4 August 2010

 

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 9 August 2010 at 7:30PM.

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

Yours faithfully

 

 

Barry Husking

Acting General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.?????????? LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Robert Ardill - 26 July 2010 to 20 August 2010 inclusive.

 

2.?????????? APOLOGIES

 

3.?????????? CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 12 July 2010.

 

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 Conflict of Interest ? Significant and Less than Significant (The Code of Conduct requires Councillors who declare a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest in an item to leave the meeting during discussion of that item)

 

5.?????????? ADDRESSING THE MEETING

 

6.?????????? MAYORAL MINUTES

 

7.?????????? NOTICES OF MOTION TO RESCIND A RESOLUTION

 

8.?????????? NOTICES OF MOTION

?

9.?????????? DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

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

 

11.???????? CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 9 August 2010

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

DELIVERY program reports

 


2010 MEETING CALENDAR

February 2010 - December 2010

(adopted by Council on 9/11/09 and amended by Council on 19/4/10)

 

 

 

TIME

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

7.30pm

1

 

 

3v

 

19

16#

6?

11?

8#

13

(7.00pm)

22#

22

19

24#

21*

 

 

27^

(7.00pm)

 

29

 

Policy Review Committee

7.30pm

15

8

 

10

 

 

9

13@

 

15

 

 

29@

 

 

28

12

30

 

18

 

 

Operational Plan Public Forum

 

6.00pm

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

v

Meeting at which the Draft Operational Plan for 2010/2011 is adopted for exhibition

*

Meeting at which the Operational Plan for 2010/2011 is adopted

#

Meetings at which the Operational Plan quarterly reviews are presented

@

Delivery Program progress reports

^

Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor

?

Meeting at which the 2009/2010 Annual Statements are presented

?

Meeting at which any comments on the 2009/2010 Annual Statements are presented

-                 Extraordinary Meetings are held as required.

-                 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 Acting Executive Officer, Glenn Schuil.

 

 

?



UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

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

ON MONDAY 12 JULY 2010 AT 7:34PM

PRESENT

His Worship the Mayor Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM, Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Kaylene Allison, Robert Ardill, Greg Davies (arrived 7:36pm), Mark Davies, Tanya Davies, Ross Fowler OAM, Ben Goldfinch, Jackie Greenow, Prue Guillaume, Marko Malkoc, Karen McKeown and John Thain.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Kath Presdee for the period 11 July 2010 to 15 July 2010 inclusive.

APOLOGIES

There were no apologies.

?

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 28 June 2010

PRC 36? RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Marko Malkoc seconded Councillor Jim Aitken OAM that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 28 June 2010 be confirmed.

?

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

?

There were no declarations of interest.

 

DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

A Vibrant City

 

3??????? Draft Health Strategy and Action Plan

Group Manager, People & Places ? Roger Nethercote introduced the report and invited Healthy People & Partnership Officer, Monique Desmarchelier who gave a presentation.

Councillor Mark Davies left the meeting, the time being 8:10pm.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

PRC 37? RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Marko Malkoc seconded Councillor Prue Guillaume

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on Draft Health Strategy and Action Plan be received.

2.???? The draft Health Strategy and Action Plan be placed on public exhibition.

3.???? A further report be brought back to Council following assessment of public submission for consideration of adoption of the Health Strategy and Action Plan.

4.???? Council Officers involved in the preparation of the Draft Health Strategy and Action Plan be thanked for their efforts in developing the Strategy and Plan.

 

Councillor Mark Davies returned to the meeting, the time being 8:12pm.

 

A Leading City

 

1??????? NSW 2010 Community Building Partnership Program?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

PRC 38? RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Prue Guillaume seconded Councillor Marko Malkoc

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on NSW 2010 Community Building Partnership Program be received.

2.???? Council endorse the four nominated projects to be developed into submissions to meet the 23 July 2010 application deadline, with matching funding confirmed from the identified sources.

Penrith Electoral District:

???? Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre refurbishment of kitchen and toilets.

???? Grant request $45,000.

???? Source of matching funds: 2010-11 Building Asset Renewal Program.

Mulgoa Electoral District:

???? St Marys Senior Citizens common area and toilet refurbishment.

???? Grant request $45,000.

???? Source of matching funds: 2010-11 Building Asset Renewal Program.

Londonderry Electoral District:

???? Werrington Walking Trail missing links section through Werrington Park.

???? Grant request $30,000.

???? Source of matching funds: 2010-11 City Works Operational Budget

Smithfield Electoral District:

???? Erskine Park Childcare Centre kitchen and bathroom upgrade.

???? Grant request $35,000.

???? Source of matching funds: Children?s Services Pooled funds.

 

 

 

 

2??????? Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program Round 3??????????????????????????????????

PRC 39? RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Prue Guillaume seconded Councillor Marko Malkoc

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program Round 3 be received.

2.???? Council endorse the recommended projects and their prioritisation for applications to be submitted to the RLCIP Round Three program to permit staff to prepare applications for the 30 July 2010 deadline.

3.???? That Council thank the Minister for Infrastructure for the provision of funding under RLCIP Round 3 and encourage the Minister and the Federal Government to continue the funding of community infrastructure replacement and renewal by establishing the RLCIP as a permanent program of assistance for Local Government.

4.???? That Council support the efforts of ALGA and the National Growth Areas Alliance in lobbying for the establishment of a permanent Federal fund to assist Local Government in resourcing the replacement and renewal of ageing community facilities.

5.???? An urgent report be prepared for the next Council Meeting providing a list of alternative projects for consideration.

 

?

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:44pm.

????



DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Item?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Page

 

 

A Leading City

 

1??????? Opportunity for Biodiversity Conservation Corridor - Wianamatta Regional Park to Former Air Services Australia Site

 

2??????? Working Party Meetings?

 

3??????? 2010 Local Government Association of NSW Annual Conference

 

4??????? One Association for Local Government in NSW

?????

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK? INTENTIONALLY


A Leading City

 

Item?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Page

 

1??????? Opportunity for Biodiversity Conservation Corridor - Wianamatta Regional Park to Former Air Services Australia Site

 

2??????? Working Party Meetings?

 

3??????? 2010 Local Government Association of NSW Annual Conference

 

4??????? One Association for Local Government in NSW

?

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

A Leading City

 

 

 

1

Opportunity for Biodiversity Conservation Corridor - Wianamatta Regional Park to Former Air Services Australia Site???

?

Compiled by:??????????????? Tony Crichton, Senior Environmental Planner

Authorised by:???????????? Paul Grimson, Sustainability & Planning Manager ?

Requested By:???????????? Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM

 

Objective

We plan responsibly for now and the future

Community Outcome

A Council that plans responsibly for a sustainable future (3)

Strategic Response

Build our City?s future on the principles of sustainability (3.1)

????????

 

Executive Summary?????

In recent years, two substantial areas of high quality bushland have been added to the existing biodiversity network in Western Sydney, being the 900 ha Wianamatta Regional Park (March 2007) and the 181 ha former Air Services Australia (ASA) site at Cranebrook (June 2009).

 

An opportunity exists to add an area of land owned by Delfin Lend Lease (Delfin) to the Wianamatta Regional Park.? This land is known as the ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? and is zoned ?Urban? under Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No. 30 (Amendment No. 1) (SREP 30).

 

There is also an opportunity to explore the creation of a corridor link between the two sites, which would enhance the biodiversity value of both sites.?

 

It is recommended that Council write to the Minister for the Environment and State and Federal Members to pursue these opportunities.

 

Background

Wianamatta Regional Park

The gazettal of SREP 30 on 11 April 2006 facilitated the delivery of a 900 ha Regional Park, which contains a substantial area of Cumberland Plain Woodland.? Stage 1 of the Wianamatta Regional Park (WRP) (900 ha) was formally announced on 7 March 2007 by the former Minister for the Environment, the Hon Bob Debus.

 

On 23 March, 2009 Council adopted the Western and Central Precinct Plans for the St Marys Release Area.? This includes an elongated area of land known as the ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula?, which lies between Ninth Avenue and the WRP.? A copy of a plan illustrating the WRP and Ninth Avenue is appended to this report.? The original Australian Heritage Commission listing, and hence the area gazetted for the WRP, excluded the Ninth Avenue Peninsula on the basis of the relatively scattered and sparse vegetative cover on the site.

 

 

Transfer of former ASA Site

The former ASA site has been transferred to the Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water (DECCW) and is proposed to be zoned ?E1 National Parks and Nature Reserves? in LEP 2012.? This is a substantial area which is disconnected from the WRP and its conservation value could be further enhanced by the creation of a biodiversity corridor linking it to the WRP.

 

Opportunity for Acquisition of Delfin Lands (Ninth Avenue Peninsula)

 

Delfin has invested substantial time and capital over a number of years to investigate, plan and deliver the development of the St Marys Release Area.? Some questions have been raised regarding the viability of developing the ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? portion of the site due to its elongated nature and the implications for servicing and access that this presents. Delfin has advised that the detailed planning for the servicing of this portion of the site is yet to be carried out. However it is understood that Sydney Water and Integral Energy have indicated that they are able to service this site with extensions to their existing networks.?

 

Delfin and DECCW have been informally discussing the potential for DECCW to acquire the 23.11 ha ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? lands for some time.? In March 2010 Delfin wrote to DECCW seeking its interest in pursuing this matter further.  Delfin expressed the view that as the site is zoned ?Urban? under SREP 30 (Amendment No. 2), any proposal ?must reflect the highest and best use for the site, which under the approved Precinct Plan is residential development.?  Delfin also provided DECCW with an estimate of the land value based on highest and best use. Further, in correspondence to Council, Delfin has reiterated that any potential purchaser would need to consider monies already expended on the site, the development constraints of the site, anticipated returns for the developer and available funds for the purchase.

 

DECCW has confirmed that some funding is available through the Growth Centres Biodiversity Offset Program to acquire high conservation value land within priority areas of Western Sydney, and the subject land ?could potentially be purchased with these funds?. However, DECCW has verbally advised Council that whilst the proposed acquisition of the Delfin land is worthy of consideration, it does not represent good value for money to DECCW at this stage and that it is currently considering various opportunities for priority conservation acquisitions in Western Sydney.? The critical issue for DECCW is the sale price of the ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? compared to other potential parcels and the value for money that it represents.?

 

Notwithstanding, the willingness of Delfin to consider the sale of the ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? lands to DECCW now provides an opportunity for the enhancement of the WRP and its connection to the ASA site. On the basis that there may be room for negotiation on the sale price of the land, this matter represents a biodiversity opportunity for the City that should be further explored.? It appears that this potential opportunity can only be realised if DECCW is prepared to allocate funds to this potential acquisition as a priority or if additional funds are provided by State Government to fund the purchase.

 

Opportunity for Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Link to Former ASA Site

 

An opportunity also exists for a biodiversity corridor to be established that would link the WRP to the former ASA site at Cranebrook, which is now owned by DECCW.? This is a worthy objective that should be explored.? A copy of a plan illustrating the potential corridor link between these sites is appended to this report.?

 

This would require a number of matters to be investigated and decisions reached.? DECCW has previously suggested that it was likely to require a minimum width of 100m and preferably 200m for any corridor created.? Agreement would therefore be needed on the minimum required biodiversity corridor width.? Available landholdings would need to be identified and the views of landowners, including Deerubbin and other private parties, would need to be canvassed and required funding would need to be identified.

 

It is DECCW?s view, however, that the Delfin land parcel should be dealt with first and the potential creation of a corridor link to the former ASA site should be explored at a later stage.

It is our view, however, that this matter should be investigated now, to take account of the current State Government election cycle.

 

Benefits

The potential benefits for biodiversity that would flow from this initiative include, but may not be limited to:

???? The increase in the critical mass of the WRP which could enhance biodiversity within this area of Cumberland Plain Woodland;

???? The simplification of the perimeter of the WRP which would enhance the management of the Park?s urban interface;

???? The connection of the two large areas of Cumberland Plain Woodland which could assist in conserving and strengthening overall biodiversity and the gene pool of terrestrial and non-terrestrial fauna;

???? Enhancing the amenity of this area of the City and the integrity of the two parks.

 

Conclusion

 

The potential purchase by DECCW of Delfin?s ?Ninth Avenue Peninsula? lands represents a positive biodiversity outcome for the Wianamatta Regional Park and the City.? It would increase the size of the WRP and allow a better management outcome for this northern edge of the Park.

?

It appears that this potential opportunity can only be realised if DECCW is prepared to allocate funds to this acquisition as a priority or if additional funds are provided by State Government to fund the purchase.

 

The establishment of a biodiversity corridor linking the WRP and the former ASA site could further enhance biodiversity outcomes.

 

It is therefore recommended that Council write to the Minister for the Environment, Frank Sartor, requesting that discussions between DECCW and relevant landowners be undertaken to explore the creation of a biodiversity conservation corridor linking the WRP and ASA sites.

 

It is further recommended that Council write to the local State Member seeking his support for this initiative.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on Opportunity for Biodiversity Conservation Corridor - Wianamatta Regional Park to Former Air Services Australia Site be received.

2.???? Council write to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Frank Sartor, requesting that discussions with relevant landowners be undertaken to explore the creation a biodiversity conservation corridor linking the Wianamatta Regional Park and the former Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook.

3.???? Council write to the NSW Member for Londonderry, Allan Shearan, seeking his support to expedite negotiations to facilitate the creation of a biodiversity conservation corridor linking the Wianamatta Regional Park and the former Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

Wianamatta Regional Park

1 Page

Appendix

2. View

Biodiversity Corridor

1 Page

Appendix

??


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

Appendix 1 - Wianamatta Regional Park

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

Appendix 2 - Biodiversity Corridor

 

 

 

 


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

A Leading City

 

 

 

2

Working Party Meetings????

?

Compiled by:??????????????? Stephen Pearson, Executive Services Officer

Authorised by:???????????? Glenn Schuil, Acting Executive Officer ?

Requested By:???????????? Councillor John Thain

 

Objective

We demonstrate accountability, transparency and ethical conduct

Community Outcome

A Council that behaves responsibly and ethically (5)

Strategic Response

Champion accountability and transparency, and responsible and ethical behaviour (5.1)

????????

 

Executive Summary

At the Council?s Ordinary Council Meeting held on 19 April 2010 Councillor John Thain requested that a report be presented to a Policy Review Meeting to cover the following matters:

 

1.?? the confidentiality of Working Party Meetings;

2.?? the attendance of Councillors who may have a ?conflict of interest? at Working Party Meetings; and

3.?? which Councillors should receive business papers of Working Party Meetings.

 

The Agenda for Working Party business papers indicates:

 

?Please note: The report within this document contains confidential information. This document must not be communicated to third parties unless there is a legal obligation to do so?.

 

The Council?s current practice has been for all Councillors to receive a copy of all Working Party business papers to enable them to be kept informed of the business that is before the Working Party. It is suggested that the Council?s current practice of providing all Councillors with a copy of all business papers should continue.

Background

At the Council Meeting held on 19 April 2010, Councillor John Thain requested that a report regarding the confidentiality of Working Party Meetings and a number of associated matters be brought forward to a future Policy Review Committee Meeting.

 

The request followed an earlier meeting of the Advertising Working Party on 12 April 2010 where the issue was raised if Councillors who may have a conflict of interest should be present at Working Party Meetings.? Additionally, the question was raised should a Councillor who may have a conflict of interest receive a business paper of the Meeting.

 

 

 

 

Confidentiality of Working Party Meetings

The business papers of Council?s Working Party Meetings are treated as confidential documents as is evidenced by the following statement contained at the bottom of the Agenda page:

 

?Please note: The report within this document contains confidential information. This document must not be communicated to third parties unless there is a legal obligation to do so.?

 

The Working Party Meetings are not open to the public and are generally attended by only Councillors and Council staff. On occasions, external parties are invited to Working Party Meetings, but this would be only for the purpose of addressing the Working Party on a particular matter or responding to questions.

 

Disclosure of Interest at a meeting of the Council or Committee

The provisions regarding disclosure of pecuniary interest and presence in meetings are contained in the section 451 of the Local Government Act 1993 and state as follows:

 

?(1) A councillor or a member of a council committee who has a pecuniary interest in any matter with which the council is concerned and who is present at a meeting of the council or committee at which the matter is being considered must disclose the nature of the interest to the meeting as soon as practicable.

 

(2) The councillor or member must not be present at, or in sight of, the meeting of the council or committee:

(a) at any time during which the matter is being considered or discussed by the council or committee, or

(b) at any time during which the council or committee is voting on any question in relation to the matter.

 

(3) For the removal of doubt, a councillor or a member of a council committee is not prevented by this section from being present at and taking part in a meeting at which a matter is being considered, or from voting on the matter, merely because the councillor or member has an interest in the matter of a kind referred to in section 448.?

 

This Section makes it clear that interests must be disclosed at ?a meeting of the council or committee?.

 

While the Local Government Act prevails, the Council?s Code of Meeting Practice states: ?Council?s Code of Conduct does apply to Councillor Briefings and Councillors need to take the appropriate action where conflicts of interest may arise?, no specific reference is made with respect to Working Party Meetings.? Upon reflection, when the recent review of the Code of Meeting Practice was undertaken the above sentence should have included reference to Working Parties as well. This will be looked at in the review of the Code next year.

?

 

NSW Division of Local Government Councillor Guide

The NSW Division of Local Government Councillor Guide (the Guide) draws a distinction between ?council and committee meetings? and other meeting types.

 

The Guide indicates that there are three main types of formal council meetings which must be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Act and Regulation, and the Code of Meeting Practice, namely:

 

?????? Ordinary council meetings

?????? Extraordinary council meetings

?????? Council committee meetings

 

The Guide indicates that meetings such as ?workshops and briefing sessions? which may involve councillors are not formal meetings in that they do not have to be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Act and Regulation, and the Code of Meeting Practice.

 

The Guide states that:

 

?Councils may hold workshops for the purpose of conducting in-depth discussions on certain topics. Formal decisions are not made at workshops but these sessions provide the time needed to explore more important or complex issues in detail. A workshop may involve councillors, council staff and invited participants.

 

Workshops should not be used for detailed or advanced discussions where agreement is reached and/or a de-facto decision is made. Any detailed discussion or exchange of views on an issue, and any policy decision from the options, should be left to the open forum of a formal council or committee meeting.

 

The Department recognises the value of workshops or information sessions in developing councillor knowledge and expertise, and in assisting their role as public officials. However, where briefing sessions are held in relation to development applications or business enterprises, council needs to remember its obligations and responsibilities under its Code of Conduct, and community perceptions in terms of unfair advantage and transparency of process.?

 

There is no legal requirement for Councillors to disclose pecuniary interests and to absent themselves from Councillor Briefing sessions, but nevertheless, Council?s Code of Meeting Practice, by virtue of clause 15.6 (5), does extend Council?s Code of Conduct to apply to Councillor Briefings as a result of a recent update to the Code on 24 May 2010, namely:

 

15.6 (5) Council?s Code of Conduct does apply to Councillor Briefings and Councillors need to take the appropriate action where conflicts of interest may arise.

 

There is no legal requirement or anything within Council?s Code of Conduct or Code of Meeting Practice, which requires Councillors to disclose pecuniary interests and to abstain themselves from attending Working Party Meetings. While there is no specific reference made with respect to Working Party Meetings in the Code of Meeting Practice, upon reflection, when the recent review of the Code of Meeting Practice was undertaken, the above clause should have included reference to Working Parties as well. This will be looked at in the review of the Code next year.

 

Council?s Working Parties, as presently structured, are defined in clause 15.6 (1) of Council?s Code of Meeting Practice as not being committees which report to Council. Working Parties either set or have predetermined Terms of Reference established by the Council. Working Parties generally work on projects within their Terms of Reference and provide reports to Council or a Committee for a determination of that body. They are not a mechanism for formal decision making.

 

Council?s Code of Conduct

Council?s Code of Conduct is based on the Division of Local Government?s Model Code of Conduct which provides the foundation for ethical decision-making in local government. All councils must make and adopt a code of conduct based on this document. The Model Code of Conduct sets the minimum standards of conduct for council officials in carrying out their functions.

 

It is open to the Council to adopt a Code of Conduct that is more stringent than the Model Code of Conduct if it so desires.? To date, the Council?s Code essentially mirrors the Code as prepared by the Division of Local Government.

 

Currently on the Agenda for Working Party Meetings is the heading ?Declarations of Personal Interest?. It is currently open to Councillors to openly declare if they have a conflict of interest in a matter before the Working Party.

 

A conflict of interest can exist where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that someone could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out their public duty. In the NSW Ombudsman Good Conduct and Administrative Practice Guidelines for State and Local Government, it is stated that a real or reasonably perceived conflict may exist even if a public official (definition includes ?Councillor?) is not the ultimate decision-maker.

 

For instance, a Councillor may have a perceived or even a real conflict of interest and participate in a Working Party discussion, but not participate in the ultimate decision when the matter is reported to the Ordinary Council Meeting or Policy Review Committee Meeting. The question is: how is the attendance and/or participation of a Councillor at a Working Party meeting perceived when they have (or may have) a conflict of interest??

 

Whatever the situation, the onus is on the Councillor to identify an interest whether perceived or real. Once a conflict of interest is identified, it is up to the Councillor to determine the appropriate action to take to manage the conflict in favour of their public duty, which could well be absenting themselves from a Working Party Meeting or taking no part in discussion at a Working Party meeting. This is a matter for each Councillor to determine individually based on their knowledge of their individual interests.

 

There are currently no formal minutes taken of ?Working Party? Meetings, so any declarations of interest and absences from all or part of the ?Working Party? Meetings are not officially recorded. However, in the event that a Councillor decides to take appropriate action (and leave the Working Party Meeting and take no part in the Meeting) this should be seen as acting with integrity based on the facts of the matter and the Councillor?s understanding of their perceived/real conflict of interest.

Victorian Local Government legislation

There has been recent legislation enacted in Victorian local government in the Local Government Amendment (Councillor Conduct and Other Matters) Act 2008, which requires Councillors to disclose conflicts of interest in any meeting defined as an ?assembly of Councillors?.

 

An ?assembly of Councillors? is defined by the Victorian legislation to be ?a planned or scheduled meeting that includes at least three Councillors and one officer and which considers a matter that is intended or likely to be the subject of a Council decision?.

 

It is understood that the purpose of the provision was to address concerns raised by the Ombudsman and by members of the public about the scope for Councillors to improperly influence Council decisions in meetings of Councillors that are effectively closed to the public. These concerns have particularly pointed at the practice of holding regular closed-door ?briefings? prior to formal Council meetings.

 

Circulation of Working Party business papers

Councillor John Thain has questioned which Councillors should receive a copy of the business paper for Working Party Meetings.

 

The recent practice is that all Councillors receive a copy of the Business Papers of all Working Party Meetings in the same way as all Councillors receive a copy of all Business Papers and Reports for Ordinary Council Meetings and Policy Review Committee Meetings.

 

Conclusion

Generally when a Working Party is established, the membership contains a number of Councillors.? However the general rule is that all Councillors are sent a copy of the business paper of all Working Party Meetings on the basis that all Councillors should be kept abreast of all dealings of the Council.

 

The purpose of establishing a Working Party is to allow Councillors to discuss a range of matters without the presence of the public and not be bound by specific rules dictated by the Act, Regulations, Code of Meeting Practice etc.

 

It would be difficult to administratively implement a system whereby some Councillors would potentially not be sent business papers of a Working Party Meeting because they may have a conflict of interest in a matter that was before the Working Party.? It may not be known in advance of the meeting if a Councillor has a conflict of interest in a matter on the business paper.

 

A Councillor has to firstly receive a business paper to enable him/her to examine the matters on the business paper to allow him/her to make an informed decision as to whether or not they may have or are likely to have a conflict of interest.

 

It is considered that the current procedure of sending a copy of a business paper for Working Party Meetings to all Councillors should continue for the following reasons:

 

(i)???????? all Councillors should receive sufficient information to enable them to perform their duties and responsibilities of being a Councillor, hence they should all receive a copy of a business paper of all Working Party Meetings; and

(ii)??????? it is a matter for individual Councillors to determine if they have a conflict of interest in a matter and how they deal with that conflict and they cannot do this without having received a copy of the Working Party Meeting business paper.

 

If a Councillor has a conflict of interest in a matter that is before the Meeting, in view of the potential or real perceived conflict of interest by the Councillor, the onus is on the Councillor to not attend such part of the meeting in view of the conflict between their personal and public responsibilities.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That the information contained in the report on Working Party Meetings be received.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

A Leading City

 

 

 

3

2010 Local Government Association of NSW Annual Conference???

?

Compiled by:??????????????? Stephen Pearson, Executive Services Officer

Authorised by:???????????? Glenn Schuil, Acting Executive Officer ??

 

Objective

We demonstrate accountability, transparency and ethical conduct

Community Outcome

A Council that behaves responsibly and ethically (5)

Strategic Response

Champion accountability and transparency, and responsible and ethical behaviour (5.1)

????????

 

Executive Summary

This report advises Council of proposed motions for the Local Government Association Annual Conference to be held in Albury from 24 ? 27 October 2010, and seeks endorsement from Council to submit the motions, as detailed, to the Conference.

 

The proposed motions cover the following matters:

 

1.?? Funding to Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program

2.?? Illegally advertised signs/bill posters

3.?? Illegal advertising on trailers or similar structures

4.?? Expanded Polystyrene packaging

5.?? Development Contributions ? Planning changes announced by the NSW Government

6.?? Planning Reforms

7.?? Timeframe for publishing of Local Environmental Plans

8.?? Councillor exemptions for the preparation of Citywide Local Environmental Plans

9.?? Regulation of the Waste Disposal Industry

10. Efficient and timely determination of Development Applications

 

The report recommends that:

 

1.??? The information contained in the report on 2010 Local Government Association of NSW Annual Conference be received.

2.??? The ten motions detailed in the report be submitted for inclusion in the 2010 Local Government Association NSW Conference Business Paper.

Background

The Local Government Association of NSW (LGA) will hold its annual policy-making Conference in Albury from 24 ? 27 October 2010. The theme of the Conference will be ?Modernising Local Government?.

Current Situation

Council?s voting delegates were determined, at the Ordinary Meeting held on 24 May 2010, to be Councillors Ross Fowler OAM, Marko Malkoc, Ben Goldfinch, Greg Davies, Kaylene Allison, Karen McKeown and Robert Ardill. Councillors Kath Presdee and John Thain have been authorised to attend the Conference as observers. Up to three (3) Aboriginal observers, nominated by the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council, will also be attending as observers.

Motions to Conference

Council is entitled to submit motions for consideration at the 2010 LGA Conference.

 

Motions for this year?s Conference must be based on the following key issues/themes identified by the LGA Executive and are classed as Category One motions:

 

1.?? Modernising the Financing of Local Government

2.?? Modern approaches to Community Wellbeing, and

3.?? Modern approaches to the Natural & Built Environment.

 

and must:

??? relate to an identified conference issue/theme, and

??? not attempt to enforce one council?s position on other councils, and

??? not cause detriment to one council over another, and

???? deal with the issues/themes at a regional/state or national level (ie: the motion must not be a single council issue)

??? address the conference theme of ?Modernising Local Government?

 

Motions which do not comply with these guidelines are classed as Category Two motions and will be referred to the Executive for action prior to the Conference - this meeting is scheduled for Friday 15 October 2010.

 

Late motions will be received up to the close of business on Friday 8 October 2010 and will be categorised using the same methodology as outlined above. Category One ?Late Motions? will be dealt with at the final session on the final morning of the Conference and only by approval of Conference delegates.

 

The following ten motions have been identified either by Council/Councillors (Motions 1, 2, 4 & 9), or by the Group Managers/Managers (Motions 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 10) as possible issues for which motions can be framed for debate at the Conference:

 

1.?? Funding to Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program

2.?? Illegally advertised signs/bill posters

3.?? Illegal advertising on trailers or similar structures

4.?? Expanded Polystyrene packaging

5.?? Development Contributions ? Planning changes announced by the NSW Government

6.?? Planning Reforms

7.?? Timeframe for publishing of Local Environmental Plans

8.?? Councillor exemptions for the preparation of Citywide Local Environmental Plans

9.?? Regulation of the Waste Disposal Industry

10. Efficient and timely determination of Development Applications

The first motion (?Funding to Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program?) has been formulated as a result of a Council resolution on 19 July 2010 arising from the Policy Review Committee meeting held on 12 July 2010 (Item 2) re the announcement of a third round of funding under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) Round 3. Council resolved that:

 

?That Council thank the Minister for Infrastructure for the provision of funding under RLCIP Round 3 and encourage the Minister and the Federal Government to continue the funding of community infrastructure replacement and renewal by establishing the RLCIP as a permanent program of assistance for Local Government.

 

That Council support the efforts of ALGA and the National Growth Areas Alliance in lobbying for the establishment of a permanent Federal fund to assist Local Government in resourcing the replacement and renewal of ageing community facilities.?

 

Whilst not specifically resolving to prepare a Motion for the LGA Conference, it is considered appropriate that a Motion be prepared on this matter.

 

The second motion (?Illegally advertised signs/bill posters?) has been formulated as a result of a Council resolution on 21 June 2010 (Item 13 ? Pole Posters). Councillor Greg Davies had requested a report to Council on the instances of posters being placed on poles within the Penrith City Council area and what action is possible to address this. As a result, Council resolved that:

 

?Council makes representations to the State Government (through the Local Government Association Conference Motions) to amend the Protection of the Environment Operations Act to include an offence for attaching advertising posters/signs on roadside power poles.?

 

The fourth motion (?Expanded Polystyrene packaging?) has been prepared at the request of Councillor Greg Davies.

 

The ninth motion (?Regulation of the Waste Disposal Industry?) has been formulated as a result of a Council resolution on 24 May 2010 arising from the Policy Review Committee meeting held on 10 May 2010 (Item 7) re a Part 3a Major Project Proposed Orchard Hills Waste and Resource Facility at Lot 40 DP 738126 (No. 123-179) Patons Lane, Orchard Hills.

 

Council resolved that:

 

?A Motion be prepared for the 2010 Local Government Association Conference on the need for a system to be established to track and record the disposal of contaminated waste products such as asbestos, and as a condition attached to any development consent  involving the disposal of waste material, developers are to provide the Council with the details of the location of the disposal site for the demolished materials and provide certification that the disposal site is appropriate for the material.?

 

Council also resolved at its meeting held on 21 June 2010 (Item 11) that:

 

?Council prepare a motion to the next Local Government and Shires Association conference in relation to the inadequacies of the self regulatory nature of the waste industry as it relates to the disposal of construction and demolition waste material.?

 

The following are the Motions that are proposed to be submitted to the LGA Annual Conference:

 

MOTION 1

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Funding to Local Government through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

 

Theme:

Modernising the Financing of Local Government

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association support the actions of the Australian Local Government Association and the National Growth Areas Alliance in their efforts to secure a continuation of the Federal Government?s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program at a cost of a minimum of $300 million per annum for at least the next four years.

 

That the Local Government Association make its own representations directly to the Federal Government on behalf of its members to secure the continuance of Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program funding.

 

Note from Council:

The Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) was instituted by the Federal (Rudd) Government after the 2007 election.

 

This was the result of successful representations from the Local Government sector to secure a means of addressing a substantial backlog of community infrastructure replacement and renewal, identified by the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Report, commissioned by ALGA.

 

A third round of direct funding to Local Government has just been announced (June 2010). The total fund nationally for this round was $100 million.

 

Over the past two years the total pool has exceeded $1 billion: less than half the annual deficit in infrastructure funding required by Local Government estimated at $2.16 billion in the PwC Report in 2006.

 

The total backlog nationally for Local Government was estimated at $14.5 billion in that Report.

 

The 2010-11 Federal Budget did not include any provision for the continuation of the RLCIP fund.

 

It would be to the benefit of all Local Government Authorities and the communities they serve if this funding source were extended for at least four years.

 

Ideally, the RLCIP fund would become a permanent additional direct allocation from the Federal Government to LGAs following the model of the Roads to Recovery Program.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

MOTION 2

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Illegally advertised signs/bill posters

 

Theme:

Modern Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the State Government to review the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 so as to provide for prosecution of the promoters of an event/business that advertises illegally on public land including roadside power poles.

 

Note from Council:

Councils are continually being bombarded with illegally advertised bill posters on public land including roadside power poles and many councils have policies to remove this illegal advertising as quickly as possible. Penrith City Council currently spends a significant amount of time and resources removing illegal posters each year.

 

Councils have a responsibility to ensure that their Local Government Areas are clean and pollution free.? The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 was introduced to encompass several forms of legislation such as the Waste Minimisation and Management Act, the Environmental Offences and Penalties Act, the Clean Waters Act, etc., in order to create one workable form of legislation to protect all facets of the environment.

