Ordinary Council Meeting

 

Supplementary BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 27 November 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Meeting

 

Notice is hereby given that an Ordinary Council Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 6pm.

 

 

 

 

MM84/12   Coogee Family Fun Day - request for additional funding

MM85/12   Re-establishing Council's Best Gift campaign

MM86/12   Installation of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach

MM87/12   Waiver of Fees for Australian Adoption Organisation - fundraiser at Des Renford Aquatic Centre

MM88/12   Trailer Parking on Public Roads

MM89/12   Waiving of Fees for banner "South Maroubra Village Green Carols by Candelight 2012"

MM90/12   State Government - Handling of Rezoning Proposals

MM91/12   Waiving of Fees - Canvas Church

MM92/12   Rockfishing safety in Randwick City   

GM37/12    Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Change - Discussion Paper      

CP102/12   Land and Environment Court Appeal 2-6 Goodwood and 3-7 Ascot Streets, Kensington

This matter is considered to be confidential under Section 10A(2) (e) Of the Local Government Act, as it deals with information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law.

    

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM84/12

 

 

Subject:                  Coogee Family Fun Day - request for additional funding

Folder No:                   F2004/08145

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

The Event Manager for the Coogee Family Fun Day/Coogee Chamber of Commerce has written to Council requesting equivalent funding to past years for the upcoming 2012 event, given the late notice of the reduction in funding as a result of the recent allocations under Council’s Cultural Grants Program.

 

Issues

 

Council’s 2nd round of Cultural Grants for 2012 were allocated at the 23 October 2012 Council Meeting. At that meeting, in-kind funds (totalling $4,939.35) for the use of Goldstein Reserve plus a cash contribution (of $5,000) towards this annual community event were approved.

 

The Coogee Chamber of Commerce had applied for $4,939.35 in-kind, plus a cash contribution of $11,067.

 

The 2012 event (which is planned for 1 December 2012) will be the 18th Coogee Family Fun Day, which is an event that celebrates the start of summer and consists of market and craft stalls, rides and other entertainment. Profits raised from the event will be donated to the Children’s Hospital. 

 

The event organisers have written to Council requesting additional funding required to ‘pay for the stage and sound system’ for the event. Due to the late notice of the reduction in the annual funding, the event organisers have indicated that they have been placed in a very difficult position. The Chamber have indicated that, had it been made aware earlier that funding for this event was to be reduced, that they would have made different decisions.

 

Financial impact statement

 

If the recommendation is adopted, the financial impact will be a contribution of $5,000 from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund. (Noting this would be in addition to already approved funding of $9,939.35 (being $4,939.35 in-kind support and $5,000.00 cash contribution) from the 2nd round of Cultural Grants for 2012 and has been funded from the Community Development (Grants) Budget).

 

Conclusion

 

The Coogee Family Fun Day is an established local event and one that is well supported and attended by the community.  Funds raised through this event are donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospital. Randwick City Council has had a presence at this event and has assisted in the funding of the event for the past 18 years.

 

Given the late notice of the reduction in funding for this event from the 2nd round of Cultural Grants, it is recommended that Council contribute an additional $5,000 cash contribution for the provision of stage and sound equipment.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council vote an additional $5,000.00 to cover the fees associated with the Coogee Family Fun Day and that these funds be allocated from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund budget;

 

b)     Council advise the organisers of the Coogee Family Fun Day, that Council be given adequate and appropriate acknowledgement for its contribution to the running of this event.  Such acknowledgement is to include Council’s logo for inclusion on promotional literature and Council’s banner is to be displayed at the event;

 

c)     the Mayor or his representative be given the opportunity to officially open the event in accordance with the Coogee Chamber of Commerce letter dated 13 November 2012.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM85/12

 

 

Subject:                  Re-establishing Council's Best Gift campaign

Folder No:                   F2008/00579

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

This Mayoral Minutes advises Council of our Best Gift campaign in conjunction with Waverley and Woollahra Councils.

