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Administration and Finance Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

Tuesday 13 February 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 1300 722 542

Fax: 02 9319 1510

 council@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Administration and Finance Committee Meeting

 

Notice is hereby given that a Administration and Finance 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, 13 February 2018 at 6:00pm

 

Committee Members:          The Mayor L Shurey, Andrews, Bowen, Da Rocha, D’Souza (Deputy Chairperson), Hamilton, Luxford, Matson, Neilson, Parker, Roberts, Said (Chairperson), Seng, Shurey, Stavrinos and Veitch

 

Quorum:                           Eight (8) members

 

NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Administration and Finance Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.

Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Administration and Finance Committee Meeting - 14 November 2017

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Privacy warning;

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.

Urgent Business

Administration Reports

A1/18       Contingency Fund - status as at 31 January 2018...................................... 1

A2/18       Community Safety Program - Live CCTV monitoring by Randwick Police......... 5

Finance Reports

F1/18        Monthly Financial Report as at 30 November 2017..................................... 7

F2/18        Monthly Financial Report as at 31 December 2017.................................... 17

F3/18        The 20-Year Randwick City Plan ........................................................... 27   

Closed Session

F4/18        The Heffron Centre - Capital Expenditure Review & Public Private Partnership

This matter is considered to be confidential under Section 10A(2) (c) Of the Local Government Act, as it deals with information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the Council is conducting (or proposes to conduct) business.

  

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil  

 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Administration Report No. A1/18

 

Subject:             Contingency Fund - status as at 31 January 2018

Folder No:                   F2017/07396

Author:                   Julie Hartshorn, Senior Administrative Coordinator      

 

Introduction

 

The purpose of this report is to detail the progressive amount of donations, allocations, waiving of fees and other similar contributions for the 2017-18 financial year.

 

Issues

 

For the 2017-18 financial year there have been 27 allocations totalling $97,661.00. All allocations are listed in the table below.

 

Meeting

Details

Approved allocation

2017-18

Annual contribution (ongoing)

Planning Committee – 13 Mar 2012

Annual contribution – Australia Day Botany Bay Regatta

$750.00

Ord Council

17 Sept 2013

Annual Contribution (5 years from 2015-16 to 2019-20) Waiving of Fees – Rainbow Club Australia Inc – Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic Ocean Swim

 

$14,500.00

Ord Council  23 Sept 2014

Annual contribution (5 years from 2015-16 to 2019-20) - Randwick Boys High School - 'Mayor's Award'

$1,000.00

Ord Council – 26 April 2016

Annual contribution (5 years from 2015-16 - Sydney Children’s Foundation Gold Telethon)

$5,000.00

Ord Council – 26 April 2016

Annual contribution (5 years from 2016-17 - Sydney Children’s Foundation Lights for Kids Christmas campaign)

$2,000.00

Ord Council – 25 Jul 2017

Annual contribution (5 years from 2017-18 to 2021-22) - Randwick Girls’ High School - 'Mayor's Award'

$1,000.00

2017-18 Contingency Fund allocations

Ord Council – 28 Mar 2017

Financial assistance – Randwick Boys & Girls High Schools – 2017 combined production

$4,000.00

Ord Council – 27 Jun 2017

Financial assistance – Souths Cares NAIDOC Festival 2017

$6,700.00

Ord Council – 27 Jun 2017

Financial assistance – Surfing NSW Grommet Surfing Titles

$15,601.00

Ord Council – 25 Jul 2017

Waiving of fees - NSW Police Force & International Students' Beach Soccer Day

$2,130.00

Ord Council – 25 Jul 2017

Donations - Rainbow Street Public School - Fundraising Cookbook

$750.00

Ord Council – 25 Jul 2017

Peter Hoffman - Commemoration

$500.00

Ord Council – 22 Aug 2017

Waiving of Fees - International Day of People with a Disability

$440.00

Ord Council – 22 Aug 2017

Waiving of fess - Filipino Cultural and Arts Festival 

$2,237.00

Ord Council – 10 Oct 2017

Waiving of fees - Friends of Malabar Headland

$110.00

Ord Council – 24 Oct 2017

Waiving of Fees - Carols by Candlelight - St Lukes Anglican Church, Clovelly

$4,118.00

Ord Council – 24 Oct 2017

Waiving of fees - Randwick Botany Cycling Club Inc - Retro Day

$823.00

Ord Council – 24 Oct 2017

Waiving of fees - South Maroubra Surf Club

$1,995.00

Ord Council – 28 Nov 2017

Waiving of fees – Carols by Candlelight – St Nicolas Anglican Church

$2,189.00

Ord Council – 28 Nov 2017

Financial assistance – Surfing NSW – World Tour Surfing event

$7,500.00

Ord Council – 28 Nov 2017

Waiving of fees – Greek Epiphany Festival – Jan 2018

$12,350.00

Ord Council – 28 Nov 2017

Sponsorship – 2018 Sydney Film Festival

$5,000.00

Ord Council – 28 Nov 2017

Financial assistance – Coast Centre for Seniors

$1,000.00

Ord Council – 12 Dec 2017

Waiving of fees – Surf Life Saving Sydney

$1,268.00

Ord Council – 12 Dec 2017

Financial assistance – Digging Deep for Myanmar

$2,000.00

Ord Council – 12 Dec 2017

Funding assistance – Vintage Sports Car Club of Australia – book launch Maroubra Speedway

$1,200.00

Ord Council – 12 Dec 2017

Financial assistance – Jarrah House

$1,500.00

Total – 2017-18 Contingency Fund allocations

$97,661.00

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 2:           A vibrant and diverse community.

Our community will be proud to be part of our City and celebrate its range of cultures and people.

Direction 2b:         Enrich our range of community services that meet our community’s needs.

Key Actions:         Support the provision of services and facilities to meet the needs of our Target Groups and celebrate the range of cultures and people within Randwick City.

 

Financial impact statement

 

Council has allocated $95,000.00 in the 2017-18 Budget for contingencies.  Budget adjustments, if required, will be dealt with as part of quarterly budget reviews.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the status of the contingency funds allocations for 2017-18, be noted.

 

 


 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Administration Report No. A2/18

 

Subject:             Community Safety Program - Live CCTV monitoring by Randwick Police

Folder No:                   F2008/00547

Author:                   Graham Curley, Chief Information Officer      

 

Introduction

 

The safety of our community is of the utmost importance to Council and we are continually looking at ways to help improve the safety and security of our residents and visitors.

 

The release of the document “Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism” by the federal government last year has also highlighted that local government has a duty of care and are to play a key role in the safety and wellbeing of Australian communities and to help protect crowded places from terrorism.

 

Issues

 

In 2009 Council installed a public CCTV system in the Coogee Beach area and in the time the footage captured has assisted police with their investigations on many occasions.  To date, the supply of the footage has been retrospective with imagery from the CCTV system used after an incident has occurred.

 

In conjunction with the NSW Police Force’s Eastern Beaches Local Area Command, a joint initiative is proposed to establish a control room within the Randwick police station that will undertake proactive monitoring of live CCTV footage.  This initiative will have the advantage that the police will be able to react to event as they happen, and will also introduce operational efficiencies.  The police will be able to download and gathering evidence from footage of incidents captured by CCTV without the need for Council staff to be involved.

