Coffs Harbour City Council

30 September 2020

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

 

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

 

Thursday, 8 October 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

 

  

General Manager's Reports

GM20/22         Disclosure of Interest by Councillors and Designated Persons............................................................... 3

GM20/23         Covid-19 Contract Advice..................................................... 5

GM20/24         2019/20 Audit and Risk Committee report to Council....................................................................................... 16

GM20/25         Contract No. RFT-1241-TO - Demolition Works 23 - 31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour...................................... 25

Notices of Motion Business Services

NOM20/14      Length of Proposed Airport Lease Contract......... 28

Directorate Reports - Business Services

BS20/53          Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 July 2020.................................................... 30

BS20/54          Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 August 2020.............................................. 46

BS20/55          Bank and Investment Balances for August 2020..... 62

BS20/56          Rent Waivers for Council Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions.......................................................... 83

BS20/57          Sale of Property, Lot 101 DP1041655, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour......................................................... 106

Notices of Motion Sustainable Communities

NOM20/15      Scope of Work and Associated Costings for Place Manual for Park Beach..................................................... 111

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Communities

SC20/55          Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 - Employment Lands - Post Exhibition - and Chapter 9 - Resources...................... 112

SC20/56          Community Organisation Assistance Program - Temporary - COVID-19.......................................................... 226

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

SI20/16           Public Submissions and Adoption of Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan................................. 234

SI20/17           Recycled Water - Introduction of Fees and Charges................................................................................... 258

SI20/18           Waste Services - Fees and Charges Correction... 263   


GM20/22      Disclosure of Interest by Councillors and Designated Persons

Author:                         Group Leader Governance

Authoriser:                  General Manager

MyCoffs:                      D.1 Our leaders give us confidence in the future

Attachments:               Nil

 

Executive Summary

Section 440AAB of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) requires Councillors (and designated persons) to lodge a Disclosure of Interest by Councillors and Designated Persons Return.  All Councillors who held office at 30 June and designated persons, should have lodged such a return by 30 September 2020.  Under the Act, these returns are to be tabled at the first Council meeting following the last day for lodgement.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the Register of Disclosure of Interests by Councillors and Designated Persons for the period July 2019 – June 2020, as tabled.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The purpose of this report is to table the register of Disclosure of Interest Returns by Councillors and Designated Persons received in accordance with s440AAB of the Act. Designated persons include the General Manager and senior staff, as well as a person who is a member of staff of the council identified as the position of a designated person because it involves the exercise of functions (such as regulatory functions or contractual functions) that, in their exercise, could give rise to a conflict between the person’s duty as a member of staff or delegate and the person’s private interest.

Issues:

There are no issues associated with this report.

Options:

As this report is noting the tabling of returns, no options are provided.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

This is not applicable to this report.

•     Social

This is not applicable to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

The purpose of these provisions is to ensure transparency and accountability in local government decision making.  This is consistent with the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan D.1 - Our leaders give us confidence in the future.  The obligations upon Councillors, General Manager, Senior Staff and other designated persons are as much a protection for them as it is for the community in the review of Council’s decisions, and one of the important mechanisms in enhancing public confidence in local administration

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

This is not applicable to this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

This is not applicable to this report.

Risk Analysis:

This is not applicable to this report.

Consultation:

This is not applicable to this report.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Local Government Act 1993

Model Code of Conduct 2019

Implementation Date / Priority:

Immediate

Conclusion:

The tabling of the returns is noted.

 


GM20/23      Covid-19 Contract Advice

Author:                         Group Leader Governance

Authoriser:                  General Manager

MyCoffs:                      D.1 Our leaders give us confidence in the future

Attachments:               ATT1  GM20/23  Legal Advice - Risk Impact of COVID-19 on Council Contracts  

 

Executive Summary

On 13 August 2020 Council resolved ‘That Council and the Audit & Risk Committee receive a report into the risk to Council of ‘contract and lease frustration’ as a result of COVID 19’.

 

This report is in response to that resolution.

 

Recommendation:

That:

1.      Council note this report and attached advice.

2.      A risk assessment be conducted against all existing contracts that meet the threshold of:

a)    value greater than $1,000,000, and

b)    remaining term more than 2 years, and

c)    a criticality threshold where the works or services, if not performed, would have a significant impact on the availability of community services or Council functions.

3.      The Audit and Risk Committee receive a follow up report detailing the completed risk assessments of any contracts that meet these threshold requirements.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Following the Council resolution ‘That Council and the Audit & Risk Committee receive a report into the risk to Council of ‘contract and lease frustration’ as a result of COVID 19’, advice was sought from a suitably qualified member of Council’s legal panel as contractual disputes are a specialised legal area.

 

Sonya Kroon of HWL Ebsworth has provided the attached advice.  It is worth noting that the advice states at 2.1 (b)

 

‘most contracts will not meet the requirement for frustration by reason of COVID 19.  The threshold to establish frustration is high. Generally speaking, it is unlikely that a contract will be frustrated if there is a delay in an obligation being able to be performed or the parties have merely suffered hardship, unforeseen loss or the burden of performance has increased.’ And at 2.4,

 

Where the contract relates to works which are being undertaken or services performed, it is unlikely termination by frustration would be a commercially viable option.’

 

HWL Ebsworth has suggested that a threshold approach be applied in any assessment process:

 

·    value greater than $1M, and

·    the term where the remaining engagement is more than two years, and

·    a criticality threshold.

 

This report proposes to use these thresholds to complete an initial assessment of council contracts.

Issues:

COVID 19 has now been a reality in the Australian community since March 2020. At the time of writing this report, the Coffs Harbour local government has been ‘COVID free’ for over 150 days. The advice suggests Council could justifiably adopt a less conservative approach in deciding on its Threshold Requirements for the purpose of an audit.

Options:

There are a number of options available to Council:

 

1.    Accept recommendation.

2.    Amend the recommendation to reflect a different monetary value or term threshold, noting Council has a substantial number of contracts operating at any one time.

3.    Amend the recommendation to only note the report, therefore not conducting any assessments.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts as a result of this report.

•     Social

There are no social impacts as a result of this report.

•     Civic Leadership

This report is in line with objective D.1 ‘Our leaders give us confidence in the future’ of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There are no broader economic implications as a result of this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no direct implications on the Delivery Program or Operational Plan. Should Council proceed with a legal review of the relevant contracts potentially at risk due to COVID-19, there will be additional funds required for legal services.  This could be considered as part of the quarterly budget review.

Risk Analysis:

This report describes the risk based approach proposed for council contracts and contractual risk.

Consultation:

Consultation has been with a member of council’s legal panel.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Frustrated Contracts Act 1978 (NSW)

Implementation Date / Priority:

Not applicable.

Conclusion:

In response to the Council resolution no. 220/173, legal advice is provided for Council’s consideration.

 


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GM20/24      2019/20 Audit and Risk Committee report to Council

Author:                         Group Leader Governance

Authoriser:                  General Manager

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

Attachments:               ATT1  GM20/24  2019/20 Audit and Risk Committee to Council  

 

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to inform Council on the activities of the Audit and Risk Committee for the financial year ending 30 June 2020. 

 

Recommendation:

That Council receive and note the report of the Audit and Risk Committee for 2019-2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The objective of the Audit and Risk Committee (Committee) is to provide independent assurance and assistance to Coffs Harbour City Council on risk management, controls, governance and external accountability responsibilities.

 

The Committee currently comprises three external independent members and two Councillor representatives.  The current independent members are Barry Ford, Chris Jones and Paul Tipper.  Barry Ford is the current chair of the Committee.

 

The Committee met four times in the reporting period to review internal audit reports, the internal audit program, Council’s audited financial statements and other reports requested by the Committee.

Issues:

The proposed mandatory reforms outlined in the discussion paper ‘A New Risk Management and Internal Audit Framework for local councils in NSW’ proposes nine core requirements councils will be required to comply with when establishing their Audit, Risk and Improvement Committees, risk management framework and internal audit function.  Council is currently meeting the vast majority of these core requirements as it has an established Audit and Risk Committee, an externally provided internal audit function, in addition to an integrated risk management and legislative compliance framework.

 

The main impacts from the proposed changes will be on the Committee structure with the requirement for pre-qualified, external and independent membership and an expanded role for the Committee and Chair.

 

Once s428A of the Local Government Act 1993 is proclaimed and the mandatory risk management and internal audit framework for local councils comes into operation, Council will be required to remunerate the Committee in accordance with the fees currently paid under the NSW Government’s prequalification scheme.  The proposed fees represent a significant increase to the current Committee remuneration.

 

Options:

As this report is for noting only, no options are provided.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts in relation to this report.

•     Social

There are no social impacts as a result of this report.

•     Civic Leadership

The purpose of the Audit and Risk Committee is to ensure transparency and accountability in local government.  For this reason, the voting members on the committee are not employed by Council.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

This report has no broader economic impacts

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The sitting fees for the independent Committee members are incorporated in Council’s approved Operational Plan

Risk Analysis:

The Audit and Risk Committee provides an important legislative and best practice mechanism to monitor and mitigate organisational risks

Consultation:

This report has been prepared in consultation with the independent members of the Audit and Risk Committee

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The Internal Audit Guidelines under which this Committee operates are Director General’s guidelines for the purposes of section 23A of the Local Government Act 1993

Implementation Date / Priority:

Not applicable

Conclusion:

That council endorse the report on the activities of the Committee and acknowledges the valuable input from the external independent members. 

 


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GM20/25      Contract No. RFT-1241-TO - Demolition Works 23 - 31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour

Author:                         Strategic Projects Officer

Authoriser:                  General Manager

MyCoffs:                      B.1 A thriving and sustainable local economy

Attachments:               ATT1  GM20/25  CONFIDENTIAL Contract No. RFT-1241-TO  Tender Assessment

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(d)(i) of the Local Government Act as it contains commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it.

ATT2  GM20/25  CONFIDENTIAL Contract No. RFT-1241-TO Probity Report   

 

Executive Summary

As part of preparations for the site of the Cultural and Civic Space (CCS) building, demolition of the current buildings which are at their end of life is required. Therefore, a Request for Tender (RFT-1241-TO) Demolition Works, 23–31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour was called in accordance with the Tendering Regulations and Council’s resolved position.  Assessment criteria and tender acceptance recommendations are contained in the tender assessment (Confidential Attachment 1).  The associated report of the project’s independent Probity Advisor is also included as Confidential Attachment 2.

 

Recommendation:

That Council considers the tenders received for Demolition Works, 23 – 31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour), Contract No. RFT-1241-TO, and adopts the recommendation in the confidential attachment 1.

 

Report

Description of Item:

On 11 July 2019 Coffs Harbour City Council (Council) resolved (Resolution No. 2019/114) to progress the CCS Project to detailed design and construction.

 

An open market RFT was raised 30 June 2020 for the purpose of the appointment of a suitably qualified and experienced contractor to provide demolition works services for the site of the CCS Project located at 23 - 31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

Tenders were originally to close 22 July 2020, however the tender period was extended to allow Council to obtain a pre-demolition hazardous material report to address issues identified in previous asbestos reports on the existing buildings.  Tenders closed 10:00 AEST on 12 August 2020 with a 90-day validity period.

 

Work is anticipated to commence as soon as practical following tender acceptance for approximately 8 weeks.


 

 

Tenders were evaluated on the following criteria:

 

·    Past Performance

·    Scope and Team Capability

·    Compliance and Related Risk

·    Company Viability and Capability

·    Price

 

Four conforming tenders were received from the following proponents for the Provision of demolition works for 23 - 31 Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour:

 

1.   Aademex Pty Ltd, (All Areas Demolition Excavation)

2.   Beasy Pty Ltd

3.   Coffs Harbour Demolitions Pty Ltd

4.   VanMal Group Construction Pty Ltd (Van Mal)

 

Probity oversight

 

In accordance with the CCS Project Probity Plan, this tender evaluation has been oversighted by the independent Probity Advisor appointed by the CCS Project’s Probity Officer, Group Leader Governance Services.  The Probity Advisor’s report is attachment 2 to this report.

Issues:

Relevant issues are discussed in the tender assessment (Confidential Attachment 1).

Options:

1.    Accept the recommendation of this report – progress the project in accordance with Council resolutions and underlying Project Board decisions to support the CCS Project’s program and objectives.

2.    Reject the recommendation of this report – this is not an option unless Council make decisions that change the course of the project or demolition procurement is re-directed.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The demolition will comply with Council’s Sustainability Policy (POL079 adopted 14/09/2017) and all other environmental sustainability requirements as identified by the demolition Development Approval.  The recommended tenderer has supplied evidence of their practices to minimise ozone depletion effects and detrimental effects on air and water quality.  The recommended tenderer has also demonstrated management of pollution control from plant and vehicles.  An Environmental Management Plan will be developed by the preferred tenderer for approval by the CCS Project Lead.  Waste management and minimisation measures will be in accordance with demolition Development Approval conditions.

 

Note: Protection of the fig tree in Riding Lane: The tender documentation included reporting from the CCS Project Arborist and the preferred tenderer has satisfied the tender evaluation team that their scope of works and methodology honours the fig tree protection measures recommended by the Arborist.  Tree protection measures include demolition works in the vicinity of the fig tree being oversighted by Council’s arborist.

•     Social

The subject demolition is part of the CCS Project to deliver a range of community and cultural benefits including a vibrant cultural hub, improved literacy, educational and lifelong learning, improved social and wellbeing outcomes, increased exhibition spaces and programs, increased visitor numbers and a variety of cultural facilities and spaces that don’t exist today.

•     Civic Leadership

Civic leadership is shown through the ongoing implementation of MyCoffs. Council sees an opportunity to match the needs of our growing population, civic leadership and to add value to the city as an urban renewal opportunity and a cultural, community, business and visitor destination.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

An independent economic assessment of the CCS Project identified a host of benefits to the CBD including a variety of financial benefits over a 30-year period totalling $57m, 31 on-going jobs and an extra $2m per annum Gross Regional Product.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The CCS Project is a priority project in the Delivery Program.

 

The cost of demolition is part of the overall CCS Project approved budget of $76.52m.

Risk Analysis:

The tender evaluation team have assessed risk associated with appointing the recommended tenderer and are satisfied that the preferred tenderer provides acceptable mitigation for risks associated with the subject scope of works.

Consultation:

This procurement is recommended based on consultation with the CCS Project’s legal, probity and technical consultants to develop the tender documents and the tender assessment panel deliberations.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The calling, receiving and reviewing of tenders was carried out in accordance with Part 7 Tendering of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2005.

 

Tendering procedures were carried out in accordance with Council's policy.  Council's Tender Evaluation System has been applied during the tender review process.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The contract for demolition will be awarded following Council’s resolution.

Conclusion:

Council should consider the recommendation as outlined in the tender assessment.

  


NOM20/14    Length of Proposed Airport Lease Contract

Attachments:               ATT1  NOM20/14         CONFIDENTIAL Length of Proposed Airport Lease Contract – Advisors’ Advice

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.  

 

Motion:

Councillor Amos has given notice of his intention to move the following:

"Council immediately make public the proposed length of the Airport lease contract."

 

Rationale:

“The circumstances surrounding the Airport Lease negotiations have now reached a point where the length of lease proposed should no longer be classified as commercial in confidence.

 

The proposed lease length should now be available to the public.

 

This disclosure will have no impact on the lease negotiations now.

 

Information as to the application of the commercial in confidence principle is defined in the NSW local Governments Act as follows.

 

d)    commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed-

 

(i)      prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it, or

(ii)      confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council, or

(iii)     reveal a trade secret,”

Staff Comment:

Previous Council reports on Airport Management and Governance Options, and the Proposed Long Term Lease have cited section 10A(2)(c) of the Local Government Act 1993 for the reason for attachments to be treated as confidential, which states:

 

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

 

The airport lease transaction is at the sensitive stage of negotiation with a preferred bidder. Council advisors do not recommend the disclosure of partial lease information at this time.  Their detailed reasons are contained in the Confidential Attachment with summary statements provided in italics below.

 

From a probity standpoint:

 

In summary, making public the proposed length of the Airport Lease Contract at this point of the Transaction runs against probity principles and accepted negotiation practice and is not recommended.


 

 

From a commercial standpoint:

 

The negotiations and discussions with the Bidder are currently at a commercially sensitive position, and to make any information about the process public now could materially impact CHCC’s commercial position in those negotiations and discussions.

 

The lease transaction includes a number of parameters that work in tandem with the length of the proposed lease.

 

A holistic communication strategy will need to be prepared to ensure the appropriate messaging is provided if the negotiations with the Bidder are successful and a transaction is announced to the market, including which key points to highlight to give context to the decision to enter into such transaction.

 

For the reasons stated above, we recommend that CHCC continue to treat the proposed length of the Airport Lease, and all other terms of the transaction, commercial in confidence.

  


BS20/53       Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 July 2020

Author:                         Finance Business Partner

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:               ATT1  BS20/53   Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 July 2020  

 

Executive Summary

This report presents the Monthly Financial Performance Report for the month ended 31 July 2020.  The report provides information on the actual to budget position at the financial statement level and capital expenditure reports for the current financial year.  As at 31 July 2020 the budget year to date surplus is $92.2 million with the actual year to date surplus being $96.2 million.

 

The explanation of year to date variances is contained within the Income Statement commentary under Variance Comments for variances greater than 10%.  There are individual recurrent revenue sources with variances but overall recurrent revenue is on track, similarly for recurrent expenditure.

 

The capital expenditure target for the current financial year is $134.7 million with $3.5 million expended to the end of July.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the Monthly Financial Performance Report for 31 July 2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Monthly Financial Performance Report provides information on Council’s actual to budget performance.  The report provides accrual based information to Council on a monthly basis and designed to identify and explain any major variances between budgeted and actual results.

 

The report includes:

 

Financial Management Summary

·      The net operating surplus at the end of July is $3.8 million ahead of budget expectations.  The total surplus after capital grants is $96.2 million against a budget of $92.2 million.  Operating expenditure to the end of July is $12 million against a budget of $12.7 million.

·      Capital expenses is behind YTD budget expectations with total capital expenditure to the end of July of $3.5 million versus a YTD budget of $3.7 million.  The annual targeted expenditure is $134.7 million for the financial year. 

 

Income Statement

·      This is a comprehensive income statement detailing the monthly performance for July 2020.  This statement compares actual to budget on a monthly and year to date basis at the financial statement level.  In terms of monthly percentages, although some percentages may be large in dollar terms, they have a minor impact on financial performance.  There are individual comments for any monthly and YTD variances greater than 10%.

 

Capital Expenditure Summary and Detailed

·      Capital expenditure by cost centre and then at a more detailed level is also provided in the attachment.  There weren’t any variances greater than $200,000 for July.

Issues:

Income Statement commentary as at 31 July 2020 for Monthly and Year to Date (YTD) variances:

 

Revenue

·     Interest & Investment Revenue: Due to COVID-19 Council resolved not to charge interest and fees for late payment of Council Rates until after December 2020. In addition, there is a slight decline in interest returns on investments as they become due for re-investment.

 

Expenditure

·    There were not any variances greater than 10% for Expenditure in July.

Options:

An options analysis is not provided as this report is for noting only.

Sustainability Assessment:

•      Environment

There are no environmental impacts for the information contained within the report.

•      Social

There are no social impacts for the information contained within the report.

•      Civic Leadership

Council supports the delivery of high quality, sustainable outcomes for Coffs Harbour by monitoring financial performance which assists the decision making process to allocate funding for projects listed under the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan.

•      Economic – Broader Economic Implications

This report assesses the current year’s budget position only.  Any variations approved by Council are subsequently reflected in Council’s Delivery Program and may affect future financial sustainability.

•      Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The year to date surplus, after capital revenue, is projected to be $92.2 million as at 31 July 2020 with the actual year to date surplus being $96.2 million.

Risk Analysis:

There are no risks associated with this report.

Consultation:

Group Leaders and their relevant staff have been provided with budget reports for each cost centre on a monthly basis for review.  Any variations will be provided to Council for adoption through the Quarterly Budget Review process.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Local Government regulations require the Responsible Accounting Officer to submit a quarterly budget review to Council.  There is no obligation to provide monthly financial performance reports but as part of prudent financial management, we have opted to do so.

Implementation Date / Priority:

This report is for noting only and therefore there are no implementation actions.

 

Conclusion:

 

This Monthly Financial Performance Report provides information on the actual to budget results at the financial statement level along with capital expenditure reports for the current financial year.

 

The Responsible Accounting Officer confirms the Monthly Financial Performance Report for the month ended 31 July 2020 indicates the financial position of the Council is satisfactory, having regard to the projected estimates of income and expenditure and the original budgeted income and expenditure.

 

 

 


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BS20/54       Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 August 2020

Author:                         Finance Business Partner

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:               ATT1  BS20/54   Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 August 2020  

 

Executive Summary

This report presents the Monthly Financial Performance Report for the month ended 31 August 2020.  The report provides information on the actual to budget position at the financial statement level and capital expenditure reports for the current financial year.  As at 31 August 2020 the budget year to date surplus is $83.3 million with the actual year to date surplus being $85.5 million.

 

The explanation of year to date variances is contained within the Income Statement commentary under Variance Comments for variances greater than 10%.  There are individual recurrent revenue sources with variances but overall recurrent revenue is on track, similarly for recurrent expenditure.

 

The capital expenditure target for the current financial year is $134.7 million with $6.8 million expended to the end of August.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the Monthly Financial Performance Report for 31 August 2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Monthly Financial Performance Report provides information on Council’s actual to budget performance.  The report provides accrual based information to Council on a monthly basis and designed to identify and explain any major variances between budgeted and actual results.

 

The report includes:

 

Financial Management Summary

·      The net operating surplus at the end of August is $2.3 million ahead of budget expectations.  The total surplus after capital grants is $85.5 million against a budget of $83.3 million.  Operating expenditure to the end of August is $27.6 million against a budget of $27 million.

·      Capital expenses is behind YTD budget expectations with total capital expenditure to the end of August of $6.8 million versus a YTD budget of $7.2 million.  The annual targeted expenditure is $134.7 million for the financial year.

 

Income Statement

·      This is a comprehensive income statement detailing the monthly performance for August 2020.  This statement compares actual to budget on a monthly and year to date basis at the financial statement level.  In terms of monthly percentages, although some percentages may be large in dollar terms, they have a minor impact on financial performance.  There are individual comments for any monthly and YTD variances greater than 10%.

 

Capital Expenditure Summary and Detailed

·      Capital expenditure by cost centre and then at a more detailed level is also provided in the attachment.  There weren’t any variances greater than $200,000 for August.

Issues:

Income Statement commentary as at 31 August 2020 for Year to Date (YTD) variances:

 

Revenue

·      Interest & Investment Revenue: Due to COVID-19 Council resolved not to charge interest and fees for late payment of Council Rates until after December 2020. In addition, there is a slight decline in interest returns on investments as they become due for re-investment.

·      Other Revenue: Revenue for Council venues such as the Jetty Memorial Theatre and Cex Coffs International Stadium are lower than anticipated due to COVID-19 restrictions and cancellation of sporting events.

·      Grants & Contributions – Operating Purposes: There have been additional contributions to waste and water projects than budgeted for.

Expenditure

·    There were not any variances greater than 10% for Expenditure for August YTD.

 

Income Statement commentary as at 31 August 2020 for Monthly variances:

 

Revenue

·      Interest & Investment Revenue: Due to COVID-19 Council resolved not to charge interest and fees for late payment of Council Rates until after December 2020. In addition, there is a slight decline in interest returns on investments as they become due for re-investment.

·      Grants & Contributions – Operating Purposes: There have been additional contributions to waste & water projects than budgeted for.

·      Employee Benefits & Oncosts: The variance is due to five weeks of salaries being paid in the month of August, whereas budgets have been apportioned evenly (monthly) across the year.

·      Capital Grants, Subsidies, Contributions & Donations: The budgets for developer contributions income is split evenly over the year whereas the receipting of developer contributions income is more sporadic in nature.

Expenditure

·      There were not any variances greater than 10% for Expenditure for the month of August.

Options:

An options analysis is not provided as this report is for noting only.

Sustainability Assessment:

•      Environment

There are no environmental impacts for the information contained within the report.

•      Social

There are no social impacts for the information contained within the report.

•      Civic Leadership

Council supports the delivery of high quality, sustainable outcomes for Coffs Harbour by monitoring financial performance which assists the decision making process to allocate funding for projects listed under the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan.

•      Economic – Broader Economic Implications

This report assesses the current year’s budget position only.  Any variations approved by Council are subsequently reflected in Council’s Delivery Program and may affect future financial sustainability.

•      Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The year to date surplus, after capital revenue, is projected to be $83.3 million as at 31 August 2020 with the actual year to date surplus being $85.5 million.

Risk Analysis:

There are no risks associated with this report.

Consultation:

Group Leaders and their relevant staff have been provided with budget reports for each cost centre on a monthly basis for review.  Any variations will be provided to Council for adoption through the Quarterly Budget Review process.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Local Government regulations require the Responsible Accounting Officer to submit a quarterly budget review to Council.  There is no obligation to provide monthly financial performance reports but as part of prudent financial management, we have opted to do so.

Implementation Date / Priority:

This report is for noting only and therefore there are no implementation actions.

 

Conclusion:

 

This Monthly Financial Performance Report provides information on the actual to budget results at the financial statement level along with capital expenditure reports for the current financial year.

 

The Responsible Accounting Officer confirms the Monthly Financial Performance Report for the month ended 31 August 2020 indicates the financial position of the Council is satisfactory, having regard to the projected estimates of income and expenditure and the original budgeted income and expenditure.

 

 

 


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BS20/55       Bank and Investment Balances for August 2020

Author:                         Senior Finance Business Partner

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:               ATT1  BS20/55   Investment Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 August 2020  

 

Executive Summary

Council’s Bank Balances and Investments as at 31 August 2020 totalled $216,605,160.25.  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 Delivery Program and associated Operational Plans.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the bank balances and investments totalling $216,605,160.25 (including from loans, Developer Contributions and other avenues that form the restricted accounts and are committed for future works) as at 31 August 2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

A copy of the state of Bank Balances and Investments as at 31 August 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 August 2020 are available in the Councillors’ Resource Centre.

Issues:

There are no issues associated with this report.

Options:

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

 


 

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

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

•     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 Delivery Program and associated Operational Plans.

•     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 August 2020, it is noted that the total bank and investment balance was $216,605,160.25 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.

 

 

 


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BS20/56       Rent Waivers for Council Tenants Impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions

Author:                         Group Leader Financial Services and Logistics

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:               ATT1  BS20/56   National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles

ATT2  BS20/56   Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020  

 

Executive Summary

Many businesses in the Coffs Harbour City Council area have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated steps that have been taken by governments to slow down infection levels.

 

Council is a landlord for many organisations and businesses throughout the Local Government Area and has already implemented assistance for business and community groups that have been adversely affected.

 

Further assistance is required during these difficult times.  As the situation with regards to COVID-19 is consistently changing it is recommended that for all tenants the assistance will be assessed in line with the Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 adopted by the National Cabinet and the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020.

 

The financial impact of this Council provided assistance, depending on the assessment, could be from a minimum of nil up to approximately $275,000.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.      Request all tenants to provide information to Council to enable an assessment to be made in accordance with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 and the General Manager be delegated authority to determine the level of assistance from the Council as outlined in this Regulation for the period 1 October 2020 – 31 March 2021 (inclusive), noting that a review will occur on a quarterly basis.

2.      Request a further report in March 2021 to allow consideration for a further period of rental waivers and/or deferrals in accordance with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 for impacted tenants.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At its meeting held 9 July 2020, Council resolved:

 

That Council:

1.       Provide a 100% rent waiver for tenants identified as community or sporting organisations in the Attachment 1 – ‘Confidential Rent Assessment Table’ for the period 1 July – 30 September 2020 (inclusive) at a cost of $52,197.78.

2.    Request the commercial and airport tenants identified as impacted in Attachment 1 – ‘Confidential Rent Assessment Table’ provide information to Council to enable an assessment to be made in accordance with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 and the General Manager be delegated authority to determine the level of assistance from the Council as outlined in this Regulation for the period 1 July – 30 September 2020 (inclusive).

3.    Request a further report be presented to allow consideration for a further period of rental waivers and/or deferrals in accordance with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 for impacted tenants in October 2020.

 

This report addresses item 3 contained within the resolution.

 

Council provides licensing and leasing agreements for Council owned or managed 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 continued to receive calls and emails over the past months grateful for the assistance given, and asking for further rental assistance.  A further consideration of waivers or deferrals or a combination of the two in relation to rental fees could provide local, impacted community groups and businesses with assistance in transitioning through this time of hardship.

 

The National Cabinet released the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 (provided at Attachment 2).  This Code was enshrined into New South Wales law by the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020.  The first and second round of rental waivers provided by the Council exceeded the conditions in the Principles, which was considered reasonable under the circumstances.  For a further round of rental waivers or deferrals it is considered prudent for the Council to undertake a further assessment of individual circumstances rather than the blanket approach taken previously.

 

The recommendation is for a period of 6 months with an assessment each three months to ensure assistance is given to those organisations within our community who are tenants of Council property who are most in need and have been and continue to be detrimentally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issues:

Rent Waivers and/or Deferrals

 

The situation with COVID-19 is consistently changing and some not for profit groups within the community have seen revenue increase during this time and for this reason it is considered reasonable that the Council should undertake an assessment of all tenants who seek a rent waiver or deferral in line with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020.

 

Further, based on the Principles, correspondence would be sent to all tenants requesting information on the degree of impact the tenant has experienced and continues to experience due to COVID-19.  Once this information is received, consideration will be made for each individual tenant based upon the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 which incorporates the National Cabinet Mandatory Code, and in particular, the following:

 

3.   Landlords must offer tenants proportionate reductions in rent payable in the form of waivers and deferrals (as outlined under “definitions,” below) of up to 100% of the amount ordinarily payable, on a case-by-case basis, based on the reduction in the tenant’s trade during the COVID-19 pandemic period and a subsequent reasonable recovery period.

 

4.    Rental waivers must constitute no less than 50% of the total reduction in rent payable under principle #3 above over the COVID-19 pandemic period and should constitute a greater proportion of the total reduction in rent payable in cases where failure to do so would compromise the tenant’s capacity to fulfil their ongoing obligations under the lease agreement. Regard must also be had to the Landlord’s financial ability to provide such additional waivers. Tenants may waive the requirement for a 50% minimum waiver by agreement.

 

5.    Payment of rental deferrals by the tenant must be amortised over the balance of the lease term and for a period of no less than 24 months, whichever is the greater, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.”

Options:

The following options are available for Council’s consideration:

 

1.    Adopt the recommendation.

2.    Provide a 100% rent waiver for tenants previously identified as community or sporting organisations at a cost of approx. $52,000 for the first three months and request the commercial and airport tenants to provide information to Council to enable an assessment to be made in accordance with the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020.

3.    Reject the recommendation and rely only on the currently approved assistance to the community by Council and therefore provide no further rent assistance.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no 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 necessary to lead the community through the crisis and 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 effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As the level of government closest to the community, Council is being charged with providing leadership to our community in a time of need.

 

Council has the ability to demonstrate this leadership by assisting through various measures, some of which were included in the resolutions of 26 March, 23 April, 11 June and 9 July 2020 and further through the recommendation provided in this report. Council’s rent waivers will also be incorporated into Council’s broader COVID-19 recovery planning.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

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

 

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

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The implications faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will have a detrimental impact on the Delivery Program and Operational Plan for the 2020/21 financial year.  The financial impact on the Council’s 2020/21 budget of the recommendation from this report is estimated from nil up to a total of approximately $275,000.

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 owned and managed properties may not be able to continue trading during or at the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This would not only be detrimental to those businesses but also to Council with a higher level of vacancy of rental properties into the future.

Consultation:

-      Other Local Government property teams within NSW

-      Local Government authorities across Australia

-      Relevant internal Council staff

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

-      National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 (Attachment 2)

-      Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 NSW (Attachment 3)

Implementation Date / Priority:

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

Conclusion:

This report provides for a further measure of financial relief as requested in Council’s resolution from the 9 July 2020 meeting for Council’s consideration relating to rental abatements, with a further review of economic conditions at the end of December 2020 and March 2021, with a view to considering extending rental assistance as per the Mandatory Code of Conduct SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19 should it be deemed necessary at that time.

 


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BS20/57       Sale of Property, Lot 101 DP1041655, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Author:                         Team Leader Property Development

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:               ATT1  BS20/57   Location Plan of 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

ATT2  BS20/57   CONFIDENTIAL Valuation Report 215A Harbour Drive Coffs Harbour

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 resolved on 14 May 2020 and again on 13 August 2020 to sell the property at 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, currently used for the Coffs Harbour Museum. The sale is part of the funding model for the proposed Cultural and Civic Space Project in Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

The property has been held by Council since October 2010 when it was purchased and the property has since operated as a museum. The property is known as Lot 101 DP 1041655 and has a site area of some 1,731 square metres. The lettable area of the main building is approximately 251 square metres. The property is listed as an item of significant Local Heritage under the provisions of Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

 

Council has received an offer of $950,000 excluding GST for the purchase of the property which is within 5% of a recent independent valuation that was commissioned by Council. The offered price is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions. It is recommended that Council accept the offer.

 

Coffs Harbour Council as part of the sale will continue to occupy the property and will enter into a 3 year lease with 3 x 1 year options for continuing tenure initially at a rental of $60,500 per annum net.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.      Approve the sale of Lot 101 DP1041655, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour at the agreed price of $950,000 exclusive of GST.

2.      Note that each party will pay their own conveyancing costs in relation to the matter.

3.      Execute all documents necessary to facilitate the sale and under the common  seal of Council if required.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council resolved on 14 May 2020 to sell the property known as the Coffs Harbour Museum at 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour. The resolution was as follows:

 

That Council:

 

1.       Decline to accept the amounts tendered via the expression of Interest process for the sale of Council properties that concluded on 9 April 2020, being a. Property (a) Administration Building, 2 Castle St, Coffs Harbour (Lot 2 DP 566885, Lot 1 DP 566855, Lot 8 Sec 6 DP 758258), b. Property (b) Rigby House, 27-29 Duke Street Coffs Harbour (Lot 110 Sec DP 777398), c. Property (c) Museum, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour (Lot 101 Sec DP 1041655)

 

2.       Place a temporary pause on the inclusion of Property (a) Administration Building and Property (b) Rigby House from any Expression of Interest for sale process.

 

3.       Authorise the General Manager to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers via the commercial real estate agent engaged by Council under the current agency agreement with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value for Property (c) above (Museum Building) and Property (d) 169-171 Rose Ave, Coffs Harbour (Lot 100 Sec DP 861850)

 

4.       Note that a report will be brought back to Council in regard to property sale negotiations.

 

5.       Request a report detailing alternative funding options for the Cultural and Civic Space Project for the funding component relating to property asset sales.

 

6.       Receive a report detailing the financial implications of the removal of the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space, (other than Library, Gallery and Museum staff) and exploring opportunities for alternative uses for the space including community and/or commercial uses.

 

Council further resolved on 13 August 2020 as follows:

 

That Council:

1.       Authorise the General Manager to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers via the commercial real estate agent engaged by Council under the current agency agreement with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value for Property (c) above (Museum Building) and Property (d) 169-171 Rose Ave, Coffs Harbour (Lot 100 Sec DP 861850)

 

2.       Note that a report will be brought back to Council in regard to property sale negotiations.

 

In line with point 3 of the Council resolution of 14 May 2020 and point 1 of the Council resolution of 13 August 2020, negotiations have continued via the commercial real estate agents engaged by Council. These continuing negotiations have led to the current offer of $950,000 excluding GST being received that is the subject of this report for Councils consideration. This report is referred back to Council in line with point 4 of Council’s 14 May 2020 resolution and point 2 of Council’s resolution of 13 August 2020.

 

The sale of this property is part of the funding model for the Cultural and Civic Space Project in Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

The property at 215A Harbour Drive has been held by Council since October 2010 when it was purchased and has since been operated as a museum. The property is known as Lot 101 DP 1041655 and has a site area of some 1,731 square metres. The lettable area of the building is approximately 251 square metres and it is located on the corner of Harbour Drive and North Street a short distance to the east of the Coffs Harbour CBD. Attachment 1 to this report shows the location of the property.

 

The property is listed as an item of Significant Local Heritage under the provisions of Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

Issues:

In relation to the sale of the property the main issue to resolve is the decision to proceed with the sale. The offer made for the purchase of the property is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions being within 5% of the current independent valuation recently obtained by Council and dated 9 June 2020 (Confidential Attachment 2). There has been no change of value since the independent valuation undertaken in 2018 which has previously been provided to Council.

Options:

Council has the following options available to it:

 

1.    Accept the offer and proceed with the sale and disposal of the asset.

2.    Reject the offer and continue negotiations to try and seek a higher offer.

3.    Reject the sale of the property and maintain it as a Council asset and consider alternative funding options for the Civic and Cultural Space project.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The property comprises an existing building and associated facilities. There is no further development proposed as a result of this report. The transfer will have no environmental impacts as this is a change of ownership only.

•     Social

The sale of the asset will mean a loss of control and ownership by the community and Council of a prominent and historical building that has significant links to Coffs Harbour’s past. However, the sale will also assist in funding a much needed upgrade to the cultural facilities, including the Museum, for a growing City.

•     Civic Leadership

The sale of the property is proposed because it will assist with the funding of the new Cultural and Civic Space building in Gordon Street which will promote and extend Council facilities and services to the community.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There will be minimal impact as a result of the transfer.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no major Delivery Program / Operational Plan implications from maintaining Council’s current position on the funding model for the sale of this property. The sale proceeds and rentals have been included in Council’s updated Long Term Financial Plan for the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

Risk Analysis:

The risk in relation to this matter is considered low to medium. The purchaser could change their mind at any point prior to exchange of contracts and if this occurred the sale would not proceed.

Consultation:

All internal stakeholders have been consulted and no issues have been raised that would suggest the sale could not proceed.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Section 377(1) (H) of the Local Government Act 1993 requires the formal approval of Council in regard to the sale or exchange or surrender of land.

 

The land to be transferred is classified as Operational Land.  Operational Land can be disposed of by Council via sale or transfer and is not bound by the restrictions imposed by Section 45 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Implementation Date / Priority:

This matter will be actioned immediately upon a resolution of Council.