 

A Notice issued under the Protection of the Environment Act 1997 must relate to a ?pollution incident?.? The erection of bill posters does not fall into this category; therefore, it would be unlawful to issue any type of notice under the current legislation.? An amendment to this legislation would give councils the ability to pursue and issue notices against all relevant parties involved in this form of illegal advertising.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

MOTION 3

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Illegal advertising on trailers or similar structures

 

 

Theme:

Modern Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the NSW State Government to prohibit all forms of mobile advertising on trailers or similar structures parked on road related areas and public land.?

 

Note from Council:

As councils enforce advertising through Development Applications for businesses, a new form of visual advertising has developed through advertising on box trailers or similar structures.? These advertising signs display material that would otherwise be subject of a Development Application for the erection of a sign.?

 

Whilst this in itself may or may not be a problem, the placement of these movable structures is invariably on road related areas and public land where a nuisance is often caused by an obstruction to traffic or pedestrians or diverting the attention of drivers away from the proper control of their vehicles.

 

The issuing of on-the-spot penalties would benefit councils in progressing the quick removal of these types of advertising and reduce the benefit to the business displaying such advertising.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

MOTION 4

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Expanded Polystyrene Packaging

 

Theme:

Modern Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the State and Federal Governments to implement a ban on the use of expanded polystyrene as a form of packaging.

 

Note from Council:

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is commonly used in the packaging industry and is not easily recycled because of its light weight and low scrap value.?

 

Discarded polystyrene does not biodegrade for 500 years and is resistant to photolysis.? Due to this, very little of the waste discarded in today?s modern landfills biodegrades.? Foam polystyrene is a common pollutant in the environment and is a major component of plastic debris in the ocean where it becomes toxic to marine life.?

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

MOTION 5

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Development Contributions ? Planning changes announced by the NSW Government

 

Theme:

Modernising the Financing of Local Government

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the NSW Premier to recognise the serious adverse financial and community equity implications for growth area councils of the State Government?s decision to place a $20,000 cap on developer contributions, and commit to working with councils to look at more sustainable long term financial approaches to delivering infrastructure and services.

 

Note from Council:

The growth councils around the fringe of Sydney have been working with the Department of Planning and the Division of Local Government to explore alternative long term financing options for infrastructure.? Options included removal of rate pegging, ?growth? bonds, tax incentive schemes and improvements to the current development contributions process.

 

In the midst of these discussions, on 4 June 2010, the NSW Premier announced changes to the development contribution process that ?cap? contributions for new residential development at $20,000 per lot/dwelling.? This change has resulted in an infrastructure cost shortfall of $270 million in Penrith City Council Development Contributions Plans and $billions in cumulative shortfalls across NSW growth area councils.

 

The Premier?s announced changes suggested that shortfalls could be met by councils seeking increased rate levies from IPART, transferring the burden onto existing and future ratepayers.? This creates inequities within council areas, where existing residents will have to pay for footpaths and neighbourhood centres in new areas when they do not have those facilities themselves.? It also creates a broader inequity across metropolitan Sydney, as the growth councils are now expected to pay all the costs of accommodating more than half of Sydney?s future population.

 

The changes were implemented without reference to the affected councils.? There are serious adverse impacts on councils? prudent physical, social and financial planning for their communities.? It is also likely to slow the delivery of new housing as developers will have to coordinate the delivery of facilities and infrastructure.

 

The changes need to be reconsidered immediately, in consultation with councils.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

MOTION 6

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Planning Reforms

 

Theme:

Modernising Approaches to the Natural & Built environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the NSW Premier and the Minister for Planning to impose a 2 year moratorium on any further changes to the NSW Planning system to enable local councils and their communities to resource, absorb, explain and implement the changes that have been introduced in the past 3 years.

 

Note from Council:

The NSW Planning system has been subject to wide ranging changes over the past three years, in an attempt to simplify and modernise zoning and development rules.? These changes have included the introduction of the standard template, the introduction of the Gateway process for LEPs, and the introduction of the NSW Housing Code.

 

These changes have then been subject to subsequent reviews and amendments, so that a new draft planning instrument may need to be updated numerous times in response to further changes before it can be finalised.? This wastes time and resources, and generates more confusion as the ?goalposts? shift and the rules change.

 

In many cases, prior consultation with local councils has been limited or non-existent.? A more comprehensive and genuine consultation process with councils before introducing the changes would significantly improve the process of reform, particularly as councils bring ?on the ground? knowledge and experience to the table.

 

All of these reforms have taken time to implement and / or understand.? The demand on resources includes not only council officers? time to understand the new rules, but also time to inform Councillors and their communities.? Department of Planning staff are required to interpret new legislation, manage new processes, and provide consistent advice to councils.? There has been minimal support or recognition of the importance of the time or resources needed to properly manage the continual stream of changes, develop new approaches, and understand and disseminate information.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTION 7

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Timeframe for publishing of Local Environmental Plans

 

Theme:

Modernising Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association call on the NSW Government to better resource the NSW Department of Planning in order to expedite progress of councils? planning proposals and associated local environmental plan reviews.

 

Note from Council:

The State Government has introduced a range of planning reforms, including a requirement that councils implement a single LGA wide Local Environmental Plan.? From 1 July 2010, this plan must go through the new Gateway process for LEPs.

 

Responding to these changes has had significant resource implications for local councils, however it has also represented a significant demand on the resources of the Department of Planning.? To date the Department has been unable to adequately resource this process, resulting in significant delays.

 

As the planning reform process has continued at high speed, delays in the LEP process within the Department has frequently resulted in councils having to redo work on LEPs to conform with changes to the template (or rules) which have come in while the plan was with the Department.? This has not resulted in a streamlined or efficient planning process, and has exacerbated the already significant resource drain caused by the new rules.

 

As all councils are required to develop a new LEP that conforms to the Standard Instrument template, the lack of resources within the Department, and subsequent impact on timeframes, will affect every LGA.? The result is likely to be plans which are not adequately drafted and assessed, and which do not appropriately respond to local conditions as the more ?standard? a plan is, the fewer resources are required to assess it within the Department.? Additional resources within the Department are therefore a critical part of implementing the planning reforms to ensure that they do in fact result in a better planning system.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

MOTION 8

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Councillor exemptions for the preparation of Citywide Local Environmental Plans

 

 

Theme: ????

Modernising Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:???????

That the Local Government Association call on the NSW Government to provide specific exemptions to every Council, including all Councillors, to streamline the process of preparing the required new Citywide Local Environmental Plans.

 

 

Note from Council:

The State Government has introduced a range of planning reforms, including a requirement that councils implement a single Citywide Local Environmental Plan (LEP).? There is an expectation that the new LEP will be informed by Citywide land-use strategies.

 

Section 451 of the Local Government Act 1993 sets out the procedures to which Councillors must adhere when they have a pecuniary interest in a matter that is before the Council.? Essentially, the Councillor must not be present at, or in sight of the meeting of the Council, or Committee, at any time during which the matter is being considered or discussed by the Council or Committee; or at any time during which the Council or Committee is voting on any question in relation to the matter.

 

Section 458 of the Local Government Act 1993 states that ?The Minister may, conditionally or unconditionally, allow a councillor or a member of a council committee who has a pecuniary interest in a matter with which the council is concerned to be present at a meeting of the council or committee, to take part in the consideration of the matter and to vote on the matter if the Minister is of the opinion:

(a)???? that the number of councillors prevented from voting would be so great a proportion of the whole as to impede the transaction of business, or

(b)???? that it is in the interests of the electors for the area to do so?.

 

On 4 October 2006 the (then) Department of Local Government issued Circular No 06-62 titled ?Applying for pecuniary interest exemptions under section 458 of the Local Government Act 1993?.? Within the Circular it is stated that ?With the introduction of standardised Local Environmental Plans (LEPS), there may be an increase in the number of councillors wishing to make applications to the Minister for Local Government under section 458 of the Act?.? The final sentence of this Circular states ?All councillors should note that exemptions under section 458 of the Act are only granted at the Minister?s discretion and that this discretion is not exercised lightly?. A pecuniary interest, however, may only affect a number of Councillors.

 

Council has adopted the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW, including key principles that are, in essence, values.? The Code of Conduct addresses a ?conflict of interests?, which ?exists where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that you could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out your public duty?.? As all Councillors own land (generally their residence) in the City, there can be seen to be a conflict of interest for every Councillor.? Some Councillors have indicated that they believe that this conflict of interest is a significant conflict of interest and as such may create a quorum problem for the Council when the matter is before the Council. A resolution of the above situation needs to be dealt with through an appropriate amendment to the Local Government Act 1993 or the Model Code of Conduct.

 

The Council is about to prepare a new Citywide Local Environmental Plan for the City that has the potential to impact on all Councillor?s participation on the discussion of this matter as it is considered at a range of Committee and Council Meetings.

 

While the Local Government Act 1993 enables the Minister for Local Government to exempt certain Councillors from the pecuniary interest provisions of the Act if their participation, due to their interests in the matter before the Council might give rise to a reasonable expectation that they had a pecuniary interest in the matter, it does not address the perceived ?conflict of interest? that arises under the Code of Conduct.

 

The two State Government Agencies (Department of Planning and the Division of Local Government) should work together to ensure their requirements streamline this process.? When a Council is implementing a Citywide LEP, or the Citywide land-use strategies that underpin and inform that LEP, there should be an automatic exemption provision in the Act to allow all Councillors to participate in the debate, consideration and voting on the proposed new City-wide LEP.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

MOTION 9

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Regulation of the Waste Disposal Industry

 

Theme:

Modern Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:

That the Local Government Association write to the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment to undertake a review of the existing regulatory and legal regime that governs the waste industry in order to provide more responsibility on the waste industry itself for the ongoing compliance and environmental outcomes for land fill sites.

 

Note from Council:

There are concerns about the effectiveness of the compliance processes needed to be followed with respect to the Waste Disposal Industry. Particular concern is raised with respect to the onus of proof that is required by an Authorised Regulatory Authority in establishing whether there have been any breaches to development consents, licensing agreements or statutory requirements.

 

Where land fill sites or quarries have been operating for many years under old development consents and licensing provisions, the nature of the regulatory system and the competing roles of both Local and State Government have proven difficult to establish ownership and effective compliance responses. This is particularly the case when these sites receive waste such as asbestos and hazardous materials which fall outside the approval conditions. The self regulatory nature of the waste industry and the ambiguity between both Local and State Government have resulted in inappropriate land filling operations being undertaken without adequate compliance procedures.

 

The legal test of establishing beyond reasonable doubt that a deliberate breach to either the development consent or licensing provisions has occurred, places an unreasonable burden on the regulatory authorities. The regulatory system should provide a greater proportion of this accountability to the waste industry so that the provisions of the approvals issued for the site are fully complied with on a daily basis.

 

Often there are two compliance roles being pursued one by Local Government for compliance with consent conditions and the other from State Government for compliance with licensing conditions. The coordination of these actions often proves difficult and the resourcing required to pursue matters of non-compliance is often not as effective as it should be.

 

Council is of a view that the statutory regime and the responsibility for establishing proof in respect to compliance issues unreasonably disadvantages Council or a Authorised Regulatory Authority and that more responsibility for compliance with the statutory requirements should rest with the waste producers, the transporters of waste and those that receive the waste.

 

As the State?s population grows, the demand for the disposal of waste will continue. With the likelihood of asbestos or other hazardous materials forming part of that waste material there is a need to ensure that suitable compliance provisions apply. It is unlikely that the State Government and Council have the capacity to monitor the entire waste industry and as such changes are required to enable better compliance and environmental outcomes.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

MOTION 10

 

From:

Penrith City Council

 

Issue:

Efficient and timely determination of Development Applications

 

Theme: ????

Modernising Approaches to the Natural & Built Environment

 

Motion text:???????

That the Local Government Association write to the Director General of the Department of Planning seeking a revised direction on the determination and reporting of SEPP 1 Objections, removing the need to report SEPP 1 variations for minor developments in the circumstances where the variation is minor or the application is recommended for refusal.

 

Note from Council:

The Department of Planning (DoP) is in the process of implementing a suite of reforms to the planning system in NSW. One of the main focuses of these reforms is an attempt to ensure development assessment is fast tracked and determinations issued in a timely manner. Another is to depoliticise the system and ensure determinations are based on the merit of the proposal.

 

On 14th November 2008, the DoP issued a Planning Circular advising Councils that all development applications involving a variation greater than 10% in development standards under SEPP 1 were required to be determined by full council (rather than general manager or nominated staff member). This applies also to applications which are recommended for refusal.

 

The direction was a consequence of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation affecting Wollongong City Council, and captures minor development as well as major developments. A SEPP 1 variation over 10% for a multi storey mixed use development may warrant reporting to full Council; however a single dwelling house requesting to vary a 6m rear setback by 70cm does not.

 

As a result Council has experienced a marked rise in the number of minor applications, which are required to be reported to full council for determination on the basis that they include SEPP 1 objections. This process results in significant delays in the processing of otherwise straightforward applications, previously determined by staff under delegated authority.

 

Variations in excess of 10% to development standards for minor development are generally not significant or likely to constitute a governance issue. They relate primarily to small scale development such as dwellings, dual occupancies, residential additions, outbuildings and subdivision minimum allotment width.

 

Council?s experience to date has indicated delays to the assessment of these minor matters generally affect the ?mums and dads?. This runs contrary to the objective of an efficient planning system that seeks to reduce costs and delay, in an effort to deliver more affordable housing.?

 

Council should retain its discretion to request certain development applications be reported to its Council meetings, rather than having this mandated to them. The requirement to report applications to Council which involve a SEPP 1 variation, where the application is recommended for refusal, is also questioned as no variation to the development standard is being given.

 

Council is of a view that the statutory regime, for consideration and approval of applications, including governance policies and processes within Local Government, is robust. They are adequate to ensure applications for minor development, which involve small variations to development standards, are able to be determined on a merit basis.?

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on 2010 Local Government Association of NSW Annual Conference be received.

 

 

 

2.???? The ten motions detailed in the report be submitted for inclusion in the 2010 Local Government Association NSW Conference Business Paper.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

A Leading City

 

 

 

4

One Association for Local Government in NSW???

?

Compiled by:??????????????? Stephen Pearson, Executive Services Officer

Authorised by:???????????? Glenn Schuil, Acting Executive Officer ??

 

Objective

We demonstrate accountability, transparency and ethical conduct

Community Outcome

A Council that behaves responsibly and ethically (5)

Strategic Response

Base our decisions on research, evidence and our responsibility to anticipate harm before it occurs (5.2)

????????

 

Executive Summary

The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW are progressing the formation of One Association for Local Government in NSW.

 

A One Association Taskforce has been formed and the Taskforce has released a Discussion Paper to enable councils to consider the issues and the Taskforce?s recommendations.

 

The Taskforce?s recommendations are to be further considered and voted on at a One Association Convention to be held in Sydney on 16 & 17 August 2010.

 

Proposed responses to each of the recommendations have been prepared and are submitted to Council for endorsement, to enable Council?s delegates to present Council?s preferred position.??

Background

The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW have resolved to progress the formation of One Association for Local Government with a view to forming a strong and unified voice to represent Local Government in NSW.

 

A report was submitted to the Policy Review Committee meeting on 28 June 2010 informing Council of:

1.?? the formation and actions of the One Association Taskforce

2.?? a proposed One Association Convention (to be held on 16 & 17 August 2010)

3.?? a proposed Discussion Paper (to incorporate base principles to be discussed at the Convention)

 

As a result, Council adopted the Policy Review Committee?s recommendations at its meeting held on 19 July 2010, namely:

 

That:

 

1.?? The information contained in the report on One Association for Local Government in NSW be received.

2.?? Council nominate His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ross Fowler OAM or their representatives to attend the One Association Convention to be held in Sydney on 16 & 17 August 2010.

3.?? A Position Paper be prepared for Council?s consideration and endorsement once the Discussion Paper is received.

One Association Taskforce Discussion Paper

A ?One Association Local Government NSW Taskforce Discussion Paper? has been received and copies have been distributed to Councillors under separate cover.

 

The Discussion Paper presents the following eight issues:

1.?? Association Membership

2.?? Representational Structure

3.?? Size of the Board of Directors

4.?? Voting for the Board Members & Office Holders

5.?? Term Lengths

6.?? Term Limits

7.?? Alternating the Positions of President & Treasurer

8.?? Voting Rights

 

The Paper is structured so that for each of these issues there is:

?????? The Term or Terms of reference which are relevant to the issue

?????? The question/s relevant to the issue

?????? The Taskforce recommendation/s

?????? Discussion

?????? Alternatives or additional options

Conclusion

A Position Paper has been prepared and is attached proposing a Council response for each of the issues.

 

It is proposed that Council endorse the Position Paper so that Council?s delegates are in a position to represent and vote for Council?s preferred position in respect of each of the 40 recommendations.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.???? The information contained in the report on One Association for Local Government in NSW be received.

2.???? Council endorse the Position Paper and suggested responses.

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1. View

One Association Position Paper

11 Pages

Appendix

??


Policy Review Committee Meeting

9 August 2010

Appendix 1 - One Association Position Paper

 

 

 

POSITION PAPER

ONE ASSOCIATION LOCAL GOVERNMENT NSW

 

History

 

Metropolitan and country councils in New South Wales have been represented by separate associations for almost 100 years. Since 1922 the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Shires Association have operated with a common secretariat and in more recent years, cooperation between the two Associations has been cemented by the development of a number of standing policy committees containing equal numbers of representatives from each Association?s Executive.

 

The proposal for One Association has been an ongoing one in recent years. In this regard, an Options Paper for One Association was previously circulated by the LGA Executive in May 2005. That Options Paper assumed:

?????? only general purpose councils (not county councils) are included

?????? the current LGA metropolitan area (38 councils) will comprise the proposed Metropolitan Division, with no zones

?????? the current Shires Association Councils and LGA country councils (114 councils) will comprise the proposed Country Division, developed into 10 zones

?????? proportional voting will be applied to the election of office bearers; voting for metropolitan and Country Divisions; voting within Country Zones; and voting at conferences.

 

The 2005 Local Government Association Conference resolved as follows:

 

?That a working party be established jointly with the Shires Association of NSW to explore the options identified in the paper titled ʺOptions for One Local Government Association in NSW May 2005ʺ with a view to formulating an agreed proposal for the consideration of all councils. Membership of the working party will be negotiated by the two Presidents.?

 

The 2006 Local Government Association Conference resolved as follows:

 

?That the Local Government Association of NSW Executive work with the Shires Association of NSW Executive to move forward our policy of One Association.?

 

The 2008 Local Government Association Conference resolved as follows:

 

?That the Local Government Association of NSW amalgamate with the Shires Association of NSW to form one united strategically focussed and operationally efficient organisation to represent 152 general purpose NSW Local Government Authorities and present Councils? views to governments, provide industrial relations and specialist services to councils and promote local government to other levels of government and the wider community.?

 

The 2009 Local Government Association Conference resolved as follows:

 

?That the Local Government Association conference, as a matter of priority, proceed with the formation of one Association to represent Local Government in New South Wales. In order to facilitate this move, it is recommended that a constitutional convention of both organisations take place to consider the formal amalgamation or the dissolution of both associations and the formation of one new representative body. That the consultative paper prepared by Woods and Wearne be utilised as the discussion paper in the constitutional convention.?

 

Current Position

 

The Local Government Association and The Shires Association, through their respective Executives and Presidents, have undertaken to progress the formation of One Association.

 

A ?One Association Taskforce? has been formed to identify a structure and a process for One Association that will strengthen Local Government in NSW and maximise its effectiveness.

 

The creation of One Association will also address the issues of credibility and healthy survival of the local government industry. It is hoped that the formation of One Association will result in a change in how NSW Local Government is perceived and how it presents itself in order to ensure that it has the resources and the skills to do its job well.

 

The Taskforce will be presenting its recommendations to the One Association Convention to be held on 16 & 17 August 2010, however the final decision for the structure and functions of the One Association (if it proceeds) rests with member councils.

 

A report on this matter was presented to the Policy Review Committee on 28 June 2010 and the Committee?s recommendations were presented to the Ordinary Council meeting on 19 July 2010. Council resolved to:

1.?? nominate His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM and Deputy Mayor, Ross Fowler OAM or their representatives to attend the One Association Convention to be held in Sydney on 16 & 17 August 2010.

2.?? prepare a Position Paper for Council?s consideration and endorsement once the Discussion Paper is received.

 

The Taskforce Discussion Paper has been received and has been circulated to Councillors. This Position Paper has been prepared in response to Council?s resolution of 19 July 2010.

 

Delegates will be able to choose at the One Association Convention the appropriate process and structure for One Association to effectively and successfully represent Local Government in NSW.

 

One Association Taskforce ? Terms of Reference

 

The One Association Taskforce is to investigate and make recommendations on models for a single association to provide effective representation for Local Government in NSW.

 

Without limiting the generality of the above, the Taskforce is asked to ?

 

(i)

examine and make recommendations on the number and roles of the President, Office Bearers and Executive Members of a single association and the manner in which the President, Office Bearers and Executive Members are elected;

 

(ii)

examine and make recommendations on the number of delegates to formally represent a member council and vote on policy issues at an association Conference;

 

(iii)

where a distinction is to be drawn in an association structure between metropolitan and non-metropolitan members, make recommendations as to which councils fall into each category. If further distinctions are to be made (e.g. for peri-urban councils), make recommendations as to what additional categories should be considered and how such categories would fit within such a structure;

 

(iv)

examine whether it is necessary or desirable to have a process or requirements in place to ensure that the majority views of metropolitan members in the development of association policy cannot be overruled by the majority views of the non-metropolitan members, and vice versa;

 

(v)

examine whether a separate category of associate member is required, and, if so, under what terms and conditions;

 

(vi)

as some county councils are full members of either the Local Government Association or the Shires Association, provide advice on their status, rights and responsibilities under a single association structure and constitution;

 

(vii)

as Aboriginal Land Councils are currently full members of the Local Government Association, provide advice on their status, rights and responsibilities under a single association structure and constitution;

 

(viii)

provide advice as to whether some form of transitional structure or arrangement should be put in place to facilitate acceptance of a single association by councils.

 

In addition, the Taskforce is requested to provide advice to the Presidents of both Associations, and the Joint Executive, on the format, agenda and standing orders of the proposed Constitutional Convention.

 

 

Penrith City Council?s Position

 

Penrith City Council supports the formation of one association for local government in NSW in principle (Council resolution on 15 August 2005).

 

The advantages of a single Association include maximum political impact from one lobbying voice, removal of duplicated effort, economies of scale with costs, tighter development of policy positions, stronger links between all country councils and stronger links between metropolitan and country councils. These advantages are particularly relevant having regard to the range of issues that are common to local government in metropolitan and country centres including environment, planning, OH&S, transport and corporate governance.

 

The Council is aware that this has been a long-standing issue for local government and an issue where consensus from the two Associations has not been able to be achieved to date.

 

The Council has previously identified the following matters that needed to be addressed:

 

1.?? the sometimes different agendas from the Shires Association and the Local Government Association due to the size, location and population of the councils that are within the two Associations;

 

2.?? the representation from councils to make up the Executive on a combined Association;

 

The Council raises no objection to the continuation of the Divisional or Zone structure for country councils or an equal split between metropolitan and country Executive members.

 

The Council also opposes a proportional voting system that would result in Penrith having fewer votes at the new One Association?s Annual Conference.

 

A single Association for local government in NSW presents no apparent disadvantages for Penrith subject to clarification of the model to be used.

 

Taskforce Discussion Paper

 

The Taskforce Discussion paper does not present a specific model, or models for one association but rather it presents and proposes the principles on which a new association would be based. Once there is agreement on the basic principles, the model will emerge.

The recommendations contained within the Discussion Paper reflect the majority view of the Taskforce members. However, they do not necessarily reflect a unanimous view in all cases.

 

Taskforce Discussion Paper Issues

 

The Discussion Paper covers the following eight issues:

1.?? Association Membership

2.?? Representational Structure

3.?? Size of the Board of Directors

4.?? Voting for the Board Members & Office Holders

5.?? Term Lengths

6.?? Term Limits

7.?? Alternating the Positions of President & Treasurer

8.?? Voting Rights

 

1. Association Membership

The Terms of Reference which are relevant to the issue: (v), (vi) and (vii)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 10 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

1.?? There be two (2) council membership categories; Ordinary & Associate and an additional category for Patrons, who would be individuals appointed by the Board of Directors.

2.?? All 152 general purpose councils will be eligible for ordinary membership.

3.?? The NSW Aboriginal Lands Council will be eligible for Associate membership.

4.?? All NSW County Councils will be eligible for Associate membership.

5.?? Elected Councillors from Ordinary members will be eligible to run for positions on the Board of Directors.

6.?? Elected Councillors from Ordinary members who are their Council?s nominated voting delegates will be eligible to vote for positions on the Board of Directors.

7.?? Ordinary member Councils will be eligible to put motions to Conference.

8.?? Elected Councillors from Ordinary members who are their Council?s nominated voting delegates will be eligible to vote for motions at Conference.

9.?? Elected Councillors from Associate members will not be eligible to run for positions on the Board of Directors.

10. Elected Councillors from Associate members will not be eligible to vote for positions on the Board of Directors.

11. Associate member Councils will be eligible to put motions to Conference.

12. Elected Councillors from Associate members who are their Council?s nominated voting delegates will be eligible to vote for motions at Conference.

 

 

 

Suggested Response:

Support 1

But delete the word ?council? so that it will read:

?There be two (2) membership categories? ?etc

(to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

????????????? 9, 10, 11 & 12

 

Object to 3

It is proposed that this recommendation be changed to read:

?All 9 NSW Aboriginal Land Council regions will be eligible for Ordinary membership.?

As the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, on behalf of the Regions, is currently a full member of the Local Government Association, it is proposed that the NSW Aboriginal Land Council retain Ordinary membership of ?One Association? on a Regional basis (9 Regions in NSW) under the proposed new structure. For the purpose of eligibility to stand for election for positions on the Board of Directors, each of the Regions should be classified as either Metropolitan/Urban or Rural/Regional. This would enable the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, its constituent Regions and its delegates to have representation and equal rights to those exercised by local government general purpose councils. This is consistent with the principle of Aboriginal self-determination through their elected representatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Representational Structure

The Terms of Reference which are relevant to the issue:? (iii) & (iv)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 13 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

13. For the purposes of representation NSW should be broken up into two (2) regions being a metropolitan/urban region and a rural/regional region.

14. The metropolitan/urban region to be defined as councils which fall within the County Cumberland plus Camden.

15. The rural/regional region to be defined as all other councils. This will include peri-urban councils, eg Newcastle, Wollongong etc.

Suggested Response:

 

Support 13, 14 & 15

 

 

Additional

For the purposes of representation of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, each of the 9 ALC Regions in NSW be classified as either within the metropolitan/urban region or rural/regional region.

 

3. Size of the Board of Directors

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:?? (i)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 15 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

16. For the first two (2) terms the Board of Directors should consist of a maximum of 17 members being:

a. 1 X President

b. 8 X Board members representing Metropolitan/Urban councils

c. 8 X Board members representing Rural/Regional councils

17. One (1) person be elected to the position of Metropolitan/Urban Vice President from among the 8 board members elected to represent the Metropolitan/Urban councils.

18. One (1) person be elected to the position of Rural/Regional Vice President from among the 8 board members elected to represent the Rural/Regional councils.

19. One person be elected to the position of Treasurer from among the 14 of the 17 board members who have not been elected to the positions of President or Vice President.

20. Commencing from the third term after the establishment of the new Association that the maximum number of board members be 13 being:

a. 1 X President

b. 6 X Board members representing Metropolitan/Urban councils

c. 6 X Board members representing Rural/Regional councils

And under this arrangement (recommendations 21, 22 and 23 which would then replace recommendations 17, 18 & 19):

21. One (1) person be elected to the position of Metropolitan/Urban Vice President from among the 6 board members elected to represent the Metropolitan/Urban councils.

22. One (1) person be elected to the position of Rural/Regional Vice President from among the 6 board members elected to represent the Rural/Regional councils.

23. One person be elected to the position of Treasurer from among the 10 of the 13 board members who have not been elected to the positions of President or Vice President.

24. There should not be a position of Immediate Past President nor Vice President General on the Board of Directors.

Suggested Response:

Support 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But change the word ?councils? where twice appearing to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 17

But change the word ?councils? to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 17

But change the word ?councils? to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 19

 

Support 20

 

But change the word ?councils? where twice appearing to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 21

But change the word ?councils? to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 22

But change the word ?councils? to ?region? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation)

Support 23

 

Support 24

 

 

4. Voting for the Board Members & Office Holders

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:??? (i)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 17 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

25. The position of President should be elected at large by all voting delegates.

26. The positions of Board members to represent the Metropolitan/Urban councils should be elected by all voting delegates from only those councils who are categorised as Metropolitan/Urban.

27. The positions of Board members to represent the Rural/Regional councils should be elected by all voting delegates from only those councils who are categorised as Rural/Regional.

28. The position of Metropolitan/Urban Vice President should be elected from among those elected as Board Members to represent the Metropolitan/Urban councils by all voting delegates from only those councils who are categorised as Metropolitan/Urban.

29. The position of Rural/Regional Vice President should be elected from among those elected as Board Members to represent the Rural/Regional councils by all voting delegates from only those councils who are categorised as Rural/Regional.

30. The position of Treasurer should be elected from among those Board Members who have not been elected as President or Vice Presidents by all voting delegates.

Suggested Response:

Object to 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is considered that the President should be elected by the Board members and not be elected at large by all voting delegates, otherwise there is a risk of electing a President who does not have the support of or represent the views of the Board.

Support 26, 27

 

Seek additional

The position of a Board member to represent the NSW Aboriginal Land Council should be elected by the nine (9) Aboriginal Land Council Regions in NSW.

 

 

 

Support 28, 29 & 30

 

 

5. Term Lengths

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:?? (i)

The question relevant to the issue: refer to page 19 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations

31. The terms of office for all Board members and Office Holders should be for a period of two (2) years.

 

Suggested Response:

Support 31

 

 

 

6. Term Limits

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:?? (i)

The question relevant to the issue: refer to page 20 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

32. A person may hold the position of President for no more than two 2-year consecutive terms (subject to being re-elected after the first term), before the position must alternate to another region.

33. There be no term limits for the positions of Vice Presidents (subject to being re-elected).

34. There be no term limits for the position of Treasurer (subject to being re-elected).

35. There be no term limits for the positions of Board Members (subject to being re-elected).

 

 

Suggested Response:

Support 32, 33, 34 & 35

Supported or any other appropriate alternative

 

7. Alternating the Positions of President & Treasurer

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:?? (i)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 22 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

36. The position of President should be alternated between regions.

37. There is no need for the position of Treasurer to be alternated.

 

 

Suggested Response:

Support 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the proviso that the President is elected by the Board and not elected at large by all voting delegates.

Support 37

 

 

8. Voting Rights

The Term of Reference which is relevant to the issue:?? (ii)

The questions relevant to the issue: refer to page 24 of Discussion Paper

The Taskforce recommendations:

38. Ordinary member councils should all have equal voting rights for the election of the Board of Directors.

39. Ordinary member councils should all have equal voting rights when dealing with motions at Conference.

40. Associate members have 1 vote per member council when dealing with motions at Conference.

 

Suggested Response:

Support 38

But change the words ?ordinary member councils? to read ?ordinary members? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation).

Object to 39

If this recommendation is adopted, then at the very least, the words ?ordinary member councils? should be changed to read ?ordinary members? (to cover NSW Aboriginal Land Council representation).

However, Council should object to the concept of equal voting rights and seek that the existing scaled voting arrangement, according to population of LG areas, should be retained. Each delegate from a council which is an ordinary member currently has one vote. The number of delegates from councils is determined in accordance with the following population groupings:

GROUP

POPULATION

DELEGATES

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 7

 

Group 8

Less than 10,000

10,000 ? 20,000

20,000 ? 50,000

50,000 ? 100,000

100,000 ? 150,000

Over 150,000

County councils &

Associate Members

Aboriginal Land Councils

1

2

3

4

5

7

2

 

27

Penrith City Council is presently a Group 6 Council and is entitled to 7 voting delegates.

 

In addition, as Penrith City Council pays more for its LGA membership subscription, it should be entitled to more voting rights than a council which pays less (as contained on page 24 of the Taskforce Discussion Paper from the NSW Local Government Association).

Support 40

 

 

 

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A City of Opportunities

 

 

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A Green City

 

 

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A Liveable City

 

 

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A Vibrant City

 

 

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