Works Committee Meeting
Tuesday 12 November 2013
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 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, First Floor, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, 30 Frances Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 at 6:00pm
Quorum: Eight (8) members
Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences
Confirmation of the Minutes
Works Committee Meeting - 8 October 2013
Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Address of Committee by Members of the Public
In respect to Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act, members of the public are advised that the proceedings of this meeting will be recorded for the purposes of clause 66 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.
W48/13 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly - Tallowwood at rear of property................ 1
W49/13 1408 Anzac Parade, Little Bay - Street names......................................... 31
W50/13 Shark Patrols.................................................................................... 35
Notice of Rescission Motions
Works Report No. W48/13
Subject: 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly - Tallowwood at rear of property
Folder No: F2004/07359
On 11 January 2013 the owners of 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly wrote to Council regarding a Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood) located at the rear of the property within the access road off Donnellan Circuit. The location is shown in Figure 1.
This report outlines Council’s assessment of the tree and management options.
The owners of 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly requested pruning of branches overhanging the garage, removal of deadwood and assessment on whether the tree roots were lifting the vehicular crossing or damaging the garage.
Council’s Coordinator Tree Management Services undertook a visual inspection of the Tallowwood on 14 January 2013 and arranged for exposure of tree roots to determine whether the tree could be retained.
Council’s Tree Gang excavated around the removed layback, kerb and driveway section and this exposed a large mass of Tallowwood roots which had lifted and damaged a relatively large area of public infrastructure.
Council’s Tree Gang prepared a report dated 31 May 2013 recommending removal of the Tallowwood because the amount of tree root material required to be removed to permanently deal with infrastructure damage would make the tree unstable.
Based on the investigation, the Coordinator Tree Management Services determined the following:
· The tree is a semi mature tree approximately 15m in height.
· The tree is generally in good health and a provider of habitat and food source for native birdlife and other fauna.
· The tree is located in close proximity (2.5m) to a garage, within 1m of the vehicular crossing and 1.5m from the access road.
· This species of tree can grow to more than double the size of the existing Tallowwood.
· There is an inclusion in a large branch overhanging the garage.
· Pruning for property clearance would require removal of a significant amount of the canopy and impact the visual integrity of the tree.
· The tree roots are causing damage to public infrastructure.
· The tree roots cannot be pruned because they are predominately large, tensile roots that provide stability. Further, root pruning to clear infrastructure would have a detrimental effect on the health and long term viability of the tree.
On the basis of these observations, Council’s Coordinator Tree Management Services concluded that the existing Tallowwood will continue to grow significantly in size and will continue to cause damage to public infrastructure. He considered the tree species to be inappropriately located with potential for more infrastructure damage. He recommended that the only practical long term management option would be to remove the tree.
A letter box drop was undertaken on 4 July 2013 advising local residents of the proposed tree removal. Subsequently, council officers received numerous and strident objections to the removal. An onsite meeting was held on Tuesday 16 July 2013 between residents, the then Mayor, Cr Tony Bowen and Council officers. It was agreed at the meeting that:
· Another opinion would be sought on the tree by an external arborist.
· An engineering assessment be undertaken to determine the extent of damage to infrastructure by the tree roots and options available to retain the tree.
· A subsequent public meeting would be convened to discuss the findings of the reports.
These reports are presented as attachments to this report.
In order to undertake the investigations and assessments requested by the residents, the eastern part of the vehicular crossing, concrete paving within the property, a strip drain and a drainage pit were removed to locate and assess tree roots and the cause of any damage.
Australian Tree Consultants were engaged to prepare an Arborist Inspection of the subject Tallowwood. The report dated 19 July 2013 is presented as attachment 1.
The report classifies the tree as having fair health and structure. The tree was given a medium hazard rating due to the presence of a bark inclusion located between the main trunk and the western stem. This bark inclusion is considered to be a structural defect that has the potential to fail.
The tree was given a low retention value mainly due to being inappropriately located for its species.
Whilst the report outlines measures that would need to be taken to retain the tree, it recognises that it will continue to grow and likely cause additional damage to infrastructure.
The Arborist report recommends removal of the tree and planting of a replacement tree in the embankment on the southern side of the access road.
An Engineering assessment report dated 26 July 2013 was prepared by Council’s Manager Technical Services to determine the extent of damage to the garage and civil infrastructure and whether the tree roots have caused the damage. The Engineering assessment report is presented as attachment 2.
The report concluded that:
· The tree roots are unlikely to be the cause of damage to the garage slab and the grated drain.
· The roots are likely the cause of damage to the layback, road pavement and to the vehicular crossing slab.
The report presents 2 options. Option 1 proposes retaining the tree and reconstruction of the civil infrastructure at new levels to clear the tree roots. This option involves reconstruction of the vehicular crossing and 20m of the access road. The estimated cost of this Option 1 is $20,500. It is anticipated that with the continued growth of the tree that the tree roots will once again damage this infrastructure in the future. At that stage, there will need to be a further assessment to determine whether new levels will allow vehicular access into the property.
Option 2 involves removal of the tree and reconstruction of the civil infrastructure. The estimated cost of the work under this option is $7,500 excluding the tree removal costs.
The tree removal is estimated to cost $1320.
Second Public Meeting
A second public meeting was held 9 October 2013 between local residents of the Clovelly Beach Residents Group, Councillor Murray Matson, Council’s Manager Technical Services and Council’s Coordinator Tree Management Services.
Prior to the meeting, the Clovelly Beach Residents Group presented a comprehensive submission to support their objection to the removal of the Tallowwood at the rear of 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly. The submission is included in this report as attachment 3 and includes the following key documents.
· Submission, Clovelly Beach Residents Group
· Arborist Assessment and Report, T Popovich, 26 September 2013
· Structural Engineering Report, R Faustino, 31 July
· Property Valuation Assessment, A Bo, 22 august 2013
The consulting arborist’s report in the submission makes comment on arboricultural matters and a number of engineering recommendations made by Council’s engineer. Utilising their arborist report, the residents outlined that there was no evidence found that roots from the Tallowwood had caused damage to the adjacent garage and that any root damage to public infrastructure could be rectified in the medium term.
The structural engineering report concludes that any damage to the garage has been largely caused by differential settlement.
The property valuation report states that if the tree were to be removed, it would result in a potential circa 5% loss in value of the homes at 1-2/4 Donellan Circuit, 15 Surfside Avenue, 1-4/17 Surfside Avenue, 2/19 Surfside Avenue.
The residents detailed the many benefits that the tree provides to not only surrounding property owners but also the broader community, including visual amenity, screening, shade, carbon sequestration, habitat and provision of food source. They highlighted that the tree provides the only significant shade on the north side of access road. Therefore, its retention was especially important.
An option to consider a succession plan was raised and discussed. This option includes the planting of a super advanced Eucalyptus haemastoma (Scribbly gum) on public land to the west of the vehicular crossing that is currently planted with Yuccas and perennials. As part of this succession plan, the existing Tallowwood would be removed once the Scribbly Gum provides adequate habitat, food source and screening.
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.
Key Action: Develop and implement policies, programs and strategies to manage environmental risks and impacts.
Financial impact statement
The cost to remove all existing deadwood from within the canopy of the Tallowwood and to prune the large north-growing branch back to the garage alignment has been quoted at $1,000. The cost to remove and stump grind the subject tree entirely has been quoted at $1,320. Should it be required, the funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.
The cost to reconstruct all damaged public infrastructure to new levels that would avoid cutting any tree roots and allow the retention of the subject gum tree in the medium term would be in the vicinity of $20,500. The funds for this work are available in our road maintenance budget.
The Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood) located at the rear of 11-13 Surfside Avenue is a semi mature tree, 15m in height with a remaining useful life of 50+ years and potential to nearly double in height and canopy spread.
Council’s tree officers investigated a request from the owners of 11-13 Surfside Avenue to assess the tree. They considered a number of factors during the entire assessment process as being relevant to the decision to remove this tree.
Council subsequently received a submission from the Clovelly Beach Gully Residents Group to support their objection to the proposed removal of the Tallowwood. The submission included an Arborist report, engineering report and property valuation assessment.
As per Council’s investigation, there was no conclusive evidence that the tree roots are the cause of damage to the garage. The tree roots are considered to be the cause of damage to the vehicular crossing and the road access.
The Clovelly Beach Gully Residents Group strongly opposes the removal of the tree because it provides important visual amenity, shade, screening, carbon sequestration, habitat and food source. The tree roots are established and do not appear to be the cause of damage to private property.
To support the local residents’ desire to retain the tree, the risks to persons and private property can be managed by implementing a tree management strategy as follows:
· Pruning of the large north-growing branch back to branch collars in line with the alignment of the adjacent garage.
· The Tallowwood is to be regularly monitored and proactively maintained to remove all deadwood on a regular basis and to assess any inclusions and root damage that may become evident in the medium to long term.
The damaged infrastructure can be reconstructed to new levels over the tree roots without impacting the health or the stability of the tree. This work can be incorporated in the permanent restoration of the vehicular crossing, grate drain and drainage pit that was demolished to undertake the investigation.
a) the Council owned Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood) growing at the rear of 11-13 Surfside Avenue, Clovelly be retained.
b) the large north-growing branch is pruned back to branch collars in line with the alignment of the adjacent garage.
c) the Tallowwood be regularly monitored and proactively maintained to remove all deadwood on a regular basis and to assess any inclusions/occlusions and root damage that may become evident in the medium to long term.
d) the grate drain, concrete slab and drainage pit within 11-13 Surfside Avenue that were demolished to undertake the investigation be reconstructed by Randwick City Council to appropriate standards.
e) the kerb and gutter, vehicular crossing, layback and access road are reconstructed by Randwick City Council as required without any Tallowwood roots being severed or damaged.
f) all Future maintenance costs associated with the vehicular crossing be funded by Randwick City Council.
Engineering Assessment Report
Clovelly Beach Gully Residents Group
Included under separate cover
Works Report No. W49/13
Subject: 1408 Anzac Parade, Little Bay - Street names
Folder No: DA/812/2011
Council resolved at its Works Committee meeting of 25 June 2013:
a) Council endorse street and park names as proposed and for the Little Bay Cove development.
b) the developer be advised to advertise the proposed street and park names and notify the public bodies in accordance with Division 2 of Road Regulations 2008.”
Following the required notification, the Geographical Names Board opposed the proposed Christo Street name due to the fact that it was proposed to be named after a living person.
The guidelines set by the Geographical Names Board for the naming of roads stipulate that under 3.1, “Names of living persons should not be used”. In accordance with the guidelines, the Geographical Names Board opposed the naming of Christo Street.
Subsequently, Council advised the developer and sought alternative street name options in accordance with the guidelines.
Section 2.1 of the guidelines for naming roads states the preferred sources for road names include local history. Wrapped Coast was the name of the artwork created by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1969. The cliffs around Little Bay were wrapped in fabric creating the largest single artwork that had ever been made at that time.
Therefore, in keeping with the previous theme, it is proposed that the street connecting Cawood Avenue and Fairway Terrace be named Wrapped Coast Road. The proposal is demonstrated on the attached map.
Relationship to City Plan
The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:
Outcome 4: Excellence in urban design and development.
Direction 4b: New and existing development is managed by a robust framework.
Financial impact statement
There is no direct financial impact for this matter.
The Geographical Names Board has confirmed that the use of the name Christo Street at the Little Bay Cove development is unsuitable. The developer’s proposal is for the street to be named Wrapped Coast Road.
The proposed name has been put forward for approval and endorsement by Council prior to public advertisement of the names and statutory notification to public bodies.
a) Council endorse the proposal to name the street along the east of the Little Bay Cove development (formerly proposed as Christo Street), Wrapped Coast Road.
b) this proposal is advertised and that public bodies are notified in accordance with Division 2 of Road Regulations 2008.
Map with Street Layout and Proposed Names
Works Report No. W50/13
Subject: Shark Patrols
Folder No: F2008/00609
Council at its Ordinary Council Meeting held on 23 July 2013, resolved:
“(Seng/Matson) that Council:
a) investigate the feasibility of utilising unmanned drones to carry out shark patrols on the beaches;
b) invite neighbouring coastal Councils to participate in the above shark patrol services with a view to sharing operating costs, and
c) identify other possible uses of unmanned drones such as in natural disaster situations, search and rescue operations, building fires, etc.”
There are currently a number of Shark deterrent and Shark spotting patrols which take place within the Randwick local Government area.
The Department of primary industries currently runs a shark mesh netting program at Coogee and Maroubra Beaches from September through to April every year. The nets do not stretch from one end of a beach to the other. They are not designed to create a total barrier between bathers and sharks – they are designed to deter sharks from establishing territories, thereby reducing the odds of a shark encounter.
Specialist contractors carry out shark meshing. The nets are 150 metres long by 6 metres deep and have a mesh size of 50 to 60 cm. They are ‘bottom set’ in about 10 or 12 metres of water, within 500 metres of the shore. Traditionally there has been two nets at both Coogee and Maroubra beach.
Shark patrols are also currently provided by The Australian Aerial Patrol from the October long weekend through the busy summer season until Easter each year with additional shark patrols conducted by the Westpac Rescue helicopter on occasions over the summer period.
Over the past 12 months there have been two confirmed shark sightings at patrolled beaches within the Randwick LGA on the 14/12/12 at Coogee beach and 1/2/13 at Maroubra beach. Furthermore there have been an additional 8 unconfirmed sightings at patrolled beaches within the Randwick LGA over this period where verification could not be established by a second source.
On all of these occasions Council lifeguards have immediately instigated the “Shark sighting protocol’. This protocol involves utilised the shark alarm to clear the water, searching for the Shark via Council Jetski’s with the intent to scare off the Shark and calling in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to confirm a sighting and to assist the Jetskis in their endeavour. At each of these sightings no confirmation has been established by Council Lifeguards or the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), colloquially known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground.
There are a wide variety of UAV shapes, sizes, configurations, and characteristics. Historically, UAVs were simple remotely piloted aircraft, but autonomous control is increasingly being employed.
UAVs are generally categorized in to two main categories fixed wing UAVs and rotary wing UAVs both with there own benefits and disadvantages.
Fixed Wing UAV Rotary Wing UAV
Advantages and disadvantages of both Fixed and Rotary Wing Drones
· Simple structure
· Long endurance(up to several hours)
· Substantial range (up to several km)
· Capable of travelling at high speeds
· Able to handle adverse weather conditions e.g. high winds
· Capable of vertical take off and landing
· Highly maneuverable
· Capable of hovering
· Take off and landing in limited space environments
· Require a runway or launcher for take off
· Limited maneuverability
· Require safe open landing place
· Not able to hover
· Complex structure
· Limited flight time (max 20-40 mins)
· Limited range 1-1.5km
· Relative low speed
· Unable to fly in adverse weather e.g. high winds
Both aircraft require two person operation whilst in surveillance mode with one operator piloting the UAV and the other operator monitoring the camera.
Capabilities do currently exist for autonomous piloting with a predetermined route programmed in which case a pilot would not be necessary.
There are a number of issues that Council would need to consider to instigate utilising unmanned drones to carry out shark patrols on the beaches;
The use of UAVs is heavily regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia (CASA). Currently all operations of UAVs must be conducted within visual line of sight of the operator which will limit the use to a single beach at any one time.
Council will require CASA approval and an operating licensing of approximately $8,000 per annum.
This license may be difficult to obtain as there are exclusion zones around airports and flight paths, which the majority of Randwick LGA are within.
Operators must possess a UAV operator’s certificate which includes the completion of the theoretical equivalent of their Private pilot’s license. This includes relevant flying experience to obtain this license and radio operates certificate.
Council will need to employ qualified staff or utilise a contractor to provide the service.
The cost of a specifically built UAV with surveillance and search and rescue capabilities can be between $130,000 up to several million dollars. The most appropriate model would have a maximum 40 minute flight time, maximum 5km range and good quality camera able to identify objects in the water.
Other costs include regular ongoing maintenance of the equipment, training of the pilot and camera operator, CASA licensing and Public liability insurance.
Another option available to Council would be to contract the service to a third party. A number of companies offer this service utilising a rotary wing UAV but none were located with experience in marine surveillance or search and rescue operations.
Three companies provided quotes to provide the service, with the cheapest quote being $2,700 per day.
4. Surf Life Saving Australia
Surf Lifesaving Australia has recently partnered with V-TOL Aerospace to develop and trial the use of a specifically designed fixed wing UAVs for coastal surveillance and search and rescue operations. They have been working on North Stradbroke Island with Surf Life Saving Queensland to develop flight operational procedures for coastal surveillance. The current testing program is nearing completion and there are plans to begin a pilot program at a number of beaches around Australia.
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 programs to maximise public safety and anti-social behaviour of buildings and spaces.
Financial impact statement
If Council agrees with the recommendation, the financial impact to Council would be nil.
There are a number of limitations to Council to enable effective operation of a UAV along the coastline.
1. Randwick Council is within the airport flight paths and will be limited in being able to utilise the UAV.
2. Council will need to employ a qualified pilot to operate the UAV; and
3. Operators will need to travel from beach to beach to utilise the equipment to ensure that it is within a visual line of sight at all times.
Surf Life Saving Australia is currently testing UAV’s for coastal surveillance and search and rescue operations. They are well advanced in testing designs and procedures in developing a specific UAV which will suit the purpose of coastal surveillance.
a) liaise with Surf Life Saving Australia and offer Randwick Council Beaches for a pilot program of the SLSA UAV’s.
b) continue to maintain Shark sighting protocol at all beaches.
c) continue to review other potential uses for UAVs across the City.