Conclusion:

This report is brought back to Council as required by previous Council resolutions for further consideration of the highest offer that has been received for the property at 251A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour. The offer is a result of further negotiations conducted by Burgess Rawson who are the commercial property real estate agents engaged by Council to sell the property. The price offered of $950,000 excluding GST is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current property market conditions. The offer is also within a reasonable margin of the value assessed by property group Savills Pty Ltd who provided a recent independent valuation of the property on Council’s behalf.

 


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NOM20/15    Scope of Work and Associated Costings for Place Manual for Park Beach

Attachments:          Nil

 

Motion:

Councillor Amos has given notice of his intention to move the following:

"That Council staff prepare a report on a scope of work and associated costings for a place manual for Park Beach consistent with Action 3.3 of Council's Local Strategic Planning Statement."

 

Rationale:

“A place plan going forward is necessary for the Park Beach area. This broader area was recently added to the Park Beach Developer Contributions Plan. Of particular interest, being so central to facilities and the beach, the West Park Beach precinct has enormous potential to be an activated and desirable part of Coffs Harbour.

At the moment this precinct presents with many social problems. Zoning, development parameters and place planning tools, if applied well, may invigorate and transform this area of great social potential.”

Staff Comment:

A report can be prepared.

  


SC20/55       Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 - Employment Lands - Post Exhibition - and Chapter 9 - Resources

Author:                         Team Leader Planning & Urban Design

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      B.1 A thriving and sustainable local economy

Attachments:               ATT1  SC20/55   Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands and Chapter 9 Resources

ATT2  SC20/55   Updated Infill Map for North Boambee Valley West - Replacement Page 61 of Coffs Harbour LGMS - Chapter 4 - Compact City Program

ATT3  SC20/55   Updated Infill Map for Woolgoolga South West - Replacement Page 68 of Coffs Harbour LGMS - Chapter 4 - Compact City Program

ATT4  SC20/55   Government Agency Submission

ATT5  SC20/55   CONFIDENTIAL Public 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.

ATT6  SC20/55   Submissions Summary  

 

Executive Summary

Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 26 March 2020, resolved to endorse the draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands and the Coffs Harbour Employment Lands Background Report for public exhibition. This chapter (and associated background report) provides a strategic approach to the sustainable delivery of employment land within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA) over the next twenty years.

The purpose of this report is to seek endorsement of the final Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands (Attachment 1), which has been amended in response to the feedback received during agency and public consultation undertaken on the draft chapter and background report; and to seek its endorsement from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). Endorsement of this chapter by DPIE is necessary before Council can use the document to inform planning proposals and strategic directions of Council. Chapter 9 – Resources has also been updated and included in Attachment 1.

Completion of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands has also resulted in the need to update two maps in Chapter 4 Compact City Program, which will also need to be endorsed by NSW DPIE.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.     Adopt the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands and Chapter 9 Resources (Attachment 1).

2.     Adopt the updated Infill Map for North Boambee Valley West within Chapter 4 – Compact City Program of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy to delete the Investigation Area – Employment Lands (Attachment 2).

3.     Adopt the updated Growth Map for Woolgoolga South West within Chapter 4 – Compact City Program of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy to include a small area to the south as an Investigation Area – Employment Lands (Attachment 3).

4.     Seek endorsement from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 8 Employment Lands (Attachment 1); and for the two updated maps within Chapter 4 Compact City Program (Attachments 2 and 3).

5.     Request, that consistent with the advice from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the North Boambee Valley West Investigation Area – Employment Lands is deleted from the North Coast Regional Plan 2036.

6.     Notify Council’s decision to those who made a submission to the draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 8 Employment Lands and the Coffs Harbour Employment Lands Background Report.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 26 March 2020, resolved to:

1.           Endorse for public exhibition draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands (Attachment 1) and Coffs Harbour Employment Lands Background Report (Attachment 2) for a minimum period of 28 days.

2.           Note that a further report will be brought back to Council to present the outcomes of the public exhibition process, and for consideration of a final Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands.

In accordance with item 1 of that resolution, draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – Chapter 8 Employment Lands (‘Chapter 8 Employment Lands’) and the Coffs Harbour Employment Lands Background Report were placed on public exhibition from 1 April 2020 to 17 June 2020.

The purpose of this report is to seek endorsement of the final Chapter 8 Employment Lands (Attachment 1), which has been amended in response to the feedback received during agency and public consultation undertaken on the draft chapter and background report; and to seek its endorsement from the NSW DPIE. Completion of Chapter 8 Employment Lands has also resulted in the need to update two maps in Chapter 4 Compact City Program, which will also need to be endorsed by DPIE. Chapter 9 – Resources has also been updated and finalised now that all the draft chapters of the Local Growth Management Strategy are completed (Attachment 1).

Issues:

At the conclusion of the public exhibition period, four Government agency submissions (Attachment 4) and nine public submissions (Attachment 5) were received (including one late submission outside the exhibition period and one submission which was made to Chapters 1 to 4 of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy that was noted at the time to be considered as part of Chapter 8 Employment Lands).

Government Agency Submissions

Agency submissions were made by Transport for NSW (TfNSW), NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Local and Regional Planning), NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Biodiversity and Conservation Division), and NSW Department of Primary Industries – Agriculture. None of the Government agency submissions are opposed to the strategic intent of Chapter 8 Employment Lands. Agency submissions made to Chapter 8 Employment Lands include a number of recommendations for Council to consider in finalising the chapter. These recommendations include the need to:

-     Consider how Transport for NSW owned land in the Coffs Harbour LGA could support the placemaking outcomes, enhance transport outcomes and contribute to the employment opportunities identified.

-     Identify and map strategic local and regional freight corridors along with industrial areas, employment land and freight generators.

-     Include an action to protect transport corridors and employment land from encroachment by sensitive land uses.

-     Consider an action regarding working with TfNSW to consider the need and location of additional heavy vehicle rest areas along major freight corridors.

-     Take into account existing and future freight movement where investigating new land uses (or intensification of existing land uses) near freight corridors.

-     Work with TfNSW to devise suitable bus routes through and within new release areas in the development planning and design stage.

-     Ensure consistency with the North Coast Regional Plan 2036, relevant State Environmental Planning Policies and Section 9.1 Ministerial Directions.

-     Clarify the retail floor space and capacity analysis in relation to the city centre.

-     Clarify that the consideration of opportunities for additional employment land near the Pacific Highway Bypass will be undertaken in consultation with TfNSW.

-     Clarify the future land use zone for the existing Zone B1 Neighbourhood Centre on Korora Basin Road.

-     Correct various mapping inconsistencies, errors with figures and references to outdated matters.

-     Identify the South Bonville West Investigation Area – Employment Land as a ‘potential’ investigation area due to the long land release timeframes.

-     Consider the retention of Clause 7.15 and 7.16 of Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013 and adapting these clauses to facilitate mixed-use development in conjunction with live/work arrangements.

-     Include a requirement for site surveys and environmental studies of all proposed future investigation areas, particularly in relation to the identification of high environmental value land and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

-     Remove the North Boambee Valley West Investigation Area – Employment Land due to the range and significance of environmental constraints and flood hazard on the land.

-     Retain the Woolgoolga South West Investigation Area – Employment Land for further investigation as employment land subject to confirmation of high environmental value land, a detailed flood study and consultation with NSW Department of Primary Industries – Agriculture.

-     Consider applying Zone E2 Environmental Conservation to undeveloped high environmental value land within existing Zone IN1 General Industrial to the north of the Airport Enterprise Park.

-     Remove investigation area 4 ‘Korora / Sapphire’ as it is within an area that has been retained for open space with creek lines and detention basins.

-     Consult with the NSW Department of Primary Industries – Agriculture when investigating the introduction of Zone RU5 Village at Coramba, Lowanna, Nana Glen and Ulong.

The issues raised by Government agency submissions have been taken into consideration in finalising Chapter 8 Employment Lands. A detailed discussion on each issue and how it has been considered in the final chapter is provided within Attachment 6 to this report.

Public Submissions

Public submissions made to Chapter 8 Employment Lands include a number of issues and recommendations for Council to consider in finalising the chapter. These include the need to:

-     Consider changing proposed future residential land around Boambee and Bonville to employment land to ensure that the Coffs Harbour LGA has sufficient available flat land with full services for employment purposes.

-     Retain the North Boambee Valley West Investigation Area – Employment Lands as a higher land release priority and include this land within Council’s planning program or alternatively seek endorsement from NSW DPIE to enable proponent funded and initiated planning proposals.

-     Investigate the addition of a small area of land to the Woolgoolga South West Investigation Area – Employment Land between the new and old highway corridors for employment precinct and investigate the northern part of this investigation area for residential purposes.

-     Ensure that motel accommodation and accommodation for flying school students are permitted within Zone B5 Business Development within the Airport Enterprise Park as ancillary uses to the airport operation.

-     Rezone the land within Zone B6 Enterprise Corridor south of the city centre to B4 Mixed Use to offer opportunities such as office uses (greater than 600m2 and specialised retail premises).

-     Consider impacts on existing employment land from proposed employment land in relation to traffic generation and ease of access to major transport routes to prevent haulage delays, which can result in significant economic and productivity costs over time.

-     Consider economic implications associated with a change from Zone IN1 General Industrial to IN2 Light Industrial.

-     Rezone parts of the Coffs Harbour City Centre to Zone B4 Mixed Use to drive residential development alongside commercial interests and work with state government agencies to develop public housing choices in the Coffs Harbour City Centre.

-     Include sustainability and ecological values within Chapter 8 Employment Lands so that developers and investors are clear on Council’s values and to ensure that new employment land is developed with natural features and connectivity between existing urban bushland.

-     Identify opportunities to support sustainable/alternative farm enterprises; facilitate a transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture and a greater diversity in food production; identify a regional innovation system for Coffs Harbour and support incubation programs for rural start-ups in the agribusiness sector; and identify Coffs Harbour’s strengths in relation to culture and nature based tourism.

The issues raised by public submissions have been taken into consideration in finalising Chapter 8 Employment Lands. A detailed discussion on each issue and how it has been considered in the final chapter is provided within Attachment 6 to this report. Specific issues that relate to transport and residential development will be considered as part of the finalisation of draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy Chapter 7 – Residential Lands and in the development and finalisation of the Coffs Harbour Place and Movement Strategy.

Options:

Council has a number of options available in relation to this matter. They include:

1.      Resolve to adopt the recommendations of this report.

2.      Reject the recommendations provided in this report.

Option 1 is recommended as the suitable course of action.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

In considering the suitability of employment land within Chapter 8 Employment Lands, a number of suitability principles have been taken into consideration, such as flood hazard, important agricultural land and biodiversity. The final chapter has been updated to clarify sustainability and ecological values and a requirement for environmental studies to be undertake for all investigation areas, particularly in relation to the identification of high environmental value land and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. This reflects Council’s long term strategic vision for the Coffs Harbour LGA as endorsed in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan to “ensure that land use planning and development protects the value and benefits provided by the natural environment”.

•     Social

Chapter 8 Employment Lands seeks to address social impacts associated with delivering employment land by aligning employment centres and business precincts with residential growth, in order to meet jobs and service needs of the growing population. The recommended actions contained within the chapter reflect Council’s long term strategic vision for Coffs Harbour LGA in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan “to undertake development that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible”.

•     Civic Leadership

Chapter 8 Employment Lands demonstrates civic leadership by addressing the following objectives in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan: B1.1 (We champion business, events, innovation and technology to stimulate economic growth, investment and local jobs); B1.2 (We attract people to work, live and visit in the Coffs Harbour LGA); and C1.2 (We undertake development that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible).

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Chapter 8 Employment Lands includes a number of actions that seek to facilitate and act on priorities set by the North Coast Regional Plan 2036. These actions relate to managing and supporting economic growth in the Coffs Harbour LGA as a major regional centre, increasing and strengthening strategic transport links with surrounding communities, delivering job opportunities that align with a growing population and maximising opportunities associated with the Pacific Highway connectivity, digital technology and employment anchors.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Chapter 8 Employment Lands identifies some changes to local planning controls to more proactively encourage employment land development across the Coffs Harbour LGA. Some actions contained within the chapter are not funded, therefore, implementation of these actions will be subject to funding through either Council’s Delivery Program, grant applications or other initiatives. Section 8.13 of Chapter 8 Employment Lands (Attachment 1) identifies the implications to Council of resourcing the policy recommendations associated with adoption of the final Chapter.

Risk Analysis:

Chapter 8 – Employment Lands was placed on public exhibition for an extended period, prior to its finalisation. All of the issues raised by submissions made during the exhibition period have been taken into consideration in finalising the chapter, thereby reducing Council’s risk.

Consultation:

Extensive community consultation was undertaken on draft Chapter 8 Employment Lands. The draft chapter was placed on an extended public exhibition from 1 April 2020 to 17 June 2020 on Council’s Have Your Say website. The public exhibition period was advertised in local media and promoted on Council social media channels. During the development of the draft chapter a number of project stakeholders were involved in the process. These stakeholders were advised by email of the public exhibition process. A webinar information session was also facilitated by Council with the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce on 10 July 2020.

The consultation inputs are as follows:

Project Stage

Inform

Consult

Involve

Collaborate

Community engagement of Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy – various chapters

x

x

x

 

Consultation with key stakeholders

x

x

x

 

Internal consultation and review by Council staff

x

x

x

Formal exhibition of draft Chapter 8

x

x

Finalisation of Chapter 8

x

x

 

 

Post Adoption Notification

x

 

 

 

Placescore

In early 2019, Council undertook extensive community consultation using the Place Score placemaking tool to understand community priorities and values. Place Score results identified that the second most important community strength for the LGA are locally owned and operated businesses. However, the quality and condition of public spaces, including access, safety, walking, cycling and public transport were identified as significant improvement priorities. Actions included within Chapter 8 Employment Lands seek to facilitate improved connectivity between business precincts and public realm improvements, to support local businesses within the Coffs Harbour LGA.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The objectives of Chapter 8 Employment Lands are to assist in the delivery of the vision, aims and objectives of the North Coast Regional Plan 2036 and Council’s MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan. The chapter is required to be endorsed by NSW DPIE and will inform the preparation of future amendments to Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 and Coffs Harbour Development Control Plan 2015.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Should Council resolve to adopt the final Chapter 8 Employment Lands, endorsement from NSW DPIE will be sought. Timeframes associated with this process are subject to the Department’s internal processes.

Conclusion:

The purpose of this report is to seek endorsement of the final Chapter 8 Employment Lands of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy (Attachment 1), which has been amended in response to feedback received during agency and public consultation undertaken on the draft chapter and background report; and to seek its endorsement from NSW DPIE. Adoption of Chapter 8 Employment Lands will provide a strategic approach to the sustainable delivery of employment land within the Coffs Harbour LGA over the next twenty years. Endorsement of this chapter by DPIE is necessary before Council can use the document to inform planning proposals and strategic directions of Council. Attachment 1 also contains Chapter 9 – Resources, which has been updated and finalised now that drafts of all chapters of the strategy are completed.

Completion of Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy - Chapter 8 Employment Lands has also resulted in the need to update two maps in Chapter 4 Compact City Program, which will also need to be endorsed by NSW DPIE (Attachments 2 and 3).

 


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SC20/56       Community Organisation Assistance Program - Temporary - COVID-19

Author:                         Community Planner

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

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

Attachments:               ATT1  SC20/56   Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) Guidelines  

 

Executive Summary

The Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) aims to support community organisations to develop projects that will promote and facilitate community connection, digital inclusion and overcome social isolation as part of the COVID-19 recovery plan.

An overview of the proposed grant program and associated guidelines have been developed for Council’s consideration.

 

Recommendation:

That Council endorse the Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) and guidelines as a temporary community grant program to provide financial assistance to eligible local community organisations to assist community members with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At the Council meeting held on 11 June 2020, Council resolved:

That Council include the consideration of $50,000 in the final 2020/21 Operational Plan budget to establish a temporary Community Organisation Assistance Program which is open to community organisations that directly support the health and wellbeing of the community.

The Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) has been included in the 2020/21 Operational Plan budget. 

This report provides an overview of the proposed program and associated guidelines.

Issues:

The Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) aims to support community organisations to develop projects that will promote and facilitate community connection, digital inclusion and overcome social isolation as part of the COVID-19 recovery plan.

The focus areas and guidelines for the temporary grant program have been identified through consultation with community organisations and government agencies within the local government area (LGA).  The focus areas have been validated through feedback received via Council led COVID-19 recovery plan development stakeholder roundtable consultations held in September 2020.

Applications to the Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) funding will be assessed based on the eligibility criteria, demonstrated community need and benefit of the project to the Coffs Harbour LGA community in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as outlined in the guidelines (Attachment 1)

Options:

1.      Adopt the recommendation, thus enabling the deployment of additional funding support in a timely manner.

2.      Amend the recommendation and then adopt, thus enabling the deployment of funding support in a timely manner.

3.      Reject the recommendation and seek further information to enable consideration of other proposals.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

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

•     Social

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some community organisations have experienced a change in the population engaging with their services and the need to change their service delivery models.  Some community members have sought assistance from community organisations often for the first time to navigate income support and service systems; in addition to obtaining practical support such as information, access to computers, advice and financial relief. 

Council has also commenced a database update project to expand the MyCoffsConnect.com online directory and events calendaring system to help community members to find and re-connect with local community services and organisations. 

•     Civic Leadership

The grant program forms a part of Council’s COVID-19 recovery planning to support community organisations and the broader community.  

To complement the grant program, Council has also allocated a revote of $18,857 from the 2019/20 Donations by Council Program.  This program facilitates access to advisory services to community, sporting and not-for-profit organisations in order to respond to impacts such as a loss of volunteers, lower participation rates in sport or community activities and a decline in traditional income sources such as registration fees, canteen income or sponsorship. Community organisations can access four practical workshops, in addition to either two mentoring sessions (one to one) with a business consultant focusing on community based organisations, or access to an online mentoring program.

Council has also provided support to community organisations that lease Council facilities through a six-month rate abatement program.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The recommendations contained in this report will support and facilitate the recovery, sustainability and resilience of local community organisations contributing to the economic continuity, health and wellbeing of our local community.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

As identified in Council Resolution SC 20/127 of 11 June 2020, $50,000 was included in the adopted 2020/21 Operational Plan Budget for a Temporary Community Organisation Assistance Program.

Risk Analysis:

There is a risk that the program may be oversubscribed.  If this occurs, then the assessment criteria will assist the allocation of funding to maximise community benefit across the LGA.

Consultation:

Consultation has occurred with government agencies, community organisations and relevant Council staff in the preparation of this report.  COVID-19 recovery planning stakeholder roundtables were undertaken in September 2020 to inform the COVID-19 recovery plan development and the needs identified from this process align with the grant program.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Donations by Council Policy

Implementation Date / Priority:

Should Council resolve to adopt the recommendation within the report, Council will implement the Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) in accordance with the funding guidelines and timelines.

Conclusion:

The Community Organisation Assistance Grant Program (Connectivity, Cohesion and Capacity Building) funding aims to support organisations to deliver programs to promote social connection, support community resilience and social cohesion as part of Council support to community led COVID-19 recovery initiatives.

 


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SI20/16         Public Submissions and Adoption of Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan

Author:                         Technical Officer - Water Efficiency

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      C.2 A natural environment sustained for the future

Attachments:               ATT1  SI20/16    Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan

ATT2  SI20/16    Clarence Valley Council Summary of WESP Submissions and Responses  

 

Executive Summary

The draft Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan and the draft Regional Water Efficiency Implementation Plan were placed on public exhibition from 24th June to 22nd July, 2020 by both Coffs Harbour City Council and Clarence Valley Council. There were no submissions from Coffs Harbour community. Two submissions were received by Clarence Valley Council from the Clarence Valley community however no amendments to the Water Efficiency Strategic Plan were required. The final Water Efficiency Strategic Plan is presented here for Council’s consideration and it is proposed that Council adopt the Plan.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council adopt the Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan.

