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Council chambers

Council meeting summary May 1, 2017

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 2 May 2017

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

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

2. Apologies

None.

3. Confirmation of Minutes

Council confirmed the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on April 3 2017.

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

None.

5.1 Warrnambool City Council Plan 2017-2021

The Council Plan is the feature document in Council’s suite of strategic planning documents, formulated to guide the work of Council over the next four years.

Over recent months Council has prepared a draft Council Plan 2017-2021 which reflects the aspirations and direction of the new council for its full term of office.

The draft Council Plan represents a significant shift in focus. Council’s new vision is for Warrnambool to be a Cosmopolitan City by the Sea, which references our beautiful and unique location and proclaims that the city is striving to be more welcoming, open and inclusive.

And for the first time Council has devised a theme for the Council Plan – Growing Pride and Confidence in the City, which emphasises the need to celebrate and promote our city, its attributes and its appeal to those in the region and beyond.

The draft Council Plan outlines key activities and initiatives Council will undertake over 2017-2018 to deliver on the five objectives described in the plan. Those objectives are for Council to:

- Sustain and enhance the natural environment

- Foster a healthy city that is socially and culturally rich

- Maintain and improve the physical fabric of the city

- Develop a modern economy with diverse and sustainable employment

- Practice good governance through openness and accountability

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council, pursuant to Section 125 of the Local Government Act 1989 gives public notice of the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 for the Warrnambool City Council as set out in Appendix A of this report, inviting interested persons to make a written submission relating to such plan, with written submissions to be received at the Warrnambool Civic Centre not later than 5pm, Wednesday May 31, 2017, and with any person who requests to be heard in support of his or her written submission to be so heard at a special meeting of Council (if required) to be held at 5.45pm Monday, June 5, 2017.

2. That Council consider any: a) Submissions on the proposed Council Plan and; b) Recommendations to adopt the 2017-2021 Council Plan (with or without amendments), at a Special Meeting of Council to be held at 5.45pm Monday 26 June 2017 in the Council Chamber, Warrnambool Civic Centre, 25 Liebig Street, Warrnambool.

5.2 Warrnambool City Council – Proposed Budget 2017-2018

A Proposed Budget for the 2017-2018 financial year has been prepared in accordance with Section 127 of the Local Government Act 1989 (LGA).

The Budget has been prepared in accordance with the budget principles set down by Council and follows a number of workshops by the executive and Council.

As required by the LGA and the Local Government (Planning & Reporting) Regulations 2014 the Draft Budget includes prescribed information, including:

- Financial Statements

- Statement of Capital Works

- Services and Initiatives funded in the budget

- Performance Statement

- Fees and charges

- Rating and borrowing details

- Strategic Resource Plan

Public notice of the prepared budget must then be given, copies of the budget be made available for at least 28 days and persons given the opportunity to make submissions in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act.

Council proposes to adopt the Budget, with or without modification, on 26 June 2017.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That the Warrnambool City Council Proposed Budget 2017/18 attached to this report and initialled by the Mayor and Chief Executive for identification be the Budget prepared by Council (in respect of the 2017-2018 Financial Year) for the purpose of Section 127(1) of the Local Government Act 1989 as amended (“the Act”).

2. That Council :

a) Give public notice of the preparation of this Budget in accordance with Section 129 of the Act ; and

b) Make the Budget and the information required to be made available by Regulation 8 of the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014 available for inspection at the council civic offices and on Council’s website for at least 28 days, and

c) Invite interested persons to make a written submission relating to the budget, with written submissions to be received at the Warrnambool Civic Centre not later than 5pm Wednesday 31 May 2017, and

d) Hear any person who wishes to heard in support of a submission at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday 5 June 2017; and

3. After considering any submissions adopt the 2017-2018 Budget and the Council Plan inclusive of the updated Strategic Resource Plan (with or without amendments) and declare rates and charges at a Special Meeting of Council to be held at 5.45pm, Monday 26 June 2017 in the Council Chamber, Warrnambool Civic Centre, 25 Liebig Street, Warrnambool.

5.3 Borrowing Strategy and Policy

Council utilises various revenue streams to fund its works and services.

These include but are not limited to rates, user fees, government grants and municipal charges.

Council also has the ability to borrow money, for the right projects, and in the right circumstances. The attached strategy and policy outlines the principles that underpin Council borrowings and sets the policy framework that should exist for Council to undertake borrowings.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopt the Warrnambool City Council Borrowing Strategy and Policy.

5.4 Rating Strategy 2017-2021

Council periodically reviews its Rating Strategy to ensure we are both aligned to the legislative requirements under the relevant act and to ensure equity is maintained appropriately as per the Ministerial guidelines. It explains what rates are, the bi-annual revaluation process required by the Valuer General of Victoria on behalf of the State Government and the objectives of differential rating.

Council’s rating structure is also outlined in the strategy, including details on how Council proposes to raise its rates and charges.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council adopt the Rating Strategy 2017-2021 as attached in appendix A.

2. That Council continues to apply a differential rate for all residential properties, including flats and units (Other Land).

3. That Council continues to apply a differential rate to all rateable vacant land properties.

4. That Council continues to apply a differential rate to all rateable farm land properties.

5. That Council continues to apply a differential rate to all rateable commercial land.

6. That Council continues to apply a differential rate to all rateable industrial land

7. That Council continues to apply a general/uniform rate to all rateable industrial 2 land

8. That Council continues to allow a discount on the general/uniform rate to Cultural and Recreational properties.

9. That Council considers the adoption of higher differential rates on multi use properties.

10. That Council continue to adopt the segmented rating policy detailed in part 5 of this report

11. That Council periodically reviews differential rating system with a goal that equity, efficiency and simplicity are achieved.

12. That Council continues to apply the mandatory rate instalment payment option in future rating years

13. That Council only grants non-rateable status to properties that meet the criteria described in the Local Government Act 1989.

14. That Council ensures ongoing reviews of the current list of non-rateable properties to ensure all continue to meet the criteria described in the Local Government Act 1989.

5.5 Investment Policy - Review

The current investment policy expired in March 2017.

The following changes have been made to the proposed investment policy:

- More stringent controls around the documentation before proceeding with an investment, including capturing 3 quotes before investing or re-investing funds.

- A documented cash flow analysis to ensure that we are investing excess funds where it is financially sustainable to do so.

Council shall only invest with Banks, Credit Unions and Building Societies which are Approved Deposit Taking Institutions (ADI) and shall not invest with organisations that do not meet the ADI requirements.

Council generally has in excess of $8.0m at any point in time and the policy requires that this is invested with at least 4 institutions with an A rating or higher (ie. The big 4, Bank of Melbourne, Bankwest, ING, etc)

The minimum institutional rating that Council accepts is BBB and these institutions include South Credit Union and ME Bank.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the Investment Policy be adopted.

5.6 Appointment of Community Members to Council Advisory Committees

Council at its meeting held on 6 March 2017 resolved to call for nominations from community members to be appointed to Council’s 7 Advisory Committees following the expiration of the previous 4 year term of appointments.

Expressions of Interest from community members for the Advisory Committees were advertised in the Warrnambool Standard on 11, 18 and 25 March 2017.

Council will need to review the Councillor appointments and the appointment of Chairpersons as part of this current process.

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

That Council appoint the suggested community member nominees and appoint Chairpersons to the 7 Advisory Committees.

5.7 Warrnambool China Strategy

Warrnambool’s relationship with the City of Changchun has been established since 2011 and has developed into a strong one with a number of business delegation visits now having been made by both cities. The agreement relates to “mutual benefit, exchanges and co-operation”, in a variety of fields but to “promote common prosperity and development”.

The relationship has been founded largely on the opportunities for trade, focussing on food, tourism and education, as well as cultural understanding and has benefitted from a $225,000 grant from the State Government.

The vision of the China Warrnambool Strategy is to advance Warrnambool as the leading ‘China Ready’ city in Australia and to consolidate and build on the various outcomes to date. A China Strategy also sends a strong signal to Government, Business and Industry that our City is proactive and organised in its international engagement activities.

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

That the draft China Warrnambool Strategy be placed out for consultation to seek business, industry, government and community input.

5.8 Draft Nature Strip Landscape Policy

Council prepared a draft Nature Strip Landscape Policy which was placed on public exhibition from 14 January 2017 to February 24 2017. The consultation attracted 47 submissions - Refer to the table Appendix A.

Analysis of the submissions has resulted in changes to the Policy which has been revised with track changes –Refer Appendix B. Most of the submissions are not contentious and are able to be easily incorporated into the Policy.

The Policy is implemented through the Nature Strip Landscape Guidelines which are attached for information –Refer Appendix C. The Guidelines are not intended to be adopted by Council as they are management operational document however will be publically available on Council’s website. The Guidelines have been amended to reflect the resultant changes in the Policy.

Council supported the amended recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Adopts the Nature Strip Landscaping Policy.

2. Endorses the draft Nature Strip Landscape Guidelines.

5.9 Updated Street Tree Planting and Management Policy

The first Street Tree Planting and Management Policy adopted by Council was in 2013 and is now due for review.

The Policy has been largely effective and has served the purpose for which it was intended, to have a transparent and consistent approach to street tree planting and management within the City.

The Policy was updated and then placed on public notice from 14 January 2017 to 24 February 2017.

A total of 27 submissions were received - Refer attached table Appendix A.

This feedback has been assessed. There are no changes of significance to the Draft Policy

Minor changes to the Policy have been shown in track changes – Refer Appendix B.

The finalised document is now presented to Council for adoption.

The Policy is implemented through the Street Tree Planting and Management Guidelines –Refer Appendix C. The Guidelines are not expected to be adopted by Council as they are a working document but are attached for information. The Guidelines have not been required to be amended.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopts the updated Street Tree Planting and Management Policy.

5.10 Councils and Emergencies Directions Paper

On 10 January 2017 Local Government Victoria (LGV) released the Councils and Emergencies Direction Paper (the “Directions Paper”) attached at Appendix A.

The Directions Paper is a result of the Councils and Emergencies Project, a priority B for action under the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan.

Moyne Shire Council and Warrnambool City Council have consulted in the development of the submission.

The Directions Paper identified 154 responsibilities Councils currently perform in emergency management. Some responsibilities identified are legislated, or are in policy, whilst others are not.

A detailed assessment of the 154 responsibilities indicates that Council currently performs 117 responsibilities. (Appendix B)

Council does not consider it should be accountable for 72 responsibilities (Appendix C)

Council generally supports the response provided by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) LGV Councils and Emergencies Directions Paper Draft Submission.

Although Council generally supports the MAV draft submission Council has concerns regarding topics not covered by either LGV or MAV. Topics such as the requirement to continue funding the VICSES; the involvement of Council in water replacement; training opportunities for staff performing emergency management roles, the Community Emergency Risk Assessment process, emergency management planning; and the importance of continued resource funding.

Council when considering feedback to LGV can either:

(i) Not submit a response;

(ii) Support the response provided by MAV;

(iii) Prepare a separate submission (to that of MAV’s) on behalf of Council which would provide additional points that should be considered with respect to emergency management

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council endorse the intent of our submission on the State Government’s - Councils and Emergencies Directions Paper.

5.11 Petition – Intersection of Princes Highway and Garabaldi Lane

A petition was received by Council at its meeting of 19 December 2016 containing 496 signatures in relation to road repairs at the intersection of the Princes Highway and Garibaldi Lane, Allansford – refer Appendix A.

The petition requests that Council lobby the local Member for South West Coast, Roma Britnell MP and VicRoads in an endeavour to have the intersection repaired and maintained.

In accordance with Warrnambool City Council, Governance (Meeting Procedures) Local Law No. 1- 2016 – Division 4.36 – the petition was referred to the Chief Executive for a report to a future Council meeting. This is the follow-up report.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council

1. Write to the author of the petition and enclose a copy of this report summarising Council’s recent and proposed actions in lobbying for an upgrade of the Garibaldi Lane/Princes Highway Intersection; and

2. Continue to lobby VicRoads, State Government representatives, including the local Member for South West Coast, Roma Britnell MP, to upgrade the intersection.

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).

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