Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes                                                          23 April 2020

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MINUTES

coffs harbour CITY cOUNCIL
Ordinary Council Meeting

VIA AUDIO-VISUAL LINK
ON
Thursday, 23 April 2020 AT 5.00pm

 

PRESENT:              Cr Denise Knight, Cr Michael Adendorff, Cr Paul Amos, Cr John Arkan, Cr George Cecato, Cr Keith Rhoades, Cr Tegan Swan, Cr Sally Townley

STAFF:                    General Manager, Director Sustainable Infrastructure, Director Sustainable Communities, Director Business Services and Executive Assistant

 

Leave of Absence      Nil

Opening of Ordinary Meeting

The meeting commenced at 5.00pm with the Mayor, Cr D Knight in the chair.

Acknowledgement of Country

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet, the Gumbaynggirr people, who have cared for this land forever. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and commit ourselves to a future with reconciliation and renewal at its heart.

Statement in relation to Recording of Meetings

The Mayor reminded the meeting that it was being recorded and live audio streamed, and that no other recordings of the meeting would be permitted.

The Mayor reminded that due to the COVID-19 restrictions Anzac Day Services have been called off this year however people are joining the Dawn Service from their driveways.

Public forum commenced at 5.00pm

Due to there being no public gallery following the announcement that public access to Council’s offices has been temporarily suspended as a precaution to help reduce the risk of Coronavirus COVID-19 infection, all speakers are providing a written statement which will be read to the meeting.

Speaker

Item

Oliver Gee

Against NOM20/05 Suspend All Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID19

Heather McKinnon

Against NOM20/05 Suspend All Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID19

Gabrielle Brabander

For NOM20/05 Suspend All Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID19

Ann Leonard

For NOM20/05 Suspend All Work on the Cultural and Civic Space Project Due to COVID19

Gai Anderson

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

 

Disclosure of Interest

Councillor

Items

Type of Interest

Cr Michael Adendorff

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

Non-Pecuniary - Less Than Significant Conflict as he has property interests.

Cr Paul Amos

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

Non-Pecuniary - Less Than Significant Conflict as some affected tenants listed hold business accounts with him.

Cr Keith Rhoades

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

Non-Pecuniary - Significant Conflict as he is a Director and Executive Member of one of the named groups named on the assistance list.

 

Apologies

No apologies.

 

REQUESTS FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE

No requests for leave of absence.

 

Mayoral Minute

 

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

2020/76

Resolved (Cr Denise Knight)

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.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

Confirmation of Minutes

2020/77

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr Tegan Swan)

That the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 26 March 2020 be confirmed.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

Notices of Motion – General

 

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

 

Motion (Cr Keith Rhoades / Cr John Arkan)

That Council:

1.    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, and further the following point is satisfied:

1.1.  Until Coffs Harbour City Council financial statements are received to quantify the cost of the project and the impact of COVID-19.

2.    Continue with the process of development approval for the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

3.    Continue to seek grant funding from the NSW and Federal Governments for the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

4.       Commission Thomas, Noble & Russell and Tcorp to update their peer review assessments, at a time determined by the General Manager, when in his assessment of the economic environment is considered to be more settled and predictable.  Thomas, Noble & Russell and Tcorp are to be fully briefed on the impacting components of changes in real estate sale values, airport profitably and leasing implications, Council revenue stream changes, pending waste management issues and capital projects that can be considered to be infrastructure backlog items.  The assessment funding would come from the existing Cultural and Civic Space budgeted allocation.

 

For:         Crs Amos, Arkan, Rhoades and Swan

Against:  Crs Knight, Adendorff, Cecato and Townley

 

The MOTION on being put to the meeting resulted in a tied vote. The Mayor used her casting vote and the MOTION was declared LOST.

 

 

The meeting adjourned for a short recess, the time being 7.10pm and reconvened at 7.22pm.

 

 

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

 

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.

2020/78

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr George Cecato)

That Council notes the report.

 

Cr Arkan gave notice of a Foreshadowed Motion.

 

For:         Crs Knight, Adendorff, Cecato, Swan and Townley

Against:  Crs Amos, Arkan and Rhoades

 

The Motion was carried, therefore the Foreshadowed Motion lapsed and was not considered.

Carried

 

FORESHADOWED Motion

 

(Cr John Arkan

1.    That Council note the report.  In particular, the infrastructure back log, the waste crisis and also the uncertainty of the current situation based on the COVID-1 pandemic. 

2.    That Council note within the modelling the assumption of no service level changes occurring from 2022 onwards.

 

Directorate Reports - Business Services

 

BS20/25          Bank and Investment Balances for 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.

2020/79

Resolved (Cr George Cecato / Cr Michael Adendorff)

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.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

At 8:15 pm, Cr Keith Rhoades left the meeting.

 

 

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

 

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.

2020/80

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr George Cecato)

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.         Determine if the rent abatement period should be extended for a further period 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.

5.         Request a report be brought back to Council regarding how Council can support the Neighbourhood Centres across the local government area during the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

At 8:36 pm, Cr Keith Rhoades returned to the meeting.

 

 

BS20/28          Contributions Plan Review - Park Beach Area

 

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

 

 

2020/81

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr Paul Amos)

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.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

 

Motion

2020/82

Resolved (Cr Denise Knight / Cr Sally Townley)

That item BS20/29 Leases to Lane 4 Pty Ltd – Public Swimming Pools be referred to Closed Session.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

Notices of Motion – Sustainable Communities

 

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

2020/83

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr Paul Amos)

"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."

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

 

SI20/08           Vehicles on Beaches Policy

 

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.

2020/84

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr Tegan Swan)

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

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

 

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

 

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.

2020/85

Resolved (Cr Paul Amos / Cr George Cecato)

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.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

Questions on notice

 

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

 

 

The report was noted.

 

 

 

Matters of an Urgent Nature

No matters of an urgent nature.

 

CLOSED SESSION – SECTION 10A

The Mayor requested a motion to close the meeting to consider item BS20/29 Leases to Lane 4 Pty Ltd – Public Swimming Pools, the time being 9.18pm.

 

 

Motion

2020/86

Resolved (Cr Sally Townley / Cr Tegan Swan)

That the meeting be closed to the staff, press and public during consideration of the following item for the reasons stated:

 

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

(c) information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the council is conducting (or proposed to conduct) business.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously..

Carried

 

 

The public audio-visual was turned off.

 

 

 

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

 

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.

2020/87

Resolved (Cr Tegan Swan / Cr John Arkan)

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.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

open meeting

The Mayor requested an appropriate motion to enable the meeting to resolve into Open Meeting, the time being 9.44pm.

 

 

Motion

2020/88

Resolved (Cr Tegan Swan / Cr John Arkan)

That Council move into Open Session.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

 

Motion

2020/89

Resolved (Cr John Arkan / Cr Tegan Swan)

That the resolution of the Closed Session be adopted.

 

The Motion on being put to the meeting was carried unanimously.

Carried

 

 

The General Manager read to meeting the resolution of the Closed Session.

 

 

 

Close of Meeting

The Meeting closed at 9.47pm.

 

Confirmed: 14 May 2020

 

 

 

...................................................

Denise Knight

Mayor