 

 

Report

Description of Item:

At its meeting of 11 June 2020 Council resolved to endorse the draft Water Efficiency Strategic Plan 2020 and draft Water Efficiency Implementation Plan 2020 for the purpose of public exhibition for a minimum period of 28 days.

Consequently, public exhibition of the draft Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan (WESP) and the draft Regional Water Efficiency Implementation Plan (WEIP) was undertaken from 24th June to 22nd July 2020 in accordance with Item 1 of the resolution.

No submissions were received from the Coffs Harbour community during the exhibition period. There were two submissions from the Clarence Valley community to Clarence Valley Council. Clarence Valley Council prepared comprehensive responses to the parties who made the submissions, advising no amendments were required to the WESP.

The WESP provides the overall framework for water efficiency across the region and identifies a range of strategies to assist in sustainable operation of the Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS). The WEIP sets out specific actions under each strategy and includes guidance on timeframe, budget and Key Performance Indicators. As the WEIP is the operational document, it may be reviewed and updated on an annual basis by the Water Efficiency Working Group (WEWG), a Clarence Valley Council Committee consisting of representatives from both councils and community members, and so is not adopted by Council resolution.

Issues:

The public exhibition of these draft documents and the invitation for public submissions were advertised in local media and promoted on Council social media channels and in the Customer Service Centre.

No submissions were received from the Coffs Harbour community.

There were two submissions from the Clarence Valley community sent to Clarence Valley Council. The Clarence Valley Council Report states: “Although two submissions were received, no amendments to the WESP were required. The submissions included support for the WESP and WEIP, various queries and a number of concerns regarding issues not relevant to the WESP. Both submissions have been carefully considered and comprehensive responses prepared.” Clarence Valley Council included a summary of submissions and responses for the Report to Clarence Valley Council (Attachment 2).

Options:

In relation to this matter, Council may:

1.   Resolve to adopt the recommendations of this report.

2.   Resolve to undertake an alternative approach.

3.   Resolve not to adopt the recommendations of this report.

Option 1 is the recommended course of action.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

Water to supply Coffs Harbour LGA is sourced from the Orara River at Karangi, and additionally through the RWSS from the Nymboida River at Nymboida. Clarence Valley LGA also rely on water sourced from Nymboida River through the RWSS for their water supply, so successful implementation of the WESP will help to manage extraction pressures on both of these local river catchments.

 

Maximising water efficiency across the region will also increase the useful life of the Karangi Dam and Shannon Creek Dam storages and other water supply infrastructure and delay the expense and environmental impact of further augmentation works. These outcomes reflect Council’s long term strategic vision for Coffs Harbour in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan that our community values “a natural environment sustained for the future (C2)”.

•     Social

A water efficient community provides better protection for itself against water shortages and the related impacts on business and lifestyle which come with water scarcity, such as water restrictions. The WESP will help to deliver Council’s vision for Coffs Harbour in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan that in our community “resource consumption is reduced and waste minimised (C2.2)”.

•     Civic Leadership

Periodic update of the WESP and WEIP with feedback from the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley communities reinforces our commitment to sustainable use and management of water resources in our region. This is consistent with Council’s long term strategic vision for Coffs Harbour stated in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan that “water use and water cycle management is sustainable and meets current and future demand (C2.2)”.

 

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Successful implementation of water efficiency strategies in the region will delay the requirement for expensive capital costs to augment existing water supply and sewerage treatment infrastructure to meet future demand. Operating costs for current water and sewer systems are also minimised, thereby keeping water and sewer rates and bills low for current customers. Lastly, successful water efficient strategies help to deliver a safe and secure water supply, which may be a consideration for potential new residents and businesses looking to settle and contribute to a new community.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

A water efficiency program has been an annually budgeted item for Council since the first version of the WESP in 1998. Costs for continued delivery of water efficiency programs will be covered by similar ongoing budget allocations from Water Fund.

Risk Analysis:

The WESP addresses and mitigates several enterprise risks including:

 

1.   Compliance with the Shannon Creek Dam Licence conditions;

2.   Financial risk of early augmentation of water and sewer infrastucture;

3.   Environmental risk of impacts of large water extractions from river water sources and/or construction for infrastructure augmentation

4.   Social risk of impacts on business and community lifestyle associated with high level and/or frequest water restrictions, drought pricing or other onerous demand management strategies.

Consultation:

The draft Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan and the draft Regional Water Efficiency Implementation Plan were placed on public exhibition from 24th June to 22nd July 2020 by both Coffs Harbour City Council and Clarence Valley Councils. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, the primary exhibition was conducted through the respective Council’s online community engagement platforms. In addition to Have Your Say, Coffs Harbour City Council residents were also able to view hard copy of the Plans in Council’s Customer Service Centre. Exhibition was advertised in local newspaper and promoted on Council social media channels.

The first WESP adopted in 1998 was developed using extensive community consultation and the review and update process in 2007 and 2013 saw further consultation with community, sustainability consultant and the WEWG. In 2020, in addition to the call for public submissions, the WEWG and water industry consultant, Hydrosphere, have been involved in the consultation process.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

·    Prior versions of WESP have been adopted by Council in 1998, 2007 and 2014

·    Water efficiency is a condition of the operating licence for Shannon Creek Dam

·    NSW Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Framework calls for efficient use of water resources through appropriate urban water conservation and demand management

·    Water conservation is also a primary objective of the National Water Initiative 2004

Implementation Date / Priority:

Implementation of the new WESP to start as soon as practicable in coordination with Clarence Valley Council.

Conclusion:

The Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour Regional Water Efficiency Strategic Plan serves as a framework to ensure water demand in communities across the region continues to be managed efficiently and effectively. The purpose of this report is to seek adoption of the latest update of the WESP.

 

 


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Summary of WESP 2020 Submissions and Responses

Feedback

Response

Support was expressed for the following strategies/actions: overall, online communications, CVC leading by example, water loss management, renewed rebates, water reuse, smart meter investigation, and broadening community representation of the water efficiency working group.

Noted.

Concern over increasing demand resulting from population growth and development

The existing Regional Water Scheme has been designed with capacity to cater for population growth and development, which allowed accommodation of development such as the Clarence Correctional Centre (although the construction of this facility decreases the RWS capacity available for other development). The ultimate population which can be sustainably serviced with water is determined through secure yield modelling.

Various concerns regarding threats to water security (supply) which are not covered in the scope of the WESP: climate change, fire threat, water theft in the catchment, and the threat of mining.

The WESP aims to manage water demand. Factors impacting water supply (i.e. climate change) are assessed as part of secure yield modelling.  A Fire Management Plan outlines how fire threat is managed at Shannon Creek Dam (updated in May 2019) as well as the Water Cycle Standard Operating Procedure for bushfires at SCD. Threats to the catchment including water theft and mining are regulated by relevant state government agencies (i.e. NRAR).

 


SI20/17         Recycled Water - Introduction of Fees and Charges

Author:                         Group Leader Asset Construction and Maintenance

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      B.1 A thriving and sustainable local economy

Attachments:               Nil

 

Recent audits of Council’s Recycled Water customers have highlighted a significant level of non-compliance and the potential for environmental harm from mismanagement by the end users primarily in the intensive plant agriculture sector.

This report seeks to introduce a user pays model for Council’s Recycled Water supply, which will financially incentivise remedial action against the misuse or neglect of Recycled Water by the paying end user. The proposed charge would raise a modest revenue stream to meet or offset Council’s costs associated with the planned introduction of a targeted ‘user compliance’ audit program of increased intensity.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.   Receive and Note the intention to introduce new a Recycled Water Access and Licencing Charge and Recycled Water Consumption Charges effective from 1 January 2021.

2.   Note the intention to increase the Recycled Water Fees and Charges from 1 January 2021 as follows:

-     Recycled Water Consumption Charge increases from 0 cents to 10 cents per Kilolitre, equivalent to 3% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge,

-     Zero Recycled Water Consumption Charge for non-commercial/non-rateable properties up to their allocated amount.

-     Recycled Water Consumption Charge of $1.59 per Kilolitre -  equivalent to 50% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge - for any usage in excess of the allocated Recycled Water Volume for each property.

3.   Note also the intention to increase the Recycled Water Consumption Charge progressively over the following three (3) financial years as follows:

-     For the 21/22FY - Recycled Water Consumption Charge increases to 5% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge,

-     For the 22/23FY - Recycled Water Consumption Charge increases to 7.5% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge,

-     For the 23/24FY - Recycled Water Consumption Charge increases to 10% of the Residential Water Consumption Charge.

4.   Place the intended changes on Public Exhibition for a minimum period of 28 days.

5.   Receive a further report on the matter following the Public Exhibition period.

 

Report

Description of Item:

This report requests that Council consider supporting a staff recommendation for the introduction of a user pays model for Council’s Recycled Water supply including: a Recycled Water Access and Licencing Charge; and a two tiered Recycled Water Consumption Charge. It is further recommended that the new charges be applied to all Recycled Water supplied from 1 January 2021.

Issues:

Council currently treats sewerage and produces recycled water at three facilities: Coffs Harbour Water Reclamation Plant, Moonee Water Reclamation Plant and Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant. The recycled water is pumped via a network of pipelines to customers for use in both municipal and agricultural applications.

 

Demand for recycled water has steadily increased since Council began the supply in the late 1990s and now totals 59 customers comprising; 34 agricultural customers, 15 non-agricultural customers and 10 Council facilities.

 

Demand fluctuates heavily depending on climatic conditions such as temperature and rainfall, however, during hot and dry periods the demand from the two northern Water Reclamations Plants can often exceed the production capacity of approximately 3,200,000L per day.

 

In early 2020, staff conducted an extensive audit program which revealed a significant level of non-compliance by existing Recycled Water users. None of the 34 existing agricultural customers was fully compliant with the conditions of their Recycled Water Supply Agreements. The levels of compliance amongst the 25 non-agricultural sector users was significantly better.

 

Typical non-compliances included;

·    Users exceeding allocation, or usage not being measured/recorded;

·    Lack of onsite storage or controls to prevent recycled water entering the rivers/creeks;

·    Lack of WHS controls including; appropriate signage, staff training and inductions, cross contamination prevention and record keeping.

 

The large number of non-compliances identified during the audit program indicates a broad disregard for the conditions of the supply agreements, a lack of awareness of potential environmental harm associated with water mismanagement and overuse, and a general undervaluation of the Recycled Water as an economically valuable community resource.

 

At the more severe end of the audit findings, some occurrences were identified where users had allowed leaks to continue unabated and without repair, or valves were allowed to remain open which resulted in large quantities of Recycled Water being allowed to enter the natural environment. In such instances, the lack of a Recycled Water Consumption Charge meant that there was no financial incentive for the end user to correct or limit the issue. In fact, a financial dis-incentive existed whereby a user to would incur cost to rectify the leak whereas no cost would be incurred if the water loss was allowed to continue.

 

Councillors would be aware that studies recently completed by the Southern Cross University have identified that sub-catchments of Double Crossing Creek contained nitrate levels significantly higher than the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. Isotopic analysis indicates that a proportion of this nitrate load could be originating from Recycled Water. This finding, if sustained, consequentially establishes a direct link between the mismanagement and/or neglect by end users of Recycled Water and the negative impacts on the downstream aquatic environment – (a full copy of the SCU report is available in Councillors’ Diligent file).

 

This report therefore seeks to introduce a user pays model for Council’s Recycled Water supply with a view to:

·    increasing the perceived value of the recycled water resource amongst end users,

·    creating a financial disincentive to misuse or neglect of supplied Recycled Water 

·    generating a modest revenue stream which will offset costs associated with an audit and compliance program of increased tempo.

Options:

Three options are presented for Council consideration:

 

1.   Do nothing. This course of action would maintain the existing zero charge model for the supply of Recycled Water to all customers.

2.   Preferred Option - Introduce Charges Over Time. A gradual introduction of charges which progressively increase over the next 4 years as follows:

·    Recycled Water Access and Licencing Charge of 3x the potable Residential Water Access Charge ($447 for 20/21FY) waived for all customers in 20/21FY.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge of 10 cents per kilolitre (kL) (~3% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge) up to the allocated amount for the remainder of the 20/21FY post 1 January 21.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge to 5% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge up to the allocated amount in 21/22FY.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge to 7.5% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge up to the allocated amount in 22/23FY.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge to 10% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge up to the allocated amount in 23/24FY and beyond.

·    Zero Recycled Water Consumption Charge for non-commercial/non-rateable properties up to their allocated amount.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge of 50% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge for usage over the allocated amount. ($1.59/kL for the remainder of the 20/21FY).

3.   Expedite the Introduction of Charges. Immediately Introduce the following charges:

·    Recycled Water Access and Licencing Charge of 3x potable Residential Water Access Charge ($447 for 20/21FY) waived for all customers in 20/21FY.

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge of 10% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge for usage up to the allocated amount in 20/21 and beyond. ($0.318/kL for the remainder of the 20/21FY)

·    Recycled Water Consumption Charge of 50% of the potable Residential Water Consumption Charge for usage over the allocated amount. ($1.59/kL for the remainder of the 20/21FY).

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The introduction of a user pays model is expected to create an effective behavioural change mechanism to disincentivise misuse and/or neglect of Council supplied Recycled Water.

 

Coupled with an increased audit and compliance program which is funded via the future charge it is anticipated that a net reduction of Recycled Water entering the environment will result.

•     Social

There are no significant social impacts subsequent to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Coffs Harbour City Council is responsible for the setting of charges for water supply and sewerage services. Council may make a charge according to the actual use of the service, and may levy the charge on land being provided the service, where the charge is limited to recovering the cost of providing the service.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

For the 2020/21FY, Recycled Water has been allocated to agricultural customers at a rate of approximately 0.85ML per Ha per Month. The median sized agriculture customer is irrigating approximately 2.2Ha and receiving a Recycled Water allocation of 1.9ML per Month.

 

Should the recommended Charges be introduced, a customer who does not exceed their allocation will incur a Recycled Consumption Charge of $85 per Ha per Month. This implies the median agriculture customer with 2.2 hectares of land will incur a Recycled Consumption Charge of $190 per Month.

 

The introduction of these Charges has the capacity to detrimentally affect the business of several local agriculture producers. However, when compared to the alternative water supply cost, which may include Water Abstraction Licencing, rainfall harvesting, onsite storage and operation of river extraction infrastructure, the Recycled Water supply scheme still represents a significant value proposition for agricultural producers.

 

Despite the additional operating costs, it is anticipated that the majority of existing customers will continue to receive a net benefit from Recycled Water. For those who wish to cease their use of Recycled Water, there is no penalty or cost associated with disconnection.

 

The very high level of supply security which is associated with Recycled Water, independent of climatic conditions, provides assured operational continuity for agriculture producers. Recent drought experience has emphasized how exposed many agricultural producers are to water shortages. Whilst many competing agricultural businesses were forced to contract their operations, or abandon crops, those supplied with Recycled Water were able to continue with negligible impact.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Low impact or economic implications to the overall Sewer operational budget.

 

Income received from the new Charges will assist Council to offset costs associated with an increased audit program. As the charges gradually increase over the next 4 years, the income will progressively contribute more towards the ongoing operating cost of the scheme.

Risk Analysis:

1.      Compliance with Local Government Act regarding the amendment of fees and charges. This risk has been mitigated by compliance with the Act via a public exhibition period.

 

2.      Financial disruption of existing water user operations. This risk is mitigated by adoption a low introductory fee which increases moderately in future years.

Consultation:

The proposed charges will be placed on Public Exhibition for a minimum period of 28 days, following which, staff will prepare a further report on the matter for Council consideration.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Coffs Harbour City Council is responsible for the setting of charges for water supply and sewerage services. Council may make a charge according to the actual use of the service, and may levy the charge on land being provided the service, where the charge is limited to recovering the cost of providing the service

Implementation Date / Priority:

The new changes would be payable for all metered usage from 1 January 2021.

Conclusion:

Adopting the recommendation as written will ensure the intended changes will be applied moving forward.

 

 


SI20/18         Waste Services - Fees and Charges Correction

Author:                         Team Leader Waste Services

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      C.2 A natural environment sustained for the future

Attachments:               Nil

 

Executive Summary

At its meeting on 13 August 2020 Council resolved to place on exhibition a recommended change to an existing published Charge within the 2020/21 Fees and Charges. This report returns the issue post-exhibition for Council’s final consideration.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.   Amend the Charge for Waste Services – being “Commercial / Industrial Mixed Waste Class M1 – Sorted <3 Contamination” to $251.00 per tonne (inclusive GST and any Waste Levy).

 

2.   Note the change will become effective for relevant waste which is received from the commencement of opening hours at the Englands Road Waste Facility on Monday 12 October 2020.

 

Report

Description of Item:

This report requests that Council consider supporting the recommendation to change an existing established Charge for the disposal of a certain class of Waste.

Issues:

The Charge, known as “Commercial / Industrial Mixed Waste Class M1 – Sorted <3% Contamination”, is paid by commercial operators as they deliver compliant commercial waste into the processing facility at Englands Road. The charge was reported to, and hence adopted by, Council at $291.00 per tonne, however, the rate recommended by Waste Services is $251.00 per tonne.

 

Council previously considered this issue in Report SI20/14 at its meeting on 13 August 2020 and resolved to publicly exhibit the intention to reduce the Charge and to receive submissions from the community.

 

The issue was publicly exhibited for the required 28 days and no written submissions were received.

 

Consequently this report recommends that the reduction in the Charge proceeds. Should Council resolve the issue in that way, the new reduced Charge will apply from Monday 12 October 2020.

Options:

The two primary options available to Council are:

 

1.   Resolve the recommendation and effectively reduce the current charge of $291.00 per tonne to $251.00 per tonne, from the 12 October 2020 onwards.

2.   In the alternative, resolve to maintain the existing charge at $291.00 per tonne.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts from the substantive elements of this report.

•     Social

There are no social impacts subsequent to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Coffs Harbour City Council is responsible for the setting of Fees and Charges for waste removal, treatment and disposal services and facilities.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The recommended reduction to the charge quantum will reduce costs for several commercial waste operators.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Low impact or economic implications to the overall Waste Services budget.

Risk Analysis:

The major risks that have been identified and evaluated are:

 

1.      Compliance with Local Government Act regarding amendement of fees and charges, and

2.      Council significantly deviating from the current charge quantum.

 

These risks have been mitigated by compliance with the Act via the public exhibition period, and by seeking a reasonable charge quantum – which is the subject of this report.

Consultation:

The proposed fee was placed on public exhibition and residents were directed to make a submission. No submissions were received during the consultation period.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Council has authority for setting (and amending) of Fees and Charges for waste removal, treatment and disposal services and facilities.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The revised fee would be payable from the start of business on the Monday following the Council meeting. No refunds/adjustments are recommended.

Conclusion:

Adopting the recommendation as written will ensure the intended fee will be charged from Monday 12 October 2020 and will be next reviewed in the normal course of events during Council’s Fees and Charges considerations during the second quarter of 2021.