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Council chambers

Council meeting summary December 7, 2015

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 8 December 2015

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

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the December 7 Meeting are accepted by Council.
1. Opening Prayer & Original Custodians Statement

2. Apologies


3. Confirmation of Minutes

Council confirmed the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on November 2 2015 and the Annual (Statutory) Meeting of Council held on November 30 2015. (4-3).

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

Cr Askew declared a conflict of interest in Item 6.2.

5.1 Port of Warrnambool – Safer Launching and Retrieval of Boats – Adoption of a Preferred Option

The Port of Warrnambool - Safer Launching and Retrieval of Boats Project was developed with the aim of improving boat safety while protecting the natural environment of Lady Bay.

Technical and Community Reference Groups were established to prepare conceptual development options, with eight initial concepts developed.

The Technical and Community Reference Groups narrowed the concepts from eight to three preferred concepts.

Option A - significant upgrade to improve existing boat ramp facilities and continue maintenance dredging. This meets the Australian boat launching safety standard 90 per cent of the time.

Option B - Artificial headland / groyne and spur breakwater. This meets the Australian boat launching safety standard 100 per cent of the time.

Option C - Fully enclosed harbour. This meets the Australian boat launching safety standard 100 per cent of the time.

Option A is required for Options B and C should Council wish to implement more intensive development at the Port of Warrnambool, i.e. Option A is integral to Options B or C.

The three options were presented to the community for comment with survey results indicating widespread support for work to create a safer environment for the launch and retrieval of boats. Of 698 survey responses preferences were: Option A, 175; Option B, 107; Option C, 416.


Next steps and funding

Option A

- Is a required stage for all options.

- Advice from the relevant State Government department is that funding will be available for Option A.

- Option A will meet the Australian standards for safer boat launching and retrieval 90 per cent of the time.

- Will not require a financial contribution from Council.

- Is the lower risk option

Options B and C

- Significant land use alterations work which will require a Native Title solution and will involve clearance of native vegetation.

- Options B and C would also require modelling to ensure the works will not damage the environmental integrity of Lady Bay.

- Will require a detailed business case

- Will require a significant financial contribution from Council.

- Currently there is no financial provision in Council’s financial plans.

- There are competing funding priorities. Council has identified the City Centre Renewal and a learning hub / library as top priorities.

- By proceeding with Option A, Council is moving to significantly improve the safety of boat launching and retrieval.

Cr Kelson moved and Cr Hulin seconded an amendment to the motion to the effect that the Master Plan to be developed should include details for Options A and C and that immediate steps be taken to develop a funding model and timelines to develop Option C.

Council did not support the amendment to the motion (3-4).

Council supported the following recommendations (4-3):

That Council proceed with a funding application for Option A.

That a master plan for the Warrnambool Harbour be prepared that details the implementation of Option A.

That Council monitor the effectiveness of Option A for a two-year period.

That Council thank members of the Technical and Community Reference Groups led by Professor John Sherwood and Russell Worland for their commitment and endorses of the groups’ work over the past year.

5.2 Schedule of Ordinary Meetings January to December 2016 Inclusive

The proposed schedule of Ordinary Council meeting dates for the period February 2016 – December 2016 is attached as Appendix A.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council, pursuant to Section 83(a) of the Local Government Act 1989 adopt the schedule of Ordinary Meeting dates for Council meetings for the period February 2016 – December 2016 inclusive, as contained in Appendix A to this report.

5.3 Appointment of Council Representatives on Advisory Bodies and Other External Committees for 2015/2016

As in the past, there is a significant range of advisory, semi-external and external committees and organisations where the constituted membership includes representation from Warrnambool City Council.

Whilst the majority of these committees tend to be ongoing they may also be subject to evolutionary change and in some cases may be established for a specific project i.e. with “sunset” provisions.

Appendix A shows the various bodies/committees under various headings according to the “function” of the body or committee, from Council’s perspective. Obviously, such arrangements can be reviewed from time to time, but in any case, would need to be fully reviewed at the commencement of each Council Year.

Cr Ermacora highlighted a clerical error which resulted in her name not being listed on the Chief Executive’s Employment Matters Committee. As the mover of the motion, Cr Neoh accepted the amendment.

Council supported the following amended recommendation (4-3):

That Council representatives and delegates to the advisory bodies and external committees for the 2015/2016 Council Year be approved as per Appendix A to this report, with the addition of Cr Ermacora’s name to the Chief Executive’s Employment Matters Committee, and that relevant advisory bodies and external committees be advised accordingly.

5.4 Procurement Policy Annual Review

Council is required under section 186A(7) of the Local Government Act to review its procurement policy annually.

The policy has been reviewed by the finance team and input from staff requested.

Minor changes have been made to reflect current practices around electronic ordering and efficiency improvements.

Delegation limits for responsible officers have been updated to reflect current organisational structure.

Director of Corporate Services Mr Kevin Leddin indicated that the increase in threshold from one written quote up to $9,999 from $4,999 should be disregarded from this report for the time being as advice on best practices implemented at other Councils is yet to be received. Once this is received, this may come to Council as a standalone item rather than waiting for the next annual review of the Procurement Policy.

Council supported the following recommendation (6-1):

That Council endorse the review of Procurement Policy and adopt it with amendments as set out within this report, while leaving the one written quote threshold at $4,999.

5.5 Loan Guarantee – Warrnambool RSL

The Warrnambool RSL has been planning a major redevelopment for a number of years and last presented to Council in November 2013.

At that time Council agreed to act as loan guarantor for 50% of a proposed new loan of $1,500,000 for the first stage of the redevelopment.

For economies of scale the RSL have decided to proceed with the total project with an estimated cost of $3.0 million.

The project will be funded by a $2.5 million bank loan and $500,000 from the club. Philanthropic foundations support is being sought and any potential government grants.

The RSL has a bank loan offer of $2.5 million conditional on a new lease and a loan guarantee from Council.

The RSL will repay the loan with principal and interest repayment over 15 years.

The club has demonstrated its capacity to service the loan.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council agrees to act as loan guarantor for the Warrnambool RSL Sub-Branch Inc new loan facility of $2.5 million.

5.6 Loan Guarantee – City Memorial Bowls Club Inc

Council has acted as loan guarantor for City Memorial Bowls Club loan facilities for over 12 years.

The original loan of $2.0m has been reduced to $625,500.

The club is renegotiating a loan facility as the current bank bill facility expires in February 2016.

The club will pay the new loan off over five years.

The club is in a very sound financial position and has recorded strong surplus results over the last five years and demonstrated strong capacity to service the debt.

The club provides annual financial reports to Council.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council consent to act as loan guarantor for a loan facility of $625,500 for the City Memorial Bowls Club Inc.

5.7 Warrnambool Changchun Economic Development Demonstration Project

Warrnambool City Council led a business delegation to our sister city Changchun over the period 14th-17th September, 2015. The delegation comprised a party of 14 persons with a specific focus on the Agricultural and Education sectors. Details of delegates are shown at Appendix A.

The Warrnambool City Council relationship with Changchun Municipal Government and its influence to provide delegates with access to decision makers (executive) of both large commercial entities and government departments was viewed by delegates as of significant benefit. A number of delegates have provided feedback on the effectiveness of the visit (shown at Appendix B).

Post delegation, a number of commercial discussions continue to occur between local and Changchun businesses.

Deakin University has also entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements with two Changchun universities visited as part of the recent business delegation. These MoUs detail areas of potential collaboration over the next five years, including staff and student exchange and research opportunities.

The Sister City relationship has gathered additional momentum with the presence of Changchun Trade Co-ordinator, Li Xichun (Sailor) living and working in Warrnambool for nearly eight months. Sailor will return to Changchun on December 10.

Running parallel with the activities of the 2015 outbound business delegation has been a series of research activities to further detail the supply and demand opportunities between our cities, and the capacity and capability of our businesses to participate in identified trade and investment possibilities.

A report on the ‘Food and Agriculture into Asia’ opportunity is shown at Appendix C. Key recommendations from the report for follow-up activity during 2016 include:

1. Ongoing support for businesses engaged in the Changchun-Warrnambool relationship;

2. Preparation of post delegation briefing paper to Xinmu Technology;

3. Supporting education outcomes through recently signed MoUs between Deakin Warrnambool and two Changchun universities;

4. Support for the development of the local professional services network; and

5. Investigate tourism related initiatives to develop inbound tourism opportunities from Changchun/China.

Council supported the following amended recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council note the public submissions received as part of the consultation process to inform the Warrnambool Economic Development & Investment Strategy 2015-2020.

2. That Council endorse the Warrnambool Economic Development and Investment Strategy 2015-2020.

3. That Council write to all submitters thanking them for their submission.

5.8 Planning Permit PP2015-0090 – 26 Alison Avenue, Warrnambool

The application proposes a two (2) lot subdivision with creation of a common property driveway.

Eleven (11) objections have been received.

The key areas of consideration in the assessment of the application, in addition to the decision guidelines of Clause 65, include whether the proposal meets the objectives of Clause 56 Residential Subdivision and the planning policy framework.

The site has been subject to a previous Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) decision which did not allow a permit for the development of second dwelling and a two (2) lot subdivision.

In the absence of a development application (dwelling) to consider and assess the proposed subdivision layout would result in an unacceptable planning outcome in terms of the future development of the land, its effect on the spacing of buildings, the movement of pedestrians and vehicles throughout the subdivision and the ease of access to the lots.

Council supported the following recommendations (4-3):

That a Refusal to Grant a Permit be issued under Section 65 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 on the following grounds:

1. The proposed subdivision does not satisfy the relevant provisions of Clause 65.02 of the Warrnambool Planning Scheme, particularly when considering the future development of the land, the layout (area and dimensions) and the movement of pedestrians and vehicles throughout the subdivision and the ease of access to the lots.

2. The proposed subdivision and its effect on the spacing of buildings fails to satisfy the provisions of Clause 56.03-5 of the Warrnambool Planning Scheme (neighbourhood character).

5.9 Middle Island Project – Completion Report 2014/2015

The Middle Island Maremma Project Breeding Season Completion Report gives a detailed overview of the project for 2014/2015 financial year.

The project has generated significant levels of local, national and international media interest prior to and following the release of the “Oddball” the movie in September 2015.

There is continued community support for the project.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That the Middle Island Maremma Project Breeding Season Completion Report 2014/15 be received.

That the work of the Middle Island Maremma Project Working Group is acknowledged and a letter of thanks provided for the work undertaken throughout the 2014/15 breeding season.

5.10 Community Development Directorate – Six Monthly Operational Report April 2015 to September 2015

This report provides a summary of activities undertaken by the Community Development Directorate over the six monthly period from April 2015 to September 2015 including Community Services, Recreation and Culture as well as Events and Promotions.

Council received the report (7-0).

5.11 Advisory Committee Report

This report contains the record of five Advisory Committee meetings: the Flagstaff Hill Advisory Committee on Thursday 13 August 2015 and Thursday 28 October 2015, the International Relations Advisory Committee on Tuesday 17 November 2015, the Landscape & Development Advisory Committee on Wednesday 18 November 2015 and the Livestock Exchange Advisory Committee on Friday 20 November 2015

Council received the report (7-0).

5.12 Assembly of Councillors Records

Council received the report (7-0).

5.13 Mayoral & Chief Executive Council Activities – Summary Report

Council received the report (7-0).

6.1 Notice of Motion No. 2125

Notice is given that at the Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held on Monday 7 December 2015, I proposed to move:-

“That Council delays any works relating to "Blackspot Infrastructure Funding Projects 2015-16 and 2016-17 (as displayed in Agenda Councillor Briefing papers 26/10/2015) so as council can discuss what is proposed and can consider and then fully capitalise on the opportunities of creating the optimum result for our citizens and better reflect the true nature of the Black Spot funding guidelines. A revised design will better reflect Councils Plan and create a healthier and safer city”.

Cr Peter Hulin

Council did not support the Notice of Motion (3-4)

Notice of Motion No. 2126

Notice is given that at the Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held on Monday 7 December 2015, I proposed to move:-

“That the Grace Avenue car park be added to the free parking implementation from 8 December 2015 to 29 January 2016.”

Cr Brian Kelson

Council did not support the Notice of Motion (3-3) with Mayor Gaston using her casting vote.

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