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Agenda

 

OF Ordinary
COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON

Tuesday 2 July 2019

AT 6.30pm

summons

 

You are advised that a Meeting of Council has been called by the Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday, 2 July 2019 in Council Chamber, 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang at 6.30pm for the transaction of the following business.

 

When attending a Council Meeting a condition of entry is to present your photo identification and sign in upon arrival.

 

S OVERLAND

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

 

 

COUNCILLORS

 

LAWRIE COX                                   MAYOR, SOUTH WEST WARD

STEVAN KOZMEVSKI                    SOUTH WEST WARD

CAZ MONTELEONE                       SOUTH WEST WARD

KRIS PAVLIDIS                               SOUTH WEST WARD

TOM JOSEPH                                  DEPUTY MAYOR, NORTH WARD

RICKY KIRKHAM                            NORTH WARD

EMILIA LISA STERJOVA               NORTH WARD

SAM ALESSI                                    SOUTH EAST WARD

ALAHNA DESIATO                         SOUTH EAST WARD

NORM KELLY                                  SOUTH EAST WARD

MARY LALIOS                                 SOUTH EAST WARD


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

 

 

SENIOR OFFICERS

 

 

SIMON OVERLAND                          CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

RUSSELL HOPKINS                         DIRECTOR COMMUNITY SERVICES

NICK MANN                                       DIRECTOR CITY TRANSPORT & PRESENTATION

HELEN SUI                                         DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

LIANA THOMPSON                           DIRECTOR PARTNERSHIPS, PLANNING & ENGAGEMENT

MICHAEL TONTA                              MANAGER GOVERNANCE

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

The Chief Executive Officer submits the following business:

1.            Opening.. 9

1.1         MEETING OPENING AND PRAYER.. 9

1.2         ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS STATEMENT. 9

1.3         Present.. 9

2.            Apologies.. 9

3.            Declarations of Interest. 9

4.            Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting.. 9

5.            Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters.. 9

5.1         Questions To Councillors.. 9

5.2         Petitions.. 11

5.2.1       50m Swimming Pool Mernda Aquatic Indoor Sports Centre   11

5.3         Joint Letters.. 13

Nil Reports.. 13

6.            Officers' Reports.. 15

6.1         Partnerships, Planning & Engagement. 15

6.1.1       10 Gratwick Street Lalor - Construction of two dwellings   15

6.1.2       445 Coombs Road Kinglake West - Bushfire Replacement Dwelling.. 33

6.1.3       Submission to the Protecting Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land Review... 41

6.1.4       Assemblies of Councillors Report - 2 July 2019. 57

6.1.5       Epping Community Services Hub Partner Organisation Request. 63

6.1.6       Community Development Grants Program 2019 - 2020 Round One - Summary of Funding Recommendations.. 67

6.2         Community Services.. 89

6.2.1       Visual Art and Civic History Collections Acquisitions advisory Group.. 89

 

6.3         City Transport and Presentation.. 101

6.3.1       Single Use Plastic Products at Council. 101

6.3.2       Street Tree Management Plan Review... 107

6.4         Corporate Services.. 169

6.4.1       Contract 2017-93 - MS4333 - 2017 MICROSOFT ENTERPRISE LICENSING AGREEMENT - CONTRACT VARIATION.. 169

6.4.2       Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting   173

6.4.3       Contract No CT0809107C Civica Authority Contract Extension.. 189

6.5         Executive Services.. 193

6.5.1       MEETINGS OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER 23 MAY - 19 JUNE 2019. 193

7.            Notices of Motion.. 197

7.1           Notice of Motion 872 - Protect Specialty Cheese Makers and Manufacturers of Australia.. 197

8.            Questions to Officers.. 199

9.            Urgent BusineSS.. 199

10.         Reports from Delegates Appointed BY Council TO Other Bodies. 199

11.         Confidential Business. 201

11.1       Partnerships, Planning & Engagement. 201

Nil Reports.. 201

11.2       Community Services.. 201

Nil Reports.. 201

11.3       City Transport and Presentation.. 201

Nil Reports.. 201

11.4       Corporate Services.. 201

Nil Reports.. 201

11.5       Executive Services.. 203

11.5.1    Confirmation of Minutes and associated actions - CEMAC meeting 14 May 2019. 203

11.5.2    Chief executive officer key performance indicators for 2019-2020. 205

11.5.3    COUNCILLOR CODE OF CONDUCT MATTER.. 207

11.5.4    appointment of auditor.. 209

11.6       Notices of Motion.. 211

Nil Reports.. 211

12.         Closure.. 213

 

 

 

Note:

At Council’s discretion, the meeting may be closed in accordance with Section 89 of the Local Government Act 1989. The provision which is likely to be relied upon to enable closure is set out in each item. These reports are not available for public distribution.

 

 

Question Time:

During the meeting, Council will answer questions from residents and ratepayers. Questions should be submitted in writing no later than 3pm on the day of the ordinary Council Meeting unless this unreasonably prevents or hinders you from participating. A Question Time form can be downloaded from Council’s website and copies of the form are available at the meeting. Refer: https://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/about-us/council/council-meetings/

 

Council is committed to ensuring that all residents and ratepayers of the municipality may contribute to Council’s democratic process and therefore, if you have special requirements, please telephone the Governance Team prior to any Council Meeting on 9217 2294.

 

 

Large Attachments:

Where large attachments form part of the Report, due to the size of the attachments – a copy has not been provided in the Agenda document

Copies of these attachments are available for inspection by the public at the following locations:

a)      Council offices at 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang; and

b)      Council’s internet site – http://cam.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                       Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

1.         Opening

1.1       MEETING OPENING AND PRAYER

The Chief Executive Officer will open the meeting with the reading of the prayers:

 

Almighty God, we humbly beseech thee, to vouchsafe thy blessing upon this council.  Direct and prosper its deliberations to the advancement of thy glory and the true welfare of the people of the Whittlesea City Council.

 

Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

 

Amen

 

1.2       ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS STATEMENT

The Mayor will read the following Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners Statement.

 

On behalf of the Whittlesea City Council I recognise the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledge the Wurundjeri Willum Clan as the traditional owners of this place.

 

I as a non-aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander would ask that you may consider a conversation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples to educate and understand their depth of feeling around the treatment of our first nations peoples and events that have shaped their lives.

 

1.3       Present

2.         Apologies

3.         Declarations of Interest

4.         Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting

Ordinary Meeting of Council held 4 June 2019

Special Meeting of Council held 6 June 2019

5.         Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters

5.1       Questions To Councillors

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

5.2       Petitions

5.2.1    50m Swimming Pool Mernda Aquatic Indoor Sports Centre

 

Petition received from 1552 residents and 69 non-residents requesting Council review the need for a 50m competition sized pool to service the people of Whittlesea and their families rather than the proposed 25m learning pool size at the Mernda Aquatic Indoor Sports Centre.

 

 

MOtion

THAT Council resolve to receive the petition from 1552 residents and 69 non-residents requesting Council review the need for a 50m competition sized pool to service the people of Whittlesea and their families rather than the proposed 25m learning pool size at the Mernda Aquatic Indoor Sports Centre and a report be prepared for a subsequent meeting.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

5.3       Joint Letters

Nil Reports   


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.         Officers' Reports

6.1       Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

6.1.1      10 Gratwick STreet Lalor - Construction of two dwellings

Attachments:                        1        Locality Maps

2        Advertised Plans

3        Garden Area Analysis   

Responsible Officer:           Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Author:                                  Planning Officer   

 

APPLICANT:                         AMT Consultants

COUNCIL POLICY:              21.09 Housing  

                                               22.11 - Development Contribution Plan Policy

ZONING:                               Neighbourhood Residential Zone

OVERLAY:                            Development Contributions Plan Overlay

REFERRAL:                          Nil

OBJECTIONS:                      Fifteen Objections

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to refuse Planning Application No. 716370 for the construction of two dwellings at 10 Gratwick Street Lalor on the basis that the proposal is not site responsive and represents an overdevelopment of the site.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    An application has been lodged to construct two single dwellings on the subject land, replacing the existing dwelling on the land.

·    The application was advertised, which resulted in fifteen (15) objections being received. The concerns raised related to impacts on neighbourhood character, heritage, density, overshadowing, wall on boundary and property devaluation.

·    The design response fails to respect the existing and preferred neighbourhood character of Gratwick Street and does not demonstrate a satisfactory level of compliance with the relevant provisions of Whittlesea Planning Scheme, particularly in relation to the Garden Area requirements (Clause 32.09), ResCode (Clause 55), and Council’s Housing Diversity Strategy.

 

Report

SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

The site is a residential property located on the northern side of Gratwick Street in Lalor, approximately 200 metres east of Station Street (see Attachment 1).

The site is irregular in shape and has frontage of approximately 19.14m, a maximum depth of 49.5m and total site area of 824.75sqm. The land is generally flat and contains no significant vegetation. The site currently contains a single storey brick dwelling, with a pitched tiled roof. Vehicle access to the dwelling is obtained from a crossover and accessway along the eastern boundary which faces Gratwick Street. A free-standing outbuilding is located adjacent to the eastern side boundary behind the existing dwelling.

The surrounding area is largely characterised by a variety of detached dwellings. The adjoining properties immediately to the north, east, and south of the site are all generally single storey dwellings with pitched and tiled roofs. Medium density developments are not a predominant characteristic of the surrounding area; however, there are some examples of medium density along Station Street.

The site is located within proximity to the following sites, services and infrastructure:

·    Bus Route No. 545 and 555 on High Street (200 metres west)

·    Bus Route No.566 on Station Street (200 metres west)

·    Caroline Chisholm College (200 metres west)

·    Station Street Shopping Strip (500 metres south)

·    Vasey Avenue Park (1 Kilometres south west)

restrictions and easements

The site is described as Lot No. 36 on Plan of Subdivision No. 020068 

The Certificate of Title submitted as part of the application indicates that the site is not subject to any Restrictive Covenants or Section 173 Agreements.    

There is no easement located within the subject site.

Proposal

The application seeks approval for the construction of two dwellings with one dwelling having a frontage to Gratwick Street (see Attachment 2).  The existing dwelling and associated structures will be demolished.  Two vehicle crossovers are proposed for access.

Details of the proposed development are outlined in the following table:

 

Height/Scale

Number of Bedrooms

Setbacks

Private Open Space

Car Parking

Maximum Height

Dwelling No. 1

Single Storey

3

East side – 3.1m

Front(south) – 6.5m

West side – 1.2m

41m2

 Single garage (3.5m x 6.0m) and tandem open car space (2.6m x 4.9m)

5.6m

Dwelling No. 2

Single Storey

3

North side (rear) – 0.0m

East side – 2.1m

South side – 1.2m

54m2

Single garage (3.5m x 6.0m) and tandem open car space (2.6m x 4.9m)

5m

Public Notification

Advertising of the application was carried out by way of written notice to adjoining and adjacent owners and a sign placed on site.  15 objections were received. The grounds of objection can be summarised as follows:

1.       Neighbourhood character;

2.       The density being a change to existing character of the area;

3.       Overshadowing;

4.       Heritage;

5.       Wall on boundary; and

6.       Property devaluation.

A response to the grounds of objection is provided later in this report.

Neighbourhood RESIDENTIAL ZONE

The area is zoned as Neighbourhood Residential Zone 1. The zone’s purpose is to maintain the existing single and double storey residential development and that all future development respects the identified neighbourhood character, heritage, environmental or landscape characteristics. The proposal provides an unsatisfactory level of compliance with the objectives of the zone, and more specifically, it has not adequately demonstrated compliance with Clause 32.09-4.

Clause 32.09-4 applies the minimum garden area requirement. As the site is greater than 650m2, at least 35% of the site must be retained as garden area. Despite several requests, the applicant has not provided information to demonstrate that this requirement has been met. Moreover, an assessment of the plans shows that only approximately 23% of the site has been provided as garden area (see Attachment 3). Therefore, the proposal fails to achieve compliance with the mandatory Garden Area Requirement and cannot be supported on this ground alone.

It is important to note that the applicant has not responded to Council’s correspondence advising them of the outstanding issues with the application – notably the minimum Garden Area requirement pursuant to Clause 32.09-4 of the NRZ1.

Planning approval is required for the construction of more than one dwelling on a lot within this zone.  The application for the construction of more than one dwelling on a lot must meet the requirements of Clause 55 of the Scheme (ie. ResCode).

HOUSING DIVERSITY STRATEGY

The Housing Diversity Strategy (HDS) was introduced into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme (WPS) by Planning Scheme Amendment C181, gazetted on 22 October 2015.  The HDS provides a strategic framework for future residential development in the established areas of the municipality for the next 20 years.  It aims to guide the future location and diversity of housing stock and identifies areas of housing growth and change, including areas where future housing growth will not be supported.  

The HDS is now a reference document in the WPS and an assessment against it is provided under Standard B2 of the Clause 55 assessment.

The site is within a Neighbourhood Interface Area.

 

 

ASSESSMENT AGAINST CLAUSE 55 OF THE WHITTLESEA PLANNING SCHEME

The following table provides details on whether the proposal complies with the requirements of Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.  Under these provisions a development:

·    Must meet all of the objectives

·    Should meet all of the standards

If Council is satisfied that an application for an alternative design solution meets the objective, the alternative design solution may be considered.

 

ü - Compliance
× -  Non compliance

Objectives

Standards

Comments

B1

Neighbourhood Character

x

x

The proposal is not considered to be consistent with the prevailing character of the surrounding area, nor does it contributes to a preferred neighbourhood character.

As the subject site is located within an established residential area and the existing built form in this locality is of a fairly low key nature (1 dwelling per lot).

The following established design elements and features of dwellings in the immediate area have been identified:

Lots range in size from approximately 600sqm to 800sqm.

Lots have frontages of 15 metres to 22 metres.

Singular crossovers accessing each allotment.

Generous rear setbacks and garden area.

The proposed development does not have regard to this character for the following reasons:

There is limited opportunity for any meaningful landscaping to present to the neighbourhood due to the building mass and accessway arrangement.

Front setbacks are dominated by hard surfaces required for the crossovers and tandem car parking spaces.

Inadequate garden area and fails to comply with clause 32.09-4 which specifies that at least 35% of the site must be retained as garden area.

In light of the above, the proposal is considered to be a departure from the existing and emerging character of the area.

B2

Residential Policy

x

x

The site is located within a Neighbourhood Residential Zone and is within a Neighbourhood Interface Area Change Area of Council’s Housing Diversity Strategy. 

Whilst the proposed development is consistent with the preferred density, the proposed dwellings do not comply with the preferred development outcomes expressed within Clause 21.09, as it fails to provide a suitable transition built-form from the existing low density neighbourhood.

B3

Dwelling Diversity

P

P

Only applicable to developments of ten (10) or more dwellings

B4

Infrastructure

P

P

 

B5

Integration with the street

x

x

The proposed accessway/parking arrangement does not facilitate a development that will integrate well with the street.  The front setbacks are dominated by hard surfaces required for the crossovers and tandem car parking spaces, and fails to respect the existing neighbourhood character.

B6

Street setback

P

P

 

B7

Building height

P

P

5.6m overall

B8

Site coverage

P

P

50%

B9

Permeability

P

P

27%

B10

Energy efficiency

P

P

 

B11

Open space

P

P

Only applicable if public or communal open space is to be provided on site or adjacent to the development

B12

Safety

P

P

 

B13

Landscaping

x

x

It is considered the landscaping opportunities across the site are tokenistic.  The front setbacks are dominated by hard surfaces required for the crossovers and tandem car parking spaces.

Therefore, it is considered that the proposed landscaping does not adequately compliment the medium density outcome nor does it significantly contribute to the neighbourhood character.

B14

Access

x

P

Whilst the width of the proposed accessways are less than 40% of the street frontage, the proposed accessways are considered inappropriate and fail to respect the existing neighbourhood character and result in limited landscape opportunities for the site and poor integration with the street.

B15

Parking location

P

P

 

B17

Side and rear setbacks

P

P

 

B18

Walls on boundaries

P

P

 

B19

Daylight to existing windows

P

P

 

B20

North-facing windows

P

P

 

B21

Overshadowing open space

P

P

 

B22

Overlooking

P

P

Single storey

B23

Internal views

P

P

 

B24

Noise impacts

P

P

The noise generated by the proposed development is considered acceptable for a residential zoned area. 

B25

Accessibility

P

P

 

B26

Dwelling entry

x

x

The proposed dwelling 2 entrance will not be visible from Gatwick Street and is obscured by the built form of dwelling 1; therefore, it fails to provide the proposed dwelling a sense of address and a sense of identity.

B27

Daylight to new windows

P

P

 

B28

Private open space

P

P

 

B29

Solar access to open space

P

P

 

B30

Storage

P

P

 

B31

Design detail

x

x

The amount of hard surface area associated with accessways, poor material variation and limited articulation indicate the proposals non-compliance with Standard B31 and symptomatic of an overdevelopment of the site. 

B32

Front fences

P

P

 

B33

Common property

P

P

 

B34

Site services

P

P

 

CAR PARKING 

Clause 52.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme prescribes the rate and design standards for car parking spaces required on site.  Pursuant to this clause the following car spaces are required:

Dwelling No.

No. of bedrooms

Car spaces required

Car spaces provided

Complies

1

3

2

2

Yes

2

3

2

2

Yes

Garages should be at least 6.0m long and 3.5m wide for a single space and 5.5m wide for a double space (measured inside the garage or carport).  An open car space should be at least 4.9m long and 2.6m wide.  The proposal complies with these requirements.

The required number of car parking spaces for residents has been provided in accordance with the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.     

DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTIONS PLAN OVERLAY (SCHEDULE 3)

The site is affected by the Development Contributions Plan Overlay. Pursuant to Clause 45.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, the Development Contributions Plan Overlay enables the levying of contributions for the provision of works, services and facilities prior to development commencing.

 

Schedule 3 to the overlay requires contributions for drainage infrastructure for medium density residential development at a current rate of $2.19 per square metre of the total site area. This requirement must be included as a condition on any planning permit that is issued.

Comments on Grounds of Objection

1.         The proposal is contrary to the existing and preferred neighbourhood character

As discussed earlier in this report, the proposal fails to accord with both the existing and preferred neighbourhood character. Specifically, the proposal presents a lack of opportunity for any meaningful landscaping, lack of garden area and poor integration with the street.

2.         The density being a change to existing character of the area

The proposed development is consistent with the preferred density of the area, however, as discussed earlier, the proposal fails to comply with several key standards of Clause 55 (ResCode) of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, which indicates the proposal is an overdevelopment of the site and not responsive to the existing/preferred character.

3.         Overshadowing

The shadow diagrams (see Attachment 2) demonstrate compliance with ResCode and the shadow diagrams demonstrate that the shadows cast are unlikely to affect any existing secluded private open spaces in question.

4.         Heritage

The subject site is a part of the original Peter Lalor Estate - which was judged in 2013 to have a local historical value, however, the subject site does not possess architectural, aesthetic, or significant historical value, and is not covered by a Heritage Overlay. Therefore, consideration of heritage matters is not relevant to this application.

It is noted that No. 16 Gratwick Street, which is 3 properties to the east of the subject site, is of heritage significance and is covered by Heritage Overlay HO184

5.         Walls on boundary

The proposed walls on boundary complies with standard B18 (wall on boundary) – Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, and are unlikely to affect the amenities of adjoining properties.

6.         Property devaluation.

VCAT has determined on many occasions that property values are not a relevant planning consideration. 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The application has been assessed against the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, and in particular the objectives and standards of Clause 52.06 and Clause 55 and the State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks, including the Housing Diversity Strategy.  The proposal demonstrates an unsatisfactory level of compliance.  It is considered that the proposal is inappropriately designed, and will have a detrimental impact on the character of the neighbourhood and on existing surrounding residential properties.  Accordingly, refusal of the application is recommended.

 

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to Refuse Planning Application No. 716370 and issue a Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit for the construction of two dwellings on the following grounds:

1.       The proposed development does not achieve satisfactory compliance with Clause 55 (Rescode) of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, in particular:-  

a)      Clause 55.02-1 – Neighbourhood Character;

b)      Clause 55.02-5 – Integration with the Street;

c)      Clause 55.03-8 – Landscaping;

d)      Clause 55.03-9 – Access;

e)      Clause 55.05-2 – Dwelling Entry;

f)       Clause 55.06-1 – Design Detail.

2.       The proposal fails to provide the minimum percentage of garden area required by Clause 32.09-4 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.

3.       The proposed will result in an overdevelopment of the site and have an adverse impact on neighbourhood character.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                                  Tuesday 2 July 2019

 


 


 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                                  Tuesday 2 July 2019

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.1.2      445 Coombs Road Kinglake West - Bushfire Replacement Dwelling

Attachments:                        1        Locality Maps

2        Bushfire Replacement Dwelling Plan   

Responsible Officer:           Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Author:                                  Planning Officer   

 

APPLICANT:                         Ian Cromarty

ZONING:                               Rural Conservation Zone

OVERLAY:                            Bushfire Management Overlay

REFERRAL:                          The application was not required to be referred to any authority under the provisions of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme

ADVERTISING:                     The application was not publicly advertised as it was considered that the proposal would not cause any detriment to any adjoining or abutting properties

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council refuse to provide consent to the endorsement of the Bushfire Replacement Dwelling under the provision of Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme due to an insufficient level of detail shown on the site plan.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    A Bushfire Replacement Dwelling application was formally lodged with Council for endorsement under the provisions of Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. The request was lodged prior to these provisions expiring on 30 September 2017.

·    Clause 52.14 exempts the rebuilding of dwellings and other types of buildings that were damaged or destroyed in the 2009 Victorian bushfires from any requirement of the scheme, including any requirement to obtain a planning permit to use or develop land.

·    Clause 52.14 requires specific requirement to be satisfied and shown on a site plan. The supplied site plan failed to provide adequate information and therefore did not meet the specific requirements of the Clause.

·    Planning Officers have attempted to contact the applicant on several occasions via formal letters, telephone calls and a site visit, however have been unsuccessful on all occasions. No formal response has been received from the applicant to date.

 

Report

SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

The subject site is on the southern side of Coombs Road (Attachment 1) and is approximately 3.5 kilometres south of the intersection with Whittlesea Yea Road.  

In a regional context, the site is situated within the north-east of the municipality, dominated by mountainous terrain of the Sherwin Range, which falls from the Great Dividing Range west of Kinglake West, separating the catchments of the Plenty River to the west and the Diamond Creek catchment to the east. 

The subject land is rectangular, covers an area of 11.34 hectares and has a street frontage of approximately 185 metres to Coombs Road. Vehicular access to the site is afforded via an existing gravel accessway located along its street frontage to Coombs Road. The land slopes steeply towards the south-east corner. The land is densely vegetated with predominantly indigenous trees and shrubs. Surrounding land is generally characterised by sizable rural lots with single dwellings and extensive vegetation.

There is an existing outbuilding on the subject which is surrounded by dense vegetation and various scrap metals, materials and disused car parts. There are also several commercial vehicles, machinery and equipment on the subject site and the land appears to be used as an informal store.

BACKGROUND

Planning Permit No. 1976 was issued on 25 February 1977 for the use and development of the land for the purpose of a dwelling. 

Planning Permit No. 115381 was issued on 8 January 1987 for the construction of an outbuilding. 

Both these structures were impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. The applicant has previously taken advantage of the 2009 Bushfire – Replacement Building exemption to reconstruct the outbuilding which received consent under Planning Reference No. 711991 on 13 November 2009.

PLANNING APPLICATION HISTORY

Concerns were raised with the accuracy and level of detail on the submitted plans which made it challenging to enable a comprehensive assessment of the proposal.  Planning Officers have been unsuccessful in contacting the applicant to adequately respond to these outstanding concerns. Several telephone calls and letters have been sent; however, no formal response has been received by the applicant to date.

In the absence of any formal response Planning Officers undertook a site visit to discuss the outstanding concerns with the applicant and hand delivered the various written correspondences. The applicant was not present on the subject site and therefore Council Officers were unable to have a formal conversation to collaboratively work through the outstanding items.

Proposal

The applicant submitted a hand drawn Bushfire Replacement Dwelling plan to satisfy Clause 52.14-2 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme (Attachment 2).

The proposed replacement dwelling is located approximately 52 metres south of Coombs Road and approximately 25 metres from the eastern boundary. The location of the replacement dwelling is commensurate to where the existing outbuilding is positioned.  

ASSESSMENT AGAINST CLAUSE 52.14 – 2009 BUSHFIRE REPLACEMENT BUIDLINGS OF THE WHITTLESEA PLANNING SCHEME

Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme exempts the rebuilding of dwellings and other types of buildings that were damaged or destroyed in the 2009 Victorian bushfires from any requirement of the scheme, including any requirement to obtain a planning permit to use or develop land. Therefore, an assessment of the proposal against Planning Policy Framework, Local Planning Policy Framework and the relevant Zoning and Overlay controls would not be required in this instance.

The purpose of Clause 52.14 is to support the rebuilding of dwellings, dependent person’s units and buildings used for agriculture damaged or destroyed by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

To take advantage of this exemption a site plan was required to be submitted to Council by no later than 30 September 2017. After this date, the normal planning scheme provisions will apply. This application was received on 22 September 2017 and therefore could be considered under of this exemption, however after multiple attempts to make contact and bring the plans up to an improved level of quality have failed, it is not possible to form a position on the plans provided.

Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme sets specific requirements that a site plan must show. In this case, the site plan submitted does not adequately satisfy all of those items. The site plan submitted has been hand drawn and is not to scale. Furthermore, the plan does not show dimensions of the property boundary, proposed dwelling and does not indicate whether the accessway to the dwelling is provided via an all-weather road with dimensions adequate to accommodate emergency vehicles.

The site plan also has a series of discrepancies. The existing outbuilding has not been identified on the plan and it is appears the dwelling is proposed within the building envelope of the outbuilding. It is also likely the location of the proposed dwelling would require the removal of some dense native vegetation; however, this has not been sufficiently addressed on the hand drawn plan. 

Considering the above, Planning Officers are of the opinion the hand drawn site plan cannot take advantage of Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. If the site plan does not satisfy the requirements of the Clause 52.14 they cannot be endorsed under this provision. It is also worth noting that Clause 52.14 does not provide any scope or mechanism for conditional consent. Therefore, the site plan cannot be endorsed nor can any conditional consent be provided.

In the event that the applicant is ready to proceed in the future, they will need to apply for and obtain a planning permit.  At the time of any future application Council and the applicant can engage with the Country Fire Authority to ensure that if the land is used for residential purposes the dwelling can be located within an area on the subject site to assist the minimisation of risk to life and property from bushfire.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The proposed site plan has been submitted to take advantage of the 2009 Bushfire Replacement Buildings provisions which were first implemented into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme over 10 years ago.  A review of the submitted plan has determined that the site plan fails to provide an adequate response to Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme due to insufficient information. The proposed bushfire replacement dwelling site plan has not adequately addressed the specific site plan requirements outlined under Clause 52.14-2 and therefore the plan cannot be approved and consent cannot be provided.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council refuse to provide their consent to the endorsement of the Bushfire Replacement Dwelling under the provision of Clause 52.14 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme on the following grounds:

a)   There are discrepancies shown on the site plan compared to what is existing and established on the subject site.

b)   Additional native vegetation has been established on the site since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires which has not been identified on the site plan.

c)   The site plan has not been drawn to scale and dimensions of the proposed replacement dwelling, property boundary and accessway have not been provided.

d)   Insufficient information has been shown on the site plan to enable a comprehensive assessment of the proposal.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                                  Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.1.3      Submission to the Protecting Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land Review

Attachments:                        1        Protecting Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land - Interim Submission   

Responsible Officer:           Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Author:                                  Senior Strategic Policy Planner   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to endorse the submission at Attachment 1 as Council’s formal submission to the Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review and forward the submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·        The State Government has commenced the Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review to identify strategic agricultural land in green wedge and peri-urban areas, including City of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge.

·        The objective of the project is to identify strategic agricultural land and then strengthen planning controls to protect it. Land not identified as strategic at the State level will remain as green wedge land and continue to support agricultural land uses.

·        The State Government has consulted with community and local government stakeholders regarding the proposed criteria for assessing strategic agricultural land and existing challenges for agricultural land management.

·        Submissions for local government closed on 21 May 2019. This timeline did not provide the opportunity for the submission to be considered at a Council meeting prior to lodgement.

·        The submission was informed by existing Council policy including the Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021, Whittlesea 2040 (the Council Plan) and Council’s Agribusiness Programme, all of which recognise peri-urban agriculture as an important contributor to economic prosperity, local employment, local food security, climate resilience and community wellbeing.

·        The submission supports the development of stronger planning controls to identify and protect strategic agricultural land, in line with existing Council policy. The submission seeks clarification regarding concerns that the scope of the Review and criteria for assessment may have unintended consequences for decisions at the local level. In particular, the status of locally significant agricultural land in the green wedge that supports agricultural land uses and local job opportunities.

 

Report

INTRODUCTION

The State Government has commenced a project to identify strategic agricultural land in green wedge and peri-urban areas within 100 km of central Melbourne, including City of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge.

The Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review (the Review) responds to Action 17 in Plan Melbourne, which seeks to strengthen protection for strategic agricultural land around Melbourne for the future, and to improve land use and development decision making in these areas.

The intent of the Review is to assess agricultural land capability across the study area, consult with the community, Councils and other interested stakeholders on the proposed criteria to identify strategic agricultural land, and then to introduce stronger planning controls to protect strategic agricultural land. An engagement pack was prepared by the State Government in support of the community consultation.

The purpose of this report is to provide an opportunity to review and endorse the submission in response to this consultation (refer Attachment 1), and to seek Council’s endorsement of its content. It should be noted that the intention to prepare a submission to the Review was communicated to the Mayor and Councillors in a memo dated 8 April 2019.

Consultation for the Review formally commenced on 12 March 2019 and submissions from the community were required by Tuesday 23 April 2019. For government and government authorities (including Councils), submissions closed on Tuesday 21 May 2019.

This timeline, unfortunately, did not provide the opportunity for the submission to be considered at a Council meeting prior to lodgement. The submission was prepared and lodged on the due date, with the qualification that the submission was only interim and would be reported to Council on 2 July 2019 and that the State Government would subsequently be advised of the outcome.

BACKGROUND

Background information for the Review has emphasised the significant competitive advantages for agricultural land around Melbourne, including proximity to markets, access to labour and infrastructure, fertile soils, proximity to sources of recycled water and the concentration of supporting rural industries.  The protection of strategic agricultural land is expected to produce greater certainty for agricultural businesses in key precincts, and to support long term investment.  

Specific matters where the State Government has sought feedback as part of the Review are:

·        Level of community support for the proposed criteria for assessing strategic agricultural land;

·        What are the greatest challenges for agricultural land management in the green wedge and peri-urban areas of Melbourne; and

·        Level of understanding in the community of how the protection of agricultural land impacts food production.

The study area for the Review does not include land within Melbourne’s urban area or within existing townships in the green wedge (including Whittlesea Township). Only land within a zone that already includes agriculture as a key purpose can be identified as strategic agricultural land.

