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Minutes

 

OF Ordinary
COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON

Tuesday 4 August 2020

AT 3.00pm

meeting held remotely
via zoom


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATORS

 

LYDIA WILSON                                  CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS

THE HON. BRUCE BILLSON           ADMINISTRATOR

On 19 June 2020 the Acting Minister for Local Government, Daniel Andrews appointed the Panel of Administrators for the City of Whittlesea and appointed Lydia Wilson as Chair of the Panel.  The Panel of Administrators comprises of Ms Lydia Wilson, The Honourable Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan and they will undertake the duties of the Council of the City of Whittlesea until the October 2024 Local Government Election.PEITA DUNCAN                                ADMINISTRATOR

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

 

 

SENIOR OFFICERS

 

 

JOE CARBONE                                 ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

BELGIN BESIM                                  DIRECTOR COMMUNITY SERVICES

JULIAN EDWARDS                           DIRECTOR PARTNERSHIPS, PLANNING & ENGAGEMENT

BEN HARRIES                                   DIRECTOR CITY TRANSPORT & PRESENTATION

AMY MONTALTI                                DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES

MICHAEL TONTA                              MANAGER GOVERNANCE

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

The Acting Chief Executive Officer submitted 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.. 10

4.            Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting.. 10

5.            Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters.. 10

5.1         Questions To ADMINISTRATORS.. 10

5.2         Petitions.. 11

5.2.1       Request to remove nature strip trees - Samuel Court, Bundoora.. 11

5.3         Joint Letters.. 13

5.3.1       Request for tree removal - Flaxen Hills Road, Doreen   13

5.3.2       Reconsider the type of tree species - Campus Place, Thomastown.. 13

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS................................................................. 14

9.1           URGENT BUSINESS - COVID-19 PANDEMIC Update.. 17

6.            Officers’ Reports

6.1         Partnerships, Planning & Engagement.. 23

Nil Reports.. 23

6.2         Community Services.. 23

Nil Reports.. 23

6.3         City Transport and Presentation.. 25

6.3.1       2017-102 Provision of Grading Services - Contract Extension Report. 25

6.4         Corporate Services.. 29

Nil Reports.. 29

 

6.5         Executive Services.. 31

6.5.1       Assemblies of Administrators - 4 August 2020. 31

6.5.2       Administrator Expenses and Reimbursement Policy.. 37

6.5.3       Privacy and Data Protection Policy Review... 65

6.5.4       REVIEW OF COUNCIL DELEGATIONS TO THE CEO AND MEMBERS OF COUNCIL STAFF. 83

7.            Notices of Motion.. 229

Nil Reports.. 229

8.            Questions to Officers.. 229

9.            Urgent Business.. 229

(Council resolved to suspend Standing Orders for this item to be considered earlier in the meeting - refer to page 17)

10.         Reports from Delegates Appointed to Council by Other Bodies.. 229

10.1        Yarra Plenty Regional Library.. 229

10.2        WHITTLESEA DISABILITY NETWORK.. 229

10.3        WHITTLESEA COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS.. 229

10.4        INTERFACE GROUP OF COUNCILS.. 229

10.5        WHITTLESEA COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS.. 230

11.         Confidential Business.. 231

11.1       Partnerships, Planning & Engagement.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

11.2       Community Services.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

11.3       City Transport and Presentation.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

11.4       Corporate Services.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

11.5       Executive Services.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

11.6       Notices of Motion.. 231

Nil Reports.. 231

 

 

 

12.         Closure.. 231

 

 

Note:

In these Minutes, Resolutions adopted by Council are indicated in bold text.

 

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

1.         Opening

1.1       MEETING OPENING AND PRAYER

The Acting Chief Executive Officer opened the meeting with a prayer and then read out the following statement:

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the State Government directives around working from home, this Council Meeting is being held entirely online via livestream.

The meeting is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2020 and the Minister for Local Government’s Good Practice Guideline MGPG-1 for Virtual Meetings.

If at any stage during the meeting a technical issue prevents all Administrators from participating in the livestream, the meeting will be adjourned until the matter is resolved.

I would like to now pass over to the Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson.”

 

1.2       ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS STATEMENT

The Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson read the following statement:

“On behalf of the City of Whittlesea I recognised the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledged the Wurundjeri Willum Clan as the Traditional Owners of this place.

I would also like to personally acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.”

 

1.3       Present

Members:

Ms Lydia Wilson                  Chair of Administrators

The Hon. Bruce Billson        Administrator

Ms Peita Duncan                 Administrator

 

Officers:

Mr Joe Carbone                  Acting Chief Executive Officer

Ms Belgin Besim                  Director Community Services

Mr Julian Edwards               Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

Mr Ben Harries                    Director City Transport & Presentation

Ms Amy Montalti                 Director Corporate Services

Mr Michael Tonta                Manager Governance

 

2.         Apologies

Nil

 

3.         Declarations of Interest

NIL

 or select from the following options for type of interest and delete others:

4.         Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT the Minutes of the preceding meetings, as circulated, be confirmed:

Adjourned Special Meeting of Council held 7 July 2020; and

Ordinary Meeting of Council held 7 July 2020.

CARRIED

 

5.         Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters

5.1       Questions To ADMINISTRATORS

NIL 

 

The answers provided verbally by the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the meeting in response to questions asked by members of the public are preliminary answers provided on a without prejudice basis.  A formal written response to each question is sent following the Council meeting which contains Council official position on the matter.

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

5.2       Petitions

5.2.1    Request to remove nature strip trees - Samuel Court, Bundoora

Administrator Billson tabled a petition from 15 residents requesting Council remove the nature strip trees along Samuel Court, Bundoora.

 

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to receive the petition and that it be referred to Officers to contact the head petitioner, along with all residents within the street, seeking their input on the street trees along Samuel Court, Bundoora and provide a report back to Council.

CARRIED

 

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

5.3       Joint Letters

5.3.1    Request for tree removal - Flaxen Hills Road, Doreen

Administrator Duncan tabled a joint letter from 59 residents requesting Council remove the gum trees along Flaxen Hills Road, Doreen.

 

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to receive the joint letter and that it be referred to Officers to contact the head signatory, along with all residents within the street, seeking their input on the gum trees along Flaxen Hills Road, Doreen and provide a report back to Council.

CARRIED

 

 

 

 

 

5.3.2    Reconsider the type of tree species - Campus Place, Thomastown

Administrator Wilson tabled a joint letter from 11 residents requesting Council reconsider the choice of tree species to be planted along Campus Place, Thomastown.

council resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to receive the joint letter and that it be referred to Officers to contact the head signatory, along with all residents within the street, seeking their input on the street trees along Campus Place, Thomastown and provide a report back to Council.

CARRIED

 

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.         Officers’ Reports

Acting Chief Executive Officer Explanatory Note

The Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson asked that all Administrators be provided an opportunity to speak regarding each of the reports contained within the Agenda, without the need to indicate opposition for the purpose of debate.

 

 

suspension of standing orders

MOVED:                       Administrator Wilson

SECONDED:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to suspend Standing Orders, to the extent necessary to provide all Administrators with an opportunity to speak regarding each of the reports contained within the Agenda, if they wish, without the need to indicate opposition for the purpose of debate.

CARRIED

Acting Chief Executive Officer Explanatory Note

The Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson sought to admit an item of Urgent Business for the Council to receive a COVID-19 update from the Acting Chief Executive Officer.

 

 

council resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve that the COVID-19 update from the Acting Chief Executive Officer be admitted as an item of Urgent Business.

Carried

 

 


 

9.1       URGENT BUSINESS - COVID-19 PANDEMIC Update

 

The Acting Chief Executive Officer spoke to the following report, which was circulated to the Panel of Administrators prior to the meeting:

July saw the COVID-19 pandemic take another turn for the worse with many debating, ‘is this the peak?’.

Victoria’s State of Emergency, announced on 16 March 2020, was upgraded to a State of Disaster at 6pm on Sunday 2 August.

This placed the City of Whittlesea along with all metro Melbourne into further restrictions, impacting heavily on how our residents can go about their lives until at least 13 September.

Further restrictions on businesses and workers announced on Monday 3 August will significantly change the face of retail, which will mostly close their doors with only a few exceptions. Other sectors will be required to reduce their operations including some areas of the construction industry. These come into effect from Thursday 6 August with widespread acknowledgement that the new restrictions could have a massive downward effect on the local economy, however it also means that around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work.

As the State Government started to ease restrictions from 21 June, Council continued to put the health and safety of its community first by taking a cautious approach to re-opening community facilities and returning activities and programs.

As the numbers continued to rise, this cautious approach was the right decision.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) moved into the City of Whittlesea on Monday 29 June to start door-knocking the Epping community providing information and encouraging people experiencing symptoms to get tested. The next day, mobile testing sites were set up in the area.

By 30 June, 31 hot spot suburbs were named and placed in lockdown including Donnybrook (City of Whittlesea).

Travel plans for many were cancelled as the Victoria-NSW border was closed on 6 July for the first time in 100 years following a new record of 127 new cases. Just two days later the City of Whittlesea was back in Stage 3 lockdown along with the rest of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

Active COVID-19 cases in the City increased throughout July starting at 21 and reaching 396 on 31 July, making it the fourth highest LGA for active cases in Victoria.

Local outbreaks have occurred at Wollert, the Northern Hospital, Pacific Meats, Bertocchi Smallgoods, Epping Gardens Aged Care and Nino Early Learning Adventures – a childcare centre in Bundoora.

The Epping Gardens Aged Care outbreak grew to 90 cases over one week, and as at Monday 3 August was linked to 130 positive cases.

Council’s focus now is supporting the community and local businesses through this next, Stage 4, lockdown.

IMPACTS ON COUNCIL

The financial impact of COVID-19 to Council over the June 2020 quarter accumulated to approximately $3.9M.

This is made up of revenue loss ($2.9M) and almost $1M of COVID-19 specific expenditure.

Council was able to offset this impact by $2.7M through delayed, postponed and suspended operating services expenditure, leaving a net deficit impact of nearly $1.2M in 2019/20.

 

The sustainability of holding back further operating expenditures into the 2020/21 year will be a significant challenge in light of continuing revenue loss as well as increased demands related to COVID-19 expenditure supports for our community.

On Thursday 30 July, Council was notified that a contractor who had provided training at the Epping Depot the previous week had tested positive to COVID-19. A Council employee who had attended the training tested positive to COVID-19 on Friday 31 July.

The depot and workshop were closed on Friday 31 July for deep cleaning. All staff who had been in close contact with the contractor or Council employee were also tested.

It was pleasing to hear that no other staff tested positive. All close contacts, however, are required to quarantine for 14 days from the last time they had close contact with the contractor or the Council employee who tested positive.

The temporary closure of the depot from Friday 31 July-Sunday 2 August (inclusive) impacted hard rubbish collections, which will be felt for up to a week.

The Epping Depot workshop remains closed until around 13 August when staff start returning following their quarantine period.

COMMUNITY IMPACTS

On jobs

COVID-19 has hit our community hard with employment falling by 7.7 per cent compared with the previous year average, and an estimated 4,900 local jobs have been lost in the June quarter.

JobKeeper has assisted around 3,400 people to remain employed, and without this Federal Government scheme 8,322 local jobs would have been lost.

Our residents on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance reached 9.8 per cent in June 2020, up from 4.1 per cent in June 2019. 

The highest unemployment rates are in:

·         Epping South (13.1%)

·         Wollert (12.9%)

·         Thomastown (12.7%)

·         Lalor (12.7%)

As expected from recent restrictions on the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, these are among the most affected businesses in the City of Whittlesea.

In retail, 902 jobs have been lost and there are 874 less jobs in accommodation and food services.

Education and training have also declined with 733 jobs no longer existing in this critical sector.

Of the 1,372 food premises operating in the City of Whittlesea, 317 have reduced their operation to take away food only or have temporarily closed.

Remote learning for preps-year 10s and the cancellation of most community sports have resulted in 79 food premises within schools and sporting clubs to be closed.

Stage 3 restrictions on many non-essential services that can’t physically distance has also seen the temporary closure of 128 premises offering mostly beauty and cosmetic related services.

With all of these areas continuing to be highly impacted by Stage 4 restrictions, this situation is not expected to improve in the next quarter.

 

On our vulnerable community

The impact on mental health and wellbeing is being felt across our community with many experiencing feelings of isolation during this further six-week period of Stage 4 restrictions, which came into effect on 2 August.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, elderly people, young people, new mothers and people with a disability are increasingly accessing local services.

The pressure on local services to provide emergency relief such as food, blankets, clothing and other necessities continues to increase.

Collectively, member agencies of the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network are providing around 320 food hampers per week, which has increased from approximately 80 hampers per week pre-COVID.

COUNCIL RESPONSE

Services

Council has maintained its essential services and redeployed staff to ensure community-facing support services like Home Support continue as well as waste collection.

Staff have received COVID-19 training, wear appropriate PPE and roll call residents they are visiting to undertake a risk assessment by ensuring they are not experiencing any symptoms of illness that could be associated with COVID-19.

Council offices remain closed to the public while most staff continue their work from home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Many other areas have adapted to provide services over the phone or online such as youth counselling and maternal and child health appointments.

Emergency relief

Council established an Emergency Relief Fund to support local service providers to help our community. 

Since 6 April, 130 requests from 45 local service providers have been received. Council has provided 17 organisations with financial support, totalling $186,500.

Twelve Council officers who had a reduced workload in their existing role have been deployed to assist six frontline local organisations.

Creating jobs

Council was successful in receiving $13M State Government funding through its Working for Victoria initiative to employ 247 full-time staff across Council and local support agencies on the frontline of delivering services to the community.

At the end of July, 57 full time roles were filled within Council, 30 have been employed to local service providers and 160 roles are in the various stages of recruitment. 

Economic stimulus and business support

Council has been awarded approximately $1.4 million from the Local Roads & Community Infrastructure Fund.

A further 17 grant applications are awaiting an outcome to proceed with infrastructure projects that will help our community through the recovery phase of COVID-19 including local job creation.

Council has expedited its return of bond monies to business owners who have implemented landscaping in accordance with approved plans. 

Since 6 May, 65 bond returns totalling $257,000 have been returned. This is triple the amount of bond returns in the same period in 2019, which totalled $66,300.

Council is supporting local businesses through a $90,000 Business Support Package. This includes:

·         A three-month Business Development Program for 16 businesses

·         A dedicated business support line

·         Additional mentoring services for COVID-impacted businesses

·         A ‘Dinner on Us’ Campaign that invested more than $20,000 into local businesses via a community competition.

The City of Whittlesea is participating in the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia’s campaign, ‘Go Local First’, which shares stories with community to support local businesses.

Financial support

Council has received 88 hardship applications via the COVID-19 Hardship Policy, and 64 have been approved.

Fee relief for winter sports clubs has been initiated by waiving all fees for the 2020 season.

A $50,000 Sports Club Emergency Grants program is currently open for clubs to apply for up to $1000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses such as uniforms and lost registrations. To date, seven applications have been approved and eight are under assessment.

Rent, fees and charges to community groups that occupy Council’s Community Activity Centres have also been waivered.

The purchase of SIM cards ($1,750) for clients to support tele-health calls with maternal child health staff, crisis agencies, doctors or for friends/family support is helping vulnerable parents.

Community connection

Council has provided 150 distraction packs to our local Aboriginal community, which focus on mindfulness and coping strategies. Aboriginal dance videos have been produced to encourage exercise.

A Well-Being Forum and Transition to Adulthood Program has been designed for young people.

Council is working with Study Melbourne to establish an International Student Wellbeing Hub in Bundoora to provide non-medical health support and social connection for international students.

The $40,000 COVID-19 Creative Communities Fund is providing $2000 grants for local artists to create projects that respond to the impact of COVID-19. 

To date, 10 grants have been approved and 17 new applications are being assessed. 

Other community connection projects are underway such as the Community Comforter program that encourages people to contribute a fabric creation to a quilt that will become a legacy of how our community stayed together during this pandemic.

Public health

Council is assisting the State Government to distribute face masks to vulnerable people. Council’s allocation of 6,000 face masks will be distributed throughout the community by community-facing staff and via Whittlesea Community Connections.

Community recovery

Council has allocated $2 million to a Community Recovery Fund through the 2020-21 Budget. This will be co-designed with residents, clubs, groups and not-for-profit agencies over the next 12 months.

COMMUNICATIONS

Council uses print, digital and social media to share health and safety messages as well as up-to-date information about services and promote good news stories about how our community is staying together. Messages are translated and shared with our CALD communities and adapted to be culturally appropriate.

Activities and news also appear in regular advertising, interviews and editorials in local media – Leader, Star Weekly, Whittlesea Review and Plenty Valley FM.

Our COVID-19 dedicated Whittlesea Unites campaign is engaging its Facebook page’s following of more than 1600 people, every day. This Facebook page of positivity includes events, activities, ways people are helping each other and other initiatives that promote mental health, wellbeing and connection.

Since the State of Emergency was declared on 16 March, Council has moved many events and activities online. During this time, there have been nearly 55,000 engagements with these activities across Council’s Facebook, website and YouTube channel.

 

council resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve that the report of the Acting Chief Executive Officer be received.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.1       Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

            Nil Reports

6.2       Community Services

            Nil Reports


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.3       City Transport and Presentation

6.3.1      2017-102 Provision of Grading Services - Contract Extension Report

Attachments:                        1        Confidential Attachment - Contract 2017-102 - Confidential

This Attachment has been designated as confidential information under section 66(5) of the Local Government Act 2020 on the grounds that it contains private commercial information, being information provided by a business, commercial or financial undertaking that relates to trade secrets or, if released, would unreasonably expose the business, commercial or financial undertaking to disadvantage.  The confidential attachment specifically contains details regarding tender amounts submitted by businesses which were provided to Council in confidence and which would unreasonably expose the businesses to disadvantage if made public or disclosed to competitors.    

Responsible Officer:           Director City Transport & Presentation

Author:                                  Senior Infrastructure Engineer    

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

In relation to Contract No. 2017-102 for Provision of Grading Services, it is recommended that Council:

1.       Approve extension of the contract end date by twelve months, to 31 October 2021.

2.       Approve a variation of $450,000 (excluding GST) making a revised contract sum of $1,250,000 (excluding GST).

3.       Note the collaborative procurement approach being sought with our regional local government partners to obtain best value outcomes for the community and region.

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

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    Contract No. 2017-102 for Provision of Grading Services was awarded to Ellgrade Pty Ltd.

·    The contract commenced on 1 November 2017 for an initial term of three years, ending 31 October 2020.

·    Contract extension options (of any time period) are available through to 31 October 2022.

·    An extension is sought to 31 October 2021 to continue routine maintenance of Council’s unsealed road infrastructure which necessitates a variation of $450,000 (excluding GST).

·    The additional one-year extension will allow the appropriate time to explore strategic procurement options involving consultation and engagement with our regional local government partners and the preparation of a new tender that aims to deliver best value outcomes for the community.

·    Council has consistently outperformed other interface councils and the state-wide average in the management of the local road network, which in part is attributed to this contract and the provision of road grading services.

 

Report

Background

The City of Whittlesea has approximately 1,400km of local roads throughout the municipality, with 80km of these unsealed and located across the rural north and urban fringe.

Council has an obligation under the Road Management Act (2004) to ensure safe and useable access of these unsealed roads and shoulders for all residents and does so through the provision of road grading services. Grading involves the wetting and levelling of existing or imported material along the alignment of the road, to provide an even trafficable surface devoid of potholes and corrugations (rough surfaces).

Services under this contract are also utilised following heavy storm events as an effective and efficient form of emergency management recovery.

The Contract No. 2017-102 for Provision of Grading Services was awarded to Ellgrade Pty Ltd and commenced on 1 November 2017 for an initial term of three years, ending 31 October 2020.

Contract extension options (of any time period) are available through to 31 October 2022.

CONTRACT PERFORMANCE

The contract has been performed satisfactorily to date and is reflected in Council’s satisfaction rating where Whittlesea consistently outperforms other interface councils in the management of the local road network, which in part is attributed to this contract and the provision of road grading services, as shown by the Local Government Victoria Community Satisfaction Survey results (out of 100) below:

 

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

City of Whittlesea

64

62

60

64

Interface Councils

60

59

57

60

State-wide Average

54

53

53

56

Source: Local Government Victoria

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

EXTENSION REQUEST

It is proposed that the contract be extended for twelve (12) months to allow for review and preparation of a new tender that will explore the opportunity of a potential regional collaboration effort. This additional one-year extension will allow for the appropriate time to consult and engage with our regional local government partners and prepare a new tender that aims to deliver best value outcomes to the community and region.

The contractor’s prices have been checked and are considered competitive; it is therefore proposed to extend the contract term to 31 October 2021.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The extension of the contact by one year necessitates a variation of $450,000 (excluding GST). There is an allocation of funds in the 2020/21 annual budget to provide for this extension period.  Further financial details are provided in the confidential attachment.

link to strategic risks

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

Links to WHITTLESEA 2040 AND the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                                 Liveable neighbourhoods

Key Direction                                 Smart, connected transport network

 

Council has an obligation under the Road Management Act (2004) to ensure safe and useable access of unsealed roads and shoulders for all residents and does so through the provision of road grading services. These services also respond directly to the need for a connected transport network as stipulated in Whittlesea 2040. This contract will continue the consistent higher than state average performance in the management of the local road network, for the grading of unsealed roads.

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 an obligation under the Road Management Act (2004) to maintain the local road network in a safe and usable condition across the municipality.

Extension of grading services contract is sought, in accordance with the contract’s terms and conditions and Council’s applicable policy and procedures, to ensure that maintenance of the unsealed road network in the rural north and urban fringe can continue to deliver the abovementioned outcomes for all residents.

This additional one-year extension period will allow for the appropriate time to consult and engage with our regional local government partners and prepare a new tender that aims to deliver best value outcomes to the community and region.

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve, in relation to Contract No. 2017-102 for Provision of Grading Services to:

1.       Approve extension of the contract end date by twelve months, to 31 October 2021.

2.       Approve a variation of $450,000 (excluding GST) making a revised contract sum of $1,250,000 (excluding GST).

3.       Note the collaborative procurement approach being sought with our regional local government partners to obtain best value outcomes for the community.

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

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

  


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.4       Corporate Services

            Nil Reports


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.5       Executive Services

6.5.1      Assemblies of Administrators - 4 August 2020  

Responsible Officer:           Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

recommendation summary

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

key facts and/or issues

·     The Local Government (Whittlesea City Council) Act 2020 dismissed all Councillors from the City of Whittlesea effective Saturday 21 March 2020 and provided for Administrators to be appointed and for them to undertake the duties of Councillors under the Local Government Act.

·     Ms Lydia Wilson was appointed Administrator for a three month period commencing on 21 March 2020.

·     On 19 June 2020, the Panel of Administrators for the City of Whittlesea were appointed. The Panel of Administrators comprises of Chair Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan.

·     Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan will carry out the role, responsibilities and functions of a Councillor as set out in Section 231(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020 until their appointment ends following the October 2024 Local Government Elections.

·     Section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 requires that records of Assemblies of Councillors (Administrators) be reported to Council.

 

 


 

Report

Background

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

The Local Government (Whittlesea City Council) Act 2020 dismissed all Councillors from the City of Whittlesea effective Saturday 21 March 2020.  Ms Lydia Wilson was appointed Administrator for a three-month period commencing on 21 March 2020.

On 19 June 2020, the Panel of Administrators for the City of Whittlesea were appointed.  The Panel of Administrators comprises of Chair Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan.

Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan will carry out the role, responsibilities and functions of a Councillor as set out in Section 231(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020 until their appointment ends following the October 2024 Local Government Elections.

A meeting is an assembly of the Administrators 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 an Administrator and a member of Council staff; or

·    An advisory committee of Council where an Administrator is present.

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

Proposal

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

Assembly Details

Administrator attendee

Officer attendees

Matters discussed

Administrator Briefing

9 June 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

AMFA

 

1.     Proposed Budget 2020-21 – Pre-Advisory Committee Review.

Nil disclosures

 

Whittlesea Disability Network Meeting

9 June 2020

 

Lydia Wilson

(Administrator)

APO

ASPO

SPPM

TLA

TLMLF

1.     Welcome and Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners.

2.     Introductions and Apologies.

3.     Declaration of Interest.

4.     Minutes of previous meeting.

5.     Business arising from the minutes.

6.     TRAC and Facilities Update.

7.     All Abilities Playspace.

8.     Digital Devices Program.

9.     Council Update.

10.   Information Sharing.

Nil disclosures

 

 

 

Assembly Details

Administrator attendee

Officer attendees

Matters discussed

Council Budget 2020-21 Advisory Committee Meeting

11 June 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Lydia Wilson)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

1.     Hearing of Submitters.

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

·    John Nugent;

·    Harinder Jit Singh, Treasurer, Whittlesea Hockey Club;

·    Gerry Connell, Victoria State Emergency Services, Whittlesea Unit;

·    Anita Guerra, Director, Fit for 2;

·    Linda Jablonski, BMX Track Doreen;

·    Lisa Thorpe, Bubup Wilam Aboriginal Child & Family Centre;

·    David Watson, Vice President, Whittlesea Country Music Festival;

·    Angela Wood, Director, Big Group Hug;

·    Emma Antonetti, Equity & Impact Manager, Whittlesea Community Connections.

Other submitters who elected not to speak:

·    Charles Castle, President, Whittlesea Courthouse Association;

·    Jason Schivo;

·    Troy Cardamone;

·    David Thomas, President, Whittlesea Junior Basketball Association.

 

2.     Confidential Item: Consideration of Submissions and the making of recommendation to Council regarding the budget submissions.

Nil disclosures

 

CEO Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEMAC)

26 June 2020

 

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

Bruce Billson

MPC

1.     Confidential Item: Conducting interviews for position of Independent Member of CEMAC.

Nil disclosures

CEO Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEMAC)

1 July 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

 

MPC

1.     Confidential Item: Conducting interviews for Consultants for recruitment of Chief Executive Officer.

Nil disclosures

Whittlesea Reconciliation Group Meeting

2 July 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

ALC MCCD

TLACD

 

1.     Acceptance of previous minutes of 30 April and 14 May.

2.     Endorsement of new member Jessie Crossman.

3.     WRG contribution to Reconciliation Victoria submission to the Anti Vilification Parliamentary Inquiry.

4.     COVID-19 Distraction Packs.

5.     Deadly NAIDOC Art Exhibition.

6.     EOFY Budget Expenditure.

7.     Aboriginal Liaison Officer Report.

8.     National Sorry Day Film Project Final Report.

9.     Review of WRG Terms of Reference.

10.  Planning Day and New Programs.

11.  Draft Joint Letter.

Nil disclosures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table below represents an Index of Officer titles:

Initials

Title of Officer

Initials

Title of Officer

ACEO

Acting Chief Executive Officer – Joe Carbone

DPPE

Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement – Julian Edwards

ALC

Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator - Donna Wright

MCCD

Manager Community Cultural Development - Rachel Francis

AMFA

Acting Manager Finance and Assets – Nicole Montague

MG

Manager Governance – Michael Tonta

APO

Access Project Officer – Ibrahim Elsoukmani

MPC

Manager People and Capability – Sanjib Roy

ASPO

Administration Support & Project Officer – Kayla Mountjoy

SPPM

Senior Parks Project Manager – Katelin Smith

DCS

Director Community Services – Belgin Besim

TLA

Team Leader Access – Stephen Bell

DCRS

Director Corporate Services – Amy Montalti

TLACD

Team Leader Aboriginal and Cultural Diversity – Fatih Tuncer

DCTP

Director City Transport and Presentation – Helen Sui

TLMLF

Team Leader Major Leisure Facilities – Jacinda Hunt

Consultation

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

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 of the Local Government Act 1989 requires that the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that the written record of an assembly of Administrators 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 - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

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

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                                 Enabling the vision

Key Direction                                 Making it happen

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

It is recommended that the report containing details of the business transacted at recent Assemblies of Administrators meetings be noted.

 

Recommendation

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

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.5.2      Administrator Expenses and Reimbursement Policy

Attachments:                        1        Draft Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy - Administrators and members of delegated committees

2        Administrator Resources and Facilities Guidelines - Requests by Administrators for legal advice relating to possible conflicts of interest   

Responsible Officer:           Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

Explanatory note

The Council was dismissed on Friday 20 March 2020 and an interim Administrator was appointed. Subsequently, a Panel of Administrators was sworn into office on 29 June 2020. The Council will comprise the Panel of Administrators until the 2024 Local Government Elections. During this time, the Administrators will perform the role of a Councillor for the purpose of section 28 of the Local Government Act 2020 (Act). Accordingly, the references in the Act to Councillors in the context of expenses and an expense policy, also apply to the Administrators.

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt the Draft Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees (as set out in Attachment 1 of this report);

2.       Review the Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees within six months of a general election; and

3.       Repeal the existing Councillor Resources and Facilities Policy (2018), the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – General and the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – IT.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

·    Section 41 of the Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to adopt and maintain an expenses policy on or before 1 September 2020.

·    Under the Local Government Act 2020, there is an increased focus on providing Administrators with the resources and facilities required to perform their official role. This includes Administrators who require reasonable adjustments or reimbursement for care where the Administrator is a carer under the Carers Recognition Act 2012 (Vic).

·    A number of improvements have been proposed to the existing policy and guidelines; these have been addressed in the policy. This includes the reporting of all Administrator expenses and not only those within the mandatory reporting categories.

·    As Council is currently comprised of a Panel of Administrators and those Administrators have been appointed by the State Government, Administrator claims for reimbursement are subject to the Expense Reimbursement Policy of the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR Reimbursement Policy) and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Domestic Travel Policy (DJPR Domestic Travel Policy).

·    The draft policy incorporates the relevant portions of the DJPR policy documents to ensure, as far as possible, there is a single policy that applies for Administrators.

Report

Introduction

The Local Government Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 24 March 2020. Section 41 of the Act provides that a Council must adopt and maintain an expenses policy in relation to the reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for Councillors and members of delegated committees. Councils are required to adopt the first expenses policy under this section of the Act on or before 1 September 2020.

Background

At the 4 September 2018 Council Meeting, Council resolved to adopt the Councillor Resources and Facilities Policy, the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – General and the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – IT. These were adopted under section 75B of the Local Government Act 1989 following consultation with Councillors at the 1 August 2017 Forum Meeting and again at the 24 July 2018 Forum Meeting. These documents will be replaced by the draft policy.

Subsequently, Council adopted the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – Requests by Councillors for legal advice relating to possible conflicts of interest. These guidelines have been amended to apply to Administrators and are contained in Attachment 2 of this report. These guidelines will not be repealed when the draft policy is adopted as they cover material not addressed in the draft policy.

Following the enactment of the new Local Government Act 2020, Council is required to adopt a Councillor Expenses and Reimbursement policy under section 41 of the Act. The Act provides that until such time a policy is adopted under this section, the policy adopted by Council under section 75B of the Local Government Act 1989 applies as if it had been adopted under this Act, accordingly any expenses recorded or reimbursement claimed from the enactment of Act on 24 March 2020 to date, have been processed under the existing policy and guidelines.

The new policy is a more comprehensive version of the existing policy, as a number of gaps were identified in the existing policy and guidelines which created confusion in their administration. The requirements under the new Act are for the most part the same as those that existed under the old Act, there is however a greater emphasis under the new Act on supporting Administrators who are in a care relationship within the meaning of section 4 of the Carers Recognition Act 2012 (Vic). The main changes to the existing policies and guidelines can be surmised as follows:

·    Previously there was a policy document, a general guidelines document and an IT guidelines document. These have been merged into a single document for ease of use and to remove the existing duplication of information.

·    The explicit inclusion of the ability of members of delegated committees to claim reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, as required under the new Act.

·    The introduction of an ‘other expense’ category for the purposes of reporting. Previously Council was only reporting on the categories of expenses required by legislation. This will ensure that the total expenses incurred by Administrators are reported.

·    The expansion of the ability to claim for dependent care, not only in relation to children but also to include the frail elderly or people with a disability where the Administrator is in a care relationship with that person.

·    The introduction of the requirements that Administrators maintain a logbook and are required to provide a copy of logbook entries when claiming for mileage travelled.

·    The introduction of stricter requirements around the reporting of Administrator expenses where an Administrator cancels their attendance at an event or training and the cost has been incurred but is not refundable.

·    The systems around IT related resources and support have been simplified.

·    Inclusion of the relevant sections of the DJPR Reimbursement Policy and the DJPR Domestic Travel Policy, as these will apply for the period Council is managed by the Panel of Administrators.

Proposal

That Council resolve to adopt the Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees, as per Attachment 1 of this report, under section 41 of the Local Government Act 2020.

Consultation

The draft policy has been developed in consultation with members of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (OCEO) who are responsible for the administration of the Policy and the reporting of Administrator expenses. Feedback has also been received from Council’s Information Services Department.

The draft Policy was presented at an Administrator Briefing on 21 July 2020 and feedback from the Panel of Administrators has been incorporated into the policy.

Critical Dates

Council is required to adopt a Policy under section 41 of the Local Government Act 2020 on or before 1 September 2020.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications resulting from the adoption of the Policy. The costs associated with the administration of the Policy and the reimbursement of expenses are included in Council’s recurrent budget.

Policy strategy and legislation

Relevant legislation:

·    Local Government Act 2020

·    Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014

·    Victorian Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities Act 2006

·    Carers Recognition Act 2012 (Vic)

Relevant internal policies and codes:

·    City of Whittlesea Councillor Code of Conduct

·    City of Whittlesea Privacy Policy

Other relevant policies and codes:

·    Staff Expense Reimbursement Policy - Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

·    Domestic Travel Policy - Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

link to strategic risks

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

If Council fails to adopt an expense and reimbursement policy under section 41 of the Local Government Act 2020 it will be breaching its legislative obligations. It may also result in Administrators breaching their duties of office if they are not claiming expenses in a manner which is consistent with the Act.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              High-performing organisation

Key Direction              More cost-effective investment through better return on investment, efficiency and an engaged workforce

 

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 is required to adopt a Council expenses policy under the Local Government Act 2020 on or before 1 September 2020.  It is recommended that Council resolve to adopt the Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees, as set out in Attachment 1 of this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt the Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees (as set out in Attachment 1 of this report);

2.       Review the Expenses, Reimbursement and Support Policy – Administrators and members of delegated committees within six months of a general election; and

3.       Repeal the existing Councillor Resources and Facilities Policy (2018), the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – General and the Councillor Resources and Facilities Guidelines – IT.

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.5.3      Privacy and Data Protection Policy Review

Attachments:                        1        Privacy and Data Protection Policy 2020

2        Information Privacy Policy 2014   

Responsible Officer:           Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Principal Governance Advisor    

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

1.       Adopt the revised Privacy and Data Protection Policy 2020 as set out in attachment 1; and

2.       Repeal the Information Privacy Policy 2014 as set out in attachment 2.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES

It is proposed to adopt a revised Council Privacy and Data Protection Policy that outlines Council’s responsibilities in relation to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and Health Records Act 2001 (the Acts). 

·    The Policy outlines Council’s legal obligations regarding the handling of personal information and contains an underlying set of principles on how Council complies with the Information Privacy Principles (‘IPP’s) and Health Privacy Principles (‘HPP’).

·    The existing Policy has been amended in response to advice provided to the local government sector by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) following a review of local government privacy policies.

·    The revised Policy clearly sets out a process for individuals to use when accessing and correcting their personal information and when making a privacy complaint.

·    The revised Policy also uses plain English drafting principles.

 

Report

Background

The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 protects the personal information held by Council and the Health Records Act 2001 protects the personal health information held by Council.

The Privacy and Data Protection Policy states Council’s commitment to the responsible handling of personal information and personal health information and contains an underlying set of principles on how this information is protected.

The Policy was last reviewed in 2014 when the Information Privacy Act 2000 was replaced by the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.  The Policy has been updated in response to advice provided by OVIC following its review of local government privacy policies in 2019.

Copies of the revised and current Policy are attached (Refer Attachments 1 and 2).  A marked-up copy of the current Policy showing amendments has not been provided as the Policy was re-written using Council’s new policy template and this would have made it difficult to compare the two documents.

Proposal

It is proposed that the Privacy and Data Protection Policy 2020 be adopted to replace the Information Privacy Policy 2014 which will be repealed. 

The main changes to the Policy include:

·    Updating key terms and definitions;

·    Explaining the process for individuals to access and correct their personal information;

·    Explaining the process for individuals to make a privacy complaint; and

·    Using plain-English drafting principles.

Procedural Guidelines will be prepared containing additional information to guide staff and members of the public on how Council will comply with the IPP’s and HPP’s.  The Policy and Procedural Guidelines will be published on Council’s website.

Consultation

Consultation with key internal stakeholders has taken place.

Critical Dates

There are no critical dates in relation to the adoption of the revised policy. 

Financial Implications

The costs associated with Council complying with its obligations under information privacy laws are covered through operational budgets.

Policy strategy and legislation

Having a current Privacy and Data Protection Policy demonstrates to the community that the protection of an individual’s personal and health information is an integral part of Council’s commitment to a healthy, safe and connected community.

link to strategic risks

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

Council is committed to protecting information privacy and to the responsible handling of personal information and health information as a key aspect of good governance.

The Policy will assist Council staff to understand their obligation to protect an individual’s personal and health information. 

A failure to protect personal and health information held by Council may unnecessary expose Council to risk for breaches of the Acts.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              Connected community

Key Direction              A participating community

 

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

Council’s Privacy and Data Protection Policy has been revised to reflect best practice and to confirm Council’s continuing commitment to the proper handling of personal information.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt the revised Privacy and Data Protection Policy 2020 as set out in attachment 1; and

2.       Repeal the Information Privacy Policy 2014 as set out in attachment 2.

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

6.5.4    REVIEW OF COUNCIL DELEGATIONS TO THE CEO AND MEMBERS OF COUNCIL STAFF

Attachments:                        1        Revised CEO Delegations - Marked-up

2        Revised CEO Delegations

3        Revised Instrument of Delegation to Members of Council Staff - Marked-up

4        Revised Instrument of Delegation to Members of Council Staff   

Responsible Officer:           Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Principal Governance Advisor   

 

recommendation summary

It is recommended that Council:

1.   Delegate to the member of Council staff holding the position referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to the Chief Executive Officer and the members of staff holding the positions referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to Members of Council staff, the powers, duties and functions set out in the Instruments;

2.   Commence operation of the Instruments immediately upon the common seal of Council being affixed to the Instruments;

3.   Revoke all previous delegations to members of Council staff on the coming into force of the Instruments; and

4.   Require the duties and functions set out in the Instruments to be performed, and the powers set out in the Instruments to be exercised, in accordance with any guidelines or policies adopted by Council.

key facts and/or issues

There are two Instruments of Delegations approved by Council – delegations to the CEO and delegations directly to member of Council staff.  This report reviews both instruments. 

·    Delegations to the Chief Executive Officer and to members of Council staff are reviewed regularly to ensure Council’s decision-making powers are efficiently and effectively exercised. 

·    Delegations to the Chief Executive Officer (‘CEO delegations’) were last reviewed and adopted by Council on 5 May 2020 when the financial delegation to the CEO was increased from $500K to $1M.  A further review of the CEO’s delegations is required to include reference to provisions in the Local Government Act 2020 that commence on 1 September 2020.

·    Delegations to members of Council Staff (‘Staff delegations’) were last reviewed and adopted by Council on 6 August 2019.  The Staff delegations deal with Acts and Regulations that require a direct delegation from Council to officers and these delegations must also be reviewed before 1 September 2020.

 

 

 

Report

Background

The Local Government Act 2020, and other legislation, makes express provision for the appointment of delegates to act on behalf of Council and a decision of the delegate, once made, is for all legal purposes a decision of the Council.

Where Council acts through members of Council staff, this is formalised through written instruments of delegation which are re-made regularly to ensure that they remain up to date and cover all relevant provisions.

Delegations to the CEO and to members of staff were last reviewed and adopted by Council on 5 May 2020 and 6 August 2019 respectively.

Proposal

Instrument of Delegation to the CEO

The Instrument of Delegation from Council to the CEO is a broad delegation which empowers the CEO under many Acts and Regulations. 

This Instrument has been updated to include reference to new provisions in the Local Government Act 2020 that commence on 1 September 2020.

The Instrument contains a number of statutory limitations on the CEO’s powers that are specified in section 11(2) of the Act, namely, the power to:

·    appoint an Acting CEO for a period exceeding 28 days;

·    elect a Mayor or Deputy Mayor;

·    grant a reasonable request for leave under section 35 of the Act;

·    make any decision in relation to the employment, dismissal or removal of the CEO;

·    approve or amend the Council Plan;

·    adopt or amend any policy that Council is required to adopt under the Act;

·    adopt or amend the Governance Rules;

·    appoint the chair or the members to a delegated committee;

·    make, amend or revoke a local law;

·    approve the Budget or Revised Budget;

·    borrow money; and

·    declare general rates, municipal charges, service rates and charges and specified rates and charges.

In the existing CEO delegations, approval of overseas travel by Council officers on Council business must be referred to Council for approval although this is a matter capable of being delegated to the CEO. This and other discretionary limitations and conditions can be included in the CEO Delegation by the Council at Council’s discretion.

A marked-up copy of the Instrument highlighting amendments is attached so that the changes relating to new provisions under the Local Government Act 2020 can be easily identified. (Refer Attachment 1).  A clean copy of the Instrument is also attached. (Refer Attachment 2).

Instrument of Delegation to Members of Staff

The Instrument of Delegation from Council to members of Council staff empowers staff under a number of Acts and Regulations. 

The Staff Delegations have been updated to reflect the commencement of the Local Government Act 2020 and amendments to provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

 

A marked-up copy of the Instrument highlighting amendments is attached so that the changes can be easily identified. (Refer Attachment 3).  A clean copy of the Instrument is also attached. (Refer Attachment 4).

Delegation Protocols

The revised Instrument will ensure that officers are delegated appropriate powers to carry out their duties and that delegations are made to the lowest competent level in the organisation. This streamlines decision-making processes while ensuring accountability.

Some delegated powers have limitations and conditions which are recorded in the Instrument.  Similar to the CEO delegations, Council has the option of adding additional limitations and conditions or putting in place policies and guidelines under which certain delegations are exercised.

Delegations are made to positions and not to individuals. This ensures that delegations do not become obsolete or ineffective in the event of a position being vacant or a delegate being absent on leave. In these instances, their delegated powers are automatically transferred to staff acting in their position.

It should be noted that Administrators must not direct, or seek to direct, a member of Council staff in the exercise of a delegated power, or the performance of a delegated duty or function of the Council. 

Conflict of Interest Disclosures by Delegates

The Local Government Act 1989 imposes obligations on members of Council staff who have delegated powers to act impartially and with integrity including avoiding conflicts of interest. 

A Council delegate is prohibited from exercising a Council power, duty or function if they have a conflict of interest in a matter and must disclose the type and nature of the interest to the Chief Executive Officer.

Consultation

The delegations discussed in this report were discussed with Administrators at the Administrator Briefing on 21 July 2020.  No public consultation was required in relation to the proposed Instruments and relevant Council officers were consulted on proposed amendments.

Financial Implications

The cost of amending this Instrument of Delegation is included within relevant operational budgets.

Critical Dates

It is proposed that the revised Instruments come into force once the common seal is affixed to the Instrument.

Policy strategy and legislation

This review is carried out in accordance with Council’s Delegations Policy (corporate) and section 11 of the Local Government Act 2020.

Delegations made by Council under the Local Government Act 1989 continue in force until 1 September 2020 unless earlier revoked.

link to strategic risks

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

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Connected community

Key Direction                        A participating community

 

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

It is recommended that the revised Instruments of Delegation be adopted by Council. The updated delegations will facilitate Council's decision-making processes by ensuring that the relevant Council officers have the appropriate powers to effectively and efficiently carry out their Council duties.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council, in accordance with the powers conferred by the legislation referred to in the attached instruments of delegation, resolves to:

1.       Delegate to the position referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to the Chief Executive Officer and to the members of staff holding the positions referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to Members of Council Staff, the powers, duties and functions set out in the Instruments;

2.       Commence operation of the Instruments immediately upon the common seal of Council being affixed to the Instruments;

3.       Revoke all previous Council delegations to members of Council staff on the coming into force of the Instruments; and

4.       Require the duties and functions set out in the Instruments to be performed, and the powers set out in the Instruments to be executed, in accordance with any guidelines or policies adopted by Council.

 

 

 

 

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council, in accordance with the powers conferred by the legislation referred to in the attached Instruments of Delegation, resolves to:

1.         Delegate to the position referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to the Chief Executive Officer and to the members of staff holding the positions referred to in the attached Instrument of Delegation to Members of Council Staff, the powers, duties and functions set out in the Instruments (subject to changes set out in 2 below);

2.       Amend the Planning delegations relating to primary decision making and forming a position on an application following an appeal against failing to make a decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal as follows:

            a)    section 61(1) to read in the conditions:

                 Power to grant permit or provide notice of decision to grant a permit only if less than 5 objections are received.  The application must be reported to Council if 5 or more objections are received; if a petition or group objection with 5 signatories is received; for any application within established urban residential areas that significantly changes the nature and character of the area; and for any application that has given rise to substantial public interest or appears likely to do so; or at least 2 Administrators (call in) make a request in writing to the CEO, DPPE or MBP for the application to be reported to Council. The delegate has the power to refuse the permit unless at least 2 Administrators (call in) make a request in writing to the CEO, DPPE or MBP that the application must be reported to Council (excluding procedural matters).  Applications involving the complete or partial demolition of buildings within a Heritage Overlay that are not subject to the VicSmart pathway or involving the removal of two or more river red gum trees that have a trunk diameter of 50 centimetres or more at 1.3 metres above ground level must be reported to Council for a decision, unless Council has already made a decision on those trees through a strategic planning process.

            b)    section 84(1) to read in the conditions:

                 Power to decide position only if less than 5 objections are received or there is a petition or group objection with less than 5 signatories, the matter is of a procedural nature or has already been before Council for a decision as part of a strategic planning process. If 5 or more objections are received, a petition or group objection with 5 or more signatories is received or the application sought the removal of two or more river red gums that have a trunk diameter of 50 centimetres or more at 1.3 metres above ground, for any application within established urban residential areas that significantly changes the nature and character of the area; and for any application that has given rise to substantial public interest or appears likely to do so; or where at least 2 Administrators (call in) make a request to the CEO, DPPE or MDA in writing, the application must be reported to Council. If timelines do not permit for any of the above triggers, the delegate must decide the application and report the matter to the next Council meeting for information.

3.       Commence operation of the Instruments immediately upon the common seal of Council being affixed to the Instruments;

4.       Revoke all previous Council delegations to members of Council staff on the coming into force of the Instruments; and

5.       Require the duties and functions set out in the Instruments to be performed, and the powers set out in the Instruments to be executed, in accordance with any guidelines or policies adopted by Council.

Carried

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                             Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

7.         Notices of Motion

Nil Reports 

8.         Questions to Officers

NIL 

9.         Urgent Business

9.1       COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE (Council resolved to suspend Standing Orders for this item to be considered earlier in the meeting - refer to page 17)

10.       Reports from Delegates Appointed to Council by Other Bodies

The Chair of Administrators invited the Administrators to report back to Council on recent meetings they had attended, noting that Administrator Peita Duncan did not have any delegate reports to provide.

Administrator The Hon Bruce Billson, provided the following reports on the meetings he has attended:

 

10.1     Yarra Plenty Regional Library – 8 July 2020

This meeting provided a briefing on the impact of the upgrading of COVID-19 restrictions and what the prospects were for the Yarra Plenty Regional Library now that we are in stage 4, including the impact on its mobile services and outreach vehicle operations.  I take this opportunity to encourage our community to utilise alternative services now being offered including click and post, and home delivery.  These adapted services are enabling the library to function in these challenging environments.

 

10.2     WHITTLESEA DISABILITY NETWORK – 14 JULY 2020

I attended this online meeting which commenced with acknowledging the very selfless support of carers who give so much to others.  There was a proposition around advancing the City’s good reputation around accessible buildings and there is some work going on in the Australian Building Code Board mandating certain access requirements.

 

The Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson, then provided a report on the meetings she has attended:

 

10.3     WHITTLESEA COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS – 20 JULY 2020

I attended this important meeting where comprehensive updates were provided in relation to:

·         housing and homelessness;

·         a number of governance issues; and

·         an update on COVID-19 and community impacts.

 

10.4     INTERFACE GROUP OF COUNCILS – 22 JULY 2020

The focus of this meeting was a preparatory pre-briefing for a series of scheduled sessions with Members of Parliament in relation to our advocacy campaign.

 

 

10.5     WHITTLESEA COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS – 29 JULY 2020

I attended this meeting as part of a subcommittee for the CEO performance review.  While, perhaps, not being a formal advisory committee or a delegate report, I did just want to note that I actively participated in four of the sessions with the Minister for Local Government and senior departmental staff from a multiplicity of relevant departments where they were providing comprehensive updates to Councils in relation to State Government responses on the COVID‑19 issue, very important for representation for our municipality.

 

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to note the Delegate’s reports.

Carried

 

 

 


Ordinary Council Minutes                                                                  Tuesday 4 August 2020

 

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

11.5     Executive Services

Nil Reports

11.6     Notices of Motion

Nil Reports

12.       Closure

 

DELETE THE CLOSURE TEXT NOT REQUIRED

THERE BEING NO FURTHER BUSINESS THE CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS CLOSED THE MEETING AT 3.41PM.

 

CONFIRMED THIS 1ST DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2020.

 

 

___________________________

LYDIA WILSON

CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS