Coffs Harbour City Council

15 April 2020

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

 

The above meeting will be held remotely via audio-visual link on:

 

Thursday, 23 April 2020

 

The meeting commences at 5.00pm and your attendance is requested.

 

 

AGENDA

 

1.         Opening of Ordinary Meeting

2.         Acknowledgment of Country

3.         Public Forum

4.         Disclosure of Interest

5.         Apologies

6.         Leaves of Absence

7.         Mayoral Minute

8.         Confirmation of Minutes

9.         Rescission Motion

10.      Notices of Motion – General

11.      General Manager’s Reports

12.      Notices of Motion – Business Services

13.      Directorate Reports – Business Services

14.      Notices of Motion – Sustainable Communities

15.      Directorate Reports – Sustainable Communities

16.      Notices of Motion – Sustainable Infrastructure

17.      Directorate Reports – Sustainable Infrastructure

18.      Questions On Notice

19.      Matters of an Urgent Nature

20.      Consideration of Confidential Items (if any)

21.      Close of Ordinary Meeting

 

 

Steve McGrath

General Manager

 

 


Order of Business

 

 

Mayoral Minute

MM20/03        COVID 19 - Financial Support to Local Government Sector.............. 3  

Notices of Motion General

NOM20/05      Suspend all Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID-19..................................................................................................................... 5

Directorate Reports - Business Services

BS20/25          Bank and Investment Balances for March 2020...................................... 6

BS20/26          Peer Review of Council's Long Term Financial Plan, Debt Portfolio and Procurement............................................................................................... 28

BS20/27          Business and Community Groups - Phase 2 COVID-19 Financial Assistance............................................................................................................. 71

BS20/28          Contributions Plan Review - Park Beach Area...................................... 84

BS20/29          Leases to Lane 4 Pty Ltd - Public Swimming Pools............................. 110

Notices of Motion Sustainable Communities

NOM20/06      Request for Report Reviewing Internal Restrictions on Community Facilities Grant Pool for Financial Year Ending 2021..................... 113

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

SI20/08           Vehicles on Beaches Policy........................................................................ 114

SI20/09           Response to Deputy PM's Office - Land Transport Infrastructure Boost..................................................................................................................... 136  

Questions on Notice

QON20/03      Peer Review of Council's Long Term Financial Plan........................ 141  


MM20/03      COVID 19 - Financial Support to Local Government Sector

Author:                        Mayor

Authoriser:                  Mayor

Attachments:              Nil

 

Recommendation:

That:

1.       Council endorse Local Government NSW’s sector-wide campaign to obtain financial assistance, employment support and stimulus funding for the local government sector.

2.       In support of 1. above, Council calls on the Federal Government and NSW Government to urgently deliver comprehensive and multifaceted financial support and stimulus packages to local government to enable them to continue to operate effectively and provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.       Council calls for the packages to include the following measures:

3.1.    Increasing Financial Assistance Grants payments to 1% to help councils maintain essential functions and services, acknowledging the increased costs and mounting revenue losses arising from COVID-19, drought and bushfires as well as giving councils capacity to provide hardship assistance to businesses and residents.

3.2.    Immediate financial assistance to support council employees, especially in early education and care.

3.3.    Providing stimulus funding to councils for projects that will help sustain council operations and boost local economies. This could be achieved through increasing or bringing forward funding under existing funding programs or introducing new programs.

3.4.    Increased access to TAFE, VET and other apprenticeship opportunities that council staff can undertake to address skill shortages, especially for staff in non-essential services who are unable to be redeployed.

4.       Council commends the NSW and Federal Governments on their stewardship during this crisis and commits to working in partnership to protect community health and sustain local economies through this crisis.

5.       Council write to the local Federal Members Pat Conaghan MP and Kevin Hogan MP; State Member Gurmesh Singh MP; Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP; NSW  Premier the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP; Federal Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenburg MP;  NSW Treasurer the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP; NSW Local Government Minister the Hon Shelley Hancock MP; Federal Minister for Local Government the Hon Mark Coultan; Federal Opposition Leader the Hon Anthony Albanese; NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay MP; Federal Shadow Minister for Local Government Jason Clare MP and NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government Greg Warren MP to confirm their support for increased financial assistance and stimulus funding for local government to help councils maintain essential services and employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6.       Council advise LGNSW President Linda Scott of the passage of this Mayoral Minute.

 

report

By email on 8 April 2020, the President of LGNSW advised that a campaign was being launched to secure financial assistance and economic stimulus to local government from the State and Federal Governments. In my role as Mayor, I am calling on Councillors to support the local government sector’s campaign for assistance in dealing with the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coffs Harbour City Council and its community is already suffering the consequences of drought and the November 2019 bushfires. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation.

Council has already resolved to adjust some of its existing policies to enable financial relief to its customers across a number of areas and will consider a further report regarding other measures designed to provide relief/support to the community at this difficult time. Further, as a result of the Public Health Order and other directives from the Federal and NSW State Governments, a number of Council facilities and services have ceased to operate in the normal sense resulting in impacts to the community and potentially resulting in revenue impacts, at least in the short term.

It is considered entirely appropriate that Council support the campaign, which is being coordinated on behalf of the NSW sector by Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and at a national level by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Whilst Council’s financial position has been enhanced in recent years, demonstrating support for our sector by participation in the LGNSW campaign is recommended.

Coffs Harbour City Council is taking proactive action to provide support and deliver the services needed to protect community health and keep our communities running during these difficult times. The wellbeing, safety and livelihoods of our communities, customers, and staff is our top priority. However, should this situation continue for a prolonged period and additional assistance is not provided to local government, Council may be subjected to some level of impact on its operations and services to the community.

It is critical that the local government sector nationwide receives adequate funding and resources to coordinate and deliver the goods and services needed as we navigate through, and recover from, natural disasters and the new challenges presented by COVID-19 and its impacts on people and our local economies.  

The local government sector needs financial assistance from the Federal Government and NSW State Government to ensure it continues sustainable service delivery to our communities and to give councils the capacity to provide hardship assistance to the community where appropriate.

As pointed out by LGNSW, the measures listed below would be effective and simple to implement:

·    Increasing Financial Assistance Grants payments to 1% to help councils maintain essential functions and services, acknowledging the increased costs and mounting revenue losses arising from COVID-19, drought and bushfire as well as giving councils capacity to provide hardship assistance to businesses and residents.

·    Immediate financial assistance to support council employees, especially in early education and care.

·    Providing stimulus funding to councils for projects that will help sustain council operations and boost local economies. This could be achieved through increasing or bringing forward funding under existing funding programs or introducing new programs. Existing Federal funding programs include the Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal and Road Safety Blackspots programs. State programs include Fixing Local Roads, Fixing Country Bridges and the Stronger Country Communities programs.

·    Increased access to TAFE, VET and other apprenticeship opportunities that council staff can undertake to address skill shortages, especially for staff in non-essential services who are unable to be redeployed.

  


NOM20/05   Suspend all Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID-19

Attachments:          Nil

 

Motion:

Councillors Rhoades, Swan and Amos in accordance with cl 17.6 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice, have given notice of their intention to alter Resolution Nos. 2020/13, 2020/14, 2020/53 and 2020/15 in the following manner:

 

"That Council, due to the uncertainty of the Australian economy, our local economy and the uncertainty of the future financial needs of our community due to COVID-19 suspend all works on the Cultural and Civic Space Project as well as the sale of Council properties associated with this project."

 

Rationale:

“We now live in a climate of total uncertainty both locally and Australia wide regarding the health, wellbeing and financial security of our communities.  Our community faces tough times ahead, job losses, health issues, possibly the loss of loved ones and the uncertainty of what may lay ahead.  We as a nation have never experienced such measures as in place now and the uncertainty of what may lay ahead.  Council needs to pause this major project until times of financial security of our community is clearer.  It may be short term, it may be longer.  That is the uncertainty of COVID-19.  Our community now needs more than ever the financial support of this Council.”

 

  


BS20/25       Bank and Investment Balances for March 2020

Author:                        Section Leader Financial Planning

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/25   Investment Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 March 2020  

 

Executive Summary

Council’s Bank Balances and Investments as at 31 March 2020 totalled $226,698,023.89.  Council receives independent advice and invests surplus funds in accordance with Council’s Investment Policy to maximise investment income and preserve capital to assist with funding requirements for projects listed under the My Coffs Community Strategic Plan.

