Council_Mark_POS_RGB

25 November 2015

 

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 30 November 2015 at 7:00PM.

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

Yours faithfully

 

 

Alan Stoneham

General Manager

 

BUSINESS

 

1.           LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of absence has been granted to:

Councillor Michelle Tormey - 30 October 2015 to 3 January 2016 inclusive.

 

2.           APOLOGIES

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 9 November 2015.

 

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.         REQUESTS FOR REPORTS AND MEMORANDUMS

 

11.         URGENT BUSINESS

 

12.         CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS


POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING

 

Monday 30 November 2015

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

DELIVERY program reports

 


Council_Mark_POS_RGB2015 MEETING CALENDAR

January 2015 - December 2015

 

 

 

TIME

JAN

FEB

MAR

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

Mon

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

7.30pm

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21^ü

(7.00pm)

 

 

7

 

23@

23

27v

25#

29*

27

24@

28

26

23#+

14

(7.00pm)

Policy Review Committee

7.00pm

 

 

 

20

11

22

13

10

14

19

9

 

 

9

9

 

 

 

 

31

 

 

30

 

 

 v

Meeting at which the draft corporate planning documents (Delivery Program and Operational Plan) are endorsed for exhibition

 *

Meeting at which the draft corporate planning documents (Delivery Program and Operational Plan) are adopted

 #

Meetings at which the Operational Plan quarterly reviews (March and September) are presented

 @

Meetings at which the Delivery Program progress reports (including the Operational Plan quarterly reviews for December and June) are presented

 ^

Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor

 ü

Meeting at which the 2013-2014 Annual Statements are presented

 

Meeting at which any comments on the 2013-2014 Annual Statements are presented

 +

Meeting at which the Annual Report is 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 Senior Governance Officer, Glenn Schuil.

 


UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

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

ON MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2015 AT 7:00PM

PRESENT

Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Karen McKeown,  Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ross Fowler OAM, and Councillors Jim Aitken OAM, Prue Car MP, Kevin Crameri OAM, Marcus Cornish, Greg Davies, Mark Davies, Maurice Girotto, Ben Goldfinch, Jackie Greenow OAM and Tricia Hitchen.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE        

Leave of Absence was previously requested by Councillor Michelle Tormey for the period 30 October 2015 to 3 January 2016 inclusive.

PRC 88  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

 

Her Worship the Mayor, Karen McKeown, ruled that the matter was urgent and should be dealt with at the meeting.

 

PRC 89  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that Leave of Absence be granted to Councillor Michelle Tormey for the period 30 October 2015 to 3 January 2016.

 

APOLOGIES

PRC 90  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that apologies be received for Councillors Bernard Bratusa and John Thain.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 19 October 2015

PRC 91  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Tricia Hitchen that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 19 October 2015 be confirmed.

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Outcome 5 - We care about our environment

 

3        Multi-Unit Developments - Penrith Development Control Plan

Waste and Community Protection Manager, Tracy Chalk introduced the report and made a presentation with Milan Marecic from Square Link Pty Ltd.

Councillor Prue Car MP left the meeting, the time being 7:30pm.
Councillor Prue Car MP returned to the meeting, the time being 7:38pm.                                  

PRC 92  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Greg Davies

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Multi-Unit Developments - Penrith Development Control Plan be received.

2.    Penrith Development Control Plan 2014 be amended in accordance with the changes described in this report and detailed in Appendix 1.

3.    Draft Penrith Development Control Plan 2014 be publicly exhibited, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and associated Regulations.

4.    The General Manager be delegated authority to make any necessary minor changes to the Development Control Plan 2014 in accordance with Council’s adopted policy position regarding this matter before Public Exhibition.

5.    A report be presented to Council following the Public Exhibition.

6.    A further report be presented regarding engineering design issues with new subdivisions including  cul-de-sacs and road widths  that affect waste collections. The report should also address innovative waste collection solutions that might be considered for new development in the future.

 

 

Outcome 1 - We can work close to home

 

1        Penrith City Children's Services Cooperative Ltd

Children’s Services Manager, Janet Keegan introduced the report and invited Chairman, Penrith City Children’s Services Cooperative Ltd to give a presentation.

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM left the meeting, the time being 7:48pm.
Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 7:53pm.                      

PRC 93  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jim Aitken OAM seconded Councillor Mark Davies

That:

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

2.    Council agree to underwrite the operation of Penrith City Children’s Services Cooperative Ltd until the presentation to Council of the Penrith City Children’s Services Cooperative Ltd Annual Report for 2015-16.

 

 

Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

5        Penrith Whitewater Stadium - Annual Report and Board of Directors

Chairperson – Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ross Fowler OAM introduced the report and invited Stadium Manager, Jack Hodge to give a presentation.                                  

PRC 94  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM seconded Councillor Mark Davies

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Penrith Whitewater Stadium - Annual Report and Board of Directors be received.

2.    Council agree to underwrite the operation of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Limited until the presentation to Council of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium Limited Annual Report for 2015-16.

3.    Council note and support the appointment and re-appointment of the persons named in the report to the Board of Directors of Penrith Whitewater Stadium Ltd. 

 

 

Outcome 4 - We have safe, vibrant places

 

2        Regentville Hall - Change of Use                                                                                     

PRC 95  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Ben Goldfinch

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Regentville Hall - Change of Use be received.

2.    Council enter into an agreement with the NSW Rural Fire Service to accommodate their request for change of use and planned refurbishments of Regentville Hall as outlined in the RFS proposal. (This agreement will be pursuant to any Agreement that exists between Penrith City Council and Nepean Food Services).

3.    Council enter into a new Occupation Agreement with Nepean Food Services for use of the existing office space and use of the hall once a week for the delivery of social services under the terms and conditions of the current five (5) year Licence Agreement.

4.    The S355 Committee that currently manages the Regentville Hall be dissolved and officially acknowledged for their contribution and service to the community through the management of Regentville Hall.

 

5.    A further report be presented to Council detailing the terms of the occupational agreements established with Nepean Food Service and NSW Rural Fire Service.

 

 

Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

4        Annual Report

Executive Manager – Corporate, Vicki O’Kelly introduced the report.                                        

PRC 96  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM that the information contained in the report on Annual Report be received.

 

 


 

URGENT BUSINESS

 

UB 1           Leave of Absence      

Councillor Mark Davies requested Leave of Absence for 16 November 2015.

PRC 97  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

 

Her Worship the Mayor, Karen McKeown, ruled that the matter was urgent and should be dealt with at the meeting.

 

PRC 98  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that Leave of Absence be granted to Councillor Mark Davies for 16 November 2015.

 

REQUESTS FOR REPORTS AND MEMORANDUMS

 

RR 1           Dividends from Sale of Electricity       

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM requested a memo reply to his previous two requests made earlier this year concerning what will be happening with the dividends from the sale of electricity.

 

RR 2           Airport Consultation

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM requested a memo reply regarding Council contacting the Federal Government concerning notification of consultation meetings regarding the airport being distributed after the session had occurred.

 

Councillor Prue Car MP and Councillor Greg Davies left the meeting, the time being 8:34pm and did not return.

 

 There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:36pm.

    


DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

Outcome 2 - We plan for our future growth

 

1        Reclassification of Public Land in St Marys Town Centre   

Procedural note: Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that a division be called in relation to this matter.                                                                  1

 

Outcome 3 - We can get around the City

 

2        Construction Specification for Civil Works                                                                      19

 

Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

3        Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report                                                 31

 

4        Penrith Aquatic & Leisure Limited - Annual Report and Board of Directors                    44

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

Outcome 1 - We can work close to home

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


Outcome 2 - We plan for our future growth

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

1        Reclassification of Public Land in St Marys Town Centre  

Procedural note: Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that a division be called in relation to this matter.                                                                  1

 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                            30 November 2015

 

 

 

1

Reclassification of Public Land in St Marys Town Centre   

 

Compiled by:               Matthew Rose, Senior Planner

Mark Broderick, Planning Projects Co-ordinator

Authorised by:            Paul Grimson, City Planning Manager  

 

Outcome

We plan for our future growth

Strategy

Protect the City's natural areas, heritage and character

Service Activity

Undertake priority planning projects and statutory processes that contribute to Penrith's role as a Regional City

     

Procedural note: Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that a division be called in relation to this matter.

 

Executive Summary

This report presents the results of the public exhibition and public hearing into the Planning Proposal for the reclassification of certain public land in St Marys Town Centre.  It identifies and addresses the matters raised in the submissions made in response to the public exhibition, at the hearing, and in the report from the public hearing.  These matters include:

·     The potential loss of open space

·     The potential loss of public car parking

·     Economic impacts

·     Heat island effects

·     How the returns from the sale or development of the land would be used

·     The potential loss of historic associations, and

·     Probity of Council’s processes.

 

It is recommended that Council proceed with the reclassification subject to a number of qualifications that respond to the issues raised by the community and the independent chair of the public hearing.

 

For the assistance of Councillors, a separate enclosure is provided which contains a copy of community submissions (including the petition) received in response to the public exhibition, the report from the public hearing, and a copy of the Planning Proposal that was publicly exhibited.

 

Background

For many years the community and Council have recognised the potential of the St Marys Town Centre (the Town Centre) to become a more vibrant, vital and sustainable town centre.  In 2006, after an extensive engagement exercise with the community about what it wanted for the Town Centre, Council adopted the St Marys Town Centre Strategy 2006 (the Strategy).  The Strategy captures the community’s vision and sets actions to create attractive public places, encourage investment, generate jobs, and deliver new infrastructure and homes.

 

The community consultation identified that the Town Centre could become a more vibrant, attractive and social place if a mix and concentration of different uses and new and improved public spaces were provided.

 

The Strategy recognises the importance of the contribution that the existing shopping centres (Station Plaza and St Marys Village) make to the viability of the Town Centre both now and potentially into the future.  It recommends that they be integrated with Queen Street, recognising that this requires the use of public land, specifically those areas between the existing shopping centres and Queen Street.

 

In 2007, Council commissioned the St Marys Town Centre Masterplan 2007 (the Masterplan) to show how this could be achieved.  It identifies fundamental elements for revitalising the Town Centre, recommending:

·     potential locations for a new town square and a new east-west connecting street

·     residential development near the train station, and

·     the integration of the existing satellite shopping centres with Queen Street.

 

Attachment 1 provides an extract of the Masterplan identifying these elements.

 

Progress to date

Since the adoption of the Strategy in 2006 and the development of the Masterplan in 2007, Council has pursued a range of initiatives that have either been completed or are currently underway including:

·     zoning the entire Town Centre B4 Mixed Use to permit retail, office, business and residential development

·     the Queen Street Streetscape Improvement Plan which will deliver new planting, furniture, lighting and CCTV before the end of 2016

·     the Queen Street Special Places Program with recently completed community engagement on the new and improved public spaces the community would like in the Town Centre

·     the establishment of a regional recreation facility known as the South Creek Sports Hub.

·     the establishment of the St Marys Corner Community and Cultural Precinct as a shared space for cultural activities

·     construction of a 2-storey office building in Queen Street

·     delivery of a 500 space multi-storey commuter car park

·     upgrading the facilities in existing parks

·     the review, reconstitution and funding of the St Marys Town Centre Corporation.

 

The private sector has also recognised the potential for St Marys and we have seen a number of projects approved or proposed including:

·     54 residential apartments under construction in King Street

·     289 residential apartments approved at 12 Carson Lane (the old bowling club and greens)

·     a number of mixed use developments providing shops, offices and residential apartments along Queen Street, and

·     the development of concepts for Station Plaza and St Marys Village Shopping Centres.

 

The continued delivery of the outcomes identified in the Strategy is facilitated by refocusing the use of some of the public land in the Town Centre, particularly the land located adjacent to the shopping centres.  This land, as identified in Attachment 2 (the Land), currently accommodates public open space (Kokoda and Lang Parks) and public car parking (in Station Street and West Lane).  However, the Land is currently classified as Community Land, which limits the ability to sell, lease or develop it.

 

For Council and the community to proactively consider new opportunities to stimulate and grow the Town Centre in the manner envisaged by the adopted Strategy, reclassification of the Land to Operational Land is required.  In light of this consideration, Council formally resolved to commence a process to reclassify the Land on 24 November 2014.

 

The Reclassification Process

The reclassification of public land requires the amendment of Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2010 (LEP 2010).  The process to do this is the Department of Planning and Environment’s (the Department) Gateway Process.  This process requires Council to prepare and publicly exhibit a Planning Proposal, a document that sets out the justification for, and explains the intended effect of, the recommended amendments to LEP 2010.  It also requires that an independently chaired public hearing be undertaken in addition to the prescribed community consultation for LEP amendments.

In keeping with Council’s resolution, a Planning Proposal was prepared and submitted to the Department for the reclassification of the Land.  On 10 June 2015, the Department issued a Gateway Determination which authorises public exhibition of the Planning Proposal, sets out the requirements for agency and public consultation, and the finalisation of the process.

 

Community Consultation

The Planning Proposal was publicly exhibited between 24 August and 21 September 2015 (28 days).  The exhibition of the Planning Proposal was supported by a number of documents, including a 2013 Retail Impact Assessment and Net Community Benefit Test and a 2015 Draft Concept Plan (the draft Concept Plan).  The draft Concept Plan was prepared to explore approaches to integrating future retail and commercial development on the Land with Queen Street and delivering the new town square and new east-west connections as identified in the Masterplan.  Illustrative plans from the draft Concept Plan are provided at Attachment 4.

 

A drop-in community information session was also held on the evening of 10 September 2015 and was attended by approximately 30 people.

 

Council received 32 submissions in response to the public exhibition.  These consisted of 31 written submissions (17 of which were form letters) and a petition with around 600 signatures.  One of the submissions supported the proposed reclassification, three stated conditional support, whilst the remainder (27) and the petition objected to the proposed reclassification raising the following matters:

·     The potential loss of open space

·     The potential loss of public car parking

·     Economic impacts

·     Heat island effects

·     How the returns from the sale or development of the Land would be used

·     The potential loss of historic associations, and

·     Probity of Council’s processes.

 

A copy of each of the submissions, including the petition, is provided in the separate enclosure for the information of Councillors.  The issues of the potential loss of open space and public car parking generated the most concern, accounting for 72% of the issues raised in submissions.

 

Council also received a submission from the NSW Department of Industry – Resources and Energy.  This submission did not raise any issues with the Planning Proposal.

 

An independently chaired public hearing was held on 21 October 2015 and was attended by 35 people.  Five (5) people addressed the hearing.  The concerns raised were substantially the same as those raised in submissions to the public exhibition.  A copy of the Public Hearing Report is provided in the separate enclosure for the information of Councillors.  In addition to the community issues, the independent chair raised 8 other points for Council’s consideration.

 

Community Issues

1.   Changes to Open Space

The submissions highlight the importance of maintaining sufficient open space for both current and future residents, particularly in the Town Centre where continued residential growth is anticipated.

 

The assessment of open space and recreational needs is complex.  It needs to consider the specific needs of the current and future community, the amount (or quantum) of open space required, the location, availability, accessibility, type and quality of the open space.  An assessment of open space needs must also recognise that people will travel to different facilities depending on their ability, needs or desired activities.  For example, people may be prepared to travel further to open space facilities for regular organised sports than they might to simply relax or walk or allow children to play.

 

Similarly, open space provided within highly urbanised centres needs to be sized, designed and managed to satisfy a wider range of uses and user groups than do open space areas in less densely settled areas and suburbs.  Open spaces in urban centres also play an important role in the way they relate to adjoining land uses.  Properly designed, urban parks can activate centres, connect places of activity, assist in cooling and providing weather protection, and provide a setting for a wide range of community, cultural and recreational engagements.

 

The suburb of St Marys (including the Town Centre) is well serviced with approximately 107 hectares of green open space across all normal recreational categories including active district parks, local parks, pocket parks, natural areas and linear drainage reserves.  55 hectares of this is categorised as local open space and includes Kokoda and Lang Parks.  In recent years, Council has invested in significant upgrades of local parks, Ripples Aquatic Centre and Coachmans Park.  Council is also finalising designs for a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Kingsway and South Creek Park to provide a major recreation facility for regional, district and local organised sport as well as casual and passive recreation. A plan showing the location of the open space areas serving St Marys is provided at Attachment 3.

 

The population of the suburb of St Marys is currently estimated to be 12,697 and is forecast to grow to 17,833 (an increase of 5,136).  The historical standard applied to general open space provision in New South Wales is 2.83 hectares per 1,000 people.  This standard is generally significantly lower in highly urbanised settings and centres.  For example, Penrith City Centre is planned to accommodate open space at a rate of 1.64 hectares per 1,000 people.  The provision of local open space in St Marys (55 hectares) equates to 4.33 hectares of local open space per 1,000 people now and 3.08 hectares per 1,000 people in 2036.

 

23 hectares of local and pocket parks, including Astley Park, Bennett Park, Jack Jewry Reserve, Ross Place and Victoria Park are within a 10 minute walk of the Town Centre.  A little further afield (10-15 minute walk) are the district spaces provided in the South Creek Corridor as well as the Ripples Aquatic Centre.  The Town Centre itself contains 22,200m2 of open space, with 20,800m2 of green space provided by Lang and Kokoda Parks and 1,400m2 of urban space in Coachmans Park.  The 2013 Net Community Benefit Test established that Kokoda and Lang Parks are currently underutilised.

 

Should Kokoda and Lang Parks be reclassified and ultimately included in a redevelopment proposition, this is not intended to result in the loss of the total area of those parks for open space/recreation purposes.  The draft Concept Plan was prepared to illustrate how future development on the Land could occur in a manner that:

·     Integrates effectively with Queen Street

·     Delivers an enhanced town square and east west connecting street in more practical locations than those anticipated by the Masterplan, and

·     Replaces some of the current open space in a more useable configuration.

Attachment 4 presents two plans illustrating the draft Concept Plan approach and Attachment 5 compares the current open space in Lang and Kokoda Parks with a future open space configuration in more detail.  The implementation of the draft Concept Plan would create a net useable open space of approximately 14,000m2, limiting the loss of current open space in the Town Centre to approximately 8,000m2 (36%).  The amount of local open space within a 10 minute walk is reduced by 3.5%, whilst the amount of local open space in the suburb of St Marys is reduced by 1.45%.

The reconfigured open space would equate to 4.26 hectares of local open space per 1,000 people now and 3.03 hectares per 1,000 people in 2036.  This represents a reduction in the current provision of 0.07 and 0.05 hectares per 1,000 people respectively.  The comparison of this provision against contemporary benchmarks, both those adopted by Council or set by the Department, demonstrates a sufficient supply of local open space to service both current and future populations.  The overall provision of open space in the suburb of St Marys is not adversely affected.

 

The potential outcome shown in the draft Concept Plan reconfigures the open space in the Town Centre to provide a connected, integrated and activated contemporary urban space – the type of space that the Town Centre is currently lacking.  This space would:

·     be multi-purpose with a much wider range of activities, uses and users than the current open space

·     have active edges and encourage the redevelopment of existing degraded service areas to address the new space

·     provide opportunities for green infrastructure, water features and artificial shading -  helping to cool the Town Centre

·     link retail locations encouraging the sharing or spill over of activity (and associated economic benefits) between Queen Street and any redevelopment of the St Marys Village Shopping Centre, and

·     connect the Town Centre to the facilities in the South Creek Corridor including Ripples Aquatic Centre, BMX track, sports fields and an archery field.

In addition to public open spaces, new development facilitated by the reclassification may also provide additional spaces with new or enhanced recreational and cultural opportunities such as outdoor dining and cafés, a new library and/or community facilities and indoor recreational pursuits such as cinemas.

In response to the matters raised regarding the potential loss of open space, Parkland Planners (open space and recreation consultants) were engaged to independently validate the above assessment. The consultant confirmed that St Marys is well served with open space and that the open space in the Town Centre (particularly Kokoda and Lang Parks) are underutilised.

The consultant concluded by expressing the view that while it is not desirable to reduce open space in the Town Centre, the reconfiguration of current open space provides an opportunity to offset any loss through the provision of a new town park/square with facilities and settings that the community are more likely to use and which reflect contemporary urban public spaces. The report observed that quantity of open space is not always desirable over quality which encourages its use.

From this discussion, it is considered that:

·     The current provision of open space servicing the Town Centre and within the suburb of St Marys substantially exceeds accepted standards both to serve the current and planned future populations to 2036

·     The current configuration of Lang and Kokoda Parks is sub optimal for its urban centre setting and is underutilised

·     The reclassification of Lang and Kokoda Parks and their reconfiguration as part of a future redevelopment of the Land will not result in a significant net loss of open space and will still exceed accepted standards of provision, and

·     With good design, the reconfigured open space can provide a much more relevant, activated space that will satisfy local recreational and cultural needs, will create improved connections between activities and places in the Town Centre and will stimulate new economic and community uses on adjoining land to the benefit of St Marys.

Council also has the option to take some or all of the following additional measures to provide the community with comfort and certainty about future open space outcomes:

·     the newly configured space would form an extended Kokoda Park (part of a connected urban space through to Queen Street)

·     the newly configured urban park would maintain and improve the interpretation of historic associations

·     the city wide development control plan can be amended to confirm requirements for the reconfigured open space and its core features to guide future development and future public domain improvements, and

·     the newly configured open space can be considered for reclassification back to Community Land if required.

2.   Changes to Car Parking

The concerns raised in the submissions relate to the potential loss of current public car parking spaces.  The submissions highlight the importance of maintaining these spaces as they service the existing retail premises in Queen Street.

The land proposed to be reclassified provides approximately 250 public car parking spaces, with 140 marked spaces adjacent to the Station Plaza Shopping Centre and 110-120 spaces located between Carinya Avenue and West Lane.

 

Council has the ability, as the owner of the land, to require any development to replace the current provision.  This could be achieved on-site in new developments or elsewhere in the Town Centre.  As part of any future development of the land, Council can require that replacement public car parking be free, un-timed and located and designed in a way that continues to support Queen Street trading.  For example, pedestrian access points can be orientated and located closer to Queen Street rather than be seen to service new development on the land.

In addition to the above requirements, if the land proposed to be reclassified is developed with new or expanded shopping centres, the volume of car parking that will be delivered for those developments will provide a significant boost to short stay car parking provision in the Town Centre.  It is highly likely that all new car parking in new developments will be underground or covered in decked structures, well lit, secure (CCTV) and easily accessible (steps, ramps, escalators and lifts).

 

3.   Economic Impacts

The submissions also refer to potential negative economic impacts on existing premises that might arise if the retail floor space in the Town Centre is increased.

 

A potential increase in competition from new or additional retail or commercial development is, understandably, a concern for existing traders. This will be a fundamental consideration for Council in the future should a development application be submitted for land uses which have a potential economic impact on the overall performance of the St Marys Town Centre’s traders and businesses.

 

However, in addressing this issue for the purpose of this proposed reclassification, it is important, for context, to note that:

·     the reclassification proposal is not related to a rezoning of the Land to permit additional commercial or retail land uses.  The land is already zoned B4 Mixed Use in LEP 2010 permitting a wide range of retail, commercial and residential development

·     the reclassification proposal is not related to a specific development application or sale or disposition to any party for the purpose of retail or commercial development.  Whilst Council has received approaches from the owners and operators of the existing shopping centres and is exploring those propositions, reclassification of the Land does not commit Council to any development or commercial outcome on the Land.  Any such considerations would be subject to separate decision making processes and would be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation and guidelines, and

·     the impacts of competitive trade between parties is not a planning consideration other than in cases where it is assessed that the nature of competition constrains the extent and adequacy of services available to a community.

 

In developing the Strategy for St Marys, Council examined the role that the two major retail developments played – both as a magnet and as a competitor to other businesses.

The independent economic analyses carried out in 2004 (to inform the Strategy) and in 2013 (to understand the effects of expanding St Marys Village and Station Plaza shopping centres) found that the Town Centre, as a whole, is performing poorly and that the expansion of one or both of the shopping centres would improve the Town Centre’s overall economic performance.  The Town Centre has lost and continues to lose trade to Penrith and Mt Druitt because of the range of shops and services these centres provide.

 

The 2013 economic analysis identified that the additional retail demand to support the current and future residents of St Marys is mainly for additional supermarket and discount department store floor space.

 

The 2013 economic analysis included impact testing based on current retail trends, that demonstrated that the expansion of one or both of the shopping centres could substantially stimulate the economic performance of the Town Centre and result in increased overall levels of trade and revenues, expand and contemporise the range of goods and services provided in the Town Centre and generate significant additional jobs for the local community. 

 

It was also identified that there would be a range of impacts for some traders in Queen Street and other nearby retail centres in terms of initial reductions in trade and recovery periods.  The extent of these impacts and duration of recovery periods will vary depending on the nature, timing and extent of expansions of Station Plaza and St Marys Shopping Village either separately or in combination.

 

As the second largest key centre in the Penrith local government area, St Marys and its surrounding suburbs are set for significant growth in terms of population, major economic stimuli and the provision of State and National level infrastructure.  It is important that St Marys is appropriately positioned to respond to this growth and provides a contemporary centre that meets the demands of its current and future population and workforce for goods and services.

 

In this regard, it is important to manage the future growth in the Town Centre in a way that maximises the positive aspects and minimises any negative impacts to deliver a net community benefit.  The 2013 economic analysis identified principles to assist in capturing trade that is currently lost from the Town Centre and to facilitate positive economic spill over effects for Queen Street from any future expansion of the existing shopping centres.  These include the provision of an appropriate supply and location of parking, increased amenity, improved retail offering (modern supermarkets, a discount department store, fashion stores), indoor recreational and entertainment facilities, and the linking of the shopping centres to Queen Street.

 

Also, the economic analysis concluded that if the expanded shopping centres are integrated with Queen Street, then the potential for spill over shopping and other engagement into Queen Street could somewhat mitigate negative initial trade impacts.  This would be more appropriate than a stand-alone expanded large retail centre. The integration of any expanded shopping centres can be secured with appropriate development controls that require high activity uses close to Queen Street, short connections and a seamless public domain.  The specific design treatments of any future development on the Land to maximise positive spill over effects for Queen Street would also be a focus of negotiations with potential purchasers of the Land and at the development application stage.

 

One issue raised in submissions is that any additional retail floor space should be provided through “building up” in Queen Street and not on the Land.  As identified in the 2013 economic analysis, the primary demand for additional retail floor space in St Marys is for modern supermarkets and discount department stores.  These types of retail premises require a considerable site area to accommodate the built footprint in specific dimensions for effective operation (4,500-7,000m2) and the car parking to support them.  The ability to consolidate multiple smaller property holdings in Queen Street to achieve viable landholdings for these purposes presents a considerable blockage and is unachievable in the Town Centre.  The only undeveloped sites in the Town Centre with viable site areas that meet this requirement are those proposed to be reclassified.

 

In summary, the 2013 economic analysis identifies that, while the expansion of one or both of the existing shopping centres would have negative implications for some existing traders in Queen Street, expansion would result in a net community benefit in the economic performance of the centre by reinvigorating the poorly performing Town Centre, increasing the retail offering, attracting more visitors and, in turn, improving the retail vitality and viability of the Town Centre as a whole.  Further, with a considered approach to the design of the expanded centres, the potential positive spill over effects can help to minimise the impacts on existing traders.

 

4.   Cooling the Town Centre

The concerns raised in the submissions relate to the increase in the urban heat island effect in and around the Town Centre because of the loss of current green spaces or green infrastructure provided by Kokoda and Lang Parks.  Apart from these parks, the remainder of the Land is occupied by car parking with little to no green infrastructure.  This makes the Land and adjacent roads and developments, which also have little to no green infrastructure, significant heat sinks.  This contributes to higher ambient temperatures in the Town Centre.

 

In August 2015, Council adopted the Cooling the City Strategy, a strategy that recognises the importance of taking action to cool the City and its urban areas, in conjunction with supporting the community to adapt to a changing climate.  The Cooling the City Strategy identifies a range of solutions to help cool urban areas, including living and non-living solutions.  Non-living solutions include reflective and light coloured surfaces on roads, walkways and roofs, whilst living solutions include:

·     green infrastructure, such as street trees, rain gardens, green roofs and walls that provides shade and soften hard surfaces, and

·     Water Sensitive Urban Design that reduces water usage and retains water in the landscape by mimicking natural systems.

 

The Cooling the City Strategy also recognises that in times of extreme heat these solutions might not be sufficient to reduce temperatures to a comfortable level, subsequently recognising the contribution that large commercial and recreational developments such as shopping centres, clubs and cinemas make by providing places of respite.

 

Any redevelopment of the Land provides opportunities to enhance the cooling of the Town Centre, including the provision of:

·     new green infrastructure (new or improved planting or green roofs and walls) in new developments and public spaces

·     light coloured, or reflective roofs on new buildings, as well as on roadways and other surfaces

·     artificial water features and shade structures in public spaces

·     shaded car parking in underground or decked structures, and

·     places of respite from extreme conditions.

Council has the ability, as the owner of the land and in its development controls, to require any development of the Land to include the above solutions.

 

5.   Probity of Council’s processes

The matters raised relate to the probity of Council’s processes considering its role in both planning and property negotiations.  The concerns also queried the adequacy of the exhibition material and whether it met relevant guidelines.

 

As with any significant proposals or dealings involving community land or other land in Council’s ownership, Council adheres strictly to relevant legislation and guidelines related to probity and transparency and introduces additional probity measures to facilitate external auditing and scrutiny where necessary or desirable.

 

In the current processes of progressing the reclassification of the Land in line with Council’s resolution/s and managing any discussions with potential purchasers of the Land, Council commissioned the preparation of an independent probity plan to guide and separate the processes of planning and property negotiations. The probity plan has been managed by Council’s Governance officers and audited by the independent author of the plan.

 

In relation to this matter the independent chairman in his Report on the Public Hearing saw “no evidence of probity concerns in regard to the steps taken to date” and “the fact that both of the enclosed shopping centre operators had expressed interest in expansion has not been hidden”.  In addition to the oversight of the reclassification process through the probity plan and the public hearing, the State Government’s Gateway Process provides significant scrutiny of the planning process.

 

The Department of Planning outlines the material that must be publicly exhibited, either specifically in its Gateway Determination, or more generally, in the guidance and practice notes that it issues.  The Planning Proposal placed on public exhibition was in the form approved for community consultation by the Gateway Determination.  It clearly identified the Land, how, when and why it was acquired by Council, and how the reclassification implemented the adopted Strategy.  The Planning Proposal was also supported by a set of documents including the Strategy, Masterplan, 2013 economic analysis and draft Concept Plan.  The material placed on public exhibition is therefore considered to meet the requirements of the Department’s guidelines, including the specific information required for reclassification proposals.

 

In summary, the processes undertaken to date, and the documentation provided to support the reclassification of the Land, meets all requirements of the relevant legislation and guidelines. The additional steps undertaken to manage the process have been designed to ensure a high standard of probity and transparency.

 

6.   How the returns from the sale or development of the land would be used

As with any public land reclassification process, the community is keenly interested in how the proceeds of any future land sale/transfer etc. will be used.  This has been reflected in submissions to both the public exhibition and public hearing.

 

Council’s practice in relation to the proceeds from the sale of its land, has been to reinvest the funds generated into either “local” projects or “city shaping” projects. This same practice would be followed in this case. The proportion directed to either of the categories (in this case “local” being within St Marys and “city shaping” being throughout the city) would be a matter for Council’s determination if and when the sale of the land is being considered in the future.

 

The types of projects that could be considered for St Marys include, but are not limited to:

·     New or improved community facilities to service the growing population, such as a library and community meeting rooms

·     New or improved public spaces, including the embellishment and reinterpretation of historic associations

·     Upgraded infrastructure such as roads, drainage, footpaths, cycle ways and car parks

·     New strategic commercial developments to further stimulate the Town Centre economy, and

·     Implementation of other actions in the Strategy such as way finding programs and commissioning of public art etc.

 

The consideration of future funding of projects would provide an opportunity to further engage with the community about how the funds could be used to benefit the Town Centre.

 

7.   Historic associations

The submissions raise the issue of the potential loss of historic associations with or provided by Kokoda and Lang Parks.

 

A number of historic associations that have particular significance for St Marys and its community are provided by Kokoda and Lang Parks, including:

·     Kokoda Park’s links to the Kokoda Campaign and the St Marys Munitions Factory

·     the Robin Wiles Walkway dedicated to the memory of Robin Wiles, who grew up in St Mary’s and served the community as a Councillor of Penrith City Council and President of the St Marys Development Committee, and

·     Alexander (Sandy) Lang who was a well-known and active member in the community.

 

It is recommended that these historic associations are given enhanced prominence through refreshed interpretation in any reconfigured public open space.  The reconfiguration and subsequent embellishment of the open space also provides opportunities to interpret other important historical, cultural and community associations in the Town Centre.  This can be secured through additional development controls and through any future negotiations with prospective purchasers and developers.

 

Summary of report from Public Hearing

The report from the public hearing (the Report) forms part of the collection of documents before Council to inform its consideration of progressing the reclassification proposal.  The Report provides a summary of the views expressed at the hearing and within written submissions and provides conclusions as drawn by the independent chair mindful of the reclassification proposal and the submissions.  These conclusions include eight points for Council’s consideration and are described as a set of “framing principles” to guide processes going forward.  The following table sets out the eight points and a corresponding response.

No.

Consideration

Response

1

Can the underlying purpose of the reclassification be re-affirmed?

The reclassification of the Land will allow Council and the community to consider a number of opportunities, including new development, that deliver, in a balanced way, numerous actions from the adopted Strategy.  The Land can be used to foster economic investment, generate jobs, facilitate new development, create friendly and attractive public places, contribute to a cultural and entertainment precinct, and improve parking and access in the Town Centre.

 

Council will need to work with the community and private industry to identify and deliver specific outcomes that implement the Strategy as and when the Land is developed. 

2

If enlivening the St Marys public domain is the priority, what conditional parameters would be needed for the expansion of enclosed shopping centres and how would apparent conflicting priorities be managed?

Amending the development controls to incorporate the recommendations of the 2013 economic analysis and the draft Concept Plan allows Council to:

·   identify and secure the land to be retained as open space

·   specify the form and design of new developments, and

·   where new development needs to be integrated with Queen Street, how it connects with Queen Street.

These controls provide the next level of detail down from the Masterplan and draft Concept Plan and would form the ongoing framework for negotiations for any sale of the Land and directly influence development proposals.

3

If there were to be significant expansion to retail floor space in the enclosed shopping centres is it also time to consider the “crimping” of the existing supply?  For example: this includes the idea of acknowledging the length of Queen Street and considering a different role and different uses for the naturally weakest retailing areas.

The 2013 economic analysis considered this aspect and concluded that Queen Street would evolve to accommodate new and changing opportunities along its length.  This is already occurring with recent developer interest in residential development at the northern end of Queen Street close to the train station.

 

The B4 Mixed Use zone applied to the Town Centre in 2010 is flexible, permitting a wide range of commercial, retail, business and residential uses.  This already allows private industry to be creative and innovate in response to market changes.  Council will continue to explore equitable measures that can encourage further evolution of the southern end of Queen Street and the station precinct into predominantly residential outcomes.

4

How would the ideas of better pedestrian connectivity and a town square be advanced? 

Amending applicable development controls to incorporate the recommendations of the 2013 economic analysis and the draft Concept Plan allows Council to identify and secure the land to be retained as open space and how it should be configured.  In addition, a commitment to invest a proportion of the return from the sale of the Land into the Town centre would provide the funds for, amongst other things, the embellishment of new and improved public domain.

 

A commitment to reinvestment of funds in the Town Centre also provides opportunities for new or improved community facilities, upgraded infrastructure or the implementation of other actions from the Strategy.

5

The Strategy notes the importance of partnerships with both private sector (ie investors) and community sector in the transition process for St Marys.  For example: what dialogue processes would be initiated to build these partnerships.  Can innovative approaches be adopted which encourage openness to possibilities rather than position taking by those with fixed interests.

The amendment of development controls, identification of spending priorities for the return from the sale of the land, and future development applications provide significant opportunities to engage with the community on what it sees as important to the growth of the Town Centre.

 

Collaborations between Council, other landowners, and private developers will need to achieve the outcomes of the Strategy and will be facilitated by reclassification of the Land.

6

How is the best way to provide increased clarity on the financial parameters involved in the potential future sale of the land?

Any decision to sell the Land would need to consider the form of the development proposed to ensure it implements the Strategy.  Council has not been presented with, considered or endorsed a final development proposal for the Land.  Such a proposal is essential to be able to calculate the value of the Land.  This means that the potential financial return from the sale of the Land is unknown at this time.

 

However, committing reinvestment of a proportion of the commercial return to the Town Centre and identifying spending priorities would provide some clarity and certainty around the future use of any financial return.

7

How is Council managing questions of probity and conflicts of interest?

Refer to the section of this report titled 5. Probity of Council’s processesIn relation to this matter the Report on the Public Hearing saw “no evidence of probity concerns in regard to the steps taken to date”.

8

How can the process both be welcoming of investment interest and also establish “stop points”, such that when the risk to the original purpose is too high, and loss of the open space seems a false step, then the process is set aside. 

Establishing the suggested stop point(s) would not allow for the full implementation of the Strategy.  The use of the land adjacent to the two shopping centres to integrate any future redevelopment with Queen Street is considered fundamental to achieving the outcomes in the Strategy.

 

The potential reconfiguration of open space indicated in the draft Concept Plan is not considered to present a significant loss of open space.  In addition, the reduction in the quantum of open space is considered to be offset directly (with the provision of contemporary urban public space) and indirectly (because of the use of any commercial return to embellish new and existing open spaces).

 

The other benefits that could be derived from the redevelopment of the land also need to be considered, including fostering economic investment, generating jobs, facilitating new development, creating a cultural and entertainment precinct, and improving parking and access in the Town Centre.

 

Conclusion

The reclassification proposal does not include any proposal to sell or develop the Land.  Such considerations are subject to separate processes and decisions.  In addition, the reclassification does not commit Council to the sale or development of the Land, nor does it remove the Land from Council’s ownership or prevent the current use of the Land from continuing.  This means that it is premature to focus on a settled outcome, its particular impacts and how these might be addressed.

 

Nevertheless, the purpose of the reclassification is to enable Council and the community to consider opportunities to grow the Town Centre in ways which implement the Strategy.  This includes the reconfiguration and development of some of the public land in the Town Centre.  In light of this, the correct response to address the issues at this time is to establish a set of ground rules that identify and respond to the community’s concerns to guide Council’s future decisions about the sale and development of the Land.

 

The recommendations to this report outline how to establish these ground rules and should provide the community with certainty around the reclassification proposal and any future decisions about the Land.  It is therefore recommended that Council proceed with the reclassification subject to these qualifications that respond to the issues raised by the community and the independent chair of the public hearing.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Reclassification of Public Land in St Marys Town Centre be received.

2.    Council proceed with the proposed reclassification of the land identified in Attachment 2.

3.    The General Manager be granted delegation to make any necessary minor changes required to the Planning Proposal (provided separately to Councillors as a separate enclosure and available on Council’s website) before submitting it to the Minister for Planning.

4.    Council officers forward the Planning Proposal to the Minister for Planning with a request that he make the necessary amendments to Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2010.

5.    Any reconfigured public open space resulting from a future sale and development of the land identified in Attachment 2 be named and designed to enhance the interpretation of current historic associations.

6.    Any future commercial negotiations for the sale and development of the land identified in Attachment 2 include a requirement that the current public car parking provision be replaced in full and that it be provided as free, untimed parking that is sited and designed to support retail and commercial premises in Queen Street.

7.    Should any sale of the land identified in Attachment 2 be agreed in the future, Council undertake an exercise to identify spending commitments and priorities for the proceeds of that sale.

8.    Penrith Development Control Plan 2014 be amended to secure the:

a.   desired configuration of public open space

b.   appropriate integration and connection of any expansion of the existing shopping centres with Queen Street, and

c.   implementation of actions from the Cooling the City Strategy in all new substantial development in the Town Centre.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

Extract of the 2007 Masterplan

1 Page

Attachments Included

2.  

Land Proposed to be Reclassified

1 Page

Attachments Included

3.  

St Marys Open Space Network

1 Page

Attachments Included

4.  

Extract of 2015 Draft Concept Plan

2 Pages

Attachments Included

5.  

Comparison of Lang and Kokoda Parks with a Potential Reconfigured Open Space

1 Page

Attachments Included

   


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


Outcome 3 - We can get around the City

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        Construction Specification for Civil Works                                                                      19

 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                            30 November 2015

 

 

 

2

Construction Specification for Civil Works   

 

Compiled by:               Michael Alderton, Development Engineering Co-ordinator

Authorised by:            Adam Wilkinson, Engineering Services Manager  

 

Outcome

We can get around the City

Strategy

Provide a safe, efficient road network supported by parking

Service Activity

Provide a certification service for development related civil assets

      

 

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to seek Councils endorsement of the final version of the updated Construction Specification for Civil Works. The report recommends that the document be endorsed.

Background

Council at the Policy Review Committee on 14 October 2013 considered a report on ‘Construction Specification for Civil Works (Working Draft)’. The report advised that an updated construction specification for civil works had been developed to provide a contemporary standard for the construction of all civil assets associated with development within the Penrith LGA.

Table 1 below has been reproduced from the October 2013 report and highlights a number of key changes that were incorporated into the specification.

Table 1

Key Changes

Specified Item

Changes

Reason

General

Definitions, engineering procedures and amendments table added. References to external standards and specifications updated. 

To contemporise the document. To provide better guidance for the construction industry.

Recycled Pavement and Drainage Backfill materials

Specifications added.

To ensure that recycled products installed are fit for purpose and to provide better guidance to the Construction industry in relation to Council’s acceptance of recycled pavement and drainage backfill materials.

FRC Pipes

Collars required

To ensure integrity of future Council assets

Path Paving

Specified to be installed prior to release of the subdivision certificate.

 

 

Specifications modified to accommodate new paving machines.

To ensure paths are provided to level to promote walk ability. To avoid issues with

future owners and provide them with certainty on path locations.

To address the different constraints and qualities between hand poured and machine works.

Kerb and gutter profile

Concrete base thickness increased.

To align better with pavement profiles and construction techniques and to limit damage that occurs during construction.

Precast pits

Specifications added to permit high quality precast pits in Council’s future roads.

High quality pits can now be manufactured from specifications on design plans.

Specified Item

Changes

Reason

Sign  Installation & Linemarking

Sign installation specification added.

To provide better guidance for Council’s requirements regarding the installation of signs and limit the amount of rectification works that are currently occurring.

Stormwater Outlets

Galvanised steel outlet to replace PVC

Eliminate damage to kerb and provide better quality and consistency.

Compliance documentation

Specifications added including the requirement for CCTV.

To provide better guidance in relation to documentation to be provided at the completion of works.

Standard Drawings

Drawings updated

To provide greater clarity and be consistent with changes made to the specification.

 

At its meeting of 14 October 2013 Council resolved that:

1.    The information contained in the report on Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works (Working Draft) be received.

2.    Council endorse the Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works (Working Draft) for the purpose of exhibition and consultation with the industry.

3.    Council endorse minor amendments to be made to Council’s Engineering Guidelines for Subdivision and Other Development - Part 1: Design to ensure consistency between the two documents.

4.    The Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works (Working Draft) be applied to civil works associated with Development Applications lodged after Council’s endorsement of the document.

5.    At the conclusion of the exhibition a report be presented to Council for adoption of the final document.

6.    References to the Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works (Working Draft) be updated in the next version of Council’s Development Control Plan.

7.    The final specification be reviewed by Engineering Services and City Works periodically with only substantial amendments to be reported to Council.

The new document was provided to consultants and contractors in the construction industry for their comment and feedback; with the intention to supersede the document titled ‘Councils Engineering Guidelines for Subdivisions and Other developments – Part 2 : Construction’.

 

Current Situation

 

The working draft was provided to contractors and consultants such as JK Williams, J Wyndham Prince and Western Earth Moving, and feedback was provided with regard to several elements in the document including but not limited to drainage pits and pipes, sub soil drains and footpath paving.  Additionally the Working Draft has been in use since that time as Councils adopted standard for Civil Construction works. The working draft allowed Council officers to ‘test’ the amended specification on Civil Construction projects and make amendments to the document to ensure civil assets are constructed to a high standard.

 

Subsequently, and in consultation with the industry, amendments have been made to the working draft that have now been incorporated into the final document for Councils endorsement.

 

Those amendments focus on updated Engineering drawings, contractors final inspection checklist, together with minor wording changes and inconsistencies rectified.

Conclusion

The Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works (Appendix 1) will provide better guidance and certainty to the development industry and will continue to ensure the delivery of quality civil assets to Council.

It is intended that the specification would be further reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains contemporary and that any identified deficiencies are rectified.

The upgrade to the construction specification is one of the first steps in providing a complete suite of engineering guidelines to better inform the construction industry of Council’s engineering requirements. It is also intended that the construction specification and other engineering guidelines will be placed on a dedicated page on Council’s website to provide a one stop shop for our customers.  The next critical project for the Development Engineering team will be the upgrade of Council’s engineering design guidelines.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Construction Specification for Civil Works be received.

2.    Council endorse the Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works.

3.    The Engineering Construction Specification for Civil Works be applied to civil works associated with Development Applications lodged after Council’s endorsement of the document.

4.    The final specification be reviewed by Engineering Services and City Works periodically with only substantial amendments to be reported to Council.

5.    Council officers write to our partners within the industry that provided feedback and commentary, thanking them for their time and input.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

Engineering Construction Specification 19 November 2015 Final

62 Pages

Attachments Included

   


 

 

Outcome 4 - We have safe, vibrant places

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

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Outcome 5 - We care about our environment

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

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Outcome 6 - We're healthy and share strong community spirit

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

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Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

3        Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report                                                 31

 

4        Penrith Aquatic & Leisure Limited - Annual Report and Board of Directors                    44

 

 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                            30 November 2015

 

 

 

3

Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report   

 

Compiled by:               Erich Weller, Community and Cultural Development Manager

Authorised by:            Ruth Goldsmith, Executive Manager - City Planning and Community  

 

Outcome

We have confidence in our Council

Strategy

Demonstrate transparency and ethical behaviour

Service Activity

Ensure that the organisation promotes ethical behaviour, risk management, transparent decision making and meets contemporary governance standards

 

Presenters:                  Ms Hania Radvan - CEO - Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report

                                      Mr Peter Anderson - Chairman - Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report      

 

Executive Summary

This report details the performance of the Performing and Visual Arts Ltd (PP&VA) for the financial year 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015.

 

The report recommends that the information be received and that Council endorse the appointment of Mr Tony Lackey and Ms Cathy Jarman as Directors of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd as outlined in the report.  The report also recommends that Council confirm its previous agreement to underwrite the operations of the Company until 1 December 2016.

Background

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (PP&VA) established in 2007, brought together Penrith’s leading cultural organisations, individually operating since the seventies, eighties and nineties. Operating on two sites, spanning the Nepean River, PP&VA brings together the production and presentation of performing and visual arts all underscored by education and access programs, including the Penrith Conservatorium of Music as well as operation of the Council-owned physical assets including management of the Penrith Regional Gallery art collection.

In 2014-15, the PP&VA delivered a range of programs, performances and activities in accordance with its previous Strategic Plan, extended to December 2015. The PP&VA also prioritised implementation of recommendations contained in an Australian Government funded Cultural Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC) Business Review Report. This review, completed in mid-2014 sought to independently test management priorities and assumptions to provide certainty for the Board in moving forward. In early 2015 PP&VA undertook a rigorous, consultant-supported Strategic Planning process to guide delivery from 2016-2018 and to support a funding application to Arts NSW for the same period.

 

In late 2014 in accordance with the CIIC report the Board prioritised a Human Resources Review through a consultant and with Council’s assistance to examine the employment arrangements at both sites and make recommendations to the Board. These were adopted in December 2014.  Fundamental to successful implementation was the appointment of a Business Manager, finally achieved in late June 2015 after the first round of advertisements in late 2014 failed to attract candidates of merit.

 

A special governance meeting held in early 2015 sketched out succession priorities and earmarked constitutional review and modernisation as a priority for future implementation. 

 

Operationally both sites experienced busy and productive years across all aspects of our complex cultural business.

 

The company continues to experience steady growth in numbers, but is focussed on increasing the depth and reach of experiences offered rather than simply increasing numbers.

 

Across its two sites it is estimated that PP&VA provides over six thousand hours of cultural access to around 300,000 annual participants. The ongoing staff ratio for this delivery is 7.5:1 (7.5 staff hours per public hour) – given the very intensive nature of the cultural production industry and the fact that we are managing a diverse and bi-located program, this ratio is very low.

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS for 2014/15 include:

1.  Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre – turns 25!

This important milestone was marked by several initiatives across the year, including the commissioning of a new work from one of Australia’s leading living composers, and long-time friend of The Joan, Elena Kats-Chernin. Supported by a special grant from Council, the commission enabled a new short work to be written inspired by the human voice - La Stupenda – a work about the life of Joan Sutherland which premiered at a Gala concert in August 2015 to great acclaim.

However, as occurred 25 years ago, the celebration commenced with community – through a partnered commission from Penrith Symphony Orchestra  Artistic Director Paul Terracini (performed at the PSO’s first concert for 2015), and in a community open day which saw all spaces inside and outside activated by free activities and workshops and showcase performances. The open day culminated with a ticketed (and sold out) afternoon concert from Archie Roach and Christine Anu.

 

2.   Artistic Development

Twinkle – A made by the Q production – inspired by local children’s stories of stars in the night sky and developed as a professional touring production that also included the opportunity for up to 40 primary school aged children to perform alongside three professional actors toured to the inaugural Sydney Children’s Theatre Festival at the Seymour Centre after premiering in Condoblin and Lake Cargelligo in Lachlan Shire, culminating in a season at The Joan in October 2014. Almost 150 children performed across the 3 seasons.

PP&VA continued to support performing and visual artists through opening up venues and providing access to professional (and collection/site) resources through Q Lab Artist Residencies – (Kay Armstrong, Mish Grigor, Suzanne Dunne and Cloe Fournier), and the Summer Studio Residencies – offering studio space for two emerging and mid-career visual artists for a six week period during summer (Terrence Combos, Catherine O’Donnell and Robert Musgrave).  

A stronger focus on providing casual cultural offerings with a strong social focus included the popular Sips and Sounds – held on Friday evenings in October through to March at the Gallery and trialling Winter Night Lights in The Joan’s Borland Foyer for the winter months. Both include a curated program of young local musicians providing quality free entertainment with bar and food available. For these events the Main Gallery remained open and at The Joan the WNL was often a precursor to the evening’s performance in the theatre, its success an indicator of the high value placed on a regular food offering on site.

 

3.   Artistic presentation and exhibition

 

Combining genres for first time and featuring leading Australian artistes Christine Anu, Archie Roach, Damien Leith, Rachel Beck, David Hobson and major companies including  the STC, QTC and ACO, The Joan launched its 25th Anniversary Subscription Season.

The re-launch of a subscription offer was a direct response to community behaviour and was rewarded by an almost 100% growth in numbers from 2014 ‘members’ to 2015 subscribers (just over 300). These subscribers, whilst only representing about 25% of total season ticket sales, provide a strong spine to our offering.  Our data also indicates that in our subscription season, 3519 tickets have been bought by patrons who did not buy any tickets in 2014, whilst 2637 have been bought by patrons already in our system. This growth bodes well for the future.  The offer was backed up by a new Joan Website - and strong growth in social media participation/digital access.

Stand out exhibition offerings at Penrith Regional Gallery included River to River – Interwoven Landscapes resulting from the partnership with Lachlan Shire and investigating how the Nepean and Lachlan rivers shape identity, culture and place. Artists Bev Coe (Wiradjuri) and Bronwyn Berman featured. An outstanding outcome for Bev was that two of her works were subsequently acquired by the Australian Museum – and one by Council.

Take a Seat - Australian Modernist Seating over the summer period offered an opportunity to exhibit many works from the Collection – particularly works by Margo Lewers, alongside the seating – which, by observation, appeared to attract many more men into the Gallery – always a good thing.

Home Front - 100 Year commemoration of the Gallipoli Campaign was extremely popular. The exhibition suite included Catherine O’Donnell drawings partnered with Australian War Memorial artefacts, Attack – Japanese Midget Subs in Sydney Harbour by Ken Done and Seeking Humanity – Portraits of Refugees and Asylum Seekers by Wendy Sharpe. We were delighted that the exhibition was opened by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), the Governor of NSW and a performance by the Uzunstein Chamber Orchestra with new works commemorating the fallen of Gallipoli.

 

 

 

4.   Community

The Joan’s Access Ensemble performed at Showoff Arts Festival in Parramatta in November 2014 and a new partnership with Down Syndrome NSW was forged. The access program continues as an important aspect of both sites – running as a core commitment of the Company to offer quality arts interactions and experiences to all in our diverse community, including those living with disability. We also partnered with Penrith City Council (working with community organisations and networks) and with a corporate partner to deliver free tickets to those living with disadvantage – economic, social or physical to enable attendance at quality professional theatre experiences (Circus Oz, Monkey - Journey to the west and Chalk About).  Further partnerships continue to deliver the Agile Not Fragile weekly contemporary dance class for seniors and support the Sign and Seniors Choirs.

The multi layered Penrith Regional Gallery project City of Plenty which involved an artist residency (Sarah Goffman), installation exhibition and community (Oz Harvest, Penrith Community Kitchen, CANA Farm) and schools (Caroline Chisholm College, St Dominic’s College) partnerships as well as a fund raising aspect has recently been recognized by winning the 2015 Museums & Galleries of NSW annual IMAGinE Award for Community Engagement.

 

5.   Education

 

Penrith Strings Launched – this new and exciting partnership between The Joan, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Penrith Symphony Orchestra launched in January 2015, having secured two–year funding through the Crown Resorts Foundation Western Sydney Cultural Fund. Providing opportunities for young string players to extend their skills in an ensemble setting and to be taught by leading Australian professional musicians, the program is step 1 of working towards establishing a Penrith Youth Orchestra.

 

Time Piece – the Q’s Annual Festival for high schools (artists working with local students to create new works) occurred in June 2015. This well established and popular program has seen further refinement, which will continue into the future – positioning it as an important local initiative in young artist development and as an educational opportunity offered within a professional arts industry context.

Secondary School art program development – The Gallery has prioritised working with the secondary school sector in ways which open up its collection, give access to artists in residence, enable exhibition opportunities, and the creation of on-line resources which connect the visual arts syllabus with the exhibition program. Two local schools (Caroline Chisholm College and St Dominic’s College) took part in the project City of Plenty creating a blog which documented the project over a month long period. During the exhibition period Right Here Right Now, Caroline Chisholm College students exhibited ceramic works which responded to the Gallery site architecture, garden and artwork alongside ceramics of Margo Lewers in Ancher House.

 

The following major issues were of concern throughout 2014/15 – STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES/ UNMET NEED

1.   Technical equipment

The negotiated maintenance agreement which clarifies the relationship between PP&VA as operators and Council as facility owners is providing the much needed skills and resources to ensure both The Joan and The Gallery as popular and well utilised community cultural assets stay safe, functional, creative and accessible. 

 

Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

In late 2014 we were delighted to support a Penrith City Council Club Grant application for urgently needed technical upgrades to the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre focussing on the Richard Bonynge Concert Hall (being the venue most often used by community, and the one with equipment 25 years of age).

The resulting $500,000 grant and Council’s own $100,000 commitment plus the Company’s agreement to prioritise small equipment purchases to support new technical systems will have a very positive impact on our operations. It is however just the beginning. The independent consultant report and asset audit and replacement schedule commissioned by Council as part of the grants process highlights many issues not met by this first step.  The Consultant urged a structured asset management plan be developed as a priority.

Importantly the implementation stage revealed that the original technical list was too ambitious and that certain critical items needing urgent replacement will remain beyond the current project’s capacity.  Notably this includes the much needed replacement PA system – an item costing approximately $170,000.

The Consultant reported:

The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and its Theatres have been well maintained over their life, although many systems are at the end of useful life and/or show evidence of limited funding at the time of construction, exacerbated by the passage of time and higher resource expectation of hirers.

 

It is timely to consider the suitability of existing facilities in a changed and highly competitive marketplace with greatly increased customer and hirer expectations for comfort and amenity in all public venues.

 

PP&VA thanks Council for its partnership and support and urges that the work continues as a priority beyond the grant, particularly in the area of asset renewal and capital planning to ensure that Penrith is positioned strongly into the future as a creative, cultural and 21st century city with high liveability standards. Within the cultural industries, digital innovation and art form convergence as well as  the entertainment tastes of Generation Y and Millennials are seeing changes in asset development, with leading international performing arts consultants noting the need for increasingly flexible spaces and the emergence of cultural facilities as ‘community lounges’, that is relaxed social/cultural combination offerings.

The current infrastructure will not meet the needs of the Penrith of the future, and the development of residential offerings in the city is an opportunity to create a stand out offering to complement the fact that The Joan is already open until at least 9pm five days a week (rehearsals and conservatorium) and for weekend performances, providing opportunity to grow more diverse offerings. This remains beyond current operational capacity and physical configuration.

 

Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest

 

The charm of the Gallery location, the artist-designed garden, its history as a residence for leading Australian modernist artists Margo and Gerald Lewers all continue to be celebrated by each and every of the 1000+ visitors per week. Arguably this venue is now at capacity, given its residential setting and development limitations.

This venue too is in urgent need of a technical upgrade – and capital improvements to ensure the site is appropriate for its increased numbers of visitors and to ensure ongoing safety and  exhibition delivery in a 21st century context.

The Gallery received a quote to overhaul the temperamental and failing exhibition and site lighting at a cost of approximately $70,000.  Equally the Gallery does not have proper (that is exhibition-standard) climate control. This limits works that can be displayed as many institutions will not loan art works unless minimum conditions are met.  Equally the lack of adequate heating/cooling systems in staff work spaces is an ongoing issue often hindering productivity. The company looks forward to working with Council to address these issues most of which have been raised consistently for a number of years.

 

2.   Capital upgrades

Due to the level of demand from Gallery visitors at the café the use of the heritage kitchen at Penrith Regional Gallery no longer meets Council requirements – therefore the development of a replacement kitchen is an urgent priority we hope will be supported in the next financial year. The Company is seeking partners and progressing plans to ensure delivery of this project at a competitive price.  Additionally the increased visitation through public programs and with extended café hours (now operating to support Gallery hours that is reflecting a 7 day week) has resulted in a need to define the licensed area through extended paving (flagstones) in order to preserve the lawns and gardens. The approximate cost is between $50,000 and $60,000.

At the Joan, the addition of automatic doors in early 2015 met with many positive remarks from patrons young and old whose access has been immediately enhanced. Whilst the site is complex and with many heritage challenges, similar automatic doors into the Main Gallery would increase access and the sense of welcome into that site.

3.   Safety and the Mondo

PP&VA welcomes the upgrades to the Mondo space noting that increasingly over 2014 and 2015 since the conclusion of the partnered Mondo arts and activities project, the anti-social activities of congregated youth have increased to the point where on Thursday nights:

·    performances are rarely scheduled due to low numbers as patrons choose to stay away feeling intimidated and unsafe entering the Centre when groups of youths are congregated around its edges;

·    toilet doors on the ground level must be routinely locked and only opened for patrons upon request on a Thursday night to dissuade large group access and inappropriate behaviours; and

·    Conservatorium tutors avoid scheduling lessons due to safety concerns and fear of noise disturbance.

PP&VA hopes that the construction work will provide a break in the habits of congregated youth but notes it is likely that no significant changes are likely to occur until commercial and programmed cultural activity is designed and replaces the external spaces currently utilised.

 

4.   Operational, HR and business capacity     

The organisation has maintained focus on establishing consistent business systems across both sites and standardising processes. This has included locking into a season framework for all presentations, employing more full time staff in Venue Services to enable a more consistent customer experience and to minimise any perceived WHS risks as well as ensuring ongoing budgeting processes for artistic risk management.  This period saw the first full period under the reviewed organisational structure which moved away from historic entities into output teams. It is likely that further small changes will occur in 2016 as we position for growth and to enable delivery under the new Strategic Plan.

5.   Strategic Directions

The organisation intends to prepare an edited version of its new Strategic Plan for inclusion on the web site; however key elements are reproduced below for Council’s information:

 

PP&VA STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2018

This plan lays out the ground work that will:

Ø ensure young, emerging and established artists both local and guests can continue to explore, participate in and experience a wide variety of art forms in innovative and productive ways;

Ø ensure there is ever more quality art and entertainment on offer to attract audiences of greater numbers and diversity in a welcoming environment;

Ø communicate to our audiences our role and function in a way that attracts more people to engage in our programs and venues;

Ø provide regional and national leadership and advocacy for performing and visual arts initiatives;

Ø focus on promoting the physical assets so as to deliver dynamic and innovative programs to make the organisation more relevant and accessible for residents  and visitors; and

Ø ensure the administrative and governance functions of the organisation are in prime position to allow us to effectively fulfil our vision and mission.

 

VISION, MISSION AND VALUES

Our Vision

To be the arts and entertainment heart of Greater Western Sydney producing and presenting comprehensive programs of excellence, challenge, learning and diversity.

Our Mission

As the premier cultural entrepreneur of Greater Western Sydney to produce, present and promote the performing and visual arts at the highest level for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.  

Our Values

Our essential business is culture. However, in order to champion culture and the arts we need to be advocates, to build capacity, foster ideas, encourage innovation and welcome to our spaces and programs people of all abilities, cultures and circumstances. Therefore our values are as follows:

 

 

TEN YEAR OVERARCHING GOALS

The following Goals map the way forward, describe the key aims of the PP&VA and establish the base   from which our progress can be measured over the next three years and the next decade.

 

Creating a dynamic arts and cultural hub is the primary objective for the PP&VA management and leadership team. This has both medium and long term aspects.  PP&VA forms part of a wider cultural environment.  This three year plan is just the first step in setting out a more comprehensive view of the future not just for the organisation or the LGA but for the rapidly maturing and diversifying community that we serve in Western Sydney.  PP&VA is the not only player in this field. The three tiers of government, business, educational systems, new technologies and our many competitors in the entertainment industry are some of the factors at work in shaping and reshaping our environment. All these impact on both our artistic prospects as well as on our business planning.

 

The Strategic Plan (2016-18) is supported by annual operational plans, which will contain a greater level of detail concerning ongoing work, programming and project-specific activity, while also providing a baseline from which key performance measures can be assessed. What follows is a high level snapshot.

 

Goal 1:                        Programming - Deliver an imaginative and stimulating annual program that is high quality, targets diverse audiences, is broadly accessible and reaches the largest possible audience.

 

Goal 2:                        Community Engagement - Implement an integrated strategy that grows our reputation, stakeholder support, public attendance and community enrichment.

Goal 3:                        Assets and Venues - Maintain and develop PP&VA’s physical resources and systems in accordance with best practice in the sector so as to maximise usage and demand as the foremost cultural centre in the region.

Goal 4:                        Business and Management - Grow and maintain a seamless operation across the organisation so as to maximise value, efficiency, financial sustainability and service delivery to the community.

Goal 5:                        People and Culture - Build a positive and collaborative culture that attracts and retains the best possible professional team to bring our mission and objectives to life.

Goal 6:                        Governance - Strengthen our governance to ensure that we meet the highest standards of safety, environmental performance and business conduct across the organisation.

 

OUR TRIENNIAL PRIORITIES

The recent Deloitte report commissioned by the Sydney Business Chamber and Penrith, Liverpool and Parramatta city councils, Building Western Sydney’s Cultural Arts Economy – a key to Sydney’s success, outlined a compelling case for increased cultural investment in Sydney’s West. However it also brought to our attention, a striking statistic: that PP&VA’s per attendance subsidy was critically, in fact, unsustainably low.  With participation rates in excess of 300,000 annually across our sites and programs, PP&VA’s subsidy was less than half that of our nearest colleague at a mere $6.20 per attendee (Riverside- $14.15; Casula- $37.40; Campbelltown- $20.60; and Blacktown- $39.23). We are well loved and very well utilised – but at what cost?

PP&VA stands at a point where the logical business practice would be to cut programs in order to deliver less, but perhaps better. In the face of growing community and government expectations such a move could, conversely, prove disastrous. It is a paradox that that logic and our outstanding service delivery could have the effect of driving our business into the safe commercial zone and away from creativity and artistic risk-taking. We do not accept that as a reasonable option.

 

Our challenge is to broaden and deepen our programs and renew our infrastructure to meet community aspirations while ensuring that we continue to focus on long term sustainability.  We must build towards a critical mass of activity and support employment.

We must focus on building a Creative Penrith brand, which, while it goes beyond the scope of PP&VA alone, must be centred on our sites and programs.  To this end, we must continue to build our digital presence and home-grown content.

 

Meanwhile at The Joan we will continue our focus on regular programming rather than sporadic engagements, and at the Gallery build an even greater focus on key leisure times and public programs that extend audience engagement with our exhibitions, collections and site.

For that purpose the following four priorities set out our central and key challenges over the next triennium:

 

Priority

Commentary

1.   To grow our creative investments regardless of their financial ‘profitability’

We will quarantine funds for artistic development across the artforms so as to preserve our long-term creative health

Driver: funds for increased creative capital

2.   To establish and operate our artistic plan within three dimensions:
i)-developmental pathways,
ii)- inter-arts practice
and
iii)- creative vibrancy

Pathways – as a regional professional arts centre to shape opportunities that:  enable learning in the arts across all ages and grow opportunities for young and emerging artists in our region

Inter-arts - to dedicate space and opportunity to explore those creative possibilities offered by our joining of theatre, music and the visual arts

Vibrancy –to ensure that all work made by the PP&VA or through its auspices continues to be exciting, engaging, relevant, brave and of the highest standards

Driver: ongoing and increasing cultural and community relevance and support

3.    To improve and extend our infrastructure on both sites: to create a cohesive offering uniting elements of our staged development and addressing ageing components

Capital Review and Plan - render updates vital in the light of a changing social context and rapid advances in technology both within and supporting artistic practice. We welcome Council prioritizing PP&VA managed assets as the priority in any cultural capital infrastructure negotiations with the NSW government

Driver:  cultural, artistic, community and social opportunities arising from addressing our current limitations

4.    To increase subsidy from our partners and funders particularly where the direct subsidy is insufficient, limiting program growth

Allied to our commitment to grow and diversify earned and contributed income as a greater proportion of revenue.

There are two immediate areas of concern:

i)  Community hires at The Joan - where the highly subsidized rate is an ongoing cost to PP&VA but the market will not support any increases and the role is central to our artistic  and regional community; and

ii) Penrith Conservatorium of Music – which operates on an agency model and as our business has grown the lack of dedicated subsidy (and none from the State unlike other regional conservatoria), has limited program expansion and development

Driver:  increased business and revenue potential creating improved cultural and community outcomes

 

2014/15 Financial Result

The financial year saw a small surplus of $27,672 ($64,292 in 2013/14) with a retained surplus for 2014/15 totalling $266,885.

 

This result reflects the careful management and strict ongoing internal controls to ensure budgets are adhered to particularly given the somewhat unpredictable nature of theatrical entrepreneurial delivery.

 

Whilst this is a good result it is worth noting that, the accepted arts sector benchmark for Reserves and Surpluses (liquid assets) is 20% of turnover (generally accepted within the sector as expenses). PP&VA is at 23% only if all Reserves and Accumulated Surpluses are included. However the majority of Reserves relate to collection items that cannot easily (if at all) be sold. Cash reserves are at 9.3%, or just shy of 50% of the benchmark.

 

Benchmarks are assessable under both Australian Government and State Government funding programs and therefore it is recommended that the Company seek to grow Reserves over time. The Strategic Plan 2016-2018 embeds this intent.

 

GOVERNANCE

The current Constitution of the above Company provides, in part, that:

 

1.       To provide continuity the members of the Board of Directors, except for the General Manager or his/her nominee, shall retire on a rotating basis. At the first Annual General Meeting after 1 July 2006, five (5) Directors shall retire (including one (1) Councillor). At the second Annual General Meeting after 1 July 2006 five (5) directors shall retire (including one (1) Councillor). At the third General Meeting after 1 July 2006 five (5) directors shall retire. Thereafter, the members of the Board of Directors shall retire after they have served on the Board of Directors for three (3) years after appointment or re-appointment to the Board of Directors.

 

2.         All retiring Directors shall be eligible for re-appointment.

 

Council should note that, as per the Constitution, Mr Tony Lackey and Ms Cathy Jarman retired in accordance with the Constitution at the ninth Annual General Meeting of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd held on 28 October 2015. Both nominated for re-election. It was resolved, at the ninth Annual General Meeting of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd that Penrith City Council be requested to endorse the appointment of Mr Tony Lackey and Ms Cathy Jarman as Directors of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd.

 

At the first Board Meeting following the Annual General Meeting (held also on 28 October 2015) the election of the Executive took place with The Hon Peter Anderson AM re-elected as Chair, Mr John Mullane re-elected as deputy Chair and Council’s Executive Manager – City Planning and Community, Ruth Goldsmith (the General Manager’s representative), re-elected as Secretary.

 

Business Support Accountant

 

Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Limited (PP&VA) reported a net surplus of $27,672 for the 2014-15 financial year, after accounting for Council’s subsidy of $1,547,194. This is a decrease of $36,619 or 56.96% on their 2013-14 result of $64,291 surplus after accounting for Council’s subsidy of $1,506,518.

 

PP&VA relies on contributions and grants to assist in funding its operations.  Government Grants to the company decreased in 2014-15 to $400,300 from $526,892 in 2013-14, a decrease of 24.03%.

 

Revenue from PP&VA’s operating activities increased from $1,266,399 in 2013-14 to $1,493,246 in 2014-15. The increase in revenue of $226,847 or 17.91% is mainly due to an increase in Ticket Sales (19.67%) and Booking fees (55.57%).

 

Expenditure increased from $3,235,518 in 2013-14 to $3,418,068 in 2014-15. The increase in expenditure of $182,550 or 5.64% is mainly due to an increase in Producer Fees of 95.49%.

 

Summary

 

This report provides an overview of the operations of the PP&VA Ltd over the 2014/2015 year.  It also includes a number of highlights, a summary of challenges and an overview of the PP&VA Ltd 2016-2018 Strategic Plan.  An update on governance and board appointments is also provided.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd - Annual Report be received.

2.    Council endorse the appointment of Mr Tony Lackey and Ms Cathy Jarman as Directors of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd as outlined in the report.

3.    Council agree to underwrite the operations of the Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd until the presentation of the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.


Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                            30 November 2015

 

 

 

4

Penrith Aquatic & Leisure Limited - Annual Report and Board of Directors   

 

Compiled by:               Paul Sheen, General Manager - Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Limited

Authorised by:            Wayne Mitchell, Executive Manager - Environment & City Development  

 

Outcome

We have confidence in our Council

Strategy

Demonstrate transparency and ethical behaviour

Service Activity

Ensure that the organisation promotes ethical behaviour, risk management, transparent decision making and meets contemporary governance standards

 

Presenters:                  Paul Sheen - General Manager - Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Ltd - Annual Report and Board of Directors      

 

Executive Summary

 

This report to Council details the performance of Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Limited (‘PAL’ trading as ‘Ripples’) for the financial year ended 30 June 2015, improvements since and redevelopment plans for the future.

 

In relation to the 30 June 2015 financial year and before the effects of Council subsidy, the company recorded a similar operating result to that of the prior year (2015 deficit: $1,296,169, 2014 deficit: $1,271,315).  The most significant contributor to the 2015 result was a 2 percent decline in the revenue, caused by competitor encroachment in key business areas.  The decline in revenue was met with careful cost constraint, including winter closure of Penrith Pools.

 

Since then, initiatives have been developed in all areas of the business to improve revenue.  New gym memberships that target fitness only options have enhanced our competitiveness, as has renewed focus on our Learn to Swim program and Hydrotherapy business models.  IT infrastructure and business systems are also being developed to assist with member retention, improve efficiency and eliminate potential for revenue leakage.  After the first 4 months of the new 2016 financial year, we are proud to report the results of the business refocus are already visible.  To this point revenue was $99k above the prior year (7 percent increase), and expenditure $55k below the same equivalent (3 percent cost saving).  Collectively, we are $154k ahead of the prior year and on track to achieve our 2016 budget. 

 

Asset redevelopment options are also being considered.  At Penrith, these options link with full scale redevelopment masterplans, but target short term achievable aspects while we pursue State and Federal funding to get the remainder of the masterplan operational.  In relation to St Marys, redevelopment options consistent with the wider Western Sydney Recreation Precinct are being pursued and Federal funding applications have been lodged.

 

The report notes the re-appointment of the Chairman/Company Secretary and recommends Council endorse these appointments.  It also recommends that Council agree to underwrite the operations of PAL until the presentation of its 2015-2016 Annual Report.

 

Background

 

This report follows the Twenty First Annual General Meeting of PAL held on 27 October 2015 for the financial year ended 30 June 2015.  PAL was formed 21 years ago to manage PCC’s public pool operations at St Marys, specifically the indoor and outdoor pools, spas, sauna, gym and subsequently the Hydrotherapy centre.  In 2013 this role was expanded to include management of PCC’s public pool operations at Penrith. PCC continues to own and maintain all of the major pool assets at both facilities.

 

PAL’s principle objectives are to provide equitable access to the aquatic, health and fitness assets under its management, create best value packages to members of the community, to provide service consistent with PCC’s Community Strategic Plan and comply with appropriate legislation.  Our goal is to encourage safe, family and community wide participation whilst supporting the needs of local sporting entities such as swim clubs and other competitive aquatic users.

 

As PCC Councillors are aware, Ripples operations are heavily subsidised by the Council. This subsidy allows a low price point for the majority of community members to access infrastructure that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. 

 

The Chairman and General Manager, Alan Brown and Paul Sheen respectively, will be in attendance tonight to make a short presentation. Extracts from the Company’s most recent Annual General Meeting and Financial Report are also provided below.

Chairman’s Report

 

It gives me great pleasure to provide a summary of the 2015 financial year, being our 21st year of service for the residents of the Penrith Local Government Area. 

 

Ripples remains the standard in Fun, Fitness and Health.  We are the only gym operator in our area that carries peak ‘gold standard’ accreditation from Fitness Australia, we provide 50 group fitness sessions per week and service in excess of 1,000 members.  Our Learn to Swim program is by far the largest in the area.  In peak season we conduct approximately 500 classes each week, teaching vital life skills to 2,200 children ranging from toddlers to teens.  Ripples is well integrated with the local sporting community through sponsorship of its swim squads and access to professional coaching at both St Marys and Penrith Pools.  Our swim squad program engages 100 participants and punches above its weight with significant national level representation.  We also support water polo with Blue Mountains and Sydney West teams operating out of the St Marys facility.  Ripples Hydrotherapy Centre at St Marys is the largest of its kind in the City.  It continues to provide access to professional rehabilitation services, treating sports injuries, accident victims and an ageing population.  During the 2015 year, Ripples employed 173 people from Penrith and surrounding regions. We have trained many new people just joining the workforce and continue to deliver further skill development opportunities via registered training operators and on the job training.

 

Financially, the 2015 year was extremely challenging. Before PCC subsidy, total revenue of $3,566,878 was overshadowed by expenses of $4,863,047 representing a net operating deficit of $1,296,169.  We had set ourselves an aggressive budget deficit target of $1,030,052 but unfortunately competitor encroachment impacted forecast revenue. The inherent limitations of our ageing facilities create significant challenges, especially when many of our competitors operations are near new, incorporating the latest energy efficient technologies and aligned recreation models.  The net effect for Ripples has been reduced revenue on a similar cost base fixed by our own mass, making the operation less nimble.  We have needed to maintain our reliance on Council’s subsidy, shortened the operating period of Penrith Pools by winter closure and tightened our running costs to minimise the impact of the revenue reduction on the Company’s bottom line.

 

The winter closure of Penrith Pool provided an opportunity to perform much needed maintenance. Penrith Pool’s winter closure also highlighted the inequity of inefficiently providing heated water for an outdoor operation servicing less than 40 patrons per day from April through to August, and as such we have decided to close the Penrith Centre for the same period each year until its opening can be supported by a clear and financially viable business plan.

 

Both the Penrith and St Marys facilities are towards the back end of their useful lives, and will require significant redevelopment to keep pace with modern standards and community expectation.  This is particularly relevant with our area forecast to grow significantly in the next 10-15 years and whilst expansion and improvement might not lead to positive profit and loss statements free of subsidy, our view is that the lack of investment in aquatic facilities in the City will increase apathy and decrease community pride and satisfaction in the vital services we strive to deliver.

 

PCC underwrites the Company’s operation, this year providing a grant of $1,420,000. I take this opportunity to thank Councillors and Council Officers for their guidance and support over the past twelve months. We look forward to another year where we continue to strengthen the bond our management team has developed with Council Officers.  I would also like to pass on my thanks to each of the Board Members who have again attended to their duties freely to the benefit of the community especially Deputy Chairman John Cottee for his financial wisdom and Wayne Mitchell for his tireless contribution in liaising with Penrith City Council.

 

I would also like to thank the hard working team at Ripples.  Despite the challenges, the team has remained focused on strengthening core areas of the business such as the Fitness, Learn to Swim and Hydrotherapy. I also take this opportunity to introduce our new General Manager Paul Sheen.  In the short time Paul has been at the helm we have restructured our executive team, reached voting stages with our Enterprise Agreement negotiations and submitted Grant applications in accord with the SGL report commissioned by Council.

 

The restructure and efforts of our staff are encouraging. The first 4 months of the new financial year confirm the direction we have taken. 

 

Alan Brown
Chairman
Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Limited


General Manager’s Report

 

It is with a great deal of pleasure I present the 2015 financial summary, major projects, challenges for the future and progress report for the 2016 financial year to date. 

 

2015 was a challenging year for PAL due to a revenue shortfall to budget, some tough decisions as a result and restructure to set the pathway for the future.  2016 is already recording the benefits of the business review and the difficult decisions made.

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Financial summary

 

The most significant factors for our 2015 result were competition in key business areas and staff turnover.  While we were able to achieve expenditure targets and saved $131,799, we fell short of the revenue budget by $397,916.

 

When compared to the prior year revenue fell by 2 percent, whereas our budget ambitiously called for an improvement of 9 percent. Significantly, the following is noted:

 

·    Fitness (Revenue down $16,359 to prior year, $91,706 to budget)

 

The single biggest challenge for the Gym is the amount of competition in our immediate vicinity.  There are no fewer than 7 direct competitors in the St Marys market, and new entrants such as Atmosphere highlight the difference between our facilities and modern day best practice.  In September 2014, the gym was refitted with the latest in equipment from Matrix.  The equipment allows interaction with social media – enabling users to check their favourite media while they exercise.  The 2015 budget assumed a significant uptick in revenue, but the full effects will not be felt until 2016 when IT system enhancements enable the social media benefits of the new equipment.  We are now focused on providing new members with offers that highlight our ‘full service’ point of difference as compared to our 24/7 low staff competitors.

·    Aquatics/Learn to Swim (Revenue up $35,286 to PY, down $156,174 to budget)

 

While we didn’t hit our aggressive budget in 2015, good progress has been made with our Learn to Swim program via a relaunched ‘no back float’ program, new participant targets via our Water Safety Roadshows that targets ‘Swim, Safe, Survive’ in local pre and primary schools, active retention strategies via better use of technology and tight expense control via consolidation ratio benchmarking.  With near 2,200 participants at the height of the 2015 season and a class occupancy at 80% of capacity, the hard yards have been done.  The full year effect of the changes will be seen in 2016 and favourable results to budget are expected.  In relation to sport and recreational aquatics, new competitors such as Nepean Aquatic, Atmosphere and Wet and Wild have made revenue growth difficult.

 

·    Hydrotherapy (Revenue down $74,357 to prior year, $83,344 to budget,)

 

Disruption with staff turnover had a big effect on the 2015 results and this is directly linked to our pay rates.  Our business model was geared to university type graduates, and unfortunately this results in turnover every few years when our exercise physiologists gain sufficient experience and become valuable commodities on the open market.  Turnover takes time to fill, as does settling new candidates.  The business model has since been amended to link pay rates with experience and performance, and has had immediate effect.

The reaction to the revenue decline and shortfall to budget was careful cost constraint.  This included winter closure of the Penrith Pools outdoor operation and consolidation of resources to St Marys.  This difficult decision is consistent with the vast majority of similar open air public pools in our immediate vicinity. 

 

Major projects

 

Maintenance works have completed on the pool ventilation system for the indoor pool at St Marys and above water tiling works at both St Marys and Penrith.  The St Marys ventilation enhancements will improve the environment over the winter months whereby the air temperature will be slightly warmer than the pool for the benefit of our LTS participants. Preventative plant room works completed at all facilities to maintain high quality water.  Some outstanding below water tiling issues at Penrith remain as draining of the pool during winter was not possible while we waited on clearance by engineers.  Assuming favourable weather and water table conditions, this will take place in 2016.

The Hydrotherapy facilities also received a makeover.  The accessible change room, on deck shower, male and female change room and toilets have all been refurbished. 

 

Challenges and issues

Our biggest challenge remains competitor encroachment in key revenue areas.  To a certain extent, competitors have been encouraged by the inherent infrastructure limitations of our facilities. Our Penrith facility is still an entirely outdoor operation.  The St Marys facility is modern by Penrith standards, but is no longer cutting edge.  Many of our competitors are operating out of brand new, purpose built facilities.

 

To create new interest, revenue growth and long term business sustainability, capital injection will be required.  This has been recognised by PAL and PCC, with Masterplans for the redevelopment of both sites.  The challenge to achieving our redevelopment goals is the level of funding required.  At $21+ million each, both sites will require significant State or Federal funding support.   

 

While we pursue every possible funding opportunity (with the assistance of PCC), it is important that we do not stand idle while we wait.  Short term options that remain consistent with the full scale plans are our preferred course of action.  These smaller scale capital works programs will still provide a significant drawcard for the people of Penrith.  Business modelling of a ‘Water Play’ park supports business self-sustainability tests, quick payback and ultimately reduced reliance on council subsidy as compared to the status quo.

Staff turnover during the 2015 year also created challenges.  Significantly, this included the former General Manager.  Greg Crawford resigned in December 2014 following 5 years of service and was replaced in an acting capacity by Chris Brown in January 2015.  Permanent replacement was sourced in April 2015 for commencement in June 2015.  Hydrotherapy also experienced staff turnover, with two full time exercise physiologists replaced with 3 part timers.


2016 progress report

 

The first 4 months of the 2015/16 year represent a $155k improvement to the prior year and confirm we are on track to achieve our 2016 budget. Significantly, the following is noted:

 

·    New gym membership options released on 1 July 2015 – these included a fitness only option, a non-contract version and both with up front sign on fees.  These are competitively priced considering other full service operators in our area.  Many of our gym members make little use of aquatics - therefore options excluding the pool have enabled us to be more price competitive.  To date, our Gym result is $39k up on the prior year;

·    Learn to Swim is also doing very well, with significant revenue improvements and direct wage saving as a result of class consolidation.  Much of this improvement is attributable to program enhancements.  At the recent NSW AUSTSWIM and Water Safety Awards Ripples won the Local Community Initiative of the Year Award for our Water Safety Roadshow that targets ‘Swim, Safe, Survive’, and we were highly commended (2nd) for our Learn-to-Swim program itself.  Currently we are 300 weekly participants better than at the same time in the prior year, and our new target for peak enrolments is 2,500 LTS students.  We aim to be the NSW Swim School of the Year in 2016; and

·    Hydrotherapy has also turned the corner, with business model adjustment to pursue more experienced exercise physiologists via linking pay scales with performance, and restructuring to remove underperforming elements.

 

Board of Directors

 

The Constitution of the Company provides, in part, that:

 

1.   Board members are elected for a 3 year term and retire on a rotational basis.

2.   All retiring Directors shall be eligible for re-appointment.  Council should note that the positions of Chairman and Company Secretary were declared vacant. Elections were held for the vacant positions.

3.   Alan Brown was re-appointed to the position of Chairman and Wayne Mitchell was re-appointed to the position of Company Secretary.

 

It was resolved that PCC be requested to endorse the reappointment of Alan Brown and Wayne Mitchell as continuing Directors of PAL.

 

Appreciation

 

I would like to personally acknowledge the gratuitous contribution of Ripples Directors, all of whom have made me feel welcome as I settle into the GM role.  I would also like to thank PCC and their support staff who have assisted me during my settling in period with the company.

 

And last but not least, I would also like to thank my management team and all staff at Ripples for their personal contributions.

Paul Sheen
General Manager
Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Limited

 

Business Support Accountant

 

The City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd achieved, during the 2014-15 financial year, a deficit before Council’s subsidy of $1,423,327.  After Council’s subsidy to the company of $1,423,327, there was a surplus for the year of $123,831. This result is up on the 2013-14 financial year, which saw a deficit of $167,351 taking into account Council’s subsidy of $1,103,964.

 

The 2014-15 financial year saw improved results when compared to the previous year resulting from increased income of 4.98% from $4,749,129 in 2013-14 to $4,985,599, the main income line affected was Council subsidy, an increase of 29.32%.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Penrith Aquatic & Leisure Limited - Annual Report and Board of Directors be received.

2.    Council agree to underwrite the operations of the City of Penrith Regional Indoor Aquatic and Recreation Centre Ltd until the presentation of the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

3.    Council note and support the appointment and re-appointment of the persons named in the report to the Board of Directors of Penrith Aquatic and Leisure Ltd.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

There are no attachments for this report.  


 

ATTACHMENTS  

 

 

Date of Meeting:     Monday 30 November 2015

Report Title:            Reclassification of Public Land in St Marys Town Centre

Attachments:           Extract of the 2007 Masterplan

                                Land Proposed to be Reclassified

                                St Marys Open Space Network

                                Extract of 2015 Draft Concept Plan

                                Comparison of Lang and Kokoda Parks with a Potential Reconfigured Open Space



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 1 - Extract of the 2007 Masterplan

 

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Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 2 - Land Proposed to be Reclassified

 

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Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 3 - St Marys Open Space Network

 

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Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 4 - Extract of 2015 Draft Concept Plan

 

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Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 5 - Comparison of Lang and Kokoda Parks with a Potential Reconfigured Open Space

 

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ATTACHMENTS  

 

 

Date of Meeting:     Monday 30 November 2015

Report Title:            Construction Specification for Civil Works

Attachments:           Engineering Construction Specification 19 November 2015 Final



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                          30 November 2015

Attachment 1 - Engineering Construction Specification 19 November 2015 Final

 

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