Council_Mark_POS_RGB

4 May 2016

 

Dear Councillor,

In pursuance of the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1993 and the Regulations thereunder, notice is hereby given that a POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Penrith City Council is to be held in the Passadena Room, Civic Centre, 601 High Street, Penrith on Monday 9 May 2016 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 Karen McKeown - 25 April 2016 to 13 May 2016 inclusive.

Councillor Ross Fowler OAM - 25 April 2016 to 13 May 2016 inclusive.

 

2.           APOLOGIES

 

3.           CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

Policy Review Committee Meeting - 14 March 2016.

 

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 9 May 2016

 

table of contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

meeting calendar

 

 

confirmation of minutes

 

 

DELIVERY program reports

 


Council_Mark_POS_RGB2016 MEETING CALENDAR

January 2016 - December 2016

(Adopted by Council -  23 November 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

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

19

(7.00pm)

 

29@

21

18v

23#

27*

25

22@

26^ü

(7.00pm)

24

28#+

 

Policy Review Committee

7.00pm

 

15

14

11

9

20

11

8

 

10

14

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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 2015-2016 Annual Statements are presented

 

Meeting at which any comments on the 2015-2016 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 Acting Senior Governance Officer, Adam Beggs.

 


UNCONFIRMED MINUTES

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

ON MONDAY 14 MARCH 2016 AT 7:04PM

PRESENT

Her Worship the Mayor, Councillor Karen McKeown,  Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ross Fowler OAM, and Councillors Bernard Bratusa, Marcus Cornish, Kevin Crameri OAM, Greg Davies, Mark Davies, Maurice Girotto, Ben Goldfinch and Tricia Hitchen.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Jackie Greenow OAM for the period 13 March 2016 to 25 March 2016 inclusive.

Leave of Absence was previously granted to Councillor Jim Aitken OAM for the period 7 March 2016 to 19 March 2016 inclusive.

APOLOGIES

PRC 8  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Maurice Girotto that apologies be received for Councillors Prue Car MP, John Thain and Michelle Tormey.

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES - Policy Review Committee Meeting - 15 February 2016

PRC 9  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Ross Fowler OAM seconded Councillor Marcus Cornish that the minutes of the Policy Review Committee Meeting of 15 February 2016 be confirmed.

 

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Outcome 4 - We have safe, vibrant places

 

4        Neighbourhood Renewal Program update on pilot project in Colyton

Place Manager, Jeni Pollard introduced the report and invited Neighbourhood Renewal Coordinator, Heather Chaffey to give the presentation.                                                                                    

PRC 10  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Neighbourhood Renewal Program update on pilot project in Colyton be received.

2.    Council endorse Penrith City Council as a Service Partner in the delivery those actions of the Colyton Community Action Plan 2016 included in Attachment 2.

3.    A further report be submitted to Council profiling the Youth and Future theme of the Colyton Community Action Plan 2016 in June 2016.

4.    A further report on the progress of implementation of the Colyton Community Action Plan and a schedule of areas be brought to Council for consideration following the release of the 2016 Census data.

5.    Council staff be congratulated for their work on the Neighbourhood Renewal Program.

 

 

Outcome 2 - We plan for our future growth

 

2        Sydney Science Park Planning Proposal - Outcomes of Public Exhibition              

City Planning Manager, Paul Grimson introduced the report and made a presentation.

PRC 11  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Mark Davies seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Sydney Science Park Planning Proposal - Outcomes of Public Exhibition be received.

2.    Council endorse the changes made to the Planning Proposal for the Sydney Science Park as shown in Attachment 2.

3.    The General Manager be delegated authority to make any necessary minor changes required to the Planning Proposal before submitting it to the Minister for Planning and Environment.

4.    Subject to 3 above, the Planning Proposal for the Sydney Science Park (provided to Councillors under separate cover and tabled tonight), be forwarded to the Minister for Planning and Environment after a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) for the provision of local facilities and services commences public notification with a request that the Minister make the plan in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

5.    The General Manager be delegated authority to make any necessary minor changes required to “Chapter E16 – Sydney Science Park” of Development Control Plan 2014 as a result of VPA negotiations and any other changes identified in consideration of transport and traffic matters before the Planning Proposal is submitted to the Minister for Planning and Environment.

6.    Subject to 5 above, Council adopt the amendment to Development Control Plan 2014 to include Chapter E16 – Sydney Science Park (Appendix I to the Planning Proposal), so that it takes effect on the publication of the amendments to Penrith Local Environmental Plan 2010.

 

In accordance with Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993, a DIVISION was then called with the following result:

For

Against

 

Councillor Greg Davies

 

Councillor Ross Fowler OAM

 

Councillor Maurice Girotto                       

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM

 

Councillor Mark Davies

 

Councillor Ben Goldfinch

                                                        

Councillor Tricia Hitchen

 

Councillor Bernard Bratusa   

 

Councillor Marcus Cornish

 

Councillor Karen McKeown

 

 

 

Outcome 1 - We can work close to home

 

1        Implementation of the "Scores on Doors" Program under Council's existing Food Safety Program

Acting Development and Environmental Health Manager, Peter Wood introduced the report and invited Ben Lees, Manager Local Government Unit, NSW Food Authority to give a presentation.

PRC 12  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Greg Davies seconded Kevin Crameri OAM

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Implementation of the "Scores on Doors" Program under Council's existing Food Safety Program be received.

2.    Council support the implementation of the “Scores on Doors” Program under Council’s existing Food Safety Program.

 

 

Outcome 2 - We plan for our future growth

 

3        Proposed M12 Motorway - Council's Submission

PRC 13  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Proposed M12 Motorway - Council's Submission be received.

2.    Council endorse the principles and proposed recommendations contained in this report and any other additional issues identified by Councillors, as the basis for a submission to Roads and Maritime Services.

3.    Council’s submission be forwarded to Roads and Maritime Services and a copy be forwarded to all Councillors.

 

URGENT BUSINESS

 

UB 1           Request for Leave of Absence    

Councillor Mark Davies requested a Leave of Absence for the period 21 March 2016 to 11 April 2016, inclusive.

PRC 14  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Tricia Hitchen seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM that the matter be brought forward and dealt with as a matter of urgency.

 

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

 

PRC 15  RESOLVED on the MOTION of Councillor Tricia Hitchen seconded Councillor Ross Fowler OAM that a Leave of Absence be granted to Councillor Mark Davies for the period 21 March 2016 to 11 April 2016, inclusive.

 

 

REQUESTS FOR REPORTS AND MEMORANDUMS

 

RR 1           Penrith Cricket Club - Civic Reception

Councillor Bernard Bratusa requested a memo reply to all Councillors providing information on the opportunity to acknowledge Penrith Cricket Club for winning the club championship this season by way of a civic reception.

 

RR 2           Rail Infrastructure - Badgerys Creek Airport        

Councillor Greg Davies requested a report to a Councillor Briefing on the current status of any proposed rail infrastructure supporting the Badgerys Creek Airport.

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM left the meeting, the time being 8:43pm.

 

RR 3           Mamre Road, St Marys - Investigation of Stockpiled Material

Councillor Maurice Girotto requested a memo reply regarding the investigation of a large stockpile of unknown material located on the left hand side of Mamre Road (Bailey Park). The material is located near the northern boundary and appears to be glistening.

 

Councillor Kevin Crameri OAM returned to the meeting, the time being 8:44pm.

 

There being no further business the Chairperson declared the meeting closed the time being 8:45pm.

    


DELIVERY PROGRAM REPORTS

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

 

Outcome 2 - We plan for our future growth

 

1        Amendment to the Central Precinct Plan                                                                          1

 

Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

2        Review of Local Government Rating System                                                                 19

 

 


 

 

 

 

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        Amendment to the Central Precinct Plan                                                                          1

 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                         9 May 2016

 

 

 

1

Amendment to the Central Precinct Plan   

 

Compiled by:               Joel Carson, Senior Planner

Authorised by:            Paul Grimson, City Planning Manager  

 

Outcome

We plan for our future growth

Strategy

Facilitate quality development that encourages a range of housing types, employment, recreation and lifestyle opportunities

Service Activity

Plan for and facilitate delivery of release areas and urban renewal in the City

      

 

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to present proposed changes to the Central Precinct Plan and to seek Council’s resolution to publicly exhibit a draft amended Central Precinct Plan document.

Background

At the Policy Review Committee meeting of 9 March 2009 Council resolved to adopt the Central Precinct Plan and the Western Precinct Plan (Jordan Springs). The Precinct Plans were prepared in accordance with the requirements of Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No.30 – St Marys (SREP 30) and came into force in May 2009.

 

The Central Precinct Plan applies to all land within the Central Precinct and is a key component of the planning framework of the St Marys Release Area, providing strategic guidance and statutory controls for development. The map at Attachment 1 presents the St Marys Release area and the location of the Central Precinct.

 

The current adopted Central Precinct Plan is divided into the following sections:

§ Part 1: Introduction: Contains background information and provides an overview of the structure of the document.

§ Part 2: Planning Framework: Provides an overview of the statutory planning context for the preparation and adoption of the Precinct Plan, and for the future development of the Central Precinct.

§ Part 3: Site Characteristics: Identifies the key planning issues, opportunities and constraints that have informed preparation of the Precinct Plan and development of the Precinct Framework Plan.

§ Part 4: Framework Plan & Environmental Management Strategies: Describes the Framework Plan for the Central Precinct. The Framework Plan conceptually illustrates how the proposed development of the Central Precinct will respond to the development principles.

§ Part 5: Development Control Strategy: Contains specific objectives and development guidelines/controls for subdivision design, the design, layout and siting of buildings, and environmental management.

§ Appendices: Background investigations used to inform the preparation of the Precinct Plan.

 

The development phase for the Central Precinct is now being considered, with the commencement of bulk earthworks, and the approval of the Stage 1 and 2 subdivision development applications.

 

Proposed changes to the Central Precinct Plan

 

The developer of the Central Precinct, Lend Lease, proposes a new vision for the development of the Precinct. The new vision updates and revises the development concept endorsed by Council in its adoption of the Central Precinct Plan in 2009. A revised development planning framework is proposed, changing the high-level structural planning elements of the development. It is noted that no changes are proposed to the current zone boundaries prescribed under SREP 30.

 

The new vision for the Central Precinct would be formalised by way of an amendment to the Central Precinct Plan. Lend Lease has submitted to Council a draft amended Central Precinct Plan document for consideration that reflects the new vision proposed for the Precinct. A copy of this document has been provided to Councillors under separate cover.

 

Most of the changes sought to the Precinct Plan relate to Part 4 – Framework Plan & Environmental Management Strategies. The map at Attachment 2 presents the proposed new Framework Plan map for the Central Precinct.

 

The principles of the Central Precinct Framework Plan remain unchanged, being:

1.   Connecting with nature

2.   Establishing a vibrant village centre

3.   Delivering parks and wide open spaces

4.   Providing diversity, choice and lifestyle

5.   Opportunities for business and enterprise

6.   Achieving a sustainable future

 

The main changes proposed to the high-level structural planning elements of the development are summarised below.

 

Village Centre location

 

The Village Centre is proposed to be moved to a more central location in the Precinct, south of the original endorsed location. The new location is situated along the reconfigured road network and would provide access between the Village Centre and the wider Precinct. The new location would also take advantage of its proximity to and relationship with the adjacent Regional Open Space recreation area, where significant activation is anticipated.

 

The new Village Centre location would provide a sense of arrival and act as a marker, visible from key points within the Precinct. It would serve a strong walking catchment and address retailer viability due to visibility, access and parking opportunities.

 

Road network

 

The road network is proposed to be reconfigured, resulting in a re-aligned east-west collector road, as well as an extension of the endorsed local street into the northern and southern parts of the Precinct. The Main Street location is also relocated with the new Village Centre location. The road network retains a planned employment street to provide access to the employment zone. The planned bus-only link at the southern end of the Precinct remains in its original endorsed location.

 

Open space provision

 

A revised open space allocation is proposed to meet demand arising from the future community of the Central Precinct. The revised allocation amends the locations, dimensions and increases the overall total quantity of Local Open Space provided compared to the original endorsed allocation. The Regional Open Space and the Wianamatta Regional Park recreations zones are also acknowledged as significant available open space resources that would be utilised by the future community.

 

Public exhibition of proposed amended Central Precinct Plan

 

It is intended that the draft amended Central Precinct Plan document submitted to Council will be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days and that consultation will be undertaken with relevant government agencies in accordance with the requirements of SREP 30, the relevant provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and associated Regulations.

 

It is intended that the results of the public exhibition and agency consultation will be reported to Council for consideration.

 

Delivery of supporting infrastructure and services

 

The St Marys Penrith Planning Agreement (the Council VPA) between Council and Lend Lease was amended in May 2009 to require the provision of developer contributions and infrastructure by Lend Lease to support the Jordan Springs and Central Precinct developments.

 

The contributions and infrastructure that are prescribed in the Council VPA were identified from investigations undertaken to determine the needs of the future populations of Jordan Springs and the Central Precinct. These investigations also informed the preparation of the Precinct Plans for each precinct.

 

In the period following the adoption of planning controls in 2009 and commencement of development at Jordan Springs, the nature of the housing market in Sydney has evolved to reflect increased demand for higher residential density and a wider variety of housing typologies. This changing demand has been reflected in the residential yield delivered to date at Jordan Springs and will likely also be reflected in the future development of the Central Precinct.

 

As a result, the residential yield forecast is anticipated to be larger than the original planned yields which were forecasted in 2009. It is noted that the original planned yields were based on a target set in SREP 30 of achieving at least 15 dwellings per hectare. There is no dwelling quota for the Precincts and the original planned yields may be exceeded.

 

It is now forecast that the completed development of the Central Precinct will yield approximately 1400 dwellings and a population in the order of between 3900 and 4300 people.

 

The provisions of the Council VPA allow for a review and renegotiation of the Human Services, District Open Space, Local Open Space, and the Local Transport Works contributions in response to additional forecast residential yield.

 

Council and Lend Lease officers are currently undertaking negotiations to review the development contributions which Lend Lease is obliged to provide to support the future communities of Jordan Springs and the Central Precinct. It is anticipated that the new agreements reached will form a future amendment to the Council VPA. At this stage Council and Lend Lease officers have reached agreement for increased Lend Lease contributions relating to Human Services, District Open Space and Local Open Space. The revised Local Open Space allocations are reflected in the changes proposed in the draft amended Central Precinct Plan document.

 

No agreement between Council and Lend Lease officers at this stage has been reached on an additional Local Transport Works contribution. To inform this negotiation, Lend Lease has prepared a draft Traffic Impact Assessment for the St Marys Release Area which assesses road network capacity and future infrastructure requirements. The assessment identifies the capacity of the road network to accommodate increased residential yields forecasted at the St Marys Release Area and would inform the scope of works to be implemented specifically in the Central Precinct. This assessment is currently under consideration by Council officers.

 

Future review of housing development controls

 

Lend Lease in consultation with Council officers is currently preparing proposed revised planning controls for housing typologies intended to be delivered at the Central Precinct, which will contain specific development standards for urban design, built form and environmental management. The new proposed controls will update and revise the development controls endorsed by Council through its adoption of the Central Precinct Plan in 2009. It is anticipated that most of these changes will relate to Part 5 – Development Control Strategy.

 

These changes do not form part of the current amendment and instead will likely form part of a future amendment to the Central Precinct Plan once draft controls have been prepared for consideration.

 

Conclusion

 

Lend Lease has submitted to Council a draft amended Central Precinct Plan document for consideration that reflects the new vision proposed for the Precinct. A revised development planning framework is proposed, changing the high-level structural planning elements of the development, including the Village Centre location, road network and open space provision.

 

It is intended that the draft amended Central Precinct Plan document be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days and that consultation will be undertaken with relevant government agencies.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Amendment to the Central Precinct Plan be received.

2.    The draft amended Central Precinct Plan document submitted to Penrith City Council (provided to Councillors under separate cover and tabled tonight), be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days and that consultation be undertaken with relevant government agencies in accordance with the requirements of Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No.30 – St Marys, the relevant provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and associated Regulations.

3.    The General Manager be delegated authority to make any necessary minor changes required to the draft amended Central Precinct Plan document referred to in resolution 2 above prior to commencement of the public exhibition and consultation with government agencies.

4.    A further report be presented to Council following the public exhibition and agency consultation.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

St Marys Release Area map

1 Page

Appendix

2.  

Proposed Central Precinct Framework Plan map

1 Page

Appendix

  


Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                                       9 May 2016

Appendix 1 - St Marys Release Area map

 

PDF Creator


Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                                       9 May 2016

Appendix 2 - Proposed Central Precinct Framework Plan map

 

PDF Creator

 


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

Outcome 3 - We can get around the City

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

Outcome 4 - We have safe, vibrant places

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

Outcome 5 - We care about our environment

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


 

 

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

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

THIS PAGE HAS BEEN LEFT BLANK  INTENTIONALLY


Outcome 7 - We have confidence in our Council

 

Item                                                                                                                                       Page

 

2        Review of Local Government Rating System                                                                 19

 

 

 



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                         9 May 2016

 

 

 

2

Review of Local Government Rating System   

 

Compiled by:               Matthew Saunders, Rates Coordinator

Authorised by:            Andrew Moore, Financial Services Manager  

 

Outcome

We have confidence in our Council

Strategy

Ensure our finances and assets are sustainable and services are delivered efficiently

Service Activity

Manage Council's financial sustainability and meet statutory requirements

      

 

Executive Summary

The NSW Government has directed the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review the rating legislation component of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 and to recommend legislative changes for the rates freeze policy for merging Councils.

IPART has issued an Issues Paper in relation to their review and has called for submissions from Councils and other stakeholders.

This report provides background information on the Review of Local Government Act and IPART’s terms of reference for their review. Outlined below is the draft response to IPART.

 

Background

Following destination 2036, the NSW Government appointed a four person Taskforce to review the Local Government Act 1993 and the City of Sydney Act 1988.

 

The taskforce looked at ways to modernise the legislation, to ensure that it would meet the future needs of councils and communities. The Taskforce completed its work in late 2013 and its final report and recommendations were exhibited for public comment in early 2014.

 

The NSW Government delivered its response to the recommendations of the Independent Panel and Acts Taskforce in September 2014, with the launch of the Fit for the Future package. One of the recommendations of the Panel was to review the Local Government rating system.

 

As a result in December 2015 the NSW Government directed IPART to undertake a review of the Local Government rating system and provided them with their terms of reference for the review.

 

The terms of reference required IPART to:

 

·    Review the current rating system and recommend reforms to enhance councils’ ability to implement sustainable and equitable fiscal policy; and

·    Recommend a legislative or regulatory approach to achieve the Government’s policy that there will be “no change to the existing rates paths for newly merged councils for four years”.

 

The terms of reference ask IPART to consider issues such as:

 

·    the rating burden across and within communities, including consideration of

multi-unit dwellings;

·    the appropriateness and impact of current rating categories and exemptions,

and mandatory concessions;

·    the land valuation methodology used as the basis for determining rates in

comparison to other jurisdictions;

·    the capacity of a merged council to establish a new equitable rating system

and transition to it in a fair and timely manner, and

·    the objectives and design of the rating system according to recognised

principles of taxation.

 

IPART were required to take into account the Final Report of the Independent Local Government Review Panel, the Governments response to that report and the NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp) report ‘Financial Sustainability of the NSW Local Government Sector”.

 

Current Situation

 

Based on the terms of reference, IPART have released a discussion paper and have asked for feedback from councils, the public and other stakeholders in relation to 12 issues identified from the review of the rating legislation and a further 11 issues in relation to the rates freeze policy for the merging Councils. IPART’s issues paper has been attached to tonight’s report.

 

Whilst Penrith City Council is not subject to the merging policy, a single response has been provided in relation to the 11 rates freeze policy issues, as any changes adopted may effect Penrith City Council in future merger proposals which may be considered.

 

The Issues paper was released by IPART on 13 April 2016 with a public meeting being held on April 2016 by IPART which council officers attended to explain the review in more detail.

 

Outlined below is council’s draft response to the 12 issues in relation to the rating legislation, and a single response for the 11 rates freeze issues which is to be submitted to IPART by close of business on Friday 13 May 2016. The responses are largely drawn from previously endorsed recommendations to similar reviews including the Local Government Act review and/or from existing endorsed rating policies.

 

Taxation principles

 

1.    Do you agree with our proposed tax principles? If not, why?

 

Penrith City Council agrees with the taxation principals as described by IPART.

 

Council believes that a taxation system for local government should find the right mix between a property owners’ ability to pay and the benefit they receive from local Councils, and changes to the Local Government Act should allow flexibility for councils to effectively establish this mix based on their own local government areas.

 

Assessing the current method for setting rates

 

2.    What valuation method should be used as the basis for determining the ad valorem amounts in council rates? Should councils be given more choice in selecting a valuation method, as occurs in other states, or should a valuation method continue to be mandated?

 

Penrith City Council does not support the move to a Capital Improved Value as it is Council’s view that land value proves the best nexus for the ability to pay for ratepayers. We would recommend the continued use of the Unimproved Land Valuation method.

 

The drawback with the unimproved valuation method is the restrictions that it imposes on Councils being able to equitably rate owners of strata properties when compared to owners of similarly market valued freestanding houses. Council recommends other measures be introduced to provide Council’s with an equitable way of rating strata title properties such as enabling sub-categorisation of strata titled properties.

 

3.    Should councils be required to use the Valuer General’s property valuation services, or should they also be able to use a private valuation firm (as occurs in Victoria and Tasmania)?

 

We agree that the current system of receiving valuations from the Valuer General is working and that there would be little to gain by changing the system. The present system has a rigorous procurement process which should bring about better economies of scale for pricing, than if individual councils had to procure their own contract valuer.

 

4.    What changes (if any) should be made to the Local Government Act to improve the use of base and minimum amounts as part of the overall rating structure?

 

Councils should be able to choose which method best suits their rates base and both systems should be retained, in addition an equitable method of rating strata properties should be enacted.

 

5.    What changes could be made to rating categories? Should further rating categories or subcategories be introduced? What benefits would this provide?

 

Council endorses the current rating categories. The introduction of any further categories may put added pressure on Council’s in maintaining the accuracy of rating categories and would add further scope for appeals to the court from property owners in relation to their category.

 

Council would recommend some changes within the categories to further strengthen the criteria of each category and to allow further sub-categorisation than is presently allowed.

 

For residential, Council would recommend the ability to sub-categorise strata title properties to allow an equitable way of rating strata title properties.

 

For Farmland, Council recommends strict criteria be placed on eligibility such as minimum land area and or actual grazing numbers required for grazing properties.

 

For Mining properties, the description of mining should be expanded to allow for other types of mining, not just metalliferous and coal mining as it stands and provisions be made to allow sub-categorisation according to the mining type.

 

For the Business category, sub-categorisation should be allowed for land use, such as industrial, commercial or retail, rather than as centres of activity.

 

6.    Does the current rating system cause any equity and efficiency issues associated with the rating burden across communities?

 

IPART has asked to review the rating burden across communities which IPART understood to mean across local government areas. Based on this assumption Council agrees that the rates levied by a local council should be used to fund the provision of infrastructure and services in that local government area, and should reflect the costs of this provision. There may be more efficient ways to deliver services in and around the boundaries with adjoining Council.

 

The current rating system, particularly in relation to rates exemptions for non-locally beneficial public benevolent institutions such as community housing providers creates some inequities across boundaries and is requiring communities to bear a burden that should more appropriately be borne by more than just the local government area in question.

 

7.    What changes could be made to current rate pegging arrangements to improve the rating system, and, in particular, to better streamline the special variation process?

 

Penrith City Council does not support rate pegging, however if a system of rate pegging is to be maintained, Penrith City Council supports the streamlining of rate pegging as proposed by the Independent Local Government Review Panel in relation to allowing Councils (subject to conditions) to be able to raise rates to 3% above the rate-peg without having to go through a special rate variation application process.

 

8.    What changes could be made to the rating system to better encourage urban renewal?

 

Current provisions within the Act provide some ability for Council’s to achieve urban renewal through the rating system however other mechanisms should be explored to better achieve these outcomes.

 

9.    What changes could be made to the rating system to improve councils’ management of overdue rates?

 

Any legislation should be in favour of encouraging ratepayers to pay their rates on time and not discourage them. Action such as court action for the recovery of rates should continue to be allowed.

 

Whilst interest charges for overdue rates should continue, councils should also be able to impose and recover overdue charges such as a charge for the issuing of a reminder notice or a charge for tracing property owners where they have relocated without advising of a change of address.

 

Assessing exemptions, concessions and rebates

 

10.  Are the land uses currently exempt from paying council rates appropriate? If a current exemption should be changed, how should it be changed? For example, should it be removed or more narrowly defined, should the level of government responsible for providing the exemption be changed, or should councils be given discretion over the level of exemption?

 

Council supports exemptions from rates in some cases where the benefits of an exempt activity are largely confined within the local government area

 

However, if the benefits are distributed beyond the local council area, it may be more equitable for the state government to share the funding costs of the exemption, or provide no exemption in these circumstances.

 

Council recommends that the exemption provisions in relation to public benevolent institutions, particularly for community housing providers, be removed and or subsidised by other levels of government as there is no direct benefit to the ratepayers of the Council involved to be wholly subsidising the exemptions.

 

If exemptions are to be granted, Councils should be given the discretion to decide if the use of the property provides local benefits and warrants an exemption.

 

11.  To what extent should the exemptions from certain state taxes (such as payroll tax) that councils receive be considered in a review of the exemptions for certain categories of ratepayers?

 

Any changes to taxes that may become payable by Councils would only add to the Council’s cost which may result in a requirement for rates to be increased to accommodate these increase.

 

12.  What should the objectives of the pensioner concession scheme be? How could the current pensioner concession scheme be improved?

 

Penrith City Council supports a pensioner concessions scheme, however any such scheme should be fully funded by other levels of government as a welfare measure as the existing scheme affects government areas with greater population of retirees.

 

Freezing existing rate paths for newly merged councils

 

For Councils that merge as part the Fit for the Future process, the NSW Government announced a policy of freezing their existing rates paths for four years.

 

Although Penrith City Council is not one of the councils subject to the proposed mergers, a response will be included in relation to the rates freezes for merging Councils section as any decision may affect any merger proposals that Penrith City Council may consider in the future.

 

13.  Response for Items 13 - 23

 

Council believes that the rates freeze policy should not be mandated for four years as it will diminish the merging council’s ability to start to streamline the rating system for the merging Councils. It may also limit the ability for the merged Council to address emerging priorities and issues. If a rates freeze policy is to be adopted, it should only be until the merged Council is able to demonstrate through the current Integrated Planning & Reporting framework that a rates increase is required to meet the needs and wants of the ratepayers and residents of the merged council. The merged Council should then use the same mechanisms currently available to apply for rate increases.

 

Conclusion

 

Subject to endorsement by Council, the submission will be submitted to IPART by close of business on Friday 13 May 2016. IPART will provide an interim report to the Minister in June 2016 with a draft report being released in August 2016. The final report will be provided to the Minister in December 2016.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That:

1.    The information contained in the report on Review of Local Government Rating System be received

2.    A submission be submitted to IPART by Friday 13 May 2016 with the proposed recommendations contained in this report.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS/APPENDICES

1.  

IPART Issues Paper

73 Pages

Attachments Included

   


 

ATTACHMENTS  

 

 

Date of Meeting:     Monday 9 May 2016

Report Title:            Review of Local Government Rating System

Attachments:           IPART Issues Paper



Policy Review Committee Meeting                                                                                       9 May 2016

Attachment 1 - IPART Issues Paper

 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator