Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 11 August 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

11 August 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, 11 August 2009 at 6:00pm.

 

 

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 - 14 July 2009

 

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

 

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

 

Urgent Business

 

Works Reports

W24/09     Child Protection Policy - Des Renford Aquatic Centre

W25/09     Moverly Road - Open Space - Temporary Licence

W26/09     Tree Removal - Outside 1-3 Ritchard Avenue, Coogee

W27/09     Tree Removal - Outside 17 St Pauls Street, Randwick

W28/09     Tree Removal - Outside 55A Hooper Street, Randwick

W29/09     Tree Removal - Outside 2 Figtree Avenue, Randwick    

 

Closed Session

Nil

 

 

Notices of Rescission Motions

Nil

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W24/09

 

 

Subject:                  Child Protection Policy - Des Renford Aquatic Centre

Folder No:                   F2006/00408

Author:                   Reece Heddle, Manager Des Renford Aquatic Centre     

 

Introduction

 

Des Renford Aquatic Centre (DRAC) is a key community recreational facility that Council provides for the community. It is a large, water based, recreational facility which offers a number of programs and facilities to a broad range of user groups, particularly children.

 

Council’s internal auditor highlighted the need for Des Renford Aquatic Centre to have a written Child protection policy to ensure Child Protection is of the highest priority; all staff, patrons and user groups are aware of their responsibilities; and to reduce the risk to Council.

 

Issues

 

Des Renford Aquatic Centre has developed a Child Protection Policy in order to provide a clear framework for both staff and participants in managing and reducing the risk of child abuse. This policy provides guidance to staff and participants on the acceptable behaviours and appropriate boundaries when working with children, along with procedures in identifying and handling allegations of abuse.

 

This policy incorporates all guidelines on creating a child-safe, child-friendly environment from the NSW Commission for Children and Young people and has utilised the Child-Safe and Child-Friendly Resource Checklist provided by the above mentioned department.

 

It is proposed to include this document in all DRAC employment packages, with staff signing off on their commitment to protecting and maintaining a child safe environment. Copies of this document will be circulated to all user groups and placed on facility notice boards to:

 

·           ensure that all patrons are aware of the facilities commitment to child protection;

·           highlight acceptable behaviour; and

·           provide a process for complaints.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       The safety of our community is paramount and is acknowledged and supported through proactive policies, programs and strategies.

Direction 6c:      Develop and implement regulatory environmental, public health and safety services and programmes to maximise public safety and anti-social behaviour of buildings and spaces.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The introduction of this policy will ensure that council maintains the highest emphasis on Child Protection. It will provide guidance to staff and participants on acceptable behaviours and appropriate boundaries when working with children, along with procedures for identifying and handling allegations of abuse. This document will provide a clear framework for both staff and participants in managing and reducing the risk of child abuse and ensuring that best practice is maintained.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     the ‘Des Renford Aquatic Centre Child Protection Policy’ be approved;

 

b)     all Des Renford Aquatic Centre Staff receive training on the Child Protection Policy; and

 

c)     the Manager Aquatic Services implement the policy as soon as possible.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Des Renford Aquatic Centre Child Protection Policy - May 2009

 

 

 

 

 


Des Renford Aquatic Centre Child Protection Policy - May 2009

Attachment 1

 

 

 

 

Des Renford Aquatic Centre

 

 

 

Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct

May 2009

 


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

1.       Child Protection Policy and Code of Statement of Commitment 3

 

2.       Who must comply with this Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct 3

 

3.       Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct 3

 

4.       Child Protection Policies and Procedures 7

 

5.       Child Abuse Indicators 7

 

6.       Procedures for Handling Disclosures 8

 

7.       Policy for Screening Employees and Volunteers 9

 

8.       Policy Implementation. 9

 

9.       Monitoring Compliance. 9

 

10.     Breaches 10

 

11.     Complaint Resolution Procedure. 12

 

12.     Appeals Process 13

 

13.     Consequences of Breaching the Child Protection Policy and/or Code of Conduct 13

 


1.      Child Protection Policy and Code of Statement of Commitment

 

1.1       Des Renford Aquatic Centre (DRAC) Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct provides a message to all involved both directly and indirectly with DRAC that, Management, Staff, Coaches, Officials, Parents, Volunteers and all Patrons have a responsibility to provide a safe environment to all children within the facility. This Policy and Code of Conduct is intended to ensure that DRAC maintains a safe environment for children and that the community can be proud of its association with the facility.

 

1.2       The abuse of children by either DRAC staff or any patron or visitor is not acceptable and DRAC encourages all incidents of abuse and/or neglect to be reported to the appropriate authorities.

 

2.           Who must comply with this Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct

 

2.1       Every person who enters DRAC, its surroundings including the carpark must comply with the Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct. This includes:

 

2.1.1.   Management

2.1.2.   Staff

2.1.3.   Parents/Guardians/Carers

2.1.4.   Patrons – Adult

2.1.5.   Patrons – Children

2.1.6.   Volunteers and Officials

2.1.7.   Spectators  

2.1.8.   Swim Club members and Officials

 

3.           Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct

 

3.1       Randwick City Council intends this Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct to be used in relation to all activities facilitated at DRAC including casual activities.

 

3.2       The following standard of conduct should be met by all staff, patrons and management.

 

3.2.1.   Respect the rights, dignity and worth of others.

3.2.2.   Be fair, considerate and honest in all dealings with others.

3.2.3.   Be professional in, and accept responsibility for your actions.

3.2.4.   Make a commitment to providing quality service.

3.2.5.   Be aware of and maintain DRAC policies, procedures and code of conduct.

 

3.3       Randwick City Council expects Management, Staff and patrons to abide by this Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct, which upholds the philosophy and values of Randwick City Council.  They should recognise that at all times they have a responsibility and duty of care to others.

 


3.4       Code of Conduct

 

3.4.1.   General

 

a)      Immediately report any breaches of the Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct to the appropriate authority.

b)      Refrain from any form of abuse towards others.

c)      Refrain from any form of harassment towards others.

d)      Refrain from any form of discrimination towards others.

e)      Refrain from any victimisation towards others.

f)       Provide a safe environment for the conduct of activities including non organised activities. (casual swimming)

g)      Show concern towards others that may be sick, injured or suffering emotional distress.

h)      Be a positive role model

 

3.4.2.  Language

 

a)      Do communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, in a way which models and demonstrates respect for the rights, interests and well being of all children and young people.

b)      Do use appropriate language taking into consideration age, development stage, emotional or psychological state, special needs, language background, religion or disability.

c)      Do ensure both verbal and non verbal communications are non-abusive or bullying.

d)      Do, when possible, frame communication from the positive perspective in all interactions with children and young people.

e)      Don’t become involved in inappropriate conservations of a sexual nature.

f)       Don’t make sexually suggestive comments.

g)      Don’t personally correspond (including email and /or phone) with a child or young person in respect of personal or sexual feelings for a child or young person.

 

3.4.3.   Relationships with young people

 

a)      Do behave in a way which models and demonstrates respect for the rights, interested and wellbeing of all children and young people.

b)      Do dress appropriately while working with children and young people, in a way which models respect for the child or young person.

c)      Don’t spend inappropriate time with a child or young person.

d)      Don’t inappropriately give gifts to a child or young person

e)      Don’t expose children to sexual behaviour of others including displays of pornography

f)       Don’t persuade a child or young person that a ‘special’ relationship exists.

 

 

 

 

3.4.4.   Physical Contact

 

a)      Do respect the personal space of children and young people and limit physical contact generally.

b)      Do limit hugging when initiated by a child or young person by changing from a front hug to an arm around the shoulder of the child or young person.(other than parents and caregivers)

c)      Don’t hit, kick, slap or push a child or young person.

d)      Don’t allow a child sit on your lap. (other than parents and caregivers)

e)      Don’t touch parts of a child’s or young person’s body usually covered by a swimming costume.

f)       Don’t change nappies or engage in toileting practices. (other than parents and caregivers)

 

3.4.5.   Management

 

a)      Place the safety and wellbeing of all participants above all else.

b)      Create pathways and build the atmosphere for children to participate, enjoy, be encouraged, improve and achieve their goals in their chosen activity.

c)      Give all young people equal opportunity to participate.

d)      Identify children with additional needs and ensure procedures are in place to assist them to work towards their goals.

e)      Have a child protection policy and code of conduct available for all clients.

f)       Assist staff in highlighting appropriate behaviour and skill development and help improve the standards of teaching and coaching.

g)      Set an example for all staff and participants ensuring management behaviour and comments are positive and supportive.

h)      Ensure that this policy is adhered to by all staff, parents and participants at all times and that any breaches are dealt with immediately including disciplinary action.

i)       Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

 

3.4.6.   Aquatic Centre Staff

 

a)      Agree to abide by the code of conduct

b)      Be responsible for matters concerning the implementation and maintenance of their program.

c)      Understand and implement the policies and procedures of Randwick City Council.

d)      Maintain a ‘Duty of Care’ towards others and accountability for matters relating to all activities.

e)      Any physical contact should be appropriate to the situation and necessary for the person’s skill development.

f)       Ensure that all participants receive equal attention and opportunities and receive a positive experience.

g)      Provide a safe environment.

h)      Provide a quality service.

i)       Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

 

3.4.7.   Parents/Guardians/Carers

 

a)      Supervise your child/children at all times or nominate another adult to do so

b)      Encourage your child to participate, do not force them, and acknowledge their efforts

c)      Use appropriate communication – verbal and non verbal – at all times. Do not use inappropriate communication e.g. yelling, humiliating or swearing at your child or another child.

d)      Encourage your child to participate according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence.

e)      Respect fellow members and teach your child to do so too.

f)       Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

3.4.8.   Patrons – Adults

 

a)      Respect fellow patrons.

b)      Use appropriate communication – verbal and non verbal – at all times.

c)      Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.
Participate according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence.

 

3.4.9.   Patrons – Children

 

a)      Treat all participants, as you would like to be treated. DO NOT bully or intimidate anyone else.

b)      Co-operate with your coach, team mates, opponents, and officials. 

c)      Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

 

3.4.10.  Volunteers and Officials

 

a)      Understand and implement the policies and procedures of the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.

b)      Place the safety and well being of all participants above all else.

c)      Maintain a ‘Duty of Care’ towards others and accountability for matters relating to all activities.

d)      Compliment and encourage all participants.

e)      Be consistent, objective and courteous when making decisions.

f)       Condemn unsporting behaviour and promote respect for all swimmers.

g)      Keep up to date with the latest trends in officiating and the principles of growth and development of young people.

h)      Place the safety and welfare of the participants above all else.

i)       Use appropriate communication – verbal and non verbal – at all times. Do not use inappropriate communication e.g. yelling, humiliating or swearing at a child or another adult.

j)       Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

 

3.4.11.  Spectators

 

a)      Condemn the use of violence in any form, whether it is by spectators, swimmers, instructors or coaches.

b)      Do not use foul language, sledge or harass other swimmers, coaches, technical officials or administrators.

c)      Remember, the children participate in sport for their enjoyment and benefit, not yours.

d)      Focus on your child’s efforts and performance rather than winning or losing.

e)      Encourage children to participate according to the rules and to settle problems without resorting to hostility, violence or inappropriate behaviour.  Respect the decisions of coaches and technical officials and teach your children to do the same.

f)       Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

3.4.12.  Swim Clubs

 

a)      Place the safety and wellbeing of all participants above all else.

b)      Maintain a ‘Duty of Care’ towards others and accountability for matters relating to all activities.

c)      Understand and implement the policies and procedures of the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.

d)      Co-operate with your coach, team mates, opponents, and officials.

e)      Any physical contact should be appropriate to the situation and necessary for the person’s skill development.

f)       Use appropriate communication – verbal and non verbal – at all times. Do not use inappropriate communication e.g. yelling, humiliating or swearing at a child or another adult.

g)      Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of gender, ability, cultural background or religion.

 

4.           Child Protection Policies and Procedures

 

4.1     The Des Renford Aquatic Centre is committed to ensuring that it meets this expectation through the range of programs and services that it undertakes.

 

4.2     The Des Renford Aquatic Centre encourages all persons to report concerns about suspected risk of harm to children and young people to a supervisor on duty or the Centre Manager. In cases where there is child abuse allegations against an employee and/or suspected risk of harm specifically related to the actions of an employee, they are also required to ensure that a report is made to the Centre Manager directly.

 

4.3     The nature of child abuse is often one involving the manipulation and abuse of a child by someone known to them. When children choose to disclose abuse it is usually to someone that they trust and who they believe can help. When a child comes to an adult for assistance it is therefore imperative that the adult person handle the disclosure sensitively and maintain confidentiality.

 

5.           Child Abuse Indicators

 

5.1       Some incidents may seem minor; however, they may in fact reveal more serious concerns of misconduct or a pattern of behaviour that requires further scrutiny. All people associated with the Des Renford Aquatic Centre should be aware of the indicators for child abuse and sexual abuse so that they may make an informed decision on what to report.

 

5.2       Suspicions of child abuse and/or neglect can be raised in a number of ways. These may included but are not limited to:

 

5.2.1.    Physical Abuse

 

a)      Bruising or other injuries, which could be consistent with rough handling or being struck. Particularly linear type bruises, bruises to the face. Clustered bruises forming regular shapes or bruises reflecting the shape used to inflict the injury (electrical cord, belt).

b)      Burns or scalds on a child, particularly to the soles, palms, or back. Cigarette burns are particularly significant.

c)      Fractures, particularly where any explanation for the injuries is inconsistent with medical findings.

d)      Excessive layering of clothing (can hide injuries)

e)      Wary of adult contact, frightened of parents. Behavioural extremes: aggressiveness, withdrawals.

 

5.2.2.   Neglect

 

a)      Children attending activities with little or no food 

b)      Consistent hunger, poor hygiene, inappropriate dress

c)      Underweight, poor growth patterns, failure to thrive

d)      Assuming adult responsibilities and concerns

 

5.2.3.   Sexual Abuse

 

a)      Difficulty in walking or sitting

b)      Sleeping/eating disorders

c)      Aggressive acting out

d)      Bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual behaviour or knowledge

e)      It is important that no two children will act the same in response to abuse situations. Some children show no observable effects whilst some show quite obvious effects and quite a range of indicators.

 

5.2.4.   In Addition

 

a)      A child may disclose directly to a member of staff the nature of the abuse

b)      Some one may disclose to a member of staff that another is being abused

 

 

6.           Procedures for Handling Disclosures

 

6.1       If a child discloses to a member of staff that they are the victim of abuse and/or neglect it is crucial that the initial response is handled with sensitivity. It is important that the person receiving the disclosure:

 

6.1.1.   Find a private place to talk to the child that is non threatening.

6.1.2.   Not question the child or elicit detailed information about the abuse and/or neglect.  

6.1.3.   Questions rather should be limited to “What happened then” and “Tell me about that”

6.1.4.   Not say to the child “I won’t tell” with regard to the allegations. Rather be honest with the child and explain to them that other people may need to be told in order to help the child.

6.1.5.   Believe the child and reassure them that it is right to tell.

6.1.6.   Determine the child’s safety. This may impact on how quickly you choose to act on the information you receive.

 

6.2       Take notes on what is said and what you observe if you are the first person the child tells regarding their abuse you will be required to provide a statement to the Police as evidence of Preliminary Complaint. This is evidence of what the child told you only and goes to the credibility of the child. This is extremely important evidence and you may later be required to give evidence in court. It is important for you to write down or keep a diary of things you are told by the child or any indicators you may observe. All observations should be accurately recorded and any conversations had with the child should be recorded in the first person. In all cases, except those of an emergent nature, the Centre Manager is to be informed of the nature of the allegations to enable the matter to be reported to the trained authorities.

 

7.           Policy for Screening Employees and Volunteers

 

7.1       The policy of Randwick City Council is that all those involved in the coaching, administration, refereeing and or any other role, whether it is on a paid or voluntary basis, with members under the age of 18 yrs, will undergo a “Working with Children’s Check” and “Prohibited Employment Declaration”.  A working with children’s check is conducted by the NSW Department of Community Services for all recommended applicants whose position has been identified as a child related position.

 

7.2       Under the Child Protection ( Prohibited Employment ) Act 1998

 

7.2.1.   Randwick City Council will not commence employing a person in a child- related position without first requiring them to disclose whether or not they are a ‘prohibited person’.

 

7.2.2.   Randwick City Council will not commence employing, or continue to employ, in a child –related employment, a person that has been identified as a ‘prohibited person’.

 

8.           Policy Implementation

 

8.1       The information contained in this policy will create a framework and provide direction for staff, officials, coaches, volunteers, patrons, parents of children and young people involved in the Des Renford Aquatic Centre. It will help deliver a consistent approach to child abuse prevention at all levels.

 

8.2       In order to implement the child protection policy the Des Renford Aquatic Centre will undertake to:

 

8.2.1.   Implement strategies and procedures that focus on the best interests of children and meet the requirements of the child protection policy

8.2.2.   Promote a safe and supportive environment for all children and young people participating in activities at the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.

8.2.3.   Increase awareness and emphasise the importance of child protection issues in a sporting environment to all those involved with the activities of the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.

 

9.           Monitoring Compliance

 

9.1       The Des Renford Aquatic centre will review the Policy annually or more often if needed. The Centre Manager and Supervisors are responsible for the monitoring of the Policy.

 


10.         Breaches

 

10.1      What is harassment?

 

10.1.1   Harassment is behaviour which is not asked for, not invited and not wanted. It is behaviour that can offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate.

 

10.1.2   Any harassment that occurs because of a person’s sex, race (including colour, nationality, ethno-religious background and ethnic or national origin), marital status, disability, age, pregnancy, homosexuality or transgender is regarded as unlawful under the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. 

 

10.1.3   Harassment includes:

 

a)      Abuse is a form of harassment.   It includes:

·      physical abuse (e.g. assault);

·      emotional abuse, (e.g. blackmail, repeated requests or demands);

·      neglect (e.g. failure to provide the basic physical and emotional necessities of life);

·      abuse of power, which the harasser holds over the harassed.

 

b)      Examples of abusive behaviour include:

·      Bullying/verbal abuse between patrons

·      Bullying and humiliation of swimmers by instructors/ coaches;

·      Verbal abuse and insults directed by parents;

·      Verbal and / or physical abuse of instructors/coaches by swimmers or parents/guardians/carers.

 

c)      Some forms of abuse may constitute a criminal offence, for example assault and child abuse. If you believe that a criminal offence may have been committed you should inform the Supervisor on duty and the Centre Manager.

 

10.1.4   Sexual Harassment

 

a)      an unwelcome sexual advance; or

b)      an unwelcome request for sexual favours; or

c)      unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature (including a statement, orally or in writing, of a sexual nature), in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated that the person being harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

d)      This definition makes it clear that sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviour of a sexual nature which causes distress to another person.

 

10.1.5   Sexual Harassment is often, but need not be, behaviour which either:

 

a)      Involves blackmail, in that the harassment is accompanied by a direct or implied threat, promise or benefit; or

b)      Creates a hostile or sexually permeated environment, in that the harassment consists of crude remarks, jokes, and the display of offensive material or makes the environment uncomfortable.

 

10.1.6   Examples of Sexual Harassment may include:

 

a)      Uninvited touching, kissing, embracing;

b)      Staring, leering, ogling;

c)      Smutty jokes and comments;

d)      Persistent or intrusive questions about people’s private lives;

e)      Repeated invitations to go out, especially after prior refusal;

f)       The use of promises or threats to coerce someone into sexual activity;

g)      The display of sexually graphic material e.g. internet use, computer screen savers, calendars, restricted videos etc

h)      Getting undressed in front of others of the opposite sex;

i)       Invading the privacy of others while showering or toileting;

j)       Photographing others while undressing, showering or toileting.

 

10.1.7   Sexual Harassment may be a criminal offence, for example indecent assault, rape, sex with a minor, obscene telephone calls or letters.

 

10.1.8   Racial Harassment

 

a)     Racial harassment is an action which is reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate based on colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, cultural activity and sometimes religion.

 

10.1.9  Examples of Racial Harassment include:

 

a)      Jokes in which race is a significant characteristic of the “butt” of the joke;

b)      Hostile comments about food eaten, dress or religious or cultural practices;

c)      Inferences that all members of a racial or cultural group have particular negative characteristics, such as laziness, drunkenness, greed or sexual promiscuity;

d)      Parodying accents.

 

10.1.10 Disability Harassment

 

a)      Disability harassment is an action which is reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate a person with a disability or a person who is associated with a person who has a disability.

 

10.1.11 Examples of Disability Harassment include:



a)      Jokes where a particular disability is a significant characteristic of the “butt” of the joke;

b)      Interfering with a disability aid (e.g. hearing aid);

c)      Obstructing a person in a manner that compounds his or her disability (e.g. putting obstacles in the path of a person with a vision impairment);

d)      Mocking a person’s disability.

 

10.1.12   What is a Breach of this Policy?   It is a breach of this Policy for any person or service provider to whom this Policy applies to:

 

a)      Fail to comply with any of the responsibilities set out in this policy

b)      Appoint, or continue to appoint, a person to a role set out in this policy:

c)      Without first undertaking screening and

d)      Where the Working with Children’s check reveals the

e)      person has committed an offence of the type set out in this policy

f)       Engage in any form of harassment;

g)      Make a frivolous, vexatious or malicious Complaint under this Policy;

 

11.         Complaint Resolution Procedure

 

11.1      Any person or organisation may make a complaint about a person or organisation to whom this Policy applies, if they consider that person or organisation has, or may have, committed a breach of any part of this Policy (a “Complaint”).

 

11.2      The complaint always belongs to the complainant, who will also determine how their complaint is dealt with and is not divulged to another person without the complainant’s agreement, except in the case where a person is required by law to report the matter to governmental authorities (for example, in the case of suspected child abuse).

 

11.3      A complainant has the right to withdraw the complaint at any stage and choose or alter the process of resolution, i.e. formal or informal. However, some complaints, because of their nature, may require Management to action regardless of any mediated outcome that may be sought.

 

11.4      The Centre Manager will facilitate the complaints process-bearing in mind that any form of child abuse is reported to the Department of Child Safety or the Police immediately.

 

11.5      The Centre Manager will listen to the complaint and then take appropriate action to clarify the complaint.

 

11.6      A discussion between both parties may be facilitated to resolve the complaint.

 

11.7      Randwick City Council will be notified of the complaint and where necessary communicate with the Organisational Staff Services section.

 

11.8      Caution all parties to maintain confidentiality to reduce the possibility of a defamation suit.

 

11.9      At all times the complaint and names associated will be kept confidential and only actioned if the complainant agrees. All parties have a right to confidentiality and privacy, subject to necessary legal responsibilities.

 

11.10    Any matters requiring mandatory reporting to the Police service or the Dept of Community Services will be reported.

 

12.         Appeals Process

 

12.1      Following the complaint resolution process, the complainant may appeal against the decision in accordance with the following process:

 

12.1.1   A written appeal must be lodged with the General Manager of Randwick City Council, within fourteen days of the complainant being notified of the decision.

 

12.1.2   The General Manager will then take the responsibility for organizing an Appeals Committee. The committee will be comprised of staff from the Organisational Staff services section and a director who the General Manager will appoint. The persons appointed to the committee must not have been directly involved in the complaint during the complaints resolution process.

 

12.1.3   The committee is not a formal court or tribunal; therefore it is not bound by formal legal rules (aside from the rule of natural justice). The committee will consider appeals in the following manner:

 

a)      If no new information is provided with the written appeal, then the committee will review the decision resulting out of the original complaints resolution process.

b)      If new information is provided with the written appeal, the committee may reconsider the complaint. If the committee decides to reconsider the complaint, the parties to the complaint may make a written or verbal presentation to the committee.

 

12.1.4   The recommendation of the committee will then be considered by the General Manager, and a final decision will be made. This final decision made by the General Manager will not be subject to any further internal review.

 


13.         Consequences of Breaching the Child Protection Policy and/or Code of Conduct

 

13.1      Randwick City Council will fully investigate any actual or suspected breach of this policy by any employee, patron, parent, official or contractor and, where grounds are found to exist, will report the matter to the relevant authorities for possible criminal proceedings being taken against the offender.

 

13.2      In the case of employees, such action may constitute “gross misconduct” under the terms of employment and may result in the immediate termination of their employment.

 

       

 


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W25/09

 

 

Subject:                  Moverly Road - Open Space - Temporary Licence

Folder No:                   F2004/06871

Author:                   Joe Ingegneri, Co-ordinator Engineering Services; Sharon Plunkett, Property Coordinator     

 

Introduction

 

Council has been approached by Networks Alliance, requesting the use of the vacant land located on the northern side of Moverly Road at Malabar Road for a temporary storage compound. Networks Alliance is a contractor for Sydney Water. They are planning to upgrade two (2) water mains in Malabar Road, South Coogee and Clovelly Road, Randwick.

 

Formal occupation of this land requires the execution of a temporary licence agreement. Clause 400 (Part 13) of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requires that the Seal of the Council must not be affixed to a document unless the document relates to the business of the Council and the Council has resolved (by resolution referring to the document) that the Seal be so affixed.

 

Issues

 

Networks Alliance on behalf of Sydney Water is planning to upgrade two (2) water mains in Randwick City Council’s local government area at:

 

·      Malabar Road, South Coogee between Arden Street and Torrington Road.

·      Clovelly Road, Randwick between Darley Road and Gilderthorpe Avenue.

 

The work is planned to commence in September 2009. The completion date is January 2010.

 

Randwick Council has received a request from Networks Alliance requesting the use of the vacant land located on Moverly Road at Malabar Road. The site is located at the southern border of Randwick Cemetery. An aerial photograph of the location is shown in Attachment 1.

 

Networks Alliance has advised that they will conduct a site condition assessment report before and after the use of the site to determine whether the land was damaged. Further, it is proposed that a damage deposit be paid to be refunded upon the satisfactory restoration of the land.

 

Networks Alliance proposes to store materials and equipment in the site compound. The compound will only be accessed during normal work hours. A temporary fence will be erected around the site compound for security.

 

It is proposed to charge a licence fee for the use of this site in accordance with Randwick Council’s standard licence agreement. The fee will be set at $1,000.00 per week plus GST. It will be necessary for the Council’s Seal to be affixed to the signing of a licence agreement between Council and Networks Alliance.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome:  6 A Liveable City.

Direction:  6a. Our public assets are planned, managed and funded to meet the community expectations and defined levels of service.

 

Financial impact statement

 

In signing of the licence agreement, Council will receive $1,000.00 + GST per week. It is estimated that the revenue will total $20,000.00 + GST for a 20 week period.

 

Conclusion

 

Networks Alliance has requested the temporary use of vacant land for a site compound on Moverly Road as part of a water main upgrade along Malabar Road. A licence agreement between Council and Networks Alliance will be required to formalise the occupation.

 

As Clause 400 (part 13) of the Local Government (General) Regulation requires that the Council pass a resolution authorising the Affixing of the Seal, it is necessary for this action to take place to facilitate legal formalities.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Networks Alliance be offered a temporary licence for the use of the vacant land located on Moverly Road at Malabar Road for a site compound during water main upgrade works on Malabar Road and Clovelly Road;

 

b)     the licence fee be set at $1000 plus GST per week;

 

c)     a damage deposit of $20,000 be paid by the contractor to Randwick City Council. The damage deposit will be refunded upon the satisfactory restoration of the land; and

 

d)     the Council’s Seal be affixed to the signing of the licence agreement between Council and Networks Alliance.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Aerial photograph - vacant land on corner of Moverly and Malabar Road, South Coogee

 

 

 

 

 


Aerial photograph - vacant land on corner of Moverly and Malabar Road, South Coogee

Attachment 1

 

 

 


 


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W26/09

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 1-3 Ritchard Avenue, Coogee

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 1 Ritchard Avenue, Coogee, emailed Council on 11 March 2009 raising concerns about structural damage being caused to his property by roots from the large Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the footpath outside the above two properties.

 

Issues

 

The subject tree is approximately twenty-two metres in height with a canopy spread of around 20 metres. Because of its dimensions and the fact that it is one of a large number of the same species growing along the length of Ritchard Avenue, it is extremely important in the streetscape.

 

During recent footpath repairs along both sides of the street the footpath adjacent to the subject tree had to be replaced in bitumen because it was not possible to sever the roots required to re-instate the surrounding footpath in concrete.

 

At the time of these construction works the owner of 3 Ritchard Avenue had an application for a driveway into his property refused because of its potential impact on this tree – even though he already had a carport constructed inside his property.

 

Over the past decade the footpath has had to be repaired on a number of occasions because of tree root damage and roots have now lifted the adjacent kerb and gutter and undermined the road.

 

Council’s Tree Gang recently removed the adjacent footpath area and this revealed a variety of damage associated with the roots of the tree. This ranged from damage to public infrastructure to large tree roots entering the two adjacent properties and showing signs of structural damage to both.

 

The property owner has stated that there is damage to paving inside the front entrance area of the residence as well as damage to the front gate that prohibits it from closing.

 

The report provided by Council’s Tree Gang clearly indicates that damage is extensive and that the amount of root material required to be removed to deal with this damage would be extreme.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10b:    Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 


Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of this tree and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species will cost in the vicinity of $2,500. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

This very large street tree is an important visual component of the streetscape of Ritchard Avenue, Coogee. It is also an important provider of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna.

 

The tree is estimated to be at least sixty years old and every effort has been made in the past to retain it, despite the problems associated with root growth increasing in frequency and severity.

 

The subject tree has been assessed as having high scenic amenity value and with providing important habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because of its location and the damage being caused by its roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible.

 

Using Australian Standard ASDR99307 it has been calculated that the tree has an amenity value of $4,800. This relatively low amount is primarily due to its inappropriate location and the fact that its roots are now causing serious and ongoing damage to both private property and public infrastructure and impacting adversely on the lives of both adjacent property owners.

 

It has been calculated that the tree has a moderate hazard rating but this will increase as the tree ages and declines in health.

 

Because of the size and amount of root material required to be removed to abate the range of damage being caused by this tree, root pruning would be required to be both severe and excessive. The permissible area allowable for any root pruning operation is calculated by deducting the critical root zone area from the total primary root zone area and converting that figure to a percentage. Accepted industry practise dictates that root pruning is only ever to be undertaken where the total amount to be root pruned on any tree is determined to be less than twenty (20) percent of the primary root zone area.  To negate the damage being caused by the roots of this particular tree would involve the removal of approximately forty-two (42) percent of the tree’s primary root zone area and this makes root pruning an unviable and unsafe option. The only feasible long-term management option would be to remove this tree and to replace it with a more appropriate street tree species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan. This is despite the fact that several trees of the same species have been removed along Ritchard Avenue over the past two-three years.

 

To retain this tree any longer will mean that the damage being caused to private property in particular is likely to increase quite sharply and to cost Council a large amount to attempt to rectify. Any such measures would only be a temporary solution, as it is impossible to sever the roots required to completely abate tree root damage.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 1-3 Ritchard Avenue, Coogee, be removed and replaced with a more appropriate species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots

 

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots

Attachment 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject tree is highly significant in streetscape

 

Large tree roots running along nature strip, footpath, driveway crossover and front property alignment

 

Tree roots entering properties at 1 and 3 Ritchard Ave at several points along frontages

Ficus ‘Hillii’ tree root entering property at 1 Ritchard Ave underneath front gate area

 

Tree roots undermining footpath and front fence pillar

 

 

 

Mass of tree roots undermining front fence area of 3 Ritchard Ave

 

Internal common brick wall showing signs of cracking in vicinity of tree roots

 

 

Cracking of cemented pavers in entranceway to property

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W27/09

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 17 St Pauls Street, Randwick

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 17 St Pauls Street, Randwick, wrote to Council on 11 May 2009 raising concerns about structural damage being caused to her residence by roots from the large Council-owned Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor laurel) growing in the footpath/road shoulder outside her property.

 

Issues

 

The subject tree is approximately eighteen metres in height with a canopy spread of around 20 metres. Because of its dimensions it is extremely important in the streetscape of St Pauls Street. However, throughout its lifetime there have been numerous and ongoing problems associated with its retention. These have ranged from deadwood dropping from the canopy, to ongoing damage to the footpath and kerb and gutter, to blocking the sewer pipes of the adjoining property on a regular basis.

 

Several years ago, in an effort to retain the tree, damaged kerbing was directed around and away from the base of the tree and the roadway was then diverted around the kerbing.

 

The footpath has had to be repaired on a number of occasions because of tree root damage and roots have now started to lift the adjacent kerb and gutter.

 

Council’s Tree Gang recently removed the adjacent footpath area and this revealed a variety of damage associated with the roots of the tree. These range from undermining the footpath to dislodging and invading a number of stormwater lines, to damaging the internals of the adjacent property. Roots have also on occasions damaged water pipes, Telstra cabling and AGL pipes. The property owner has stated that there is damage to paving and concrete inside the front entrance area of the residence as well as cracks along the side of the property that she considers have been caused by roots from the subject tree. The report provided by Council’s Tree Gang clearly indicates that damage is extensive and that the amount of root material required to be removed to negate any of this damage would be extensive.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10b:    Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of this tree and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species will cost in the vicinity of $2,000. The required funds will come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

This large tree is an important visual component of the streetscape of St Pauls Street, Randwick. It is also an important provider of habitat for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna. The tree would be at least fifty years old and every effort has been made in the past to retain it, despite a mounting array of problems that are increasing in frequency and severity. The subject tree has been assessed as having high scenic amenity value and with providing average food source for a variety of fauna. Because of its location, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible.

 

Using Australian Standard ASDR99307, it has been calculated that the tree has an amenity value of only $2,400. This is primarily because of its inappropriate location and limited safe useful life expectancy, coupled with the fact that it continually drops branches and its roots cause serious and ongoing damage to both private property and public infrastructure.

 

It has been calculated that the tree has a medium hazard rating but this will increase as the tree declines in health and drops more branches. There are already signs of deterioration within sections of the canopy and this has to be regularly monitored and maintenance pruned to negate liability. Because of the size and proximity of damaging roots to the trunk of this tree the amount of root material required to be removed to abate the range of damage being cause would be both severe and excessive.

 

The permissible area allowable for root pruning operations is calculated by deducting the critical root zone area from the total primary root zone area and converting that figure to a percentage. Accepted industry practise dictates that root pruning is only ever to be undertaken where the total amount to be root pruned on any tree is determined to be less than twenty (20) percent of the primary root zone area. With this particular tree just to deal with the most immediate tree root issues would involve the removal of approximately forty-three (43) percent of the tree’s primary root zone area and this makes root pruning an unviable and unsafe option.

 

The only feasible long-term management option would be to remove this tree and to replace it with a more appropriate street tree species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor laurel) growing outside 17 St Pauls Street, Randwick, be removed and replaced with a more appropriate species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing importance of tree in streetscape and scope and range of damage caused by tree roots

 

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing importance of tree in streetscape and scope and range of damage caused by tree roots

Attachment 1

 

 

  

Camphor laurel is significant in streetscape and provides important visual amenity

 

Roots have undermined a large section of the adjacent footpath and kerb and gutter

 

Roots have damaged and dislodged several stormwater lines into adjacent properties

 

Roots have cracked a large section of the adjacent asphalt footpath

 

Deadwood is prevalent in large sections of the entire tree canopy and branches overhang service wires

 

 

 


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W28/09

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 55A Hooper Street, Randwick

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 4/55A Hooper Street, Randwick, has written to Council on a number of occasions over several years raising concerns about structural damage being caused to his and adjoining townhouses by roots from the large Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the footpath outside his property. He has also highlighted the public liability risk associated with large protruding tree roots on the nature strip and how this affects his and his elderly wife’s ability to enter and leave their property.

 

Subsequent to this correspondence being received by Council, the owners of both 1/55A Hooper Street and 6/55A Hooper Street have also written to Council and requested the removal and replacement of the subject street tree because of tree root damage and liability concerns.

 

Issues

 

The subject tree is approximately twenty metres in height with a canopy spread of around 20 metres. Because of its sheer size and the fact that it is approximately sixty years old it is an important component in the streetscape of Hooper Street.

 

Over the past decade the footpath has had to be repaired on a number of occasions because of tree root damage and roots have now also lifted the adjacent kerb and gutter.

 

The canopy of the tree is regularly pruned quite excessively to clear overhead powerlines and to maintain requested property clearances. Protruding tree roots were recently ‘shaved’ to negate to some degree the public liability concerns they presented, but this is only a temporary measure. Council’s Tree Gang recently removed the adjacent footpath area and this revealed a variety of damage associated with the roots of the tree. This ranged from damage to public infrastructure to large tree roots entering two adjacent townhouses.

 

Two adjacent property owners have stated in correspondence that there is damage to paving inside the front entrance area of their properties, as well as damage to the common front gate pier of townhouses 3 and 4 that prohibits the gates from closing.

 

The report provided by Council’s Tree Gang indicates that damage is at this stage relatively confined and they have severed all large tree roots entering adjacent private property.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10b:    Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of this tree and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species will cost in the vicinity of $2,500. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

This very large street tree is an important visual component in the streetscape of Hooper Street, Randwick. It is estimated to be at least sixty years old and up until now every effort has been made to retain it - despite the problems associated with ongoing powerline clearance and root growth damage, which is now increasing in both frequency and severity.

 

The subject tree has been assessed as having significant scenic amenity and with providing important habitat and food source for a variety of birdlife and other fauna. Because of its location, inappropriateness as a street tree species and the damage being caused by its roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible.

 

Using Australian Standard ASDR99307 it has been calculated that the tree has an amenity value of $10,800. This valuation takes into account, among other things, the fact that it is inappropriately located, that it is an inappropriate species and that its roots are now beginning to cause serious and ongoing damage to both private property and public infrastructure and impacting adversely on the lives of adjacent property owners.

 

It has been calculated that the tree has a moderate hazard rating but this will no doubt increase as the tree ages and declines in health.

 

Two very large Ficus ‘Hillii’ street trees were removed some years ago from outside the property opposite this tree because their roots were actually destroying the residence and only recently a tree of the same species was removed from outside 40 Hooper Street because of problems and damage associated with its large and spreading root system.

 

Although several large roots have been severed from this tree to temporarily halt their progress into private property, the amount of root material required to be removed to effectively deal with the range of damage being caused would be severe.

 

The permissible area allowable for any root pruning operation is calculated by deducting the critical root zone area from the total primary root zone area and converting that figure to a percentage. Accepted industry practise dictates that root pruning is only ever to be undertaken where the total amount to be root pruned on any tree is determined to be less than twenty (20) percent of the primary root zone area. To effectively negate the damage being caused by the roots of this particular tree in the longer term would require the removal of approximately thirty-four (34) percent of the tree’s primary root zone area and this makes root pruning an unviable option. The only feasible long-term management option would be to remove this tree and to replace it with a more appropriate street tree species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

Several of the adjacent property owners have requested the removal/replacement of this tree and, although it is significant in this section of the streetscape, it is the only tree of this species and therefore its removal would not have the same effect as if it were part of a single-species planting theme.

 

Although the subject is large, healthy and significant in the streetscape, to retain it into the future will mean that the damage being caused to private property in particular is likely to increase and this will inevitably cost Council an increasing amount to repair on a regular basis.  Any ongoing root pruning measures would only be a temporary solution to the problems associated with the tree, as it is impossible to sever the roots required to completely abate tree root damage.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 55A Hooper Street, Randwick, be removed and replaced with a more appropriate species – as per Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the tree in the streetscape and some of the damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots

 

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the tree in the streetscape and some of the damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots

Attachment 1

 

 

Front brick pillar of two townhouses uplifted by Ficus ‘Hillii’ tree roots

Front gate offset and unable to be closed because of tree roots

 

Tree roots entering property at 3/55A Hooper Street – roots have subsequently been severed outside property alignment

Ficus ‘Hillii’ street tree is large, healthy and significant in streetscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee

11 August 2009

 

 

 

Works Report No. W29/09

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Outside 2 Figtree Avenue, Randwick

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owner of 2 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, has written to Council requesting the removal of a large and significant Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing on the nature strip outside her property. The owner has, in fact, written to Council on several occasions over the past five years requesting the removal of this same tree for a variety of reasons - ranging from the way it affects her lifestyle to root damage caused to her property.

 

Issues

 

The subject tree is approximately twenty metres in height with a canopy spread of around sixteen metres. It is one of nineteen (19) of the same species growing along both sides of Figtree Avenue and its significance has been recognised by the fact that the entire avenue is included on Council’s Register of Significant Trees. The primary reason for this group of Hill’s Weeping figs being included on the Register is that they are an outstanding single species roadside planting and they form one of the more memorable avenues in the Randwick LGA.

 

The tree is in good health and is an important provider of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna.

 

Over the past decade the footpath outside the property has had to be repaired on a number of occasions because of tree root damage and numbers of roots have had to be severed to mitigate as much as possible ongoing root damage. Sewer blockages caused by the roots of the subject tree had been occurring for well over a decade but these seem to have abated since the installation of PVC pipes within this and adjoining properties. Overhanging branches from the tree are regularly pruned back from the roof and residence as much as possible to minimise the amount of leaf drop but, because of the sheer size of the tree, this will continue to be an ongoing issue for as long as it is retained.

 

In mid-2006 the owner wrote to Council advising that there was structural damage being caused to the veranda area of her residence which she believed was caused by roots from the adjacent Council-owned fig tree. Subsequent trenching verified that roots had entered the property and lifted pavers and these roots were then severed and the pavers re-instated. Subsequent to these works being completed the owner again wrote to Council on 23 February 2007 requesting that the tree be removed and replaced. This request was denied on 7 March 2007 because of the significance of the tree.

 

Ponding of large amounts of water was occurring on the footpath outside 2 and 4 Figtree Avenue but this seems to have been rectified to a large degree by footpath works that took place in 2007.

 

As late as 23 February 2009 a Council roads engineer spoke to the owners of both 2 and 4 Figtree Avenue and they indicated to him that they were happy with the new footpath area and that water was no longer ponding in that area.

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10b:    Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Should Council approve the removal of this tree and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species it is estimated that it will cost in the vicinity of $2,500. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

This large street tree is an important visual component of the streetscape of Figtree Avenue, Randwick. It forms part of a recognised significant single species avenue planting that should be retained at all costs.

 

The tree is approximately sixty years old and every effort has been made in the past to deal with the problems associated with both property overhang and tree root damage to both public infrastructure and private property.

 

The subject tree has been assessed as having significant scenic amenity value and with providing important habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because it is located in a very confined situation the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible.

 

Using Australian Standard ASDR99307 it has been calculated that the tree has an amenity value of $21,600. This amount highlights the fact that even though the tree is inappropriate for the situation in which it is growing and that its roots continue to cause ongoing damage, it is recognised for a variety of other reasons as being of profound importance in the streetscape

 

In her latest correspondence to Council dated 19 July 2009 the primary reasons cited by the owner for wanting the tree removed are the damage caused to her property by its roots and the amount of leaf litter it continually drops onto her residence and property. There may very well be some minor damage being caused to the front brick fence and gate by roots from this tree but this could be repaired without having the tree removed.

 

An inspection of the raised and repaired footpath area outside the property undertaken in February 2009 indicated that rain water was no longer ponding on the footpath outside the property. The issue of severe and ongoing leaf drop from this tree is likely to continue simply because of the size of the tree and species involved but gutter and downpipe blockages could be mitigated to some degree by the installation of a proprietary ‘Gutter guard’ type product.

 

In conclusion, the problems cited for the removal of this significant street tree asset are both relatively minor in nature and able to be managed at this point in time. The Randwick LGA contains a number of Hill’s Weeping fig avenues of similar age structure but many of these fail to have group significance due to past losses/ removals, breaks in continuity, multiple species selection and/or pruning to accommodate overhead powerlines.

 

This particular avenue of figs has local significance in terms of visual, aesthetic, historic, cultural and social values associated with the Randwick City area. For these reasons, there would need to be a compelling case provided to approve the removal of this very important tree asset.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing outside 2 Figtree Avenue, Randwick not be removed and that any problems associated with its retention be managed as appropriate.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the relatively small amount of visual damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots

 

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the relatively small amount of visual damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by its roots

Attachment 1

 

 

  

View of subject tree (on corner) looking north along streetscape

 

View along Figtree Avenue (looking south) showing significance of streetscape

Relatively minor branch overhang into property at 2 Figtree Avenue

 

No protruding tree roots and undamaged footpath outside 2 Figtree Ave

Relatively minor crack in middle section of front brick fence

 

Recently repaired and undamaged footpath section outside 2-4 Figtree Ave