Council

Council Meeting Update

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Council Meeting Update

An overview of discussions from the most recent Council meeting.

This summary, provided by the CEO, is an overview of the discussions that took place at the 17 April 2018 Council meeting.

If you would like any further detail on any of these items, full minutes of Council meetings as well as audio recordings of Council meetings are available. Council Meeting Update 

In summary, the key decisions from the meeting were:

Campbelltown Memorial Oval (CMO) Construction Update - The development of the CMO building is currently progressing well with an anticipated completion date of late November 2018. The following provides further information on the progress of specific areas:

New Community Building:

  • Concrete slabs are currently being poured
  • The kitchen design is being finalised
  • An independent DDA consultant is currently reviewing the wayfinding design.

Civil Works:

  • Carpark design has been completed
  • New Stormwater system has been designed and it is anticipated that work will commence this month.

Staff regularly take photos on the progress of the construction and are updating the Community via a dedicated page on Council’s website and regular social media posts.  Staff are meeting with the Key Stakeholders to ensure they are kept abreast of the progress and are continually involved throughout the construction phase.

Draft 2018/2019 LTFP (Long Term Financial Plan) - Following the feedback received from AGAC (Audit and Governance Advisory Committee) at its 14 December 2017 meeting, Staff updated the LTFP to take into account the latest audited financial statements (2016/2017) and adopted budget (2nd revised budget 2017/2018).

As the primary focus of the Plan is on the next 10 years the AGAC recommended that Staff use the following items to develop the LTFP:

  • Growth figure for year 1 should be based on the last 5 years average growth and future years should be calculated as 50% of last 5 years average growth
  • Review the projection for increments, reclassification and leave entitlements in Employee Costs.

Along with the above suggestions, a draft Plan was developed to take into account the assumptions previously endorsed by Council, along with the following adjustments:

  • CPI (Consumer Price Index) - after the release of CPI for the 12 months ending December 2017, Staff obtained updated forecasts from Deloitte Access Economics, which forecasted an average CPI across the 10 year period of the Plan to be 2.28%.
  • LGPI (Local Government Price Index) – Staff have increased LGPI in the Plan to 2.90% following the release of this index for the 12 months ending December 2017 by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies.
  • Rates Growth – following discussion about the application of rates growth to the Plan at the recent AGAC meeting, it was agreed that the average for the last five years be applied for Year 1 of the Plan, while 50% of this average will be used for subsequent years. This will mean that rates growth will be included in the Plan at 1.30% for Year 1 and 0.65% from Year 2 onwards.  
  • Removal of the reallocation of the 0.55% rate increase to fund the infrastructure backlog.  Since 2008/2009 Council incorporated into its annual rate increase, a 0.55% component that was intended to help fund the infrastructure backlog at that time, for a period of 10 years.  This 10 year period was completed in 2017/2018, so from 2018/2019 the allocation will no longer be factored into the Plan.
  • Increase to recyclables budget - Council has been advised of changes to its recyclables pricing structure, which will have a significant impact on the Plan. In 2017/2018, Council projected to earn income in the order of $158,900. However this rebate is no longer available, instead being replaced with a cost of at least $60/tonne for recyclables to be processed. This will result in a $420,000 turnaround on Council’s budget for 2018/2019. In light of this additional information and its significant impact, this change has been factored into the draft Plan.

After taking into consideration all these factors the LTFP was developed to meet all Council’s key financial targets whilst ensuring rate increases were no greater than LGPI over the next 10 year period. Following careful consideration and considering the views of the AGAC, Council adopted the 2018/2019 Long Term Financial Plan which included annual rate increases of LGPI plus growth.

Draft 2018/2019 ABP&B (Annual Business Plan and Budget) - Workshops and a bus tour were held with Elected Members on 19, 24 and 26 March 2018, with the Council meeting held on 3 April 2018 providing direction to Staff on the projects to be included within the draft ABP&B.

The draft ABP&B was prepared based on this information and was presented to AGAC (Audit and Governance Advisory Committee) at their 11 April 2018 meeting for comment. Feedback received from AGAC was incorporated into the draft ABP&B which was presented to Council for endorsement for the purpose of public consultation. Following careful consideration Council endorsed the draft AGP&B for the purposes of public consultation.

The consultation period will commence Thursday 19 April and conclude at 5.00 pm on Thursday 17 May and include a public meeting to be held in the Campbelltown Library on Tuesday 15 May from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

An Information Pack will be made available to members of the Community to assist them in providing feedback on the draft Plan. The Information Pack will include general information regarding the importance of the ABP&B process, a summary of the budget structure and Council’s proposed rate increase. It will also include information regarding the public meeting and alternative ways members of the Community can provide feedback. The pack will include a feedback form specifically seeking comment on the proposed:

  • services for 2018/2019
  • rate increase of LGPI (2.90%)
  • New Initiatives for 2018/2019
  • Capital-New, Capital-New Master Plan Allocation and Capital-Renewal and Replacement projects for 2018/2019. 

Purchase of Advanced Workflow - Financials - With the pending move to ECM (Enterprise Content Management), Staff have commenced testing the Accounts Payable invoice entry process, which was set up to mirror the processes currently used in TRIM. The major difference is that a copy of the invoice can be attached to the transaction in ECM.

The current process requires Staff to register the invoices in TRIM, which is then actioned to the relevant Staff for approval. Once approved, the Accounts Payable Officer enters the same information into Finance One, when entering the invoice into the system for processing.

With the changing of systems, Staff saw this as an opportunity to make the existing process more efficient by removing the need to double handle the data entry process. As part of the initial investigations, a couple of demonstrations were held and while their systems worked well, Staff believed some components could be improved, which would result in a saving of Staff time.

To maximise this efficiency gain Council would need to purchase advanced workflow financials module at a cost of $21,800. As this expense would result in savings through Staff time Council supported its purchase as the payback period with the efficiencies gained is approximately 3 years.

China Sword Recycling Implications Update - Council underwent a tender process for processing of its recycling materials in conjunction with East Waste Councils in 2015. Council went from paying for its recyclable materials to be processed to receiving a tiered rebate where Council was paid for its recyclable material resulting in significant savings to Council.

China notified the World Trade Organisation of its plan to ban 24 waste related items and introduce strict contamination requirements on a number of other imported recycled materials from 1 March 2018. This included a reduction in allowable contamination of cardboard and paper to be less than 0.5% (down from 5%).

Since the initial advice about China Sword Policy, Council, East Waste and the Waste Industry have had more time to understand the implications of this and determine the best way to proceed in the short term to enable ‘business as usual’ and allow things to hopefully settle down enough so that future decisions on the way forward can be made in a more stable environment.

East Waste have been in regular contact with Council’s contractor to understand the implications for Member Councils and in conjunction with the East Waste Board have proposed a short term course of action.

The New South Wales and Victorian State Governments have announced support packages to help Councils work through this in the short term. Discussions have commenced with the newly elected South Australian State Government to ascertain what support packages can be provided to Councils in South Australia.   

The impact of the China Sword decision to Council is significant as Council will now forgo approximately $156,000 in income. As a result of the changing space in recycling Council agreed that this should be recognised at the 3rd budget review for 2017/2018 to offset the loss of income that was anticipated. In addition, Staff will continue to monitor and review the current contract arrangement to ensure Council receives the most effective and efficient way to process its recyclable materials.

Footpath - Lorraine Avenue, Paradise - Council budgeted for the installation of a paved footpath in Lorraine Avenue, Paradise from Norman Street to Greenglade Drive as it was considered to be:

  • an integral link in the overall footpath network
  • a priority in the Footpath Master List.

Following notifying the residents of the proposed work, a letter objecting to the proposed installation was received by Council, as they believe that the:

  • volume of foot traffic in this street is minimal
  • through vehicle traffic is very low
  • current street layout provides pedestrians with a walkable path
  • length of the street is only 5 house blocks long (approximately 100m) reducing risks of speeding traffic
  • street is not a thoroughfare for walkers to the River Torrens Linear Park or commuters using the O-Bahn.

After receiving this letter, Staff conducted a survey to seek residents’ opinions regarding the proposed footpath. Based on the feedback received, it was recommended that Council proceed with the construction of the paved footpath as this street forms an integral link in the overall footpath network and that it should be constructed together with Whitelodge Street as it will complete the network link to the River Torrens Linear Park.  Council supported Staff’s recommendation and resolved that the residents of Lorraine Avenue, be advised that Council reaffirms its decision to install a paved footpath on the southern side of their Street.

Draft Economic Development Plan 2020 - Community Engagement Outcomes - Earlier this year, Council endorsed the Draft Economic Development Plan 2020 for Community consultation. A total of 76 surveys, four written submissions and one verbal response were received by Council and the Economic Development Advisory Committee also provided feedback.  All responses were reviewed by Staff and the feedback highlighted there was general support for the Economic Development Plan 2020.  

The proposed amendments to the Plan, primarily involved:

  • Strengthening the connection between environmental protection and economic development
  • Strengthening the connection with ERA (Eastern Region Alliance) economic development priorities
  • Highlighting Council’s commitment to protecting the City’s character
  • Clarifying Council involvement in the Morialta play space café and the proposed tram from Adelaide to Magill
  • Clarifying intent; acronyms; responsibilities; resourcing
  • Referencing related planning documents.

After considering the matter, Council adopted the Economic Development Plan 2020 with the proposed amendments as a result of the Community Feedback.

Draft Whistleblowers, Waste Management and Multicultural Policies - Community Engagement Outcomes - In February, Council endorsed the Whistleblowers Policy, Waste Management Policy and Multicultural Policy for the purpose of Community consultation. The consultation on the three policies was undertaken at the same time.  All responses were reviewed by relevant Staff who provided a response where required, and are summarised as follows:

Whistleblowers Policy - The majority of respondents indicated some level of support, made positive comments or sought some clarification on areas of the Policy, with only a few questioning the need or intention of this Policy.  Following a review of the feedback, Staff did not consider there was any need to make any amendments to the Policy.

Waste Policy - The majority of respondents expressed support for Council’s waste services. Although generally stating Council was doing a good job in this area a number of suggested additional waste collection services (eg hard waste) or alternative waste collection services (eg pick up of e-waste). Staff are of the opinion that the current waste services adequately cater for the majority of the Community and the need to increase or provide alternative collection services is not required at this time.  On reviewing the feedback, Staff did not consider there was any need to make any amendments to the Policy.    

Multicultural Policy - Many of the comments included respondent’s personal views around culturally diverse communities. Some of the feedback showed the need to provide additional wording for clarification (eg Council’s role and partnership with other agencies and organisations in providing one on one support to new arrivals) and identified areas that were missed (eg training for Elected Members and volunteers).  On reviewing the feedback, Staff proposed a number of minor amendments to provide greater clarity whilst retaining the intent of the Policy.

In considering the feedback and the recommendations of Staff Council adopted the Whistleblowers Policy, Waste Management Policy and Multicultural Policy as presented.

Thorndon Park – Cessation of Bird Sanctuary Reference - During recent discussions regarding Thorndon Park Council, has questioned whether Thorndon Park’s ‘bird sanctuary status’ had any legal value and subsequent requirements.  Historically, Council and Staff have relied on and advised the Community of the Park’s bird sanctuary status in relation to:

  • Prohibiting dogs in the Park at all times
  • Prohibiting fireworks in the Park
  • Prohibiting drones, mobile airplanes and boats at the facility
  • Minimising lake activities and other activities that might conflict with a natural environment for bird habitat
  • Prohibiting cycling in the Park.

Staff have investigated this matter and discussed the issue with staff at DEWNR (the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources), as DEWNR has tenure (owns) the land whilst Council are custodians (care, control and management). The outcomes of the discussions were that:

  • The Park is considered by DEWNR to be a public park with a wetland and is not declared a ‘bird sanctuary’
  • The term ‘bird sanctuary’ has no legal standing (the Government recognises Conservation Zones/Parks and National Parks only).  Whilst there are many areas called ‘bird sanctuaries’ in Australia (including the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary) this is a voluntary term used by organisations rather than legal terminology.
  • Whilst Council could commence a legislative process for the Park to be ‘Declared a Conservation Zone for a Specific Purpose’ it is unlikely to be successful unless Council can demonstrate that there are bird species in the Park that are endangered, significant or in need of protection.  

The promotion of Thorndon Park as a bird sanctuary by Staff is limited and information identifying that Thorndon Park is a bird sanctuary has previously been removed from Council’s website as the term has no legal status.  In conclusion, whilst there is no legal impediment for Council to continue calling the Park a ‘bird sanctuary’ it has no legal status and doesn’t ‘protect’ the bird life at the Park. Therefore Staff recommended, and Council supported, that the usage of the term ‘bird sanctuary’ in relation to Thorndon Park be discontinued.

 

ERACampbelltown Made South Australia
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