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Council meeting summary - March 1, 2021

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 2 March 2021

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

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the March 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 1 February 2021. (7-0)

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

Crs Arnott, Paspaliaris and Taylor Declared a Conflict in Item 6.4

5. Mayoral Presentation

6.1 Councillor Allowance Review

In accordance with section 74 of the Local Government Act 1989, Council must review and determine the level of Councillor and Mayor allowance within the period of 6 months after the general election of by the next 30 June, whichever is later.

Members of the public have the right to make a submission to Council under section 223 in regards to the proposed level of allowances. Section 223 requires Council to publish a public notice providing not less than 28 days for submissions to be received.

Council must provide due consideration to any submissions received and consider the adoption of the Mayoral and Councillor Allowances at a Council meeting before 30 June 2021.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council, in accordance with Section 74 of the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act), give public notice of its intention to retain the Mayoral and Councillor Allowances at the top of the band for a Category 2 Council being $26,245 Councillor Allowance and $81,204 Mayoral Allowance.

6.2 Draft Governance Rules – Community Consultation

To facilitate amendments to the Governance Rules proposed by Council, the draft Governance Rules are first presented to Council for their endorsement to proceed to community consultation through a public exhibition and submissions process.

In accordance with section 60(4) of the Local Government Act 2020, a process of community consultation must be undertaken when developing or amending the Governance Rules. It is proposed that the process of community engagement undertaken comply with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Community consultation through the public exhibition and submissions process will allow the community an opportunity to provide feedback or comment on the proposed changes to the Governance Rules. Any community feedback received on the draft Governance Rules will be presented to Councillors for their consideration prior to the Governance Rules being put to Council for final consideration.

The proposed changes to the Governance Rules include:

- Bringing ‘Public Question Time’ up the order of business closer to the beginning of the meeting.

- Making allowances for accepting petitions in an electronic form and bringing ‘Petitions and Joint Letters’ up the order of business closer to the beginning of the meeting.

- Including a requirement for all Council Meetings to be livestreamed, where this is possible.

- Including ‘General Business’ as a standing item in the order of business of Council Meetings.

- An amendment to provide for no limit to the number of requests for extension to speaking time by a Councillor.

- Including an option for a specialised meeting of the Council that is specifically for hearing submissions in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.

This report seeks the approval of Council to place the drafted Governance Rules on public exhibition for the purpose of allowing the community to make submissions on the proposed changes.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council approves that the draft Governance Rules (attachment 1 of this report) be placed on public exhibition in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.

6.3 Activities and Initiatives 2020-2021: October to December

This report provides information on the progress in achieving the Activities and Initiatives set down for 2020-2021 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 Council's functional areas.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the Activities & Initiatives 2020-2021 October – December Quarter 2, be received.

6.4 Proposed Extension to Current Free two Hour Parking

On December 7th 2020, Council resolved to extend the two-hour free parking until March 7th 2021 in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.

With restrictions in place throughout Victoria due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and resultant financial impacts, it is considered appropriate to extend the current free parking arrangements until the end of the financial year.

The cost of providing the free parking discussed in this report is approximately $5,000 per month.

Council supported the following recommendation (4-0):

That Council resolves to extend the two hour (2P) free parking from 9am until 11am in the Parkers, Crammond and Dickson and Ozone Car Parks until 30 June 2021.

6.5 CCTV Systems – Policy Adoption Post Public Consultation

The Council has primary responsibility for compliance, maintenance, management and security of Council owned and operated closed circuit television (CCTV) systems.

The Auditor-General has reported that Councils should have clear policies to govern the installation, use and oversight of surveillance technologies.

The policies should set minimum expectations for decisions about installing surveillance devices, privacy considerations, the collection, management and use of information, physical and data security, access, disclosure, storage, retention and disposal of surveillance information, governance and oversight arrangements, monitoring, evaluation and accountability.

A review of the current Council documentation has been undertaken. Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), the Code of Practice and the Operating procedures are all in place.

However, the documentation for the overarching Policy is a missing link.

This report submits CCTV Policy for adoption following public consultation from 14 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.

The Policy provides that a CCTV Steering Committee shall exercise an oversight function over compliance with this policy.

Terms of Reference for the Committee were adopted at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 7 December 2020.

The Policy commits the Council to undertaking audits and evaluation of its CCTV systems.

An Annual Reporting Framework, including Audit and Evaluation, was noted at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 7 December 2020.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Adopts the CCTV Policy following public consultation.

2. Notes the one submission received during public consultation from 14 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.

6.6 Stanley Street – Edwards Bridge Renewal

Edwards Bridge is an aging timber bridge, originally built in about 1895, that has reached the end of its serviceable life.

Council was successful in obtaining up to $1.5 million in Federal Government grant funding for the new bridge. The grant requires a dollar-for-dollar contribution. Council has allocated the required $1.5 million matching funds from the annual road renewal program.

To maintain access across the Merri River, the new bridge will provide for improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as ensure vehicle access is provided without restriction, i.e. the bridge will not be load limited.

Up to four concept design options were developed and considered to meet the design requirements for a new bridge. The options were reviewed at a informal Council meeting in December 2020, and the two most viable options were presented to the community to seek feedback.

The two options were functional, feasible and viable for the new bridge based on the preliminary cost estimates for the capital works ranging from $2.7M - $3M.

Over a seven-week period, Council sought feedback from the community based on the two preferred options. At the close of the consultation period, Option B received 66.67% support and Option D received 33.33% support. Therefore, Option B is considered the preferred option based on the community consultation.

To enable Council to meet the Australian Government Grant timeframes in delivering the project, it is important that a bridge concept is endorsed, with that option being in line with the majority support from the community.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council confirm the community preference of Option B concept design for the renewal of the Edwards Bridge, Stanley Street, Warrnambool and endorse the project proceeding to tender.

6.7 Endorsement of Audited Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) 2021

In accordance with the Emergency Management Act 1986 s.20 (1) Warrnambool City Council must prepare and maintain a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP).

The MEMP is attached for information. Refer attachments 1 to 6.

The MEMP is prepared by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) for consideration by Council.

The MEMP was audited on 31 July 2020, consistent with Section 21A of the Emergency Management Act 1986.

Council received a report from Victoria State Emergency Service (VicSES) on 7 August 2020 stating that the Warrnambool City Council MEMP has been assessed as complying with the guidelines issued by the Minister. Refer attachments 7 and 8.

As there has been recent changes in personnel and Council representatives the plan has been updated to reflect those changes. Council is asked to endorse the audited MEMP as required.

Subsequent changes such as changes in personnel will be updated from time to time.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council endorse the Warrnambool City Council Municipal Emergency Management Plan.

6.8 Petition – For Removal of Seaweed on Lady Bay Beach

A petition has been received with 250 signatures asking Council to remove seaweed that has washed up on the Lady Bay beach adjacent to the Warrnambool Boat Ramp and the Pavilion Building.

In accordance with Local Law L.1 Governance the petition is to be received, and referred to the Chief Executive for consideration and response.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That in accordance with Local Law L1 Governance, the petition is received and the petition be referred to the Chief Executive for a report to a future Council meeting.

2. That a report be presented at a future Council Informal meeting outlining options for clearing the area in front of the Pavilion, including costs, environmental impacts and challenges.

6.9 Zero Net Carbon Development Opportunities and Feasibility Report

The East of Aberline growth area is located approximately 4 kilometres north east from the Warrnambool city centre and covers approximately 360 hectares of land. It has the potential to deliver 4,000 dwellings for the region.

The Zero Net Carbon Development Opportunities and Feasibility Report has evaluated the potential low carbon opportunities to inform the development of the Structure Plan.

Engagement and consultation with landowners, government agencies and other stakeholders was conducted in September 2020. Feedback received was incorporated within the opportunities

and mechanisms identified in the report.

The Precinct Structure Planning (PSP) process is currently underway for the East of Aberline growth area, and the findings of this report will be used to inform the development of the PSP.

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) are the Planning Authority for the PSP, and it is recommended that a copy of this report be released to the VPA for implementation within the PSP.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council endorse the release of the Zero Net Carbon Development Opportunities and Feasibility Report for the East of Aberline Growth area to the Victorian Planning Authority to inform development of, and for implementation within, the Precinct Structure Plan.

6.10 Wild Coast Landscape Master Plan

The draft Wild Coast Landscape Master Plan provides recommendations for the future protection of environmental and cultural values of the Wild Coast precinct, whilst retaining the precinct’s role as a recreation destination.

A public survey was undertaken in June/July 2020 and the responses have informed the development of the draft plan.

The draft plan has been developed in collaboration with Council staff, DELWP, Parks Victoria and Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation and is ready to be released for public comment.

The community, interested parties and adjoining land holders will have the opportunity to provide comment on the draft plan, this feedback will inform the final Wild Coast Landscape Master Plan.

Development of the plan has been funded by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP).

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council approve the release of the draft Wild Coast Landscape Master Plan for community consultation.

6.11 Councillor Representation on Project Control Groups and Boards

This report considers Council representation on the Reid Oval Project Control Group, the Warrnambool Learning and Library Hub and the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation for the 2020-2021 Council year.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. The Council appoints and delegates Cr Debbie Arnott to the Reid Oval Project Control Group.

2. The Council appoints and delegates Cr Vicki Jellie to the Warrnambool Learning and Library Hub.

3. The Council appoints and delegates Cr Debbie Arnott to the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation.

6.12 Sports Ground Summer Tenancy Fee

Forty-five sport and recreation organisations who occupy and utilise fifteen Council owned or managed sports grounds for recreation and sports training and competition ceased operations during COVID-19 lockdown.

As part of Council’s COVID response, fifteen winter user groups were not charged their tenancy fee for the 2020 season (football, netball, soccer, hockey, pony club and dog training). Clubs were severely impacted with no access or ability to operate during the lockdown, with competitions eventually being cancelled. The financial cost to Council was $74,360.

During the time that the 2020/21 budget was being prepared there was still significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was uncertain whether there would be a resumption of summer sports. As a result the 2020/21 schedule of fees and charges for sports grounds were adopted without the inclusion of seasonal tenancy revenue.

With restrictions easing, summer sport was able to resume training and competition. Whilst the competition resumed later than normal (November), clubs were able to access and use facilities for training as usual. The Warrnambool & District Cricket Association advised a late start to the season was required in order to implement the strict COVID protocols set by the State Government and Cricket Victoria as well as providing time for clubs to be match ready.

In August 2020, Council provided indicative endorsement of the proposed pricing model and policy for occupancy of recreation facilities. Club consultation and refinement of the Policy and Pricing Model is to be reported back to Council for endorsement prior to implementation in July 2021.

Charges for 2020/2021 summer season are as per the 2019/20 Fees and Charges Schedule.

Council supported the following recommendation (4-3):

That Council issue invoices for the 2020/21 summer tenancy fee for the use of the sports ground and associated infrastructure.

6.13 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 8 February 2021 - refer Attachment 1.

2. Tuesday 9 February 2021 - refer Attachment 2.

3. Monday 22 February 2021 - refer Attachment 3.

4. Tuesday 23 February 2021 - refer Attachment 4.

Council received the report (7-0).

6.14 Mayoral & Acting Chief Executive Council Activities – Summary Report

Council received the report (7-0).

6. Public Question Time

7. Close of Meeting

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