 

Also included in the monthly report is a summary of Council’s Socially Responsible Investment Performance (refer Attachment 1).

 

Council officers have considered the risk to our portfolio in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.  Council has portfolio policy limits and risk management related strategy that provide protection against exposure to investment related risks.  Council also has maximum holding limits based on credit quality and counterparty limits and there is not considered to be a significant increase in these risks at this point in time.

 

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the bank balances and investments totalling $226,698,023.89 (including from loans, Developer Contributions and other avenues that form the restricted accounts and are committed for future works) as at 31 March 2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

A copy of the state of Bank Balances and Investments as at 31 March 2020 is attached.  Also included is a summary of Council’s Socially Responsible Investment Performance.  It should be noted that Council is required to account for investments in accordance with the Australian International Financial Reporting Standards.  Term deposits are shown at face value and all other investment balances at the end of each month reflect market value movements, which would be inclusive of accrued interest.

 

Interest when paid, say quarterly, would result in reductions in the market value of the investments.  The Investment Report reflects the above requirements and reflects the interest earned (or accrued) on each investment, based on the acquisition price.

 

Reports written by Laminar Group Pty Ltd (Council’s investment portfolio advisors), which examine economic and financial markets data for March 2020 are available in the Councillors’ Resource Centre.

Issues:

There are no issues associated with the report.

Options:

As the report is for noting only, an options analysis is not required.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no perceived current or future environmental impacts from the information contained in this report.

•     Social

There are no perceived current or future social impacts from the information contained in this report.

•     Civic Leadership

Council invests surplus funds to maximise investment income and preserve capital to assist with funding requirements for projects listed under the My Coffs Community Strategic Plan.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Council’s investments are held according to the requirements stated within Council’s Investment Policy and the returns are acceptable in relation thereto.  In the long term, earnings from investments can vary due to economic conditions and financial markets.  Council constructs its investment portfolio with consideration of current conditions and to comply with the Office of Local Government Investment Policy Guidelines.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

As at 31 March 2020, it is noted that the total bank and investment balance was $226,698,023.89 comprising restricted and unrestricted General, Trust, Water and Sewerage Fund cash and investments.

Risk Analysis:

The likelihood of risks associated with New South Wales Local Government’s investing funds is now remote due to the conservative nature of investments permitted under statutory requirements.  The risk of capital not being returned in relation to each individual investment Council owns is indicated in the attachment.  Council officers have considered the risk to its portfolio in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.  Council has portfolio policy limits and risk management related strategy that provide protection against exposure to investment related risks.  Council also has maximum holding limits based on credit quality and counterparty limits and there is not considered to be a significant increase in these risks at this point in time.

 

The main risks for Council’s investment portfolio are liquidity and credit risk, both of which are being managed under the advice of Laminar Group Pty Ltd.  Liquidity risk is the risk that the Council is unable to redeem the investment at a fair price within a timely period and thereby incurs additional costs (or in the worst case is unable to execute its spending plans).  Credit risk is the risk of loss of principal stemming from a financial institutions failure to repay that principal when that principal is due.  Council is compensated for assuming credit risk by way of interest payments from the financial institutions issuing the investment security.

 

Credit risk is rated by various rating agencies.  Investment securities in Council’s current portfolio are rated by either Standard and Poors or Fitch, with the majority of the portfolio rated by Standard and Poors.  Standard and Poors credit ratings and an explanation of their ratings are as follows:

 

Rating

Ratings Explanation

AAA

Extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments.  Highest Rating.

AA

Very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.

A

Strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances.

BBB

Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.

BBB-

Considered lowest investment grade by market participants.

BB+

Considered highest speculative grade by market participants.

BB

Less vulnerable in the near term but faces major ongoing uncertainties to adverse business, financial and economic conditions.

B

More vulnerable to adverse business, financial and economic conditions but currently has the capacity to meet financial commitments.

CCC

Currently vulnerable and dependent on favourable business, financial and economic conditions to meet financial commitments.

CC

Currently highly vulnerable.

C

Currently highly vulnerable obligations and other defined circumstances.

D

Payment default on financial commitments.

 

Ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

 

Types of investment securities by credit risk ranking from highest to lowest are as follows:

 

·    Deposits/Covered Bonds – these share first ranking

·    Senior debt – Floating Rate Notes/Fixed Coupon Bonds.

·    Subordinated debt

·    Hybrids

·    Preference shares

·    Equity shares (common shares).

 

Subordinated debt, hybrids, preference and equity shares are not a permitted investment under the current Ministerial Order.  Term deposits of $250,000 or less per financial institution are covered under the Commonwealth Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme and therefore by default have the same credit rating as the Commonwealth Government, i.e. AAA.

 

All credit unions, building societies and mutual banks are Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) and are regulated in the same way as all other Australian banks.  ADIs are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission under the Corporations Act 2001, and by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority under the Banking Act 1959.

Consultation:

Council’s investment advisors, Laminar Group Pty Ltd have been consulted in the preparation of this report.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Council funds have been invested in accordance with Council’s Investment Policy (POL‑049), which was adopted on 24 August 2017.

Local Government Act 1993 – Section 625

Local Government Act 1993 – Investment Order (dated 12 January 2011)

Local Government General Regulation 2005

The Trustee Amendment (Discretionary Investments) Act 1997 – Sections 14A(2), 14C(1) and 14C(2)

Implementation Date / Priority:

Nil.

Conclusion:

Council should consider the information provided in the report and the Councillors’ Resource Centre and the recommendation provided.

 

 


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


BS20/26       Peer Review of Council's Long Term Financial Plan, Debt Portfolio and Procurement

Author:                        Group Leader Governance

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/26   TNR - Agreed Upon Procedure Report - Long Term Financial Plan Peer Review

ATT2  BS20/26   TCorp - Report on Council's Borrowing Capacity

ATT3  BS20/26   Procure Group - Procurement/Probity Review of the Schematic Design Phase  

 

Executive Summary

At its meeting on 22 August 2019, Council resolved to engage suitability qualified consultant’s to independently peer review:

 

·     Council’s Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) based on known commitments, including projections as they relate to the current and projected loan portfolio;

·     Council’s ability to service the debt portfolio, inclusive of a proposed borrowing of $46M for the Cultural and Civic Space project and report on Council’s overall borrowing capacity; and

·     The compliance and governance on the architectural design tendering process to date.

 

After being unsuccessful in procuring the work through one consultant, three consultants, Thomas Noble and Russell, TCorp and Procure Group were engaged to undertake the work.  Their reports are now presented to Council for consideration and noting.  No overall substantive issues have been raised by the consultants which require the review of the project’s financial or governance arrangements.

 

This report also presents information on the ongoing costs of operating the Cultural and Civic Space building, although accuracy is difficult until detailed design is completed.  Once detailed design has been completed a further assessment of the operating cost estimates will be undertaken and the financial forecasts updated to reflect more accurate operating expenditure into the future.

 

Recommendation:

That Council notes the report.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At its meeting on 22 August 2019, Council resolved (Resolution Number 2019/129):

 

“That Council:

1.    Authorise the engagement of suitably qualified consultants to:

a.    Independently peer review Council’s LTFP based on known commitments, including projections as they relate to the current and projected loan portfolio

b.    Independently peer review Council’s ability to service the debt portfolio, inclusive of a proposed borrowing of $46M for the Cultural and Civic Space project, and report on Council’s overall borrowing capacity

c.    Independently peer review the compliance and governance on the architectural design tendering process to date.

2.    Receive a comprehensive report detailing expected long term costs and outgoings for the proposed Cultural and Civic Space.

3.    Continue to receive regular and comprehensive financial updates on the project.

4.    The funding source be taken from the current proposal to review the long term financial plan and the compliance and governance check on tendering process to be funded from the civic management budget.”

 

This report specifically addresses points 1 and 2 of Council’s resolution.

