Monday 6 May 2024

Meeting Date:
Agenda:
Supporting Documents:

For more information and appendices for each item, view the Council Meeting Agenda above.

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the April Meeting are accepted by Council.

1. Opening Prayer & Original Custodians Statement

2. Apologies

Cr Paspaliaris.

3. Confirmation of Minutes

That the Minutes of the Scheduled Meeting of Council held on 8 April 2024, be confirmed. (6-0)

4. Declaration by Councillors and Officers of any Conflict of Interest in any Item on the Agenda

None.

5. Mayoral Presentation

6. Public Question Time

7.1. OPEN DATA POLICY

The intent of this policy is to enable public access to some Council data to support research and education, promote innovation, support improvements in productivity, stimulate growth in the local and Victorian economy, and enhance access to information-rich resources to support evidence-based decision making in the public sector.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council adopt the attached Open Data Policy 2024.

7.2. ASSET MANAGEMENT POLICY REVIEW

The Asset Management Policy applies to all Councillors, Council officers, Committees of Management, consultants responsible for asset management undertaken for or on behalf of Council. This can and will include people involved in the creation, operation, maintenance, renewal, upgrade, expansion and disposal of Council assets.

The policy defines the guiding principles, practices and responsibilities which consistently apply in managing Council assets. It ensures that asset related decisions align with community expectations and service needs in a sustainable manner and acts to moderate the risk of poorly managed assets.

The policy has been reviewed against current activities and best practice. Only minor changes to this policy are proposed.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

1. That Council adopt the revised Asset Management Policy 2024.

2. That Council revoke the previously adopted Asset Management Policy

7.3. REVOCATION OF SHORT STAY ACCOMMODATION LOCAL LAW

At its February meeting Council resolved to not charge the Short Stay Accommodation Local Law registration fee for the 2024 calendar year and instructed the Chief Executive Officer to undertake the required legislative process to revoke the Warrnambool City Council Local Law No. 2 – Short Stay Accommodation Local Law.

A consultation window opened on 27 March 2024 and ran for 21 days until 17 April 2024. This consultation invited community members to have their say on the yoursay website with a notice advertising the consultation being placed on Council’s website and in the Warrnambool Standard. No submissions were received at the time of the consultation window closing.

The next required step is that Council make the Revocation Local Law to formally revoke the Local Law currently in force.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council adopt the Revocation Local Law 2024.

7.4. WARRNAMBOOL EVENTS STRATEGY 2024-2028

The 2024-28 Warrnambool Events Strategy outlines how the City’s Events & Promotion team will focus on supporting the growth and attraction of destination events, as well as increasing the economic benefits of events, achieved through a suggested implementation framework.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council adopts the Warrnambool Events Strategy 2024-28 and writes back to all those who submitted to the consultation of the draft document.

7.5. COUNCIL PLAN 2021-2024 (2024 REVISION)

Section 90 of the Local Government Act (2020) requires Council to prepare and approve a Council Plan by October 31 following a general election.

The Council Plan, reviewed annually, is the feature document in Council’s suite of strategic planning documents, formulated to guide the work for which Council has responsibility and will provide to our community over a four-year period.

The annual review ensures that the plan remains relevant and delivers on the objectives identified in the plan and in the long-term community vision, Warrnambool 2040.

The Council Plan lists key activities and initiatives Council will undertake over the financial year to deliver on the five objectives described in the plan.

These actions and initiatives demonstrate to the community important areas of effort in the delivery of the plan’s key objectives. These objectives are:

1. COMMUNITY: To be a healthy, inclusive, and thriving community with equitable access to services, cultural opportunities and recreational activities.

2. ENVIRONMENT: To protect and strengthen local ecosystems, enhance biodiversity and enable sustainable communities.

3. ECONOMY: Support a resilient local and self-sustaining regional economy that encourages economic growth and provides increased employment opportunities attracting ongoing investment.

4. PLACE: Provide quality places that all people value and want to live, work, play and learn in.

5. COUNCIL: To be recognised as a collaborative Council and a high-performing organisation that enables positive outcomes for Warrnambool's community, environment and economy and Victoria's South West.

In late 2023, the community was invited to provide feedback on the Council Plan and, in recent months, Council staff reviewed and updated the activities and initiatives in it.  

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council considers the revised actions and initiatives in the Council Plan 2021-2025 and releases the revised plan for community feedback.

7.6. COUNCIL PLAN ACTIONS 2023 - 2024: JANUARY - MARCH (QUARTER 3)

This report provides information on the progress in achieving the actions set down for 2023-2024 as part of the Council Plan and Budget process. This report provides Council and the community with an update in the progress of actions across Councils' functional areas.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That the Council Plan Actions 2023 – 2024: January – March (Quarter 3), be received.

7.7. 2024-25 DRAFT BUDGET

Following the requirements of the Local Government Act 2020 (sections 94 and 96), Warrnambool City Council is preparing the Draft Budget for the 2024-25 financial year, which includes the allocation of resources for the next four years.

This budget aligns with the vision and objectives set forth in the Council Plan, aiming to make Warrnambool a thriving city at the heart of coast and country.

The draft budget has been developed in line with best practice principles, adhering to the Local Government (Planning & Reporting) Regulations 2020. It will include:

• Financial statements

• Services and initiatives data

• Rating and borrowings data

• Proposed Fees and charges for 2024-25

Following Council approval, a public notice regarding the draft budget will be made available online and through local media. The draft document will be accessible electronically and in hardcopy at Council's service center. A 14-day window will be provided for public submissions.

Residents can submit their feedback through a dedicated portal on the Council website or in writing.

Those who wish to present their views in person will be invited to attend a hearing of submissions on 20 May 2024.

The final budget for 2024-25 is expected to be presented for Council adoption on Monday, 3 June 2024.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That Council:

1. Place the 2024-25 Draft Budget on exhibition for a period of two weeks, and invite submissions from the public.

2. Give public notice of its intention to adopt its budget at the June Council Meeting, subject to any changes.

3. Hear any submissions received about the Draft Budget at a hearing on Monday, 20 May 2024, at 5:45pm in Council Chambers.

4. Give notice of the proposed cessation of the Small Infrastructure fund.

7.8. QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORT - JANUARY - MARCH 2024

This quarterly finance report compares actual financial results to budget and forecast for the three months from 1 January 2024 to 31 March 2024 – refer Attachment 1 Quarterly Finance Report. 

The report sets out the financial results for Council’s recurrent (day-to-day) operations, projects, capital works, rates, and borrowings.

This report meets the requirements of section 97 of the Local Government Act 2020 to present a quarterly financial report to Council at a public meeting that compares actual results against budget.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That the Quarterly Financial Report for the period January to March 2024 be received.

7.9. WARRNAMBOOL SALEYARDS HIGHEST AND BEST USE MASTER PLAN

Council appointed Insight Planning Consultants to prepare a best and highest use master plan for the Warrnambool Saleyards and surrounds. The draft document was presented to Council on 4th March and released for public consultation.

The study area includes land that had previously been held as a ‘buffer’ area to the West, South and North of the Saleyards site. This includes a combination of private and Council owned land.

Seven (7) comments were received via YourSay website, and 2 meetings held with individual landowners in the precinct.  The feedback is discussed further in the report.

Minor changes have been made to the final document (Attachment 1), to respond to the submissions received (discussed further in the report). The plan responds to the site-specific design characteristics and surrounding zonings and recommends most of the land within the study area be rezoned to the General Residential Zone GRZ1. This would increase housing opportunities in this area significantly.

Environmental site investigations to date indicate most land within the area could be developed without excessive remediation works, the Saleyards site itself would require a full Environmental Audit that will guide remediation dependent on desired use in the future.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council adopt the Warrnambool Saleyards Highest and Best Use Master Plan document, and commence the next phase of strategic and structure planning work for the study area.

7.10. WARRNAMBOOL SALEYARDS TRUCK WASH FUTURE OPERATIONS CONSIDERATION

At Council’s meeting of 7 November 2022, Council resolved to cease operations of the Warrnambool Saleyards by 30 June 2023. The saleyards subsequently ceased operating as at the final sale on 28 December 2022.

As a part of the resolutions passed by the Council on this matter at that meeting, was a decision to review the strategic land uses of the site, including the future of the truck wash and effluent dump point which are co-located at the Caramut Road site.

The strategic land use work was commissioned and completed, and its findings will be reviewed by Council at the ordinary meeting of Council May 6, 2024.

Separately, officers have undertaken the task of decommissioning the site to salvage as much of the infrastructure on site as possible. This decommissioning work will conclude at the end of May 2024.

Staff have maintained the truck wash and effluent dump point whilst undertaking the decommissioning tasks.

There will no longer be staff onsite to oversee this operation from the end of June 2024.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

1. That regular livestock transporters utilising the site and the Australian Live Stock Transporters Association be notified in writing of Council’s intent to close the operations of the Warrnambool Saleyards Truck Wash and effluent dump point at the latest by 31 December 2024, at the Caramut Road facility and

2. That the truck wash plant located at the site be decommissioned.

3. That a rehabilitation and use plan for the site be included in future planning for the overall masterplan exercise for the Caramut Road Site.

4. That the CEO be authorised to cease operations at an earlier date if deemed appropriate.

7.11. AUDIT & RISK COMMITTEE CHARTER UPDATE

The Audit and Risk Committee Charter has been reviewed by officers and the Audit and Risk Committee.

The Charter was submitted to the Audit and Risk Committee’s March meeting for the Committee’s consideration. The Committee, at the March meeting endorsed the officer’s amendments to the Charter, recommended some further changes, and that it be presented to Council for their adoption.

This review has resulted in a number of recommended changes. The most substantial include changes to the quorum requirements to make achieving a quorum easier, mandating that members provide formal apologies to the Chairperson if they are unable to attend, and the automatic removal of members from the committee who miss two consecutive meetings without providing written notice to the Chairperson.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That Council: 1. Adopt the attached Audit and Risk Committee Charter dated May 2024. 2. Revoke any previously adopted Audit and Risk Committee Charter.

7.12. AWARD OF CONTRACT 2024029 - WEST WARRNAMBOOL NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE

A public tender was advertised on Wednesday 13 March 2024, inviting tender submissions from suitably qualified and experienced contractors to carry out the design and construction of the West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House at Pecten Avenue Reserve, 12-16 Pecten Avenue, Warrnambool.

Close of tenders was 2:00pm 5 April 2024. Thirty-two companies downloaded the tender documents through the online portal.

The submissions received have been assessed by a tender assessment panel.

Pending the outcome of discussion around availability of additional funding to complete the project, the officer’s recommendation is to proceed with the tender offer provided by Modular Spaces Pty Ltd for $631,430.00 excluding GST.

Council supported the following recommendations (6-0):

That Council:

1. Award Contract No. 2024029 – Design and Construction West Warrnambool Neighbourhood House to Modular Spaces Pty Ltd, for the contract amount of $631,430.00 excluding GST, with a total delegated award value of $694,573.00 including GST.

2. Accept the schedule of rates offered to undertake any extra works over and above the lump sum price if required, provided that additional works can be accommodated within the project budget.

3. Authorise the CEO to sign, seal and vary the contract as required.

4. Works outside the contract up to the value of $400,000.00 excl GST, as part of this project, are approved.

7.13. BANYAN STREET TREE REPLACEMENT

Council resolved at its August 2019 Ordinary Meeting to remove the existing trees in the Banyan Street centre median and replace them with Corymbia ficigolia (Red Flowering Gums).

Since planting in 2019, the trees have been in poor condition, and stock has been replaced several times. 

To achieve a successful outcome of a tree lined corridor, it is now recommended to replace these trees with a more suitable species, the Banksia Integrifolia (or Coastal Banksia).

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That Council endorses the removal of the existing Red Flowering Gum, street trees in Banyan Street, replacing them with Coastal Banksias. 

7.14. ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORTS

This report contains the records of Advisory Committee/Reference Group meetings.

  1. Cycling Reference Group meeting, held Thursday 14 March 2024

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That the minutes of the Cycling Reference Group meeting held on 14 March 2024, be received.

7.15. INFORMAL MEETINGS OF COUNCIL REPORTS

Section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 required the record of an Assembly of Councillors to be reported at an ordinary Council meeting.

Assembly of Councillor Records are no longer a requirement in the Local Government Act 2020 as of 24 October 2020. However, under Council’s Governance Rules, a summary of the matters discussed at the meeting are required to be tabled at the next convenient Council meeting and recorded in the minutes of that Council meeting.

The record of the following Informal Meetings of Council are enclosed:-

1. Monday 15 April 2024 – refer Attachment 1.

2. Monday 22 April 2024 – refer Attachment 2.

3. Monday 29 April 2024 – refer Attachment 3.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-0):

That the record of the Informal Meetings of Council held on 15, 22 and 29 April 2024 be received.

7.16. MAYORAL & CHIEF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL ACTIVITIES – SUMMARY REPORT

This report summarises Mayoral and Chief Executive Officer Council activities since the last Ordinary Meeting which particularly relate to key social, economic and environmental issues of direct relevance to the Warrnambool community.

Council supported the following recommendation, with the addition that Crs Akoch, Taylor and Ziegeler also attended the opening of the Sand, Sea and Shipwrecks exhibition (6-0):

That the Mayoral & Chief Executive Officer Council Activities – Summary Report be received.

8. Notice of Motion

9. General Business

10. Urgent Business

11. Close of Meeting