Works Committee Meeting














Tuesday 8 June 2010










Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510













Works Committee

8 June 2010















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, 8 June 2010 at 6:00pm.


Committee Members:           The Mayor, J Procopiadis, Andrews, Belleli, Bowen, Hughes, Matson, Matthews (Chairperson), Nash, Notley-Smith, Seng, Smith, Stevenson, Tracey, White (Deputy Chairperson) & 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 - 11 May 2010

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Works Reports

W13/10     Ku-ring-gai Council's Wild Things Program

W14/10     Investigating the suitability of replacing natural grass with synthetic grass    


Notice of Rescission Motions






Ray Brownlee

General Manager

Works Committee

8 June 2010




Works Report No. W13/10



Subject:                  Ku-ring-gai Council's Wild Things Program

Folder No:                   F2006/00209

Author:                   Bettina Digby, Supervisor Bushland and Nursery     




Council at its Ordinary Meeting held on 8 December 2009, resolved that:


“(Matson/Belleli) Council assess Ku-ring-gai Council’s “Wild Things Program” for its potential value if adopted in the Randwick City Council area, with an assessment and report to come back to Council.”


A review of Ku-ring-gai Council’s ‘Wild Things’ program has been undertaken by Council’s Bushland Supervisor. This program aims to engender a respect amongst Ku-ring-gai residents’ for the native fauna and natural environment of Ku-ring-gai.  This area has a dominant natural environment of Eucalypt forest and woodland.


The Ku-ring-gai Wild Things program:


·           Breeds blue-tongue lizards for distribution to residents,

·           Purchases native bee hives for distribution to residents,

·           Purchases native fish for distribution to residents,

·           Runs a series of workshops on swimming pool conversion to a natural pond,

·           Distributes fauna habitat packs of plants from their nursery,

·           Prepares a quarterly newsletter.


The animals are provided to resident free of charge.  Community volunteers make bee boxes into which council staff divide existing bee hives. The native bee population is maintained with a wide range of genetic material and a 'stud book' is kept to ensure the greatest genetic variability possible.  Blue-tongue lizards are bred by council staff in captivity and the young ones are distributed to residents as they become available.


The swimming pool to pond conversion program includes a free workshop and a donation of water plants and fish.  Many residents have swimming pools which are no longer used but they do not want to go to the expense of removal and/or the loss of the property asset. The converted pool can be re-converted back to a swimming pool in future if a new owner desires. Council purchases native fish from a fish breeder and distributes these to residents who have successfully converted their swimming pool to a natural pond.




1.      Local Environment

Ku-ring-gai Council area has a dominant natural environment of Eucalypt forest and sandstone heathland and has been urbanized for about 50 years. In Randwick City the dominant natural environment is coastal, predominantly beaches, sea cliffs and heathland and has been urbanized for over 100 years. The bushland character and biodiversity values of Ku-ring-gai provide one of the main focus areas for Ku-ring-gai Council’s management direction. Likewise, it is suggested that the main focus for Randwick City Council’s management direction is the coastal landscape character and the provision of services for its highly urbanized population.


Ku-ring-gai Council manages 1,160 hectares of bushland and has three major National Parks on its boundaries.  Randwick City Council manages 13 hectares of bushland and has a total of 253 hectares of bushland including one small National Park.  The two areas are quite different in


·       the size of available fauna habitat

·       the type of fauna habitat they offer

·       the number of fauna species surviving urbanization. 


2.      Populations of species

The definition of habitat is the food, shelter and places for reproduction offered by a place. Any given area of bushland in Randwick City can only support a certain number native fauna species and a limited number of individuals within each species depending on the type and quality of the habitats available. The nature of Randwick City and the eastern suburbs urbanization limits the suitable habitat available, i.e. its carrying capacity is low in comparison to places like Ku-ring-gai.  The release of new species or of more individuals of an existing species may displace existing individuals with no Nett gain in the diversity of species or species populations. For example, the species of native bees and the numbers in their populations may already fill all the available habitat niches.  By introducing more species and numbers we may cause the displacement and starvation of existing species and individuals.


3.      Local movement of individual native animals

Randwick City has much less bushland habitat than Ku-ring-gai Council. Randwick Council’s bushland and revegetated areas are also not as well linked together as those in Ku-ring-gai. This makes it difficult for ground-dwelling species to move around.  By increasing any species population by a breeding and release program, we may only cause the death of these individuals as they seek new habitat, either killed on Randwick’s roads or predated by domestic cats and dogs.


4.      Pool to Pond Program

The promotion by Council of a swimming pool to pond conversion would present a risk to neighbourhood amenity.


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


An estimate total cost for the Ku-ring-gai program would be approximately $39.400 per annum.




Randwick City Council’s biodiversity conservation actions focus on identifying what species currently exist here, protecting the surviving bushland and fauna species, restoring the remnant bushland, and, enhancing habitat by revegetating council managed land.  Council achieves this via the bushland maintenance program, Bushcare volunteer program, Community Parks program, pest animal and noxious weed control programs.  Improving the condition and extent of bushland in Randwick City is the priority action for council with its existing resources.


There is no evidence to suggest that a native fauna breeding and distribution programs would improve the diversity of local fauna species and their populations.  It could have a negative impact by causing the displacement and demise of some species or individual animals.


Advocating the conversion of swimming pools to ponds could cause neighbourhood amenity issues. 





That the report be received and noted.







Works Committee

8 June 2010




Works Report No. W14/10



Subject:                  Investigating the suitability of replacing natural grass with synthetic grass

Folder No:                   F2008/00297

Author:                   Steve Castle, Acting Coordinator - Parks & Recreation     




Council at its Ordinary Meeting held on 22 September 2009, on the motion of Councillors Seng & Andrews resolved that:


“Council investigate the suitability of replacing natural grass with synthetic grass on some of the City’s median strips, taking into account the potential improvements/advantages in terms of costs, aesthetics and the environment.”




On 3 May 2010 Council contacted Loxton Waikerie Council, South Australia, to determine whether synthetic turf would provide a sustainable alternative to natural grass on median islands within the City.


Representatives from Loxton Waikerie Council, provided Council some excellent feedback in terms of initial cost outlay, durability of product and feedback from their local community.


Pictures of the medians in Loxton Waikerie are attached.


Costs Associated With Installation


Installation of synthetic turf on medians will require the roll kerbing around the edge of the median to be in good condition, to allow for a quality finish.  Mr Noble also stated that his Council replaced most of the roll kerbing prior to installing the synthetic turf.


Council has since received quotes from two (2) suppliers, for the purposes of this investigation.  These contractors only supply and lay the synthetic grass. Council would need to employ a second contractor to prepare the median strip for the grass (i.e. – for the installation of either road base or concrete, whichever is preferable). Each supplier was asked for their best match to the base material, taking into account that Randwick would have much higher foot traffic across medians than Loxton Waikerie.


After taking into account all tasks involved in laying synthetic turf grass on a median strip in the City Of Randwick, the approximate cost of supplying and installing synthetic turf would be around $150 per sqm.  This price assumes that the roll kerb around the median is in good condition. If the roll kerb is broken/badly cracked or needs replacing, then the cost per square metre rises to as much as $400 per sqm.


A possible site that may be appropriate is the badly degraded grass verge on Bunnerong Road, between the intersections of Maroubra Road and Kingsford Street, subject to approval of the NSW Roads & traffic Authority for this position and concurrence of Botany Council, as it is on the local government boundary.


Relationship to City Plan


The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:


Outcome 4:       Excellence in urban design and development.

Direction 4a:      Improved design and sustainability across all development.


Financial impact statement


Funds are available in the draft 2010-11 streetscape budget.  The estimated costs of the works on Bunnerong Road is $110,000.




Using synthetic turf as an alternative to natural grass is possible, though alternatives such as coloured concrete would be much cheaper and viable in the longer term.


The positives aspects of this proposal would be:


·       The neat & tidy look of the median strips after completion.

·       The minimal maintenance required to keep the look.


The negatives aspects of this proposal would be:


·       The comparatively large initial cost of laying synthetic turf

·       The chance of negative public perception, due to the use of a synthetic product over a natural one.

·       The likelihood of vandalism of synthetic turf and the relatively high replacement/repair cost.

·       The suspect long term viability of the product in a large city environment and hence, large on-going, periodic replacement costs.





That this report be received and noted.





Pictures of medians in Loxton Waikerie Council





Pictures of medians in Loxton Waikerie Council

Attachment 1