 

Due to the integrated nature of some of the work in point 1 of the resolution, officers initially attempted to source a single tier one consulting firm to undertake the work.  However, after two procurement processes officers were unsuccessful in securing a suitable proposal from this approach.  Officers subsequent broke the body of work into three components and appointed a separate consultant for each component as follows:

 

1.    Thomas Noble and Russell (TNR) to independently peer review Council’s LTFP based on known commitments, including projections as they relate to the current and projected loan portfolio and independently peer review Council’s ability to service the debt portfolio, inclusive of a proposed borrowing of $46M for the Cultural and Civic Space project.

2.    TCorp to report on Council’s overall borrowing capacity.

3.    Procure Group to independently peer review the compliance and governance on the architectural design tendering process to date.

 

Reports have now been received for the three components of work to satisfy point 1 of the resolution and are presented to Council for noting (Attachments 1-3).  Also, further information is provided in this report in relation to points 2 and 3 of the resolution.

Issues:

TNR report’s Factual Findings are detailed on pages 2-4 and provides observations in relation to:

 

·     The overall revised modelling,

·     The revised modelling with comparison to historical results, and

·     The revised modelling assumptions.

 

In relation to the overall revised modelling, the report notes that service delivery assumptions have not been updated based on 2017 Asset Management Strategy dashboards, no provision has been made for potential infrastructure backlog and that the current Asset Management Plans have not been finalised.

 

From Council’s viewpoint, the LTFP has been completed based on current service levels on the information provided through the draft asset management planning available at the time of its preparation.  Also, Council has not recognised any infrastructure renewal backlog in recent years.

 

In relation to the revised modelling with comparison to historical results, the report notes that although Operating and Capital Grant and Contributions can fluctuate the revised modelling appears reasonable, no material expenses incurred are not adequately included and no material revenues have been overstated in the revised modelling, based on the relevant assumptions.

 

In relation to the revised modelling assumptions, the report notes that:

 

·     If property sale proceeds are not realised additional funds will need to be found to fund the Cultural and Civic Space Project;

·     It is assumed that no changes are required for the project to obtain development consent;

·     It is assumed that no service level changes occur from 2022 onwards;

·     Forecasts assume population growth in-line with historical results; and

·     Borrowing costs projected are overstated.

 

TCorp report’s Conclusion (page10) states:

 

Based on the information provided to TCorp, our borrowing capacity assessment of Council has determined the following key points:

 

·     Operating performance was above benchmark from 2017 to FY2019 as Council increased its revenue base while being able to contain costs to an extent.  Operating performance is forecast to go into deficit for FY2022, however, it trends back into surplus from FY2023.

·     The Cash Expense Ratio (CER), used to measure liquidity, is forecast to remain above benchmark and indicates Council can continue paying for its immediate expenses without additional cash inflow for around 10 months.

·     Council is able to generate sufficient own source revenue so as to not have to materially rely on external sources of funding over the review period.

·     Council’s DSCR and ICR ratios indicate that Council has sufficient capacity to service its existing and forecast debt repayments on an on-going basis over the review period.

 

Procure Group Report’s Summary of Findings (page 3) state:

 

Based upon the documentation provided the procurement was substantially compliant with the required policies and procedures.  The minor areas of non-compliance include:

 

+ The online tendering portal (Tenderlink) did not automatically record an opening date and time

+ There was no rationale for the assigned scores against each of the evaluation criteria

+ There was no documented process to mitigate any risks of declared conflicts of interest.

 

We have included a number of recommendations in Section 3 that Council should consider implementing in future procurement processes to address non-compliance areas identified.

 

Despite the areas of non-compliance noted in section 3, nothing has come to our attention that would lead us to conclude that the outcome of this procurement would have differed if these non-compliances had not occurred.

 

No overall substantive issues have been raised by the consultants which require the review of the project’s financial or governance arrangements.  Since the Schematic Design Phase of the Cultural and Civic Space Project, Procure Group have been appointed as project probity advisors and therefore the improvements identified have been addressed.  When the LTFP modelling is updated in future years some of the observations made will be clarified in the plan.

 

With respect to expected long term costs and outgoings for the operation of the Cultural and Civic Space building, it is difficult to provide detailed costings until detailed design has been completed and the way in which the building will be serviced and operated is completely known.  Notwithstanding this difficulty, an analysis has been undertaken based on the current plans from the schematic design process to determine an estimate for the long term costs and outgoings for the new Cultural and Civic Space building.

 

With the larger space for the Library, Art Gallery and Museum it has been forecast that an additional $746,000 will be required on an ongoing basis for additional staff costs and operational expenditure to ensure the appropriate level of service which befits the new facilities is provided to the community.

 

It is estimated that the depreciation expense for the building will be $1.9 million per annum.  With the sale of the four buildings which currently have a depreciation expense of $585,000 per annum, this represents and actual increase of $1.4 million per annum.

 

Additional operating costs for items such as electricity, insurance, maintenance and cleaning amongst other operational items has been estimated at $1.04 million per annum.  It has been estimated that lost productivity of staff operating from the two main sites, being the Administration Building and Rigby House, is just in excess of $300,000 per annum.  Although this cash figure will not be saved it is a productivity gain that can be expected by the organisation as part of this project.

 

All of the savings and additional expenditure above have been included in the financial forecasts previously presented to the Council and the subject of the peer reviews undertaken by TNR and TCorp.  Once detailed design has been completed a further assessment of the estimates will be undertaken and the financial forecasts updated to reflect more accurate operating expenditure into the future.

Options:

As this report is for noting only no options analysis is provided.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

As this report only addresses specific financial and governance matters there are no environmental impacts associated with this report.

•     Social

As this report only addresses specific financial and governance matters there are no social impacts associated with this report.  However, the independent peer review reports provide support for the project to proceed and therefore to deliver the broad social benefits originally identified in the Concept Business Case.

•     Civic Leadership

The presentation of the independent peer review reports to Council reinforces the conclusions presented by Council officers in the Concept Business Case for the Cultural and Civic Space Project around the affordability and financial modelling of the project.  This should provide confidence to the community that Council has acted in a prudent manner in advancing the project.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

As this report only addresses specific financial and governance matters there are no broader economic implications associated with this report.  However, the independent peer review reports provide support for the project to proceed and therefore to deliver the broad economic benefits originally identified in the Concept Business Case.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The consultants’ reports cost a combined total of $30,500 which has been paid from existing Operational Plan budgets as specified in point 4 of Council’s resolution.

Risk Analysis:

The consultants’ reports highlight the assumptions made in the LTFP and associated forecasts and funding model.  If assumptions change over time, there is a risk of positive or negative impacts on the project’s funding model.

Consultation:

The consultants’ reports have been prepared with input from relevant Council officers.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The consultants’ reports detail the relevant statutory requirements.

Implementation Date / Priority:

This report is for noting only.

Conclusion:

This report presents the three independent peer review reports requested by Council together with further information on the ongoing costs of operating the Cultural and Civic Space building.  No overall substantive issues have been raised by the consultants which require the review of the project’s financial or governance arrangements.

 

Once detailed design has been completed a further assessment of the operating cost estimates will be undertaken and the financial forecasts updated to reflect more accurate operating expenditure into the future.

 

 


PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


BS20/27       Business and Community Groups - Phase 2 COVID-19 Financial Assistance

Author:                        Group Leader Financial Services and Logistics

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      A.2 An active, safe and healthy community

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/27   CONFIDENTIAL Impacted Premises - Proposed Rent Relief Table

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(c) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the Council is conducting (or proposes to conduct) business.

ATT2  BS20/27   National Cabinet Mandatory Code Of Conduct
SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19
 

 

Executive Summary

Many Coffs Harbour City Council ratepayers, residents and businesses have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated steps that have been taken by government to slow down infection levels.

This report considers potential measures that Council has employed and could further employ to provide additional assistance for business and community groups that have been adversely affected.

These measures include assisting household/business expenses through financial hardship provisions, not undertaking certain inspections regimes, temporarily suspending parking enforcement operations and providing rent abatements for impacted Council tenants.

The recovery phase will be considered in a future report.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Provide tenants identified as Impacted by the Coronavirus (Attachment 1 - ‘Proposed Rent Relief Table’)’ with rent abatement for the period 1 April – 30 June 2020 (inclusive).  Note: to be clear, rent payments up to the 31 March 2020 are to be collected.

2.       Delegate authority to the General Manager to determine if the rent abatement period should be extended for a further 3 months from 1 July – 30 September 2020 should economic conditions throughout the Local Government Area still dictate the tenants require this assistance.

3.       Temporarily suspend undertaking health compliance activities, the food inspection program, pool health inspections, skin penetration inspections and street parking – parking enforcement operations.

4.       Note the overall impact to the Council’s revenue of implementing community assistance actions in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is estimated at $1.35 million.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At the Council meeting held on 26 March 2020, the Council resolved (Resolution 2020/65):

 

That Council:

1.    Encourage everyone to buy local and support local business and community #buylocal #supportlocal.

2.    Acknowledge the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic as outlined in the attached Local Business Support Plan – Phase 1 (Attachment 1).

3.    Resolve immediately the following actions to enhance the Local Business Support Plan (Phase 1):

3.1.    Amend Council’s Rates, Charges and Fees – Financial Hardship Policy to apply to non-residential properties;

3.2.    Suspend new debt recovery actions for outstanding accounts where financial hardship is apparent;

3.3.    Remove account keeping fees;

3.4.    Remove late and reminder fees;

3.5.    Remove credit card surcharges;

3.6.    Support procurement from local businesses;

3.7.    Defer the 2020/21 Special Rate for city centre businesses and associated infrastructure works to the same value; and

3.8.    Loan repayment relief for existing loans to community groups.

4.    Receive a report at the next Council meeting which addresses, as a minimum, the following options to assist local small businesses and community groups (Phase 2):

4.1.    Relief through rent abatements for leases and licences of Council managed properties; and

4.2.    Waiving of fees for small/local business related inspections.

5.    Initiate the development of a Recovery Plan (Phase 3) for the Coffs Harbour community which will include:

5.1.    A focus on broad business and organisation recovery across multiple sectors to impacted businesses and industries, to augment Federal and State Government programs; and

5.2.    Strong advocacy with other levels of government.

6.    Thank the community for their support of our health workers and key front line workers and acknowledge that the Commonwealth and State health authorities are the lead agencies for this global pandemic.

7.    A report to be bought back to Council in the first meeting of April to discuss potential timelines and review this initiative.

 

Items 3.1 to 3.6 and 3.8 have already been enacted. Item 3.7 will be included in the draft 2020/21 budget which will be considered by the Council in May 2020.  The total estimated loss of revenue of implementing these initiatives until 30 June 2020 is $95,000 and the loss of revenue in the 2020/21 financial year is estimated at approximately $800,000.  Also, as at the time of writing this report, 22 business properties and 10 residential properties have been approved for hardship assistance in accordance with item 3.1.

 

This report addresses items 4.1, 4.2 and 7 contained within the resolution.

 

Council provides licence and leasing agreements for Council owned property to community, commercial, sporting, telecommunication carriers, government departments, preschool and other groups and in most cases these agreements have been in place for many years, playing an important part in the Coffs Harbour community.

 

Council has received a number of calls and emails over the past month asking for rental assistance.  A reduction in rental fees could provide local community groups and businesses with assistance in getting through this time of hardship.

 

A number of industry bodies, including the Property Council of NSW, have been lobbying the Federal Government for direction relating to what landlords can do to help their tenants.  In response, the National Cabinet has now released the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 and this is provided at Attachment 2. Further relief arrangements have also been released by the NSW State Government.

 

The rent relief proposed in this report will exceed the requirements of the Mandatory Code but are considered reasonable under the circumstances.

 

Also, a number of different fees and charges have been identified to be considered for waiver or the inspection programs discontinued in the short term, including health compliance activities, food inspection program and pool health inspections and skin penetration inspections.  In addition to these fees/inspection programs it is advised that street parking – parking patrols have ceased.

Issues:

Rent Abatements

 

Based on the above a three month rent free period from the 1 April 2020 until the 30 June 2020 is analysed below.

 

Council officers have implemented the following assessment process to determine the abatements that may be offered to Council tenants:

 

Stage 1 – Exclusions:

 

The following tenancies have been excluded from the assessment:

 

·     Telecommunication Carriers (examples include NBN, Optus, Vodaphone etc.)

·     Government Departments (examples include Education, Local Health District; Marine Rescue etc.)

·     Agreements for parking, ramps, encroachments or access only over or on Council owned or managed land

·     Occupants where the rent is less than $100 per annum.

 

The total annual rental income to Council from this category is $508,362.

 

Stage 2 – Degree of Impact

 

1.    Impacted: Premises that have been ordered to shut down; cafés that can still serve takeaway coffee but have lost foot traffic and trade or have had to adjust to strict trading measures; restaurants with strict social distancing measures; community groups that can’t function with only two persons; golf clubs; airport businesses; theatres; leisure centres and community groups run by elderly volunteers that are at high risk.

 

There are 138 such premises and a list of these properties is provided as Confidential Attachment 1.  The total annual rental income to Council from this category is $1,191,301.

 

Therefore, a three month rent free period from 1 April 2020 until the 30 June 2020 would equate to approximately $297,825.

 

2.    Not Impacted: Premises that remain trading throughout meaning there is a continuous demand for this service. There are 25 non-impacted premises with a total annual rental income to Council from this category is $661,106.

 

Stage 3 – Invoice Routine

 

Given the cyclic nature of invoicing, the three months (April to June inclusive) rent abatement period will affect tenants differently depending on which cycle they are on. Given this, some tenants may have already paid their rent or part thereof for this period and will therefore receive a refund.

 

For those lease or licence holders who do meet the criteria, it would also be proposed that these leases or licences be extended for a period of three months automatically (or six months in the event of a further relief period being granted) to relieve the administrative burden on these businesses at a time in which they are trying to rebuild their business.  It would be expected that a review of the local business environment is conducted prior to 30 June 2020 to determine if an extension of these provisions of a rent period be extended to a total of a six-month period and the approval of this extension be delegated to the General Manager.

 

Waiver of Fees and Charges

 

In relation to the waiver of a range of inspection fees in the short term it is estimated that the total loss of revenue will be approximately $160,000 for the three-month period.  It would be expected that a review of the local business environment is conducted prior to 30 June 2020 to determine if an extension of these provisions be extended to a total of a six-month period and the approval of this extension be delegated to the General Manager.

 

Rates and Charges

 

For Council’s information, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) rate peg amount for 2020/21 is 2.6% amounting to approximately $1,217,000 in general fund rates.  It should be noted that any suspension to general fund rates increase would have a compounding effect on Council’s permissible income in that the amount forgone will impact permissible income in perpetuity. Over a 30-year term this would equate to approximately $57 million of foregone revenue.

 

Council’s main source of revenue is rates and charges which are required for Council to continue to deliver services, many of which are essential, to the community.

 

Rates and charges are set for 2019/20. For 2020/21, Council has already resolved to defer the City Centre Businesses Special Rate (rate revenue reduction of $807,768) and the Flood Mitigation and Drainage Works Special Rate (rate revenue reduction of $2,027,044) will also not be levied, due to the ending of this particular special rate variation.

 

Given that Council, as part of the resolution on 26 March 2020, resolved to amend Council’s ‘Rates, Charges and FeesFinancial Hardship Policy’ to apply to non-residential properties, and the special rate changes above, further relief from rates and charges is not recommended at this time.

 

Recovery

 

Notwithstanding that the Coffs Harbour, and indeed the broader Australian community is yet to experience the full impact of the pandemic, Council is turning some attention to recovery needs.  Council has commenced very initial discussions on this issue and will provide update reports as the Federal and State Governments move towards recovery initiatives.

Options:

1.    Adopt the recommendations.

2.    Reject the recommendation and rely on the already approved resolution of Council in providing assistance to the community.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no perceived current or future environmental impacts from the information contained in this report.

•     Social

The social impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic will be felt for some considerable time into the future.  Providing assistance to the community during this time is considered imperative to lead the community through the crisis and later into the recovery phase.

•     Civic Leadership

The Coffs Harbour community, like most other communities throughout the world, is trying to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic which is being confronted by us all.  As the level of government closest to the community, Council is being charged with providing leadership to our community in a time of need.  The Council has the ability to demonstrate this leadership by assisting our community through various measures, some of which were included in the resolution of 26 March 2020 and further through the recommendations provided in this report.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

By putting in place the recommended measures to assist in the economic continuity within our community, the groundwork is laid to allow the community to recover in the short to medium term.  It is important that all levels of government provide some level of financial assistance to the community to allow this recovery to occur as soon as possible.

 

However, it is also important for Council to be remain financially capable to continue to provide ongoing service delivery to support the community.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic will have a detrimental impact on the Delivery Program and Operational Plan for the balance of 2019/20 and into 2020/21.  The financial impact on the Council’s budget of the resolution of 26 March 2020 and the recommendations contained in this report is estimated at $1.35 million prior to any extension, which may be required beyond 30 June 2020.

Risk Analysis:

There is a risk that should Council not provide the assistance outlined within this report that some community groups and businesses that occupy Council properties may not be able to continue trading at the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This would not only be detrimental to those businesses but also to Council with a high level of vacancy of rental properties into the future.

Consultation:

Consultation has occurred with LGNSW, local government authorities across Australia and relevant Council staff in the preparation of this report.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

·     Rates, Charges and Fees Financial Hardship Policy

Implementation Date / Priority:

Should Council resolve to adopt the recommendations within the report, they will be implemented with immediate effect and communicated to the relevant parties without delay.

Conclusion:

This report provides prevents further measures of financial relief as requested in Council’s resolution from the 26 March 2020 for Council’s consideration.  These relate to rental abatements and the waiving of a number of fees.  It is recommended that the relief be initially provided for three months from 1 April to 30 June 2020, with a review and delegated authority to the General Manager for further relief until up to 30 September 2020.

 


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


BS20/28       Contributions Plan Review - Park Beach Area

Author:                        Developer Contributions Officer

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/28   Draft Park Beach Area Contributions Plan 2020  

 

Executive Summary

Regular reviews of contribution plans are essential to ensure they remain financially consistent for the delivery of planned infrastructure works within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA).  As a consequence of anticipated population growth in the Park Beach area and having regard to the level of facilities currently available, it will be necessary to provide additional infrastructure and public facilities over coming years.  This contributions plan seeks a financial contribution towards the development and level of infrastructure that is required to support the needs of this growing area.

 

The existing Park Beach Area Contributions Plan has been reviewed and necessary amendments to the plan are contained within this report.  The amendments are required to ensure that the plan remains consistent with infrastructure costings, strategies, population forecasts and lot yield projections.  Adopting the reviewed contributions plan will result in the following revised costings and contribution rates:

 

Table 1 – Summary of costs & contribution rates

 

Revised Capital

Cost

Revised projected lot yield or car spaces

Revised contribution rate per lot or car space

Transport & Traffic

$78,772

237 lots

$88.90

Open Space

$1,185,000

237 lots

$4,501.78

Car Parking

$344,940

52 car spaces

$6,225.53

Total

$1,608,712

 

$10,816.21

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.    Endorse the Draft Park Beach Area Contributions Plan 2020 for public exhibition for a period of at least 28 days seeking submissions.

2.    Note that a further report will be brought back to Council for consideration following the public exhibition of the reviewed contributions plan.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council currently has in place an area specific contributions plan for the collection of funds to provide appropriate community infrastructure facilities to help accommodate the growing Park Beach population.  This plan originally came into operation in August 2006. The primary purpose of this plan is to satisfy the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) and Regulation to enable Council to acquire a contribution towards the provision, extension or augmentation of public amenities and services that will, or are likely to be required as a consequence of development in the area, or that have been provided in anticipation to facilitate such development.

 

In response to this anticipated development and having regard to the level of facilities currently available and the expected profile of the new population, it will be necessary to provide improved traffic calming, footpath/shared-ways, additional car parking, enhanced active recreation space, and an amenities block.

 

As time has passed construction costs have required review and have generally increased.  Also as part of this review planning provisions have been considered and it is proposed that the Park Beach designated area (refer map 1 in Attachment 1) be extended to the north to include lands, known as Arthur Street East Precinct.  It is deemed reasonable that these lands will have a direct access/nexus to the Ocean Parade facilities. In order to meet the growing demands for the release area infrastructure facilities, delivery times and costs have been reviewed, which has resulted in the below amendments:

 

Table 2 - Summary of costs & contribution rates:

 

 

Current Capital

Cost

Revised Capital

Cost

Revised Projected lot yield or car spaces

Current contribution rate per lot or car space

Revised contribution rate per lot or car space

Transport & Traffic

$57,000

$78,772

237 lots

$492.63

$88.90

Open Space

$375,200

$1,185,000

237 lots

$3,242.96

$4,501.78

Car Parking

$208,000

$344,940

52 car spaces

$5,556.40

$6,225.53

Total

$640,200

$1,608,712

 

$9,291.99

$10,816.21

 

 

The above construction costs include provisions for survey/design (15%) and contingency (15%).  Consumer price indexation has been applied to current contribution rates and/or an adjustment to the estimated construction costs, since the last plan review/estimation.

 

The current works schedule is contained in Attachment 1 of this report.  The projected lot yield has been adjusted to align with the data contained within the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy 2020.  Extending the designated area of the contributions plan has also increased the projected lot yield.

 

Council currently holds approximately $196,994 in funds collected for the respective infrastructure works.  Council has expended approximately $97,401 on completed footpath works between 2017-2019, this was delivered as part of this contributions plan. As you can see from Table 3 the review has resulted in the following changes to the contributions rate:

 

Table 3 – Changes to contribution rates:

 

 

Current contribution rate per lot

Revised contribution rate per lot

Change in contribution rate

Transport & Traffic

$492.63

$88.90

- $403.73

Open Space

$3,242.96

$4,501.78

+ $1,258.82

Car Parking

$5,556.40

$6,225.53

+ $669.13

Total

$9,291.99

$10,816.21

+ $1,524.22

Issues:

The delivery times of the infrastructure items are included within the Park Beach Area Contributions Plan (Attachment 1) and have been estimated in line with projected population growth.  The collection of contributions is dependent on development proceeding.  There may be instances where the collection of contributions will not be sufficient to provide complete funding to construct the infrastructure within the specified time frame and the Council may need to forward fund the construction.  In these instances, the forward funding would then be recouped to Council over future years under this contributions plan.

Options:

In considering this report Council has the following options:

 

1.    Endorse the recommendation and place the reviewed Draft Park Beach Contributions Plan 2020 on public exhibition for a period of at least 28 days.

2.    Reject the recommendation of this report and retain the current Park Beach Area Contributions Plan.

 

Option 1 is recommended to ensure the plan is aligned with projected lot yields and reflects the current infrastructure costs and requirements for the Park Beach Area.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

Environmental issues are considered in the preparation of the Development Control Plans applicable to the relevant area.  Detailed environmental issues are assessed at the design stage for infrastructure works and at the time of assessment of development applications.

•     Social

The completion of the works included in the draft Park Beach Area Contributions Plan will have a positive effect on the future population of the release area, through improved provision of infrastructure for use by local residents.

•     Civic Leadership

The MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan provides for the objectives A-2 An active, safe and healthy community and D-2 We have effective use of public resources.  The provisions outlined in the Park Beach Area Contributions Plans are in line with Council achieving these objectives.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Contribution plans provide a mechanism for the collection of funds to enable the provision of infrastructure required as a result of new development.  Future maintenance costs will come from the provision of the facilities; however, funding for this is generally derived from increased general revenue resulting from additional urban development.

 

As provided in Table 2, the current contribution rates applicable under the revised Park Beach Contributions Plan has decreased for Traffic & Transport, increased for Open Space Facilities and increased for Car Parking.  It is worth noting that the Business Incentive Policy may be available and be relevant to certain commercial developments that attract car parking contributions.  Changes to contribution rates is predominately due to the extension of the designated area, revised projected lot yield and amendment to infrastructure requirements/costs.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no immediate Delivery Program/Operational Plan implications associated with this report.

Risk Analysis:

Increasing contribution charges will affect the upfront costs for new development which could have a potential impact on the construction and development sector.  However, not progressing this revised contributions plan could result in public facilities being insufficient to meet the demands of the growing population.

 

The revised Park Beach Area Contributions Plan is based on cost estimates for the proposed works, these estimates may require adjustment as final costings are prepared prior to the commencement of works.  To minimise the risk of cost variances significant effort has been made to ensure accurate costing of projects are included within the works schedule.  Quarterly indexation of the levied charges will also assist with pricing fluctuations.

Consultation:

Relevant Council staff have been consulted and have provided the necessary information to progress the review of this contributions plan. 

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The relevant statutory requirements for the preparation/review of contribution plans and collection of contributions are principally the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, the Local Government Act 1993 and the Water Management Act 2000.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The draft reviewed Park Beach Area Contributions Plan will be placed on public exhibition inviting submissions for a period of at least 28 days.  This will be actioned immediately should Council endorse the recommendation in this report.  A subsequent report will be provided to Council providing any submissions received.

Conclusion:

Regular reviews of contribution plans are essential to ensure they remain financially sustainable for the delivery of planned infrastructure works.  The Park Beach Area Contributions Plan has been reviewed to ensure the plan remains consistent with regulation, population projections, project costings, strategies and objectives.  Updated contribution rates have also been provided.

 

The Draft Park Beach Area Contributions Plan 2020 is presented for Council’s consideration.

 

 


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


BS20/29       Leases to Lane 4 Pty Ltd - Public Swimming Pools

Author:                         Property Officer Leasing and Licensing

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/29   CONFIDENTIAL Request from Lane 4 Pty Ltd

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(c) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the Council is conducting (or proposes to conduct) business.  

 

Executive Summary

Council has been requested by Lane 4 Pty Ltd, the sub-lessee for each of Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool, Sawtell Swimming Pool and Woolgoolga Swimming Pool for financial assistance of approximately $300,000 per annum above the current agreed price to continue to meet their obligations to operate and manage the public swimming pools for the community.

 

There are a number of initiatives which were outlined within the tender response from Lane 4 Pty Ltd which have not been undertaken since the commencement of the agreement which could be considered to assist in revenue generating activities in the operation of the public swimming pools.

 

The request from Lane 4 Pty Ltd is not recommended for approval by Council.

 

Recommendation:

That Council decline the request for additional financial support from Lane 4 Pty Ltd as sub-lessee of Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool, Sawtell Swimming Pool and Woolgoolga Swimming Pool.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council received a request on 10 February 2020 from Lane 4 Pty Ltd, the sub-lessee for each of Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool, Sawtell Swimming Pool and Woolgoolga Swimming Pool for financial assistance of approximately $300,000 per annum above the current agreed price to continue to meet their obligations to operate and manage the public swimming pools for the community.

 

The request was submitted prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic being six weeks prior to the Federal Government introducing restrictions affecting the operation of public swimming pools as of 26 March 2020, and one month ahead of the World Health Organisation declaring the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

 

Council holds a lease for a 20-year term from the Department of Primary Industry & Environment – Crown Lands over each of the Public Swimming Pools at Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and Woolgoolga which are all built on Crown Reserves.  Each tenure is by separate lease over part Reserve 1002970 (Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool) and part Reserve 81703 (Sawtell Swimming Pool) and part Reserve 91945 (Woolgoolga Swimming Pool).

 

In 2017 Council undertook a public tender process for operational management of each of the pools by way of sub-leases, which was awarded to Lane 4 Pty Ltd for the three swimming pools.  The tendered submission by Lane 4 Pty Ltd included, as requested, detailed financials supporting their tendered pricing for the period of the sub-leases.  The Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool was for a period of 10 years with a right of renewal for a further 10 years.  The Sawtell and Woolgoolga Pools were for an initial period of five years with a right of renewal for a further five years.  The agreements commenced on 1 July 2017.

 

The Value Added Services outlined within the tender submission to enhance income streams included a number of different additions to the offering, particularly at the Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool including a multi-function space to house the “4 Health and Wellbeing” studio; fit-out of the “4 Health and Wellbeing” studio; refurbishment of current fitness room to include offices, training rooms and child minding; and fit out of a new Red Poppy Coffee Café.

 

Whilst the installation of a refurbished work-out gym area has now been completed, there is no evidence of other value added services having been implemented.

Issues:

1.    Available funding to support the request by the sub-lessee.  Budget projections have been made with the agreed pricing.  The additional funding requested is significant and the allocation would be at the expense of other projects and services as outlined in Council’s Delivery Program and Operational Plan.

 

2.    An issue resulting from declining the request for financial support may be the subsequent termination of the contract and sub-lease.  If this eventuates then other arrangements will be necessary for the continued operation of the three public swimming pools, such as re-tendering the swimming pools contract or in-house management of the swimming pools for at least an interim period. A further report will be provided to Council if required.

Options:

Council has the following options to consider:

1.    Adopt the recommendations and respond to sub-lessee accordingly; or

2.    Reject the recommendation and approve the additional financial support as requested.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The pools have all been established for many decades and the properties each defined by premises fencing them off within their respective reserves.  Decision on this matter will have no further environmental impacts.

•     Social

Council ensures the longevity of the public swimming pool services to the respective communities. This in turn secures employment for those required to staff the facilities.

•     Civic Leadership

Continuity of provision of the three public swimming pools to the community is supported within Council’s MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan, which advocates Community Wellbeing whereby ‘we enjoy safe and inclusive community spaces and activities that bring people together’.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The Delivery Program 2017-2021 refers to the “Provision of public swimming pool facilities” as a continuing activity, and the My Coffs Community Strategic Plan objectives includes “We have effective use of public resources” with the Strategy “We effectively manage the planning and provision of regional public services and infrastructure”.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Council already administers the contract for the operation of the public swimming pool facilities.  Declining the request for additional finance will not change the current financial arrangement built into Council’s Operational Plan and Delivery Program.

Risk Analysis:

The selection of Lane 4 Pty Ltd as successful tenderer for the sub-lease of each of the three public swimming pools drew significant community attention at the time.  To support the allocation of additional funding would possibly provoke an adverse community reaction.

 

A further risk is presented that should Lane 4 Pty Ltd default on their contract and sub-lease, consideration for the ongoing management and operation of the facilities will need to be made.

 

Risk is also represented both in terms of budget impact and the possible reallocation of priorities in the Delivery Program.

Consultation:

Consultation has occurred with relevant Council officers.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The three public swimming pools are on Crown Land Reserves which are currently leased to Coffs Harbour City Council for 20 year terms.  The Crown Land Management Act 2016 and Local Government Act 1993 provide the legislative framework for the management of these reserves.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The recommendation will be progressed immediately upon Council resolution.

Conclusion:

Council has been approached by Lane 4 Pty Ltd, the sub-lessee of three public swimming pools, for substantial financial assistance above the accepted tendered price. The provision of this requested finance would be an amendment to the agreed contract and sub-lease resulting in possible community objection and budget and Delivery Program issues for Council.

 

The recommendation is to decline the request of Lane 4 Pty Ltd for additional financial assistance.

 

  


NOM20/06   Request for Report Reviewing Internal Restrictions on Community Facilities Grant Pool for Financial Year Ending 2021

Attachments:          Nil

 

Motion:

Councillor Townley has given notice of her intention to move the following:

"That Council:

1.   Recognise that a range of community groups who use Council facilities will experience financial hardship as a result of COVID 19 restrictions on gatherings and movement.

2.   Consider relaxing the internal restrictions on the Community Facilities grant pool for financial year 2020/21 to allow / include bids to be used for payment of expenses (rather than solely for physical improvements to facilities).

3.   Receive a report exploring the ramifications of point 2 above, with suggested criteria for how the grant pool may be expanded to provide funding for community facility user groups."

 

Rationale:

“As a result of Public Health Order restrictions relating to COVID 19, some community groups who use and/or manage Council facilities are experiencing financial hardship due to rapid decline in rental incomes. Some institutions, such as Boambee East Community Centre, rely solely on grants and hall rental to deliver a wide array of important community programs. Without income, expenses such as utilities, insurance and other outgoings are difficult to meet. Similarly, many hall committees (355 committees) may be in similar situations.

Council is currently considering a range of options more broadly in respect on assistance to such groups. An investigation into relaxation of restrictions for Community Facilities funding may provide an additional avenue for responding to the needs of community facility managers impacted by COVID 19.

Currently, Council’s Community Facilities grants pool (approximately $150K per annum) can be accessed by groups who participate in management of Council community facilities, for the purposes of physical improvements/infrastructure development. Relaxation of this internal restriction may allow eligible groups to access this funding pool to meet expenses. Eligible groups would still be subject to a competitive application process, but with expanded criteria around how funds are to be spent.

Changing internal restrictions requires a resolution of Council. It is envisaged that staff could provide some background and suggested guidelines as to the broadening of the Community Facilities grant pool. This can be considered by Council at a later date.”

Staff Comment:

A report can be prepared.

  


SI20/08         Vehicles on Beaches Policy

Author:                        Works Program Co-ordinator

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      A.2 An active, safe and healthy community

Attachments:              ATT1  SI20/08    Vehicles on Beaches Policy with Maps

ATT2  SI20/08    CONFIDENTIAL Combined Submissions

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(e) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law.  

 

Executive Summary

At the Ordinary Council meeting on 6 December 2018, Council resolved to approve the public exhibition of the Draft Vehicles on Beaches Policy.

The Draft Vehicles on Beaches Policy was subsequently placed on exhibition for more than 28 days (post 14 January 2019) and received a total of 365 submissions. Participants were able to complete a survey about selected beaches.

This report presents a summary of stakeholder feedback and seeks a resolution from Council to approve the revised Vehicles on Beaches Policy.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council adopt the revised Vehicles on Beaches Policy (Attachment 1).

 

 

Report

Description of Item:

In 2016, the NSW Government undertook a state wide Threat and Risk Assessment (TARA) to assess and prioritise the threats to social, economic and environmental values of the marine estate.

 

The TARA has identified four wheel driving on beaches as the eighth highest threat to marine environmental assets for the north region of NSW, including the Coffs Harbour LGA. Anti-social behaviour and unsafe practices by some 4WD users result in a loss of passive public access and useability, wildlife disturbance (especially shorebirds and turtles), and impacts on ecological health. Four wheel drives (4WDs) on beaches have therefore been identified as a threat to the social, cultural and economic values of the marine environment by TARA.

 

There have been reports of incidents and near misses within the LGA between 4WDs and other beach users. A dog was fatally injured by a 4WD in November 2019. Many of the submissions cited such incidents of vehicles travelling too fast along the beaches, often close to children and dogs off leash. Some submissions also reported drivers using the beaches as an alternative to the roads when they are alcohol impaired. Council has evidence of ongoing 4WD use in prohibited areas, and 4WD drivers disregarding the existing guidelines which propose to protect the dunes and wildlife.

 

The Draft Vehicles on Beaches Policy (SI18/27), which was presented at the 6 December 2018 Council meeting, reviewed the current practices and extent of allowable beach use by 4WD vehicles in light of this evidence.

It included the following specific changes to the existing practices:

·    North Beach 4WD use was included. Users were still required to obtain a National Parks and Wildlife Services Pass to access this beach, in accordance with National Parks regulation.

·    Boambee Beach excluded a small area to 4WD use at the mouth of Boambee Creek estuary.

·    Hearnes Lake Beach 4WD use was removed from the policy due to environmental sensitivity: there are nesting areas for endangered Little Terns and sea turtles north of Hearnes Lake Road  

·    Darkum Beach 4WD use was removed due to limited vehicle accessibility.

·    Woolgoolga Back Beach 4WD use is retained with limited access to protect Willis Creek entrance.

·    Arrawarra Beach from Arrawarra Headland to Arrawarra Creek 4WD use was removed to comply with Solitary Island Marine Park (SIMP) provisions.

·    Corindi/Pipeclay Beach 4WD use was modified to exclude north of Ocean Street due to conflict between recreational beach users and vehicles.

·    Station Creek Beach 4WD use was included through Yuraygir National Park. Users were still required to obtain a National Parks and Wildlife Services Pass to access this beach, in accordance with National Parks regulation

It should be noted that the following groups are exempt from the Vehicles on Beaches Policy:

·    Emergency Services personnel during bona fide rescues, patrols or “exercises” authorised by Coffs Harbour City Council; and

·    Authorised servants of Local, State and Commonwealth Governments in performance of their duties.

Parking vehicles and/or trailers on the beach after launching boats were not permitted at vehicle prohibited beaches in the draft policy.

 

Public exhibition of the Draft Vehicles on Beaches Policy was undertaken from 14 January 2019 to 28 February 2019. A number of submissions were received during the exhibition period. Issues raised by submissions are addressed in the next section.

 

Issues:

Beaches are highly valued by the Coffs Harbour community and the many visitors to our region. They are a significant driver of tourism for the region and support a diverse range of recreational activities.

Some members of the community have long held concerns about the environmental damage caused by 4WDs on beaches. Their views are supported by research which indicate vehicles on beaches impact on organisms indirectly via sand compaction and via more direct impacts on Little Tern colonies, turtle breeding, and shore bird survival rates.

Generally, 4WD recreational driving is prohibited when it puts other beach users at risk on more popular beaches. In particular, many submissions raised concerns about the conflicts between beach users and vehicles on Corindi Beach where there is a regular surf school, existing holiday parks, and a relatively narrow stretch of beach. In conjunction with the changes arising from this policy, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE, Crown Lands) intend to close Ocean Street, Corindi access to the beach as there is a steep incline from the beach causing vehicles to accelerate along a narrow track also used by pedestrians. This is considered an unacceptable risk. Closure of the Ocean Street access effectively renders Corindi Beach a prohibited 4WD beach.

Fishers also requested that the policy retain parking at some boat launching sites due to the difficulties in returning the vehicle to the nearest car park whilst securing their boat. Each site was assessed by a meeting involving State Government representatives, including Fisheries. Subsequently the policy was amended to allow parking on three beaches (listed below).

The revised policy, based on the results of Public Exhibition, tabled for approval (attached) would allow 4WD recreational access to:

·    North Beach,

·    Boambee Beach,

·    Woolgoolga Back Beach and

·    Station Creek Beach

as per the Draft Vehicles on Beaches policy.

It also maintains previous access arrangements for vehicles of fishers, and exceptions such as emergency vehicles (as listed above).

As a result of the consultation process, two changes have been made to the Draft Vehicles on Beaches policy tabled at Council in December 2018.

1.   The closure of Corindi Beach access via Ocean Street which is managed by the DPIE, for safety reasons, in effect prohibiting 4WD use of Corindi Beach; and

2.   Parking to be permitted on Arrawarra, Sandy and Sawtell beaches in the designated areas for boat launching and retrieval only.

The revised policy aims to provide a balanced approach, providing opportunities for recreational driving, but also ensuring the safety and amenity of other beach users and mitigating environmental risks.

Other issues to be considered by Council include:

1.   Projected population increase along the coastal strip will place increased pressures on beaches, with higher levels of competing uses and potential for conflict between users. The proposed changes to permitted beaches would increase the safety and amenity of beaches for non-motorised activities.

2.   The Highway upgrade has decreased travel times so more people are travelling to this region to explore unrestricted beaches, increasing the likelihood of improper use by 4WDs.

3.   Beaches and their associated dunal systems are vital ecological resources, providing habitat to a variety of native flora and fauna as well as protecting terrestrial areas from coastal erosion processes. Disturbance to the endangered ‘little terns’ and turtles, has been identified as a concern at Hearnes Lake Beach and Sandy Beach North and damage to dunal areas is of particular concern at Boambee Beach. The measures outlined in the policy provide a mechanism for protecting these key environmental values whilst still allowing the four wheel driving community to enjoy these natural assets in a responsible manner.

4.   Driving will no longer be allowed on certain stretches of beach which have been used by 4WD vehicles for many years. Some submissions expressed strong views that the status quo should be maintained.

Options:

Options available to Council in this matter are:

1.       Adopt the recommendation provided to Council to endorse the revised Vehicles on Beaches Policy.

2.       Modify the recommendation and seek changes to the Policy, noting that it is not possible to reach community consensus on this issue.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

Beaches and their associated dunal systems are vital ecological resources, providing habitat to a variety of native flora and fauna as well as protecting terrestrial areas from coastal erosion processes. Improper use of the beaches compromises these values. Council has a legislative and custodial responsibility to make sure that both beach users and the environment are protected. This includes the protection of shore bird and other species’ habitats as well as the ecological and physical integrity of the sensitive dunal environment. The policy provides a means of protecting the more sensitive beach environments.

•     Social

The policy will reduce access to some beaches as previously outlined. While this will be a cause of concern for some 4WD users, it will improve the experience and safety for those beach users on foot whilst preserving access to some beaches. The policy recognises the significant social value beaches hold for the community. The measures are proposed to protect and enhance these values for current and future generations.

•     Civic Leadership

The purpose of Council policies is to ensure transparency and accountability in Local Government. The implementation enables Council to identify and respond to the community.

The policy reflects the views of many stakeholders including NSW Government representatives who also have responsibility for beaches, the adjacent land and the Marine Park.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Beaches are integral to the lifestyle of Coffs Harbour and contribute to the overall amenity and visual appeal of the City, attracting many visitors. The policy promotes protection of beaches and will improve the overall safety and quality of visitor experience.

Access for commercial fishers is also maintained under their existing permit conditions.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The implementation of the Policy requires new signs, and possibly barriers. Following the approval of the policy, Council will review the signs at the access points and install new ones where required.

Risk Analysis:

The revised policy will reduce the risk of conflict with other beach users in high population areas. The closure of Corindi Beach was seen as necessary to reduce conflict between 4WDs and other beach users, particularly at the Ocean Street access point.

The policy reduces the potential for damage of shore bird and other species’ habitats and protects the sensitive dunal environment.

Consultation:

The draft Vehicles on Beaches policy was placed on exhibition and received a total of 365 submissions:

·    344 surveys with comments via the Have your Say website

·    3 hard copies of the survey with comments

·    6 letters, 12 emails with 4 attachments and 5 photographs

Council also received submissions from:

·    Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment (DPIE)

·    Office of Environment (OEH)

·    National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS)

·    Relevant Council subject matter experts

 

There was a mixed reaction to the policy with strong feelings both for and against vehicles on beaches. Since the draft policy was originally considered by Council in December 2018, staff have conducted further meetings with the Coastal and Estuary Management Advisory Committee and other relevant State Agencies in order to provide Council with a considered policy response to the submissions.

Generally, the submissions indicate:

·    That there is a strong tradition enjoyed by families of recreational 4WD driving on local beaches and 22% of respondents indicated that they wanted to maintain the current level of access.

·    That a majority of submissions supported either the recommended policy; the recommended policy with some additional restrictions, or the outright banning of all vehicles on beaches.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Council routinely prepares and reviews policies.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The policy will be implemented immediately following Council resolution.

Conclusion:

It is incumbent on Council to review the Vehicles on Beaches Policy from time to time to ensure safety and environmental protections are current and suitable. From a policy perspective it is incumbent on Council to protect the environmental, economic and social value of Coffs Harbour’s beaches.

Driving on beaches is a popular recreational activity, enjoyed by residents and visitors. Under the Fisheries Act, Council is required to maintain access for fishers. The draft policy provides a balanced and sustainable approach to allowing ongoing vehicle access to beaches for the 4WD and fishing community, whilst protecting the safety of other beach users and the sensitive and dynamic beach environment.

 

 


PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


PDF Creator


SI20/09         Response to Deputy PM's Office - Land Transport Infrastructure Boost

Author:                        Section Leader Asset Strategies

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      B.1 A thriving and sustainable local economy

Attachments:              ATT1  SI20/09    Message from the Deputy Prime Minister - Infrastructure Boost

ATT2  SI20/09    Final List of Transport Infrastructure Projects  

 

Executive Summary

The Deputy Prime Minister requested assistance from councils to fast track infrastructure projects by providing a list of transport infrastructure projects that had the potential to commence construction in 3-6 months. Council provided a submission on 8 April 2020. The Government committed to communicating the outcome of the process in due course.

 

The list of projects provided were selected from existing strategies and plans. They are provided within this report for noting by Council.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the land transport infrastructure projects that were communicated to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, that have a potential for construction to commence in 3-6 months.

 

Report

Description of Item:

On 6 March 2020 the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development wrote to councillors and mayors seeking assistance in fast-tracking the delivery of land transport infrastructure projects on local roads. The DPM acknowledged that fast-tracking the delivery of critical road projects across Australia is key to driving jobs, strengthening the economy and getting people home sooner and safer.

 

The DPM also requested assistance in the identification of any land transport infrastructure projects for which construction could commence or be brought forward in the next three to six months, and which could include new or existing projects. The response was requested in the form of a provided template, by 20 March 2020. This deadline was later extended to 8 April 2020. Council submitted a response (see attached table below) on 8 April 2020.

 

The Government committed to communicating the outcome of the process in due course. The full list of transport infrastructure projects put forward by Council in its response can be found in Attachment 2.

Issues:

Projects submitted in response to the DPM request were selected from Council’s Transport Asset Management Plan and a number of transport-related strategies and masterplans. The views of Transport Infrastructure subject matter experts were used to assess projects for delivery readiness, in addition to each project’s potential to achieve Economic Uplift, Transport Efficiency, Safety Benefit, and Impact.

 

It is important to note that the total project cost estimates in the attachment range in confidence level depending on the amount of scoping and optioneering conducted to date. Some projects have completed designs and which allow a high confidence cost estimate. Others project are concepts taken from higher level strategies and their cost estimates are naturally of a lower confidence level.

 

The value indicated in the ‘Other Contribution’ column of the attachment is an estimate of the amount that Council would have to spend to develop each design to ‘construction ready’ status. Most of these estimates are not included in the Council’s current budgets. If one or more of these projects were to be selected for funding assistance via this process, Council would need to consider the potential reallocation of funds from existing infrastructure projects, other sources, or from other Council services to complete the designs.

Options:

As this is a ‘for note’ report no options analysis has been conducted.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

Environmental impacts will be assessed and controlled via future project specific risk assessments.

•     Social

Employment boosting infrastructure projects will have a beneficial lift on social outcomes in the LGA during a future COVID 19 Recovery Phase.

•     Civic Leadership

Advocating with the Government for funding assistance for key projects is an example of sound civic leadership

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Fast tracked infrastructure delivery is a driver of economic outcomes, both in terms of the construction jobs and expenditure in addition to the ongoing economic boost from transport efficiencies and increased business and tourism amenity from improved infrastructure.

•     Economic – Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

If projects from the list are awarded government assistance, Council may need to reallocate funding from alternative projects or services to be able to undertake the required designs prior to construction.

Risk Analysis:

This report constitutes a high level coverage only of potential transport-related infrastructure projects which could be executed within a 3 to 6-month timeframe. A risk analysis which assesses each future project in detail would be forthcoming to Council if and when such a project is accepted by the Deputy Prime Minister for funding.

Consultation:

The list of candidate transport infrastructure projects was developed from existing Council strategies and plans, most of which have been through extensive community consultation.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

None identified.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Not applicable.

Conclusion:

Council has responded to a request from the Deputy Prime Minister to provide a list of candidate transport infrastructure projects that could commence within 3 to 6 months.

 


PDF Creator


PDF Creator 


QON20/03    Peer Review of Council's Long Term Financial Plan

Author:                        Director Business Services

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

Attachments:              Nil

 

The following question on notice was received from Councillor Amos.

Question

“Some nine months ago Council resolved to receive a report by an independent expert reviewing the ability of council to service borrowings proposed for the Gordon St project which will comprise of a new art gallery,museum,library and council offices.

 

The purpose of seeking this report was to confirm the ability of council to service proposed loans. Whilst I am informed by council staff that this report is imminent, the relevance of this report now may be questioned if it is not amended to include economic changes that are impacting upon us profoundly.

 

Councillors will soon vote on accepting, or otherwise, tenders on the purchase of council buildings, thus creating a “point of no return” relating  to the progression of the Gordon St Cultural and Civic Space Project.

 

Very recent developments impacting upon the council’s debt service capacity include the crisis of COVID 19 and the magnitude of the waste management legal dispute pending ( reported Prime 7 News). Will these critical new developments be factored into the review so as to provide Councillors an accurate and current position from which to make well informed decisions when assessing  offers on the proposed sale of real estate assets to part fund the Gordon St project?”

Response

The independent peer review reports are included in this business paper.  The peer review of Council’s Long Term Financial Plan relates to the plan used for the completion of the Concept Business Case and therefore does not include subsequent events.