 

 

The proposed criteria for assessing strategic agricultural land are:

·        Land capability;

·        Water access;

·        Resilience and adaptability; and

·        Existing land use and integration with industry.

Exclusions are:

·          Areas of limited size and extent;

·          Poor access; and

·          Conservation land or land set aside for other purposes.

Importantly, the State Government acknowledges that agricultural land not identified as being significant at a State level may still be locally significant even if it does not meet the criteria. These areas will remain as green wedge land and support agricultural land uses, so they will not be turned over to residential development. Existing planning controls that apply will remain in place and not be weakened. This is a significant issue in terms of ensuring the status of land not identified as ‘State significant’ is still maintained and protected.

There are important synergies between this State Government project and Council’s Agribusiness Programme, which forms part of the implementation of the Whittlesea Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021 (GWMP). The Agribusiness Programme is supported by an Agribusiness Officer whose key tasks are to promote networking and to provide sound business and management advice to agricultural enterprises. The Agribusiness Officer role has been a key driver of local land capability assessment work to identify the future productive potential of agricultural land in the municipality. The next stages of this work will include an investigation of innovative farming practices that can build soil capability over time, and farm irrigation opportunities from the use of recycled water.

KEY POINTS FROM THE SUBMISSION

The submission was informed by existing Council policy and adopted strategies, particularly the GWMP and the Council Plan (Whittlesea 2040).  

Scope of the Review - land outside areas identified as “strategic”

The statement from State Government that agricultural land not identified as being significant at a State level may still be considered locally significant even if it does not meet the Review criteria is welcomed. Nevertheless, it is noted that any initiatives or tools developed to identify and protect strategic agricultural land should not be done in isolation from other related work that affects green wedge and peri-urban land. An example of this is the separate State Government review of green wedge planning provisions which commenced in May 2018. Council provided feedback to this initiative, which coincides with an action in the GWMP to support stronger planning controls that encourage agricultural opportunities and discourage rural land fragmentation and inappropriate land uses.

Stronger recognition of agriculture and agri-tourism opportunities in the Green Wedge were also advocated for in the Northern Metropolitan Land Use Framework Plan.

It should be noted that there is currently an opportunity to align and bring together these various pieces of work to achieve a more coordinated approach. The strengthening of planning controls to reinforce the productive purpose of the broader green wedge land is urgently needed, to reduce land speculation pressures and proposals for inappropriate, low amenity uses. However, to avoid any unintended consequences for areas not identified as strategic agricultural land but still important at the local level, the scope of the Review should be expanded to include stronger planning controls to reinforce and support the non-urban, agricultural purpose of all green wedge land. 

 

 

Assessment Criteria for the identification of Strategic Agricultural Land

A key intent of the Review, including through its community consultation, is to promote the importance of preserving the existing and future potential of food production in peri-urban and green wedge areas.

The submission noted that the City of Whittlesea has already undertaken a project to investigate future opportunities for local agriculture, including modelling a range of commodities in future climate scenarios. The next stages of this project are already underway through academic and industry partnerships, including an investigation of innovative farming practices that can build soil capability over time. Funding opportunities are also being sought for a pilot project that would establish a farm in Epping North with the use of recycled water.

This existing and ongoing strategic work puts Council in a relatively engaged and informed position with respect to the future productive potential of its agricultural land. City of Whittlesea has taken an innovative approach and is one of very few Councils to have undertaken this land capability assessment work, therefore Council has the capacity to ground-truth the regional analysis prepared to support the State Government Review.   As such, the submission raises concerns about the accuracy of mapping prepared for the Review, based on Council’s 2018 Land Capability Assessment Report. This report has been incorporated in the submission to demonstrate that the local-scale land suitability mapping provides a markedly different outcome compared to the results of the regional approach being used in the Review. The submission recommends that further analysis of land suitability is carried out at the local scale prior to finalising the mapping of identified strategic agricultural land.  Otherwise, there is a risk that the amount of strategic agricultural land identified by the Review will not accurately reflect productive potential.

This is particularly so when considering productive potential as a result of the use of recycled water for irrigation. The criterion used in the Review with respect to water access is generally supported, but the mapping does not appear to identify City of Whittlesea as having high potential for access to alternative water sources. The mapping does not identify recycled water sources that are yet to be constructed or expanded. In contrast to this, Council’s Land Capability Assessment Report documents the potential for recycled water to transform local agriculture by widening the range of commodities that can be grown and opening new horticultural markets.  

NOTIFICATION

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) requested that Councils support the project by publicising workshop sessions being held in regional locations around Melbourne, and by extending DELWP’s invitation to the community to participate in the process.  Council provided this support by directly engaging with the City of Whittlesea Agribusiness Reference group, the Agribusiness contact list, within the Economic Development business eNewsletter and the Whittlesea Township and Surrounds network information, as well as posting notices on team members’ Linked In profiles.

CRITICAL DATES

Submissions for the agency consultation closed on 21 May 2019. This timeline prevented the submission being considered at a Council meeting prior to lodgement. An interim submission was submitted to DELWP noting that it would be reported to Council on 2 July 2019 to seek endorsement.

The notification of the outcome soon after 2 July 2019 would align with the next steps in the Review, following the collation of stakeholder submissions:

·        July 2019 – Findings summary shared with the community;

·        Late 2019 – develop the planning response/further consultation on the findings and improving green wedge planning; and

·        2020 – Implement the planning controls.

Policy strategy and legislation

Whittlesea Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021

The following actions of the Whittlesea Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021 are directly referenced in the submission to the Review:

·        Action L11, which seeks to monitor and support State Government initiatives in the review of planning provisions to support agribusiness and the right to farm in our rural, green wedge areas; and

·        Actions L09, L27 and L28 which seek to investigate and evaluate innovative land use options which support sustainable land management, and to provide support to farmers to produce local food (and to increase food security) in accordance with optimal management practices.

Climate Ready Whittlesea

The submission relies on the findings of climate change modelling for agricultural commodities already undertaken by City of Whittlesea. This strategic work is specifically referenced as best practice in Climate Ready Whittlesea, Council’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan, as follows:

Modern techniques for modelling climate change provide an additional advantage in long term planning… An excellent example of utilising modelling to plan for the future is the Land Capability Project. Whittlesea Council is working in partnership with Deakin University and the local farming community. The aim of the project is to investigate the potential of agriculture in the rural north of the municipality and its role in supporting the economic and environmental sustainability, and social wellbeing of our community both now and into the future.

The Land Capability Project…

also gives Council the information to formulate policy and strategy to strengthen the agricultural sector, as well as advocate to other levels of government to do the same.

Whittlesea Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022

Whittlesea’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS) aims to:

·        Protect our natural environment;

·        Adapt to Climate Change;

·        Save water and energy;

·        Secure our food supplies; and

·        Change behaviour.

Strategic investigations for City of Whittlesea’s rural areas have been used to inform the submission to the Review, and are aligned with the above framework. Specifically, the ESS has identified the challenges for sustainable land management from:

·        Productive rural land being taken out of production due to urbanisation and land use change;

·        Predicted changes in rainfall and temperatures that will increase challenges for farmers in keeping land productive whilst dealing with increased erosion and damage to crops; and

·        Challenges in meeting the needs for increasing food production to feed a growing population, whilst managing land sustainably.

Agriculture Victoria Strategy

The Agriculture Victoria Strategy (the Strategy) recognises that the agriculture sector provides one of the best opportunities for economic growth in Victoria’s regions. Further, the Strategy states:

However, economic growth is not an end in itself. An inclusive growth agenda that reduces inequality, strengthens resilience and respects diversity is key to Victoria’s social and economic prosperity.

The Strategy also highlights the following key challenges:

·        Globally competitive – Position Victoria as a global leader in providing clean and safe food and fibre;

·        Innovative – Drive creativity and the adoption of new ideas to improve productivity and efficiency of agriculture supply chains;

·        Resilient – Build capabilities and capacity to manage risks and challenges such as climate change; and

·        Diverse – Harness the diversity of Victorian agriculture and its communities.

The submission references Council’s ongoing strategic work to support its agriculture sector, which aligns with the identified need to address these challenges. The submission states:

The recognition of peri-urban agriculture as an important contributor to economic prosperity and local employment, local food security, climate resilience and community wellbeing is what is driving efforts by City of Whittlesea to protect agricultural land in the municipality.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Not linked to the risks within the Strategic Risk Register.

The Council decision sought relates to a submission to a State Government project. A Council decision that endorses the submission does not have a direct influence on the outcome of the project and, therefore, does not represent a strategic risk for Council.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Sustainable environment

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Climate ready

Strategic Objective                        We reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help our community to adapt to the effects of climate change

Council Priority                             Environmental Sustainability

 

The submission supports the following economic and environmental goals from the Council Plan 2017-2021 (Whittlesea 2040):

Goal 4 (Sustainable Environment):

·        Together we are working to reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to the changing climate by:

Ø  Managing land sustainably;

Ø  Reducing energy use and carbon emissions; and

Ø  Building community resilience.

Goal 3.3: Successful, innovative local businesses:

·        Driving our rural economy – work with the sector to adapt to climate change; and

·        Whittlesea Food and Farm Collective – partner to support people experiencing food insecurity.

The submission has referenced the following initiatives that seek to implement the above goals:

·        City of Whittlesea is developing the Best Practice Case Study of Regenerative Agriculture Implementation, to inform of the opportunities that can influence growth of our agricultural sector. The regenerative agriculture approach builds soil health, sequesters carbon, and reduces energy and input use. It should be noted that technical work that forms the evidence base for the Review (the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CERRF) Land Suitability Assessment approach) is aligned with the direction that City of Whittlesea has identified for future agricultural practice through the above project, and through ongoing work to identify commodities that are resilient to climate change; and

·        The Whittlesea Food and Farm Collective is identified on the Review’s Water Access Map as the “Whittlesea Community Farm.” This is a partnership project being developed between Whittlesea Community Connections, Melbourne Polytechnic, Yarra Valley Water and City of Whittlesea to establish a farm on a site in Epping North with the use of recycled water. The project has the following objectives that align with the intent of the Review to protect food production and long-term investment in peri-urban/green wedge areas:

Ø   Provide integrated and responsive support to people in food insecurity;

Ø   Build a strong economy through farming innovation and enterprise; and

Ø  Create more supported volunteering, skill development, training and employment opportunities.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

This report seeks endorsement of the submission (refer Attachment 1) in response to the State Government consultation for Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review. An interim submission was submitted pending formal Council consideration, as timelines prevented the submission being considered at a Council meeting prior to the lodgement date.

The submission was informed by the implementation actions of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2021, which is adopted Council policy that supports a review of planning provisions to encourage agribusiness and the right to farm in our rural green wedge. Strategic work from Council’s Agribusiness Programme, that was used to support feedback to the Review, is the result of the implementation of the Green Wedge Management Plan and Whittlesea 2040 (the Council Plan).  

There will be further opportunity to engage with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning throughout the Review, including greater consideration of City of Whittlesea’s local land capability data, and bringing this work together with other important green wedge planning initiatives.

It is recommended that Council endorse the submission to the Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review as per Attachment 1, and authorise forwarding the submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to endorse the submission at Attachment 1 as Council’s formal submission to the Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review and forward the submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                              Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

 

SUBMISSION TO PROTECTING MELBOURNE’S STRATEGIC AGRICULTURAL LAND REVIEW

 

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to Protecting Melbourne’s Strategic Agricultural Land Review (the Review). This submission has been prepared by officers at City of Whittlesea, and will be reported to Council on 2 July 2019 to seek endorsement. To this end, the submission should be considered as interim, pending the final Council decision.

 

Key Points from the Submission

 

While the strengthening of planning controls to identify and protect strategic agricultural land is strongly supported, there is concern that the scope of the Review and criteria for assessment may have unintended consequences for decision making at the local level. These concerns can be summarised as follows:

 

1.       The strengthening of planning controls to reinforce the productive purpose of the broader green wedge land is urgently needed, to reduce land speculation pressures and proposals for inappropriate, low amenity uses. As such, excluding this important issue from the Review in favour of developing planning controls, in isolation, for identified “strategic agricultural land” is not supported. Rather than improving decision making in green wedge areas (which is a stated objective of the Review), this approach may have the effect of weakening the existing green wedge controls, resulting in further permanent loss of productive agricultural land.

 

2.       City of Whittlesea has already begun investigating the future productive potential of its green wedge land in the scenario of a changing climate, through its Land Capability Mapping and its ongoing project partnerships with Deakin University and Foodprint Melbourne. The focus of this strategic work is to promote an agribusiness sector that is flexible, innovative and sustainable. A supportive planning response would:

 

·        encourage innovative farming practices;

·        respond to the challenges of emerging markets;

·        increase the sustainable, environmentally responsible productivity of the landscape; and

·        reinforce the purpose of the rural zones to produce food and fibre.

 

In contrast to this, the Review focusses too heavily on soil-based agriculture and existing infrastructure, particularly in relation to access to water. This is self-limiting, and risks reducing the amount of land that will be protected for future production of food and fibre. The scope of the Review should be broadened to factor in diversity and innovation in agriculture, as the sector responds to shifting consumer trends and a changing climate.

 

3.       Between 2016 and 2018, City of Whittlesea undertook a Land Capability Mapping Project, using the land suitability approach that has been adopted by Centre for Regional and Rural Futures at Deakin University in its background paper to support the Review. Through this work, we can identify that the productive capacity of land mapped for the local project is significantly higher, compared to the regional maps prepared for the Review.  As such, we strongly recommend that an analysis of land suitability is carried out at a local scale for all Councils within the scope of the Review, to ensure accurate mapping of ‘strategic agricultural land.’

 

 

Protection of Strategic Agricultural Land

 

It is understood that the outcome of the Review is to “strengthen protection for strategic agricultural land around Melbourne for the future, and to improve land use and development decision making in these areas”. This broad intent is supported by existing policy at City of Whittlesea, including Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2031.

 

The recognition of peri-urban agriculture as an important contributor to economic prosperity and local employment, local food security, climate resilience and community wellbeing is what is driving efforts by City of Whittlesea to protect agricultural land in the municipality. In particular, Council’s Green Wedge Management Plan includes an action to monitor and support State Government initiatives in the review of planning provisions to support agribusiness and the right to farm in our rural, green wedge areas (Action L11).

 

The Review will potentially support the following goals from the Council Plan 2017-2021 (Whittlesea 2040):

 

Goal 3.3: Successful, innovative local businesses:

 

·        Driving our rural economy – work with the sector to adapt to climate change.

·        Whittlesea Food and Farm Collective – partner to support people experiencing food insecurity.

 

Goal 4: Sustainable Environment

·        Together we are working to reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to the changing climate by:

 

Ø  Managing land sustainably

Ø  Reducing energy use and carbon emissions

Ø  Building community resilience.

 

 

City of Whittlesea is developing the Best Practice Case Study of Regenerative Agriculture Implementation, which will be disseminated to key stakeholders by 30 June 2020 to inform of the opportunities that can influence growth of our agricultural sector. The regenerative agriculture approach builds soil health, sequesters carbon, and reduces energy and input use. It should be noted that technical work that forms the evidence base for the Review (the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures (CERRF) Land Suitability Assessment approach) is aligned with the direction that City of Whittlesea has identified for future agricultural practice through the above project, and through ongoing work to identify commodities that are resilient to climate change.

 

The Whittlesea Food and Farm Collective is identified on the Review’s Water Access Map as the “Whittlesea Community Farm.” This is a partnership project between Whittlesea Community Connections, Melbourne Polytechnic, Yarra Valley Water and City of Whittlesea to establish a farm on a site in Epping North with the use of recycled water. The project has the following objectives that align with the intent of the Review to protect food production and long-term investment in peri-urban areas:

 

·          Provide integrated and responsive support to people in food insecurity;

·          Build a strong economy through farming innovation and enterprise; and

·          Create more supported volunteering, skill development, training and employment opportunities.

 

Land outside areas identified as “strategic”

 

It is understood that Green Wedge areas can have a range of values. City of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan acknowledges the agricultural, environmental, cultural, recreational and landscape values of the Green Wedge areas and seeks to preserve and enhance these values. Given the diversity of values in the Green Wedge, officers welcome the statement from State Government that agricultural land not identified as being significant at a state level may still be considered locally significant even if it does not meet the Review criteria. Particularly, that these areas will remain as green wedge land, will continue to support agricultural land uses, and will not be turned over to residential development.

 

Notwithstanding this statement, any initiatives or tools developed to identify strategic agricultural land should not be done in isolation of other related work that affects green wedge and peri-urban land. To avoid any unintended consequences for areas not identified as strategic agricultural land, it is important that the planning controls in these areas also be strengthened to reinforce the non-urban, agricultural purpose of the existing zones. 

 

This work should also draw together the broader set of initiatives and projects being progressed by the Department, which includes the recent changes to planning controls for animal industries, and the review of green wedge planning provisions that was announced by the State Government in May 2018. Officers from City of Whittlesea were pleased to provide feedback to these related initiatives in the hope that they would result in stronger planning controls to discourage rural land fragmentation and inappropriate land uses. It is noted that Council officers have also advocated strongly for a stronger recognition of agriculture and agri-tourism opportunities in the Green Wedge in the Northern Metropolitan Land Use Framework Plan.  There is an opportunity here to align and bring together these various pieces of work to achieve a more coordinated approach.

 

Through the actions of its Green Wedge Management Plan, City of Whittlesea has sought to prevent the fragmentation of green wedge land through subdivision, and to discourage the establishment of urban land uses on green wedge land, such as soil dumping and materials storage. The challenges in achieving this within the existing planning controls were part of City of Whittlesea’s feedback to the DELWP’s consultation on green wedge planning provisions.

 

The introduction of specific planning controls to protect “strategic” agricultural land, without consideration of the effectiveness of existing green wedge planning controls, may have unintended consequences for rural lot subdivision and land use applications on properties outside the areas identified as “strategic.” As such, rather than improving decision making in green wedge areas, this approach may have the effect of weakening the existing controls until the Green Wedge Planning Provision review has been completed and implemented.

 

Land Suitability Assessment Data

 

As has been mentioned above, the use of the CERRF Land Suitability Assessment approach to support the Review aligns with work that was undertaken by CERRF for City of Whittlesea between 2016 and 2018. This mapping is available on Council’s website as part of its farming and agricultural business support, and was developed with strong support and assistance from the local agricultural sector and farming community.

 

However, we note that this local-scale land suitability mapping provides a markedly different outcome compared to the results of the regional approach used to support the Review. As such, we would strongly encourage that analysis of land suitability is carried out at the local scale prior to finalising the mapping of identified “strategic agricultural land.”

 

City of Whittlesea’s land suitability mapping is provided on the Council website here, and a copy of the final Land Capability Assessment report is attached to this submission to inform the Review.

 

It is hoped that the Review will positively support the next step in the City of Whittlesea Land Capability Assessment project, which is to undertake further ground-truthing of the data that was obtained, and to investigate planning tools to protect the agricultural potential of the Green Wedge.

 

Rural zones within the scope of the Review

 

The Review appears to exclude the Green Wedge A zone from its scope. This omission is not supported by City of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan, which is implemented across all green wedge land. It should be noted that the introduction of green wedge planning provisions in 2004 was a material change in planning policy direction for Victoria. The zone changes introduced with those provisions, including the Green Wedge A Zone, have not yet been ground-truthed in this municipality.

 

City of Whittlesea’s Land Capability Assessment Report identifies the potential of land for production of a range of commodities, including on Green Wedge A zoned land (refer to the section above). The exclusion of Green Wedge A zoned land from the scope of the Review potentially undermines this strategic direction.

 

It should be noted, also, that there are local examples of productive agricultural uses being undertaken on lots that are eight hectares or less. 

 

Assessment Criteria

 

In terms of specific feedback sought via the consultation process, the Whittlesea Green Wedge Management Plan 2011-2031 provides guidance for Council’s response to the criteria for assessment, and for what the planning response should achieve in Green Wedge areas:

 

1.   The use of the criterion related to land suitability is supported by Whittlesea’s Land Capability Assessment Project, which was undertaken in response to Actions L09, L27 and L28 of the Green Wedge Management Plan.  These implementation actions seek to investigate and evaluate innovative land use options which support sustainable land management, and to provide support to farmers to produce local food (and to increase food security) in accordance with optimal management practices.

 

2.   Given the approach outlined above, the criterion relating to land capability (as defined for the Technical Report prepared for the Review) is not supported due to its emphasis on soil, landscape, groundwater and existing land degradation in the context of conventional agricultural land uses such as intensive horticulture and dairying.

 

This is not a policy approach that City of Whittlesea supports in recognising and fostering the potential of its agricultural land. By way of example, City of Whittlesea is undertaking a postgraduate partnership project through Deakin University that is investigating the application of regenerative agricultural practice to our green wedge areas. Regenerative agriculture is a farming and grazing practice that restores soil biodiversity by rebuilding soil organic matter. This has benefits for carbon sequestration and efficiency of water use, reducing the significance of existing land degradation in assessing soil attributes. 

 

It should be noted, also, that international best practice seeks to broaden the definition of land viability to consider consumer trends towards locally and sustainably produced food, and agritourism. Such considerations favour peri-urban land, including smaller lots and lots previously underutilised for agriculture1. This approach has specific relevance to City of Whittlesea, as is outlined in the Land Capability Assessment Report (attached). The report notes that whilst the municipality’s total agricultural area, agricultural production and the number of agribusinesses have decreased since 2011, economic output from agriculture increased by $4.1 million between 2011 and 2016. This indicates that agribusinesses that locate in this area are successful and there is opportunity for further growth, particularly with policy and funding support. It should be noted that this economic efficiency has occurred alongside the maintenance of landscapes and soils. The report also notes that despite the loss of agricultural land in City of Whittlesea, when compared to neighbouring areas it has the lowest percentage of agricultural land lost to other land uses since 20112.

 

3.   The criterion relating to water access is generally supported, but the mapping does not appear to identify City of Whittlesea as having high potential for access to alternative water sources. The mapping does not identify recycled water sources that are yet to be constructed or expanded, despite the CERRF land suitability analysis (used to support the Review) which states the importance of proximate sources of recycled water to augment agricultural land versatility.

 

Notwithstanding, City of Whittlesea is in close proximity to recycled water storage reservoirs and wastewater treatment plants that have the potential to increase their production of recycled water over time2.

 

City of Whittlesea’s Land Capability Assessment Report documents the potential for recycled water to transform local agriculture by widening the range of commodities that can be grown and opening new horticultural markets. The projected increase in urban population in the municipality will result in increased wastewater which will be a disposal problem. Collaboration with the water sector can potentially turn a disposal problem into an environmental solution and valuable agricultural resource.

 

The importance of this resource is demonstrated in the agricultural commodity modelling for the Land Capability Assessment Report.  All commodities show an increase in water needs between now and 2050 due to increased temperatures, changes in soil moisture and, possibly, changes in rainfall patterns. Areas of high suitability for each commodity will be drastically reduced without irrigation2.  Currently, 80% of City of Whittlesea’s irrigation water comes from on-farm dams, 10% from recycled water, with the remainder coming from rivers, creeks, lakes, groundwater and reticulated town water. The use of recycled water as a source of irrigation is still relatively new, with trials being undertaken in Werribee South and on the Mornington Peninisula2.

 

City of Whittlesea is a project partner of Foodprint Melbourne, an inter-faculty team at the University of Melbourne funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.  Foodprint Melbourne’s 2019 report, Roadmap for a Resilient and Sustainable Melbourne Foodbowl, advocates for greater use of urban wastewater for food production, to increase the resilience of the city’s food system to water scarcity. Water scarcity is likely to impact all of Victoria’s food production areas in the coming decades due to drought. The Foodprint Melbourne report advocates for increased investment by state government and water authorities in infrastructure to supply farms with recycled water and stormwater in the future3.

 

Given food production forms a major justification for the Review, we would strongly advocate for the ‘water access’ criterion to be broadened, to consider future access opportunities from proximity to urban development and growth.

 

4.   Whilst not named as a criterion, there is a Land Constraints Map in the consultation material which appears to identify large areas of City of Whittlesea as “constrained” by native vegetation.

 

Contemporary sustainable land management practice recognises the value brought by native vegetation, including (but not limited to) natural management of pasture and crop pests, and increased farm productivity from reduction in windspeeds and temperature moderation.

 

The classification of native vegetation as a ‘constraint’ to agriculture does not align with the implementation actions of Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan. Whilst native vegetation may not be compatible with intensive farming, the Green Wedge Management Plan seeks to encourage regenerative farming practices which balance high value production with enhanced biodiversity, positive soil health and water quality (refer to Point 2, above).

 

Rather than treating native vegetation as a constraint, the Review should acknowledge the values brought to agriculture by biodiversity and should also consider the broader regional role that Green Wedge Management Plans have in recognising biodiversity corridors, habitat links, and riparian zones that extend across municipal boundaries.

            

What should the planning response achieve? 

 

5.   Whittlesea’s Green Wedge Management Plan sets the following preferences for the planning response to promote the agricultural potential of the green wedge areas:

 

·        Action L11 seeks to monitor State Government initiatives to support agribusiness and the right to farm in rural areas through improved planning provisions. Strategic work already being undertaken by the City of Whittlesea seeks to promote an agribusiness sector that is flexible, innovative and sustainable. Ideally, therefore, the planning response would:

 

Ø  encourage innovative farming practices;

Ø  respond to the challenges of emerging markets;

Ø  increase the sustainable, environmentally responsible productivity of the landscape; and

Ø  reinforce the purpose of the rural zones to produce food and fibre.

 

·        Action L18 seeks to develop mechanisms, including policy development, that discourage and regulate soil dumping, filling of land, and native vegetation removal. This aligns with the overall strategic direction of the Green Wedge Management Plan, which is to enhance and protect natural, productive and cultural resources to achieve the community’s vision for the Green Wedge.

 

·        Action L20 seeks the establishment of township boundaries to reduce the potential for conflict from urban uses in rural areas.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. We look forward to ongoing engagement with DELWP officers throughout the Review, including greater consideration of local land suitability data, and bringing this work together with other important green wedge planning initiatives.

 

 

 

 

1.     Oregon Department of Agriculture (2007) cited in Foodprint Melbourne 2019, Roadmap for a Resilient and Sustainable Melbourne Foodbowl p.30).

2.     City of Whittlesea, 2018, Future Prospects of Local Agriculture in the City of Whittlesea p.3, 4, 5, 49

3.     Foodprint Melbourne 2019, Roadmap for a Resilient and Sustainable Melbourne Foodbowl, p.30

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.1.4      Assemblies of Councillors Report - 2 July 2019  

Responsible Officer:           Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

recommendation summary

That Council note the record of the Assemblies of Councillors meetings as set out in the table in the report.

key facts and/or issues

To report to Council the records of Assemblies of Councillors in accordance with Section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act.


 

Report

Background

The Local Government Act 1989 requires records of Assemblies of Councillors to be reported to an ordinary Council meeting and recorded in the minutes of that meeting.

A meeting is an assembly of Councillors if it considers matters that are likely to be the subject of a Council decision or the exercise of a Council delegation and the meeting is:

·    A planned or scheduled meeting that includes at least half the Councillors and a member of Council staff; or

·    An advisory committee of Council where one or more Councillors are present.

A record must be kept of an assembly of Councillors which lists the Councillors and members of Council staff attending, the matters discussed, disclosures of conflict of interest and whether a Councillor left the meeting after making a disclosure.

Proposal

Assemblies of Councillors records not previously reported to Council are detailed in the following table:-

Assembly Details

Councillor attendees

Officer attendees

Matters discussed

City of Whittlesea Australia Day Awards Advisory Committee Meeting

6 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Joseph

(Deputy Mayor)

GOs

1.     Welcome 2019 recipient – Gillian Borrack to the Committee

2.     Amended Committee Terms of Reference Adopted by Council on 2 April 2019

3.     Expression of Interest Process for Community Representative to join the Committee

4.     Opening of Award Nomination Period

5.     Communications

6.     General Business:  Feedback was provided regarding the 2018 Australia Day Award Nominee Recognition Function.

Nil disclosures

Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee Meeting

14 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Alessi

Cr Pavlidis

CEO

MG

 

1.     Confidential Item: Quarter 3 Report on 2018-19 CEO KPIs

2.     Confidential Item: Draft CEO KPIs 2019-20

Independent Member of CEMAC in Attendance:  Agata Jarbin

Nil disclosures

Councillor Briefing

14 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Alessi

Cr Pavlidis

Cr Sterjova

CEO

DCS

DCRS

DCTP

PP

MPUD

ULPUF

1.     Signage Management Plan

2.     Street Tree Management Plan Review

3.     Confidential Item: CEO/Councillor Time

Nil disclosures

Councillor Briefing

21 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Joseph

(Deputy Mayor)

Cr Alessi

Cr Desiato

Cr Kozmevski

Cr Monteleone

Cr Pavlidis

Cr Sterjova

CEO

DCS

DCRS

DCTP

DPPE

MCBP

SPPO

TLSPP

Community Building Policy and Strategy

Nil disclosures

Council Budget  2019/20 Advisory Committee Meeting

22 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Joseph

(Deputy Mayor)

Cr Pavlidis

 

CEO

DCS

DCRS

DCTP

DPPE

GOs

MFA

TLFA

TLG

1.     Hearing of Submitters:

The following submitters made oral presentation in support of their submissions:

·      Denys Potts, Secretary/Treasurer, Whittlesea RSL Sub-branch (Illumination of Memorial and ANZAC Day)

·      Sofi De Lesantis

·      John Nugent

·      Harinder Singh & Kulwant Singh, Whittlesea Hockey Club

·      Justine Sless, Manager, Thomastown Neighbourhood House

·      Max Sargent, Manager & Jo Lee, Committee Member, Creeds Farm Living & Learning Centre

·      Anthony Holding, President & Dave Watson, Whittlesea Country Music Festival Committee

·      Rob Mazniovski, Chairperson, Thomastown Precinct Activity Group & President, Thomastown Football Netball Club

·      Shane Hickey (Chairperson) & Chris Fillipov, Waterstone Hill Owners Cooperation

·      Alex Haynes, CEO, Whittlesea Community Connections

·      Judy Clements & Jan Hyndman, Friends of Toorourong

·      Graeme Hunter (Chairperson) & Peter Towt, Whittlesea Showgrounds and Recreation Reserves Committee of Management Inc.

 

Other Submitters who elected not to speak:

·      Charles Castle, President, Whittlesea Courthouse Association

·      Gary Doorbar, Victorian State Emergency Service

·      Selina Demiris

·      Christine Latimer, Road Trauma Support Services Victoria

 

2.     Confidential Item: Consideration of Submission and making of recommendations to Council

Nil disclosures

Whittlesea Reconciliation Group (WRG) Meeting

23 May 2019

Cr Sterjova

TLACD

ALCO

1.     Acceptance of 18 April Minutes

2.     Membership

3.     WRG 2019-20 Budget

4.     Aboriginal Liaison Officer Report

5.     2019 Community Festival

6.     WRG website content

7.     Change the Date

8.     Aboriginal Gathering Place

9.     Treaty Elections of the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria

Nil disclosures

Councillor Briefing

28 May 2019

Cr Cox

(Mayor)

Cr Joseph

(Deputy Mayor)

Cr Alessi

Cr Kelly

Cr Lalios

CEO

MG

 

 

Confidential Item: Draft CEO 2019-2020 KPIs

Independent Member of CEMAC in Attendance:  Agata Jarbin

Nil disclosures

 

 

 

 

The table below represents an Index of Officer titles:

Initials

Title of Officer

Initials

Title of Officer

ALCO

Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator – Donna Wright

MG

Manager Governance – Michael Tonta

CEO

Chief Executive Officer – Simon Overland

MPUD

Manager Parks & Urban Design – Susan Hecker

DCS

Director Community Services – Russell Hopkins

PP

Project Planner – Ashely Baker-Finch

DCRS

Director Corporate Services – Helen Sui

SPPO

Social Policy and Projects Officer – Karen Greer

DCTP

Director City Transport and Presentation – Nick Mann

TLACD

Team Leader Aboriginal & Cultural Diversity – Nick Butera

DPPE

Director Partnerships, Planning and Engagement – Liana Thompson

TLFA

Team Leader Financial Accounting – Nicole Montague

GOs

Governance Officers – Amanda Marijanovic & Diana Vukic

TLG

Team Leader Governance – Angelo Mamatis

MCBP

Manager Community Building and Planning – Belgin Besim

TLSPP

Team Leader Social Policy and Planning – Carmen Faelis

MFA

Manager Finance & Assets – Amy Montalti

ULPUF

Unit Leader Parks & Urban Forest – Michael Tanner

Consultation

Consultation has taken place with internal Council Officer representatives of each of the meetings and committees that qualify as an Assembly of Councillors.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications as a result of this report.

Policy Strategy and Legislation

Section 3C(2)(g) of the Local Government Act 1989 provides that one of Council’s facilitating objectives is to have regard to ensuring transparency and accountability in Council decision making.

Accordingly, section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 requires that the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that the written record of an assembly of Councillors is, as soon as practicable:-

    (a)        reported at an ordinary meeting of the Council; and

    (b)        incorporated in the minutes of that Council meeting.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Management - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities by Management resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

Reporting assemblies of Councillor meetings is a legislative requirement which also promotes open and transparent decision making.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Enabling the vision

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Making it happen

Strategic Objective                        Our Council monitors and evaluates all of its operations

Council Priority                             Organisational Sustainability

The provision of this report is in line with Whittlesea 2040 and the Council Plan by ensuring Council monitors and evaluates all of its operations.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

CONCLUSION

That Council note the record of the Assemblies of Councillors meetings in the table set out in the report.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council note the record of the Assemblies of Councillors meetings in the table set out in the report.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.1.5      Epping Community Services Hub Partner OrgaNISATION Request  

Responsible Officer:           Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Author:                                  Social Policy and Projects Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

Council resolve to approve Merri Community Health Services Limited as a sub-tenant of the Epping Community Services Hub (713 High St, Epping).

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    Council’s establishment of the Epping Community Services Hub (ECSH) facilitates the expansion of much needed human service provision to the municipality. It responds to the needs of the community, providing innovative service and infrastructure delivery focused on integration and a partnership approach.

·    Council’s resolution on 24 February 2015 requires formal endorsement of all sub-tenancies of ECSH: “..Brotherhood of St Laurence will take on the lease for the facility for a five year period and with the consent of Council, will sub lease to appropriate services providers” (Council Report 24/02/15, p1). There are currently 24 services operating from ECSH. 

·    Merri Community Health Services Limited have applied to be a sub-tenant of the ESCH. This agency is committed to the vision of the ECSH as an integrated service model and will increase local communities access to home based allied health services, such as occupational therapy and podiatry.

 

Report

Introduction

The ESCH is a Council facility being leased to the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) as the lead agency which then sub-leases to appropriate community service providers. The total capacity of the Hub is 110 desks. Currently 103.2 desks are leased.

Council has received an application from Merri Community Health Services Limited to locate their Age Care Services at the ESCH requiring 3 desks. This agency will provide increased community access to allied health home visiting service to older people in the municipality.

Background

The ECSH was established in May 2016 to respond to gaps in service provision and infrastructure in innovative ways to better address needs in the community. The Epping Central Structure Plan (2011), the South Morang Civic Precinct Community Infrastructure Analysis (2013) and the Human Services Needs Analysis (2013) identified substantial demand for additional infrastructure and community services in the municipality, particularly those targeting the needs of young people, families, new migrants, CALD communities, seniors and people with disabilities. The ECSH provides an opportunity to meet the current needs of the community and respond to the evidence of significant population growth.

Through an Expression of Interest process undertaken in September 2014, Council sought interest from agencies to, firstly take on the role of lead agency and lead tenant, to manage the facility and to facilitate a collaborative environment, and secondly, to partner with other agencies that would like to be accommodated within the building as sub tenants. On 24 February 2015, Council resolved to endorse BSL as the lead agency and lead tenant and lease the site to BSL for a five year period. Council also confirmed that any sub-tenancies needed to be formally endorsed by Council.

Proposal

Merri Community Health Services have requested approval from Council to locate their services at the ECSH and occupy three desks, taking the total desks leased to 106.2 out of a capacity of 110.

Merri Community Health – This service provides aged care allied health and homecare services. Merri Health currently receive in excess of 20-30 referrals per month from people living in the City of Whittlesea, for home based allied health services, such as occupational therapy and podiatry.

In accordance with Council’s resolution on 24 February 2015 this report recommends that Council formally approve Merri Community Health Limited as sub-tenants of the Epping Community Services Hub (713 High St, Epping).

Consultation

In discussion regarding this application between lead tenant BSL and Council officers, both BSL and Council officers are satisfied that the aged care allied health service is required by the local community. The 2018 Human Services Needs Analysis, nearly all local aged care support services who responded, identified increase demand and over half identified that there is unmet demand for services. Consultation with the City of Whittlesea Aged and Disability Department informs that the community would benefit from increased access to homebased aged care allied health services.  

Council officers and BSL are satisfied that the agency supports the integrated service provision model stipulated by Council. BSL have identified that Merri Health do not require access to consulting rooms as the services are provided through an outreach model. Therefore, it is not anticipated there will be any additional pressure on consulting room utilisation.  

Critical Dates

Merri Community Health Services Limited plan to commence operations at the ECSH as soon as possible pending Council approval.

Financial Implications

The current model at the ECSH, endorsed by Council on 24 February 2015, involves a lead agency (BSL) leasing the building from Council and then developing sub-leases with individual agencies (subject to Council approval). There are no financial implications for Council from this report.

Policy strategy and legislation

The ESCH is intended to respond to gaps in service provision and infrastructure and is consistent with Council priorities and plans. The Epping Central Structure Plan (2011), the South Morang Civic Precinct Community Infrastructure Analysis (2013), the Human Services Needs Analysis (2014 and 2017) and the Council Plan identify substantial demand for additional infrastructure and community services in the municipality, particularly those targeting the needs of young people, families, new migrants, CALD communities, seniors and people with disabilities. The ESCH provides an opportunity to meet the current needs of the community and respond to the evidence of significant population growth. The addition of Merri Health age care services to the ECSH is also aligned with the City of Whittlesea Positive Ageing Strategy, Focus Area 8. Health and Support services when needed.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Service Delivery - Inability to plan for and provide critical community services and infrastructure impacting on community wellbeing

The ESCH is intended to respond to gaps and substantial demand for community service provision and infrastructure in the municipality. The ESCH provides an opportunity to meet the current needs of the community and respond to the evidence of significant population growth.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Connected community

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     A healthy and safe community

Strategic Objective                        Health and human services are accessible and responsive to the needs and aspirations of all people

Council Priority                             Health and Wellbeing

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Merri Community Health Services Limited is committed to the vision for the ECSH as an integrated service model and will improve community access to homebased allied health services for City of Whittlesea older residents. This report, therefore, recommends that Council formally approve Merri Community Services Limited as sub-tenants of the ECSH.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to approve Merri Community Services Limited as a sub-tenant of the Epping Community Services Hub (713 Hight Street, Epping).

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.1.6      Community Development Grants Program 2019 - 2020 Round One - Summary of Funding Recommendations

Attachments:                        1        CDGP 2019-2020 Round One Summary of Funding Recommendations

2        CDGP 2019-2020 Guidelines   

Responsible Officer:           Manager Community Building and Planning

Author:                                  Community Development Grants Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council endorse the allocation of the Community Development Grants Program (CDGP) 2019–2020 Round One, totalling $75,464.65, to the not-for-profit community groups outlined in Attachment One.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    The CDGP 2019–2020 has a total budget of $142,429.00 to be split between two rounds.

·    The CDGP 2019–2020 Round One received 38 applications totalling $169,228.66 in funding requests, of these 17 applications are recommended for funding.

·    Applicants were offered support to develop their applications via a range of information sessions, grant writing workshops, drop-in support sessions, and communication with the Community Development Grants Officer via phone, email and face to face meetings.

·    Each application was independently assessed and scored by two assessing officers and reviewed by the Grants Management Panel.

·    The applications recommended for funding (see attachment 1) meet the objectives of the program by addressing local needs, building local capacity, promoting social cohesion and improving the quality of life and wellbeing of the City of Whittlesea community.

·    Where applicable applications not recommended for funding will be supported to resubmit for future grant rounds.

 

Report

Background

Council’s Community Development Grants Program (CDGP) contributes to achieving ‘Whittlesea 2040: A Place for All’ by providing financial support for community initiatives that address local need, build on local capacity, promote social cohesion, and improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the City of Whittlesea community.

The CDGP 2019–2020 has a total pool of $142,429.00 to be split between two rounds with a maximum of $5,000 per application. The CDGP 2019–2020 Round One grant application period ran from 25 February to 8 April 2019. Round two opens on Monday 19 August and closes Sunday 29 September 2019.

Community Feedback

The effectiveness of the CDGP in achieving the program goals is evidenced by community feedback from previously funded projects. Participants have said:

·    “I didn’t know anyone when I came to Whittlesea, and now I’ve got a great deal of friends” – Barry (Forever Forest).

·    “For us with kids with a disability it gets us really involved in the community and it’s really important for our students to have that involvement within the community and for the community to see us and us to see the community” – Ruth (Forever Forest).

·    “I’m seeing increased confidence [in the students], I’m seeing a few smiles, I’m seeing them talking to each other…it’s great for their engagement, it’s great for their learning” – Peter (All Aboard).

·    “Community is really important in Whittlesea and to see different groups come together and take advantage of the grants that are on offer and then expose our beautiful township to people who have never seen it before is amazing” – Tricia (Whittlesea Cruise Night).

Information and Support

Advertising for the CDGP 2019–2020 Round One was circulated through the Whittlesea Leader, Whittlescene and on Council’s website and Facebook page. Information was also emailed to the CDGP database and eligible clubs and organisations across the municipality. 

During the six-week application period, four applicant support sessions were held at Greenbrook Community House, Thomastown Library, Mernda Villages Community Activity Centre, and Whittlesea Community Activity Centre. Representatives from nine community groups attended these sessions.

 

A free grant writing workshop facilitated by OurCommunity was held on 6 March 2019 and was attended by representatives from 12 community groups. Prospective applicants had the opportunity to learn about the CDGP objectives, assessment criteria, gain tips on writing grant applications, and speak with the Community Development Grants Officer about their project ideas.

 

The CDGP Guidelines, a budget help sheet and Council’s Accessible Events Guide were provided at all support sessions and the workshop.

 

 

Overview of Applications Received

·    The CDGP 2019–2020 Round One received 38 applications totalling $169,278.66 in funding requested.

·    The overall total value of projects submitted was $346,671.92.

·    The total estimated value of external contributions towards project applications was $177,393.26 including $78,714.60 of volunteer time.

Assessment Process

The CDGP assessment process was run in accordance with Council’s Grants Policy and Grants Administration Guidelines. Each organisation and project has been assessed against the criteria set in the CDGP guidelines and the provision of all mandatory documentation submitted.

 

The three-stage assessment process involved an initial eligibility review, two independent assessments by Council Officers, and a Management Panel assessment for final funding recommendations.

Each application was thoroughly assessed and weighted against the criteria, with 17 applications being recommended for funding, 11 not recommended and eight assessed as being ineligible according to the CDGP criteria.

Proposal

That Council give consideration to the recommended list of applicants under the CDGP 2019-2020 Round One. This funding provides valuable funding to community-based organisations to undertake a broad range of initiatives which engage and benefit local communities.

Consultation

Contact with the Community Development Grants Officer was a condition of applying for the CDGP to ensure accuracy and clarify any unclear items with applicants.

The Summary of Funding Recommendations (Attachment 1) has been developed in consultation with assessing Council Officers and the Grants Management Panel.

Critical Dates

Applicants to the CDGP 2019-2020 will be notified of grant outcomes immediately after Council’s adoption of the funding recommendations, enabling projects to begin mid-July.

CDGP 2019–2020 Round Two will open on 19 August and close 29 September 2019. During July, internal and external communications will focus on announcing the successful applicants from Round One and launching Round Two.

A community event to celebrate both rounds of the CDGP 2019–2020 will be held in early 2020.

Financial Implications

The 2019–2020 CDGP budget allocation is $142,429.00 to be distributed between two rounds.

The Summary of Funding Recommendations for Round One totals $75,464.65 with $66,964.35 remaining for Round Two.

Policy strategy and legislation

The CDGP directly aligns with Whittlesea 2040: A Place for All - Goal 1: Connected Community. The CDGP 2019–2020 Round One was administered and assessed in accordance with Council’s Grants Policy, adopted on 21 November 2017.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Not linked to the risks within the Strategic Risk Register.

Round One was promoted, administered and assessed in accordance with Council’s Grants Policy. Assessment of applications was transparent as applicants were made aware of the assessment criteria and process via the CDGP 2019–2020 Guidelines (Attachment 2) prior to submitting an application.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Connected community

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     A socially cohesive community

Strategic Objective                        Programs, services and infrastructure encourage social connections and the development of a sense of community

Council Priority                             Health and Wellbeing

 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The Community Development Grants Program leverages and builds on the existing skills and capacity of community-based organisations, providing an excellent ‘return on investment’ for Council. The 17 recommended applications totalling $75,464.65 from the CDGP 2019-2020 Round One contribute towards the provision of a wide range of projects and initiatives led by and benefitting the local community.

Where applicable, unsuccessful applicants will be offered support to resubmit an application for consideration in future grant rounds.

 

RECOMMENDATION

That Council resolve to approve the funding recommendations for the Community Development Grants Program 2019–2020 Round One, as detailed in Attachment 1 of this report.

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                                  Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.2       Community Services

6.2.1      Visual Art and Civic History Collections Acquisitions advisory Group

Attachments:                        1        Visual Art and Civic History Collections Acquisitions Advisory Group - Terms of Reference

2        Visual Art and Civic History Collections Policy   

Responsible Officer:           Director Community Services

Author:                                  Team Leader Arts, Heritage and Events   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

THAT Council resolve to adopt the:

1.         Visual Arts and Civic History Collections Acquisitions Advisory Group, Terms of Reference; and

2.         Visual Art and Civic History Collections Policy.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    The Terms of Reference for the Visual Art and Civic History Collections Acquisitions Advisory Group were adopted by Council on 7 June 2016 and amended 18 December 2017

·    An Expression of Interest process has been conducted twice since June 2016. Recruitment to the group has been advertised both locally and in industry-specific media but has generated only one application

·    A review of the Terms of Reference highlighted that the requirement for community members to have knowledge of collection management was a barrier. The Terms of Reference have therefore been adjusted and the membership widened to include the following (in summary):

Five community members that have a ‘range of arts and cultural expertise’ and

‘Two industry professionals with demonstrated experience in curation, collection management and/or gallery management’

·    The Visual Art and Civic History Collections policy has been updated and placed onto the new template aligning the membership composition with the revised Terms of Reference. Links to legislation and Council documents have also been updated in the Key Linkages section. All other content remains the same. 

 

 

Report

Background

Council adopted the Visual Art and Civic History Collections Policy on 23 February 2016 which provides clear direction for the future development and management of the Visual Art and Civic History Collections. The policy states that Council will establish an Acquisitions Advisory Group to make recommendations regarding significant acquisitions and deaccessions over $2,000 in value.  Terms of Reference for this group were adopted by Council on 7 June 2016 and amended on 18 December 2017.

Recruitment to the group's membership has been comprehensively advertised in both industry media and local media and promoted through local networks on two occasions -  initially in January 2017 and again in June 2018. Only one expression of interest was received and efforts to recruit other community members with the specified skills and experience, particularly around cultural collection management, were unsuccessful.

Following a broad benchmarking exercise with other Local Government Authorities, consultation with industry professionals and with local artists, the Terms of Reference for the Acquisitions Advisory Group have been revised to remove the onus on community representatives to be knowledgeable about collection management and to, instead include industry professionals in the composition of the membership. Governance inconsistences in relation to the voting rights of Council officers have also been addressed.

Proposal

Key proposed changes in the Terms of Reference relate to the membership structure, specifically:

·    inclusion of two Councillors specified as Mayor of the day and one other

·    the removal of Council officers as voting members

·    an increase in community membership from three to five

·    the inclusion of two industry professionals

·    the removal of the requirement that community representatives be conversant and knowledgeable around cultural collection management.

These changes allow the group to be more community focused while maintaining arts sector expertise and will remove the barriers to establishing the group. 

Consultation

Consultation was undertaken with:

·    Local artists from the CAPOW network (Creative Arts Practitioners of Whittlesea)

·    Other LGAs including City of Darebin, City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, City of Stonnington, City of Banyule and Shire of Nillumbik

·    Bundoora Homestead – gallery manager.

Financial Implications

There are no cost implications as a result of these changes.

Policy strategy and legislation

The formation of the Acquisitions Advisory Group is directly linked with Council’s Visual Arts and Civic History Collections Policy which specifies the requirement to establish the group, and articulates the composition of the group. The policy has been updated and placed onto the new template aligning the membership composition with the revised Terms of Reference. Links to legislation and Council documents have also been updated in the Key Linkages section.

The requirement to provide best practice collection management for Council’s Collections is articulated in Council’s Cultural Collection Strategy 2008 – 2012.

The high standard of management of Council’s Collections is an action referenced in Council’s Arts Development Strategy 2016 – 2020 (Strategic Direction Two: Art and Creative Places), also the requirements that the value of the collection is preserved and enhanced.

Whittlesea 2040 – A Place for All (Goal 1: Connected Community). Key Direction 1.3 A Participating Community.  This key direction supports the provision of opportunities for volunteering and leadership and also opportunities for local decision making.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Community and Stakeholder Engagement - Ineffective stakeholder engagement resulting in compromised community outcomes and/or non-achievement of Council's strategic direction

Community engagement in this group ensures (a) transparency of decision making and (b) a local focus to Council’s Cultural Collections and (c) provision of professional advice to guide the direction of the collections.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Connected community

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     A participating community

Strategic Objective                        All residents will have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to and enjoy arts, cultural and recreational activities

Council Priority                             Community Safety

 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The establishment of the Acquisitions Advisory Group provides opportunities for community to participate in local decision making, and to provide leadership on the direction of Council’s Visual Art and Civic History Collections.

The proposed changes will make recruitment to this group more achievable while balancing an appropriate level of sector expertise with community involvement.

It is recommended that Council consider the changes and endorse the updated Terms of Reference for the Visual Art and Civic History Acquisitions Advisory Group.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to adopt the:

1.         Visual Arts and Civic History Collections Acquisitions Advisory Group, Terms of Reference; and

2.         Visual Art and Civic History Collections Policy.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.3       City Transport and Presentation

6.3.1      Single Use Plastic Products at Council 

Responsible Officer:           Director City Transport & Presentation

Author:                                  Unit Leader Environmental Operations   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

 

That Council notes the current and proposed initiatives that are being undertaken to reduce the use of single use plastics through both Council operations and at its community events.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    Council at its meeting on 2 October 2019 considered Notion of Motion 859 – investigation into Council’s use of single use plastics, and resolved to prepare a report that:

1.   Identifies where single use plastic products are used within Council operations;

2.   Provides the operational and cost implications of eliminating or replacing these items with more sustainable alternatives.

·    Plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem and Council is committed and aspires to eliminate waste being sent to landfill or finding its way into the environment.

·    Single-use plastic has many negative environmental, social and economic impacts. It is estimated that annually Australians use four to six billion single-use plastic bags alone, with only 3% of these being recycled and 80 million of these ending up as litter.

·    Council operations generate an average of 60 kg of “single use” plastic and 618 disposable coffee cups per week. This equates to a total annual 3,120 kg of plastic and 32,136 coffee cups disposed of per annum. Council also generates single use plastic waste at its major community events.

·    A number of programs are currently being undertaken to reduce single use plastic consumption both within Council operations and at the community events facilitated by Council.

·    The purchase of a Wash Against Waste Trailer that can be used at larger council events and hired out at a nominal rate by the community will cost approximately $10,000. This purchase can be funded from Council’s 2019/20 Fleet renewal budget.

·    Further proposed initiatives could substantially reduce the amount of plastic waste generated through both Council operations and at Council run events.

Report

Introduction

This report responds to Notion of Motion 859 – investigation into Council’s use of single use plastics, and resolved to prepare a report that:

1.       Identifies where single use plastic products are used within Council operations;

2.       Provides the operational and cost implications of eliminating or replacing these items with more sustainable alternatives.

This report details the:

·        Amount and type of single use plastics generated at Council’s operational facilities.

·        Initiatives currently being undertaken to reduce or recycle single use plastic products both at these sites and at Council managed events, and

·        Opportunities to further reduce the single use plastic generated through Council operations.

Background

Single-use plastic has many negative environmental, social and economic impacts. It is estimated that annually Australians use four to six billion single-use plastic bags alone, with only 3% of these being recycled and 80 million of these ending up as litter. Globally, at least 8 million tonnes of mishandled plastic waste washes into our oceans and rivers each year.

Single use plastic products are designed to be used once then thrown away or recycled.  They make up a large amount of litter that we see on our nature strips, roadsides and parks and open spaces and if not picked up end up in the waterways and oceans. Plastic items break up rather than break down thus becoming permanent pollution. In the process of breaking down, plastics release toxic chemicals which can make their way into our food and water supply. 

For this reason the management of plastic products has become a significant environmental issue. There has also been increased attention around the waste and recycling industry since the War on Waste series aired on ABC TV and China introduced new trade measures to limit the import of plastics. This has resulted in a growing awareness of the environmental damage caused by single use plastic products and an increasing advocacy for the reduction of their use.

Proposal

Plastic Waste Generated in Council Operations and Events

Council undertakes an annual audit of the waste it generates at its operational sites, which include the Civic Centre, Civic (including Civics Catering Kitchen), Epping Works Depot, PRACC North, Danaher Drive, Westfield including the Edge). The most recent audit was completed in June 2018. The waste generated at these sites includes both items introduced by staff members (e.g. food and drink containers consumed by staff) and items generated through operational functions (e.g. plastic packaging on purchased goods including stationary, IT equipment, etc.).

The audit identified that Council operations generate an average of 697 kg of waste a week.  61 kg of this waste is soft or “single use” plastic.  The audit also identified that a total of 618 disposable coffee cups are disposed within the waste stream each week. Coffee cups are considered to be a single use plastic item on the basis that they contain a thin plastic liner that precludes them from being placed within the recycling stream. These figures equate to a total annual 3,120 kg of plastic and 32,136 coffee cups disposed of per annum.  The audit identified that an estimated 1,165 kg (37%) of hard plastic bottles and containers were recycled through Council’s comingled recycling bin service. The remaining 1,950 kg consists of plastic bags / bin liners, plastic straws, coffee stirrers, balloons, plastic plates, cups and cutlery, polystyrene cups and packaging, tree guards, large plant pots, gloves, plastic packaging on purchased goods including stationary, IT equipment, new appliances and furniture, uniforms and personal protective equipment. The audit methodology employed within the 2018 audit does not provide a specific breakdown of the amount of each of these items.

Council also facilitates a range of community events. The audit of waste at this year’s Community Festival revealed that 9kg of plastic drink bottles and 1 kg disposable coffee cups were sent to landfill while 33 kg of plastic drink bottles were sent for recycling.  The only plastic used at the 2019 event was plastic drink bottles, as a result of a targeted plastic waste reduction initiative eliminated the use of coffee cups at the event (detailed within the next section).

The Initiatives Currently Being Undertaken to Reduce or Recycle Single Use Plastic Products

While some single use plastic products are avoidable, others are more difficult to avoid for health and safety reasons, and for some there are no practical alternative, the audit demonstrates that there is a significant potential to further reduce the generation of plastic waste in Council operations.

As a result of this Council has implemented a range of initiatives aimed at reducing and eliminating the use of single use plastic packaging from purchasing, operations and events. These programs included:

 

Operational Initiatives:

·        A Sustainable Purchasing action plan and policy has been implemented which includes strategies for the reduction of single use plastic items as part of Council’s procurement processes.

·        The purchased four kits of 24 reusable melamine plates, cups and spoons for staff to use when hosting external meetings, events or workshops.

·        The provision of “soft” plastics recycling bins located at the Epping Depot, Civic Centre and the Edge.

·        Target events such as the Plastic-free July challenge that encourage participants to choose habits they wish to cultivate in the month and may select some of the top four items (plastic bags, straws, bottles and coffee cups) or avoid single-use plastics all together. The challenge is also promoted to local schools and businesses through Council’s environmental education initiatives.

Staff Focused Initiatives:

·        Reusable Coffee Cup Program: PRACC and the Coffee van at the Civic Centre offers patrons a 50 cent discount if they bring their own reusable coffee cup. Staff can also purchase takeaway coffee cups at cost price. 

·        Corporate induction: As part of the Corporate Induction program new staff are given either a reusable water bottle or a reusable coffee cup.

Community Focused Initiatives:

·    Staff have implemented a greening project to make Council’s four major community events (Rockin’ @ Redleap, Carols by Candlelight, Australia Day Celebration and Community Festival) more sustainable through changes to the event guidelines, procedures and expectations of vendors. This project seeks to eliminate polystyrene and plastic cups and packaging, plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, plastic, plates and cutlery (if possible) from these events. 

·    Information is provided to community event organisers on how to include more sustainable event management practices on Council’s website.

·    Officers have trialled a ‘Wash Against Waste Trailer’ which has been successfully implemented at other metropolitan Councils. This trailer contains reusable cups, plates, bowls and cutlery and the equipment needed to set up a wash station to clean the dishes at outdoor events.  

The effectiveness of these initiatives will be determined through the proposed re-audit of Councils waste generation scheduled for July 2019. This re-audit will categorise and provide quantities on the single use products that are produced and disposed of within landfill through council operations in order to allow a more targeted and considered approach to their reduction and illumination.

Opportunities to Further Reduce the Single Use Plastic Generated Through Council Operations

Opportunities for the reduction of single use plastics fall within two categories. The first of these is plastics generated through Council operations. The second of these is plastics generated through Council events.

The effectiveness of the programs detailed earlier in this report aimed at reducing plastics within Council operations will be assessed through an analysis of the data obtained within the July 2019 waste audit of Council facilities. This audit will also provide a more detailed account of the plastics that remain within our general waste stream, allowing for the development of more targeted education (which leads to behaviour change) and product substitution where viable.  In the interim, a range of initiatives could also be considered that would have a positive effect on single use plastic waste generation. This includes:

·        Increase staff training and engagement to help reduce the procurement of single use plastic and engage suppliers to minimize plastic packaging on purchased goods. 

·        Investigating the potential changes to the internal cleaning contract so bin liners are not used in recycling and food waste bins.

·        Conduct a feasibility trial to eliminate single use plastic products from Council facilities.

·        Develop an internal greening project to work to reduce single use plastic for internal staff events. 

Significant traction has occurred in reducing waste at Council’s community events. There remains scope to further reduce plastic via targeted programs and the provision of alternatives.  One of these potential initiatives is the provision of a ‘Wash Against Waste Trailer’ that can be used at larger council events and hired out at a nominal rate by the community. The trailer contains washing and other recycling collection facilities to assist community in disposing of the waste generated within community events in a sustainable manner.

Consultation

This report was developed in consultation with a range of Council departments. 

Financial Implications

The purchase of a Wash Against Waste Trailer that can be used at larger council events and hired out at a nominal rate by the community will cost approx. $10,000. This purchase can be funded from Council’s 2019/20 Fleet renewal budget.

Policy strategy and legislation

The following recommendations directly align with key objectives within Councils Whittlesea 2040 Plan, Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy and Environmental Sustainability Strategy which seek to reduce waste to landfill and enhance environmental sustainability.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Environmental - Failure to prevent significant negative impact of Council’s decisions on land use planning relating to contaminated sites

Plastic items break up rather than break down thus becoming permanent pollution. In the process of breaking down, plastics release toxic chemicals which act as environmental contaminants, compromising our land, food and water cycles.    

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Sustainable environment

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Leaders in clean, sustainable living

Strategic Objective                        We reduce waste to landfill and take action to stop illegal dumping

Council Priority                             Environmental Sustainability

 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

CONCLUSION

Plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem. The production and use of plastic all around the world continues to grow, and it is expected that plastic production will double over the next 20 years. Council and our community recognise the negative impacts that single use plastics and excessive packaging have on the local environment and on the earth’s natural resources. Continued implementation of targeted reduction programs, as discussed within this report, provides the opportunity to further reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the main types of single use plastics items that get disposed into landfill and the environment through council operations and at council run events.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to note the current and proposed initiatives that are being undertaken to reduce the use of single use plastics through both Council operations and at its community events.

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.3.2      Street Tree Management Plan Review

Attachments:                        1        Greening Our Streets - Street Tree Management Plan   

Responsible Officer:           Director City Transport & Presentation

Author:                                  Unit Leader Parks & Urban Forest   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council endorse the revised Street Tree Management Plan, 2019

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·        Council has a current stock of approximately 101,000 street trees, the management of which is guided by the Council adopted Street Tree Management Plan 2016.

·        Council currently manages tree assets with an amenity value in excess of $600m. Benefits to the environment and carbon capture are in addition to this figure. 

·        The social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees make them an inherently valuable asset requiring far less investment than other elements of civic infrastructure.

·        Council has an established approved species list which has undergone an iterative process of review and adaption. The list currently features 70 approved species.

·        Council at the 6 March 2018 Council meeting resolved to support a Notice of Motion to review the Street Tree Management Plan 2016.

The review has identified that the Street Tree Management Plan 2016 is a robust document which is appropriately tailored to the urban and environmental conditions of the city. However, the review has found opportunities to deliver improved process, customer experience, and service levels across some measures.

The review of the Street Tree Management Plan proposes:

·        Improved management of poor quality street tree outcomes, including footpath sweeping and increased street sweeping.

·        Continuous improvement of street tree species selection;

·        Introduction of a peer review process for tree removal requests;

·        Improved customer experience;

·        Growth area species ratios for new street tree planting.

 

 

Report

Background

Council’s 2016 Street Tree Management Plan described a vision for the municipality of “healthy, well managed street trees will be a defining feature of the City’s attractive streetscapes and liveable neighbourhoods”.

The social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees make them an inherently valuable asset requiring far less investment than other elements of civic infrastructure.

Australian government modelling shows that climate change by 2040 will likely see average temperature rises of 2-3 degrees Celsius and annual rainfall reductions of 10-15%. A current comparative city to Whittlesea in 2040 is Adelaide or Dubbo in 2019, providing context to the likely climate-changed environment the City’s street trees will need to tolerate, adapt to or perish in.

Council currently manages street tree assets with an amenity value in excess of $600 million (Revised Burnley method). This valuation looks at the contribution of a tree to its environment and doesn’t include calculations for carbon capture.

Council resolved to review the Street Tree Management Plan through the Notice of Motion carried at its 6 March 2018 Council meeting, which was as follows:

THAT Council resolve to refer consideration of the items listed below from the Notice of Motion to the Street Tree Management Plan 2016 review process to be undertaken within the next financial year:

1.       Prohibit developers from planting gum trees in residential streets of new estates.

2.       Not plant gum trees where there is a whole of street change as part of Council’s Street Tree Renewal Program.

3.       Provide residents with an option to select a species that is not a gum tree, where infill planting is required, or single trees need to be replaced, in a street where there is an existing predominance of gum species as the street tree.

4.       Update the Street Tree Management Plan 2016 to note the above and remove Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora species from the Whittlesea species list included in Appendix One of the Plan.

Council has established an approved species list which has undergone an iterative process of review and adaption. The list currently features 70 approved species:

 

Small

(5-7m)

Medium

(8-15m)

Large

(15m +)

Native

Exotic

Total

Evergreen

12

19

14

41

(55%)

4

(5%)

45

(60%)

Included in the Evergreen trees are: Angophora (A), Corymbia (C), Eucalyptus (E)

 

6

 

8

 

11

 

25

 

0

 

25

(33%)

 

Small

(5-7m)

Medium

(8-15m)

Large

(15m +)

Native

Exotic

Total

Deciduous

9

11

9

1

(1%)

28

(39%)

29

(40%)

Percentages shown are of total number of species on list

Council’s top ten planted trees features seven species from the genera Angophora (A), Corymbia (C) or Eucalypts (E) and the frequency of these species accounts for approximately 30% of the current street tree forest. Developer and street tree renewal plantings indicate similar trends, with A, C and E genera continuing as the predominant native species type.

New development areas often align with conservation areas or corridors with planning overlays determining that planting along these interfaces requires an indigenous or native plant selection – typically involving A, C or E as dominate tree canopy species.

It is important to note that deciduous non-Australian natives make up a large part of the street tree population, with the ornamental pear, Pyrus calleryana, and the flowering plum, Prunus cerasifera feature in the top five planted species and together represent over 7% of the street tree population. 

The Values of Street Trees

Street trees are critical to the livability of the city and central to the health and well-being of the community. Healthy, established canopy trees provide essential eco-system services, such as clean air, pollution control, storm water mitigation, soil stabilisation, food and shelter, insulation from heat and cold, as well as beautifying and adding value to local neighbourhoods and enhancing local economies.

As urban development intensifies land use, more pressure is exerted on existing open space, especially the public realm to provide the tree canopy that is central to a liveable city. Whereas previously the connected tree canopies of the urban forest were formed by both the private and public tree population, nowadays infill and growth development means smaller allotment sizes with greatly reduced private realm trees. Whittlesea’s street tree population now serves the largest role in making up the bulk of the urban forest. As Whittlesea’s residential areas grow, its urban forest will become even more critical in delivering the essential ecosystem services the community relies on.

Whittlesea 2040 recognises the values the community place on natural landscapes, bio-diversity and quality open space. A healthy and diverse street tree population is central to these values and the key goals of W2040. Additionally, the Street Tree Management Plan (STMP 2016) established a canopy target of 30% cover for the city’s urban forest. This target underpins the value of street trees in mitigating the effects of climate change on the community and in building a resilient city.

City Cultural Landscape Character

Council acknowledges the substantial natural value that underpins the cultural landscape quality of the City of Whittlesea. This is seen and enjoyed in the living heritage of the City’s 2,500 remnant red gums, its environmentally significant creek corridors and gorges and the natural character of the Quarry Hills precinct.

Gum trees are not only synonymous with the cultural landscape heritage of the urban and rural areas of the City, they are also central to the qualities and values expressed in Whittlesea 2040 as an essential part of the living identity that defines the municipality today and into the future.

Council’s Urban Forest Master Plan (2000) identified a significant deficit in the planting of native street trees in the city. That master plan laid out a program to increase biodiversity and climate tolerance by planting indigenous and native street trees in growth areas and the replacement of aged and declining exotic street trees in established areas.

Based on the implementation of the 2000 Master Plan, Whittlesea is now regarded as having a higher than average tree species diversity, an essential target in creating healthy, adaptable and resilient urban forests. The three genera, A, C and E, are core to the ecological and aesthetic values of the City’s species-diverse urban forest. Based on a broad body of knowledge and evidence, these three genera should remain central to the City’s urban forest growth and response to climate change.

Council’s STMP acknowledges that not every gum tree is the right choice for the City’s conditions and needs, and Council is addressing this through the implementation of the “the right tree, in the right place, in the right way at the right time” policy outlined in the STMP. Gum trees are only a part of the mix of a healthy and diverse tree selection and the data of Council’s most frequent (top 10) and overall tree numbers (total street tree population) demonstrate that gum trees make up approximately 30% of the species mix and total street tree numbers in the city.

Continuous adaption and diversification of the tree species list means the overall percentage mix and representation of A, C and E will change over time as new development areas and the street tree renewal programs select from a broader range of evergreen native street trees, such as melia, acacia, brachychiton, melaleuca, callistemon and others.

Of the approximate 30% of A, C and E in the City’s streetscapes, there are a small percentage of legacy gum street trees which present ongoing challenges for infrastructure risk management and liveability for the community. In some cases, these legacy gum trees form significant parts of the amenity and ecological character of a street or suburb and their removal would fundamentally change the existing character and amenity of these neighbourhoods. Council progressively manages these legacy trees through auditing and risk management assessments. If the street tree planting in a given street is scheduled for renewal the Street Tree Renewal Program selects species that more holistically and accurately align with “the right tree, in the right place, in the right way at the right time” policy.

The unique diversification of Australia’s native tree species translates to a restricted choice for trees suited to the often-hostile demands inherent with street tree applications. The attributes required for successful street tree planting, such as reliable and consistent growth, drought tolerance, soil compact tolerance, good canopy coverage, good response to pruning, high amenity value and long life largely determines selecting from a limited range of trees. Gum trees (A, C and E) make up a large part of the list of trees that are known to perform successfully in the conditions present in street planting in the City of Whittlesea.

Council officers will continue to join with other Northern Council’s to ensure growers have available species stock suitable to changing climatic conditions, which extends beyond gums to other species and cultivars, found further North in Victoria and broader warm climate areas of Australia.

Notice of Motion considerations

With respect to considering the items listed in the Notice of Motion, the review has identified the following:

1.       Managing developer tree selection through landscape planning permit process and surveillance:

Developers have been encouraged through the 2000 Street Tree Masterplan and the Street Tree Management Plan, and approved species list to select street trees that are suited to current and expected climate and soil conditions, match likely uses and amenity values and serve community need, as well as meet the specific conditions of development, such as overlays.

The outcome of developers meeting their landscape planning requirements results in a tendency to indigenous or native tree species. The genera Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus make up the largest part of Council’s approved list. Notably these three genera most broadly match the criteria of soil tolerance, climate adaption, aesthetic function and community use within the context of City of Whittlesea

If these species were removed from the list, it would be detrimental to the character of the City and result in a very limited palette of suitable and reliable street tree species that could be readily used within growth area neighbourhoods.

2.       Improving and expanding the Street Tree Renewal Program:

As part of the Street Tree Renewal Program, residents are provided the opportunity to select the tree to be planted in their street from two species types; an evergreen tree or a deciduous tree. Council pre-selects the two tree types to ensure the final planted tree species is suited to the location soil and climate conditions, the growing space (informing mature tree size) and the overall existing character of the street and neighbourhood. The latter is important in ensuring a diverse planting of tree species is maintained across individual streets and suburbs.

 

The Street Tree Renewal Program has developed an expanded operational species list to include a broader range of tree species with known attributes suited to the City’s conditions. Attributes such as type (evergreen, deciduous), origin (indigenous, native, exotic), mature size (small, medium, large -  height and width) and most significantly, demonstrated tolerance of soil types and conditions found through the City and to the expected climate conditions of the City’s future (considering data and analysis through to 2050 - 2-3 C warmer and 10-20% less rainfall). Climate and soil tolerance is the most limiting factor for appropriate tree selection and informs the first step in assessing tree species for suitability to use in the City.

 

The STMP goal of “the right tree, in the right place, in the right way at the right time” is central to understanding and employing current best knowledge in urban forest management, including the ongoing review of species selection. Australian native trees from the genera A, C and E form a substantial part of a ‘best tree’ approach.

Proposal

A number of minor changes are recommended to the STMP following the review.

1.       Improved management of poor quality street tree outcomes:

Current data indicates that approximately 13,500 trees or 14% of the City’s street tree population present potential challenges in relation to leaf litter, fruit and capsule drop, and bark and limb shedding. These large street trees, which exist predominantly in Mill Park, Blossom Pak and South Morang, create a very strong neighbourhood character, which is valued by many residents.  Because of the strong contribution these trees make to the character of these neighbourhoods, and the value they provide in eco-systems services such as addressing urban heat island effects, it is not feasible to remove these potentially challenging trees.

Rather, the approach outlined in the STMP, which is proposed to be strengthened through this review, is to better manage leaf litter and other amenity impacts. Within the public realm this can be achieved through increased street sweeping, which was implemented through the 2016 STMP.

As a result of the review it is proposed to extend this program of sweeping more streets more often, and include footpath sweeping to further address problem streets (such as the 14% above) and areas where existing tree populations contribute periodic negative outcomes for residents.

2.       Continuously improve street tree species selection:

The STMP is a ten-year policy document. The tree species list will remain separate from the STMP, so that it can be regularly amended, which allows for:

·       more flexibility with annual selection, in line with the STMP principles,

·       the use of new cultivars which are best suited to changing climate including reduced leaf litter; and

·       replacement species in situations where growers are unable to provide required species.

3.       Introduction of a peer review process for tree removal requests:

To further ensure Council provides a robust and empathetic customer experience in challenging circumstances, where requests for tree inspections arise out of resident complaints for nuisance, damage, condition or function, or deliver an outcome that residents are unsatisfied with, or disagree with, officers will provide a formal peer review process utilising a second internal consulting arborist.

4.       Improved Customer Experience:

Aligned to and guiding all proposed improvements, review and develop supporting processes and communications material that improve customer interaction, provide clear information on street tree benefits and Council’s management approach.

5.       Growth area species ratios:

New tree planting in growth areas will be managed by Council applying a species mix ratio to development applications, ensuring that street tree species continue to remain diverse and representative of both exotic and native trees, and A, C and E tree numbers are aligned with the percentages of urban forest health already established in the STMP. Gum trees in new growth areas should not exceed the approximate 30% frequency already established through the existing street tree population.

Consultation

This review undertook a consultation with a broad range of Council departments, including City Presentation, Risk, Development Engineering, Local Laws, City Design and Transport, Aged Services, and Parks and Urban Design.

Additionally, views and themes extrapolated from the Community Engagement Findings Report completed for the ‘Whittlesea 2040 – A place for all’ document have been incorporated where this supports an understanding of the currency of the plan and provide links to further improvement.

Community consultation associated with the STMP review is not proposed, as significant community consultation will occur relating to street trees and more broadly the City’s urban forest, as part of the development of Council’s Urban Forestry Strategy in 2019/20. 

In addition, considerable community consultation was undertaken during the development of the 2016 Street Tree Management Plan.

Critical Dates

Ongoing implementation of the Street Tree Management Plan will occur in the 2019/20 year.

Financial Implications

This review has identified improvements which are within the existing Council Resource Plan, including Department operational budget and the 2019/20 draft Council Action Plan project budget for the preparation of the Urban Forest Plan.

Costs for increased street and footpath cleaning are estimated at $250,000 annually to provide additional staffing and equipment.

Policy strategy and legislation

Council endorsed Street Tree Management Plan 2016 and Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Life Cycle Asset Management - Failure to effectively plan for the construction, on-going maintenance and renewal of Council’s assets

Strategic Management of Street Trees is critical to planning and responding to the protection of Council and public assets and meeting service levels. 

Strategic Risk Climate Change - Failure to mitigate or adapt to the risks of climate changes

The strategic planning of and ongoing management of street trees is essential to Council’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Sustainable environment

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Leaders in clean, sustainable living

Strategic Objective                        We promote sustainable development for housing, transport, public buildings and open spaces

Council Priority                             Environmental Sustainability

The Street Tree Management Plan is a key document underpinning W2040 Goal 4: Sustainable Environment. The management of street trees is a vital element to maintaining clean sustainable living and planning for the development of streetscapes and will ensure that the right species is planted in the right location and that the species will be a resilient asset for future climatic conditions.

Council’s 2016 Street Tree Management Plan vision for the municipality is that “healthy, well managed street trees will be a defining feature of the City’s attractive streetscapes and liveable neighbourhoods”.

The social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees make them an inherently valuable asset requiring far less investment than other elements of civic infrastructure.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Council has a current Street Tree stock of approximately 101,000, valued at $600m, which is supported by the Council adopted Street Tree Management Plan 2016.

The social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees make them an inherently valuable asset requiring far less investment than other elements of civic infrastructure.

Council supported a Notice of Motion 6 March 2018, which requested a review of the Council adopted Street Tree Management Plan 2016. Council’s 2016 Street Tree Management Plan  vision for the municipality is that healthy, well managed street trees will be a defining feature of the City’s attractive streetscapes and liveable neighbourhoods.

The City of Whittlesea Street Tree population is dominated by deciduous species with gum trees forming less than 30% of the overall suite. Of this 30%, a small percentage of legacy trees are presenting challenges.

The review has identified that the STMP is a robust document which is appropriately tailored to the urban and environmental conditions of the city.  However, changes to the document structure, tree assessment processes, improved customer experience, and service levels in some situations have been identified.

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to endorse the Street Tree Management Plan 2019.

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.4       Corporate Services

6.4.1      Contract 2017-93 - MS4333 - 2017 MICROSOFT ENTERPRISE LICENSING AGREEMENT - CONTRACT VARIATION

Attachments:                        1        2017-93 MS4333-2017 Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement - Confidential

Confidential in accordance with Section 89(2)(d) of the Local Government Act 1989 as it contains details relating to contractual matters.    

Responsible Officer:           Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Team Leader Network Operations   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

It is recommended that Contract Number 2017-53 for MS4333-2017 Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement:

·    Is varied by $170,000 (excluding GST)

·    To a new contract sum of $1,304,344.14 (excluding GST)

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

The contract manager advises that:

·    This contract was awarded to Winc Australia Pty Ltd

·    The contract is performing satisfactorily

·    The variation is required to accommodate the increase in Microsoft licensing fees as a result of current and future staff growth and the introduction of a new financial monitoring system utilising Microsoft products.

 

Report

Background

This contract was awarded to Winc Australia Pty Ltd. A summary of the financial performance of the contract is provided in the confidential attachment.

The contract commenced on 1 July 2017 and the current approved end date is 30 June 2020.

VARIATION

The contract is performing satisfactorily however a variation of $170,000 (excluding GST) is now required to cover increased number of staff utilising Microsoft`s licensed products for the remainder of the Contract, as part of the mobility rollout. License growth is not just due to staff growth but also reflects an increase in roles that now require computer access. As the number of staff that interact with technology increases so will our licensing, this is estimated at $80,000 for the remainder of the contract period. A new Financial system is also anticipated within the next 12 months at an estimated license cost of $90,000. As both of these items are purchased utilising the Microsoft Enterprise agreement the total variation is anticipated to be $170,000. Further details of the requested variation are provided in the confidential attachment.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Information Management - Failure to effectively manage Council’s information and records, including IT systems

Licensing is required to access Microsoft Office 365 product suite as a set of tools utilised for creating and modifying office documents eg email, word, excel.

Licensing is required to access Microsoft Dynamics 365 product suite as a set of tools utilised to maintain accurate financial records and reporting.

Links to WHITTLESEA 2040 AND the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Enabling the vision

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Making it happen

Strategic Objective                        Our Council monitors and evaluates all of its operations

Council Priority                             Organisational Sustainability

This is an enabling service associated with IT Infrastructure services allowing all four goals of the Whittlesea 2040 plan to be achieved.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

CONCLUSION

Variation of the contract is sought in accordance with the contract’s terms and conditions and Council’s applicable policy and procedures.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve, in relation to Contract No. 2017-93, for Microsoft Enterprise Licensing to:

1.       Approve a variation of $170,000 (excluding GST) making a revised contract sum of $1,304,344.14 (excluding GST).

2.       Approve the funding arrangements detailed in the confidential attachment.

 

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.4.2      Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting

Attachments:                        1        Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting - 30 May 2019

2        In-Camera Minutes - For Councillors Only - Confidential

Confidential in accordance with Section 89(2)(h) of the Local Government Act 1989 as it contains details relating to any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person.  

3        Strategic Risk: Governance - Councillors   

Responsible Officer:           Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Internal Compliance Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

The Audit & Risk Committee met on 30 May 2019. The minutes of that meeting are attached for the information of Council.

As part of the Committee’s discussion, a presentation was provided on the updated Strategic Risk: Governance – Councillors. The Committee resolved for a copy of the risk assessment considered by the Committee to be provided to Council at this meeting.

That Council resolve to:

1.   Note the unconfirmed minutes of the Audit & Risk Committee meeting held on 30 May 2019.

2.   Note the Strategic Risk assessment: Governance – Councillors.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

As required by the Audit & Risk Committee Charter, minutes of meetings are to be provided to Council after each Audit & Risk Committee meeting.

 

 

 

Report

Background

The Audit & Risk Committee is an independent advisory committee of Council and its role is to report to Council and provide appropriate advice and recommendations on matters presented to it.  It acts in this capacity by monitoring, reviewing and advising on issues within its scope of responsibility and assisting Council’s governance obligations to its community.

The Audit & Risk Committee considered a number of reports at the meeting held 30 May 2019, as well as confirming minutes from the previous meeting held on 7 March 2019.

Main agenda items included:

·    Audit & Risk Committee Work Plan

·    Financial Performance Report for Period Ended 31 March 2019

·    Risk Management

-     Toxic Chemical Storage

-     Risk Management Update

-     Councillor Governance Strategic Risk Review

·    Internal Audit:

-     Internal Audit Status Report

-     Internal Audit Reviews:  Social Inclusion and Partnership Framework

-     Outstanding Action Items Report from Previous Internal Audits

-     Strategic Internal Audit Plan

-     Review of Internal Auditor’s Performance

·    External Audit:

-      External Audit Strategy

-      Outstanding Action Items from External Audit Reports

-      Interim Management Letter – Year Ending 30 June 2019

·    Internal Compliance Reviews

·    Code of Conduct

·    Child Safe Standards

·    Review Compliance with Policies Related to Use of Motor Vehicles

Strategic Risk Review: Governance - Councillors

At the Audit & Risk Committee meeting held on 7 March 2019, the Committee requested that the Strategic Risk Governance – Councillors be updated to reflect information provided in-camera to the Committee at that meeting.

At its meeting on 30 May 2019, the Audit & Risk Committee was provided with an update on the process undertaken and outcomes from the review of the Strategic Risk: Governance -Councillors. The Committee received and reviewed a copy of the risk assessment undertaken and resolved for that the assessment be provided to Council at this meeting. The risk assessment is provided as Attachment 3. Independent members of the Committee also requested that they be provided with an update of any feedback received from Councillors in relation to this risk assessment.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Management - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities by Management resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

The Audit & Risk Committee assists Council in monitoring its governance requirements and provides advice to Council to assist with fulfilling its oversight responsibilities.

Links to WHITTLESEA 2040 AND the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                       Enabling the vision

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction        Making it happen

Strategic Objective                           Our Council monitors and evaluates all of its                                        operations

Council Priority                                 Organisational Sustainability

The establishment of the Audit & Risk Committee and the reports it receives are reflective of Council’s commitment to the implementation of good governance principles. The Committee provides advice to Council to assist with fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for the financial and non-financial reporting process, internal controls, the audit process, risk management and Council’s process for monitoring compliance with legislation and regulations and the Code of Conduct.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

CONCLUSION

The Audit & Risk Committee met on 30 May 2019 to consider the items included on its Agenda. As required by the Committee’s Charter, minutes from that meeting are to be provided to Council.

At this meeting, the Committee considered an item in relation to the Strategic Risk assessment undertaken in relation to the Governance – Councillors risk. The Committee resolved for this assessment to be provided to Council at this meeting.

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to:

1.   Note the unconfirmed minutes of the Audit & Risk Committee meeting held on 30 May 2019.

2.   Note the Strategic Risk assessment: Governance – Councillors.


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                     Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                                                  Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

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Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.4.3      Contract No CT0809107C Civica Authority Contract Extension

Attachments:                        1        Civica Contract Extension CT0809107C - Confidential

Confidential in accordance with Section 89(2)(d) of the Local Government Act 1989 as it contains details relating to contractual matters.    

Responsible Officer:           Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Team Leader Business Systems   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

It is recommended that contract number CT0809107C for Civica Authority Software Licence is:

·    Extended from current expiry date of 30 September 2019 to up to 30 June 2024.

·    Varied by $1,289,512.14 (excluding GST) to a new contract sum of $5,641,756.14 (excluding GST).

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

The contract manager advises that:

·    This contract was awarded to Civica Pty Ltd and commenced on 1 October 2009.  The current approved end date is 30 September 2019. Options exist to extend the contract up to 30 September 2024.

·    The contractor has performed adequately.

·    Due to the new IT Strategy, some replacement modules are currently being implemented, while replacement of other modules is still being investigated. It is expected to take multiple years to replace all modules provided by the Civica Authority product.

·    A contract variation and extension are required for business continuity of the current corporate system, Authority, which manages the Property, Rates, Financial Accounts, Animal Registrations, Planning and Building applications, Local Laws and Customer Request Management modules.

·    The last three financial years of the contract are predicted to be at a lesser rate reflecting that the City of Whittlesea will be using less and less modules. The licence model is not currently based on the number of modules, so this lesser rate is based on, and subject to, successful negotiations with Civica Pty Ltd. 

 

Report

Background

This contract was awarded to Civica Pty Ltd in 2009 to provide the Authority application, as a single ICT application that supported many of Council’s functions.  Over the past 10 years, Council has from time to time stopped using various modules of Authority and replaced them with better ‘best of breed’ applications, eg Payroll, Asset Management and more recently Health Management. Future plans will see further erosion of the Authority application as Local Laws and Customer Requests (both already Council endorsed) and Finance all move to purpose built products better suited to support a modern organisation.

As Authority has been a single core application for such a long time and used by so many staff, many practices, procedures and roles have evolved as a result of the way Authority works, thereby making it difficult and risky to attempt to replace the complete Authority system all at once. The agreed approach is stage migration, tackling one or two functions/modules at a time to avoid disrupting all teams concurrently to ensure service delivery is maintained to the community during this transition.

As a result of the staged approach, Council needs to continue to license Authority until all Council teams are migrated to other applications.

A summary of the financial performance of the contract is provided in the confidential attachment.

The contract commenced on 1 October 2009 and the current approved end date is 30 September 2019. Options exist to extend the contract up to 30th September 2024.

VARIATION AND EXTENSION

The contract has been performing satisfactorily however a variation of $1,289,512.14 is now required for licensing of the software for use by City of Whittlesea.  Further details of the requested variations are provided in the confidential attachment.

The contractor’s prices have been checked and it is proposed to extend the contract term as required up to 30 September 2024.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Sufficient funding for this contract is available in the recurrent budget for information systems.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Information Management - Failure to effectively manage Council’s information and records, including IT systems

Links to WHITTLESEA 2040 AND the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Enabling the vision

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     Making it happen

Strategic Objective                        Efficient and effective Council services are responsive to community need

Council Priority                             Organisational Sustainability

Civica Authority provides systems to manage current City of Whittlesea financial and revenue generation via rates and property management. This is critical to financial sustainability.

 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

CONCLUSION

Variation and extension of the contract is sought in accordance with the contract’s terms and conditions and Council’s applicable policy and procedures.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve, in relation to Contract No. CT0809107C, for Civica Authority Contract Licence to:

1.       Approve extension of the contract end date as required up to 30 September 2024

2.       Approve a variation of $1,289,512.14 (excluding GST) making a revised contract sum of $5,641,756.14 (excluding GST).

3.       Note the funding arrangements detailed in the confidential attachment.

 

 

  


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

6.5       Executive Services

6.5.1      MEETINGS OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER 23 MAY - 19 JUNE 2019  

Responsible Officer:           Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Executive Assistant   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

The Council note the record of meetings held by the Chief Executive Officer with external persons and organisations and significant internal issues as set in the table in the report.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

This is to report to Council details of meetings held by the Chief Executive Officer with external persons and organisations and significant internal issues.

 

Report

Background

Council has previously resolved, as part of the Chief Executive Officer’s annual performance review, that the Chief Executive Officer provide Council with a regular report containing details of external persons and organisations with whom he has met and the purpose of such meetings and any significant internal issues.   The report is designed to promote openness and transparency in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer.

Proposal

It is proposed that a standard report be included in the Council Notice paper in future meetings which will record details of external meetings and details of significant internal events. 

EXTERNAL MEETINGS

Date

Organisation or Individual

Purpose of Meeting

24/05/2019

Epping RSL

Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and Greece

28/05/2019

Women’s Health in the North

Building a Respectful Community Executive Breakfast.  Also in attendance HSui, Director Corporate Services

30/05/2019

Melbourne’s Northern Councils

CEO Forum

05/06/2019

Interface Councils

CEO Meeting

05/06/2019

Interface Councils

CEO and Mayor Meeting

10/06/2019

Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday

12/06/2019

YSAS Board Meeting

Chair (external meeting)

17/06/2019

ICP Steering Group Meeting

Implementation of ICP system – Advisory Group member

 

SIGNIFICANT INTERNAL ISSUES

27/05/2019

National Sorry Day

27/05/2019

ELT Operational Meeting

28/05/2019

Councillor Briefing

29/05/2019

ELT Governance Meeting

30/05/2019

Audit and Risk Committee Meeting

03/06/2019

Citizenship Ceremony (#1)

03/06/2019

Citizenship Ceremony (#2)

04/06/2019

Ordinary Council Meeting

05/06/2019

ELT Governance Meeting

06/06/2019

Special Council Meeting – Adopting 2019-2020 Budget

07/06/2019

ELT Strategy Meeting

10/06/2019

Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday

11/06/2019

Councillor Briefing

12/06/2019

ELT Governance Meeting

18/06/2019

Councillor Briefing

19/06/2019

ELT Governance Meeting

Consultation

Nil

Financial Implications

Costs associated with these meetings are covered in the recurrent budget.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Whittlesea 2040 Goal                    Connected community

Whittlesea 2040 Key Direction     A participating community

Strategic Objective                        We have access to information, skill development and knowledge to participate in decision-making in an informed way

Council Priority                             Organisational Sustainability

 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under section 80C of the Local Government Act 1989 officers providing advice to Council must disclose any interests, including the type of interest.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The Council note the record of meetings held by the Chief Executive Officer with external persons and organisations and significant internal issues as set in the table in the report.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to receive and note the report containing a record of meetings held by the Chief Executive Officer with external persons and organisations and significant internal issues.

 

  


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

7.         Notices of Motion

7.1       Notice of Motion 872 - Protect Specialty Cheese Makers and Manufacturers of Australia  

Author:                                  Cr Tom Joseph 

 

Councillor Tom Joseph of the North Ward has given notice that it is his intention to move the following Motion at the Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held on Tuesday 2 July 2019 at 6:30pm:

 

MOtion

THAT Council resolve to call upon the Australian Government to protect speciality cheese makers and manufactures of Australia by:

1.       Ensuring that any Free Trade Agreement, particularly the Australia -EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) does not include Geographic Indications (GIs).  The use of GIs may preclude Australian cheese makers and manufacturers from using common names for products.  This includes cheese names such as:

a.       Feta;

b.      Parmesan;

c.       Halloumi;

d.      Taleggio; and

e.       Any other speciality cheeses.

2.       Writes to local Federal Members and Senators of the Australian Government seeking their active support in protecting specialty cheese makers and manufacturers within the City of Whittlesea.

3.       Writes to the Victorian Government, including Ministers for Small Business and Agriculture seeking their active support in protecting specialty cheese makers and manufacturers in Victoria by advocating to the Australian Government directly and through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

4.       Writes to NorthLink and Melbourne North Food Group seeking their advocacy assistance on this matter.

  


8.         Questions to Officers

9.         Urgent BusineSS

10.       Reports from Delegates Appointed BY Council TO Other Bodies


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.       Confidential Business

11.1     Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Nil Reports

11.2     Community Services

Nil Reports

11.3     City Transport and Presentation

Nil Reports

11.4     Corporate Services

Nil Reports


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.5     Executive Services

11.5.1  Confirmation of Minutes and associated actions - CEMAC meeting 14 may 2019

Responsible Officer:           Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee

Report

It is proposed that the following item be considered in closed session.

 

Recommendation

 

 

THAT Council resolve to close the meeting to members of the public for the purpose of considering details relating to the following, in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989:

 

(a)        personnel matters

(d)       contractual matters

(h)       any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.5.2  Chief executive officer key performance indicators for 2019-2020

Responsible Officer:           Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee

Report

It is proposed that the following item be considered in closed session.

 

Recommendation

 

 

THAT Council resolve to close the meeting to members of the public for the purpose of considering details relating to the following, in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989:

 

(a)        personnel matters

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.5.3  COUNCILLOR CODE OF CONDUCT MATTER

Responsible Officer:           Principal Conduct Officer

Author:                                  Principal Conduct Officer

Report

It is proposed that the following item be considered in closed session.

 

Recommendation

 

 

THAT Council resolve to close the meeting to members of the public for the purpose of considering details relating to the following, in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989:

 

(h)       any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.5.4  appointment of auditor

Responsible Officer:           Manager Governance

Author:                                  Manager Governance

Report

It is proposed that the following item be considered in closed session.

 

Recommendation

 

 

THAT Council resolve to close the meeting to members of the public for the purpose of considering details relating to the following, in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989:

 

(a)        personnel matters

(f)        legal advice

(h)       any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person

  


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

11.6     Notices of Motion

Nil Reports

 


Ordinary Council Agenda                                                                        Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

12.       Closure