Coffs Harbour City Council

30 June 2021

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

 

The above meeting will be held in the Council Administration Building

Cnr Coff and Castle Streets, Coffs Harbour on:

 

Thursday, 8 July 2021

 

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

GM21/10         Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.................... 3

GM21/11         Council Committees - Appointment of Members................................... 10

GM21/12         Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy..... 12

Directorate Reports - Business Services

BS21/34          Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 May 2021............................................................................................................................ 18

BS21/35          Granting of Voluntary Pension Rebates for 2021/22......................... 33

BS21/36          Draft Plan of Management - North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.................................................................................................................................... 36

BS21/37          Sale of Council Property at 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour 132

BS21/38          Sale of Council Property at 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour... 144

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Communities

SC21/36          2021/2022 Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program............................................................................................................... 149

SC21/37          Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 - Quarterly Update March and June 2021....................................................................................................... 162

SC21/38          Planning Proposal - 116 Braford Drive, Bonville - Pre-Exhibition 209

SC21/39          Proposed Regional Athletics Centre – Stakeholder Workshop Report................................................................................................................... 315

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

SI21/13           Waste Facility - Odour Update................................................................... 391


GM21/10      Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy

Author:                        Governance Coordinator

Authoriser:                  Group Leader Governance

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

Attachments:              ATT1  GM21/10  Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy  

 

Executive Summary

The Local Government Elections will be held on 4 September 2021.  Council will enter the caretaker period from midnight Friday, 6 August 2021.  Council has amended its Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.  This report seeks the adoption of the amended Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.

 

Recommendation:

That Council adopt the amended Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Local Government Elections will be held on 4 September 2021.  In the four weeks preceding the election, Council’s enter a caretaker period starting midnight Friday 6 August 2021.  During this period, the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 (Reg) places restrictions on some of Council’s functions.  In preparation for the caretaker period, Council’s Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy has been reviewed and amended.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure:

 

1.    Council, community and staff are aware of what can and cannot be done during the caretaker period.

2.    Council complies with the caretaker period provisions of the Reg.

3.    Council continues to provide high standards of service to the community.

4.    Council avoids making significant new policies or decisions that could unreasonably bind a future Council.

5.    Public resources, including staff resources, are not used in election campaigning or in a way that may improperly influence the result of an election, or improperly advantage existing Councillors as candidates in the election.

 

There have been no significant changes to this policy, except that the election dates were updated and the policy was formatted for consistency with other Council policies.

 

This report seeks the adoption of the amended Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.

Issues:

There are no significant issues associated with the Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy and associated report.

Options:

1.       That Council adopt the recommendation provided to Council.

2.       That Council make amendments to the policy and then adopt.

3.       That Council reject the policy provided to Council.

 

It should be noted that the provisions of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2005 cannot be overridden and will apply regardless.

 

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental issues associated with this report.

•     Social

Policies are an important communication tool used by Council for providing our community and general public detail on strategic aims, commitments and obligations.

•     Civic Leadership

Policies are important for ensuring transparency and accountability in local government.  The implementation of policy enables Council to identify and respond to the community.  This is consistent with the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan strategy D.1 Our leaders give us confidence in the future.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There are no broad economic impacts associated with this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no delivery program/operational plan implications as a result of this report.

Risk Analysis:

There are no significant risks identified regarding this policy.

Consultation:

There has been internal consultation regarding this policy.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Clause 393B of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005

Implementation Date / Priority:

Immediate.

Conclusion:

That Council adopt the Local Government Elections Caretaker Period Policy.

 

 


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GM21/11      Council Committees - Appointment of Members

Author:                        Governance Coordinator

Authoriser:                  Group Leader Governance

MyCoffs:                      B.2 A community achieving its potential

Attachments:              Nil

 

Executive Summary

Nominations to join Council’s facility management committees require appointment by Council.  This report is seeking the appointment of nominees for the following committees:

·     Toormina Community Centre Facility Management Committee

·     Coramba Community Hall Facility Management Committee

 

Recommendation:

That Council Appoint:

1.    James Plummer to the Toormina Community Centre Facility Management Committee

2.    Matthew Begg to the Coramba Community Hall Facility Management Committee.

 

Report

Description of Item:

As part of the normal functioning of council committees, community members are nominated to fill vacant positions.  For nominees to become a member of a committee, they need to be appointed by Council.  This report provides details regarding the recruitment and nominations for the following committees:

 

·     Toormina Community Centre Facility Management Committee

·     Coramba Community Hall Facility Management Committee

 

Both the Toormina Community Centre and Coramba Community Hall Facility Management Committees are currently low on numbers.  To seek additional members for Council’s facility management committees, advertising has recently been placed on Council’s Facebook Page and various other Facebook pages.  Letters were also emailed to regular users of the Toormina Community Centre to seek applications to join this committee.

 

Mr James Plummer applied to Council to join the Toormina Community Centre Facility Management Committee and Mr Matthew Begg applied to join the Coramba Community Hall Facility Management Committee.  Both committees felt that the respective applicants would provide a valuable contribution to the respective committees.

Issues:

There are no significant issues identified in regards to this report.

Options:

1.    Adopt the recommendation provided to Council.

2.    Amend the recommendation provided to Council (e.g. by rejecting a nomination) and then adopt.

3.    Reject the recommendation provided to Council.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts relating to this report.

•     Social

Establishing Council committees recognises and uses the valuable contribution the community makes for the effective provision of Council’s functions.

•     Civic Leadership

This approach is consistent with the Council’s MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan:

 

-    A.1 A vibrant and inclusive place.

-    B.2 A community achieving its potential.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Committees are formed to help Council facilitate services and functions using community volunteers with varied expertise.  Broadly this taps into the wealth of community knowledge and experience, whilst acknowledging and supporting local skills.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The time and assistance given to Council by volunteers and committee members represents significant cost savings to the organisation.

Risk Analysis:

There are no specific risks associated with the appointment of committee members.

Consultation:

Consultation has occurred and continues to occur with various stakeholders involved in these committees.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Sections 355 and 377 Local Government Act 1993.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Immediate.

Conclusion:

That Council endorse the recommendations within this report.

 


GM21/12      Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy

Author:                        Governance Coordinator

Authoriser:                  Group Leader Governance

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

Attachments:              ATT1  GM21/12  Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy  

 

Executive Summary

Council has developed a draft Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.  This policy provides details of induction and professional development available to the Mayor and Councillors.  Whilst this policy was presented to Council at the 10 June 2021 meeting, a technical issue meant the policy did not get adopted.  This report seeks the adoption of the Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.

 

Recommendation:

That Council adopt the Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council has developed a draft Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.  Councils are required to develop an induction program and an individual ongoing professional development plan for each Councillor and the Mayor.  The draft Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy (attached) details the development, delivery, evaluation and reporting on the induction and professional development programs provided to the Mayor and Councillors.  This policy is based on the OLGs Model Councillors Induction and Professional Development template policy.

 

Whilst this policy was presented to Council at the 10 June 2021 meeting, a technical issue meant the policy did not get adopted.  This report is seeking adoption of the Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.

Issues:

There are no major issues identified in association with this report and draft policy.

Options:

1.    That Council adopt the recommendation provided to Council.

2.    That Council make amendments to the policy and then adopt.

3.    That Council reject the policy presented to Council.  Note, Council will still be obligated to provide an induction program and ongoing professional development for each Councillor and the Mayor.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental issues associated with this report.

•     Social

Policies are an important communication tool used by Council for providing our community and general public detail on strategic aims, commitments and obligations.

•     Civic Leadership

Policies are important for ensuring transparency and accountability in local government.  Their implementation enables Council to identify and respond to the community.  In particular, these policies demonstrate a commitment to ensuring elected Councillors are supported in fulfilling their role.  This is consistent with the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan Strategy D.1 Our leaders give us confidence in the future.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There are no broad economic impacts associated with this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no significant Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications.

Risk Analysis:

There are no perceived risks in the adoption of the Councillor Induction and Professional Development Policy.

Consultation:

There has been internal consultation in regards to this policy.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Part 8A of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Immediate.

Conclusion:

That Council adopt the recommendations of this report.

 

 

 


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BS21/34       Monthly Financial Performance Report for the Month Ended 31 May 2021

Author:                        Finance Business Partner

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:              ATT1  BS21/34   Monthly Financial Performance for the Month Ended 31 May 2021  

 

Executive Summary

This report presents the Monthly Financial Performance Report for the month ended 31 May 2021.  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 May 2021, the budget year to date surplus after capital revenue is $22.3 million with the actual year to date surplus being $26.9 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 $81.5 million with $50.4 million expended to the end of May 2021.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the Monthly Financial Performance Report for 31 May 2021.

 

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.  These figures are presented on an accrual basis except for rates, which from January 2021 are shown on a cash basis by the month.  This change in presentation more accurately reflects how the actual monthly and YTD operating result is tracking compared to budget.

 

The report includes:

 

Financial Management Summary

·     The net operating surplus, before capital revenue, of $620 thousand is $4.3 million better than the $3.7 million deficit expected.  The actual year to date surplus, after capital revenue, is $26.9 million against a budget of $22.3 million.  Operating expenditure to the end of May is $159.7 million against a budget of $158.5 million.

·     Capital expenses are behind YTD budget expectations with total capital expenditure to the end of May of $50.4 million versus a YTD budget of $55.8 million.  The annual targeted expenditure was revised from $129 million to $81.5 million as part of the March QBRS for the financial year.  Significant investigation and design work has been undertaken for major projects, which will now allow an acceleration of capital expenditure spend over coming months.  However, the rate of spend has been subject to wet weather impacts and as a result the target is unlikely to be achieved by the end of the financial year.

 

Income Statement

·     This is a comprehensive income statement detailing the monthly performance for May 2021.  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 provided in the attachment.  Explanations have been provided for any variances greater than $200,000.

Issues:

Income Statement commentary as at 31 May 2021 for Year to Date (YTD) variances:

 

Revenue

·     Grants and Contributions: Operating Purposes - Additional contributions have been received for water and sewer connection and repair works and an operating grant for the Rural Fire Service that are not budgeted for.  These will be reviewed in June.

 

Income Statement commentary as at 31 May 2021 for monthly variances:

 

Revenue

·     User Charges and Fees – Additional fees have been received for the Coffs Harbour Bypass and bridge works than anticipated for the month.  Coffs Coast Holiday Parks’ revenue is also higher than anticipated for the month with sporting events going ahead in the area.

·     Other Revenue – The C.ex International Stadium and the Jetty Memorial Theatre had more revenue than expected for the month with the addition of major sporting events and performing arts being scheduled.

·     Capital Revenue – Capital revenue is higher than anticipated for the month due to the timing of the recognition of subdivision dedications.

 

Expenditure

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

·    Capital Expenses – Due to the timing of the expenditure there is additional expenditure for the month but overall the capital expenditure is lower than anticipated for the year.

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 budget year to date surplus, after capital revenue, is projected to be $22.3 million as at 31 May 2021 with the actual year to date surplus being $26.9 million.

Risk Analysis:

There are no risks associated with this report.

Consultation:

Group Leaders, Business Unit Managers 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 May 2021 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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BS21/35       Granting of Voluntary Pension Rebates for 2021/22

Author:                        Section Leader Financial Support

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      A.1 A vibrant and inclusive place

Attachments:              Nil

 

Executive Summary

The Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) provides that the Council must grant a mandatory rebate to eligible pensioners for rates and charges.  Council is then reimbursed by subsidy payment for a proportion of the amount rebated.  Section 582 of the Act provides that Council may grant an additional voluntary pensioner rebate which this report outlines.

 

Since 1997 Council has granted additional voluntary pensioner rebates to eligible pensioners in respect of the Environmental Levy and Domestic Waste Charges.  The granting of these additional rebates is resolved by Council on an annual basis and is provided for in the 2021/22 budget at a cost of $656,000.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Grants a voluntary rebate under Section 582 of the Local Government Act in 2021/22 to eligible pensioners in respect of the Environmental Levy and Domestic Waste charges.  The level of rebate to be:

1.1.    In the case of the Environmental Levy – the amount that is the difference between 50% of the sum of the ad valorem rate and the Base Amount, and the mandatory rebate to be applied under Section 575 of the Local Government Act.

1.2.    In the case of the Domestic Waste Charge – the amount that is the difference between $87.50 and the mandatory rebate to be applied under Section 575 of the Local Government Act.

2.       Notes the provision of $656,000 in the 2021/22 budget to meet the cost of providing voluntary pension rebates.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Local Government Act 1993, (the Act) provides that the Council must grant a mandatory rebate to eligible pensioners for rates and charges.  Council is then reimbursed by subsidy payment for a proportion of the amount rebated.  Section 582 of the Act provides that Council may grant an additional voluntary rebate.

 

The mandatory rebate for Ordinary Rates, Domestic Waste and the Environmental Special Rate is 50% (to a maximum of $250) of the sum of those three components.

 

In most instances this would result in pensioners not receiving any rebate on Domestic Waste charges and/or on the Environmental Special Rate (where the Ordinary Rate alone is $500 or more for example).

Issues:

Since 1997 Council has granted additional voluntary pensioner rebates to eligible pensioners in respect of the Environmental Levy and Domestic Waste Charges.  The granting of these additional rebates is resolved by Council on an annual basis.

 

Council when applying for its most recent Special Rate Variation, advised IPART of the voluntary rebate as an important element relating to ratepayer affordability with the payment of land rates.  Cessation of these additional rebates would obviously create a significant financial burden to those ratepayers already receiving a pensioner concession.

 

The cancellation of the voluntary rebates, or any reduction in the level of the benefit, only reduces the costs to Domestic Waste or the Environmental Levy, both of which virtually operate as their own funds.  The reduction cannot be diverted to any general purpose area.

Options:

This report is to enable the continuation of Council granting voluntary pensioner rebates to eligible pensioners for the Environmental Levy and Domestic Waste Charges.  At this time, the following options are available to Council:

 

1.    Adopt the recommendation provided to Council, which will enable the continuation of the voluntary pensioner rebates at the levels specified.

2.    Amend the recommendation provided to Council and then adopt.  Depending on the nature of the amendment this may have an impact on the budgeted amount set aside for this additional rebate.

3.    Reject the recommendation provided to Council and therefore end the voluntary pensioner rebates.  This would reduce operating expenditure; however, not continuing the rebates would create a financial burden in the payment of rates to those ratepayers currently eligible to receive a pensioner concession.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts.

•     Social

The voluntary rebate on the Domestic Waste Charge provides, on average, a reduction in the amount payable by eligible pensioners of about $87.50 per annum.

 

The voluntary rebate on the Environmental Special Rate provides, on average, a reduction in the amount payable by eligible pensioners of about $23.53 per annum.

 

Cessation of these benefits would create a financial burden to eligible ratepayers.

•     Civic Leadership

The granting of voluntary pensioner rebates supports a number of objectives that have been identified within the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan and is connected to the theme ‘a vibrant and inclusive place’ within the plan.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Council must also provide mandatory rebates in 2021/22 for Ordinary (General) Rates (approximately $1,740,000), Water charges (approximately $543,000) and Sewer charges (approximately $462,000) - a total of approximately $2.745 million.

 

The State Government currently provides a grant equivalent to 55% of the mandatory rebates.  This will leave Council bearing a cost of approximately $1,230,000 for the mandatory rebates.  When added to the cost of voluntary rebates the total cost to Council for 2021/22 will be approximately $1,886,000.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The total cost of the voluntary rebates is built into the Operational Plan and Budget for 2021/22 at $656,000 ($530,000 for Domestic Waste and $126,000 for the Environmental Levy).  The rates and charges structure for 2021/22 has been set to take this into account.

Risk Analysis:

There are no identified risks in continuing the current Rates and Charges – Pensioner Concessions Policy.

Consultation:

Council’s original application to the Minister of Local Government for a Special Rate Variation for the Environmental Levy back in 1997 stated that a pensioner rebate would apply.  A voluntary rebate under Section 582 of the Local Government Act 1993 remains the most appropriate mechanism to achieve this.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Council's Rates and Charges - Pensioner Concessions Policy adopted on 14 September 2017 provides for the granting of a voluntary rebate on Domestic Waste charges and the Environmental Levy, where applicable, subject to a maximum amount specified through a resolution of Council each year.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The proposed voluntary pensioner rebates detailed in this report will apply for the 2021/22 financial year.

Conclusion:

This report summarises the mandatory and voluntary rebates for eligible pensioners for 2021/22 for Council’s consideration and recommends that the application of the voluntary rebate to eligible pensioners.

 


BS21/36       Draft Plan of Management - North Coast Regional Botanic Garden

Author:                        Plans of Management Project Manager

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:              ATT1  BS21/36   Draft Plan of Management - Botanic Gardens

ATT2  BS21/36   Native Title Advice on Draft PoM Botanic Garden

ATT3  BS21/36   Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes - 9 March 2021

ATT4  BS21/36   Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes - 30 March 2021  

 

Executive Summary

Council has a statutory obligation under both the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (CLM Act) and the Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act) to adopt Plans of Management (PoMs) for all Crown reserves that are classified as ‘community’ land and for which Council has been appointed land manager.

 

A draft PoM for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden (Attachment 1) has been finalised following wide consultations across multiple groups of Council, the Friends of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden Inc. and the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden (NCRBG) Advisory Committee.  It is now ready for consideration by Council and if agreed, a resolution made to refer the document to the Division of Crown Lands within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for its approval, prior to it being publicly exhibited.  This step is compulsory as the Crown (being the landowner) must be given the opportunity to provide input into the draft PoM prior to it being placed on public exhibition.  So too is it a requirement that Native Title Manager advice (Attachment 2) be considered by Council prior to the draft PoM being referred to DPIE.

 

After DPIE have reviewed and approved the draft PoM, it must be publicly exhibited for not less than 28 days and the opportunity for submissions to be made over a period of not less than 42 days.  The draft PoM, including any minor revisions resulting from public exhibition, will then be presented to Council for formal adoption.  If revisions post public exhibition are significant it must be referred to DPIE a second time.

 

DPIE has also recently advised all Councils in NSW that the statutory timeframe for the adoption of PoMs, has been repealed.  However, the statutory obligation referred to above is still in place and the regulatory amendment does not allow Council to grant anything other than short term licences in reserves, where there is no PoM in place – hence the need to continue with the program to prepare and adopt a PoM for all reserves.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Refer the draft Plan of Management for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden to the Crown Lands Division of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to obtain approval to place the document on public exhibition.

2.       Place the draft Plan of Management for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden on public exhibition for a period of at least 42 days once approval is received and to accept public submissions over this period.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Coffs Harbour City Council has been appointed under Part 3, Division 3.2, Section 3.3 of the CLM Act to manage dedicated or reserved Crown land as if it were community land under the LG Act.  Hereafter, this land is referred to as the ‘Crown reserves’ or ‘reserves’.  Council has been appointed manager for more than 50 such reserves.

 

Section 36 of the LG Act requires a PoM to be adopted by councils for all land classified as ‘community’ land and outlines the requirements of such a PoM.  In simple terms, the purpose of the PoM is to provide a framework for the ongoing use and management of the land.  It should be noted that a PoM can cover more than one reserve.  Although the final number of PoMs has still to be finalised, it is likely that Council will need to prepare at least 10 PoMs to cover the Crown reserve estate.  The PoM for the Coffs Harbour Community Village and Cavanbah Centre was adopted by Council at its 13 May 2021 meeting.

 

The subject land for the draft PoM currently before Council is categorised as ‘natural area’ but the draft PoM is proposing the additional category of ‘a park’ to allow for the ongoing use and management of those areas that represent the built environment and a non-endemic vegetation community.  The ‘natural area’ is further categorised as ‘foreshore’ and ‘bushland’, the locations for which are clearly identified in the draft PoM (Figure 4.4 page 22).  The Gazetted Purpose of the reserve is ‘Environmental Protection and ‘Business Purposes’ but this PoM is introducing an additional purpose for the reserve of a ‘Botanic Garden’.

 

The PoM has been prepared in a manner consistent with the core objectives (as per S.36E-N of the LG Act) with the overall aim being that the reserve will continue to provide benefits to the community.  The PoM authorises the wide variety of uses that the reserve has been, or is currently being used for, while also providing sufficient flexibility for Council to modify the use or management of the reserve, into the future.  It is not intended that this or other PoMs will address the role of the reserve in the strategic planning sphere or day-to-day management issues.

Issues:

The addition of the category of ‘park’ for the NCRBG is necessary to allow for the continued use and management of the reserve in a manner consistent with its use and management to date.  This is because the ‘core objectives’ (as per S.36E of the LG Act) for the management of a reserve categorised as a ‘natural area’ are not consistent with the way in which the NCRBG has been used and managed historically and appears to have been an administrative oversight by Crown Lands at the time the reserve was dedicated.  The addition of the category of ‘park’ and the ‘core objectives’ of its management as per S.36G means that the NCRBG can continue to function as it has been.  Importantly, it also means that when adopted, the PoM will reflect the reserve’s historical and current use and management.

 

Similarly, the current purposes of the reserve of ‘Environmental Protection’ and ‘Business Purposes’ does not accurately reflect the current use and management of the NCRBG in its entirety and as such, a further additional purpose is proposed via the draft PoM.  The original gazetted purpose in 1992 of ‘Environmental Protection’ was added to on 20 July 2018, with the additional purpose of ‘Business Purposes’ pursuant to Section 2.18(2)(b) of the CLM Act.

 

A further additional purpose of ‘Botanic Garden’ was agreed with the Friends of the NCRBG Inc. and the NCRBG Advisory Committee as representing the most suitable additional purpose.  Both the additional category and purpose will require the consent of the Minister, however discussions with the Crown Lands Division of DPIE have been productive and their preliminary advice has been supportive of this approach.

 

The Friends of the NCRBG and the Advisory Committee both considered there was a need to better acknowledge the cultural and scientific values of the NCRBG and for this to be reflected in the draft PoM.  In order to facilitate unanimous support for the current draft PoM by these stakeholders and to ensure no unnecessary delays, Council staff agreed to include a commitment to undertake an exploration of the cultural heritage values of the NCRBG using appropriate expertise, within 3 years of the adoption of the PoM.

Options:

Council has the following options to consider as follows:

 

1.    Adopt the recommendation and thereby refer the draft Plan of Management for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, to the Crown Lands Division of DPIE to obtain approval to place the document on public exhibition.

2.    Amend the draft Plan of Management for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden and then refer the draft PoM to the Crown Lands Division of DPIE to obtain approval to place the document on public exhibition.

3.    Reject the recommendation.  Adoption of this option would prevent Council meeting its statutory obligations under the CLM Act and LG Act.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The reserve(s) possess significant environmental values and the draft PoMs make provision for the full range of environmental management measures necessary to ensure these values are maintained.  Any proposed future use will be assessed on the basis of the ‘core objectives’ as per S.36(E-N) of the LG Act which will also help ensure any natural values are protected.

•     Social

There are no uses or management actions authorised in the draft PoM that represent any form of reduced community access to the reserve(s).  The draft PoM also authorises the granting of leases, licences and other estates so that organisations providing services, facilities or recreational opportunities to the community may have security of tenure should they wish.  The draft PoM has also been prepared so as to maximise opportunities for the public to enjoy the reserve(s) natural and cultural values as well as any physical assets that may exist.

•     Civic Leadership

The draft PoM is a key element in the governance of the reserves which in turn will help ensure that the facilities and organisations using those facilities to provide community services, continues into the future.  The draft PoM is an important step towards achieving the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan theme of ‘Community Wellbeing’ and contributes directly to the following strategies:

 

A2.1 We support our community to lead healthy active lives;

A2.2 We facilitate positive ageing;

A2.3 We nurture mental health, wellbeing and social connection; and

A2.4 We cultivate a safe community.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Once adopted, a PoM provides the ongoing legal framework which allows for the reserves to be occupied or used.  This has a direct positive economic benefit to those who provide and access these services, as well as having a multiplier (flow-on) effect to the local economy.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no implications as works currently planned to be undertaken this financial year are being sourced from the Building Maintenance Budget.

Risk Analysis:

There is a statutory requirement that Council must adopt a PoM for all Crown reserves classified as ‘community land’ and for which Council has been appointed as the land manager.

 

Recent regulatory amendments also mean that Council will only be able to issue short term licenses to use or occupy the reserves until such time as a PoM is adopted.

Consultation:

The draft PoM has been distributed among Group Leaders and relevant Council officers and feedback has been incorporated.  It has also been subject to the review of the Friends of the NCRBG Inc. and a re-draft prepared as a result of comments/suggestions.  Two separate drafts were then reviewed by the recently convened NCRBG Advisory Committee at meetings on 9 March and 30 March 2021 (Attachments 3 and 4).

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The statutory requirement for Council to adopt a PoM for the Crown reserves that it manages has been discussed above.  Since the CLM Act replaced the Crowns Lands Act 1989 in 2018, this will be one of many PoMs to be adopted by Council in compliance with the new Act.

Implementation Date / Priority:

A Council resolution to refer the draft PoM to DPIE is a critical step to it being adopted by Council within the statutory timeframe.  It is therefore a high priority.

Conclusion:

The draft PoM represents one of many PoMs that Council has a statutory requirement to prepare and adopt for the reserves it manages.  After the resolution to refer the PoM to DPIE for approval to place it on public exhibition, it will be placed on ‘Have Your Say’ for a period of 42 days, over which time public submissions will be accepted.  The draft PoM, including any revisions post public exhibition, will then be referred back to DPIE if the revisions are significant or if only minor amendments are made, will be presented to Council for formal adoption.

 

 


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BS21/37       Sale of Council Property at 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  BS21/37   Proposed Covenant and Legal Input from HWL Ebsworth

ATT2  BS21/37   Location Plan of 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

ATT3  BS21/37   CONFIDENTIAL Letter from Proposed Purchaser

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.

ATT4  BS21/37   CONFIDENTIAL Independent Valuation Report   

 

Executive Summary

Council resolved on 14 May 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 Cultural and Civic Space Project in Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

Council has held the property since October 2010 when it was purchased and the property has since operated as a museum.  The property is described 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 considered an offer for the sale of the property of $950,000 excluding GST at its meeting of 8 October 2020 but resolved at the time not to accept the offer.  Council then received an increased offer of $1,000,000 excluding GST for the purchase of the property, which was in line with a recent independent valuation that was commissioned by Council.  Council considered this offer at its meeting of 25 February 2021, however, Council at this time did not accept the offer.  A Notice of Motion followed and requested that a restriction on the use of the land be created which reinforced the local heritage significance of the buildings on the site and Council resolved on 11 March 2021 to seek to place a protective restriction on the Museum building to protect its heritage values.

 

Council’s solicitors have now drafted an appropriate covenant to be placed on the property to reflect the Council resolution of 11 March 2021 as shown in Attachment 1 to this report.

 

The contract for the sale of the property has been updated with the proposed covenant and based on this contract Council has now received a firm offer of $1,000,000 exclusive of GST for the property.  The offered price is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions.  The property has been extensively exposed to the market and although other offers have been received, all have been below the above offer.  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 from the date of transfer initially at a rental of $60,500 per annum net.

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       That Council register a covenant on the Title of 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour as drafted and shown as Attachment 1 to this report prior to executing a contract for the sale of the property.

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

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

4.       Authorise the General Manager to execute all documents necessary to facilitate the sale and registration of the proposed covenant and under the common seal of Council if required.

5.       Authorise the General Manager to execute a lease for the property for a three year period.

 

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 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.         Receives 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.

 

In line with Council resolution, negotiations continued via the commercial real estate agents engaged by Council.  These continuing negotiations led to an offer of $950,000 excluding GST, which was reported to Council on 8 October 2020.  At that time, Council did not accept the offer.

 

Subsequently Council received an increased offer of $1,000,000 exclusive of GST, which was referred back to Council for consideration on 25 February 2021 in line with point 4 of Council’s 14 May 2020 resolution.

 

Council considered a notice of motion on 11 March 2021 and resolved as follows:

 

1.    That Council seek a covenant under the Conveyancing Act 1919 to place a protective restriction on the current Museum building at Lot 101 DP 1041655, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour in order to protect its heritage and historic values.

2.    That a draft covenant and accompanying legal input come back to Council for final consideration.

 

Council’s solicitors HWL Ebsworth have now drafted an appropriate covenant to be placed on the property in line with the Council resolution of 11 March 2021.  A copy of the draft Covenant and associated legal input is appended to this report as Attachment 1 for Council’s consideration.  Council’s solicitors confirm that the proposed covenant meets the intent of Council’s resolution.

 

In line with the Council resolution of 11 March 2021, the contract for the sale of the property has been updated with the newly drafted covenant information and based on this updated contract Council has now received a firm offer of $1,000,000 exclusive of GST for the property.  The offered price is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions.  The property has been extensively exposed to the market and although other offers have been received, all have been below the above offer. It is recommended that Council accept the offer.

 

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

 

Council has held the property at 215A Harbour Drive 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 2 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.

 

Confidential Attachment 3 to this report is a letter from the proposed purchaser to the Council providing further detail on the proposed future use of the property.

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 and is also in line with a recent independent valuation obtained by Council dated 9 June 2020 (Confidential Attachment 4).

 

The former police station and courthouse is endorsed as having local heritage significance with the following Statement of Significance:

 

The former courthouse and police station on Harbour Drive is of high local significance in demonstrating the growth of Coffs Harbour and the administration of law and justice in the early years of the twentieth century.  It is one of several early police buildings in Coffs Harbour and surrounding districts, which correspond to the provision of police and courtroom facilities.  It is a very good representative and intact example of the work of Walter Liberty Vernon as NSW Government architect.

 

It is of high local significance as a high-quality, all-timber public building in a simplified Arts and Crafts style.  Built in stages over several decades according to changes in policing and changes of use, the building retains its original 1906 co-joined form with later sensitively done additions.  While simple in design and construction, the building is an elegant example of a country police station and courthouse, prominently located and displaying high-quality internal and external joinery and details.  Later changes by the NSW Govt Architects office to alter and enlarge the building are in a similar, well-considered style.  The current site retains a portion of its original surrounding land, which continues to form a garden setting for the building.

 

The building is situated on a rise overlooking Harbour Drive, which is one of the city’s main thoroughfares.  It lies opposite Coffs Harbour Primary School, one of the earliest in the area.  It is highly visible in both directions along Harbour Drive and is a very well-known historic building, making it a local landmark.

 

The building is listed in Schedule 5 Environmental heritage, Part 1 Heritage items in the Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 (Item no. I15).  This listing provides an additional layer of protection to the merit based assessment for a development application that affects the building’s heritage significance and the development application would be subject to Council’s development assessment processes, taking the building’s heritage significance into consideration.

 

In addition, a Conservation Management Strategy is attached to the property, through a previous development application (0061/13 DA), and remains applicable regardless of the ownership of the property.

Options:

Council has the following options available regarding sale of the property:

 

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

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

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

 

Council has the following options available to it concerning the proposed Covenant to be registered on the property’s Title:

 

1.    Accept the draft Covenant proposed by solicitor HWL Ebsworth and resolve to proceed with having this registered on Title prior to the proposed sale proceeding to exchange.

2.    Reject the draft covenant proposed by the Solicitor.

 

It should be noted that rejecting the covenant or proposing changes would affect the proposed sale of the property as the negotiated price is based on the covenant as currently drafted.

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 ownership by the community and Council of a prominent and historical building that has significant links to Coffs Harbour’s past.  The Property is listed as an item of Significant Local Heritage under the Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 and thus has the protection of this strategic document to ensure this Local Heritage is recognised in future uses.  The proposed registration of the Covenant on the Title of the property as detailed will also add a further layer of protection to the property to preserve its historical significance.  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 because 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 $1,000,000 excluding GST is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current property market conditions.  The offer is in line with the value assessed by property group Savills Pty Ltd who provided an independent valuation of the property on Council’s behalf.

 

The offer is also made on the basis that a Covenant will be registered on the property title as detailed in this report further protecting the heritage and historical values of the property.  The covenant will require registration on title based on a resolution of Council as a component of this report prior to Council executing and exchanging the sale contract.

 

 


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BS21/38       Sale of Council Property at 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour

Author:                        Team Leader Property Development

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:              ATT1  BS21/38   Location Plan

ATT2  BS21/38   CONFIDENTIAL Valuation Report

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(d)(ii),(f) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council, and details of systems and/or arrangements that have been implemented to protect council, councillors, staff and Council property.

ATT3  BS21/38   CONFIDENTIAL Purchasing Party   

 

Executive Summary

Council resolved after previous resolutions on this matter at its meeting of 25 February 2021 to enter into negotiations with prospective purchasers for the sale of 2 Castle Street Coffs Harbour with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value.

 

2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour, comprises a two level commercial office building with basement security car parking.  The proposed sale forms part of the funding model for the Cultural and Civic Space Project in Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

Council has held the property since the mid 1980’s at which time it was developed by Council and has since operated as Councils central administration building and chambers.  The property is described legally as Lots 1 and 2 DP566885 and Lot 8 Section 6 DP 758258 and has a site area of some 3,038 square metres.  The lettable area of the building is approximately 3,172 square metres and some 45 car spaces are located in a secure basement car park.

 

The offered price of $7,250,000 plus GST is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions.  The prospective purchaser is noted within Confidential Attachment 3 to this report.  The property has been extensively exposed to the market and although other offers have been received, all have been below the current offer. It is recommended that Council accept the offer.

 

Coffs Harbour City Council as part of the sale will continue to occupy the whole of the property. This arrangement will be formalised upon settlement of the sale by Council entering into a 3-year lease with 3 x 1 year options for continuing tenure from the date of transfer initially at a rental of $850,000 per annum on a net lease basis.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Approve the sale of Lots 1 & 2 DP566885 and Lot 8 Section 6 DP 758258 known as 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour at the agreed price of $7,250,000 exclusive of GST.

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

3.       Authorise the General Manager to execute all documents necessary to facilitate the sale and transfer of the property and under the common seal of Council if required.

4.       Authorise the General Manager to execute the lease for the property for a three year period.

 

Report

Description of Item:

Council resolved on 25 February 2021 to proceed with the sale of 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour as follows:

 

5.       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 the following properties with or without Council lease back options:

5.1     Administration Building, 2 Castle St, Coffs Harbour (Lot 2 DP 566885, Lot 1 DP 566855, Lot 8 Sec 6 DP 758258),

5.2     Rigby House, 27-29 Duke Street Coffs Harbour (Lot 110 Sec DP 777398)

5.3     Museum, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour (Lot 101 Sec DP 1041655)

 

The sale of 2 Castle Street is part of the funding model for the Cultural and Civic Space Project in Gordon Street, Coffs Harbour.

 

2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour, comprises a two level commercial office building with basement security car parking. Council has held the property since it developed the property in the 1980’s and the property has since operated as Councils main administration building and Chambers.

 

The property is legally described as Lots 1 and 2 DP566885 and Lot 8 Section 6 DP 758258 and has a site area of some 3,038 square metres.  The lettable area of the building is approximately 3,172 square metres and some 45 car spaces are located in a secure basement car park.

 

The property is zoned B3 Commercial Core under the provisions of the Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

 

The offered price of $7,250,000 plus GST is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current market conditions.  The property has been extensively exposed to the market and although other offers have been received, all have been below the current offer. It is recommended that Council accept the offer.

 

Council, as part of the sale, will continue to occupy the whole of the property.  This arrangement will be formalised upon settlement of the sale by Council entering into a 3-year lease with 3 x 1 year options for continuing tenure from the date of transfer initially at a rental of $850,000 per annum on a net lease basis.  A 3-year lease was included in the sale process as the shorter the lease, the higher the risk to investors/purchasers and therefore a lower return on the sale process to Council.  Council does have the ability to sublet the building at the end of its requirements for the building, until the end of the lease term should this be necessary.

 

The property is located on the corner of Coff and Castle Streets as shown by the location plan attached to this report as Attachment 1.

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 and is also in line with a recent independent valuation obtained by Council and dated 9 June 2020 (Confidential Attachment 2).  Commercial property market conditions have remained strong in recent months.

Options:

Council has the following options available regarding sale of the property:

 

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

2.    Reject the offer and continue negotiations to try to seek a higher offer.  However, it should be noted that the offer is considered reasonable in the current commercial real estate sale market.

3.    Reject the sale of the property, resolve to remove the property from sale and maintain it as a Council asset and consider alternative funding options for the Civic and Cultural Space Project.  It should be noted that recycling of Council’s current accommodation assets is a logical method of funding for part of the 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 allow the Council to contribute the proceeds from this component of the property sales towards the funding of the Cultural and Civic Space Project which will have significant social benefits for the whole Coffs Harbour.

•     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 because 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 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour.  The offer is a result of further negotiations assisted by Burgess Rawson who are the commercial property real estate agents engaged by Council to sell the property and HWL Ebsworth Lawyers who have been engaged by Council to act on its behalf in regard to this matter.  The price offered is considered fair and reasonable and in line with current property market conditions.  The offer is in line with the values assessed by property group Savills Pty Ltd who provided an independent valuation of the property on Council’s behalf.

 

 


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SC21/36       2021/2022 Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program

Author:                        Community Planner

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      B.2 A community achieving its potential

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/36   2021-2022 Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program  

 

Executive Summary

Council’s 2021/22 Operational Plan allocates an amount of $340,650 for the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program to fund community infrastructure projects.  Council sought applications from not-for-profit organisations seeking to construct new public facilities or to refurbish existing infrastructure.

Eleven applications, requesting $258,372 from the grant were received for proposed projects to the value of $518,404. 

Council considered all applications for capital funding in accordance with the assessment criteria and eleven applications (inclusive of project management and approvals) for $190,650 are recommended for funding.

 

Recommendation:

That Council approve the allocation of the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program totalling $190,650 as follows:

Organisation

Proposed Project

Total Cost of Project

Requested Council Funding

Funding Recommended

 

1.   Gumnut Cottage Inc.

‘We grow, learn and play in our garden everyday’

Renovation and redesign of the outdoor children spaces.

$103,915

$51,957

$51,957

 

2.   Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Inc.

Construction of an access ramp on the northern side of the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club to the first floor.

$175,640

$87,820

$5,000

 

3.   Eastern Dorrigo Community Hall & Showgrounds Management Committee

Removal of existing timber shelter and installation of a new outdoor shelter.

$11,100

$5,550

$5,550

 

4.   England’s Park Tennis Club Inc.

Replacement of fencing around courts 5 & 6 with high quality fencing.

$49,215

$24,000

$24,000

 

5.   Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Community Services Fund Inc.

Surf lifesaving rubber rescue tubes @12 locations.

$30,000

$15,000

$15,000

 

6.   South Coffs Community Gardens Inc.

20’ Container with metal roof to store electric ride-on and to harvest rainwater.

$7,088

$3,500

$3,500

 

7.   Sawtell Golf Club Inc.

Construction of an access ramp and installation of automatic doors to the Clubhouse’s main entrance.

$24,000

$12,000

$12,000

 

8.   Sawtell Toormina Sports & Recreation Club Inc.

Construction of a protective skillion roof over existing 3 containers and courtyard at Rex Hardaker Oval by the Coffs Harbour Dog Training Club.  

$14,032

$7,000

$7,000

 

9.   Coffs Regional Community Gardens Inc.

‘Fun & Bugs in the Garden’

Construction of concrete footpath.

The pad for toilet is not recommended for funding.

$7,180

$3,590

$3,000

 

10. Westside Tennis Club Inc.

Refurbishment of kitchen and toilets.

$50,324

$25,000

$25,000

 

11. Gamumbi Early Childhood Education Centre Inc.

‘You’ll be Floored’ Project

Replacement of flooring in the service areas and staff rooms.

$45,910

$22,955

$22,955

 

Project Management

$3,688

Provision for approvals under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, Native Title Act 1993 and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

$12,000

Total:

$518,404

$258,372

$190,650

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program is a source of funds that community groups can access for capital improvements works.

The objectives of the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program are to ensure that:

1.   Council assists in the provision of community projects that target community needs and result in direct benefits to the wider community.

2.   Council assists in increasing participation in, and accessibility to a range of community organisations for the residents of the Coffs Harbour local government area.

3.   Council has a consistent, equitable and transparent process to respond to requests by community organisations for funding of capital infrastructure.

4.   Partnerships and joint ventures are encouraged to maximise outcomes from limited resources.

The program is designed to assist with the development of public infrastructure.  Projects should demonstrate a strong community benefit that is clearly identifiable and where possible quantifiable.

Applications were considered in accordance with the assessment criteria, with the recommended applications for funding determined on merit. 

All projects must be completed within one year of the organisation being granted the funds, in accordance with the timeframe set in the application and Council requires formal acquittal of the grants for all funding.

It is a condition of the grant that the successful applicant assume all normal commercial responsibility including public risk and/or any other appropriate insurance cover for the project.

Issues:

Distribution of the funding within the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program is recommended by an assessment panel and based on eligibility.  Merit of the project is in accordance with the triple-bottom line assessment (taking into account social, economic and environmental factors), and the perceived ability of the applicant organisation to manage the project.

Rebranding of the Program

This Program was rebranded in 2021 from the Community Capital Infrastructure Grants Program to the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program.  The new title is designed to demonstrate a closer alignment with the Program’s objectives.

Co-funding Requirement

To be eligible for funding under the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program, the applicant is required to demonstrate co-funding to a minimum of 50%.  This co-funding could be in cash, grants, in-kind labour, materials supply or other, with the proviso that the applicant is required to make at least a 20% financial cash contribution.

Often, this condition of funding is not readily understood by applicants, particularly with issues relating to in-kind works.  Council has also shown a preference in recent years for works to be undertaken on Council owned assets by Council nominated and approved contractors to a specified plan.  Whilst this ensures that works are conducted to a prescribed design and supervised by Council staff, it does limit the ability for community and not-for-profit organisations to undertake in-kind work as a co-funding contribution.

This limitation has become more apparent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many sporting and community based organisations unable to meet the 50% co-funding requirement in the current year.  As such, a review of the Grant Guidelines will be undertaken in the forthcoming year with a future report to Council of any recommended amendments to the Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program.

Native Title Approval

Five of the eleven applications for funding require consideration of the impact of the requirements of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, Native Title Act 1993 and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 including adherence to the conditions (if any) imposed by those Acts prior to and/or during construction.  Council as Crown Land Manager is required to obtain its Native Title Manager’s advice in respect of all acts undertaken on Crown Land which will add to the cost and projected time for the project.

Council may also require a Part V Environmental Assessment (Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) to be completed prior to commencement of work onsite.

Many of the community based or sporting organisations applying to this program are unaware of this requirement for approvals, and have not made provision for these additional costs in the proposed budget.  As these approvals are a relatively new requirement and the cost of the searches may vary, it is recommended that Council makes provision within the Program to accommodate the payment of these approvals on behalf of the applicants.

Of the applications received for the 2021/22 Program, eleven proposals are recommended for funding, totalling $190,650 inclusive of provision for project management and Native Title approvals.

The following table lists those projects recommended for funding by the Assessment Panel:

Organisation

Proposed Project

Total Cost of Project

Requested Council Funding

Funding Recommended

1.   Gumnut Cottage Inc.

‘We grow, learn and play in our garden everyday’

Renovation and redesign of the outdoor children spaces

$103,915

$51,957

$51,957

2.   Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Inc.

Construction of an access ramp on the northern side of the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club to the first floor

$175,640

$87,820

$5,000

3.   Eastern Dorrigo Community Hall & Showgrounds Management Committee

Removal of existing timber shelter and installation of a new outdoor shelter

$11,100

$5,550

$5,550

4.   England’s Park Tennis Club Inc.

Replacement of fencing around courts 5 & 6 with high quality fencing.

$49,215

$24,000

$24,000

5.   Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Community Services Fund Inc.

Surf lifesaving rubber rescue tubes @12 locations

$30,000

$15,000

$15,000

6.   South Coffs Community Gardens Inc.

20’ Container with metal roof to store electric ride-on and to harvest rainwater.

$7,088

$3,500

$3,500

7.   Sawtell Golf Club Inc.

Construction of an access ramp and installation of automatic doors to the Clubhouse’s main entrance.

$24,000

$12,000

$12,000

8.   Sawtell Toormina Sports & Recreation Club Inc.

Construction of a protective skillion roof over existing 3 containers and courtyard at Rex Hardaker Oval by the Coffs Harbour Dog Training Club.

$14,032

$7,000

$7,000

9.   Coffs Regional Community Gardens Inc.

‘Fun & Bugs in the Garden’

Construction of concrete footpath.

The pad for toilet is not recommended for funding.

$7,180

$3,590

$3,000

10. Westside Tennis Club Inc.

Refurbishment of kitchen and toilets

$50,324

$25,000

$25,000

11. Gamumbi Early Childhood Education Centre Inc.

‘You’ll be Floored’ Project

Replacement of flooring in the service areas and staff rooms.

$45,910

$22,955

$22,955

Project Management

$3,688

Provision for approvals under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, Native Title Act 1993 and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

$12,000

Total:

$518,404

$258,372

$190,650

 

The following table lists those projects not recommended for full funding by the assessment panel:

Organisation

Proposed Project

Total Cost of Project

($)

Requested Council Funding

Recommended Funding

($)

Comment

1.   Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Inc.

Construction of an access ramp on the northern side of the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club to the first floor.

$175,640

$87,820

$5,000

Council is to work with the Committee to develop the scope and funding for the project.

2.   Coffs Regional Community Gardens Inc.

‘Fun & Bugs in the Garden’

Construction of concrete footpath and pad for a toilet.

$7,180

$3,590

$3,000

The pad for toilet is not recommended for funding

Coffs Harbour Yacht Club Inc.

The Coffs Harbour Yacht Club applied for funding to construct an access ramp on the northern side of the Club to the first floor.

This application was not supported for funding in the current Program, due to the scope of the project and concern about the Club’s ability to provide the co-funding contribution. 

Access ramps can be exempt from planning approval under the SEPP (Infrastructure).  However, if a DA is required for the access ramp, this may also trigger the rest of the premises to be upgraded to meet current access standards.  For this reason, it is recommended that the Club engage an Access Consultant to complete an assessment of the building and provide recommendations as to how the Club can ensure adherence to AS 1428 and current building codes.

Work cannot also proceed without consideration of the impact (if any) of the requirements of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, Native Title Act 1993 and National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 including adherence to the conditions (if any) imposed by those Acts prior to and/or during construction.  Council as Crown Land Manager is required to obtain its Native Title Manager’s advice in respect of all acts undertaken on Crown Land and this is anticipated to add to the cost and projected time for the project.

Funding is therefore recommended to be provided for the employment of an Access Consultant to undertake an assessment of the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club building, and completion of Native Title assessment for the site.  Council will work with the proponent towards seeking funding opportunities to improve accessibility and adherence to AS 1428 and current building codes.

Coffs Regional Community Gardens Inc.

The Coffs Regional Community Gardens Inc. has applied for funding to construct concrete footpaths and a pad for a toilet at the site at 51 Combine Street.

The plans for improved accessibility at the Community Gardens with the construction of concrete footpaths is positive, however funding is not recommended for the construction of a 3mx3m concrete pad for a composting toilet at the site.  Whilst, Council understands the need for toilet facilities at the Community Gardens, funding of a composting toilet at a later stage would require consideration as to the placement on the property with regard to flooding, aspect, and consistency with Plan of Management (Community land) for the site.

As the Community Gardens are centrally located to the central business district and in close proximity to sewer lines, consideration should also be given as to whether it would be more appropriate for toilet facilities to be connected to sewer.

Options:

There are several options that may be considered by Council including:

1.   Adopt the recommendation.  This option provides for the optimal distribution of grant funding based on the submissions received and the assessment process.

2.   Amend or reject the recommendation.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The assessment panel considers the merit of each project based on the impact on the surrounding environment.  The panel also considers the location of the proposed projects in terms of community amenity and acceptance.  The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program also assists to maintain the built environment, as it assists community based organisations without the means to maintain capital infrastructure to have acceptable maintenance of these facilities so they are available for long term benefit.

•     Social

The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program evaluates projects on the triple bottom line, which incorporates an assessment of social benefit.  Each of the qualifying projects has been assessed as providing community benefit, and all applicants are required to address this criterion in their applications for funding.  This ensures that the Program provides maximum social benefit.

•     Civic Leadership

The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program delivers on a number of aspects of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan, in particular B2; A Community achieving its potential.  The Program model delivers on the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan by ensuring community partnering to deliver projects, co-funding to increase derived benefit from a modest grant pool and ensuring that community based organisations are supported to increase appeal and use value of their facilities for broader community benefit.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The assessment of projects under the Program is in part based on:

-     Each project’s capital costs, the total lifecycle or maintenance costs, and value for money; and

-     The economic benefits that may exist due to the project, which may be a reduction on other costs or income derived.

The capital works nature of the Grants Program ensures that small/medium businesses in the local area benefit from economic flow-on effects of Council stimulus, providing work for trades persons in the local community.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Funding for this Program is included in the 2021/22 budgets and identified in the Operational Plan.

Due to a number of factors, in particular the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local community and sporting organisations, residual funds of $150,000 remain after the allocation of funding to proposed projects. It is anticipated that Council will reallocate these funds to the 2022/2023 Program, to assist community organisations to recover and rebuild after the pandemic.

Risk Analysis:

The guidelines for this Program include clauses requiring applicants to have in place public liability insurance (minimum $20m), personal injury income protection for volunteer insurance and/or any other appropriate insurance cover for the project.  Council is to be noted as an interested party on all insurance certificates for the purpose of the grant.

The Program’s guidelines also require that all works are carried out in a safe work environment in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Codes of Practice.  Only licensed contractors are to undertake related works to the project.  Council also reserves the right to pre-approve contractors for the project.

The guidelines for the Program include provisions relating to financial reporting, governance and a structured schedule to ensure the grantees fulfil the objectives of their application.  A formal acquittal of the grant is required on completion of the project.

Consultation:

The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program involves a consultative process from opening of the application process through to the final decision communication.  A senior and cross-functional panel has assessed the projects, and technical input has been sought on feasibility.  The community applicants are being assisted by Council to improve their applications and project plans for future prospects.  This is a collaborative and consultative Council initiative.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The initial Community Grants Program commenced in 2013/14 with a budget allocation of $100,000, and has been undertaken every year since, with the Program budget increasing to the current provision of $340,650 in 2021/2022.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Applicants will be notified at the earliest possible time and associated grant funding will be made available to recipients on substantial completion of the planned project, in accordance with the guidelines for the Grant Program.

Conclusion:

The Building Together: Community Infrastructure Grants Program is a valued funding initiative that assists Council to work in partnership with not-for-profit organisations to deliver projects that improve public infrastructure.

 


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SC21/37       Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 - Quarterly Update March and June 2021

Author:                        Group Leader Community & Cultural Services

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

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

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/37   Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 - Quarterly Update March and June 2021  

 

Executive Summary

Between October and December 2019, the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA) was directly impacted by three bushfires.  In particular, the fast burning Liberation Trail fire posed an extreme risk to many communities within the LGA and the locality of Nana Glen was devastated on November 12.  In total, seventeen dwellings were lost, seven homes damaged and a large number of buildings and infrastructure damaged.

The Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 summarises Council’s response to the bushfire event and outlines the recovery process for bushfire affected residents, the Orara Valley community and the broader LGA. 

This Plan has been prepared to provide an overview of the social, economic, environmental and infrastructure recovery activities and programs, including the allocation of State Government and Federal Government Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

This report provides an update from the March and June 2021 quarters on the progress of the plan highlighting the status of projects and any changes or amendments that were required.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 - Quarterly Update March and June 2021 (Attachment 1).

 

Report

Description of Item:

Bushfires hit the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA) in November 2019, predominantly in the Orara Valley locality.  Over 3,500 hectares of land was burnt in the LGA. In particular, the impact of the Liberation Trail fire in the Nana Glen locality was significant, with 47 properties directly impacted.  Across the 2019/20 season, residents of the wider LGA suffered economically and socially from the impacts of the three bushfires and were exposed to poor air quality from local and surrounding fires. 

The Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 provides an overview of the funding allocations, outcomes expected and the status of planned activities and recovery programs.

Since the last quarterly update, Council received an additional $145,000 from Phase Two Stream 2 of the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF), through joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.  This grant program includes seven projects that continue to build on Council’s recovery and resilience work within the community. This includes a part-time project support role, and partnerships with Bellingen Shire Council and the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) to improve risk resilience in the local emergency area which includes Coffs Harbour and Bellingen’s local government areas.

Issues:

On 10 September 2020, Council adopted the Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022.

The Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 outlines the outcomes, activities and status of recovery programs across the following areas:

1.   Community and Social Recovery

2.   Business and Tourism Recovery

3.   Environmental Recovery

4.   Infrastructure Recovery

As set out in the attached update, there are 63 bushfire recovery related projects, an increase of seven, with 36 projects complete; 20 projects on-track to be complete; five projects in planning; and two projects cancelled due to COVID-19.

Most notable updates apply to BCRRF projects which are included under Section 5.3 Community Recovery and Resilience Funding, (pp.19-23) with one project on track to be completed before the 2021 fire season, and the remainder now complete.

Two projects in Section 8.0 Infrastructure Recovery, table 8.2 (pp. 33-34) are now complete, including the turnaround bays for emergency vehicles and the replacement of McPhersons Road Bridges.  Crown Lands clearly indicated they would not address the loading limits of the two private bridges on crown land and the cost of replacement far exceed the $250,000 allocated to this project.  Council officers spoke by phone or met in-person with residents who use these bridges to explain the results of the external review and response of Crown Lands and that funds would be reallocated as per Council resolution 26 March 2021 ($100,000 for upgrade of Neighbourhood Safer Places and $150,000 to the Environmental Recovery Program).  The upgrade of Neighbourhood Safer Places is now on-track to be completed and all hard stand sites have been completed except for McClellands Road, Bucca due to a new bridge being built under a Fixing Country Bridges grant.  Completion date of the bridge is 2022-23 and planning is under way to seek a grant exception for this project as it may exceed when the grant is to be expended.

Options:

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

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 outlines how Council will assist in the broader environmental recovery of bushfire affected land and waterways.  Community engagement completed by Council in 2019/20 highlighted environmental needs as deemed important by residents, community and environmental groups.

•     Social

Disaster events are disruptive and can place prolonged stress on an individual and the community.  Council recognises that the recovery process is evolving and depending on circumstance, can take months and even years.  Through a community engagement process, Council has prioritised a community-led and collaborative recovery process that supports the community in a timely and appropriate manner.

•     Civic Leadership

The Plan acknowledges the generous and dedicated support from local residents, businesses and organisations in providing much-needed support to the community immediately after the fires.  This support and commitment has evolved as the recovery process has progressed and Council continues to work with these individuals and local organisations to promote recovery more broadly and to build on local resilience and preparedness.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The Business and Tourism Recovery projects have been designed to assist with economic recovery and encourage visitation to the Coffs Harbour LGA area with a focus of development and promotion of local business in the Orara Valley.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The activities and projects outlined in the Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 have been included in the 2021/22 Operational Plan and budgets. 

Risk Analysis:

Despite the individual and community challenges imposed by government COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, Council has prioritised bushfire recovery through the pandemic. 

The appointment of a Community Recovery Officer has ensured a constant and regular conduit between Council, bushfire affected residents, bushfire recovery agencies and organisations and the broader community.

All community engagement and bushfire recovery activities and events are planned in accordance with government COVID-19 regulations and restrictions.

Consultation:

Community consultation and engagement is integral to successful community-led recovery.

The Community Recovery Officer has developed and continues to maintain strong contact with bushfire affected residents and key community stakeholders.  Regular community engagement opportunities for community consultation and gathering of information has continued to drive a community-led recovery process.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Federal and State Government disaster recovery programs.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The Bushfire Recovery Program has already commenced and a cross organisation Bushfire Working Group coordinates activity across various programs. 

Conclusion:

It is important that the response and recovery phases of the 2019 bushfire events are recorded, shared and progress monitored.  The Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 acknowledges the impact the 2019 bushfire events had on communities throughout the Coffs Harbour LGA and provides an evidence based view of needs created by the bushfires and a trajectory for future recovery and preparedness planning.

 


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SC21/38       Planning Proposal - 116 Braford Drive, Bonville - Pre-Exhibition

Author:                        Senior Planner / Urban Designer

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      C.1 Liveable neighbourhoods with a defined identity

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/38   Planning Proposal - Braford Drive, Bonville - Pre-Exhibition          

 

 

Executive Summary

An application has been received by Council to amend Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013 to reduce the minimum lot size applying to Lot 3 DP 1052184, 116 Braford Drive, Bonville to facilitate the subdivision of the land. The purpose of this report is to seek Council’s endorsement to initiate a planning proposal (Attachment 1) to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 to reduce the minimum lot size applying to the subject land from one hectare to 6,000m2.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Endorse and forward a planning proposal (Attachment 1) to reduce the minimum lot size for Lot 3 DP 1052184, 116 Braford Drive, Bonville to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment seeking a Gateway Determination.

2.       Request that the Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment issue a written authorisation to Council to exercise delegation of the plan making functions under section 3.36(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in respect of the planning proposal.

3.       Resolve to publicly exhibit the planning proposal and undertake government agency consultation in accordance with the Gateway Determination issued by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

4.       Note that a further report will be brought back to Council for consideration following public exhibition of the planning proposal.

5.       Inform the owners of the subject land and their consultant of Council’s decision.

 

REPORT:

Description of Item:

An application has been received by Council to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 to reduce the minimum lot size of land at 116 Braford Drive, Bonville from one hectare to 6,000m2 in order to facilitate subdivision of the land for large lot residential purposes. The subject land has a total area of 1.26 hectares and is contained within Zone R5 Large Lot Residential under Coffs Harbour LEP 2013. The proposed amendment would enable subdivision of the land into two allotments. No other changes to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 are proposed or required.

The application has merit, as it accords with the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy 2020 and the land is relatively unconstrained. In this regard, a planning proposal has been prepared in accordance with Section 3.33 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (‘The Act’) to initiate an amendment to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 (Attachment 1).

•     The Site

The application to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 affects land at 116 Braford Drive, Bonville being Lot 3 DP 1052184 as shown in Figure 1 below. 

Figure 1- Subject Site

The subject site is located in the existing large lot residential area of Bonville. The site has frontage to Braford Drive and currently contains a dwelling and associated outbuildings. Land surrounding the subject site is used primarily for large lot residential purposes. The land use zones of the subject site and surrounding land are shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2- Land Use Zones – Coffs Harbour LEP 2013

•     Existing and Proposed Minimum Lot Size

A minimum lot size of one hectare currently applies to the subject land. The application to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 proposes to reduce the minimum lot size to 6,000m2. Existing and proposed minimum lot size provisions are shown in Map 1 and 2 below.

Issues:

·    Suitability of proposed amendment

The Bonville R5 Large Lot Residential area has a range of existing lot sizes that reflect past subdivision planning controls and practice. The size of lots surrounding the subject site range from approximately 4,000m2 to just over 2ha.

In order to inform minimum lot sizes in the area, Council in 2013 commissioned a study of land in the Bonville area to investigate its potential to accommodate on-site wastewater management (which is an inherent limitation on residential land that is not connected to a sewerage network).

This study examined the site that is the subject of this planning proposal (along with a number of others) and determined that a 4,000m2 minimum lot size was generally appropriate for the Bonville rural residential area in regard to the capacity of the land to manage effluent generated by occupation of a single dwelling house on each site. Council adopted a conservative minimum lot size of 1ha for Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

As the wastewater study commissioned by Council specifically assessed the subject lot, this study is considered to provide a satisfactory assessment of the capability of the land to accommodate on-site wastewater management and in turn, to justify the reduced minimum lot size for this site in terms of its capacity to accommodate management of wastewater on site. It is likely that a detailed on-site wastewater investigation will be required as part of a development application to subdivide the land.

·    Consistency with Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy 2020

The Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy, Chapter 6 – Large Lot Residential Lands addresses minimum lot size within Zone R5 Large Lot Residential and notes that a reduced minimum lot size may be supported where sufficiently justified. Section 6.7 of this chapter states the following:

‘It is also reasonable that if undeveloped land within Zone R5 can justify a reduced lot size, then it should be considered through an applicant-initiated planning proposal. This would allow a merit case for a revised minimum lot size LEP amendment request to be submitted to Council, bearing in mind the underlying reasons for the standard in the first place and the objectives of Zone R5.’

It is considered that the planning proposal (Attachment 1) has sufficiently justified a reduced minimum lot size for the subject land. The resulting outcome would facilitate large lot residential development on the land that is in keeping within the objectives of Zone R5 Large Lot Residential under Coffs Harbour LEP 2013.

·    Consistency with NSW Planning Framework

The proposed LEP amendment has been assessed against the relevant directions and actions of the North Coast Regional Plan 2036 and has been found to be consistent with the Plan. This assessment is outlined in the planning proposal included at Attachment 1.

The proposed amendment has also been assessed against the relevant criteria of applicable State Environmental Planning Policies and Section 9.1(2) Ministerial Directions and has been found to be consistent. This assessment is outlined in the planning proposal included at Attachment 1.

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.   Resolve to undertake an alternative approach.

Option 1 is recommended as the suitable course of action.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The subject land has limited biodiversity values and is located in an established large lot residential area. Therefore, the proposed amendment to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 (which would allow application to be made for the development of an additional lot) is not expected to create significant environmental impacts. Potential environmental impacts are discussed in the planning proposal included at Attachment 1.

•     Social

The provision of additional feasible large lot residential land will result in positive social impacts within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area. The addition of one lot is not considered to place unreasonable demands on existing social services in the immediate area.

•     Civic Leadership

The proposed amendment to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 accords with relevant objectives and associated strategies of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan, including C1.1 We create liveable places that are beautiful and appealing; and C1.2 We undertake development that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The creation of an additional lot through a future subdivision is likely to have a small positive effect on economic activity in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The proposed amendment to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 is a proponent-led application and therefore Council’s adopted fees and charges apply. In this regard, there are no implications for Council’s Delivery Program or Operational Plan as this process is funded by the applicant.

Risk Analysis:

The planning proposal (Attachment 1) addresses the constraints that affect the land sufficient to allow Council to support the application and initiate a planning proposal to the next stage (Gateway Determination). The planning proposal demonstrates that the constraints affecting the land can be managed effectively, therefore minimising associated risks.

Consultation:

Should Council resolve to initiate the planning proposal and a Gateway Determination is subsequently issued by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the proposal is required to be exhibited in accordance with the Gateway Determination and relevant provisions of the Act. Consultation with government agencies and other stakeholders may also be required if specified within the Gateway Determination. Consultation will be undertaken in accordance with Council’s Community Participation and Engagement Plan 2019, as follows:

Project Stage

Inform

Consult

Involve

Collaborate

Pre-lodgement Discussions

x

x

 

Initiate Planning Proposal

x

 

 

Public Exhibition

x

x

 

 

Post Exhibition Report to Council

x

 

 

Post Endorsement Notification

x

 

 

 

Place Score

In early 2019, Council undertook extensive community consultation using the Place Score placemaking tool to understand community priorities and values. The Coffs Harbour LGA received a Place Score of 65, which is below the NSW average of 72. The top most ranked strength for the Coffs Harbour LGA in this study is “Elements of the Natural Environment”. Despite this strength, the community identified “Protection of the Natural Environment” in its top five priorities for improvement. The planning proposal will contribute to facilitating the priorities relating to the protection of the natural environment.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The planning proposal (Attachment 1) has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. A number of other relevant policies and statutory documents have been considered in the preparation of the planning proposal.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Should Council resolve to initiate the planning proposal, it will be immediately forwarded to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, requesting a Gateway Determination. The timeframe for the completion of this planning proposal is governed by the Act and thus is determined by NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The anticipated timeframe for the LEP amendment process is summarised within the planning proposal (Attachment 1).

Conclusion:

The purpose of this report is to seek Council’s endorsement to initiate a planning proposal (Attachment 1) to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 to reduce the minimum lot size applying to Lot 3 DP 1052184 at 116 Braford Drive, Bonville from one hectare to 6,000m2 in order to facilitate subdivision of the land for large lot residential purposes. Sufficient justification to support the amendment to Coffs Harbour LEP 2013 is provided within the planning proposal (Attachment 1).

 


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SC21/39       Proposed Regional Athletics Centre – Stakeholder Workshop Report

Author:                        Group Leader City Prosperity (Acting)

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

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

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/39   Regional Athletics Centre - Consultation Report - Locale Consulting  

 

Executive Summary

In July 2019, Council resolved to support in principle the establishment of a Regional Athletics Centre (RAC) and to undertake a site selection investigation on identified sites.

At its meeting of 10 September 2020, Council considered the site selection report prepared by strategic sports planning specialists Xypher Consulting.  Two sites, Bruce Barnier Oval and York Street Oval, were investigated in detail and Council resolved to place the site selection report on public exhibition.

Following public exhibition of the site selection report, Council further considered the issue on 10 December 2020 and resolved to defer the matter until a workshop with stakeholders could be held in early 2021.  Locale Consulting were engaged to undertake the workshop. 

Following substantial consultation with stakeholders, it is acknowledged that there is a clear need and support for a Regional Athletics Centre in Coffs Harbour.  However, it is also apparent that the two sites investigated (York Street Oval and Bruce Barnier Oval), each produce significant issues for the existing user groups, and a compromise is unlikely to be achieved without prioritising significant capital expenditure for relocating the existing user (other sports), prior to being able to direct any funding towards athletics. 

Accordingly, in recognising this strong stakeholder feedback, it is recommended that Council consider a move towards establishing a purpose built Regional Athletics Centre at a greenfield site, where the needs of the regional athletics centre are prioritised, without any compromise from either athletics or existing user groups.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.    Note the Regional Athletics Centre – Consultation Report from Locale Consulting (Attachment 1).

2.    Acknowledge that the significant issues for existing user groups at each of the sites investigated (York Street Oval and Bruce Barnier Oval) are unlikely to be resolved without significant capital investment in relocating the incumbent sports in the first instance and accordingly, these sites should be removed as considerations for a Regional Athletics Centre.

3.    Investigate Council owned greenfield site options for a Regional Athletics Centre and consider the allocation of $40,000 at the next quarterly budget review to progress site selection and preliminary concept planning.

4.    Consider a further report with a recommended greenfield site location.

5.    Write to all stakeholders involved in the various stages of consultation to confirm Council’s decision.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At its Ordinary Meeting of 25 July 2019, Council considered a Notice of Motion on an investigation of possible sites for an athletics facility and resolved:

That Council:

1.       Supports in principle the establishment in the near future of a permanent year round Regional Athletics Centre, consisting of an international standard 400m multi-lane (minimum 8) all weather synthetic-surfaced track and field facility, to be situated in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area to service Coffs Harbour and the surrounding area and for the overall benefit of the North Coast Region.

2.       Recognises the establishment of a Regional Athletics Centre would presently be dependent on funding being provided by the State and/or Federal Governments, with the contribution of Council being the provision of land.

3.       Undertakes to identify and report on suitability of potential sites for the establishment of a permanent Regional Athletics Centre, with a supporting funding allocation of $40,000 from the Community Facilities Reserve.

4.       That the potential sites for investigation include the following:

a)   North of the Hockey Fields

b)   At the grounds managed by the Coffs Harbour Rugby League Club Inc.

c)   At York St oval.

Strategic sport planning specialists Xypher Consulting were engaged to investigate the options for sites for the proposed Regional Athletics Centre (RAC) which included significant stakeholder engagement and specific site analysis. The findings were presented to Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 September 2020, where Council resolved:

That the Regional Athletics Centre Site Selection report be placed on exhibition for a period of 28 days.

At the conclusion of the public exhibition process, the findings were presented to Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 December 2020, where Council resolved:

That SC20/77 be deferred until a workshop can be held in early 2021 involving Councillors, relevant staff and all users of York Street Oval, Bruce Barnier Oval, Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Precinct (including Advocate Park) and the proposed Moonee Sporting Precinct.

Locale Consulting, an independent facilitator, was engaged to prepare and facilitate the workshop on behalf of Council. The purpose of this report is to share the findings of the subsequent stakeholder consultation (Attachment 1), and seek Council’s endorsement on the next steps to progress the Regional Athletics Centre for Coffs Harbour.

Issues:

Delivering a Regional Athletics Centre for Coffs Harbour is a clear priority for Council, and all athletics stakeholders.  Council has successfully delivered regional, state and national level sporting infrastructure in recent years and the addition of a purpose built RAC in an appropriate location will further complement Coffs Harbour’s reputation as a regional sporting hub for NSW.

The site selection process for the Regional Athletics Centre has been detailed and involved significant stakeholder engagement.  The recent workshops undertaken by Locale Consulting sought to enact the most recent Council resolution and attempt to resolve the outstanding issues of both the various athletics stakeholders, and also the incumbent users of the two sites being considered.

During the workshop stakeholder engagement process, seventeen different stakeholders were engaged by Locale Consulting. The process included individual pre-workshop briefings with each stakeholder, and a series of meetings and workshops.  Generally, the stakeholders can be grouped as follows:

-     State athletics stakeholders (Athletics NSW and Little Athletics NSW)

-     Local athletics stakeholders

-     Future users of the RAC such as schools

-     Current users of York Street Oval - football

-     Current users of Bruce Barnier Oval - hockey and cricket

-     Current users of Bruce Barnier Oval and wider Coffs Coast Sport & Leisure Precinct (CCLSP) - Oztag & touch football

The workshop consultation showed that it is evident that several common factors are important to the stakeholders in selecting the site. This includes:

-     Timing: Which site can deliver the fastest outcome.

-     Standard: Which site can deliver a facility that meets appropriate standards for the RAC.

-     Impacts: Which site can mitigate the impacts (both current and future) on existing users and maximise use by athletics in the future.

-     Benefits: Which site will maximise the broader economic returns to the area.

At the same time, there is a clear difference in stakeholder views about which option best addresses each stakeholder’s needs. These differences can be summarised as follows:

-     Local athletics and football would prefer for the RAC to be located at Bruce Barnier Oval primarily due to concerns about the adverse impacts of co-sharing on each sport in the interim arrangement. However, broader concerns were also raised about the suitability of York Street Oval for the facility and a view expressed that Bruce Barnier Oval is a superior location as it is within an existing sporting precinct and aligned with the strategic intent of a sporting hub in that area.

-     Football has also advocated for bringing forward the sporting fields at Moonee and the move of Northern Storm Football Club to the site. Although, football would also be prepared to remain at York Street as the sole user.

-     Cricket, hockey, Oztag and touch football would prefer for the RAC to be located at York Street Oval primarily due to concerns about the adverse impacts on their current use of Bruce Barnier Oval and the impacts on the future growth of each sport. Despite these stated preferences, all expressed a willingness to consider solutions that could mitigate impacts on their sports should Bruce Barnier Oval be the preferred site.

-     Future users of the facility such as local schools did not have a preference on the location. Their main priority is having a facility built as soon as possible.

-     State athletics stakeholders support the need for the RAC in the Coffs Harbour area and would be guided by expert advice in selecting the preferred site.

Locale Consulting identified four key issues for Council to further consider to enable the selection of a preferred site and for the project to move forward.

1.   What facilities (e.g. warm-up facilities) are required to ensure the facility will attract high-level athletics events?

Response: The Warm Up Area requirements are detailed in the Component Schedule of the Site Selection Report - Regional Athletics Centre prepared by Xypher Consulting, and were provided by Little Athletics NSW with respect to facilities required to host regional and state events.  The state sporting organisations (SSOs) are considered to be the appropriate bodies to represent their sport in terms of facility provision required for their own events.

2.   Can impacts on existing users at either site be mitigated and agreed? What will be the costs? When would these works be complete?

Response: Consultation to date suggests that both sites proposed for the Regional Athletics Centre will have significant impacts on existing user groups, and a compromise is unlikely to be agreed upon.

Costs for replacing existing facilities (relocating local football, local hockey, local cricket or major events) will be significant (many millions of dollars, assuming land is available) and will  require Council to prioritise investigating significant funding into replacement infrastructure for these other sports, prior to planning and identifying funding for a regional athletics facility.  This will add both significant additional cost, and time, to delivering a Regional Athletics Centre for Coffs Harbour.

3.   Can the Moonee sports field development or other sporting infrastructure be expedited? What will be the costs? When would this be delivered?

Response: As above, replacement sporting infrastructure for the existing users of the two sites could be prioritised if Council resolved to fund these projects.  This would bring forward significant cost and planning for replacement infrastructure (for local football, or local hockey / local cricket / major events) in the first instance, effectively investing in the other sports before spending funds on athletics.  

4.   Is there another site that would be suitable for the RAC?

Response: Any site with existing users is likely to encounter similar resistance and/or a need for replacement infrastructure to be funded prior to the incumbent moving to make way for a regional athletics centre.

Further investigations of alternate sites for a Regional Athletics Centre can take place subject to council resolution.

The alternative would be to consider a greenfield site, with no existing users, where a regional athletics centre can be the focus, and a facility can be designed and built with the best outcomes for athletics and other uses of a regional athletics centre in mind. 

During the stakeholder workshops, a number of alternate sites were suggested. Further site investigations would explore these greenfield sites, subject to resourcing.  The two greenfield sites suggested that have sufficient space for a Regional Athletics Centre, and are Council owned parcels of land include (but not limited to):

1.   The Future Moonee Sports Complex 

2.   The lower large open space area of the City Hill site on Hogbin Drive

Options:

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

1.    Accept the recommendation.

2.   Amend the recommendation and select York Street Oval as the site for the future Regional Athletics Centre:

2.1. sharing with football until funding is available to complete construction of stage 1 of the future Moonee Sports Complex to allow for the relocation of football; OR

2.2. as the sole sport user of the site only once funding is available to complete construction of stage 1 of the future Moonee Sports Complex to allow for the relocation of football; OR

2.3. do not allocate funding to relocate existing users, meaning football and athletics would share the site long term.

3.   Amend the recommendation and select Bruce Barnier Oval as the site for the future Regional Athletics Centre:

3.1. only once funding is available to complete construction of replacement facilities for cricket and hockey and major events; OR

3.2. do not allocate funding to relocate existing users meaning local cricket and local hockey would lose existing fields and major events would lose access to Bruce Barnier Oval.

4.   Amend the recommendation and resolve not to progress site selection for a Regional Athletics Centre.

Option 1 is recommended as the suitable course of action.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

Environmental considerations will be assessed once a site selection has been finalised.

•     Social

Sports grounds are a valuable resource and are highly valued by the community, partly because they provide a low cost recreation opportunity that is within the financial reach of a broad cross section of the community.

Participating in sport produces a range of benefits including improved physical fitness, enhanced mental health, skill development, increased self-esteem and opportunities for social networking. These benefits extend to not only players but officials and spectators, and provide opportunities to strengthen family units by encouraging families to spend time together.

•     Civic Leadership

The establishment of the proposed RAC works towards achieving the outcomes identified within the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan and is directly connected to the themes "Places for Living” and “Looking after our Community”.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The RAC would have positive economic implications during the construction period and also in the long term through state and regional events that may provide positive economic benefits to Coffs Harbour’s tourism, accommodation and hospitality sectors.

It is noted that the site selection scope did not include a business case (with capital and operational expenditure detailed) or any assessment of the economic implications. 

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The initial resolution of Council recognises the establishment of a RAC would presently be dependent on funding being provided by the State and/or Federal Governments, with the contribution of Council being the provision of land.

There is currently no resourcing allocated to progressing the project in the 2021/22 Delivery Program/Operational Plan.  If Council wish to progress the project in the upcoming financial year, additional funding will need to be made available.  The steps involved comprise site selection, concept planning, site master-planning, business plans, schematic design, detailed design, and finally construction.  Some of these stages can occur concurrently if funding is available.

Risk Analysis:

It is important that all stakeholders work together to ensure the best outcome possible for a Coffs Harbour Regional Athletics Centre. This includes a vision and design that will meet specifications to attract regional and state content, whilst benefiting school and community outcomes, and minimising the impacts to any current users.

Currently, a number of planned and funded infrastructure projects for York Street Oval and the Bruce Barnier Oval site have been paused pending this site selection being finalised. In addition, confidence in Council’s ongoing commitment to major events is being questioned.  Should Council resolve to proceed with either of the previously investigated sites, these risks must be acknowledged. 

Alternatively, should Council resolve to investigate other sites, clear direction on Council’s intention on the previously investigated sites will provide clarity to all site stakeholders.

Consultation:

Previously, significant consultation has taken place with a variety of sporting and government stakeholders, during the preparation of Xypher Consulting’s site selection report and throughout the public exhibition process.

Most recently, the workshop consultation activities facilitated by Locale Consulting were undertaken having regard to the IAP2 spectrum of public participation and with the goal to “involve” stakeholders:

-     Public participation goal – To work directly with stakeholders throughout the process to ensure that their concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.

-     Promise to the public – To work with stakeholders to ensure that their concerns and aspirations are directly reflected in the alternatives developed and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision.

At each stage of the consultation process, the engagement goal was clearly identified. Further, it was clarified that the workshops were not a decision making forum and that the elected Council would be responsible for making the final decision about the preferred site for the RAC.

Once the site is confirmed by Council, an engagement strategy and project charter will be produced to progress the project, including transparent engagement intentions with key groups including government, state sporting organisations, and local users.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The Coffs Harbour Sports Facility Plan 2016 indicates York Street Oval as the future site for athletics.

In terms of sport facility provision, the state sporting organisations (SSO) are the subject matter experts for their sport on a regional/state/national level facilities, particularly when it comes to meeting major event hosting requirements. 

Implementation Date / Priority:

The project can move to the next stages once Council has resolved to select a site, and allocated required funding to progress to the next steps as noted above.

Conclusion:

Following substantial consultation with stakeholders, there is a clear and agreed need for a Regional Athletics Centre in Coffs Harbour.  It is apparent that both sites previously investigated (York Street Oval and Bruce Barnier Oval) present significant issues for the existing user groups, and a compromise is unlikely to be achieved.  It is recommended that Council commence a new direction to progress a Regional Athletics Centre on a greenfield site. This would allow the requirements of a Regional Athletics Centre to be the main focus to ensure the facility can not only deliver for the local users, but will also ensure the facility meets all requirements of the state sporting organisations, delivering a best practice facility capable of hosting regional, state and national athletics events.

 


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SI21/13         Waste Facility - Odour Update

Author:                        Team Leader Waste Services

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

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

Attachments:              ATT1  SI21/13    Odour Report

ATT2  SI21/13    Capping Review

ATT3  SI21/13    Capping Repair Map  

 

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to respond to Council’s resolution at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 June 2021 and provide Council with an update on measures currently being implemented, the results of those measures and measures yet to be implemented at the Englands Road Waste Management Facility (the landfill) to control odour.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the report.

 

Report

Description of Item:

This report is addressing item 6 from Council’s resolution at its Ordinary Meeting of 10 June 2021:

That Council:

1.       Commit to seeking a 4 metre rise, as per Option 2 in Attachment 2, in landfill height at England’s Road as an interim measure.

2.       Commence preparation of documents required for Development Application, including a Probity Plan.

3.       Meet with Bellingen Shire Council and Nambucca Valley Council to discuss:

3.1    landfill height options;

3.2    pathways to transition to secure and sustainable waste and resource recovery actions;

3.3    any other relevant waste-related matters.

4.       Progress positively towards a sustainable waste management solution for the Coffs Harbour LGA and that this be added to the KPI targets of Council senior management.

5.       Receive bimonthly reports on progress towards a new waste management solution as well as a report on the odour emissions for the relevant period.

6.       Investigate and report to Council within one month on measures currently being implemented, the results of those measures and measures to be implemented forthwith at the facility to control all and any offensive odours emanating from the facility.

7.       Investigate and report on the existing facility being converted to a waste transfer station. The purpose of this report is to provide Council with an update on measures implemented to mitigate odours emanating from the Englands Road landfill facility, as per item 6 of the Resolution.

In late April 2021, in response to a spike in the number of odour complaints which they had received, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) asked Council and adjoining facility operator ‘Biomass Solutions’ to undertake an assessment to identify existing and potential odour emission sources from the wider Englands Road facility and identify any required mitigation strategies. Council engaged Todoroski Air Services to undertake a site inspection and deliver an odour assessment report in relation to the landfill (which is the only Council-managed facility at the Englands Road locale).

The report by Todoroski Air Services (refer Attachment 1) identified that high levels of landfill gas odours were emanating from a small area of the landfill in the south-east (SE) corner, and that these odours were the likely cause of odour complaints received by the NSW EPA.  It is assessed that the elevated levels of landfill gas have been caused from unprecedented levels of rainfall received during the months around February to April.  The heavy rainfall compromised/degraded the existing landfill capping in that small area and likely directly infiltrated the waste mass in that area. It is important to note that the rainfall during those months was more than double the average rainfall for the period. It is also important to note that there has not been any prior odour issue related directly to the landfill itself, at least during the past 15 years.

Recommendations made in the odour report included actions related to capping repair, additional gas monitoring, and a review of the existing gas extraction and flaring system.

Management and mitigation measures have been progressively actioned by Council, with results showing significant improvements.  Action measures will continue to be implemented until surface monitoring results confirm landfill gas levels are below the 1% methane level benchmark.

It should be noted that this report relates only to odours identified at the Englands Road landfill.  It is understood that Biomass Solutions has undertaken their own independent odour assessment for the adjoining Alternate Waste Processing Facility and provided their own report to the NSW EPA.  Council does not have access to that report and so is unable to provide any further comment related to that aspect.

Issues:

The Todoroski Air Services report recommended a number of actions for immediate and on-going mitigation of odour emanating from the Englands Road landfill.

The following mitigation and management controls (as recommended in the odour report) are being implemented at the Englands Road landfill:

1.       Continue the current mitigation action programme until the source of the problematic odour is eliminated from causing odour impacts off-site:

·        Make-good the intermediate capping material as indicated via follow-up fine grid (5m) surface gas monitoring over the problematic area.

·        Continue with follow-up surface landfill gas testing to ensure the gas is adequately controlled in the problematic area and apply suitable intermediate capping material to a minimum depth of 300 mm as required.

·        The on-going actions may cease when the follow up monitoring has confirmed the rectification (make-good) works have stabilised the gas emissions to suitably low levels, and that it can be shown there is no adverse community impact.

Immediately following the site investigation by Todoroski Air Services (6 and 7 May 2021), Council commenced the application of additional cover material to repair the minimum 300mm intermediate capping across the small area of concern, being the SE corner cell.

An independent expert was engaged to provide advice on the quality and quantity of capping material used.  The advice of the expert is provided in Attachment 2 and confirmed that the depth and quality of material met the relevant technical specifications and guidelines.  Council is also applying a layer of mulch to approximately 100mm depth, which will assist protect the intermediate capping (refer Attachment 3).

Commencing 11 May 2021, Council has been undertaking regular landfill gas surface monitoring at a fine grid (5m) path across the area of concern (a sector in the SE corner of the Englands Road landfill).  This fine grid surface monitoring will continue across the area of concern until all results show methane levels are below 1%.

Fine grid (5m) landfill gas surface monitoring in the area of concern

The results of the fine grid landfill gas surface monitoring within the area of concern have shown that there has been a significant reduction in landfill gas from the area of concern.  This has confirmed that the application of additional intermediate capping and mulch has been significantly successful to date. The results of the surface monitoring will continue to be used to further refine mitigation actions.

The most recent surface monitoring results indicate a considerable improvement and reduction in the detection of methane levels in the area of concern.  There were only three isolated locations within the area of concern where surface monitoring results indicated a methane level >1%.  Those locations represent less than 1m2 each and are currently being specifically addressed in order to mitigate the issue. 

25 m grid landfill gas surface monitoring across the entire landfill

The results of the May 2021 monthly landfill gas surface monitoring are provided in the odour report. The results showed the entire landfill (with the exception of the SE corner area of concern) had results below 0.05% methane, with the exception of two locations – both of which were rectified within two days of identification, (rectification work to address any identified locations is routine practice). This is a positive result.

The June 2021 monitoring also indicated a positive result – with only one isolated location where methane levels exceeded 1% (excluding the SE corner area of concern). This location was <0.5 m2 in area and the cause was identified as a crack in the intermediate capping, and a routine repair to the area has taken place.

2.       Continue the existing normal periodic testing/ verification/monitoring to confirm that all other areas across the landfill are functioning correctly:

·        Use a monitor to test the integrity of the remaining (non-problematic at present) landfill cap (per the normal monthly programme on a 25m grid) and repair any identified areas as soon as practicable.

·        The landfill gas and leachate collection systems should continue to be regularly inspected/ tested by experts in such systems to confirm correct operation.

Council has for historically conducted (and will continue to undertake) a monthly landfill gas surface monitoring program across the entire landfill surface at a 25m grid (in accordance with the EPA’s Guidelines).  The surface monitoring across the entire landfill for May 2021 was included in the odour report. The surface monitoring across the entire landfill for the month of June 2021 is discussed above. 

In relation to the landfill gas collection and flaring system, the landfill has a network of landfill gas extraction bores across the site.  The purpose of the gas collection system is to collect landfill gas and direct the collected gas to the flare, which operates 24 hours a day.  Council utilises a contractor to provide a monthly monitoring and maintenance service of the landfill gas collection system.  The contractor continued to provide this monthly service throughout the identified odour period (April, May, and June 2021).  In addition, the contractor has been engaged to implement some minor pipework amendments within the area of concern to seek to increase landfill gas extraction from the area, and that work will occur in coming weeks. In addition, the contractor undertook a pressure testing exercise on the existing system to confirm its operability.

In relation to the leachate system, the landfill has an existing and well-functioning leachate collection system which collects leachate and directs it to the onsite storage facilities, awaiting offsite disposal.  The odour report confirmed there were no odours from the leachate system and it was not a source of the offensive odours.  It is considered that no further action is required in this particular area.

Options:

To note the report.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The Englands Road landfill operates under the NSW EPA issued Environment Protection Licence #6267 (EPL).  Council continues to meet its environmental management and monitoring obligations under the EPL and report as required to the NSW EPA.

In addition, the Waste Services team continues to work collaboratively with the NSW EPA to address the issue.

•     Social

Council representatives have been providing an update to concerned community members/complainants through face to face consultations and telephone calls.

•     Civic Leadership

The continued operation of municipal waste systems is a regulatory function of local government within New South Wales, with the Englands Road landfill being regulated by the NSW EPA and operating under EPL #6267.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The odour issue associated with elevated landfill gas is considered to be a localised issue with no direct broader economic implications.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The mitigation and management actions being implemented to address the odour issue are being funded through current operational budgets.

Risk Analysis:

Risks related to the odour from the Facility are primarily those related to the level of community satisfaction.

Consultation:

With an effort to assist in understanding the nature/frequency and duration of any odour (which is key to effectively direct any further action) Council representatives have held 14 face to face interviews with community members/complainants and three telephone meetings.  Council staff will continue to meet periodically with stakeholders wherever appropriate, and directly with complainants until the issue is resolved.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The Englands Road landfill continues to operate under conditions outlined in the EPL #6267.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Management and mitigation actions will continue to be implemented until landfill gas surface monitoring results demonstrate that gas emissions from all landfill areas are below 1% v/v methane.  As discussed above recent monitoring has already indicated positive results with only very isolated locations identified as requiring further targeted action.

Conclusion:

An independent odour assessment identified that the England’s Road landfill had elevated levels of landfill gas that are likely to be the primary source of recent odour complaints received by the NSW EPA.

It has been identified that due to unprecedented levels of rainfall received during February to April 2021 the landfill capping in an isolated area within the SE corner of the landfill was compromised, allowing the release of landfill gas.  This has been an unprecedented occurrence with no such prior odour occurrence related to the landfill during the last 15 years.

Action to address the elevated landfill gas and associated odour, include:

·        Application of additional intermediate capping and mulch to the SE corner area of concern

·        Fine grid (5m) landfill gas surface monitoring within the area of concern (currently weekly)

·        Broader grid (25m) landfill gas monitoring across the entire landfill (monthly)

·        Engagement of contractors to provide advice

·        Face to face consultations with community members who have complained to the NSW EPA.

Results of these actions has led to substantial reduction in landfill gas emission and consequently the odour complaints. Continued work will ensure this matter is not repeated.

 

 


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