 

To make this possible, it is required for Council to connect the police station to Council’s CCTV network with the provision and installation of networking and computer monitoring equipment. It is proposed for Council to fund the hardware and software required for the operation of the control room with the cost involved as below:

·      Installation of networking, cabling, and supply of monitors    $17,100

·      Supply of computers and network equipment                      $3,000

 

The staffing required to undertake the live monitoring of the CCTV network will be provided by the police.

 

With the live monitoring control room in place, all future CCTV installations that Council undertakes as part of the Community Safety Program, such as Yarra Bay, will be able to be monitored by the police with no additional equipment being required within the control room.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       A liveable city.

 

Direction 6c:      The safety of our community is paramount and is acknowledged and supported through proactive policies, programs and strategies.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The costs involved to establish the CCTV live monitoring control room within the Randwick police station is $20,100.  No costs will be incurred by Council for the staffing of the control room as this will be resourced by the Eastern Beaches LAC.

 

Conclusion

 

The joint initiative of Council and the Eastern Beaches LAC to establish a control room for the live monitoring of the CCTV network will place Council at the forefront of playing a key role in maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our community.  The establishment of the control room along with future initiatives on the Community Safety Program will form part of the protection of crowded places from terrorism and assist in reducing crime within the LGA.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That Council support and adopt the joint Council and Eastern Beaches LAC proactive monitoring of live CCTV footage from the Randwick police station premises as part of the Community Safety Program.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

  


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Finance Report No. F1/18

 

Subject:             Monthly Financial Report as at 30 November 2017

Folder No:                   F2017/00404

Author:                   Oliver Guo, Management Accountant      

 

Introduction

 

Section 202 of Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requires that the responsible accounting officer of a council must:

a)     establish and maintain a system of budgetary control that will enable the council’s actual income and expenditure to be monitored each month and to be compared with the estimate of the council’s income and expenditure, and

b)     if any instance arises where the actual income or expenditure of the council is materially different from its estimated income or expenditure, report the instance to the next meeting of the council.

 

Issues

 

This report provides the financial results of the Council as at 30 November 2017. Attachment 1 summarises the Council’s financial performance and its source and application of funds. It also summarises the operating result for each of the Council’s principal activities. Attachment 2 details the financial position of the Council as at 30 November 2017. Attachment 3 details the cash flow of the Council as at 30 November 2017.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 1:     Leadership in Sustainability.

Direction 1b:    Council is a leader in the delivery of social, financial and operational      activities.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The Council’s Manager Corporate and Financial Planning, as the Responsible Accounting Officer, advises that the projected financial position is satisfactory. The Current Ratio as at 30 November 2017 is 1.89 compared to 2.08 as at 30 June 2017. The Current Ratio is a financial indicator specific to local government and represents its ability to meet its debts and obligations as they fall due.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Administration and Finance Committee acknowledges that the Responsible Accounting Officer has advised that the projected financial position of Council is satisfactory.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.

Monthly Financial Statements - Income Statements November 2017

 

2.

Monthly Financial Statements - Balance Sheet November 2017

 

3.

Monthly Financial Statements - Cash Flow Statement November 2017

 

 

 

 


Monthly Financial Statements - Income Statements November 2017

Attachment 1

 

 


 

 



 


Monthly Financial Statements - Balance Sheet November 2017

Attachment 2

 

 


Monthly Financial Statements - Cash Flow Statement November 2017

Attachment 3

 

 


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Finance Report No. F2/18

 

Subject:             Monthly Financial Report as at 31 December 2017

Folder No:                   F2017/00404

Author:                   Oliver Guo, Management Accountant      

 

Introduction

 

Section 202 of Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requires that the responsible accounting officer of a council must:

a)     establish and maintain a system of budgetary control that will enable the council’s actual income and expenditure to be monitored each month and to be compared with the estimate of the council’s income and expenditure, and

b)     if any instance arises where the actual income or expenditure of the council is materially different from its estimated income or expenditure, report the instance to the next meeting of the council.

 

Issues

 

This report provides the financial results of the Council as at 31 December 2017. Attachment 1 summarises the Council’s financial performance and its source and application of funds. It also summarises the operating result for each of the Council’s principal activities. Attachment 2 details the financial position of the Council as at 31 December 2017. Attachment 3 details the cash flow of the Council as at 31 December 2017.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 1:     Leadership in Sustainability.

Direction 1b:    Council is a leader in the delivery of social, financial and operational      activities.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 

Conclusion

 

The Council’s Manager Corporate and Financial Planning, as the Responsible Accounting Officer, advises that the projected financial position is satisfactory. The Current Ratio as at 31 December 2017 is 1.94 compared to 2.08 as at 30 June 2017. The Current Ratio is a financial indicator specific to local government and represents its ability to meet its debts and obligations as they fall due.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That the Administration and Finance Committee acknowledges that the Responsible Accounting Officer has advised that the projected financial position of Council is satisfactory.

 

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.

Monthly Financial Statements - Income Statements December 2017

 

2.

Monthly Financial Statements - Balance Sheet December 2017

 

3.

Monthly Financial Statements - Cash Flow Statement December 2017

 

 

 

 


Monthly Financial Statements - Income Statements December 2017

Attachment 1

 

 


 

 

 

 


Monthly Financial Statements - Balance Sheet December 2017

Attachment 2

 

 


Monthly Financial Statements - Cash Flow Statement December 2017

Attachment 3

 

 


Administration and Finance Committee                                                                13 February 2018

 

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Finance Report No. F3/18

 

Subject:             The 20-Year Randwick City Plan

Folder No:                   F2017/00503

Author:                   Karen Hawkett, Coordinator Integrated Planning & Reporting     

 

Introduction

 

The Randwick City Plan, first published in 2006, is a 20-year strategic plan reflecting our community’s vision and long term goals for the health and wellbeing of our people, our economy and the natural and built environment. The Plan is based on extensive research and input from ongoing and well thought out community engagement processes.

 

A review of the Plan and Resourcing Strategy was undertaken and reported to Council in November 2017 alongside the 2018-21 Financial Strategy report. The review included three options for resourcing the 2018-21 Delivery Program which are tabled below, providing the community with the choice of projects, delivery timeframes and funding alternatives.

 

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

 

Do Nothing Approach

Delayed Approach

Preferred Approach

Cumulative rate increase over 3 years

7.48%

13.21%

19.85%

Proposed borrowings

$0

$0

$27mln

Project delivery time

No new projects delivered

13 years

7 years

 

In addition the review of the Plan and Resourcing Strategy presented options to introduce a Port Botany rate and for the use of borrowings.

 

The Plan reflects our community’s long-term aspirations and needs, and outlines the clear directions we will take to shape our city’s future. The success of this plan lies with the strong working partnerships Council creates with our community and key organisations.

 

The current Integrated Planning and Reporting framework supporting the City Plan and Delivery Program provide Council with a platform to deliver projects and services to the community.

 

Under the Local Government Act, each newly elected Council must review the Randwick City Plan by 30 June in the year following the local government elections. Councils considering to apply for a special variation to rates (SRV) need to do so now to meet the processing requirements of IPART.

 

The draft plan and resourcing strategy were placed on public exhibition and this report outlines the various responses and subsequent changes that were made in finalising the documents.

 

 

 

Issues

 

Community Engagement

 

Randwick City Council conducted a comprehensive community engagement program on the Special Rate Variation to inform residents and ratepayers about the full impact of the proposal and to provide them with multiple opportunities to be involved and to have their say.

 

The community consultation was guided by a community engagement strategy reported to and endorsed at the Randwick Council Meeting of 28 November 2017.

The consultation period was open for eight weeks from 1 December 2017 to 5pm 1 February 2018. This was double the required length of consultation as required by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and Office of Local Government guidelines.

 

People were given the opportunity to comment in general, but also encouraged to provide specific feedback on two special rate variation options and a rate peg only approach. People were also encouraged to provide specific feedback on the proposed projects to enable Council to better understand community priority.

 

The consultation included the exhibition of a number of detailed documents as listed below. The preparation of these documents and review of the City Plan was initially guided by reviewing the outcome of 59 consultations conducted by Council since 2013 and incorporating the identified issues into the draft three-year delivery program 2018-21.

 

The Integrated Planning and Reporting documentation and summary documentation branded ‘Our Community Our Future’ was available for viewing in hard copy at Council’s Customer Service Centre, at our libraries in Randwick, Maroubra and Malabar and at the Des Renford Leisure Centre.

 

The same documentation was available for viewing, download and comment on a dedicated consultation website: www.yoursayrandwick.com.au/OurCommunityOurFuture.

 

The documentation available for viewing was:

 

§ Information Booklet – Our Community Our Future

§ Funding Options – Our Community Our Future

§ Future Major Projects list

§ The 20-Year Randwick City Plan (Community Strategic Plan)

§ The Resourcing Strategy Executive Summary 2018-28

§ The Long Term Financial Plan 2018-28

§ The Asset Management Strategy 2018-28

§ The Asset Management Plans 2018-28

§ The Workforce Plan 2018-28

§ The Digital Strategy 2018-28

 

Council identified a number of key stakeholders and developed specific community engagement approaches to communicate with them:

 

§ Randwick City Council residents

§ Randwick City Council ratepayers

§ Local Precinct groups

§ Port Botany

§ Local community and sporting associations

§ Local members of parliament

§ Local institutions (eg UNSW)

 

The engagement strategy included open opportunities for general public participation and specific communications including letters, meeting and telephone calls.

The community engagement activities undertaken included:

§ A dedicated consultation website including submission function

§ An information booklet

§ Direct mail with reply paid survey/online survey option to 41,804 ratepayers

§ Direct mail to 135 real estate agents representing investors of 9,546 ratepaying properties with an easy to complete online survey

§ Two full page advertisements in local newspaper The Southern Courier on 5 December 2017 and 9 January 2018

§ Public information sessions held Wednesday 13 December 2017 6-7pm and Saturday 16 December 2017 11am-12noon

§ Interactive Workshops on 18 January and 24 January 2018 at 6pm

§ Representative Telephone Survey of 600 local residents conducted by Micromex Research

§ Content in Council’s Randwick News email sent weekly to 20,000 subscribers on 6 December and 13 December 2017 and 10 January and 24 January 2018

§ Dedicated email sent to 20,000 subscribers on 18 January 2018

§ Media releases issued 4 December 2017 and 16 January 201

§ Promoting through Council’s regular advertisement in The Southern Courier and Mayor’s column

§ Posters displayed at 30 bus stops in Randwick City and at Council facilities including the Administration Building, Libraries at Randwick, Maroubra and Malabar, Des Renford Leisure Centre in Maroubra and Community Nursery in Kingsford

§ Digital communication including content on Council’s website and posts on Council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts

 


 

Examples of community engagement material

 

Ratepayer mailout

Image 1: Letter, survey and information booklet sent to ratepayers.

 

Posters and information displays

 

Image 2: Example of bus stop and information display at Council libraries.

 


 

The Southern Courier advertising

Image3: Full page advertisements The Southern Courier 5 December 2017 p17 and 9 January 2018 p14

Dedicated consultation website

Image 4: YourSay Randwick website

 


 

Digital communication

Image 5: Examples of communication methods via Randwick eNews (circulation 20,000), Randwick Facebook page (audience 16,000) and Randwick Council website.

 

Face to face engagement

Image 6: Public information sessions held on Wed 13 and Sat 16 December 2017.

 

Feedback from the community consultations

Executive summary of results

 

§ “Option 3 – Preferred approach” for a rate variation of 19.85% cumulative over three years received majority support and is the community’s most preferred approach. It was chosen by 57% of respondents in the Telephone Survey and 49% of respondents in the Ratepayer Survey as their first preference.

§ “Option 1 – Do Nothing Approach” where the rate peg only would be applied giving a cumulative rate increase over three years of 7.48% is the least supported option. Just 15% of Telephone Survey respondents and 22% of Ratepayer Survey respondents chose it as their first preference.

§ 30% of Telephone Survey respondents were aware of Council’s plans for a Special Rate Variation.

§ 51,349 surveys were issued to Randwick City ratepayers with a response rate of 5,713 being 11.13%. This represents a good return rate and demonstrates high level awareness.

§ All proposed major projects received support with the Women’s Refuge Centre, Undergrounding Powerlines and Indoor Sports Centre at Heffron Park the top prioritised projects in both the Telephone Survey and Ratepayer Survey.

Telephone Survey

Randwick Council engaged independent research agency Micromex Research to undertake a representative community telephone survey.

The objectives of the survey were to:

 

§ Measure awareness levels and sources of information about a Special Rate Variation

§ Measure levels of support for different SRV options

§ Obtain a hierarchy of preferences for the different options

§ Community attitude of a number of key projects

§ Measure community satisfaction with the performance of Council

 

A total of 603 interviews were conducted which included 492 respondents selected through a random selection process using the White Pages and an additional 111 respondents recruited to take part in the survey face-to-face at local shopping centres, town centres and public areas.

A sample size of 603 provides a maximum sampling error of plus or minus 4.0% at 95% confidence.

 

The sample was weighted by age and gender to reflect the 2016 ABS community profile of the Randwick City Local Government Area.

 

Summary results:

 

1.  57% of residents stated that ‘Option 3 – the preferred approach’ was their first preference

2.  76% of residents stated that ‘Option 1 – a rate peg only’ was their least preferred outcome

3.  30% of residents were aware that Council was exploring community sentiment towards a Special Rate Variation




 

Preferences of Special Rate Variation Options

Chart1: Preferences of special rate variation options.

 

Participants were read a concept statement explaining Council’s decision to seek community feedback on a potential Special Rate Variation and given information on the cumulative rate increase over three years of each of the options and the typical monetary increase per year for residents paying the average rate.

After explaining the options, residents were asked to indicate their order of preference for each of the options. As can be seen by the above chart, 57% of respondents – a majority and more than the other two options combined – chose Option 3 which Council calls the ‘preferred approach’ of a 19.85% cumulative increase over three years as well as borrowing $27M.

There was little support for option 1 which is to apply for the rate peg receiving 15% first preference support.

 

Respondents were also asked to give a reason why they chose the option they did.

 

Reasons for choosing option 1 as first preference (15%)

Chart 2: Reasons for preferring Option 1

 

Some of the verbatim responses of participants for preferring option 1 include:

‘I am a pensioner and can not afford any increase’
‘Families are undergoing financial hardship just from the cost of living’
‘The community already pays enough in rates’
‘We do not get any value for money as it is’
‘Council needs to better manage the funds they already have’
‘Federal Government should be providing the money for terrorism’
‘I do not agree with the projects, there are much more urgent things needed’
‘Nothing will happen as always, it will be a waste of money’

 

Reasons for choosing option 2 as first preference (28%)

Chart 3: Reasons for preferring Option 2

 

Some of the verbatim responses of participants for preferring option 2 include:

‘Financially we can not afford option 3, but still want projects completed’
‘It is the most cost effective option’
‘Things have to be done, which requires more funding’
‘Delays the increase in rates’
‘Disapprove with some of the projects proposed’
‘We need to move forward as a community, so we do not stagnate’
‘The projects will still get done over time’
‘This option does not require Council to borrow money’

 

Reasons for choosing option 3 as first preference (57%)

Chart 4: Reasons for preferring Option 3

 

Some of the verbatim responses of participants for preferring option 3 include:

‘Better time scale for projects to get done’

‘Happy to pay for these projects to be done quickly and efficiently’

‘The amount of money per household is low’

‘Let’s just get it done’

‘It needs to get done and someone has to pay for it’

‘The projects need to be done, there is no point stretching it out over 13 years’

‘Confident in Council’s ability to deliver’

‘Need to do these things to more forward’

 


 

Priority of major projects

Chart 5: Priority of major projects

 

Participants were asked for their feedback on the priority of some of the projects Council is proposing to fund as part of the SRV. The above table helps show relative priority. All projects received a level of support, however addressing domestic violence through the provision of a women’s refuge or other means, building a new indoor sports centre and underground powerlines to enable more street tree planting is a high priority for the community.

 

The lowest prioritised project ‘Restoring and expanding the La Perouse Museum’ received a mean rating of 2.48 (out of 5) but still had a level of support with 53% scoring it a 3, 4 or 5 priority.

Source of information on a Special Rate Variation

Chart 6: How people became aware of SRV

 

Of those surveyed, 30% were aware Council was seeking a Special Rate Variation and the above chart shows how people became aware.

 

Of note, is that 92% of respondents were at least ‘somewhat satisfied’ with the overall performance of Council in the last 12 months. This is a strong result in the context of a telephone survey seeking feedback on a rate variation and suggests an ongoing level of trust and support for the services and projects delivered by Council in the past.

 

Ratepayer Survey

 

Randwick Council developed a specific ratepayer mailout designed to inform Randwick City ratepayers (a significant audience identified in the consultation strategy) about Council’s proposal for a Special Rate Variation and to seek their views.

 

In early January 2018 the mailout was undertaken using standard Australia Post mail which included a covering explanatory letter from the Mayor, a paper survey, reply paid envelope and an 8-page Information Booklet. The covering letter also provided the option for people to complete the survey online and provided a unique ID and password. This mailout was sent to the nominated postal address of 41,803 ratepaying properties.

 

Council identified an additional 9,546 ratepaying properties where the nominated postal address was a real estate agent. This suggests the property is most likely an investment property. As many local real estate agents manage dozen and sometimes hundreds of properties, Council decided to make it easier for investors to take part by sending one unique letter to each real estate agent with a list of property addresses that they managed and asked them to scan and email details of a survey website to their landlords. This meant real estate agents weren’t getting dozens and hundreds of letters in the post.

 

Ratepayers had until 5pm 1 February 2018 to return the survey or complete it online.

 

Total surveys sent:                        51,349
Hard copy surveys received:           4,642 (9.04%)
Online surveys received:                1,071 (2.09%)
Total surveys received:                  5,713 (11.13%)

 

The Ratepayer Survey results reflect the attitudes of those ratepayers who chose to respond. This is an important distinction to the Telephone Survey. The Ratepayer Survey is not random, weighted or representative. However for a sample size as large as this, Council can have reasonable confidence that it is a general view of the average ratepayer. For example if you applied a statistical error margin analysis to the sample size over the population with a 95% confidence level, the margin of error would be low at just 1.22%. Comparison with the Telephone Survey shows the outcomes and trends are consistent.

 

Chart 7: Response rate by post code as a percentage of surveys issued

 

There is a slightly higher response rate in the 2036 postcode (Matraville to La Perouse) and 2034 (Coogee and South Coogee) and 2031 (Randwick and Clovelly). It is possible that a higher level of investor owned properties in the Kingsford and Kensington areas is a contributing factor to the lower relative response rate.

Interestingly, a majority 81% of people decided to complete the paper survey and return it via mail despite Council providing an online option.

 

Chart 8: Response to Q2 of Ratepayer Survey, n=5,337

 

The above chart shows of the completed survey responses received, a majority (49%) of respondents indicated they supported option 3. This is consistent with the results of the Telephone Survey. Note the above chart excludes 376 survey responses that did not complete Q2.

Chart 9: Response to Q2 of Ratepayer Survey grouped by postcode, n=5,337

 

The above chart shows there’s a consistency in views across all postcodes of Randwick City. Some minor variances exist with slightly more support for option 3 in Coogee and South Coogee compared with the average. In Kingsford there is slightly more support for option 1 when compared with the average trend, however option 3 still remains by far the most supported option in Kingsford.

 

Chart 10: Mean average ratings of responses to Q1 of Ratepayer Survey grouped   

 

Funding Option Preference, n=varies

It’s clear from the response to the proposed major projects that all projects carry a level of support from the community. On a relative scale, two projects were more supported being the Women’s Refuge Centre and Undergrounding powerlines. The above chart shows the mean average ratings for all responses grouped by funding option preference.

 

Information sessions

 

Council hosted two information sessions at Randwick Town Hall on Wednesday 13 December 2017, 6pm to 7pm and Saturday 16 December 2017, 11am to midday.  The sessions were open to all Randwick City residents and advertised in the local newspaper (The Southern Courier), on the YourSay Randwick website, via direct email to registered users of Your Say Randwick and via social media. 

A total of 21 residents attended the two information sessions which were designed to inform residents about Our Community Our Future. Specifically, Council staff presented on why we are consulting, the key projects Council wants to deliver, and how Council proposes paying for the projects while maintaining our essential services; including our proposal to apply for a special rate variation.

 

Following an explanation of each key project, the three funding options were explained in the context of how Council is performing financially and how each option would impact the average resident annual rate.

 

At the conclusion of the presentation, residents were invited to come and chat to the Council staff about any projects or to ask a question. At both sessions, a number of residents stayed behind for about 30 minutes and spoke one on one with about six Council staff who were present. The discussions provided residents with the ability to speak directly with relevant staff who could answer questions and discuss the issue in more detail. On more than one occasion residents thanked Council staff for their time and commitment.

 

Workshops

 

Council facilitated two workshops on Our Community Our Future with the overall aim of engaging face to face with a sample of Randwick City residents and inform them on Council’s review of the Randwick City Plan, particularly the proposed projects Council wants to deliver and how we propose to fund them.

 

Held from 6-8pm on Thursday 18 January and Thursday 24 January 2018, the workshops were open to all Randwick City residents and advertised in the local newspaper (The Southern Courier), on the Your Say Randwick website, via direct email to registered users of Your Say Randwick and via social media. 

 

A total of 30 residents attended both the workshops, which were designed to:

§ Measure the level of community support for the proposed projects by asking participants to rate how important each project is to them using a live online voting system

§ Present the proposed funding models and obtain in-depth feedback from the group about their willingness to pay for defined levels of services and proposed projects

§ To provide participants with the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to Our Community Our Future

 

Project:

Importance rating:

Building a women’s refuge

3.7

Restoring the Randwick Literary Institute

3.3

Restoring the La Perouse Museum

3.2

Building an indoor sports and gymnastics centre

3

Underground powerlines

2.8

Providing an Arts and Cultural Centre

2.5


This table shows the results of an interactive session where the 30 participants were asked to give each project an importance rating out of 5. It shows that addressing domestic violence was considered to be one of the more important projects.  Note these figures are representative of those attending the workshops and the sample size is not large enough to be reflective of general community attitudes.

 

When discussing the funding options, some of the comments and questions included:

·      How will Council pay for the debt from Option 3 after the 3 year SRV? 

·      Suggestion for Council to take more of a user pays approach rather than ratepayers covering costs

·      The Port Botany rate increase should be added to option 1

·      Hard to make a choice without the whole picture, that is, what projects will cost

·      Don’t like debt

·      Put the money into better projects, not toilets, but things like sustainable transport/bike paths etc.

·      Where else can Council get money for projects?  Need to look at other income options, not just rates.

 

Dedicated consultation website

A dedicated Your Say Randwick webpage was created for Our Community Our Future to help inform residents of the consultation and all the ways they could be involved and have their say: www.yoursayrandwick.com.au/OurCommunityOurFuture

All the key documents related to the City Plan Review were available on the website to download and residents could make a submission via the webpage.  

The webpage was launched on 30 November 2017 and was open for 65 days, closing at 9am on 2 February 2018. During this time, the site experienced the following:

·      2,620 visits to the YourSay Randwick webpage

·      241 submissions

·      1,343 document downloads

 

Table 1: Summary of documents downloaded

Document

Downloads/views

Information Booklet - Our Community Our Future

479

Funding Options - Our Community Our Future

408

Future Major Projects list

150

Draft Randwick City Plan

86

Business Paper 2018-21 Financial Strategy

27

Draft Resourcing Strategy Digital Strategy 2018-28

30

Draft Executive Summary 2018-28 Resourcing Strategy

30

Draft Resourcing Strategy Long Term Financial Plan

36

Draft Buildings Asset Management Plan 2018-28

24

Draft Workforce Plan 2018-28 Resourcing Strategy

19

Draft Asset Management Strategy 2018-28 Resourcing Strategy

13

Draft Open Space Asset Management Plan 2018-28

13

Draft Footpaths Asset Management Plan 2018-28

9

Draft Stormwater Drainage Asset Management Plan 2018-28

5

Draft Kerb and Gutter Asset Management Plan 2018-28

6

Draft Road Pavement Asset Management Plan 2018-28

4

Draft Retaining Walls Asset Management Plan 2018-28

4

 

The website was the main means people registered to take part in the workshops and provided a submission function.

 

Submissions

Randwick Council received a number of submissions through a variety of sources. All submissions were acknowledged and the issues were considered by the relevant council staff.

 

A total of 241 submissions were received, of which 202 were loged Online via the YourSay Randwick website. In addition 2,626 Ratepayer comments were received online or reply-paid survey.

 

The content of the submissions received have been supplied to Councillors.

 

15 of the submissions received were from local groups, businesses and organisations and are summarised in the following table:

Table 2: Summary of organisation submissions

 

Organisation

Comment

Bunnerong Gymnastics Association

Support for gymnastics centre at Heffron Park

Gymnastics NSW

Support for gymnastics centre at Heffron Park

Gymnastics Australia

Support for gymnastics centre at Heffron Park

Football NSW

Request to increase and improve sporting facilities and grounds (including flood lighting, surfacing and more fields)

BIKEast

Support for development of facilities and programs to promote ‘active transport’ (walking and cycling)

Maroubra Seals Winter Swimming Club

Objecting to proposed café at Mahon Pool. As of 28 January, 201 signed petitions had been received by Council opposing café. An additional 126 petitions were received on 5 February. Council advised that as of 4.38 pm on 5 February, 409 people had signed an online petition.

Port Botany (NSW Ports)      

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Origin Energy LPG

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

AST Services

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Vopak Australia, Pty Ltd

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Qenos Australia

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

DP World Australia

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Elgas

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Terminals Australia

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

Associated Customs & Forwarding Services

Objection to proposal to create a special rates sub-category for the port and objecting to any increase over and above the rate peg.

 

Ratepayer comments via online or reply paid survey

Council received 2,626 free text comments from ratepayers completing the Ratepayer Survey online or via reply paid mail. Council staff have had limited time to review the large number of comments given the consultation closed on 1 February 2018. However the comments can largely be grouped into four categories:

1.  Clarification/justification on the respondent’s choice of preferred funding option

2.  Specific comments on major projects

3.  Questions regarding Our Community Our Future

4.  Operational matters or general comments that largely fall outside the scope of this project

Of note, those who chose “Option 3: Preferred Approach” as their supported funding option were almost twice as likely to make a written comment as those who chose option 1 or 2.

 

Council staff will incorporate the feedback from the ratepayers into future planning and operational budgets where possible.

 

Some verbatim responses of those who chose Option 1:

Anti-terrorism proposals are rubbish and are not needed.

Appreciate the opportunity to be heard. Thanks for consulting the community.

As pensioners we already pay enough and when will I be using the indoor sports or women’s refuge? Think about the elderly!

Council are already benefitting from the rapid appreciation of land values which determines the rates we pay to Council.

Council should cut costs elsewhere.

Do not raise rates!! Stop spending my rates money on non-necessary services like a refuge.

I do not support any of the 'major projects' - priorities wrong.

Most people are already having difficulty affording daily expenses.

Rate increases for any of the above is unnecessary currently. Our rates should cover underground power lines and other community initiatives.

These project appear to me to me beyond what I would expect should be funded by a local council.

We don't know where you got the average rates as $1,186 because ours are $1,800pa. How can we pay more when we are on a pension?

We would like the rest of the footpaths finished.

Some verbatim responses of those who chose Option 2:

Getting feedback is good but you need a representative sample to make it worthwhile.

Great to have the opportunity to input. Thank you.

I believe that the present council rates are sufficient enough to manage whatever needs to be done for the community.

I do not think that local government should be borrowing significant money and you should have agreed to merge!!

We have a large indigenous population at La Perouse so the museum is important.

In my view refuse to pay for anti-terrorism measures as terrorism is a issue for the Federal Government and terrorist level is influenced by Federal Government policies and decisions.

I am very impressed by all your plans - it seems you have a great crew at the council!

Is it the council’s responsibility to build women’s refuges or the state government!

Live within our means. Don’t pass debt onto future generations.

A steady as it goes approach is best. Without a loan is better.

Please complete Lurline Bay section of coastal walk way.

Some verbatim responses of those who chose Option 3:

Do it now - don't wait.

Focus on natural environment, arts and indigenous culture and people in need would help our community thrive. Thanks for the survey.

Full marks to Council for this important consultation initiative and for all the great work it has done in recent years.

Gutters and drains should be cleaned all the time.

How about your operating costs? Consider reducing employee and running costs.

I am a male and I regard a Women's Refuge Centre as a massive priority. Domestic violence is often more hidden in, well to do suburbs like Sydney often because women don't have options. I hope it is perceived as high by Council also.

I am, and will remain disappointed in the Inglis development.

I support investing in our beautiful area and projects to strengthen our community. Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback.

No amalgamation. Underground powerlines. More street trees.

Please prioritise issue of stormwater/sewerage pollution at Coogee Beach and all beaches in the municipality.

The sooner the proposed works and upgrades are completed, the better our life standard will be in this Council Area.

Summary of community submissions

From the submissions received a number of key themes emerged which focussed on Council’s planning and the setting of priorities, rate setting, delivery of services with other levels of government, hardship caused by rate increases, and financial matters such as concern with Council borrowing.

 

Table A below lists the key themes emerging from the submissions and provides a response. As many of the financial submissions refer to a specific financial aspect, our response addresses that aspect directly. A similar volume of broad ranging submissions relating to initiatives to encourage active transport and protecting the environment were received.

 

Of the submissions received, 51 referred to operational issues such as requests to upgrade playground equipment and have been carried forward for consideration in Council’s development of the 2018/19 Operational Plan and Budget.

 

A number of group based submissions were received including:

·      a petition noting concern with a proposal to include a café in the Mahon Pool amenities upgrade;

·      submissions from affected businesses concerned about the proposed sub categorisation of rates in Port Botany; and

·      submissions supporting public housing and low rise developments around schools.

 

Table 3: submissions in response to the public exhibition of the Randwick City Plan. 

 

Comment/issue

Council Response

1.

What is Council’s planning framework? How are priorities identified and how does Council report progress?

The Randwick City Plan is a 20-year strategic plan modelled on an integrated planning process to reflect our community’s vision and long term goals for the health and wellbeing of our people, our economy and the natural and built environment. Development of the Plan and the identification of the communities priorities come through Council’s ongoing community consultation programs, our plans and from the elected councillors.

Our planning is long term and we take into account the changing demographics and needs of our community when choosing the location, intended use and number of facilities.

Our activities are framed within our resourcing to ensure we provide services and projects which best match the community’s priorities in a cost effective way while delivering intergenerational equity. Details of our activities including specific projects are outlined in our annual Operational Plan and Budget following consultation with the community.

 

We continuously report on our progress delivering services and projects to the community through quarterly and annual reports providing accountability for doing what we said we would do.

2.

Why is council involved in delivering services with other levels of government?

The Randwick City Plan is the community’s plan and does include the wider and more complex aspirations over which Council may not have sole control of, but still has a responsibility to contribute towards achieving the aspiration. Examples include social justice issues such as providing a refuge for women from domestic violence and obligations to ensure the safety of public places were people gather. Where possible Council will seek financial assistance from the State and Federal government to contribute towards the cost of these projects and continue to advocate for the local community through partnerships in multi-governmental delivery of services.    

3

How does Council help those facing hardship in paying their rates?

Council offers ratepayers flexibility in setting payment arrangements that suit their individual needs.

Rebates are available to eligible pensioners. Eligible pensioners also have the option of accruing their rates against their estate.

Council has a Financial Hardship Policy which applies for all ratepayers. A copy of the Policy is available on Council's website.

4

How are average rates calculated?

 

How long will the special variation to rates last?

In the Our Community Our Future brochure, the 2018/19 average Residential rate is estimated at $1,186. The average residential rates do not include the Environment Levy (which is a ‘special’ rate) or 'charges' that appear alongside rates on the annual Rate Notice, ie; the Domestic Waste Management Charge and the Stormwater Management Charge.

 

The average Residential rate is also impacted by the prevalence of strata units. Over 50% of all residential properties in Randwick City are strata units. The land value for each strata unit is significantly lower than the value attached to land that contains a single dwelling. This is because the calculated land value for each strata unit is only an apportionment of the value of the land on which the apartment block sits. Randwick applies a Minimum Rate Structure to all properties which in 2017/18 is $763.53. In 2017/18, around 27,000 properties pay the minimum rate, which has a significant impact in lowering the calculated average rate.

 

Rates increases for the Delayed and Preferred options are proposed for three years; 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. In 2021/22, annual increases would revert to the annual rate-peg as determined by IPART.

5

Should businesses in high visitation areas be charged more than other businesses?

The Business Rate in Randwick City is around three times that of the Residential Rate. Council is not proposing to rate business property owners situated in tourist/high visitation areas any differently than they are currently levied.

6

If we adopt the do nothing approach, what will be the impact on services?

 

The IPART rate peg has been set at 2.3% for the 2018/19 financial year. Randwick City Council employees are engaged under the Local Government Award (2017), which has mandated an annual increase in salaries commencing 1 July 2018 of 2.5%. Employee costs comprise 42% of Council’s total expenditure.

 

If Council were subject to the IPART rate peg it would immediately impact either the level of services provided or the level of infrastructure renewals being undertaken in the future. Council’s financial modelling has shown that an increase of 3.52% in the 2018/19 financial year would be required to maintain current service levels including required infrastructure renewal.

7

Productivity improvements and cost containment strategies

Randwick City Council has a continuous improvement program where it strives to implement improvements and find efficiencies in all of its functions and processes.

 

Incorporated into the Long Term Financial Plan are productivity ratios which reflect the value of the initiatives that Council implements in relation to productivity improvements and cost containments strategies. An Appendix has been added into the Long Term Financial Plan which lists the initiatives that have been implemented in the past and the major initiatives that are planned for the future.

 

8

What happens to Council’s rate revenue as the population grows? How are rates linked to land values?

 

Although the population of Randwick City is growing, the amount of rates that Council can receive are not aligned with this growth, nor are they specifically aligned with the amount of new residential development.

 

Much of our population growth is in strata units where the land value on which rates are based is lower on a per dwelling basis (refer item 4).

 

9

Can Council investigate other sources of revenue such as user pays?

 

Randwick City Council does utilise a user pays system where it is practicable and appropriate. Each year the Council sets its User Fees and Charges when developing the budget and receives approximately 12% ($18m) of its revenue from this source.

 

It is not appropriate for Council to set user fees and charges for use of community facilities at levels where it becomes prohibitive for users who may not have the capacity to pay. It is also not in the interest of Council to set them at levels where it causes existing users to find an alternative, resulting in a reduction in revenue.

 

All new or upgraded facilities will have a user pays system implemented so that the revenue stream can be used to fund the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility, and mitigate any burden being placed on Council’s rates.

10

Objection to debt

 

The utilisation of borrowings is an efficient way of enhancing intergenerational equity. Borrowing funds now to construct community facilities allows all generations of Randwick City Council ratepayers the opportunity to take advantage of them and contribute to their funding. Alternatively, should Council’s approach be to accumulate funding each year until it there are sufficient funds available for construction, this will result in the ratepayers of today funding the facilities for the ratepayers of tomorrow.

 

Before entering into any loan contract Council will be ensuring that all financial risk mitigation measures and controls are in place for any future events which may impact Council’s loan portfolio.

11

Why do we need more money to fund BFOC projects?

 

The Buildings For Our Community (BFOC) Program, funded by the three-year BFOC Levy, has been a very successful program providing great facilities for the Randwick City community. Council will continue the BFOC program as a long term strategy to provide improved and additional facilities.

 

There are projects on the Our Community Our Future SRV major projects list that have received BFOC Levy funds in the past. This funding is still reserved for those projects, however due to the scale and scope of the necessary works associated with those projects, the current funding levels are not sufficient to commence the proposed work. 

A good example of this is the Gymnastics and Indoor Sports Facility at Heffron Park. It has received BFOC funding and that funding is being held in reserve, however the scale of that project is now on a level which needs substantial additional funding to commence and complete.

12

What are the benefits of the proposed projects?

 

A number of the projects contained with the Our Community Our Future SRV are existing facilities which due to their condition require large amounts of maintenance expenditure while their condition can prohibit an increase in their patronage.

Prior to undertaking work, Council conducts a review of the community’s needs, consults quality assurance experts, and provides design options for the community to provide feedback on.

Works proposed are intended to reduce the ongoing maintenance expense, provide modern facilities and encourage more use from members of the community.

For all projects Council undertakes detailed business planning and invites community feedback on proposed designs through its community engagement.

13

Financial Management and Governance

 

The financial management and governance of Randwick City Council, as mandated by new legislation, is audited by the NSW Auditor-General and the Audit Office of New South Wales. In addition to this Council has a robust internal audit function and an Internal Audit Committee.

 

Randwick City Council is required to comply with the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) Borrowing Order and Council’s rating revenue is also subject to a separate audit by the NSW Auditor-General.

14

Financial modelling options

 

There are an infinite amount of funding options that Council could apply to fund the projects listed in the Our Community Our Future consultation. However it would be impractical for Council to present and consult with the community on an excessive amount of options. The options that have been chosen for consultation have been recommended to be the preferred options for that purpose. 

15

Environmental sustainability

The City Plan is centred around six themes which reflect the priorities of the Randwick community. Our community has identified the importance of protecting and conserving our environment and this is reflected in the Looking after our Environment theme in the City Plan. Specific initiatives undertaken by Council to protect and conserve our environment under this theme are detailed in our annual Operational Plans. 

 

In addition, every five years Council undertakes extensive engagement with the community seeking views on the environment. It is anticipated the next major consultation will be undertaken later this year.

16

What are we doing to encourage active transport?

Council shares a concern for the health and wellbeing of its residents and is supportive of initiatives to encourage increased walking and cycling. Council’s plans to encourage active transport options are outlined in the Moving around theme of the City Plan. Council will continue to advocate on behalf of the community for integrated cycleways and pathways and work with the RMS and other authorities to develop a network linking key destinations within the City.

17

Can big developments near schools be controlled?

Any development proposal adjacent or near a school would be rigorously assessed to ensure environmental impacts are minimised, such as overshadowing.

18

Preservation of public housing

We are not aware of any plans for development of public housing assets in Randwick City by the NSW government.

19

Can we relax regulation around car spaces

Council has resolved that the minimum space required for a car space must either comply with Australian Standard AS 2890.1 Parking Facilities or be at least 5 metres in length. In some circumstances, Council will consider indented car spaces where ground clearance and recess depth allow for adequate overhead clearance for the bonnet of a vehicle.

20

Are we over-reacting to terrorism risk?

World events have renewed people’s concern around safety. As a popular tourism destination, many of our town centres, parks and beaches attract thousands of visitors on any given day. Randwick Council has a duty of care to help protect crowded places from terrorism and this is outlined in the Australian Government’s Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism Strategy.

21

Objection to café at Mahon Pool

Council has prepared a design for an amenities building and Winter Swimming Club facilities at Mahon Pool to replace the existing buildings at the site. The design was subject to community consultation, and reported to Works Committee on 10 November 2015 (W30/15 Mahon Pool Amenities – Results of Public Consultation and Proposed New Building). The report may be found on Council’s website.

 

A café was not included in this proposal and that is Council's current position. 

 

With the election of the new Council in September 2017, all major projects are being considered as part of Our Community Our Future. Through this consultation, Council is gauging if the community view may have changed towards the inclusion of a café in the Mahon Pool project.

22

Concern about affordable housing

Council is concerned about housing affordability and has an Affordable Housing Policy to assist in the provision of affordable and appropriate housing for residents and employees living in the Randwick Local Government Area.

At a Council meeting on 28 November 2017, Council resolved to investigate reducing minimum lot sizes for low density residential development and hold a forum on this matter with a report to be brought to a Council meeting this year. Council has commenced its investigations and is aiming to hold the forum in March with a view to reporting on the results of the forum to Council thereafter. 

23

Objection to introduction of Port Botany rate

During the consultation period specific letters were issued to property owners affected by the sub-categorisation proposal of the Port area. Letters included a comprehensive table showing current and proposed rates (with cumulation) for individual properties. Council met with representatives of NSW Ports on 1 Feb 2018. It is noted that NSW Ports, in their ongoing conversation with the Council, are representing all of the owners and tenants located at the port.

 

Of those submissions received which prioritised major projects, there was strong support for the undergrounding of powerlines (13) and the indoor sports centre and gymnastics centre (18). It should be noted that five submissions were received which were explicit in not favouring the proposed indoor sports and gymnastics centre while seven submissions opposed the undergrounding of power lines mostly because of concern about the cost involved. Eight submissions explicitly expressed support for a women’s refuge centre while five did not support the building of a centre mostly as this could be considered a State Government responsibility.

 

Support for the Arts and Cultural Centre suggested that Council consider providing services through existing facilities, such as the Randwick Literary Institute and La Perouse Museum. Two submissions questioned the benefits of either the Arts and Cultural Centre or La Perouse Museum for the broad base of the community. There were five submissions supporting the upgrade of the La Perouse Museum.

 

Four submissions were received explicitly stating support for Option 1, 13 for Option 2 and 17 for Option 3.

 

A number of enhancements were made to the Plan in response to the submissions outlined, such as an acknowledgement of the community’ss request for more dedicated cycleways.

 

Service delivery over multiple levels of Government

One issue emerging from the public submissions was the shared responsibility for service delivery across more than one level of government, in particular relating to protecting crowded places from terrorism. While the Federal and State Governments have responsibility for protecting crowded places from terrorism, local government, as the owner of public places where people gather, has a duty of care to protect their sites and people who gather there. This commitment aligns with Council’s role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of its community and may take a variety of forms for example installation of protective infrastructure such as bollards; implementing protective technologies; and working with other authorities in managing crowds.

 

Council has written to both the Federal and State Government’s requesting clarification of whether there is funding to assist Council to fulfil its obligation to provide public safety mechanisms.

 

The Heffron Centre

A significant project in the City Plan and a major component of the resourcing for the delivery program is the master planning for Heffron Park.

 

As per the Office of Local Government’s (OLG) guidelines regarding capital expenditure, it is a requirement to lodge a capital expenditure (CAPEX) review for any planned major project with the OLG prior to applying for a Special Rate Variation to IPART. 

 

In line with the OLG’s guidelines, Council has lodged a CAPEX review for the proposed indoor multi-purpose sports facility and gymnastics facility. This review can be withdrawn and does not formally commit Council to proceeding further. 

 

In addition the OLG has established guidelines for public private partnerships for councils which requires notification of planned projects to the Office. Notification of the Public Private Partnership Review (Heffron Centre) at this stage may avoid potential delays to the process and does not formally commit Council to proceeding further. 

 

The Capital Expenditure Review and Public Private Partnership Review for the Heffron Centre have been prepared in accordance with previous Council resolutions and are the subject of separate confidential reports to Council’s Committee Meeting on 13 February 2018. These reports have been made confidential to reflect commercial in confidence aspects in the reports such as costing and financial information regarding the project.

 

These reports will be made publically available once it is no longer necessary to keep the commercial in confidence aspects confidential.

 

Productivity improvements and cost containment strategies

Incorporated into the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) are productivity ratios which reflect the value of the initiatives that Council implements in relation to productivity improvements and cost containments strategies. An Appendix has been added into the LTFP which lists the initiatives that have been implemented in the past and the major initiatives that are planned for the future.

 

Changes to documentation

These included:

 

·      Inclusion of tree canopy measure in Looking after Environment theme on page 76

·      Reference to dedicated cycleways (City Plan page 65) to acknowledge the communities priority for a network of pathways, preferably dedicated, connecting major destinations.

·      Update of demographic information in line with the latest release of Census information in late 2017;

·      Inclusion of Productivity Improvements and Cost Containment Strategies in the Long Term Financial Plan;

·      Minor administrative improvements.

 

Delivery Program Forward Estimates

The forward estimates detailed in this report have been derived from the 2018-28 Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP). The LTFP, along with the Asset Management Strategy, Digital Strategy and Workforce Plan, underpins the Council's Delivery Program and City Plan outlining how these will be resourced in the future.

 

The forward estimates relate to the LTFP Primary Financial Model, outlined as Option 3 - Preferred Approach in the Our Community Our Future brochure. The LTFP Primary Financial Model is based on setting a cumulative rate increase of 19.85% over the next three years and provides for the introduction of a Port Botany business rate sub category and the use of borrowings. The Asset Management Strategy, and associated plans, the Digital Strategy and the Workforce Plan are also based on Primary Financial Model.

 

The projected financial result as illustrated in the Primary Model of the LTFP indicates continuing operating surpluses, strong growth in capital expenditure and Council meeting all of the financial indicator benchmarks and financial objectives. The Primary Model, which includes the special rate variation, Port Botany business rate sub category and borrowings, indicates the Council continuing its position as a financially sustainable Council over the next 10 years.

 

Table 4: Delivery Program 2018-21 Forward Estimates

 

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

$ '000

$ '000

$ '000

Income from Continuing Operations

Revenue:

 

 

 

Rates & Annual Charges

115,279

116,364

122,246

User Charges & Fees

18,543

19,160

19,797

Interest & Investment Revenue

1,280

1,257

1,202

Other Revenue

8,584

8,875

9,145

Grants & Contributions provided for Operating Purposes

7,082

7,230

7,382

Grants & Contributions provided for Capital Purposes

5,142

5,200

5,208

Total Income from Continuing Operations

155,911

158,085

164,981

 

 

Expenses from Continuing Operations

Employee Benefits & On-Costs

 

 

 

64,356

 

 

 

66,716

 

 

 

69,165

Borrowing Costs

1,350

1,287

1,222

Materials & Contracts

37,604

38,544

39,508

Depreciation & Amortisation

22,823

23,802

24,846

Other Expenses

16,064

16,538

17,753

Net Losses from the Disposal of Assets

3,002

1,411

1,546

Total Expenses from Continuing Operations

145,199

148,298

154,039

 

 

 

 

Operating Result from Continuing Operations

10,711

9,787

10,942

Net operating result for the year before Grants and Contributions provided for Capital Purposes

5,569

4,587

5,734

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 1:       Leadership in Sustainability.

Direction1a:       Council has a long term vision based on sustainability.

 

Financial impact statement

 

The Randwick City Plan is supported by the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP). The LTFP Primary Financial Model is based on setting a cumulative rate increase of 19.85% over the next three years of the Delivery Program 2018-21 and provides for the introduction of a Port Botany business rate sub category and the use of borrowings. The Asset Management Strategy and associated plans, the Digital Strategy and the Workforce Plan are also based on Primary Financial Model.

 

The projected financial result within the Primary Model of the LTFP indicates continuing operating surpluses, strong growth in capital expenditure and Council meeting all of the financial indicator benchmarks and financial objectives.

 

Conclusion

 

The review of the Randwick City Plan details major new projects offering our community facilities of scale and diversity and provides for intergenerational equity in their provision and resourcing.

 

Feedback received indicates that the community has strong support for the Plan, the Resourcing Strategy and the application for a cumulative rate increase of 19.85% over the next three years to IPART.

 

Through the review and preparation of the Plan, and through continued partnerships with key stakeholders Council is in a strong position to implement the vision as established by the community.

 

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council adopt the 20-year Randwick City Plan and 10-year Resourcing Strategy;

b)     Council apply to IPART for a cumulative special variation to rates income of 19.85% over the three years of the three-year Delivery Program (2018-21), as per Primary Financial Model of the LTFP;

c)     Council endorse the development of a draft budget for 2018/19 based on the primary model as outlined in the Long Term Financial Plan;

d)     the General Manager be authorised to make any minor changes as requested by the Council or the NSW Office of Local Government; and

e)     as per the Planning and Reporting Guidelines for Local Government in NSW (2010), a copy of the plan be provided to the Director General of the NSW Office of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet within 28 days of it being endorsed by Council.

 

 

Attachment/s: Printed copies will be available at the meeting

 

1.

Link to the 20-Year Randwick City Plan

 

2.

Link to the The Resourcing Strategy Executive Summary 2018-28

 

3.

Link to the Long Term Financial Plan 2018-28

 

4.

Link to the Asset Management Strategy 2018-28

 

5.

Link to the Workforce Plan 2018-28

 

6.

Link to the Digital Strategy 2018-28