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Council chambers

Council meeting summary September 4, 2017

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 5 September 2017

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

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the September 4 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 August 7 2017.

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

None.

5.1 Report on Efficiencies and Improvements

Council continues to investigate ways in which it can deliver services more efficiently to the community.

With cost-shifting from the Victorian and Commonwealth governments and rate capping imposed on local government Councils have had to save money through either cutting services, changing the way services are delivered and/or working smarter.

Over several years, an average rate increase of about 4.5 per cent helped maintain the standard of services provided to the Warrnambool community.

Despite the limitations of the rate cap, over the past two financial years Council has maintained services and standards by reviewing operations and introducing efficiencies. Operating expenditure increases have fallen from 4.69 per cent in 2014-2015 to 2.91 per cent in 2016-2017 and a budgeted 1.16 per cent over 2017-2018.

This report informs Council of a range of activities undertaken to deliver services more efficiently and to improve services.

The report is indicative and not an exhaustive list of efficiency gains. – refer Appendix A.

Council will continue to seek efficiencies in its operations and will report back to Council on this.

Council received the report (7-0).

5.2 Activities and Initiatives 2016/2017 – June Quarter Year End

In order to achieve the objectives established in the Council Plan, a set of Activities and Initiatives are developed for each year of the four-year plan.

Funding allocations to deliver the Activities and Initiatives are outlined in Council’s annual Budget and in 2016-2017 there were 158 Activities and Initiatives identified. These Actions and Initiatives are representative of the broad range of the work that is undertaken by Council on behalf of the community.

Council is now reporting to the community at the Action and Initiative level to provide more information as to the sorts of activity occurring.

The introduction of this report, along with changes to our financial reports is a small representation of Council’s commitment to improving its transparency to the community.

This attached report provides a series of summaries of actions and initiatives. The report details where activities are up to and details milestones and significant events in the progress to completion across a range of actions and initiatives.

At year end 89.2% of the program has been fully completed, 9.5% are behind schedule and 1.3% have been withdrawn due to changes in circumstance or funding.

Council received the report (7-0).

5.3 Financial Statements and Performance Statement 2016/2017

The Auditor-General is responsible under the Audit Act for the audit of Council’s general purpose financial reports and performance statement. These audits are conducted by contractors as agents of the Auditor-General. RSD Audit is the appointed Auditor-General’s agent.

Sections 131-134 of the Local Government Act 1989 (LGA) and the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014 deal with statutory procedures that govern the preparation of an Annual Report inclusive of financial statements, performance statement, report of operations and auditor’s reports.

Council has a statutorily set period in which to submit its audited annual statements to the Minister of Local Government 30 September each year.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council, pursuant to Section 132(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 (“the Act”) approve in principle the 2016-2017 financial statements which have been subject to external audit by the Auditor-General’s agent, with the outcomes also having been reviewed by the Audit & Risk Committee.

2. That Council, pursuant to Section 132(2) of the Act, approve in-principle the 2016-2017 performance statement.

3. That Councillor Michael Neoh and Councillor Peter Hulin be authorised to certify the 2016-2017 financial statements pursuant to Section 132(5) of the Local Government Act 1989, after any changes recommended by audit have been made.

4. That Councillor Michael Neoh and Councillor Peter Hulin be authorised to certify the 2016-2017 performance statement pursuant to Section 132(5) of the Local Government Act 1989.

5. That the Council Meeting to consider the Annual Report be put out for public advertisement from Saturday September 16, 2017 pursuant to Section 134(b) of the Local Government Act 1989.

6. That Council endorse the direction and timetable for preparation of the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

5.4 Warrnambool Football Netball Club – Loan Guarantee

Warrnambool Football Netball Club submitted a written request to address Council and present a proposal for Council to consider acting as Loan Guarantor for a proposed loan.

The club’s strategy is to drawdown on the loan as significant reductions in their operating expenditure occur. The Council finance team recommend that the loan guarantee is split into the initial loan restructure ($0.8m) and the club would then be required to re-submit a request for the re-development works at a later date ($1.2m). The club would then be able to show the improved financial cashflows following these significant changes to their operating model.

Council needs to consider the impact of acting as loan guarantor and how this would affect its ability to borrow for future projects. Based on Council’s current projects there would appear to be sufficient capacity to allow this loan guarantee.

Council needs to assess the level of community and economic benefit from the proposal and determine whether to impose a further community benefit obligation on the club. The current contribution to Council via their lease is under-represented in their operating performance when compared to the commercial rental value that could be generated from this building. The current lease is fixed for the next 9 years, however, this negotiation to act as loan guarantor could provide an opportunity to garner a greater share of community benefit contribution.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Warrnambool City Council act as loan guarantor to the Warrnambool Football Netball Club for an amount of $0.8m which will be used to consolidate existing loans including the repayment of a loan to the Warrnambool City Council.

2. That Warrnambool City Council defer any decision on the proposed loan for the re-development of the facility ($1.2m). The club will need to re-submit a request showing the impact on their cashflows of the significant changes to their operating model for consideration by Council.

3. That Warrnambool City Council and the Warrnambool Football Netball Club negotiate an additional amount to be allocated to community benefit. The criteria for the allocation of these funds would be the same as Councils current Community Grant Scheme.

5.5 Freedom of Entry to the City

A request has been received from the Warrnambool RSL Sub-branch to grant the Freedom of Entry to the City to the 8th/7th Battalion (The Royal Victorian Regiment).

The Freedom of Entry to a City is a ceremonial honour, which became popular during the nineteenth century and draws some inspiration from medieval history. A military or civilian unit accorded this privilege is granted the right of entry to the city “with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying”.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the Council agree to confer Freedom of Entry to the City on the 8th/7th Battalion (The Royal Victoria Regiment) on Remembrance Day 11 November 2018.

5.6 Petition for Council – Request to Repeal the Motion Supporting Same-Sex Marriage and the Raising of the Rainbow Flag

A petition has been received with signatures representing 240 residents of Warrnambool requesting that Council repeal the motion carried at the Council meeting of 3 July 2017 in relation to the support for same-sex marriage and the raising of the rainbow flag (the resolution).

Council’s Local Law No. 1 details the procedure for Rescission Motions and the specific requirements to rescind a motion are detailed (below) in this report.

The majority of actions to implement Council’s resolution of 3rd July have been completed, with the flagpole installation works on track for final completion by 6th September 2017.

A motion cannot be rescinded if the resolution has been actioned.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Receives and considers the petition seeking repeal of Council’s resolution of 3 July 2017

2. Notes the requirements of Local Law No. 1 Governance in relation to rescission motions

3. Notes Council officers’ advice on the actions completed to date in relation to Council’s resolution of 3rd July 2017

5.7 Tender No. 2017055 – Provision of Animal Shelter Services

Council has sought tenders for the provision of animal shelter services.

Due to the highly specialised nature of this service, only one tender was received which was from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (RSPCA).

Following a detailed evaluation of the tender submission it is considered that this tender be awarded to the RSPCA (Victoria).

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

That Council:

1. Accept the tender submission from the RSPCA for Tender No. 2017055 – for the operation of Animal Shelter Services of $328,632 (Ex GST) for year one, $413,016 (Ex GST) for year two, and $425,412 (Ex GST) for year three.

2. Accept the schedule of rates provided for specified animal shelter services.

3. Sign and seal the contract documents.

5.8 Proposed Naming of a Reserve “Witham Park”

Council has received a proposal from the Witham family to name a Council reserve off Goodall Street ‘Witham Park’ in remembrance of the contributions made to the Warrnambool Community by three members of the Witham Family.

This proposal follows a previous unsuccessful attempt to name a road ‘Witham’ which was unable to progress due to the similarity in sound to an existing street name ‘Witton’.

Place naming proposals and the process of review and approval must meet the State Government’s requirements as out lined in ‘Rules for Naming Places in Victoria’.

The details of the naming proposal have been sent via mail to the property owners surrounding the park, which included an invitation to make a submission on the proposed naming.

5 submissions were received in total, 3 in support of the proposed naming, 2 submissions not supportive of the proposal one of these including a counter naming proposal, ‘Kavanagh’.

Council currently has no delegated authority in place for the naming of Places other than Streets’ therefore Council is required to make the decision to approve any place names.

Compliant with the requirements, Council could approve the currently proposed name ‘Witham Park’ or cease this process and consult with the community on the counter proposal ‘Kavanagh Park’.

Council supported the amended recommendation (7-0):

That Council approves the proposal to name the Open Space Reserve at 49-63 Goodall Street “Witham Park”.

5.9 Draft Resource Recovery, Waste Minimisation and Management Strategy

The Resource Recovery, Waste Minimisation and Management Strategy seeks to consolidate existing information, provide a holistic overview and set a future direction for resource recovery and waste management within the City of Warrnambool. The draft Strategy is attached (Refer Appendix A).

The document specifically introduces measures to reduce litter spread through improved equipment, education and enforcement. To undertake a food organics and garden organics trial to divert material from landfill and to work with the community to advocate for Warrnambool to be a plastic bag free city.

Comprehensive community consultation is imperative to the success of this strategy as it impacts every current and future resident of Warrnambool. It also affects many visitors to the city.

Council receives many requests and feedback related to resource recovery and waste management and it is important that the community understands and is aware that this is their opportunity to have their say.

The Strategy will be made available for public consultation for a period of 6 weeks.

Once the Strategy has been through the consultation phase and feedback considered, it will be reviewed and submitted to Council for adoption.

The adopted Strategy will inform a new kerbside collection service and contract which is due to be advertised by public tender in 2018.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Agree to release the Draft Resource Recovery, Waste Minimisation and Management Strategy for public comment.

2. Consider submissions in relation to the Draft Resource Recovery, Waste Minimisation and Management Strategy at a future Council meeting.

5.10 Community Development Fund

Council received forty-one applications of which thirty-six have been deemed eligible for assessment.

The report recommends $70,919 be allocated to thirty six local clubs and organisations.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council approve the funding under the 2017/18 Community Development Fund to the value of $70,919 to thirty six clubs and organisations as outlined in this report.

2. That all applicant organisations be advised of the outcome of the assessment process.

5.11 Advisory Committee Reports

This report contains the record of two Advisory Committees

2. Warrnambool City Council – Environment and Planning Committee

Wednesday 9 August 2017 – refer Appendix A.

3. Warrnambool City Council – Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee

Wednesday 23 August 2017 – refer Appendix B.

Council received the reports (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.2147

Notice is given that at the Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held on 4 September 2017, I propose to move the following motion:

“That Warrnambool City Council write to both the State and Federal Environment Ministers to:

1. Voice our concern about the apparent poor practices of some operators in the resource recovery industry.

2. Request that they jointly investigate the feasibility of a national return deposit recycling scheme (similar to that implemented in South Australia).

3. Request that they support businesses within Australia with tax incentives for those who endeavour to use recycled materials within their businesses.

Further, that the State Government be urged direct the hundreds of millions of dollars of community funds collected from Victorian landfill levies, which are being held in the Sustainability Fund, to fund research into World’s Best Practice for the ongoing use of recycled materials and their applications within Australia.”

CR. PETER HULIN

Council supported the Notice of Motion (7-0).

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