Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 10 March 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510

general.manager@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee

10 March 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 March 2009

 

 

Works Committee Meeting

 

 

Notice is hereby given that a Works Committee Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 10 March 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

 

 

Committee Members:           The Mayor, B Notley-Smith, Andrews (Chairperson), Belleli (Deputy Chairperson), Bowen, Hughes, Matson, Matthews, Nash, Procopiadis, Seng, Smith, Stevenson, Tracey, White & Woodsmith

 

Quorum:                           Eight (8) members.

 

NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Works Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.

 

Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Works Committee Meeting - 10 February 2009

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Works Reports

 

W4/09       Adopt a Street Tree Program

W5/09       Petition for Barwon Park, Matraville to be made a Leash Free Dog Park

W6/09       Alcohol Free Zones - Coogee Basin Area     

 

Closed Session

 

Nil
Notices of Rescission Motions

 

Nil

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee

10 March 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W4/09

 

 

Subject:                  Adopt a Street Tree Program

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

Randwick City Council is committed to the ongoing greening of its streetscapes through a variety of tree planting programs but the environment into which many trees are planted is often harsh and unforgiving and the soils very nutrient deficient – particularly along Council’s coastal strip.

 

Although newly planted street trees are maintained by tree planting contractors for a period of six months, the additional nurturing of those trees by residents would certainly increase their chances of survival and would give participants a very real sense of ownership of those assets.

 

Issues

 

Council undertakes the planting of large numbers of street trees throughout the City on an annual basis and although the majority are native or indigenous to the area into which they are planted, a certain percentage do not survive to reach maturity.

 

Newly planted street trees are maintained by Council’s tree planting contractors for a period of six months, after which no ongoing watering is undertaken and maintenance can be quite sporadic.  The costs associated with extending the current maintenance period to twelve months are prohibitive within the context of Council’s tree management budget and planting in the cooler months ensures that as many trees as possible survive and become established.

 

Another issue affecting the establishment and long-term retention of newly planted street trees are acts of wanton vandalism involving the destruction of public tree assets. There are many reasons why the vandalism of public trees occurs, ranging from random attacks to acts of purely pre-meditated self interest. 

 

One way of possibly decreasing the occurrence of these events and to increase as much as possible the survival rate of newly planted street trees would be to get the community more involved in the nurturing and ongoing care and maintenance of these trees. With this in mind Council’s Tree Management Officer has proposed the implementation of an ‘Adopt a Street Tree Program’.  This program will provide residents with the information necessary should they wish to contribute in a meaningful and practical way to the long-term maintenance of newly planted street trees.  It is proposed that whenever new street trees are planted adjacent property owners will be given a copy of the program booklet for their consideration.  By ‘adopting’ a street tree, residents would voluntarily take on the role of not only watering a street tree, but also regularly inspecting it for pests and diseases and informing Council of acts of vandalism or other problems.  This would not only make participants much more aware of the community benefits and cultural requirements of street trees but it would also contribute to ensuring that nurtured trees have a much better chance of survival to maturity.

 


Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:       A healthy Environment.

Direction 10c:      Land use planning and management enhances and protects biodiversity and natural heritage.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The cost of the “Adopt a Street Tree Program” is $1,600 per annum for printing.

 

Conclusion

 

Although Council tree planting programs enjoy broad community support and reasonable success rates, there is always more that could be done to enhance the long-term survival rates of newly planted street trees. 

 

Potentially, one of the most effective methods of achieving this objective would be to encourage the community to take more ownership of public tree assets through the implementation of an ‘Adopt a Street Tree Program’.  This program would also complement the existing maintenance regime undertaken by Council’s tree planting contractors by ensuring that ongoing maintenance continues well beyond the six-month period currently undertaken.  Participating residents would regularly water, weed and inspect ‘adopted’ street trees and would inform Council when trees needed re-mulching or re-staking or where they were sick or needed replacing.  It would also encourage residents to be more protective of new street trees and to become more involved and pro-active in reporting acts of vandalism or tree destruction.

 

Recommendation

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Adopt a Street Tree Program Booklet

 

 

 

 

 


Adpot a Street Tree Program Booklet

Attachment 1

 

 




 


Works Committee

10 March 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W5/09

 

 

Subject:                  Petition for Barwon Park, Matraville to be made a Leash Free Dog Park

Folder No:                   F2005/00834

Author:                   Kerry Colquhoun, Acting Co-ordinator Parks and Recreation     

 

Introduction

 

This report is in response to a petition (containing 74 signatures) submitted to Council, requesting that Barwon Park, Matraville be established as a leash-free dog park. The petition has been organised by a local resident.

 

This report recommends that Council undertake community consultation to seek the views of local residents, to establish any issues related to this proposal.

 

Legislation requires that each Local Government Area must have at least one leash-free dog park. Randwick City Council has 13 existing leash-free dog parks.  Leash-free dog parks provide dogs the opportunity for unstructured play, some training and to socialise freely. There is also evidence to show that, not only do the dogs benefit from socialising in a leash-free dog park, but that humans also benefit socially from this activity.

 

Issues

 

Leash-free dog parks do raise concerns regarding safety. Problems can occur with an increased risk of injury to person or animal from attack. There is also the potential for damage to plants and other wildlife which may exist in the park.  Another concern is the dog owners who do not pick up after their dogs defecate. This is a health concern for humans and other animals and can have a major impact on our natural environment.  A further issue is that in an unfenced leash-free area, Council may be liable if a dog is injured on adjacent roads.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 2:      A vibrant and diverse community.

Direction 2c:    Strong partnerships between Council, community groups and government agencies.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

Dog parks are an important part of the community, providing space for both dogs and people to socialise. Dogs, especially in the city and suburbs require time to run freely. Randwick City Council has 13 leash-free dog parks, which is a comparatively high number. There is a leash-free area at Pioneer Park.


 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

 

 

 


Works Committee

10 March 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W6/09

 

 

Subject:                  Alcohol Free Zones - Coogee Basin Area

Folder No:                   F2005/00873

Author:                   Mark Shaw, Manager Technical Services     

 

Introduction

 

Council, at its ordinary Council meeting held on Tuesday 16 December 2008, resolved (Cr Andrews/Mayor, Cr B Notley-Smith):

 

 “that a report come to Council setting out the number of infringement notices issued by Council Rangers in the Coogee Basin for drinking alcohol in declared Alcohol Free Zones”.

 

Issues

 

There are two separate provisions (under the Local Government Act 1993) whereby a council can implement measures to control the consumption of alcohol in public places.

 

These provisions are defined as follows:

 

Alcohol Free Zones

The objectives of Alcohol Free Zones are to put in place a mechanism to control street drinking and they were introduced in 1995 by amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 (see Local Government Amendment [Alcohol-free Zones] Act 1995 - assented to on 15 December 1995 and commenced on 22 December 1995). Subsequent changes to the Local Government Act 1993 commenced on 3 December 2008 and were brought about by the Liquor Legislation Amendment Act 2008.

 

Alcohol Free Zones only operate over streets, footpaths, roads, public car parks (and not other public places such as parks and reserves) and are established by a Council in accordance with part 4 – Street Drinking, of chapter 16 of the Local Government Act 1993 (see s.644 to s.646 of the LG Act).

 

Section 642 - Confiscation of alcohol in alcohol-free zones:

 

(1)       A police officer or an enforcement officer may seize any alcohol (and the bottle, can, receptacle or package in which it is contained) that is in the immediate possession of a person in an alcohol-free zone if:

 

(a)    the person is drinking alcohol in the alcohol-free zone, or

(b)    the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person is about to drink, or has recently been drinking, alcohol in the alcohol-free zone.

 

(2)       Any alcohol or thing seized under this section is, by virtue of the seizure, forfeited:

 

(a)    if seized by a police officer – to the State, or

(b)    if seized by an enforcement officer – to the council that employs the officer.

 

(3)       Any alcohol seized under this section may:

 

(a)    be disposed of immediately by tipping it out of the bottle, can, receptacle or package in which it is contained, or

(b)    be otherwise disposed of in accordance with directions given by the Commissioner of Police or the council (as the case requires)

 

(4)           In this section, enforcement officer means an employee of a council authorised in writing by the Commissioner of Police to be an enforcement officer for the purpose of this section.

 

Acting Contrary to a Notice Erected by a Council

The other provision contained within the Local Government Act 1993 whereby a council can control the consumption of alcohol in a public place such as beaches, parks and reserves (but not streets, footpaths, roads and public car parks) is by erecting a Notice (a sign) controlling or prohibiting the consumption of alcohol or any other activity that a council wishes to control or prohibit (eg, dogs not to be walked unleashed in a reserve).

Randwick City Council, by erecting signs, prohibits the consumption of alcohol on its beaches and controls the consumption of alcohol at its reserves by prohibiting alcohol consumption from sunset to sunrise.

 

Acting contrary to a Notice erected by a council is an offence pursuant to s. 632 of the Local Government Act 1993 in which the Police or Council's authorised officers (which includes Council's Rangers) can issue a $110.00 Penalty Notice (on- the- spot fine).  However, where Randwick City Council Rangers observe people (who may be intoxicated) consuming alcohol contrary to the above provisions, they request that local police deal with such situations.  Council has not sort approval from the Commissioner of Police to authorise its Rangers to be enforcement officers for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of Alcohol Free Zones due to Occupational Health and Safety concerns as well as the fact that Rangers are typically not on duty when the majority of consumption of alcohol in Alcohol Free Zones occurs.  The response to Council Rangers by persons consuming alcohol within the Randwick LGA is often verbally abusive, threatening and contemptuous. Not only would it be unreasonable to expect that Rangers police Alcohol Free Zones but it would place them at genuine risk of assault or attack.  Police Officers are specifically trained to deal with this sort of behaviour and are provided with the specialised equipment and back up that may be necessary to deal with people under the influence of alcohol, who are often in unruly groups or who respond aggressively to any form of authority.  Council is also committed to providing a safe workplace without risk to the welfare of its staff in the undertaking of their work duties and this commitment would be seriously compromised should its Rangers be obliged to enforce Alcohol Free Zones as part of their duties.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       A liveable City.

Direction 6c:      The safety of our community is paramount and is acknowledged and

                       supported through pro-active policies, programmes and strategies.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 


Conclusion

 

No penalty infringement notices have been issued by Council Rangers in the Coogee Basin for drinking Alcohol and Alcohol Free Zones.

 

Recommendation

 

That the report be received and noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil