Coffs Harbour City Council

04 August 2021

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

 

The above meeting will be held in the Council Administration Building

Cnr Coff and Castle Streets, Coffs Harbour on:

 

Thursday, 12 August 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

 

 

Directorate Reports - Business Services

BS21/46          Draft Plan of Management - Woolgoolga Lake 2021............................ 3

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Communities

SC21/44          Development Application No. 0685/21 - Attached Dual Occupancy - Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach........................... 61

SC21/45          Amendments to the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register.... 93

Notices of Motion Sustainable Infrastructure

NOM21/19      Council Vision Statement for New Landfill Facility......................... 97

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

SI21/17           Review of Acid Sulphate Soils Disposal.................................................. 98

Questions on Notice

QON21/07      Cultural and Civic Space - Interim Funding.......................................... 304


BS21/46       Draft Plan of Management - Woolgoolga Lake 2021

Author:                        Plans of Management Project Manager

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

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

Attachments:              ATT1  BS21/46   Draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake - 2021

ATT2  BS21/46   Native Title Manager's Advice - Woolgoolga Lake draft PoM  

 

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 Woolgoolga Lake - 2021 (Attachment 1) has been finalised following wide consultations across multiple groups of Council and the Coastal and Estuary Management 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.  It is also 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.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.    Refer the draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake - 2021 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 Woolgoolga Lake - 2021 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.  It is likely that Council will need to prepare at least 10 PoMs to cover the Crown reserve estate.  The first PoM adopted under the new Act was for the Coffs Harbour Community Village and Cavanbah Centre which 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’.  The ‘natural area’ is further categorised as ‘watercourse’.  The Gazetted Purpose of the reserve is ‘Public Recreation’.

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 while ensuring environmental protection.  The PoM authorises the 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.

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 as are limitations with respect the granting of leases and licences; hence the need to continue with the program to prepare and adopt a PoM for all reserves.

Issues:

The Crown reserve covers the lake bed below the high water mark.  All forms of on-water activity such as boating, is managed by the Transport for NSW Maritime division.  Fisheries issues are managed by the Department of Primary Industries, which also manages the Solitary Islands Marine Park – of which Woolgoolga Lake is part.  The main role of Council in managing this reserve is through managing the water level and lake entrance, as well as any foreshore works.

Options:

1.    Adopt the recommendation and thereby refer the draft Plan of Management for Woolgoolga Lake - 202, 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 Woolgoolga Lake – 2021 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 PoM makes 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.

•     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:

It 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.  To ignore this is to risk non-compliance with the CLM Act and LG Act.

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 Coastal and Estuary Advisory Committee and a re-draft prepared as a result of comments/suggestions, including comments from Transport for NSW Maritime division, which also sits on the Committee.

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.  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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SC21/44       Development Application No. 0685/21 - Attached Dual Occupancy - Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach

Author:                        Development Assessment Officer

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      C.1 Liveable neighbourhoods with a defined identity

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/44   Development Application No. 0685/21 - S4.15 Evaluation Report

ATT2  SC21/44   Development Application No. 0685/21 - Plans

ATT3  SC21/44   Development Application No. 0685/21 - Draft Conditions

ATT4  SC21/44   CONFIDENTIAL Development Application No. 0685/21 - Submissions

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(a) of the Local Government Act as it contains personnel matters concerning particular individuals (other than Councillors).  

        

 

 

Executive Summary

This report provides an assessment of Development Application No. 0685/21 for an attached dual occupancy development at Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach.

At its meeting of 12 October 2017, Council adopted the ‘Development Applications - Consideration by Council Policy’, which outlined:

That development applications for approval involving substantial aspects of the following elements be referred to Council for determination:

-     Significant public interest and community input;

-     A proposed variation to the Local Environmental Plan that varies from the development standard by more than 10%;

-     Significant land use; and

-     Major environmental issues.

Following public exhibition of the application, Council received twenty-one (21) submissions. Accordingly, this matter is reported to Council for determination due to ‘significant public interest and community input’.

The development application is also reported to Council for determination because it proposes to vary a development standard in the Local Environmental Plan by more than 10%.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Support the request to vary a development standard made pursuant to Clause 4.6 of Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 for the variation to the Minimum Lot Size for Dual Occupancy in Zone R2 under Clause 4.1B of Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 in this particular case.

2.       Approve Development Application No. 0685/21 for an attached dual occupancy at Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach subject to the conditions provided in Attachment 3.

3.       Advise persons who made a submission on Development Application No. 0685/21DA of Council’s decision.

 

REPORT:

Applicant:

Mr R.D Colquhoun of RDC Architecture

Landowner:

Mr R Deskoski

Land:

Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach

Zone:

R2 Low Density Residential

Description:

Attached Dual Occupancy

Description of Item:

•     The Site

The site is known as Lot 1 DP 1147679, 42A Warrawee Street, Sapphire Beach. It is a vacant residential lot with an area of 557.6m2. It adjoins residential development to the north and on the east side of Warrawee Street. It adjoins a public reserve owned by Council to the south. The land to the west consists of a narrow reserve owned by Council which backs onto the Solitary Islands Way road reserve.

The site is located in the older part of Sapphire Beach. Warrawee Street ends in a cul-de-sac to the south-east. The existing development surrounding the site consists of a variety of housing sizes, heights and ages, including single dwellings and dual occupancy developments.

•     The Development

Development Application No. 0685/21 proposes construction of an attached dual occupancy development. This consists of two, double storey dwellings attached by a central, fire-rated dividing wall. No subdivision is proposed. Each dwelling has two bedrooms, living rooms upstairs and downstairs, and a terrace at the first floor level facing Warrawee Street.  Dwelling 1 has a deck at the first floor facing the Solitary Islands Road reserve. The ground floor contains double garages for each dwelling, separate driveways and private open space areas in the rear yards and front (and side yards for Dwelling 2) enclosed by 1.5m high courtyard fencing.

The dwellings propose contemporary design. They consist of a variety of materials including render, weatherboards, sheeting and colorbond roofing. Extensive glazing and terraces are provided.

Issues:

The main assessment issues for the proposed development are:

-     variation to the minimum lot size required under Clause 4.1B ‘Minimum Lot Size for Dual Occupancy in Zone R2’ of the LEP;

-     variation to density requirements under Clause D3.1 of the DCP;

-     minor variation to the total open space of Unit 1 under Clause D3.5 of the DCP;

-     impact on character and amenity of area; and

-     safety concerns from additional traffic.

These issues are detailed in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

Options:

1.   Adopt the recommendation thereby granting approval to the application, subject to conditions.

2.   Refuse the application and list reasons for refusal.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

A complete assessment of potential environmental impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Social

A complete assessment of potential social impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

The proposed development is considered to be consistent with the ‘MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan’ particularly the ‘A Place for Community’ theme, which requires amongst other things that development occur in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The proposed development is not expected to result in any significant broader economic implications.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no implications for Council’s Delivery Program/adopted Operational Plan.

Risk Analysis:

A risk analysis has been undertaken and it is considered that approval of the development application as recommended, does not pose a significant risk to Council.

Consultation:

The development was notified in accordance with the requirements of Council’s Community Participation and Engagement Plan for a period of fourteen days on two separate occasions. At the conclusion of both notification periods, a total of 21 submissions were received. Of these, thirteen were received during the initial notification period and eight during the second notification period. Those who objected the second time had also objected initially.

A full copy of all of the submissions is a confidential attachment to this report (Attachment 4), as the submissions may contain personal or private information or other considerations against disclosure as prescribed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The statutory instruments relevant to the development include the following:

-     State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 - Remediation of Land

-     State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018

-     State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007

-     State Environmental Planning Policy (Building Sustainability Index: BASIX) 2004

-     Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013

-     Coffs Harbour Development Control Plan 2015

Implementation Date / Priority:

In the event that Council adopts the recommendation, a formal notice of determination will be issued for the development application. A formal notice of determination is valid for five years and the applicant can act on the development consent at any time within that period, subject to meeting any relevant conditions of the consent.

Conclusion:

A comprehensive assessment of the application has been undertaken in accordance with all statutory requirements and it is recommended that the application be approved subject to a number of standard conditions (Attachment 3).

 


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SC21/45       Amendments to the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register

Author:                        Team Leader Biodiversity, Coastal & Flooding

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

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

Attachments:              ATT1  SC21/45   Amendments to the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register  

 

Executive Summary

The objective of this report is to seek Council’s endorsement to amend the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register as outlined in Attachment 1.

The report provides the background to the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register, the implications and details of how the changes will be implemented.

 

Recommendation:

That Council amend the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register as outlined in Attachment 1.

 

Report

Description of Item:

The Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register and accompanying Policy were adopted by Council on 10 August 2017. The Significant Tree Register identifies individual trees in the landscape that have high ecological, aesthetic or cultural value and was developed in line with criteria established by the National Trust of Australia. 

The primary function of the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register is to prevent the unauthorised removal, lopping, topping, damage or wilful destruction of any listed significant tree(s) without the written consent of Council.  Any listed trees are also recorded on the planning certificate issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Nominations to add or delete a tree from the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register may be made at any time and are reviewed by relevant staff from across Council, with final approval requiring a resolution of Council.

There are currently 219 trees on the register throughout the LGA, these are mostly on Council land.  Council has recently received three requests to amend the Significant Tree Register including one addition by the owner of a tree on private land, and two requests to remove trees from the register for trees on Council land. Details of the trees are provided in Attachment 1. If this report is adopted, it will bring the number of trees on the register to 218.

Issues:

Significant trees are iconic and have intergenerational value. Through the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register, Council compiles information on each listed tree to better conserve and manage significant trees in the landscape.

Listing a tree on the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register does put additional controls on the tree with retention of the tree being favoured above removal. Listing of trees on private land requires the land owner’s consent.

Options:

Council can adopt, reject or amend the resolution.  It is recommended that the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register be amended.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register complements existing strategies and plans designed for the protection of the environment and local amenity.  Trees alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water and providing habitat for wildlife.

•     Social

In many cases, trees contribute to a ‘sense of place’ as is recognised by the significance categories of Landscape Context and Aesthetic Value.  Collectively, trees add beauty to our urban landscapes by softening the harsh lines of buildings, complementing architecture, screening unsightly views and providing privacy and a sense of security and place.

•     Civic Leadership

Local Government has an essential role to play in managing and planning for biodiversity and amenity on both public and private land.  The Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register helps to deliver this role.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

Individual trees and shrubs have value, with studies showing that trees in metropolitan areas contribute positively to property value.  Trees do require maintenance, with the long-term goal of tree management being sustainability and the maintenance of ecological, social and economic functions for the duration of a tree’s useful life.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

While there are no immediate impacts to the Operational Plan, it is conceivable that infrastructure works affecting Significant Trees may be marginally costlier due to the need to protect against damage to a listed tree.

Risk Analysis:

There are no immediate risks to Council amending the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register. Keeping the register current is the best way to reduce risks.

Consultation:

The request to list the tree on private land came directly from the land owner who were informed of the requirement to record the listing on the planning certificate issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The owner was informed of the implications of listing the tree and wishes to proceed. Relevant staff within Council were consulted regarding the removal of the trees from the register that occurred on public land.

Consultation has been, and will continue to be, undertaken in accordance with Council’s Community Participation and Engagement Plan 2019, as follows:

Project Stage

Inform

Consult

Involve

Collaborate

Nominations for amendments to register

x

x

x

Recommendations reviewed by Significant Tree Committee

x

x

x

Final Document to Council for adoption or endorsement

x

x

 

 

Post Endorsement Feedback

x

 

 

 

Placescore

In early 2019, Council undertook extensive community consultation using the Place Score placemaking tool. This ‘place experience’ measurement tool enabled residents and visitors within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area to share what they most value in their neighbourhood and then to rate how their neighbourhood is performing against such values. The 2019 Place Score report was presented to Council on 11 April 2019.

Updating the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register assists in facilitating measures for quality public realm and liveability outcomes in accordance with the community aspirations identified in the Place Score results.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register is administered via Council’s Significant Tree Policy and the Coffs Harbour Development Control Plan 2015.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Following the resolution of Council, the Significant Tree Register will be amended immediately.

Conclusion:

Trees are an important part of the natural and cultural landscape of Coffs Harbour. They greatly contribute to the area’s sense of place, heritage and character, and play an important part in both the region’s past and future. Keeping the Coffs Harbour Significant Tree Register up to date ensures its accuracy.

 


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NOM21/19   Council Vision Statement for New Landfill Facility

Attachments:          Nil

 

Motion:

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

"That Council:

Adopts the following Vision Statement in working towards a new landfill tip facility.

‘Council, upon identifying the most appropriate new tip site, also builds a facility that creates a new standard in onsite recycling and waste recovery and thus strive to ultimately maximise the diversion of waste from landfill in our Local Government Area. Council seek to apply new technologies to deliver the most modern waste recovery complex in Australia.’"

 

Rationale:

“Council has recently resolved to work with the State Government in identifying a site for a new landfill waste site for Coffs Harbour City Council. The State Government has indicated support in expediting this action. This now provides the opportunity to adopt early the aspirational goals for the standard of facility we wish to build and to identify the framework we need to put in place to achieve this outcome.”

Staff Comment:

Staff acknowledge that Councillors have recently received a briefing on waste strategy reports regarding future landfill options, future transfer station options, and future resource recovery options. Staff also acknowledge that Council has recently resolved to reactivate the Regional Waste Strategy Reference Group comprising Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Councils to consider whether to progress these and other future waste options.

 

 


SI21/17         Review of Acid Sulphate Soils Disposal

Author:                        Director Sustainable Infrastructure

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

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

Attachments:              ATT1  SI21/17    Geotech Report RGS31785.1 - AC SK review Combined - 2 May 2019

ATT2  SI21/17    RGS Preliminary Phase 1 Site Contamination Assessment 12 April 2019

ATT3  SI21/17    RGS - Acid Sulphate Soil Management Plan - Preliminary June 2019

ATT4  SI21/17    Email from RSG re Further Work at 23-31 Gordon St 11 Jan 2021

ATT5  SI21/17    CCS Project Office Email of 17 March 2021  

 

Executive Summary

This report responds to an earlier Council resolution to receive a report which outlines the Cultural and Civic Space Project Board’s delegated expenditure limits for additional project expenditure, and the decision-making processes which led to the selection of the method of disposal for soils excavated from the Civic and Cultural Space project.

 

Recommendation:

That Council note the report.

 

Report

Description of Item:

At is meeting of the 20 May 2021, Council resolved to call for a report in the matter of the disposal of excavated material from the Gordon Street site.

That Council:

1.       Receive a detailed and comprehensive report documenting the changes regarding disposal of acid sulphate soils from the Cultural and Civic Space project. The report is to provide documented timelines as to how and why the plans changed and should include details of all interactions with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on this matter (including details of any applications made in relation to this issue). Full copies of correspondence with NSW EPA as well as with Queensland’s Environment Protection Agency are to be provided.

2.       Receive details of the Project Board delegated limits with regards to additional project expenditure.

3.       Note that the provision of the report does not alter the adopted position of Council regarding the Cultural and Civic Space.

The following report addresses points 1 and 2 of the resolution above.

Issues:

Details of the Project Board delegated limits with regards to additional project expenditure

Project Board’s freedom to incur project expenditure is subject to three principal limitations:

a)   Generally: The Project Board’s role is to ensure appropriate project governance is applied throughout the project’s lifespan. This role includes governance over Project-related expenditure.

The expenditure of the CCS Project Budget is incurred through two mechanisms which are each subject to different controls:

-     Via the acceptance of Tenders (leading to contractual obligations to make payments under a contract); and

-     Via approval of Contract Variations.

The Board does not have delegated authority in its own right as such delegations are specifically issued only to individuals. Given the CCS Project Board’s membership includes the General Manager, the maximum delegated authority for any purpose of the Board is the authority which is held by the General Manager either under the Local Government Act or as otherwise may be delegated by Council. The General Manager then exercises that authority in consideration of recommendations from the Board.

b)   Limits with respect to the Board accepting a Tender: At an early stage of the Project, Council resolved (Resolution 2019/209) to receive all tender acceptance reports for new contracts valued at more than $250,000. This effectively limited the General Manager’s authority (and by proxy, the Board’s ability) for the acceptance of any tender to only those valued at less than $250,000. This had the effect of making Council itself the authority for the acceptance of all tenders over the value of $250,000.

Later, Council reviewed its position and adopted the following, less restrictive, resolution to Report 2020/56:

That Council:

1.   Repeal Resolution 2019/209; and

2.   Resolve that where Council is proposing to procure goods and services where the value exceeds the prescribed tender threshold of $250,000, in respect of the Cultural and Civic Space Project, each resulting tender is to be determined by full Council.

Pursuant to this later resolution, the General Manager’s authority to accept a tender was effectively kept to tenders valued at less than $250,000, but now, only when the tender also related the Cultural and Civic Space Project. In which case any new tender related to the CCS Project with a value greater than that amount would need to be resolved by Council.

c)   Limits with respect to the Board approving a Variation: The Board may endorse additional expenditure (or savings) on a Project cost item via Approved Variations (as opposed to entering a new contract). In this case the limit is provided by the quantum of Council-endorsed project budget. In the case of the CCS Project that limit currently remains at $81.265m.

The Board should not consent to, nor allow to be incurred, any additional expenditure via a Variation which would result in overall Project expenditure exceeding this set budget limit without first reverting to, and receiving, an effective resolution from Council voting the additional required funds.

Summary

The Board would be operating within its scope and consistent with its functions when it approves Variations (both positive and negative) to the previously assessed cost of various project cost items within the Project so long as the total Project budget limit of $81.265m is not breached.

The existence of this role is supported by the setting of the Project’s contingency provisions, which acknowledge the ultimate cost of individual project inclusions are subject to change for a number of reasons during the execution of any project. The contingency provisions which have been incorporated into the CCS Project Budget are an included component of the previously Council-resolved total budget of $81.265m.

The purpose of that budget structure and Board process is to enable the Board to effectively and efficiently execute the Project’s delivery requirements and to respond to time critical Project issues and changes as they arise without the necessity of awaiting further Council reporting cycles. This acknowledges that the available decision-making time in fast paced and complex projects such as the Cultural and Civic Space Project is often measured in hours or days before additional delay costs begin to accrue to the detriment of the adopted Project budget.

In acknowledging the above, it is of course envisaged that the variation-based decisions being made by the Board are not contrary to the Council’s adopted Project objectives, and that the Board’s decisions do not detrimentally affect either the adopted objectives or the targeted service delivery levels that will be created by the Project.

In specific summary, the Board was operating within its authority and consistent with its role when it approved a Variation Request for the purposes of removing acid sulphate soil to underwater disposal in Queensland because:

-        The Board’s act in approving the underwater disposal of acid sulphate soil did not involve the entering into of a new contract related to the CCS Project, rather, the Board approved a Variation to an existing contract which had already been appropriately resolved by Council.

-        In approving the Variation for underwater disposal of acid sulphate soil the Board did not cause or allow the Council-resolved Project budget of $81.265m to be exceeded. The approved $81.265m budget included a contingency amount specifically for issues which might arise during the excavation phase of the Project.

Options Available for Excavated Acid Sulphate Soil in the NSW Regulatory System

The Cultural and Civic Space project entailed the excavation of approximately 23,000 tonnes of material which is required by the State Significant Development Application consent conditions to be dealt with as acid sulphate soil. The categorisation of the material as acid sulphate soil entails dealing with the material under the relevant NSW legislation, being the NSW Waste Regulation and the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act.

The NSW regulatory system includes the following principal options for persons dealing with excavated soil which is deemed to be acid sulphate in nature:

1.       To treat (neutralise) the excavated material at the site of excavation prior to transporting the excavated soil for disposal at a licenced landfill. The appropriateness of this option is dictated by the cost of available landfilling, and the excavation site’s footprint vs the nature and scale of the required excavation. This was an option available at the CCS site however its enduring weakness was that it is always the costliest option as a result of landfilling charges and landfill levies which would be accompany the process. Additionally, due to the highly confined nature of the project site’s footprint, selection of this process would severely limit the expected rate of daily excavation and therefore be likely to cause a costly additionally extension of the project delivery timeline. This option was discarded at an early stage of project planning due to the impacts described above.

2.       To treat (neutralise) the excavated material at the site of excavation prior to transporting the excavated soil for disposition as fill at foreign development site. The appropriateness of this option is dictated by the availability an appropriate receiving site which has existing development approval, and the excavation site’s available footprint vs the nature and scale of the required excavation. This was an option available for the CCS project. However, due to the highly confined nature of the project site it would also severely limit the expected rate of daily excavation and therefore additionally result in a costly extension of the project delivery timeline.

3.       To transport untreated soil to a foreign site for treatment and disposition as fill at that same foreign site. The appropriateness of this option is dictated by the availability of an appropriate receiving site which has existing development approval to receive fill material. Due to the regulatory requirement to treat the material in discrete layers of a maximum stipulated depth, the larger and more unconstrained the receiving site the less impact it will have on the rate of excavation at the project site. A Site Specific Exemption (SSE) is required for this option for two reasons; firstly, to receive authority to transport untreated material to the disposal site, and secondly for authority to treat and dispose of the soil at the disposal site.

This was the preferred option for the CCS project. Two sites with the necessary pre-existing development approval were identified – initially Airport Enterprise Park site and later, the Sawtell Sewer Treatment Plant remediation site.

4.       To transport untreated soil to a licenced receiving facility and place under water within 24 hours. The appropriateness of this option is governed by the availability of a suitable receiving site and the cost of transport from the excavation site to the receiving site. A Site Specific Exemption is not required to execute this option.

Sequence of Events and Project Board Decisions Regarding Excavated Material

2018                    Early in the CCS design process it is identified that approximately 13,000 cubic metres (approximately 23,000 tonnes) of soil will need to be excavated, primarily to create the basement carpark of the building and to allow for the installation of piers and supporting underground services. It is not known at this early point prior to later detailed site investigations that the soil is acid sulphate in nature under the regulation.

May 2019            Regional Geotechnical Services (RGS) conduct the preliminary geotechnical and ground contamination investigations and assessments at the 23-31 Gordon Street site (refer to Attachments – Geotech Report RGS31785.1 – AC - 2 May 2019 and RGS Preliminary Phase 1 Site Contamination Assessment 12 April 2019).

June 2019           The RGS work identifies potential ASS at the site which creates a further requirement to develop an Acid Sulphate Soils Management Plan (ASSMP) for the purposes of accompanying the upcoming State Significant Development Application (SSDA).

It is agreed by the Project Board that the general principle to be applied for disposition of the excavated material, if it is ultimately required to be dealt with as ASS, is that more positive alternatives to landfilling the material should be sought (i.e. option 1 above should be disregarded).

The Project Board considers the early options for disposal of the acid sulphate soil and identifies that the Airport Enterprise Park development site has the appropriate existing development consent for the purposes of taking fill material; it has an engineering requirement for fill on the site; it has the necessary available space to receive excavated material at an unconstrained rate which is unlikely to compromise the future CCS excavation rate.

As a consequence, the Airport Enterprise Park (AEP) development arises as the preferred receiving site for the excavated CCS soil if such a site is required.

June 2019           RGS deliver their final assessment and acid sulphate soil management plan reports for the Gordon Street project site for inclusion in the SSDA submission to DPIE (refer to Attachment - RGS - Acid Sulphate Soil Management Plan - Preliminary June 2019).

The potential cost for Council to treat and transport the assumed 13,000 cubic meters of excavated ASS is estimated, assuming a density of 1.8 tonnes per cubic meter and liming rates per the RGS ASSMP.  The estimate is included in Slattery Schematic Design Cost Plan at this time. The Cost Estimate assumes that AEP remains the disposal site at this time.

October 2020     CCS Project checks in with the AEP Project to advance the plan to receive excavated fill at AEP.  Concerns are raised by AEP Project that the clayey nature of the soil from CCS may prove to be too reactive (too expandable when wet) to use as fill at AEP.

RGS are thence consulted regarding the potential of identifying fill methodologies which would enable the CCS soil to be moderated in an engineering sense as suitable material for fill at AEP (e.g. by using a thin layer across the large AEP site, or by combining the reactive CCS soil with a less reactive soil-type, etc).

Airport Enterprise Park remains the preferred site for CCS excavated soil during this period but further assessments explore potential contingency options for the treatment and/or disposal of the CCS excavated soil if the AEP is ultimately ruled out.

The potential alternate sites which are assessed and ultimately rejected included potential future sites for sporting fields across the LGA and the remediation of ponds at Woolgoolga Sewer Treatment Plant, for example.

With the single exception of the Sawtell Sewerage Treatment Plant site all other potential sites which are explored would require Council to undertake a development consent approvals process which included an approval to take fill before they could proceed further.

The decommissioned Sawtell Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) Site emerges as the only alternative fill site for the CCS excavated soil if the AEP option is ultimately found to be untenable.

The Sawtell STP site has the appropriate planning approval to receive fill. The approval is in the form of the existing and EPA-endorsed Site Remediation Plan which is required to be fully actioned to achieve full and final decommissioning of the Sawtell STP site. The site needs to receive fill under the Remediation Plan – and has in fact been receiving fill from various council capital construction projects since it was first decommissioned.

One potential weakness of the Sawtell STP site is that the available space in square metres is constrained relative to the AEP site. Nevertheless, the site is assessed as workable with a moderate risk of limiting (slowing down) the potential rate of future excavations at the CCS site. As a risk mitigation measure investigations are conducted regarding potential use of the treated ASS as daily cover material at the England Road landfill site.

The Sawtell STP Site also represents Council's current primary site for the disposition of all excavated material produced in Council's ongoing business as usual capital delivery. The CCS soil would exhaust the site's remaining capacity and all other ongoing and planned projects would need to be reviewed for impact and potentially reconfigured or re-funded if the remaining capacity of the Sawtell site is to be consumed by the CCS project’s needs. During this period, it is determined that lodging a Site Specific Exemption (SSE) application for AEP be deferred pending a final decision of AEP as the disposal site.

17 Nov 2020       Development consent is issued by the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. The actual project requirements relating to acid sulphate soil from the Project are only now confirmed in detail for the first time.

23 Dec 2020        Lipman Pty Ltd submit their binding lump sum Design and & Construct offer on the assumption of carting the CCS ASS to the AEP site and treating it there.

11 Jan 2021        RGS advises they are unable to identify a soil placement/treatment methodology which will enable the CCS excavated soil to meet the requirements of the AEP as suitable fill material. The AEP site is consequently ruled out as an option (refer to Attachment – Email from RSG re Further work at 23-31 Gordon St 11 Jan 2021).

The Sawtell STP site, although imperfect, is now confirmed as the only available alternative site. RGS are invited to manage the new geotechnical reporting which will be required to secure the necessary approvals (Site Specific Exemption) to support the Sawtell STP site.

RGS are engaged, but later advise that they are unable to complete the necessary approvals work for the Sawtell STP site due to company resource limitations experienced at that time. Douglas Partners are appointed instead to take on the role.

22 Feb 2021        Douglas Partners are now engaged to secure the necessary approvals (a Site Specific Exemption) to support the Sawtell STP site. Douglas Partners identify a need for additional soil tests and analysis at the CCS site to support a Site Specific Exemption application. Douglas Partners consult NSW EPA.

25 Feb 2021        The Sawtell STP Site is pursued as the solution assuming on-site treatment of acid sulphate soil at Gordon Street prior to transport to Sawtell, noting the construction program will be delayed to some extent for Gordon Street treatment and testing and the Lipman contract would need to be varied to cater for required change in cartage distance, on-site treatment and consequent program delays.

12 Mar 2021        Lipman are appointed as the CCS head contractor and are provided an update re status of soil waste investigations

The EPA contacts the CCS Project Office asking if Council had commenced disposal of soil waste at Sawtell as EPA had received allegations of CCS soil disposal at Sawtell. A later email request for information was satisfied by provision of the demolition DA, demolition waste removal records and photographs of the CCS Gordon St site showing that no excavation had taken place at that point in time. (Refer to Attachment - CCS Project Office email of 17 March 2021)

Community concerns emerge through social media and in council chambers regarding taking soil waste to Sawtell.

Mar 2021             Douglas Partners contact the EPA a number of times during March to explore the potential of the Englands Road landfill facility as a destination for the excavated material and to specifically explore:

-        Whether the treated material could be considered for use as a daily cover material with less stringent assessment than a specific exemption (i.e. given that it’s going to landfill rather than another site for reuse) while still maintaining the tip Environmental Protection Licence compliance;

-        Whether the material could be temporarily stored at the Englands Road site following lime treatment while undergoing a specific exemption application.

Ultimately the Englands Road waste facility does not have room for spreading and treatment.  Also the treated material is not acceptable as daily cover due to the facility’s licence conditions.

Douglas Partners also state that Englands Road does not have capacity to accept all of the 13,000m3 flagged for disposal.

Mar 2021             The risks and issues associated with Sawtell are further assessed during this period and concerns arise that:

-        The Environmental Protection Authority may ultimately not approve the Sawtell STP site for treatment and/or disposal.

-        The more limited site footprint at Sawtell relative to the original AEP site may result in volume constraints and options for the disposal of any excess soil are problematic, at Englands Rd due to capacity for waste disposal, and at Grafton due to disposal cost of approximately $300 per tonne before transport.

-        If the remaining Sawtell STP fill capacity is consumed with CCS excavated material, then other in-process and planned BAU infrastructure projects will be financially compromised.

-        The apparent community concerns could escalate and impact the viability of Sawtell STP option and make disposal problematic even if the Environmental Protection Authority consented to approve the plan.

As a consequence, a Site Specific Exemption is not applied for at this time due to the uncertainty of Sawtell as a workable disposal site.

An investigation of disposal options outside Coffs Harbour is undertaken. Disposal to landfill in Clarence Valley is in the order of $300/t, not including cartage, and is only available if the soil is already treated.

Lipman explore the underwater burial option by assessing transport sub-contractors and all associated fees, working with both the NSW Environmental Protection Authority and the Queensland Department of Environment & Science regarding the environmental requirements for cartage and disposal. Strategic underwater burial in Queensland is in the order of $65-$70/t untreated and includes cartage.

Douglas Partners provide their report on CCS soil. The report demonstrates that all samples are below the Severity Assessment Code levels for human health-based criteria.

One sample marginally exceeds conservative ecological-based assessment criteria. On-going risk to terrestrial ecological systems is therefore also considered to be low. The Acid Sulphate Soil Management Advisory Committee guidelines (ASSMAC, 1998) suggest that a soil pH<4 in water is an indicator of actual acid sulphate soil. The results of screening tests therefore suggest the absence of actual acid sulphate soil at the locations and depths tested. 

However, on the basis of the test results and interpretation based on subsurface conditions at the borehole locations, the majority of the natural soils would be considered to be acid sulphate soil. Due to the acid sulphate status of the natural soils, acid sulphate soil treatment and validation would be required for off-site reuse of the natural soils. Off-site reuse of the treated acid sulphate soil would also require approval by the NSW EPA under a site specific exemption

19 Apr 2021        Douglas Partners deliver Acid Sulphate Soil Management Plan.

30 Apr 2021        Lipman submit a formal Variation Request for approval to cart and dispose of untreated soil waste by strategic underwater burial.  This approach utilises an Environmental Protection Authority provision whereby untreated acid sulphate soil can be excavated and transported to the extent that it can be buried under water within 24 hours of excavation.

Project Board approves the Lipman Variation Request.

Lipman work with sub-contractors, and both State environmental authorities to get transportation arrangements and clearances in place.

3 May 2021         EPA officer (name withheld) contacts the Project Office seeking information to assist the waste transport certification process. RGS and Douglas Partners geotechnical reports are provided to the Environmental Protection Authority in response to the request.

A Site Specific Exemption from the Environmental Protection Authority not required for the underwater burial option which now emerges as the most appropriate disposal option which mitigates all risks identified.

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority provides transport certification and The Queensland authority accepts the untreated soil waste and transportation.

Excavation commences.

Options:

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

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The minimisation of environmental impacts has been a key objective during the selection process of acid sulphate soil treatment and disposal options for the Project. The ultimate selection of underwater disposal of the excavated material arising from the CCS Project meets the environmental control requirements of the two State environmental authorities who have primacy over the matter.

•     Social

The diversion of the material to underwater disposal acknowledged the community concerns regarding the use of the Sawtell STP site.

•     Civic Leadership

This report provides information of value to an engaged community.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There are no broader economic impacts related to this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The early setting of a contingency provision within the CCS Project budget ensured no wider OP/DP implications arose.

•     Risk Analysis:

The decision to transport the material to underwater disposal effectively mitigated the financial risks which would otherwise have arisen as a consequence of delays under the contract.

Consultation:

Internal staff information arising from consultation is included in this report. The decision-making process which is the subject of this report included consultation with several external parties including the Contractor, State environmental authorities, and consultants.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The transport and underwater disposal of acid sulphate soil is subject to the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Implementation Date / Priority:

Nil

Conclusion:

This report responds to the information requested in Council’s related resolution.

 

 


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QON21/07    Cultural and Civic Space - Interim Funding

Author:                        Director Business Services

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

Attachments:              Nil

 

The following question on notice was received from Councillor Amos.

Question

Recently council resolved to remove, without a long term replacement, a major funding source for the proposed Cultural and Civic Space building.  An interim loan is in place to bridge the shortfall in funding.  A reasonable and anticipated offer on the Castle St property was declined.  This leaves the project not fully funded into the extended term of the project.  It is a legislative requirement that all projects and resolutions have funding requirements and sources clearly determined.  This project is not fully funded into the extended term of the funding lifecycle.

 

Is Coffs Harbour Council operating within the requirements of the Local Government Act to alter the funding plan without due consideration to a further report presented by the General Manager outlining the alternate funding options available and thus resolving a responsible position as to the new funding plan?

Response

In summary, the assertion in the Question on Notice that ‘the project is not fully funded into the extended term of the project’ is not correct.  The reasoning is outlined as follows.

 

The table below shows the funding models for the Cultural and Civic Space (CCS) Project, with the amended (interim) funding model as a result of Council’s Resolution Number 2021/18, 25 February 2021; the meeting at which Council awarded the final construction contract to Lipman Pty Ltd.

 

Cultural and Civic Space Project Funding Models

Item

Original ($M)

Amended ($M)

Change ($M)

T2S Reserve Funds (Cash)

10.500

10.500

0.000

Loan Borrowing (Fixed Rate, Principal & Interest)

46.020

50.265

4.245

Property Sales’ Proceeds

20.000

3.000

-17.000

Interim Loan Borrowing (Variable Rate, Interest Only)

17.000

17.000

Public Library Infrastructure Grant

0.500

0.500

Total

76.520

81.265

4.745

 

The proceeds from sale of the four properties was reduced by $17M (for Castle Street and Rigby House) and an interim loan added (variable rate and interest only) for up to a five-year term to provide Council flexibility in the sale process for the two properties to ensure the best value for the community can be realised.  The proceeds for the two property sales will pay down the interim loan principal as they were realised.

 

At its meeting on 22 July 2021, Council resolved (Resolution No. 2020/160) as follows:

 

That Council:

1.   Reject all offers.

2.   Withdraw Lots 1 and 2 DP566885 and Lot 8 Section 6 DP 758258 known as 2 Castle Street, Coffs Harbour from sale until such time as the Scoping and Feasibility Study for the Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue Stage 1 is reported to Council.

3.   Note the need to review the interim loan funding source prior to its term expiry.

4.   Inform the potential purchasers of Council’s decision.

 

Point 2 of the resolution clearly means that the withdrawal of the property known as 2 Castle Street is temporary, until such time as the Scoping and Feasibility Study for the Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue Stage 1 is reported to Council.  Point 3 of the resolution provides further context in relation to the timeline Council is operating within in relation to interim funding; that is, five years.

 

Once the Study is reported to Council, the current resolved position means the property known as 2 Castle Street may again be available for sale.  If Council resolves an alternative position, a funding issue may arise which Council will need to address at that time.

 

In conclusion, as the interim funding model is in place and no property has been permanently withdrawn from sale at this time, Council is operating in accordance with contemporary financial management principles and the principles contained in the Local Government Act, with regards to the funding of the Cultural and Civic Space Project.