 

Issues

 

In 2008, Council initiated the Best Gift campaign, with the aim of encouraging our residents to consider the environment when considering gifts at Christmas time. A list of low and medium cost environmentally friendly gift ideas were provided via the
3 Council website (www.thebestgift.com.au) for the purposes of linking residents to environmentally friendly gift ideas including: compost bins and worm farms, bicycles, solar products; community carshare memberships’ organic food boxes and even gifts from charity organisations such as World Vision, Care and Oxfam.

 

The reason for this campaign is that the statistics indicate approximately $50 billion a year is spent by Australians over the Christmas period with estimates that $700 million of these items are in landfill by February. The intention is not to put a dampener on this Christmas spending as much as encouraging individuals to think about what they are buying and perhaps to choose gifts that last beyond Christmas and may even help in looking after our environment.

 

The website with the gift ideas will be promoted locally with our colleagues from Waverley and Woollahra Council.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

Christmas continues to be a family oriented occasion for everyone to enjoy but the Best Gift campaign helps put a context to what we can do to enjoy the festive season while still trying to be responsible when it comes to looking after our environment.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council note our Best Gift campaign with Waverley and Woollahra Councils and considers ways of communicating these gift ideas as appropriate.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM86/12

 

 

Subject:                  Installation of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach

Folder No:                   F2004/07347

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

The purpose of this Mayoral Minutes is to seek Council support for the installation of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach.

 

Issues

 

Randwick has 9 popular swimming beaches which as we know attracts millions of day visitors and beachgoers each year. Coogee beach, for its size, its mostly sheltered bay and proximity to public transport and shopping precinct around Coogee Bay Road is almost certainly one of the most popular of our beaches and one of the most visited in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

 

I would like to seek Council support for the installation of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach which would enable beachgoers and community members to view this particularly beautiful location and find out water, weather and beach conditions all year round via the Internet. The website where this particular beach ‘cam’ could be viewed would also link to the Beachwatch information for Coogee, weather conditions and perhaps even take daily information from our own lifeguards or from Council Communications.

 

In this day and era it seems entirely appropriate that we publicise and promote this enormously popular beach area, ensuring of course that we satisfy all the necessary privacy requirements and communications issues to the beach going public. The purpose, angle and location of this camera would only be to enable beachgoers and the community to view the prevailing beach conditions of the day. Discussions would be held with the Lifesaving Club about the possible location of the camera in a suitable rooftop location of the clubhouse.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The cost of installing a beach condition camera at Coogee beach is approximately $8,000 depending upon its location and its mounting on a pole or roof of the Lifesaving Club. The funding for this web cam would be paid from the Coastal Protection and Community Education budget of the Environmental Levy program.

 

Conclusion

 

The siting and availability of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach would enable the beach going public and wider community access to the views and conditions of this very popular beach all year round. Enabling this technology would also add to the opportunity to promote this iconic location and Council’s reputation and image in protecting our environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council support the installation of a beach condition camera at Coogee beach subject to satisfying the appropriate requirements of the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM87/12

 

 

Subject:                  Waiver of Fees for Australian Adoption Organisation - fundraiser at Des Renford Aquatic Centre

Folder No:                   F2006/00408

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

Correspondence has been received from Mr Ricky Brisson outlining a plan for himself and Mr Adam Brisson to raise $30,000 for the Australian Adoption Organisation by completing a 30km swim in the pool at the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.  Mr Brisson is seeking to waive the entry fees for both himself and Mr Adam Brisson and the pool hire fees to run this fundraiser at the Des Renford Aquatic Centre on Sunday 9 December.

 

Issues

 

The Australian Adoption Organisation’s, a registered charity, main purpose is to raise awareness and provide support for families who have adopted, or in the process of adopting children from overseas countries and giving financial support to a number of orphanages and children’s homes overseas. 

 

Adam Brisson’s aim is to swim 30km in one lane at the Des Renford Aquatic centre over a ten hour period and raise $30,000 on Sunday 9 December 2012. He has also requested a 10 visit swim pass to enable him to train before the event.

 

Des Renford Aquatic Centre has no bookings on this date and it will have very low impact on the facilities normal operations.

 

Financial impact statement

 

In the event that Council accepts the report recommendation, the direct financial implication to Council will be $1,059.50 which will be funded from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund.

 

Conclusion

 

It is considered that Council should support this request from Mr Brisson to waive the fees to hire the Des Renford Aquatic Centre for himself and Mr Adam Brisson to the value of $1,059.50 to raise funds for the Australian Adoption Organisation.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council vote $1,059.50 from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund to cover the hire fees into the Des Renford Aquatic Centre to raise funds for the Australian Adoption Organisation.

 

b)     Council limit this activity to 11 hours to ensure that it is completed within the facilities normal operating hours.

 

c)     The organiser undertake to appropriately and prominently acknowledge and   promote Council’s contribution prior to and during the event.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM88/12

 

 

Subject:                  Trailer Parking on Public Roads

Folder No:                   F2004/07232

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

Following an invitation from the Mayor of Woollahra Council regarding the problems associated with the parking of trailers, Randwick City Council resolved on 28 February 2012, “That the Mayor of Randwick City Council inform the Mayor of Woollahra that Randwick City Council supports Woollahra Council in seeking better methods of controlling the parking of trailers in some areas of Randwick.”

 

Issues

 

Advice has now been received regarding this matter from Woollahra Council and is paraphrased below:

 

As a result of Woollahra Council’s representations, and with the support of nineteen other individual councils (including Randwick), the Office of Boating Safety & Maritime Affairs, within Transport for NSW, has formed a Boat Trailer Working Group to investigate the matter.  Initial membership of the group includes:

 

Office of Boating Safety & Maritime Affairs

Transport for NSW Legal Services

Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet

City of Canada Bay Council

Woollahra Municipal Council

 

The intention of the Working Group is to investigate the issues and prepare a recommendation to the Minister for Roads and Ports by March 2013.  The scope of the Working Group is as follows:

 

·      Undertake a survey with local councils to collect trailer registration details and use RMS databases to confirm the extent to which unattended trailers are being left by people residing outside the local area, as opposed to local residents. Analysis of this information may assist development of more targeted solutions.

·      Achieve a common understanding of the existing powers available to Councils and the effectiveness of these powers in reducing the incidence of unattended trailers.

·      Examine the feasibility of an awareness campaign advising boat owners of the potential legal options available to Councils to deal with unattended trailers.

 

The first meeting of the Working Group was held on Friday 26 October 2012.  The Working Group noted that there are no easy or quick resolutions to this issue that will be satisfactory to all stakeholders.  However, all parties did agree to work cooperatively to develop appropriate solutions.

 

 

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

Conclusion

 

Given the level of concern within the Randwick community, with regard to this issue, it is considered that the Council should immediately ask for the State Government to introduce appropriate legislation to control the problem of trailers parking on public roads.  In addition, it is also considered appropriate to endorse the current efforts being made by Woollahra Council regarding this matter.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)    Randwick City Council call upon the State Government to introduce the appropriate legislation in order to address the ongoing problems associated with the parking of trailers in high density residential areas; and

 

b)    the Mayor of Randwick City Council inform the Mayor of Woollahra that Randwick City Council appreciates the efforts being undertaken by Woollahra Council to address the issue of trailer parking in residential areas.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM89/12

 

 

Subject:                  Waiving of Fees for banner "South Maroubra Village Green Carols by Candelight 2012"

Folder No:                   F2010/00096

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

A request has been received from Mr Richard Walsh, South Maroubra Village Green seeking the waiving of fees associated with the installation of two banners advertising his upcoming event “South Maroubra Village Green Carols by Candlelight 2012” on Sunday 23 December, 2012.

 

Issues

 

Mr Walsh would like to display the banners to advertise his Carols by Candlelight and invite residents and members of the community to attend.

 

The fees to display the advertising banners as requested are as follows:

 

Anzac Parade and Bunnerong Road, Kingsford             $2,579.00         

3 December to 24 December 2012 (3 weeks)

 

Anzac Parade and Beauchamp Road, Maroubra           $1,956.00

10 December 2012 to 24 December 2012 (2 weeks)

                                                     Total:                            $4,535.00

 

Financial impact statement

 

Should Council accept the report recommendation, the financial implication to Council is $4,535.00.  There are currently sufficient funds in the 2012-13 Contingency Fund to cover this contribution.

 

Conclusion

 

Given that Council has endorsed the Christmas Carols at the South Maroubra Village Green as one of the three key local Carols to be supported, it would be appropriate for Council to agree to the waiving of fees associated with the installation and dismantling of three banners for the South Maroubra Village Green Carols by Candelight

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     the fees associated with the installation and dismantling of three banners and the hire of Council’s banner poles be waived and $4,535.00 be allocated from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund; and

 

b)     the organiser undertakes to appropriately and prominently acknowledge and      promote Council’s contribution prior to and during the event.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM90/12

 

 

Subject:                  State Government - Handling of Rezoning Proposals

Folder No:                   F2009/00408

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure is currently able to direct the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) to be the ‘Relevant Planning Authority’ (RPA) for significant developments in the Randwick City Council area, this includes any rezoning proposals that may be associated with significant developments. While any  Planning Proposal must be assessed under the rezoning (LEP) process set out under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and community consultation is required as part of this process, what is not clear is the process that the JRPP is required to follow .

 

Issues

 

I am of the strong opinion that all Planning Proposals involving rezoning should be considered and dealt with by local government and I seek Council’s support in calling upon the State Government to hand back any rezoning proposals to Council and not proceed through the JRPP. Should the State Government continue to use the JRPP for rezoning proposals within the Randwick City Council area, I suggest that Council request the JRPP to hold public hearings for each such rezoning prior to the consideration of the rezoning by the JRPP.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

I seek to ensure that Council and the community are fully informed as to the rezoning process to be undertaken by the JRPP and be provided with every opportunity for their views to be heard.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council calls upon the State Government to hand back any re-zonings to Council and not proceed through the JRPP (Joint Regional Planning Process).

 

b)     if the State Government continues to use JRPP for rezoning proposals in the Randwick City Council area, it be requested to hold public hearings for each such rezoning prior to consideration by the JRPP.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM91/12

 

 

Subject:                  Waiving of Fees - Canvas Church

Folder No:                   F2010/00096

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

Correspondence has been received from the Canvas Church requesting in kind support to hold a Christmas party in Alison Park, Randwick on Sunday 16 December 2012. The Canvas Church works out of the Randwick Public School each Sunday morning. 

 

Issues

 

In correspondence received from Ms Macneil she has advised Council the Canvas Church is a non-for-profit organisation and any monies raised will be going towards a fundraising organisation.

 

The fees for this activity are as follows:

 

Application fee:                                                                              $270.00

Hire fee (per day)                                                                           $333.00

Waste Management (supply and remove 3 x 240 litre sulo bins):              $225.00

Total:                                                                                          $828.00

 

Financial impact statement

 

In the event that Council accepts the report recommendation, the direct financial implication to Council will be $828.00 which will be funded from the 2012-13 Contingency Fund.

 

Conclusion

 

It is considered that Council should support this community activity and that all associated fees be waived.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council vote $828.00 from the 2012-2013 Contingency Fund to cover the fees associated with this event on Sunday 16 December 2012 for a Christmas party. 

 

b)     the event organiser undertake to appropriately and prominently acknowledge and promote Council’s contribution prior to and during the event.

