Extraordinary Council Meeting
Supplementary BUSINESS PAPER
LATE MAYORAL MINUTE
Tuesday 24 September 2013
Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031
Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or
1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)
Fax:02 9319 1510
Extraordinary Council Meeting
Notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary Council Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, First Floor, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at 7:00 p.m..
Late Mayoral Minute
MM77/13 Cr Tony Bowen End of Term report......................................................... 1
Mayoral Minute No. MM77/13
Subject: End of Term report
Folder No: F2005/00751
It has been a truly great and humbling experience to serve as the Mayor of Randwick City this past year; I can think of no greater honour than serving the people of Randwick City, and I feel privileged to have been able to do so. I would like to thank all my fellow Councillors for your faith in electing me, and for your ongoing support during what has been a year of hard work, many challenges and great improvements in our City.
In particular, I would like to acknowledge my Deputy Mayor Noel D’Souza, and my fellow Labor Councillors Kathy Neilson, Pat Garcia, Greg Moore, and Geoff Stevenson, as well as Councillors from the Liberal Party, The Greens, and Independents. We have expressed differing views on occasion, and faced challenges, but have steadfastly held firmly to our unifying objective: the constant progress and improvement of Randwick City for the benefit of all those who live, work, study and play here.
I would also like to thank the Council staff – lead so capably by General Manager Ray Brownlee. Every day our staff apply themselves to turn our vision into reality, and ensure that Randwick City is a wonderful place to be, and the ‘sense of community’ here is continually strengthened.
I would also like to thank my wife Kate and my sons Tom and Jim, who have given me so much support this past year, and without their support I could not have undertaken this important role. While sad that my year as Mayor is over, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family.
During the past year, much progress has been made in our City and I have outlined a range of programs, projects and events that have occurred between September 2012 and September 2013.
With responsible financial management Randwick City Council remains debt-free, and we are delivering a record spend of $32 million this financial year on capital works – roads, footpaths, parks and building upgrades that directly benefit everyone in our community.
When I was elected Mayor one year ago I made a commitment to build on Council’s good record of social inclusion, increase our sustainability initiatives and build on Council’s achievements in helping those in our community who are marginalised or disadvantaged.
My vision for the future of Randwick City is a place where older people, particularly those living with dementia, are treated equally and have the same rights and access to services and facilities as everybody else. We have made good progress towards this vision with a partnership with Alzheimer’s Australia to make Randwick City a dementia-friendly City.
Looking after all sections of our diverse community has long been a Labor value and I’m proud to have established the Mayoral Career Start Scholarship Program giving young TAFE students the chance to work in a range of roles at Council.
I’m also proud of our ongoing partnership with Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets program to help disadvantaged young people in the southern part of our city around Lexington Place and La Perouse.
I’m particularly proud to have made significant improvements in our recycling rate by diverting half of our residential waste away from landfill to an alternative waste treatment facility where it is processed and recyclable and organic material extracted for reuse. This initiative has boosted our resource recovery rate putting us among the top 10 Sydney councils after being ranked 34 out of 38 councils in 2011.
Last week Council officers tabled the results of a comprehensive survey our Council conducted of rock fishing in Randwick City. Our area remains over-represented in rock fishing deaths and the results of this survey provide valuable data to help us develop an educational strategy to make our coastline safer for everybody.
Sustainability and Environment
Improved recycling in Randwick
Half of all rubbish collected from Randwick City residential garbage bins is now being diverted from landfill under an important agreement I introduced.
When I became Mayor in September 2012, rubbish that residents placed in red-lidded garbage bins was taken straight to landfill. Under a new agreement with our waste contractor, SITA, more than 50 percent of the rubbish from garbage bins will now be processed at a modern ‘Alternative Waste Treatment Facility’ to extract every possible kilogram of reusable or recyclable material.
The change significantly boosts our ‘resource recovery rate’ to at least 52 percent putting us among the top 10 Sydney councils. This is an impressive leap after being ranked 34 out of 38 councils last October
This means that 15,000 tonnes of waste is now being processed at Alternative Waste Treatment facilities each year where it will be further processed to extract recyclable and organic materials for reuse.
UNSW Expert Reference Panel
In June, I announced the formation of an expert group of specialist scientists from the UNSW to advise Council on environmental and sustainability issues. This Expert Reference Panel, lead by Professor Graciela Metternicht, was modelled on Sustainability Commissions established in many countries to provide different levels of government with the most current research and knowledge on sustainability and environmental best practice.
This innovative agreement also strengthens our networks with the University of New South Wales, a key institution in our City.
Three-Council Ecological Footprint
We continued to provide our innovative sustainability education program the Three-Council Ecological Footprint project with our neighbouring eastern beaches councils, Waverley and Woollahra. A wide range of practical events, workshops and community activities were delivered throughout our City that promote sustainability and encourage behavioural change.
Dunningham Reserve Stormwater Harvesting
Dunningham Reserve, north of Coogee Beach is now being irrigated with stormwater run-off without using any tap water. Last month we finished work on installing a 160KL concrete tank in the ground that captures, treats and stores stormwater for irrigation use. As well as reusing stormwater that previously discharged into Coogee Beach, the project will save us $68,000 every year.
The local community was invited to submit their best ‘GRIN’ or best ‘green innovation’ earlier this year. Some ideas that were implemented include the installing bike racks in schools, encouraging community gardens and new recycling projects. I met and awarded the Best GRIN 2013 winners at a presentation ceremony in June 2013 and am proud of Council’s commitment to helping our environment.
Stormwater pipe at Malabar
In October I announced that Council would
investigate removing the infamous two-metre diameter stormwater pipe on Malabar Beach in this current year’s budget. I’m pleased that funds have now been allocated
and this ugly pipe on Malabar Beach is soon to be no more. This is an important
symbolic gesture indicating how much the water quality at Malabar Beach has improved during the past decade.
National Tree Day
Hundreds of hard-working volunteers turned out on National Tree Day on Sunday 28 July to help us plant thousands of native plants at Arthur Byrne reserve in Maroubra. I also attended the Trees for Mum community planting project on Mother’s Day, and Council continued to support this community organisation by supplying thousands of plants, gardening equipment and advice on the day, as well as ongoing care of the new plantings.
Improving our City
John Calopedos Playground
I was delighted to reopen the John Calopedos Memorial Playground in Kensington on Friday 30 November 2012. The $210,000 upgrade of the playground included removing old equipment and installing new see-saws, slides, swings, seating, rock climbing embankments, large areas of landscaping, and an extension to the bike track. Hundreds of local children joined in the fun – giving the new equipment a work out, and enjoying the afternoon tea and face painting provided by Council.
Maroubra Outdoor Gym
In February 2013, I met with a group of energetic seniors from our community and officially opened the Maroubra Outdoor Gym. Located between Maroubra Surf Club and the Beach Pavilion, the $60,000 gym is equipped with a range of strength and cardio equipment and instructive signage. The equipment is ideal for those wanting low impact exercise and is especially well suited to older residents or those recovering from an injury.
Buildings for our Community
Our $34.8M Buildings for our Community program entered its fourth year in full swing. The program will see 65 significant community buildings and facilities upgraded to current standards. As well as major projects such as the soon to open Des Renford Leisure Centre, work is now complete on a suite of upgrades including the Nagle Park amenities (Jan 2013), the Maroubra Senior Citizens Centre, a new amenities building at Baker Park, and an upgrade to the toilets at Malabar Beach. Work is also underway at Chifley Sports Reserve and the Heffron Central East amenities building.
The Heffron Pedal Park
It was with great excitement on 28 February 2013 that I, along with some very excited children from Chifley Public School, took our bikes for a spin for the first time at Heffron Pedal Park, the new children’s bicycle facility at Heffron Park. Hundreds of local residents joined us for a free community celebration on Wednesday 10 April, and the Heffron Pedal Park is now a very popular spot for children and their families. The name of the park was chosen by a young man from Maroubra named Marley Lang through a public naming competition. I think it’s fantastic to see such a wonderful local facility built for the local community and named by the local community.
Alby Smith Memorial Playground
The much-loved Alby Smith Memorial Playground at the corner of Melody and Dolphin Streets in Coogee has been transformed into a top quality, modern playground – much to the delight of the many local children and families who enjoy visiting it. I hosted a community celebration and free afternoon tea at the playground on 19 September.
2013 Local Government Infrastructure Audit Report
In June 2013, it was announced that Randwick City was one of just three Sydney councils to receive the top ‘very strong’ accolade in the 2013 Local Government Infrastructure Audit Report, which measures the usability and condition of public infrastructure. This result was very pleasing and testament to five years of hard work – both behind-the-scenes and out in the community. It follows a spend of almost $100M upgrading roads, footpaths, parks, drains and community buildings throughout the local area to meet the expectations of our community.
Randwick Development Control Plan (DCP) comes into effect
Randwick City’s new comprehensive Development Control Plan (DCP) came into effect in June 2013, following significant consultation with the community. Our DCP contains detailed planning and design guidance for new developments, renovations and improvements across the City and applies to different types of developments, such as dwelling houses and residential flat buildings, and different locations across Randwick City including business centres and heritage areas.
Beach Breaks Carnival
A brand new and
very well-attended event on our busy calendar this year was the inaugural Beach
Breaks Carnival held on Sunday 28 July at Maroubra Beach. The Carnival
incorporated induction of Australian icon Grant Kenny, and local legends of the
waves, Lynette McKenzie and Tony Seddon into the Surfing Walk of fame. I hope
this event becomes an annual event to celebrate our wonderful Maroubra Beach and its proud surfing tradition.
The sun shone and the community came out in force for a fabulous day out at our sixth Spot Festival in March 2013 – now a well-established favourite on the Sydney street festival circuit. More than 10,000 people enjoyed the three stages of live entertainment, exciting array of food and market stalls, and a festival bar, all within Randwick’s atmospheric ‘The Spot’ shopping village.
The biggest celebration of all things green and sustainable, our ninth Eco-living Fair held at the Randwick Community Centre on Sunday 15 September was a huge success, despite a wet and rainy start to the day. Thousands flocked to the fair for a great family day out and enjoyed live music, colourful market stalls, fabulous food as well as lots of sustainability tips, workshops and presentations on worm farming, bee keeping, composting, and loving your leftovers. The 2013 Eco-living Fair was a great celebration of our environment, and our community.
Thank you to SES volunteers
In April 2013, Council held a BBQ for SES volunteers to say ‘thank you’ for their efforts in cleaning up Malabar and Chifley following severe storm damage to the area in February 2013. The strong winds caused damage to approximately 250 homes, brought down 30 trees, and tore the roof off the Malabar RSL Club. The SES received more than 200 calls for assistance – and generously dedicated their time to assist our local residents, making their homes safe and weather-proof in the aftermath of the storm. While we were presented with a difficult situation, it was humbling to witness the very best of our community spirit come to the fore.
2013 Australia Day Community Service Awards
A real highlight of my term as Mayor has been conducting Citizenship Ceremonies. The excitement of new citizens and their families is wonderful to see, and it’s an honour to welcome so many new Australian citizens to their new homes in our beautiful City.
It was a particularly special occasion on January 26 2012 when I conducted a special Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at Prince Henry Community Centre in Little Bay, and presented the Community Service Awards that recognise the special efforts and achievements of local individuals who have generously given their time for the wider benefit of our community; these people are truly our unsung heroes.
There were five recipients of the Randwick City Council Community Service Awards: Gary Ella, Dirk Hertford, Joy Hruby, Craig Segaert and Ron Wood. I also announced two Young Citizens of the Year: Mitchell Gillina and Lindsay Tagg. Volunteers from Kooloora Community Centre also received an award, and I presented former Mayor Dominic Sullivan with the Mayor’s Award for the significant role he played in establishing the Bali Memorial at Dolphins Point in Coogee following the Bali bombings in 2002.
2012 Coogee Carols
The 2012 Coogee Carols, held on a balmy Sunday evening on 16 December , were bigger and better than ever, with every patch of grass at Goldstein Reserve claimed by the 10,000 enthusiastic spectators. Coogee Carols featured a terrific line up of celebrities including hosts Jo Casamento and Andrew Mercado who did a great job leading the crowd in singing favourite Christmas songs.
Coogee Sparkles New Year’s Eve 2012
Our spectacular Coogee Sparkles New Year’s Eve event is now firmly established as a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of travelling into Sydney City on New Year’s Eve. Thousands flocked to vantage points along the Coogee Beach foreshore and enjoyed stunning fireworks at the family-friendly time of 9pm. Council’s close liaison with the Eastern Beaches Area Command ensured the event was incident-free, safe and fun for all who attended.
Arts and Cultural program highlights
2013 marked the third year of Council’s Arts and Cultural Program, and this year there was a big increase in the number of people attending these affordable cultural activities. The James Valentine Quartet proved a very popular new addition to the program, and we were lucky enough to secure other high calibre performers including the ARIA-winning Joseph Tawadros Trio, the Arrebato Ensemble, Rembetika: The Greek Blues, and the world premiere of the animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the world’s oldest surviving feature-length animated film accompanied by live musicians performing the world premiere of an original score.
Supporting our Community
As our population ages, the challenge of dementia is rapidly becoming more far-reaching. I was determined to steer our Council and our community towards taking this issue very seriously, and ensuring that in the future, Randwick City becomes a ‘dementia-friendly society’. Under a partnership with Alzheimer’s Australia we will be looking into ways to make our area easier to live in for those who have dementia.
Community Mental Health Forum
In early August as part of Local Government Week, we held our Community Mental Health Forum in partnership with the Schizophrenia Fellowship of New south Wales, and were overwhelmed by more than 200 attendees. Guest speakers included Rob Ramjan, CEO of the Schizophrenia Fellowship, John Malone, CEO of Aftercare, and Darrell Williams CEO of Medicare Local Eastern Sydney, as well as people living with mental illness, who shared their very personal stories.
Partnerships Funding Program
Council works closely to support community organisations across our City who deliver services to some of our most marginalised residents. In August, we presented five community groups with cheques totaling $86,000 in grants to be used for a range of projects that all improve the welfare of our residents, and strongly support the vision we have for a socially inclusive community.
Our community gathered together at Dolphins Point in Coogee on Friday 12 October 2012 to commemorate the solemn anniversary marking 10 years since the Bali Bombings. I spoke of our community’s resilience, and our strong tradition of uniting to support each other in times of loss and hardship. All assembled were moved by family and friends of the victims who spoke.
young people in our City
I was pleased to announce an exciting partnership with Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets to support young people in our City who are facing the challenges of homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect, and abuse. The partnership will feature an outreach program in the South Maroubra and La Perouse areas. Trained staff will provide supervised activities and information about available services, as well as free barbecues, to young people in a safe and positive environment.
Mayoral Career Start Program
I am particularly proud of the Mayoral Career Start Program I initiated in November 2012. This program offers Randwick TAFE students relevant employment at Randwick City Council in their area of education and previous experience. I welcomed four students to Council this year under this new program.
As well as offering students a boost in the important planning stages of their careers, the Mayoral Career Start Program also demonstrates our support for local education, and gives students the chance to demonstrate their talents in the dynamic environment of local government.
I was determined to take some action to try and reduce rock fishing fatalities in Randwick City. Our beautiful coastline has the unenviable reputation as the most dangerous rock fishing spot in Australia.
Working closely with Surf Life Saving Australia and fishing groups such as the Australian National Sportfishing Association, we developed a comprehensive survey to find out the best ways of communicating and engaging with rock fishers, and to try and work out how to make them safer when they are doing so. From March 2013 teams of multilingual surveyors spoke to rock fishers. The results of the survey have now been reported to Council and staff are looking into strategies to reduce the number of rock-fishing deaths along our coast.
Sydney White Ribbon Walk
I proudly walked alongside thousands who showed their support and commitment to stopping violence against women when our second Sydney White Ribbon Walk took place on Friday 23 November. The walk, conducted by Council in partnership with the Eastern Beaches Local Area Command began at 7.30am at High Cross Park in Randwick, and proceeded down Coogee Bay Road to finish at Trenerry Reserve. We were also joined on the walk by Member for Kingsford-Smith The Hon Peter Garrett, and Tim Mathieson, partner of then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Support for Westpac Rescue Helicopter
In October I tabled a Mayoral Minute committing Council to a $45,000 sponsorship over three years to help fund the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Our City has nine beaches and 29 kilometres of coastline, and the quick response Westpac Rescue Helicopter provides vital support for Council’s fulltime lifeguards and our volunteer lifesavers.
of Understanding with University of Technology, Sydney
In an Australian-first agreement, Council staff completing in-house training and learning and development programs will be given credit towards post graduate study at the University of Technology, Sydney. In signing the MOU, Council became the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government’s (ACELG) first partner in the Advancing Leadership initiative, which aims to establish a national network of best practice innovation in local government. The collaboration recognises the high quality of our in-house training and development programs, and represents a great opportunity for Council.
Council and Souths – a winning partnership
On 27 February I visited children at La Perouse Public School and presented a cheque for $40,000 to Shane Richardson CEO South Sydney Rugby League Club to fund the Souths Cares program. The children were thrilled to meet Souths player Ben Lowe and former player Rhys Wesser, who helped out in the classroom.
Now in its fourth year, the Souths Cares program is an innovative community partnership between Council and Souths that engages and inspires local kids in disadvantaged parts of Randwick City. Elements of the program include players working in local schools regularly as teacher’s aides, a School to Work transition program for older students, a Healthy and Active lifestyle program, free tickets to Rabbitohs home games, and regular coaching clinics for local schools run by first grade Souths players.
community Christmas street parties
I was proud to announce Council’s support for street parties at Christmas time in November 2012. Council decided to help cut the red tape involved in holding old-fashioned street parties by providing assistance to residents to help them prepare the required traffic management plans and assisting with signage and traffic controls for temporary road closures.
Christmas parties are a wonderful way to bring people together, and further enhance the ‘sense of community’ in our neighbourhoods. Council worked closely with residents in seven local streets across Kingsford, Randwick, Coogee, Clovelly and Kensington who had applied for road closures.
Randwick City Council is performing highly in many areas. Major awards Council has won in the past year include:
Dougherty Awards for Excellence in Communication
Winner – Light Rail to Randwick City Council
Highly Commended – Earth Hour Dine by Candlelight
2013 Keep Australia Beautiful NSW sustainable Cities Awards
Highly Commended – Overall Sustainable Council award
2013 Building Inclusive Community Awards
Shortlisted – Library Services, Migrant Story Project
2013 Engineering Excellence Awards in ‘New or Improved Techniques’
Winner – Integrated Management of Works System (IMoWS)
2013 Local Government Managers Association Management Challenge
Winners – New South Wales State Final
2013 Engineering Excellence Award in the three R’s (Recovering, Recycling, Reusing)
Commendable – Yarra Bay Storm Water Harvesting
I strongly believe, as I’m sure my fellow Councillors do, that we all share an abiding commitment, regardless of our political affiliations, to wanting to make our community a better place for all who live, work, study and play here.
It has been a great source of pride to me to see Randwick City thrive and prosper this year.
Randwick City Council is in great financial shape, thanks to responsible financial management and we are continuing our proud tradition of delivering high quality services and facilities to our residents, while remaining debt free.
At a time when many councils are struggling financially and selling assets, Randwick City remains in a strong and sound position thanks to our disciplined approach over many years.
But I believe our true sense of community can also be measured in the work Council does in bringing the people of Randwick City together. I believe the true measure of a civil society is how it treats its most vulnerable, and I have been particularly proud to see our Council take the lead in giving support to young people in our City, offer dignity and awareness for people living with dementia, and champion the recognition of Indigenous people in our constitution.
Finally, I wish the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor every success in carrying forward our shared vision for Randwick City into the future.
That the report of the outgoing Mayor Councillor Tony Bowen be received and noted.