Works Committee Meeting
Tuesday 8 September 2015
Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031
Telephone: 1300 722 542
Fax: 02 9319 1510
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 on Tuesday, 8 September 2015 at 6:00pm
Quorum: Eight (8) members
Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences
Confirmation of the Minutes
Works Committee Meeting - 11 August 2015
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 69 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.
W27/15 Kerbside Property Numbering Program................................... 1
W28/15 High Cross Park, Randwick - Removal of Diseased Cook Pine.... 5
W29/15 Commemoration of Mr Walter Williamson OAM...................... 13
Notice of Rescission Motions
Works Report No. W27/15
Subject: Kerbside Property Numbering Program
Folder No: F2008/00330
At the Ordinary Council meeting, Council resolved as follows:
‘(Belleli/Bowen) that Council brings back a report on a staged all ward free community service to our ratepayers program on painted street numbers (luminous reflective paint) house number on Council’s road kerb. Suggestion and consideration to be addressed in the report:
1. that a 5 or 7 or 10 year program or a 1 year trial program depending on budgeting/costing set with parts of all wards done each year of the program. If program gets approval that it will be in next round of budgeting. Not to effect upcoming budget;
2. that after each year results of program be reported to Council to gauge effectiveness;
3. that if Council decides to complete the program bring back a report once completed to see if or when to recommence program and start again;
4. that program whether goes out to tender or Council does it itself, that a request for legal working youth & local employment be considered if possible;
5. that its stipulated whoever is commissioned to do work, that it be properly supervised with proper training and safety regulation and best practices be put in place and proof of safety being regularly monitored.’
This report outlines the objectives and issues associated with the placement of property address numbers on the kerb.
Property addresses are determined through the Geographical Names Board (GNB). The GNB expects Local Governments to pursue conformant numbering and enforce the principles which support the practice of standardised addressing. This can be enforced through the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, s.124, Order 8, a council may order a person to ‘identify premises with such numbers or other identification in such manner as is specified in the order’.
Generally, it is the responsibility of the property owner to place property numbers on the property façade, front fence or letterbox so that it is visible from the road. This requirement is specified as a condition of consent for new developments. This requirement is in place to assist with delivery of mail and for emergency services to identify premises.
An alternative option is to place property numbers on the kerb. The issues associated with this option include:
· The location of the property number may be obscured by parked vehicles.
· The numbering will need to be replaced if it wears, is removed or vandalised.
· The numbering will need to be replaced when kerb is renewed.
· Any raised panel may be damaged by a vehicle tyre.
· Not all property owners wish to display their property number on the kerb.
For these reasons, this option is only considered to be a supplementary option to assist with the identification of the property. This option does not remove the obligation on the owner to properly display property numbering and identification on their premises.
From time to time, Randwick Council has become aware of individuals or organisations offering to install house numbering on the kerb for residents.
If Council were to provide this service, then it removes any doubt for the property owner or resident. However, it can be considered that Council is then responsible for the ongoing maintenance.
Currently, the demand for the displaying of property numbers on the kerb is very low. Council officers have rarely received requests for this service. It is noted that when approached by private persons offering this service, residents have agreed to have their property number painted on the kerb.
However, this does not take into account that:
· Not all property owners wish to have the property numbers displayed on the kerb as is demonstrated by the lack of demand
· There will need to be additional dedicated resources for the life of the program (3-5 years).
· The initiative does not remove the obligation on the owner to properly display property numbering and identification on their premises.
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
The cost of the initiative is estimated to cost approximately $3,000 to $5,000 per annum. It is intended that in the first year of this initiative that the cost will be sourced from the existing operational budget.
The initiative to display property numbers on the kerb has been assessed. Currently there are few to no requests by residents and owners for this service.
It is noted that from time to time, individual entrepreneurs and charities like the scouts etc. have approached residents offering this service for a fee.
The responsibility to properly display property numbering and identification of premises lies with the owner. The display of property numbering on the kerb does not remove this obligation.
However, the displaying of property numbers on the kerb will supplement the owner’s responsibility. Whilst it is not always effective due to vehicles parking in front of the number, it can be of benefit for emergency services and deliveries.
That Council actively promote that it does not support the installation of kerbside property numbers.
Works Report No. W28/15
Subject: High Cross Park, Randwick - Removal of Diseased Cook Pine
Folder No: F2004/07359
In January 2015, the mature heritage listed Araucaria columnaris (Cook pine) located on the south-west side of High Cross Park, Randwick, was inspected by Council officers following reports that it appeared to be declining in health.
This report outlines the actions taken to address the health of the tree and the long term management options.
High Cross Park is located in an historic precinct adjacent to the Prince of Wales Hospital. This small triangular reserve is at the centre of a major intersection of Avoca Street, Cuthill Street and Belmore Road. The Cook pine is scheduled in Randwick City Council’s Local Environmental Plan (RLEP 2012) and classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
The park is dominated by an informal group of tall, slender growing New Caledonian Pines or Cook Pines (Araucaria columnaris). These pines are outstanding landmark specimens of high visual, aesthetic, historic, cultural and botanic significance to this location. Their prominent position, exaggerated vertical height and combined group impact create a dramatic sense of scale to this civic space.
These particular Cook Pines have been assessed as dating from the latter part of the nineteenth century. This species has been a popular collector’s item since the early nineteenth century, particularly as a specimen or accent planting within larger private gardens and public parks. The species is closely related to other native Australian rainforest and south-western Pacific Island pine species such as the Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii), Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) and Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla).
The Cook Pine and other Araucaria pines have been used extensively in mixed groups within The Domain, Sydney Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park. The group in High Cross Park has special significance at the Randwick LGA and regional (metropolitan) levels in terms of representative and rarity values as a single species grove of Cook Pines rather than the more common mixed grouping of emergent Araucarias. These Cook Pines are part of a group of five trees of the same species that were planted over one hundred years ago in High Cross Park. Up until recently, all were in reasonably good condition and health with well-developed canopies and continuing apical growth in most specimens.
In August 2008, one of the Cook Pines in High Cross Park was removed following damage to the tree from a lightning strike. Following an extensive assessment of the tree, it was determined that the damage was significant and that the risk of leaving the tree standing was too dangerous for the community.
Initial Tree Assessment
The subject Cook Pine was assessed in January 2015 by a qualified arborist. It was showing signs of poor health with a section of dead branches some ten metres above ground level. There were a number of dead fronds throughout the length of its canopy and even though they were in clusters, they showed signs of dying in a discontinuous spiral pattern. This type of dieback is often associated with a lightning strike. The assessment undertaken revealed no signs of disease, insect attack or poisoning on or surrounding the tree. The assessment included a visual inspection of the dead foliage and a Picus Sonic Tomograph test around the base of the trunk to assess any potential internal decay or disease. The inspecting arborist noted that the symptoms of foliage death and seeping resin flow within the subject tree could indicate the presence of pathogenic or other influences such as a subterranean termite presence within the root crown of the tree. There were no external indications of any mechanical injury or other invasive influences such as drilling or poisoning activities that would result in such a noticeable decline in health. There was no recent scarring or wounding on the trunk to indicate a lightning strike which could also produce the same pattern of spiral foliage death.
The Picus Sonic Tomograph test showed there was a relatively small amount of active fungus and decay (12%) and altering wood (12%) located within a central column within the test site. The fungal pathogen appeared to have initially entered the lower trunk of the tree through the root plate. The arborist advised it could be assumed that the extent of fungal activity and decay was therefore most probably greater below the test site within the root crown, as this was the initial point of fungal entry. The Picus test indicated that at the time of testing, no new incremental wood growth was recorded. The light brown colouration of the remaining sound wood indicated a loss of vigour and decline in tree health. The arborist concluded that at the time of assessment and testing, the primary cause of the recent foliage death was could not be determined from the visual inspection. The results of the Picus Sonic Tomograph test showed an active fungal presence and column of decay at the base of the trunk and a distinct decline in vigour as shown by the lack of new incremental wood growth. These factors are indicative of an active fungal pathogen that initially entered the tree through damage to the root system and perhaps combined with termite presence. However, the pattern of rapid foliage dieback and resin seepage is also symptomatic of the Phytophthora cinnamomi fungal pathogen, to which Araucaria tree species are susceptible. The current visual symptoms were not the usual symptoms indicative of the Botryosphaeria sp. of fungi which initially causes dieback and death of the crown of the canopy to total tree death of Araucaria tree species in Australia.
As a result of the testing and conclusions, the arborist recommended the following actions:
· Test the surrounding soil and tree tissue samples for Phytophthora cinnamomi. If tests for Phytophthora are conclusive, treat affected areas according to recommendations from plant pathology results.
· Recommendations for the retention or removal of the tree can be determined based on the results of the pathology tests.
· If Phytophthora was not detected, monitor the health and structure of the tree on a regular basis.
Implementation of Recommendations
Soil and tissue sampling as well as moisture and pH testing were undertaken by the consulting arborist in February 2015. Soil samples were analysed by the Royal Botanic Gardens’ plant diagnostic unit for DNA testing.
Soil temperature and pH testing was undertaken approximately one metre from the base of the tree at the four cardinal points of north, south, east and west. There was little variation in soil temperature with the highest recorded temperature on the most exposed western side and lowest on the most shaded southern side (see below). pH readings on the north, south and eastern sides were alkaline. The western side revealed a more acidic reading. Araucaria species, however, can tolerate a wide pH range in soil conditions.
Location Temperature (degrees) pH
North 23.6 8.1
South 21.3 8.8
East 21.9 8.4
West 24.9 6.6
A total of fifteen (15) soil moisture readings were undertaken 1m from the tree in a grid of three rows. Five on the northern side, five on the southern side and a row of five in line with the centre of the tree. The soil appeared to be predominantly of a sand based texture. There was a wide variation in soil moisture results with the highest moisture content recorded on the eastern side of the tree at the edge of the mulch/grass interface. Soil moisture was particularly low at the base of the trunk and on the western edge adjacent to the footpath. Soil moisture appears to be affected by the tree’s growing location in the park. Little root mass is located on the western side adjacent to the footpath which receives the most direct light, heat intensity and radiated heat from the road and footpath. The highest soil moisture was recorded on the eastern side at the edge of the mulch/grass interface. This was indicative of either a leak from a pipe or irrigation line or some type of impedance to soil drainage.
A number of control measures were recommended, including the following:
· Drench soil around tree with phosphonate following manufacturer’s instructions. One initial drenching should be followed with a second in 4–5 weeks.
· Improve tree health with organic fertiliser and root growth hormone (seaweed based) to promote new root growth combined with deep watering when necessary.
· Mulch under drip zone to a depth of 75mm. Replenish mulch regularly.
· Check any existing irrigation systems for leakage.
Second Tree Assessment
Another visual tree assessment was undertaken by the arborist in March 2015 after it was noted by Council’s tree management staff that the tree appeared to be in a spiral of rapid decline in health. There had been another twenty percent of live foliage and branch death within the intervening two month period since the initial site inspection in January 2015. The amount of resin seepage from the lower trunk also appeared to have increased.
DNA results from the core tissue samples from the affected tree were negative when tested for wood decay fungi. There was no positive result for Neofusicoccum parvum, the known pathogen that causes severe dieback and death to Araucaria spp., particularly Norfolk Island Pines.
The soil samples were taken in a radial pattern approximately one metre from the base of the trunk. The samples tested positive to a species of Phythophora, but not Phythophora cinnamomi. Most Phythophora species, however, are potentially pathogenic. Soil moisture readings showed relatively high soil moisture content on the eastern side of the tree within the park lawn area.
The area under the drip zone was subsequently treated with phosphonate as a soil drench for fungal soil pathogens, as recommended by the Royal Botanic Gardens’ plant diagnostic unit. A further treatment was then undertaken on 9 April 2015. Further, this treatment was supplemented with a carbohydrate treatment in the form of a soil drench. In addition to these treatments, Council’s Coordinator Tree Management Services arranged a regular watering regime around the base of the tree, supplemented with the addition of Seasol liquid fertiliser. These measures were aimed at encouraging root growth and to re-invigorate the declining pine tree. Following the second assessment of the tree in March 2015, the arborist concluded there was no clear definitive answer or apparent solution to the cause or treatment of the continuing rapid decline in the tree’s health. Even after undertaking recommended control measures for fungal soil treatment, the tree has continued to decline in health. The arborist concluded there were likely to be multiple environmental, mechanical or other influences that have combined to cause its seemingly irreversible spiral of decline. There were no indications of the same symptoms in any of the other Araucaria spp. in High Cross Park. The arborist recommended that as a result of the ongoing and sudden decline in the tree’s health, that retention of the tree should only be considered on a short-term (month-to-month) basis while the tree is regularly monitored for any improvement or deterioration in general condition.
Because of the heritage and cultural importance of this group of Cook Pines, it was decided that the declining pine tree would continue to be treated with both the appropriate fungicide and fertilising regime and that its condition would be monitored in the hope that its health and vigour would improve. When considering that the tree is located within such a high visitation precinct, a reasonable option would be to remove the tree to avoid a safety risk unless the general condition and health of the tree improves in response to the treatments within a 2 months period. This option was considered based on a combination of previous site inspections, Picus Sonic Tomograph testing, soil diagnostic testing as well as an WH&S assessment of the site.
Unfortunately, between March and July 2015, there was a significant deterioration in the condition of this tree to the point that approximately ninety percent of the canopy has died and any visible sap previously seeping from the trunk is now dry.
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
It is estimated that the removal of the declining Araucaria columnaris (Cook Pine) on the western side of High Cross Park will cost $6,000. The required funds are available in Council’s annual tree management budget.
Council was notified of a noticeable increase in deadwood within the canopy of the Cook Pine in High Cross Park in January 2015. Initially, it was considered that the deadwood was a result of disease or poisoning. Every effort has been made by Randwick City Council to retain this significant public tree asset.
The tree has been inspected on several occasions by two AQF5 qualified arborists and Picus Sonic Tomograph tests were undertaken to assess the health and internal structural integrity of the tree.
Council has undertaken treatment of the soil surrounding the tree. Soil drench treatments of phosphonate for fungal soil pathogens and a carbohydrate treatment as a soil drench have been undertaken. Supplementing these treatments, Council’s Open Space Services has undertaken regular watering around the tree, incorporating Seasol liquid fertiliser, in an attempt to encourage root growth and to re-invigorate the tree. Unfortunately, the tree has not responded to the fungal treatments, intensive watering and fertilising program. It has continued to rapidly decline in health.
Australian Tree Consultants Pty Ltd were engaged on 3 July 2015 to assess the tree and to provide a supplementary report on the short-medium viability of the subject tree.
It appears that this Cook Island Pine has succumbed to a virulent fungal pathogen (most likely Phytophthora). It has been recommended by the arborists that this tree be removed as it not only represents a serious safety concern but it is also most important to isolate this issue from the other Cook Island Pines within High Cross Park. In order to isolate the other Cook Pines from potential fungal attack, all cut tree material and all stump grindings will be taken off site and new soil used to fill the hole. Removal of as much of the root material as possible is also recommended as Phytophthora can be transmitted via roots.
That the diseased Araucaria columnaris (Cook Pine) located on the south-west side of High Cross Park, Randwick, be removed.
Series of photographs highlighting the significance of the Council owned Cook Pine located within High Cross Park and its serious decline in health over the past six-month period.
Works Report No. W29/15
Subject: Commemoration of Mr Walter Williamson OAM
Folder No: F2004/06876
Randwick Council has received a request on behalf of Mr Rod Williamson to commemorate his late father who passed in 2012. Rod Williamson and his family request that Central Park on the corner of Cooper Street and Storey Street, Maroubra be renamed after Walter (Wally) Williamson OAM.
This report outlines the proposed renaming of Central Park, Maroubra for the purposes of commemorating the late Walter Williamson OAM.
Walter Williamson lived locally in Maroubra for over 50 years and is deeply embedded into the Maroubra community. He contributed to the local area through his work as President and life member of the Maroubra Swimming Club, the Eastern Suburbs Swimming Association, St Edmund’s Anglican Church and President of the P&C at Maroubra Junction Public School.
In recognition of Walter Williamson’s service to the community, he was awarded the Randwick Council Community Service award in 1992, the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011.
A review of the naming of Central Park, Maroubra has indicated that the Geographical Names Board does not have this location registered as a place name. An internal review of the Central Park name failed to reveal any significance for the ‘Central Park’ name.
It is considered that the proposal to rename Central Park to Walter Williamson Park is in accordance with the Geographical Names Board’s guidelines for determination of place names.
The guidelines set by the Geographical Names Board (GNB) for the determination of place names and commemorative naming have been considered during the review of the proposal. The proposal to rename a park needs to be submitted to the GNB for consideration. The proposal must include a map indicating the location of the park and a completed Commemorative Naming application.
Should the GNB approve the naming, the proposal will be advertised in the local paper for consultation with the community. The name will be gazetted following the advertising period provided that there are no objections received to the proposal.
Relationship to City Plan
The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:
Outcome 7: Heritage that is protected and celebrated.
Direction 7a: Our Heritage is recognised, protected and celebrated.
Financial impact statement
There are administration costs estimated to total $2,000 for the proposal. These costs will be funded from the existing 2015/16 Operational Budget.
Walter Williamson contributed to the local community through his involvement and work with the Maroubra Swimming Club, the Eastern Suburbs Swimming Association, St Edmund’s Anglican Church and Maroubra Junction Public School.
Central Park is located in Maroubra where Walter Williamson lived for 50 years. It has been determined that the name of Central Park has no local significance. On this basis, it is considered a suitable proposal to rename Central Park in honour of Walter Williamson.
That Council submits its proposal to rename Central Park, Maroubra as “Walter Williamson Park” to the Geographical Names Board for consideration.
Map showing area proposed to be renamed