HRCC) who will be responsible for the operation and management of the harvester.

 

Council is currently assisting the HRCC with tenders for the purchase of a weed harvester and associated equipment.  It is anticipated that the harvester will be ready for operation at the start of next summer (2008).  Harvesting regimes will need to be negotiated with the HRCC to ensure that optimal conditions for rowing activities and other uses are maintained in the river. The Nepean Weir Pool will be a priority area for harvesting work because of its high level of recreational use.”

 

It is anticipated that the appropriate Terms of Reference / Memorandum of Understanding will be established for the various committees and river management.

 

5)      Timescale for delivery

Subject to Council’s endorsement of the principles and information, outlined in this report, it is NSWRA’s intention to commence the Development Application process and finalise funding for the project as a matter of immediacy. The aim is to commence construction towards the end of 2009 (earlier if possible), with operation commencing in 2010.  Plans and discussions to relocate existing users of the space that will be occupied by the facility, Brothers Junior Rugby League, have commenced with the intention that they will be accommodated at the ‘new’ Cranebrook Oval. This will be subject of a separate Council report at a later date.

 

Conclusion

Although a period of time has elapsed since the initial concept was proposed in 2004, significant foundations have been put in place from which the project to develop a Rowing Training and Development Centre, at Weir Reserve, can be progressed.

 

In recent months, discussions with NSWRA, SIRC and the local rowing clubs have indicated that there is broad support for the project and that this support will continue with the development of the Rowing Promotion and Development Committee as well as the sub-committees. To this extent, it is now a priority within the project to set up this framework.

 

The Plan of Management for Weir Reserve, endorsed by Council in 2006, clearly identifies the inclusion of the proposed rowing facility in the Reserve’s future development. NSWRA’s business plan and concept designs have started to address the intention of this Plan of Management.

 

Undoubtedly, there remains a significant amount of work to undertake before the project is realised and a number of outstanding matters require resolution and finalisation. Many of these matters will be resolved during the Development Application process, while others will be subject of further reports to Council, eg tenure agreements, relocation of existing facility users, Memorandum of Understanding.

 

Council Officers will continue to develop the relationship with the stakeholders involved in, or impacted by, the project and will ensure that the partnership arrangements established between all parties, including Council, deliver a project which ensures that Penrith becomes a key focus as a Centre for rowing in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.         The information contained in the report on Rowing Training and Development Facility - Weir Reserve be received.

2.         Council endorse the progression of the proposal to develop the Rowing Development and Training Centre at Weir Reserve through the Rowing Development and Promotional Committee and the associated sub-committees as detailed in this report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

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The City In Its Environment

 

 

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The City as an Economy

 

 

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The City Supported by Infrastructure

 

 

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Leadership and Organisation

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

7        2008 Strategic Community Survey

 

8        Constitutional Recognition for Local Government

 

9        Revised Model Code of Conduct

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

7

2008 Strategic Community Survey   

 

Compiled by:                Shari Hussein, Strategic Planning Coordinator

Authorised by:             Ross Kingsley, Corporate Development Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: A commonly shared long-term vision for the City underpins strategic collaboration and community engagement.

Critical Action: Prepare, implement and review Strategic Plans and processes.

 

Presenters:                   Simon Pomfret, Executive Director - IRIS Research - Community Strategic Survey 2008    

Purpose:

To present the key findings of the strategic community survey recently conducted for Council by IRIS Research. The report recommends that the information be received.

Due to the size of the document, copies of the survey report by IRIS Research have been provided to Councillors under separate cover.

 

Background

As part of the research and community engagement preparations for Council’s next Strategic Plan, a City-wide strategic community survey was conducted for Council in June 2008 by IRIS Research. IRIS is the firm which also conducted Council’s 2003, 2005 and 2007 resident Customer Surveys. Their methodology is well-established and that used in the present survey was the same as in the previous exercises, being a random telephone survey of 600 respondents distributed equally across the three Wards and proportionately across the newer suburbs, older suburbs and rural areas of the City.

 

The broad aim of the survey was to help elicit resident aspirations for and perceptions of both the City as a whole and local neighbourhoods. The structure of the survey and the specific questions provided by Council for this purpose also directly support the investigation and reporting of key trends identified by the sustainability indicators for the City which Council has adopted.

 

The only previous strategic survey of this type conducted by Council was as part of the PLANS Study in 2002. Many of the topics in that survey are also incorporated in the present exercise, which again will assist in identifying trends and any significant changes in community views. Comparative analysis of trends against equivalent questions in the 2002 PLANS Community Survey is presently being assessed by IRIS and some commentary is provided in the Survey Report document. However, please note that not all the results of this analysis are available for tonight’s presentation, which will mainly focus on the 2008 results.

 

The key findings of the strategic community survey will be presented and discussed by Simon Pomfret, the Executive Director of IRIS research and his team. The emphasis will be placed on information which may most inform the Strategic Plan process. In this light, a similar presentation has also been made to all Directors and Managers.

Survey Objectives

The aim of the survey was to provide Council with contemporary, evidence-based understanding of the perceptions and needs of the local community with respect to both the City of Penrith and to local neighbourhoods in the different sectors of the City. 

 

The specific objectives for the Community Survey were to assist Council to:

·    Assess the City of Penrith as a place to live

·    Understand the housing needs of the City’s residents

·    Evaluate planning of urban services and facilities in the City

·    Assess the provision of education services and facilities

·    Investigate transportation patterns and needs among residents

·    Identify key issues for the community

·    Understand changing community needs

·    Investigate level of community involvement of the City’s residents

·    Identify directions for future planning

 

The full Survey questionnaire is also provided as an appendix to the Survey Report. 

Grouping of Themes

The ‘chapter’ headings used in the Survey Report were identified by IRIS to appropriately label what they saw as logical clusters or themes flowing from the questions provided by Council and the responses from residents. The headings used are:

Ø Home & Environmental Behaviour

Ø Penrith as a Place to Live

Ø Education

Ø Transport

Ø Perceptions of Penrith City

Ø Participation in Community Life

Summary of Key Results

The survey covered a number of topics for complementary purposes, including Strategic Plan background research, providing key data to support the City sustainability indicators and to enable benchmarking and comparison to past surveys. 

 

The presentation by IRIS tonight will cover a range of findings. The information which follows in the present report focuses on the broad responses and issues concerning Penrith City both in the present and the future (from the Survey Report under Section 6 – Perceptions of Penrith City). 

 

This section of the survey is aspirational, that is influenced by respondent’s current feelings about the adequacy of the City to meet their needs and desires.  A more detailed explanation of the survey findings will be provided by the consultant and there will be the opportunity for Council to test and discuss the implications of the results.

Broad Strategic Issues and Views

Questions 11-15 of the survey, grouped by IRIS as “Perceptions of Penrith City” asked a series of open questions regarding overall views on the City. These were deliberately placed in the survey following a number of more specific questions on respondents’ own dwellings, neighbourhoods and other topics, rather than ‘up front’, as it was felt this would better lead up to the broader issues.

 

The questions asked were:

Ø What do you like most about the City of Penrith now in 2008?

Ø What does the area not have that you need, or that you have to travel elsewhere to get?

Ø If you could make one immediate change about the City of Penrith, what would it be?

Ø What would you like the City of Penrith to look and feel like in 20 years’ time?

Ø What do you see as the biggest challenges the City of Penrith faces over the next 20 years?

 

The findings are indicated in Tables 6-1 to 6-5 in the Survey Report. Some key points are briefly summarised below and will be further discussed in the presentation.

 

These findings and the implications will be carefully considered in the preparation of the Discussion Paper for Council’s Strategic Plan process.

Perceptions of Penrith City

When asked what they most like about Penrith City, residents gave a wide range of answers. Some of the most prevalent included: that facilities are close by and accessible (12.8%), the great range of shopping facilities (12.7%) and the excellent provision of services and facilities (11.3%). A common theme to emerge was an appreciation of the rural atmosphere and natural surroundings.

 

More than half of the surveyed residents (55.4%) did not identify anything they believe that the City of Penrith does not have or they need to travel elsewhere to get. On the other hand, substantial numbers believe that the City needs more parks and recreational facilities (6.9%) and additional entertainment facilities (6.9%). There was also a level of concern about the quantum of employment opportunities (4.9%).

 

On the question of one immediate change which they would make to Penrith City, 14.4% of residents gave priority to improving the road system or reducing traffic. Another 7.4% gave first priority to a reduction in crime, while 6.5% nominated increased parking provision.

 

Asked to identify what they hope Penrith City will ‘look and feel like’ in 20 years’ time, many people stated the hope that it will remain largely unchanged (16.8%). Almost 1 in 10 want a City that isn’t crowded or overdeveloped (9.8%) and 9.7% of residents would like to see more open space and natural environment.

 

Some of the identified major challenges that lie ahead for the City are providing enough infrastructure to handle the increased population (by 27.2% of respondents), providing adequate housing to meet demand (10.4%), and improving public transport and roads (10.3%).

 

A little over one third of surveyed residents indicated that they were satisfied with their opportunities to have a say in the planning of Penrith’s future, resulting in a mean score of 3.25 out of 5. Of those that were dissatisfied, 38.9% stated that they were unaware of any opportunities for consultation. As extensive community consultations are conducted by Council, a challenge to our effective communication of these opportunities can be inferred.

Statistical Significance

IRIS Research is a leading social and market research company who have conducted many equivalent surveys for Government and Councils. As stated by IRIS, the sample target of 600 households was chosen to provide accurate survey results that could be applied to the broader population. A total of 614 responses from residents were ultimately received. When analysing results for the entire sample, the maximum error rate will be about + or – 4.1% at the 95% confidence level. That is, IRIS state that Council can have confidence that if the survey was repeated there are 95 chances in 100 that the new results would be within + or – 4.1% of the result achieved in this survey. 

 

The survey achieved a completion rate of 56.9%, which is considered an extremely good response for a telephone survey in a metropolitan area.

 

Overall, the findings of this survey constitute a robust and statistically validated part of Council’s contemporary strategic research base on the needs of the City.

Areas of the City

It is important to note that the geographical categories of Established Suburbs, New Suburbs and Rural Areas in this survey were identical to those used in the previous Customer Surveys conducted for Council by IRIS and in the PLANS Study. The groupings are detailed in an appendix to the Survey Report.

 

The ‘New Suburbs’ categorised as such for this purpose include Glenmore Park, Claremont Meadows, Erskine Park and North Cranebrook. It is recognised that the term ‘New’ Suburbs  is now a misnomer, however the grouping of these areas used consistently over the surveys has been felt to be of substantial value and therefore was continued for the present report.

Staff Engagement

The objective of increasing staff engagement in strategic planning has been supported by Council and the General Manager as a significant enhancement to the established strengths of the process. As previously advised, arrangements are presently being made to provide the opportunity for staff to also participate in the strategic survey through a special website hosted by IRIS, who have experience in this field.

 

The over 900 staff of Council, many of whom are also local residents, constitute an important additional source of information for such a survey. This will not be equivalent to the  statistically-valid community survey, but is seen as a useful means to supplement the community views which have been expressed. The results will be reported back to both the organisation and Council.

Conclusion

As discussed with Council through the most recent Policy Review Committee meeting,

the Strategic Community Survey is part of a comprehensive program leading to Council’s formulation of its next Strategic Plan for the City. The findings of the survey now form part of the research base for management in the preparation of the Strategic Plan Discussion Paper and for Council in its further consideration of community needs and aspirations.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on the 2008 Strategic Community Survey be received.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

8

Constitutional Recognition for Local Government   

 

Compiled by:                Stephen Pearson, Executive Services Officer

Authorised by:             Glenn McCarthy, Executive Officer   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council has reviewed its own role and operations and has adopted contemporary practices to best discharge its charter.

Critical Action: Review current structures and procedures supporting Council and Councillors responsibilities.

     

Purpose:

To inform Council of the campaign for constitutional recognition for local government and to propose responses relating to what objectives Council believes would most assist its community and which could be supported/achieved through constitutional recognition. The report recommends Council reaffirm its support for constitutional recognition of local government, responds to the ALGA, refer the matter to WSROC, inform the community of its support and consider a report on delegates to the Summit at the first meeting of the "new Council" following the Local Government Election to be held on 13 September 2008.

 

Executive Summary

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has invited Council’s participation and attendance at a Local Government Constitutional Summit to be held in Melbourne from 8-11 December 2008. It is hoped that this Summit will reach an agreed local government position and that it will settle advice to the Government on the question to be put at a referendum.

Key Points

·       Constitutional recognition for Local Government has a history of support by Penrith City Council and also by local government throughout Australia.

·       A series of ALGA Fact Sheets have been prepared – What is the Constitution? Status of Local Government. Changing the Constitution. Previous Efforts. Political Support. International Examples. Styles of Constitutional Recognition. ALGA’s Processes.

·       Previous attempts to amend the Australian Constitution to recognise Local Government in 1974 and 1988 have been unsuccessful.

·       Three styles of Constitutional recognition are being considered – Symbolic, Institutional and Financial.

·       WSROC supports constitutional recognition for Local Government.

Conclusion

Council should reaffirm its support of constitutional recognition for Local Government. The most appropriate response is considered to be entrenchment of Local Government in the Australian Constitution, with high importance on simplified/streamlined Federal funding, establishing a minimum level guarantee of funding and symbolic recognition for Local Government. Local State and Federal Members of Parliament should be kept well informed.

Background

As Council is aware, the incoming Australian Government is committed to pursuing constitutional recognition for Local Government.

 

In response to this commitment, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has commenced a campaign on behalf of all councils across Australia to ensure that this commitment is met and that the right model for constitutional recognition is put to the people at a referendum, hopefully in conjunction with the 2010 Federal Election.

 

The Local Government and Shires Associations (LGSA) will be working with ALGA to resolve a national position at the Local Government Constitutional Summit to be held in Melbourne from 8-11 December 2008 – a Special National General Assembly. This national position will be put to the Australian Government as the joint position of all Australian Local Governments.

 

Constitutional recognition is a long held goal for Local Government, but it has had limited success in pursuing this goal. Attempts to amend the Constitution to recognise Local Government were unsuccessful in 1974, and again in 1988.

 

Penrith’s View

It has been Penrith Council’s longstanding position that Local Government should be recognised in the Australian Constitution, and over the years, it has both sponsored and supported motions to the National General Assembly of Local Government and the Local Government Association Conference in support of this stand.

 

This is now an opportunity to not only seek constitutional recognition for local government but to have an input into the style of constitutional recognition sought. The Association is encouraging councils to develop their own positions and to facilitate conversations about constitutional recognition within their own communities.

 

Constitutional Recognition for Local Government Information

The LGSA has provided a Council Resource Kit to assist in discussing the details of constitutional recognition and hopefully resolve which model suits local government. The information comprises the ALGA President’s Message, eight (8) Fact Sheets and a Feedback Form on the subject of Constitutional Recognition for Local Government. The LGSA encourages all councils to consider the various models and advise the LGSA of Council’s preference by August 2008. Also provided as part of the Resource Kit is a CD-ROM. Additional information can be obtained from the ALGA website at www.alga.asn.au/constitutionalrecognition

 

Fact Sheets

Copies of the Fact Sheets have been provided to Councillors under separate cover.  In summary, the eight (8) Fact Sheets comprise:

 

  FACT SHEET 1 – What is the Constitution?

 

Refers to what the Constitution does, the three classes of powers that it has and the fact that local government is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, and is therefore the responsibility of the states.

 

  FACT SHEET 2 – Status of Local Government

 

Refers to what is local government’s status in the Constitution and why it wasn’t included, recognition of local government in State Constitutions and the 2006 Parliamentary resolution on Local Government recognising the importance of local government in the system of Australian governance.

         

  FACT SHEET 3 – Changing the Constitution

 

Refers to Section 128 of the Australian Constitution which sets out the process to amend the Constitution – it can only be changed through a Bill that is passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate by an absolute majority. Refers also to the referendum in which the majority of voters overall must support the measure as well as a majority of states (4 out of 6).

                   

  FACT SHEET 4 – Previous Efforts

 

Refers to the two previous attempts in 1974 and 1988 to recognise local government in the Australian Constitution, including the propositions put and the results. The overall vote in favour in 1974 was 46.85% and the overall vote in favour in 1988 was 33.61%.

                  

  FACT SHEET 5 – Political Support

 

Refers to the current policies on recognition of local government - ALGA, the new Federal Labor Government, National Party, Liberal Party, The Australian Greens and Australian Democrats.

                            

  FACT SHEET 6 – International Examples

 

Refers to Mexico and Austria, which provided for recognition for local government in their early federal constitutions. Also refers to Germany, South Africa and Switzerland, which included local government in their federal constitutions after the second world war.

                            

  FACT SHEET 7 – Styles of Constitutional Recognition

 

Refers to a number of possible outcomes for communities, which are not mutually exclusive options:

·      Symbolic Recognition

A broad recognition of local government’s role in the Federation

·      Institutional Recognition

An acceptance of some principles relating to the existence and continuation of local government as an institution and local councils as democratic representatives

·      Financial Recognition

A streamlined approach to local government funding resulting from a more direct financial connection between local government and the Commonwealth Government

 

The point is made that local government itself, needs to decide what style or styles of recognition should be pursued in consultation with the communities they serve and other governments. Feedback on these styles of constitutional recognition, or other viable styles, is sought from councils over the coming months.

 

 

  FACT SHEET 8 – ALGA’s Process

 

Outlines the ALGA timetable:

 

Step 1   March – June 2008

ALGA encourages state associations to invite Councils to register and conduct a Council conversation.

 

Step 2    June – July 2008

State and territory Associations appoint 10 representatives to attend the National State and Expert’s Forum.

 

Step 3    August 2008

ALGA will convene a National State and Expert Forum. Expert technical advice will assist with the compilation of feedback from Council conversations and the drafting of material for consideration at the Local Government Constitutional Summit.

 

Step 4    September - October 2008

ALGA will prepare business papers for a Local Government Constitutional Summit.

 

Step 5     8-11 December 2008

Local Government Constitutional Summit.

 

Step 6    January 2009

ALGA to present the outcomes from the Local Government Constitutional Summit to the Federal Government.

 

Step 7    Throughout 2009

Work with Federal Government to draft legislation as well as to design and develop a comprehensive community engagement strategy.

 

Step 8    2010

Possible time for referendum.

                            

Possible Styles of Constitutional Recognition

 

Three (3) styles of constitutional recognition have been proposed as follows:

 

Symbolic Recognition

 

This would comprise only of a reference to local government in the preamble to the Constitution. The preamble would need to be rewritten and could include, for example, words such as:

 

          “We the Australian people commit ourselves to this Constitution:

·      recognising that local government is part of the governance of Australia, serving communities through locally elected councils

·      valuing the rich diversity of councils around Australia, reflecting the varied communities they serve”

 

Advantages:

·    it would recognise the existence of local government

·    it would provide a reference against which ambiguous pieces of legislation can be interpreted*

·    it may give rise to implied constitutional rights – that is, rights that are implied from the wording or concept within an express provision of the Constitution

 

Disadvantages:

·    it does not create any rights and obligations

·    it would have no legal effect

 

 

* This approach however, may lead to the necessity to add a new section to the Constitution making it clear that the terms of the preamble were not to be used when interpreting the Constitution. 

 

Institutional Recognition

This would impose a duty on the states to maintain some sort of local government structure. However, many state constitutions already provide for local government, including the NSW Constitution which states as follows:

 

(1)  There shall continue to be a system of local government for the State under which duly elected or duly appointed local government bodies are constituted with responsibilities for acting for the better government of those parts of the State that are from time to time subject to that system of local government.

(2)  The manner in which local government bodies are constituted and the nature and extent of their powers, authorities, duties and functions shall be as determined by or in accordance with laws of the Legislature.

 

This model might also provide that a council ought not to be amalgamated, dismissed, dissolved or reconstituted without fair hearing, i.e. procedural fairness, or that local government should not be amalgamated without a referendum.

 

Advantages:

·    the proposal adopts a legislative design already contained in the Constitution i.e. duties are imposed on states in respect to other matters

·    it leaves the detail of how local government is structured in a particular state to that state

 

Disadvantage:

·    it may draw opposition from state governments as unduly affecting their capacity to administer the state

 

 

Financial Recognition

This would involve changing Section 96 of the Constitution to create a direct financial relationship between local government and the Commonwealth and would allow direct payments from the Commonwealth to local government.

 

Advantages:

·    it would provide a more secure revenue stream from the Commonwealth to provide the services and infrastructure expected by the community

·    it would clarify the current doubt about the legal ability of the Commonwealth to make direct payments to local government (currently Financial Assistance Grants from the Commonwealth are made as grant payments by the states)

 

Disadvantage:

·    any further strengthening of the direct financial relationship between the Commonwealth and local government could result in a legal challenge

 

 

Combination of the all three styles of Constitutional Recognition

The question has been raised that three types of constitutional recognition have been mentioned – symbolic, institutional and financial – why can’t we have the lot? The response from the ALGA is that the more complex the proposal, the greater the chance of opposition, as either the Federal Government or the states may think their capacity to discharge their responsibilities could be affected. Therefore, the more local government requests, the more time and resources it must find to make the case to the Australian people.

 

Council Feedback Required

 

To assist the ALGA, it needs input from councils on a number of key issues. In providing feedback, councils should consider:

·      the relative benefits to the community

·      the likelihood of gaining Commonwealth support for each objective

·      the risks of taking multiple or complex issues to the electorate

·      the likelihood of opposition

 

Feedback from every council will be incorporated into the material that will be developed for the Local Government Constitutional Summit.

 

In its simplest form, the ALGA needs to know:

 

1.   Whether councils support the constitutional recognition for local government

 

Proposed Council response

 

Council supports the constitutional recognition for local government in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution.

 

2.   Councils’ views on what they would like to see achieved from constitutional recognition of local government

 

Proposed Council response

 

Council would like to achieve the entrenchment of local government so that local government is seen as a critical part of the structure of democracy and government in Australia, and that it has constitutional protection in its own right as much as other entrenched components of democracy, such as parliament and the judicature, and other levels of government. In particular, Council would like to achieve acknowledgement of the civil right of all Australian citizens of local participation and self government with the objective of building community identity and endorsing local democracy. A provision that is constitutionally entrenched is harder to change than an ordinary Act of parliament.

 

 

3.   What councils want to see in the Australian Constitution

 

Proposed Council response

 

Council would like to see new clear, broad definitions within the Commonwealth’s exclusive powers, or alternatively, new functions added to the Commonwealth’s concurrent powers with the states, so that there is a clear constitutional capacity for the Commonwealth to establish the structure under which local government operates.

 

4.   What councils think needs to be done to gain sufficient community support to win a referendum, if and when one is put to the Australian people

 

Proposed Council response

 

It is most important for the campaign to succeed, that the process be carried out in partnership with as many local citizens and community groups as possible, in accessible local forums, in the lead up to the Local Government Constitutional Summit and ultimate referendum, if it proceeds. All levels of government (including State Governments) need to be engaged, with Local State and Federal Members of Parliament being kept well informed so that they can convey appropriate information to their constituents. Councils need to involve industry leaders and encourage the holding of regional summits to discuss constitutional recognition and related reform issues. An ongoing media campaign is required, particularly at the local level.

 

Council has also been asked by the ALGA to complete an online feedback form indicating what objectives it believes would most assist its community and which could be supported/achieved through Constitutional Recognition of Local Government. The response required for each question is either HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW or NIL.

 

 

OBJECTIVE

PROPOSED COUNCIL RESPONSE

 

REASON

1.

Simplified/Streamlined Federal Funding (Direct Commonwealth funding rather than through States)

 

HIGH

 

Greater efficiency and transparency and guaranteed funding.

2.

Providing a guarantee of funding to some minimum level

HIGH

Addresses funding sustainability which is important for funding of council infrastructure and funding of regional city programs and projects.

3.

Symbolic recognition of local government

HIGH

Important to local citizens that local government is recognised in the Australian Constitution.

4.

Protection of the system of local government (require the States to maintain a system of Local Government)

HIGH

 

Protection should be afforded by the Australian Constitution under Commonwealth powers rather than through the States, as State Constitutions have not afforded adequate protection. As a general rule, the current State legislative provisions which create local government can be altered or abolished relatively easily.

5.

Protection for Councils against arbitrary dismissal/amalgamation (require certain minimum principles or processes to be met)

HIGH

While there should be certain minimum principles or processes to be met, local government should not be so entrenched as to hinder necessary reform of inefficient local councils.

 

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Policy

 

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), in its 2007 Federal Election Issues Paper, supported the campaign for constitutional recognition of Local Government and as part of this Paper, advocated that the Federal Government should progress the constitutional recognition of Local Government.

 

There is therefore an opportunity to explore constitutional recognition of Local Government on a regional basis, perhaps through the conduct of joint resident conversations or other means. It is proposed to refer the matter to the next Executive Meeting of WSROC for discussion on ways in which WSROC might be able to assist in this campaign.

 

Attendance at the Local Government Constitutional Summit, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne – 8 to 11 December 2008

 

This Local Government Constitutional Summit is a special National General Assembly and as such, councils are not required to submit the usual motions. Debate at the Summit will focus on questions of detail and process relating to constitutional recognition for local government.

 

Council will need to determine its delegates to the Summit at the first Ordinary Council meeting following the Local Government Elections to be held on 13 September 2008.

 

The next “ordinary” National General Assembly to which Notices of Motion can be submitted will he held in Canberra from 19 – 22 July 2009.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Constitutional Recognition for Local Government be received.

2.     Council reaffirm its support for the constitutional recognition of local government.

 

3.     Council respond to the ALGA questions and objectives in the terms outlined in this report.

4.     The matter be referred to the next Executive Meeting of WSROC for discussion on ways in which WSROC might be able to assist in this campaign, including the possibility of conducting joint resident conversations on behalf of WSROC member councils.

5.     Local State and Federal Members of Parliament be provided with a copy of Council’s submission to the Australian Local Government Association.

6.     A further report be submitted to the first meeting of the “new Council” following the Local Government elections to be held on 13 September 2008, in regard to nomination of delegates to attend the Local Government Constitutional Summit to be held in Melbourne from 8-11 December 2008.    

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

Australian Local Government Association Presentation

11 Pages

Attachment

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

Leadership and Organisation

 

 

9

Revised Model Code of Conduct   

 

Compiled by:                Glenn Schuil, Senior Governance Officer

Authorised by:             Stephen Britten, Legal and Governance Manager   

Strategic Program Term Achievement: Council has implemented leading practice ethical and corporate governance standards.

Critical Action: Review and apply leading practice ethical and corporate governance standards.

     

Purpose:

To advise the Council of the revised Model Code of Conduct. The report recommends that the Council adopt the Model Code of Conduct.

 

Background

The Model Code of Conduct for local councils in NSW came into effect on 1 January 2005. Under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993 all Councils must adopt a Code of Conduct that incorporates the Model Code of Conduct. The Council adopted the Code of Conduct on 7 March 2005.

 

The General Manager issued a Memorandum to all Councillors on 9 July 2008 advising of the commencement of a revised Model Code of Conduct effective from 20 June 2008. At that time the General Manager advised that a Report would be presented to the Council to advise in greater detail about some of the changes that are included within the revised Model Code of Conduct.

 

Current Position

 

As detailed in the General Manager’s Memorandum, the Model Code of Conduct is the minimum standard for Councils to adopt. Councils are able to include more stringent conditions within their own Code.

 

In the past the Council has included an additional paragraph in the Code about “dealing in land”. The additional paragraph is “If you buy or sell property in the Penrith local government area, other than your own home, you must notify the General Manager within a reasonable time after the transaction has been completed (settlement)”. It is considered that this additional paragraph should continue to be included within the Council’s revised Code of Conduct.

 

In addition to the Model Code of Conduct the Department has in the past prepared “Guidelines for the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW”. The Department has prepared a revised draft set of Guidelines and these have been issued to the Reference Group that was established to review the Model Code of Conduct (the Council’s Legal & Governance Manager, Stephen Britten is a member of this Group). Once the Guidelines have been finalised by the Department a copy will be provided to all Councillors for their information.

 

As the Councillors may recall when the Model Code of Conduct was first discussed a number of issues of concern were raised. These concerns were conveyed to the Department of Local Government by letter as well as by Mr Britten who was on the Reference Group. One of the central issues of concern was the size of the Code compared to the previous Code that the Council had adopted. Although the size of the document has not reduced with the issue of the revised Code, the revised Code is better formatted.

 

One of the issues that was raised by the Council concerned Clause 6.5 of the Code about perceptions of a conflict of interest. At the time it was argued that this Clause placed excessive obligations on Councillors and staff to ensure that people do not perceive a conflict of interest. In the re-writing of the Conflict of Interest Section of the Code, the Clause about perceptions of a conflict of interest has been deleted.

 

Another part of the previous Model Code of Conduct that was raised with the Department concerned the gifts and benefits provisions. In the revised Code, the gifts and benefits section has been re-written and greater clarification has now been provided. In the previous Code there was some uncertainty on whether Councillors were able to attend corporate hospitality at a local sporting venue. This particular issue has been clarified to a large degree in the revised Code where a “token gift” includes “invitations to and attendance at local social, cultural and sporting events”.

 

Under clause 8.4 of the Code “Where you receive a gift of benefit of more than token value that cannot reasonably be refused or returned, this must be disclosed promptly to your supervisor, the Mayor or the General Manager. The recipient, supervisor, Mayor or General Manager must ensure that any gifts or benefits of more than token value that are received are recorded in a Gifts Register. The gift or benefit must be surrendered to Council, unless the nature of the gift or benefit makes this impractical”.

 

A further issue that was raised with the Department concerned the interactions between Councillors and staff. The previous provision in the Code has been deleted and reference is now made to a Council’s Policy on the interaction between Councillors and staff.

 

A further matter that was raised was on the restrictive nature of access to the Council chambers to a time of “during normal business hours for meetings”. Councillors had expressed a concern on the restrictive nature of this clause within the Code. At the time it was generally understood that Councillors should have unfettered access to the, Fernhill Room, Glenmore Room, and to the “pigeon holes” in the corporate area and to the Mayoral Office. This clause has continued within the revised Code and it is proposed to work through a policy on access to these areas with the new Council.

 

As detailed in the Memorandum that the General Manager issued to Councillors, one area that has been thoroughly reviewed is the area of Conflicts of Interests. In particular the Code identifies a broadening of the definition of non-pecuniary conflict of interest into a significant and less than significant conflict of interest. If a Councillor has a significant conflict of interest (does not involve a pecuniary interest) such as a relationship between a Council Official and another person that is particularly close (parent, brother, sister etc), then this needs to be managed in one of two ways:

 

·    Remove the source of the conflict (if practical), by relinquishing or divesting the interest that creates the conflict, or reallocating the conflicting duties to another council official

 

·    Have no involvement in the matter, by absenting yourself from and not taking part in any debate or voting on the issue as if the provisions of section 451 (2) of the Act apply (a Councillor must not be present at, or in sight of, the meeting of the Council or Committee).

 

Where a Council Official has a non-pecuniary conflict of interest that conflicts with their public duty, you must disclose the interest fully and in writing, even if the conflict is not significant. In the event that a Council Official has a less than significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest then you must verbally declare the nature of that interest at the Council / Committee meeting as a minimum.

 

Another major change to the Model Code of Conduct is the inclusion of a new section titled “political donations”. Under the Code where a Councillor or the Councillor’s “official agent” has received political contributions or political donations exceeding $1,000 which directly benefit their campaign from a political or campaign donor or related entity in the previous four years and where the political or campaign donor has a matter before the Council, then the Councillor must declare a non-pecuniary conflict of interest, disclose the nature of the interest, and manage the conflict of interest (have no involvement in the matter and leave the room).

 

In circumstances where political contributions may be below the $1,000 threshold, Councillors need to be aware that this may still give rise to a non-pecuniary conflict of interest. In this case, Councillors will need to determine whether or not such a conflict of interest is significant and take the appropriate action to manage these interests.

 

A related matter to the new requirements on Councillors regarding political donations will also be captured in the Local Government and Planning Legislation Amendment (Political Donations) Bill 2008 that was assented to on 30 June 2008. At this stage advice received from the Department of Local Government indicates that the commencement date of the amendment will be 1 September 2008. A report will be presented to the Council when further clarification is known about its commencement and the ramifications for the Council and Councillors on this Bill. An amendment to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 will take effect when this Bill is proclaimed. The amendment will require the disclosure of relevant political donations or gifts when planning applications are made to minimise the perception of undue influence. The Council will need to adopt new procedures on how to deal with this requirement and to educate the public about how they must disclose political donations or gifts at the time of lodging a planning application. Details on this new legislative requirement will be captured in a further report to the Council.

 

In respect of political donations, it is noted that under the NSW Electoral Funding Authority local government councillors and anyone who has resigned or been dismissed from Council between 27 April 2004 and 30 June 2008 are required to submit a declaration by 25 August 2008. Councillors are required to lodge a “nil” declaration if you have received no political donations or incurred no electoral expenditure.

 

The last major change to the Model Code of Conduct relates to reporting and dealing with alleged breaches of the Code. As Councillors are aware under the Code every Council was required to establish a Conduct Committee to review an alleged breach against a Councillor and / or the General Manager. Under the revised Code Councils must resolve to appoint persons independent of Council to comprise the members of a conduct review committee and / or to act as sole conduct reviewers. The members of the conduct review committee should be appropriately qualified of high standing in the community. The Code states that the conduct review members do not have to be a resident of the local government area of the Council that has appointed them, and that they may act in that role for more than one Council. The Code also states that the Committee should comprise three or more members. However where the General Manager (or the Mayor in the case of complaints about the General Manager) determines that the matter is not so serious that it does not warrant review by a full Conduct Committee, then he / she can select a sole conduct reviewer from those appointed by the Council to review the particular complaint.  This allows for greater options to assess the matter, depending on the seriousness of the complaint.

 

In respect to the Council’s Conduct Review Committee there are a number of options open to the Council to fill these positions as follows:

 

·     The Council has appointed an Audit Committee. The question as to whether the external members on this Committee are “independent” of the Council was raised with the Department of Local Government. The advice received was that the external members on the Council’s Audit Committee would be acceptable as “independent” members of the Conduct Committee.

 

·     The Council may engage with other Councils within WSROC to appoint regional conduct reviewers on the Committee and then select a person(s) to undertake a review of a matter. This matter has been raised verbally with the Executive Director of WSROC.  Mr Gooding has advised that the WSROC EMC considered this issue at its meeting last week and resolved to write to member Councils to gauge their interest in a regional response to the Conduct Committee. Mr Gooding has stated that if a majority of Councils are interested in this approach, WSROC are likely to follow this up and develop a proposal.

 

·     Seek expressions of interests from members of the community.

 

As was the case with the previous Code, the Council’s General Manager is responsible for assessing complaints about an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct, and whether the matter should be referred to the Conduct Review Committee. If a complaint is made about the conduct of the General Manager the matter will be determined by the Council’s Mayor.

 

It is proposed that the options open to the Council about who may be appointed to the Conduct Review Committee will be subject of a further report to the new Council. In the event that a complaint is received about the conduct of a Council Official between now and when the Council determines the composition of the Conduct Committee it is suggested that this can be addressed at that time. Given that the Council has had very few complaints about the conduct of Council Officials, it is suggested that the risk of the Council having to deal with this as a matter of urgency is low.

 

With a new Council being elected in September 2008, there will be an opportunity for further discussion with the Council and the new Councillors at that stage about the Code of Conduct, as part of the proposed information sharing for the new Council.

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.     The information contained in the report on Revised Model Code of Conduct be received

2.     The Council adopts the Model Code of Conduct as the Council’s Code of Conduct, incorporating the suggested amendment contained within this Report.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  



 

ATTACHMENTS   

 

 

Date of Meeting:          Monday 28 July 2008

Master Program:          Leadership and Organisation

Issue:                            Governance

Report Title:                Constitutional Recognition for Local Government

Attachments:                Australian Local Government Association Presentation



Policy Review Committee Meeting

28 July 2008

Attachment 1 - Australian Local Government Association Presentation