 

c)     the Mayor or his representative be given the opportunity to address the event on behalf of Council.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

Mayoral Minute No. MM92/12

 

 

Subject:                  Rockfishing safety in Randwick City

Folder No:                   F2004/07086

Author:                   Councillor Bowen, Mayor     

 

Introduction

 

Rock fishing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Randwick City has 29km of coastline with some great-fishing spots within easy reach of a very large population. Consequently our area is over-represented in rock fishing related fatalities. This report proposes to work closely with Surf Life Saving Australia and other relevant authorities to develop a strategy to address this serious issue in our Local Government Area.

 

Issues

 

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the recent death of a rock fisherman at Little Bay on Sunday 11 November 2012.

 

According to reports, three men were fishing off rocks at Little Bay when a large wave swept them into the ocean. A golfer at the Coast Golf Course saw the incident and rang 000. Of the three men, just one of them was wearing a life jacket and that man was able to save himself and a friend. Tragically, the other friend did not survive.

 

This is the fifth rock-fishing death in Randwick City since September 2011, and the eleventh death along our coast in the same time period.

 

Rock fishing is a dangerous sport, there’s no doubt about that. The ocean can turn quickly and what looks like a calm fishing spot one minute can become a treacherous ledge the next.

 

What concerns me greatly is the over-representation of rock-fishing deaths in the Randwick City area than anywhere else in Australia.

 

Surf Life Saving Australia’s annual National Coastal Safety Report due for release shortly will show that in the 2011-12 financial year there were 47 drownings along the Australian coast. Of these drownings 11 were due to rock fishing, and three happened in Randwick City. The two most recent deaths in Randwick City fall outside this reporting period.

 

These statistics show that even though our 29km of coastline accounts for just 0.11% of the entire Australian coastline, it accounted for 27% of the rock fishing deaths in Australia. Statistically you are more likely to die rock fishing in Randwick City than anywhere else in Australia.

 

These are shocking figures and I believe we have a responsibility to do. Communicating and engaging people who rock fish is no easy task. Those most at risk are from a non-English speaking background, are male and most likely do not live in Randwick City.

 

Surf Life Saving Australia’s Research Review of Rock Fishing Safety in NSW published earlier this year found that of all the people who died from rock fishing from 1992-2000, 96% were male and 83% were born overseas.

 

The report also lists the rock fishing blackspots by local government area and locality (note these figures are from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2010 and do not include the most recent deaths):

 

Location

Number of deaths

Proportion of deaths in NSW (%)

Randwick LGA

15

28.3

Cape Banks, La Perouse

7

 

Boora Point, Malabar

3

 

Magic Point, Malabar

2

 

Mahon’s Pool, Maroubra

1

 

Lurline Bay

1

 

Botany Bay, La Perouse (not further defined

1

 

 

There are many campaigns run by government and organisations like Surf Life Saving Australia and fishing groups which are helping. Recently Senator Matt Thistlethwaite launched an education campaign at Bondi Beach targeting fisherman from Asian communities and spoke in Parliament of the need for action.

 

Randwick Council is also helping. I was pleased to recently help launch an important project that will help gather research about rock fishing in Randwick City. It’s called Project BluePrint and is being run by Surf Life Saving Australia to conduct a public safety risk assessment of every beach and rock platform at key blackspot locations across the country – including Randwick City. The program aims to reduce coastal drowning deaths by gathering data at 223 beaches and headlands over the coming months.

 

The assessment process will examine a range of factors which can impact on risk, including education and information, signage and beach access, lifesaving and lifeguard services and the skills of those taking to the water.

 

This information will be presented to Council and will greatly assist us in developing an effective strategy to address the issue and hopefully reduce the number of fatalities.

 

I believe it would also be helpful to conduct an on-the-ground survey of people who rockfish in Randwick City. This survey would help build a profile of rock fishers by learning who they are, where they come from, what safety equipment they carry, why they travel here, what safety awareness they have, and why they put themselves at risk.

 

Combining the results of Project Blueprint with the on-the-ground survey work I believe would put Council in an excellence position to develop an effective strategy to reduce drownings and deaths.

 

Every life is precious and I am pleased to put forward this Mayoral Minute to improve fishing safety along our coastline.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the cost of the on-the-ground survey work would be in the vicinity of $20,000 which would be funded from Council’s Contingency Fund.

 


Conclusion

 

The results from an on-the-ground survey combined with the findings of Project BluePrint will put Council in a good position to effectively develop a rock fishing safety strategy.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)    Council express its shock and sadness at the high number of rock fishing deaths in the Randwick City area.

 

b)    Council meet with relevant rock fishing experts to review what can be done to improve safety.

 

c)    Council welcome the commencement of Project Blueprint and work closely with SLSA to review the findings.

 

d)    Council conduct an on-the-ground survey of rock fishing in Randwick City to help develop a rock fishing safety strategy.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

  


Ordinary Council                                                                                             27 November 2012

 

 

General Manager's Report No. GM37/12

 

 

Subject:                  Better, Stronger Local Government - The Case for Change - Discussion Paper

Folder No:                   F2004/08248

Author:                   David Kelly, Manager Administrative Services     

 

Introduction

 

On 22 November 2012 the Independent Local Government Review Panel unveiled its discussion paper on the case for sustainable change in NSW local government. This discussion paper examines a range of issues, including more responsibilities for local Mayors, significant consolidation of Sydney councils, new regional groupings to deliver joint services and streamlining rate-pegging.

 

A copy of the discussion paper is available electronically on Councillor’s dashboard application.

 

Issues

 

The paper calls for sweeping changes within the local government sector and has a strong message for councils that there is no “pot of gold” to fix their problems. The paper identifies signposts for future reform, including proposed changes to council structures, financial management, service provision and governance. It focuses strongly on declining populations in the State’s far west and the expected impacts of Sydney’s continued growth, while also addressing the State-wide problem of increasing infrastructure backlogs

 

The population of the Sydney region is expected to grow to 7 million people by the middle of the 21st Century and the Review Panel believes there is a case to consider significant consolidation to enhance the strategic capacity of local government across the Sydney metropolitan area and other major urban regions, such as the Lower Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra.

 

The paper discusses the opportunity for rating reform, but does not propose an end to rate-pegging at this stage, rather a further streamlining of the rate-pegging arrangements. The paper also considers the need to review the current distribution of Financial Assistance Grants to local councils to provide increased support to those smaller rural councils that are struggling to survive.

 

The future role of Councillors and Mayors also comes under the spotlight in the Discussion Paper, including ideas to strengthen Mayoral powers and improve relationships between elected representatives and council staff. A number of options are being considered to increase Councillor capacity, including giving the Mayor more powers to deal with code of conduct issues, assigning responsibility for leadership of strategic planning and community engagement to the Mayor and making the Mayoral role a full-time paid position in larger councils. The Panel also believes popularly elected Mayors should become the norm for larger urban and rural councils.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 1:       Leadership in sustainability.

Direction 1a:      Council has a long-term vision based on sustainability.

Direction 1c:      Continuous improvement in service delivery based on accountability, transparency and good governance.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact to Council for making submissions on this discussion paper.

 

Conclusion

 

The Review Panel is not at the stage of recommending specific proposals for amalgamations or new sub-regional groupings. These options would be explored over coming months and discussed in detail with any of the councils concerned. The discussion paper will be open for public comment until March 2013. As this is an issue of vital importance, all Councillors are strongly encouraged to make individual submissions by the due date. In addition it is proposed that an official submission be made on Randwick Council’s behalf.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Randwick City Council makes an official submission in response to the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s discussion paper on the case for sustainable change in NSW local government.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil