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Minutes

 

OF Ordinary
COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON

Tuesday 1 September 2020

AT 3.00pm

MEETING HELD REMOTELY

VIA ZOOM


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATORS

 

LYDIA WILSON                                  CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS

THE HON. BRUCE BILLSON            ADMINISTRATOR

On 19 June 2020 the Acting Minister for Local Government, Daniel Andrews MP 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

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 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

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 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        AWARDS received FROM PARKS AND LEISURE AUSTRALIA.. 9

1.4        Present. 10

2.           Apologies.. 10

3.           Declarations of Interest. 10

4.           Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting.. 10

5.           Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters.. 11

5.1        Questions To ADMINISTRATORS.. 11

5.2        Petitions.. 11

5.2.1      Request to shorten the white dividing line on Cicada Court, South Morang.. 11

5.3        Joint Letters.. 11

Nil Reports.. 11

6.           Officers’ Reports.. 13

6.1        Executive Services.. 15

6.1.1      COVID-19 Update on Key Issues - September 2020. 15

6.1.2      Pandemic Action Plan - Relief Funding.. 21

6.1.3      2019/20 New Works Program - Year End Report. 31

6.1.4      2019-20 Net Cash Year end report. 55

6.1.5      Certification of 2019/20 Financial Statement & Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting.. 65

6.1.6      Public Transparency Policy 2020. 161

6.1.7      Governance Rules - Local Government Act 2020. 173

6.1.8      Amended Council Meeting Schedule for 2020. 225

6.1.9      Assemblies of Administrators - 1 September 2020. 229

 

6.2        Partnerships, Planning & Engagement. 235

Nil Reports.. 235

6.3        Community Services.. 237

Nil Reports.. 237

6.4        City Transport and Presentation.. 239

6.4.1      2020-32 - Construction of McLeans Road Kindergarten, Bundoora - Tender Evaluation Report. 239

6.5        Corporate Services.. 243

6.5.1      Epping Cemetery Trust - Freedom of Information Requests and Abstract of Accounts.. 243

7.           Notices of Motion.. 265

Nil Reports…………. 265

8.           Questions to Officers.. 265

9.           Urgent Business.. 265

10.        Reports from Delegates Appointed to Council by Other Bodies.. 265

11.        Confidential Business.. 269

11.1      Executive Services.. 269

Nil Reports.. 269

11.2      Partnerships, Planning & Engagement. 269

Nil Reports.. 269

11.3      Community Services.. 269

Nil Reports.. 269

11.4      City Transport and Presentation.. 269

Nil Reports.. 269

11.5      Corporate ServiceS.. 271

11.5.1    Land Acquisition Woodstock.. 271

11.6      Notices of Motion.. 273

Nil Reports.. 273

12.        Closure.. 275

 

 

 

 

Note:

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

 

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

1.         Opening

1.1       MEETING OPENING AND PRAYER

The Acting Chief Executive Officer opened the meeting with a prayer at 3:00PM 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 recognise the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledge 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       AWARDS received FROM PARKS AND LEISURE AUSTRALIA

The Chair of Administrators, Lydia Wilson provided the meeting with the following update regarding awards received by the City of Whittlesea:

“Before we move on with the meeting itself I would like to acknowledge that the City of Whittlesea has won two awards at this year’s Parks and Leisure Australia Awards in the Victorian/Tasmanian region.

Sincere congratulations to our Leisure team from the Panel of Administrators for taking out the Strategic Planning Award for its visionary Netball and Basketball Strategy.

The Netball and Basketball Strategy ensures that our community will have access to quality infrastructure that supports equitable participation for years to come.

Well done to Leisure Planning Coordinator, Stephanie Ristevska, named David Aldous Young Professional of the Year.

It is really fantastic for us to see Council receive industry acknowledgment for our leadership and foresight that will benefit our fast-growing communities, and for one our staff to receive such a wonderful honour – we are extremely proud of our Leisure team and also of Stephanie.”

 

 

 

 

 

1.4       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

4.         Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

 

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

Ordinary Meeting of Council held 4 August 2020.

Carried

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.         Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters

5.1       Questions To ADMINISTRATORS

NIL 

 

5.2       Petitions

5.2.1    Request to shorten the white dividing line In Cicada Court, South Morang

Administrator Duncan tabled a petition from eight residents requesting Council shorten the white dividing line in Cicada Court, South Morang to assist in the management of on-street parking.

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to receive the petition and refer the matter to Officers to undertake the requested changes to shorten the white dividing line in Cicada Court, South Morang to assist in management of on-street parking.

CARRIED

5.3       Joint Letters

            Nil Reports 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 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

 

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1       Executive Services

6.1.1      COVID-19 Update on Key Issues - September 2020   

Responsible Officer:            Acting Chief Executive Officer

 

The COVID-19 Update was provided verbally by the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the 1 September 2020 Ordinary Council meeting.

At the commencement of the COVID-19 Update, technical difficulties were experienced by the Panel of Administrators and the Acting Chief Executive Officer. Therefore, the Chair of Administrators, Ms Lydia Wilson adjourned the meeting at 3:10pm to reconvene once these difficulties were resolved. The meeting recommenced at 3:20pm.

The contents of the report was circulated to the Panel of the Administrators prior to the meeting and is as follows:

Context

August was a difficult month for residents and businesses in the City of Whittlesea and Council’s focus remained on response and relief, with planning for eventual recovery. As Victoria’s COVID-19 case numbers continued to rise throughout July, the State Government took significant steps to slow the spread of the second wave of infections. On Sunday 2 August, Victoria’s State of Emergency was upgraded to a State of Disaster and metropolitan Melbourne was placed under Stage 4 restrictions for six weeks.

Further restrictions on businesses and workers came into effect from Thursday 6 August. Some sectors like retail were forced to temporarily close premises, while others like meat production and parts of the construction industry had to reduce operations. Stage 4 restrictions will have a considerable impact on the local economy and employment. This will become clearer in the next quarter when local figures are released. 

Over the course of the month, active COVID-19 cases in the City of Whittlesea started at 437 and peaked at 553 on 13 August before starting to fall over the second half of the month. The City of Whittlesea remained the 4th highest LGA for COVID-19 cases over this time, dropping one place to 5th in the last days of August.

Many of these cases were linked to local outbreaks, which at the end of August included:

 

·       Bertocchi Smallgoods (211 cases)

·       Epping Gardens Aged Care (212 cases)

·       Nino Early Learning Adventures (46 cases)

·       Ingham Meats (34 cases)

·       Northern Hospital (31 cases)

Epping Gardens Aged Care remains the highest aged care outbreak in Victoria. This outbreak started the month with 118 cases and grew to 212 by the end of the month. In the last week of August, only one extra case was added to this total. Epping has consistently ranked in the top 10 for highest active cases, according to postcode data starting the month at 152 active cases but landing on 72 at the end of the month. Many of these cases are likely linked to Epping Gardens Aged Care. By the end of the month, every postcode in the City of Whittlesea had fallen. Doreen and Mernda peaked at 75 cases in the week of 16th August but fell to just 13 by the end of the month.

Thomastown also peaked at 74 cases at the start of August and dropped to 11 by month end. The local data follows the state wide trend with active cases continuing to drop across the Victoria.  At the start of the month, Victoria had 5,919 active cases, which peaked at 7,880 on 11 August and fell to 1,172 on 30 August.

Council Support

In August, Council’s focus remained on coordinating and supporting response and relief activities including:

 

·         Responding to confirmed positive cases amongst employees at the Epping depot;

·         Supporting drive-thru testing sites at Mernda and South Morang and a pop-up site at Whittlesea township;

·         Assisting businesses to adapt to and implement stage four restrictions including Council’s own services and construction projects;

·         Supporting shopping precinct hotspots such as Station Street in Thomastown with signage reminding people to social distance, wear masks and adhere to maximum number of people in small spaces; and

·         Residents and businesses continued to seek assistance in the form of hardship applications, requests for information or support and particularly requests for emergency relief.

COMMUNITY IMPACTS

On jobs

Recent ABS data shows job losses of 3.5% in the North East Melbourne region from 11 July to 8 August. This compares to 3.1% of jobs lost in the North West Melbourne region, 2.8% in Victoria and 1.0% of jobs across Australia. These figures are only for the first week of Stage 4 restrictions so it is likely that future data will show greater local job losses. In August, 15 food or health and beauty premises closed permanently. There were 16 permanent closures in July. Of the 1,386 food premises operating in the City of Whittlesea, 102 are doing take away food only or have temporarily closed. Around 90 food premises at schools and sporting clubs remain temporarily closed.

Stage 4 restrictions have seen the temporary closure of 344 hair and beauty services until at least 13 September. Local businesses continue to be concerned about long term viability and are worried about cashflow, dealing with landlords, going online, and changing operating environments at short notice.

On our vulnerable community

Many residents are reporting increased feelings of isolation during Stage 4 restrictions. People on low incomes, the elderly and young, new mothers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, international students, those in unstable accommodation, and those without internet access are particularly vulnerable. Local services are seeing increasing demand for emergency food relief, essential items and mental health support.

On 3 August, Whittlesea Community Connections had their busiest day on record, with 85 calls and 42 internal referrals for financial assistance/casework. Collectively, member agencies in the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network continue to provide more than 320 food hampers per week, up from around 80 hampers pre-COVID.

COUNCIL RESPONSE

Services

Council worked with Municipal Association Victoria (MAV) and Local Government Victoria (LGV) to identify services that need to be maintained during Stage 4 restrictions. Where possible, Council has maintained services, with most staff working from home.

Essential community-facing services like Home Support have continued with support from redeployed Council staff. Further optimising the number of staff working from home while ensuring community-facing staff and essential services are provided appropriate PPE, COVID-Safe Plans and working permits.

Community-facing staff such as Home Care Support continue to undertake assessments to ensure residents are not showing any COVID-19 symptoms prior to the visit. Council sought legal advice on the maintenance of public open spaces during Stage 4 restrictions, which showed that workers would get a permit to maintain around 200 sites. Council also sought legal advice about its capital works program regarding what is essential and exempt from restrictions.

While it is too early to forecast any end of financial year impacts to the New Works Program, Council will continue to monitor the 133 projects underway as restrictions are eased. Confirmed delays will be reported to Council. Council offices and community centres remain closed to the public. Many services continue to be provided online or over the phone, including maternal and child health appointments, building and planning services and youth support.

Emergency relief

Council continues to provide local service providers with financial and in-kind support under the Emergency Relief Fund. In August, five new requests were received from non-government organisations and community support groups so they could continue to provide emergency relief.  In total, 138 requests have been received from 48 organisations since 6 April 2020. Eighteen organisations have received financial support, totalling $187,250.

Stage 1 of the $200,000 Emergency Relief Fund is nearly exhausted. A recommendation to implement Stage 2 (a further $300,000) has been proposed in the Pandemic Relief Fund report to Council today. Council also supported local relief agencies to navigate Stage 4 restrictions, particularly with staff and volunteer work permits.

Creating jobs

After a short suspension while the State Government worked through the implications of Stage 4 restrictions on Working for Victoria (WFV) roles, Council resumed employing roles funded by the WFV initiative. staff at Council and into local frontline service providers through the Working For Victoria initiative.

In August, a further 20 roles were filled, with nine being deployed within Council departments (66 in total), and 11 roles within local service providers (41 in total).  A further 108 roles are being recruited.

Business support

Supporting our local business community continues to be a priority.

The $30,000 Economic Development Community Grants Program to assist businesses to move online or to increase their social impact was launched in April.

Council has also supported local businesses through:

 

·         A second series of educational webinars on negotiating rent relief with landlords; running a home-based business; applying for grants; moving business online; and business continuity and risk planning;

·         An online Business Directory to promote local businesses;

·         The ‘Still Here 4 U’ campaign, where $10,000 will be injected into the community through a competition where residents win vouchers for local businesses;

·         A business engagement program to identify issues and opportunities for assistance; and

·         A business networking series in partnership with Banyule and Nillumbik Councils.

Many local businesses are also receiving support under Stage 1 of the $90,000 Business Support Package launched in April. This included a three-month Business Development Program, dedicated business support line, mentoring and local promotional campaigns.

 

A recommendation to implement Stage 2 of business support via a Business Relief and Resilience Program ($500,000) is proposed in the Pandemic Relief Fund report to Council today. This proposes a Business Assistance Grant Program, which would provide grants up to $5,000 for businesses under three key themes – Business adaption, Revitalising spaces and Business continuity.

Economic stimulus grants

Council was awarded:

 

·         $1 million from the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program to fast-track the $2.8M redevelopment of Mill Park Basketball Stadium; and

·         $1 million from the Victorian Government’s Building Works Stimulus Package to bring forward further works that will revitalise the Thomastown and Lalor Shopping Strips.

Council is awaiting the outcome of 15 grant applications to support infrastructure projects that will create local jobs and help our community recover from the pandemic. The return of bond monies was expedited for business owners who have implemented landscaping in accordance with approved plans. A further 24 bonds were returned in August, totalling $78,447 (89 bonds in total since 6 May, totalling $335,447).

Financial support

In August, Council received an additional 49 hardship applications via the COVID-19 Hardship Policy, and 37 were approved. A total of 137 hardship applications has been received since 6 April. A $50,000 Sports Club Emergency Grants program remains open for clubs to apply for up to $1,000 to cover out-of-pocket expenses. To date, 12 applications have been approved, totalling $15,299. Rent, fees and charges to winter sports clubs and community groups that lease Council’s community centres have also been waived.

Community connection

New projects that connect the community through arts, culture and creativity have continued to roll out through August. There has been a focus on non-digital activities to engage people experiencing online fatigue or who don’t have internet access.

These include the Community Comforter project, which invites people to contribute to a collective quilt showing how our community has stayed connected during the pandemic, and Bring on Spring, which encourages residents to brighten their front windows and yards with colourful artwork to bring a smile to people in their local neighbourhood.

Two refocused Community Grants Programs opened in August. The $50,000 Equipment Grant Program provides not-for-profit groups with up to $1,000 for equipment purchases and operational costs, and the $80,000 Community Group Support Grant Program provides community groups with up to $2,000 to reconnect with each other.

The $40,000 COVID-19 Creative Communities Fund has now provided 21 local artists with up to $2,000 to create projects responding to the impacts of COVID-19. The Wellbeing Forum and Transition to Adulthood Program, which aim to support young people through this crisis, and the International Student Wellbeing Hub, which provides non-medical health support and connection for international students, are also underway.

Public health

Council continues to support local testing sites in Mernda and the Northern Hospital, and pop-up sites in Epping and Whittlesea Township.  Consistent with other testing sites across the metropolitan area, the agencies operating these test sites have reported a decline in testing rates since the commencement of stage four restrictions. 

 

Under the DHHS program to provide masks to vulnerable people, Council has been allocated 1,000 reusable masks and 6,000 disposable masks which are being distributed to eligible residents by community-facing staff and Whittlesea Community Connections.  In response to ongoing demand, Council has requested additional reusable masks from DHHS.

Communications

The first two weeks of August focused on amplifying the State Government’s new Stage 4 restriction guidelines, which was causing confusion amongst the confusion. Council continued to use all communications mediums to share DHHS and Council information including print, radio, digital and social media.

Further work was done on Council’s website to highlight material available in our top 11 languages and these were also distributed via our Community Development workers in the community and via digital channels to our database of multicultural leaders and organisations. A second newsletter for our Aboriginal community was distributed, highlighting two new social support officers for Aboriginal people to call on as well as health and testing information. These support officers have been employed via the Working for Victoria initiative.

The Chair, Panel of Administrators issued three community messages of support via the website, social media and local newspapers during August and Administrator Duncan appeared on Plenty Valley FM. Officers also appeared on Plenty FM talkback to highlight community connection initiatives including the Community Comforter and Bring on Spring projects.

The Whittlesea Unites Facebook page continues to reach 1,943 (up almost 400 since July) people every day with stories of positive activities, events and ways that our community are supporting each other and our local businesses throughout the pandemic. Our social media channels included 68 community connection-based posts. In August these achieved 12,024 engagements in addition to 851 video views directly from on Youtube.

Since 16 March, there has been 71,706 community-based engagements across all social media channels. Council’s website had 3,831 unique views of event and community connection-based pages. A new Arts & Creativity website launches today – 1 September to better showcase events and community connection projects that will keep our community engaged.

Conclusion

August has seen a spike in COVID-19 infection and implementation of increased stage four restrictions, resulting in further impact on individuals and businesses which has required a focus on response and relief, most notably the recommendations to increase relief funds. It is hoped that the current trend toward fewer new daily cases will enable some lifting of restrictions from mid-September and an opportunity to continue preparing for recovery.

 

 

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:                Administrator Duncan

 

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

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.2      Pandemic Action Plan - Relief Funding  

Responsible Officer:            Director Community Services

Author:                                  Manager Pandemic Recovery

This report was distributed to Administrators on the day of the 1 September 2020 Council meeting and its contents has been incorporated into the Ordinary Council Minutes as follows:

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

THAT Council:

1.     Confirms the provisional allocation of $1 million from the accrued 2019-20 net operating surplus (after allowing for prepayments and project carry-forwards) in addition to the budgeted $2 million co-designed COVID Community Recovery Fund, to support further community and local business relief and recovery efforts in light of the extended period of pandemic containment measures.

 

2.     From this provisional allocation of $1 million, provide $300,000 in addition to the $200,000 already assigned to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and other expenditure and revenue foregone, to provide additional support in response to the additional relief requirements arising from the extended socio-economic impacts of stage 4 restrictions.

 

3.     In addition to ongoing business relief, hardship and local economic stimulus measures in place, allocate a further amount of $500,000 from this provisional allocation for a Business Assistance and Resilience Program, developed by incorporating local business community and survey insights.

Brief overview

The ‘response’ and ‘relief’ phase of COVID-19 has been extended due to stage 4 restrictions being enforced on 2 August 2020.

The wide-scale socioeconomic impacts continue to increase across the City of Whittlesea, most significantly affecting our vulnerable community and local businesses. 

This proposal seeks to continue supporting non-government organisations and community groups via $300,000 allocation for Stage 2 of the Emergency Relief Fund.

This proposal also seeks to further support local businesses via a $500,000 Business Relief and Resilience Program that will include Business Assistance Grants of up to $5,000.

impacts of recommendation

An increase in funding to Council’s Emergency Relief Fund will enable local non-government organisations and community groups to continue to meet growing demands on their services for the provision of basic needs, emergency relief and support to our most vulnerable people.

The Business Relief and Resilience Program will assist businesses experiencing financial hardship; provide e-commerce and professional services support; and deliver shop local and activation initiatives to help businesses recover from the significant impacts of COVID-19.

The proposed $800,000 funding is available from the $1 million provisional allocation for further COVID-19 relief and response indicated in the 2019-20 Net Cash Year End Report. The $2 million co-designed COVID Community Recovery Fund is unaffected and will be implemented for recovery and activated at the appropriate time in 2021.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The Pandemic Emergency Relief Fund will be distributed to non-government organisations and community support groups providing basic material needs and support services to City of Whittlesea residents, via existing processes used to assess applications for funding.

The Business Relief and Resilience Program will provide support and financial assistance to businesses facing hardship and will include a Business Assistance Grant program.

Guidelines have been developed around three key themes – Business Adaption, Revitalising Spaces and Business Continuity. Grants up to $5,000 will be available for businesses that can demonstrate how the grant will help the business respond to COVID-19 impacts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact the way people across Victoria live and work.

Since the State of Emergency was declared on 16 March the City of Whittlesea, along with the rest of Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria, has been greatly impacted.

After Stage 3 restrictions began to ease in June, there was hope that life would start returning to normal and Victoria would begin its recovery from the already devastating impacts of COVID-19.

It was not to be.

Rising numbers again in late June and early July created the need for the Victorian Government to re-instate Stage 3 lockdown for six weeks across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire Council.

Residents were told to stay at home unless leaving was required for four reasons – shopping for food and other essentials; medical purposes and caregiving; work and study; and exercise. Limits were placed on gatherings. Most parents were back to supervising remote learning for most school aged students in year 10 and all of those in younger levels.

These new living conditions placed further strain on local support agencies providing emergency relief like food, clothes and other basic essentials our residents needed immediately.

Many local businesses (128 in total), mostly offering non-essential beauty and cosmetic services, were forced into temporary closure because of their inability to operate under social distancing rules. Others had to adapt quickly if they were going to continue operating – particularly affecting food and hospitality industries.

Stage 3 measures were strict, but they still were not enough to stop the growing spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Instead of rolling back Stage 3 restrictions, a State of Disaster was declared on Sunday 2 August as the highest number of new infections to date (671) was recorded in the preceding 24 hours and of the 1,083 active cases the source of 760 was unknown.

With just hours to prepare for Stage 4 restrictions more businesses including cafes and restaurants that were preparing to re-welcome visitors and 344 hairdressing businesses joined others in a temporary closure across the City. The clock was re-set to start the six-week shutdown again, taking the earliest possible date for easing restrictions out to Sunday 13 September.

Face masks became compulsory for anyone leaving their home and a curfew was put in place between 8pm and 5am and anyone living under Stage 4 restrictions, which was all of the City of Whittlesea. Our residents could no longer move further than 5km from their front door unless under specific conditions.

For businesses large and small, working under Stage 4 conditions became more difficult.

Those that fell under the State Government’s essential services list were required to develop COVID-19 Safe Plans and workers had to travel with permits.

All non-essential businesses were closed, and strict rules around how others could operate such as cafes and restaurants required even further adaptation.

Such extensive disruption over five long months has been difficult on our community facing uncertainty and separated from loved ones. It has placed the future viability of many local businesses in serious doubt.

Impacts on community

A recent report commissioned by NORTH Link on behalf of its members estimates that over 76,000 jobs have been lost in Melbourne’s northern region at the end of June, with 14,500 of those jobs lost in the City of Whittlesea, particularly from businesses in accommodation, food services and retail sectors.

At the end of June, 3,400 people remained employed thanks to JobKeeper and residents on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance reached 9.8 per cent in June 2020, more than doubling the 4.1 per cent figure from June 2019.

The highest unemployment rates at the end of June were in:

·       Epping South (13.1%)

·       Wollert (12.9%)

·       Thomastown (12.7%)

·       Lalor (12.7%)

Monday 3 August, day one of Stage 4 restrictions, was the busiest day on record for local relief support agency Whittlesea Community Connections with 85 calls and 42 internal referrals for financial assistance from people living in our City.

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, and the future is still unclear.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, elderly people, young people, new mothers and people with a disability are increasingly accessing local services. In addition, people on low incomes and those in unstable accommodation are particularly vulnerable.

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.

Impacts on businesses

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

At the end of the June quarter, 902 jobs were lost in retail and there were 874 less jobs in accommodation and food services. Education and training declined with 733 jobs no longer existing in this critical sector. 

Of the 1,386 food premises operating in the City of Whittlesea, only 102 are able to operate a take-away service under current Stage 4 restrictions.

Remote learning and the cancellation of most community sports have resulted in the temporary closure of 90 food premises within schools and sporting clubs.

These areas are not expected to see improvement in the next quarter (end of September) or in the period immediately following as restrictions are expected to wind back with caution.

Stage 1 Pandemic Relief and Response Funding

In April 2020 Council established an initial Pandemic Emergency Relief Fund to respond to emerging social and economic hardship being felt by the community and businesses as the first wave of impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic began to accumulate under the declared State of Emergency.

Council partnered closely with its network of community and social services agencies working across the City of Whittlesea who had a direct line of sight to those most vulnerable in our municipality.

Direct financial provision was made available to local non-government organisations and community groups to support added capacity for them to respond to growing demands for essential needs and assistance from vulnerable community members.

Stage 1 has seen direct financial support totalling $187,250 being made available to 18 local community and social services organisations.

These funds have directly helped to provide food and basic necessities to over 4,860 families and 5,924 individuals to date.

In addition to financial supports, Council has redeployed 15 staff to assist agencies in their operations and logistics as well as employing more than 20 staff to date through the State Government’s Working for Victoria program for allocation in areas that support counselling and mental health services.

In respect to supports for businesses, Stage 1 pandemic relief and response funding of $90,000 via a Business Support Package was allocated for increased business mentoring sessions and the development of promotional campaigns, webinars and business development programs. A dedicated Business Support Line was also established and is ongoing.

 

STAGE 1 PANDEMIC RESPONSE FUNDING ($390,000)

COMMUNITY ($260,000)

BUSINESSES ($130,000)

·       Emergency Relief Fund ($200,000) established for local NGOs to ensure their continued capacity to provide emergency relief (financial, family violence, mental health, homelessness, food and essentials)

·       Provision of 150 distraction packs to our local Aboriginal community, with a focus on mindfulness and coping strategies

·       Provision of SIM cards to Maternal & Child Health clients to facilitate tele-health appointments with doctors, clinics and crisis support

·       Online activities for CALD communities

·       Social connection programs online

·       Youth wellbeing forums

 

·       Local business support package comprising: increased business mentoring and business development programs with strategic relevance to COVID-19 impacts

·       Advice to businesses on navigating Federal and State Government business funding supports

·       Establishment of a ‘Shop Local’ campaign

·       Establishment of ‘Dinner on Us’ campaign

·       Dedicated Business Support Line

·       Grants to support creative artists, performers, musicians (Creative Communities Fund)

·       Business Webinar series

Other Stage 1 relief measures have included: provision of fee subsidies for sport clubs ($63,500); provision of sports club emergency grants ($50,000); fast return of commercial development bonds.

Council has also extended its financial hardship policy for ratepayers – residential and commercial.

In August, Council announced further initiatives beyond the initial Business Support Package including:

·       The development of an online Business Directory to promote local businesses.

·       The ‘Still Here 4 U’ campaign where $10,000 will be injected into the community. through a completion where residents win vouchers for local businesses purchased by Council.

·       A $30,000 Economic Development Community Grants Program to assist businesses to move online or to increase their social impact.

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.

The $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, 12 applications have been approved totalling $15,299.

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

Proposal

Council is seeking to:

1.     Provide an allocation of $300,000 in addition to the $200,000 already assigned to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and other expenditure and revenue foregone, to provide additional support in response to the additional relief requirements arising from the extended socio-economic impacts of stage 4 restrictions.

 

2.     In addition to ongoing business relief, hardship and local economic stimulus measures in place, allocate a further amount of $500,000 from this provisional allocation for a Business Assistance and Resilience Program, developed incorporating local business community and survey insights.

It is proposed that further financial support for community and business relief is funded from the provisional allocation of $1 million from the accrued 2019-20 net operating surplus (after allowing for prepayments and project carry-forwards).

This funding is in addition to the budgeted $2 million co-designed COVID Community Recovery Fund.

Stage 2 Emergency Relief Fund: Community Relief

Stage 1 of the Emergency Relief Fund is nearing exhaustion and requests for assistance from local support agencies and groups is increasing.

Council proposes to implement Stage 2 of the Emergency Relief Fund to:

a)    provide continued support to local community and social service agencies to ensure their capacity to provide essential emergency relief to those most vulnerable in our community; and

b)    continue to develop community support initiatives that respond to feedback and analysis of data from Council’s Covid-19 Community Impact Survey.

Business Relief and Resilience Program

Since the start of August, 15 local businesses have permanently closed, and a recent Council survey shows that at the commencement of Stage four restrictions, nearly all businesses (94%) reported adverse impacts due to the pandemic.

The key concern is long-term viability with specific challenges including cashflow; dealing with landlords; adapting to online business and the struggle of major changes to the operating environment at short notice.

Council seeks to implement a second stage of business support via a $500,000 Business Assistance and Resilience Program, which is informed by businesses through established continuous contact activity and insights gained from Council’s Covid-19 Business Impact survey currently underway.

The Business Relief and Resilience Program is to include a Business Assistance Grants Program component geared towards supporting local businesses experiencing hardship with focus on three key areas identified in consultation with local businesses as being of significant practical benefit. Financial assistance up to $5,000 is to be made available to businesses that will contribute to projects and initiatives under one or more of the following themes:

a)    Business adaption

Assist local businesses to invest in innovative practices to access new markets or enhance their business model to operate in a COVID-safe manner. This could include building modifications such as on-site protective screens or PPE; transitioning to an e-commerce platform; design and develop a website; or creating online content.

b)    Revitalising spaces

Assist local businesses to invest in activating spaces to enhance shop fronts such as improvements to window displays and façade; improved signage; or furniture to activate the footpath trading area.

c)    Business continuity

Strengthen business stability by providing financial assistance to engage professional business and legal advisory services. Costs may also be associated with seeking advice to manage risk, business diversity or marketing strategy development.

The grants will be open to all businesses operating in the City of Whittlesea that can demonstrate how the grant will help the business respond to COVID-19 impacts.

In further progressing and developing business support strategies on the way to the ‘recovery’ phase of the pandemic, Council will continue to seek out best practice examples from initiatives shared across the local government sector as well as those established by Small Business advisory bodies such as the Victorian Small Business Commission.

Consultation

The proposal to allocate funds for Stage 2 of the Emergency Relief Fund is based on consultation undertaken by Council’s Social Policy and Planning team with NGO partners regarding likely increases in demand for emergency relief support. 

The advice provided by local NGO partners is consistent with unprecedented levels of unemployment and underemployment within the municipality.

Stage 2 of support for local businesses has been developed based on responses to Council’s Business Impact Survey and direct consultation with businesses.

Businesses require assistance to support viability and operations, seek professional advice, and consider new business models and approaches.

NEXT STEPS

This proposal seeks endorsement for a combined total of $800,000 to extend relief to the community and local businesses until December 2020.

A Community Impact Survey is currently collecting more information from residents to understand further how COVID-19 is impacting them to inform further stage of relief if required.

Throughout September, Council is continuously surveying and contacting local businesses to keep abreast of changing needs.

This information will be used to assess if further relief is required. Council will determine if a further stage of relief would benefit businesses by the end of 2020, before COVID-19 recovery is anticipated in early 2021.

In the 2020/21 Annual Budget, Council committed $2 million for a Community Recovery Fund to help the City of Whittlesea recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Planning is underway to co-design this fund with residents, clubs, groups and not-for-profit agencies.

More details will become known about this fund in coming months as the pandemic starts to subside and we move into recovery.

At this time, Victoria is still in a relief phase, responding to immediate impacts of the crisis.

Critical Dates

These Stage 2 programs of relief funding for the community and local businesses must commence immediately to effectively respond to current needs between now and the end of the 2020 calendar year. 

Financial Implications

The $800,000 funding required for this proposal is available in the $1 million provisional allocation for further COVID-19 relief and response indicated in the 2019-20 Net Cash Year End Report.

The $2 million co-designed COVID Community Recovery Fund is unaffected and will be implemented for recovery and activated at the appropriate time in 2021.

Policy strategy and legislation

Under the Emergency Management Act Vic 2018, local government is responsible for coordinating relief and recovery efforts at a local level.  Council also has a statutory responsibility to improve health and well-being outcomes, reduce health inequalities and create healthy environments in the municipality.  While traditionally Council has focussed primarily on relief to impacted individuals, the scale of COVID-19 pandemic impacts require Council to provide relief to both individuals and local businesses that aim to avert long-term damage to the community’ ability to eventually recover from COVID-19. 

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Emergency Management - Failure to manage and respond to an emergency event, which may be detrimental to community health and wellbeing

Failure to adequately support business and NGOs to provide emergency relief will likely have significant impact on community and business capacity to recover from COVID-19.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              Connected community

Key Direction               A healthy and safe 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 the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The fundamental outcome of the Whittlesea 2040 vision is ‘Whittlesea - a place for all’ and the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted across all four domains of the vision - A connected community; liveable neighbourhoods, strong local economy and sustainable environments.

The pandemic’s impacts significantly threaten social cohesion, through illness for some, disruption to earning or learning for many and restrictions on daily life and connections for all.

Providing emergency relief for the most vulnerable and support to our local economy are two key actions Council can take to minimise some of the pandemic’s impacts and prepare the path to recovery.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Confirm the provisional allocation of $1 million from the accrued 2019-20 net operating surplus (after allowing for prepayments and project carry-forwards) in addition to the budgeted $2 million co-designed COVID Community Recovery Fund, to support further community and local business relief and recovery efforts in light of the extended period of pandemic containment measures.

 

2.       From this provisional allocation of $1 million, provide $300,000 in addition to the $200,000 already assigned to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and other expenditure and revenue foregone, to provide additional support in response to the additional relief requirements arising from the extended socio-economic impacts of stage 4 restrictions.

 

3.       In addition to ongoing business relief, hardship and local economic stimulus measures in place, allocate a further amount of $500,000 from this provisional allocation for a Business Relief and Resilience Program, developed incorporating local business community and survey insights.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:                Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried UNANIMOUSLY

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.3      2019/20 New Works Program - Year End Report

Attachments:                        1       Financial Summary

2       Project Progress Report

3       Project Status Photos

4       Grant Status Report

5       Carry Forward Projects   

Responsible Officer:            Director City Transport & Presentation

Author:                                  Team Leader Business Support   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

1.      Note the 2019/20 Year End New Works Program report.

2.      Note the adjusted delivery rate of 86.3%.

3.      Approve the proposed carry forward of projects totalling $15,458,331.

Brief overview

·    The annual approved budget for 2019/20 (including carry forwards) is $89,516,480.

·    The revised budget is $87,448,009 due to project budget adjustments as reported through the Quarterly Reports to Council.

·    The value of work completed is $66,964,987.

·    The adjusted delivery rate is 86.3% to the revised budget after consideration of abnormal items.

·    The proposed carry forward budget into 2020/21 is $15,458,331.

rationale for recommendation

The proposed carry forward of funding into 2020/21 will enable completion of projects that are multi-year projects or were impacted and/or delayed throughout 2019/20 for a variety of reasons including COVID-19 restrictions.  There are contracts and purchase orders committing these works to be undertaken during 2020/21.

impacts of recommendation

The proposed carry forward budget will add to the Adopted 2020/21 New Works Program budget.  The projects that require carry forward budget are mostly multi year projects and can be completed within the existing allocated resources.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The necessary consultation with the community has been undertaken for a majority of the projects where funds are being carried forward into 2020/21.  Where appropriate, the status of key projects that have been delayed will be communicated to the community to keep them informed of progress and the anticipated completion dates. 

Report

Introduction

This report provides an overview of the financial performance and status of the New Works Program at the end of the 2019/20 financial year and the proposed carry forward into the 2020/21 New Works Program.  This report includes:

·    A financial summary of the 2019/20 program to the end of June 2020 (Attachment 1).

·    A detailed progress report on individual projects within the New Works Program (Attachment 2).

·    Photos on the progress of a sample of completed and significant projects (Attachment 3).

·    Status report on Infrastructure Grant Applications (Attachment 4)

·    Proposed carry forward of budget into the 2020/21 program (Attachment 5).

The year-end expenditure for the 2019/20 New Works Program is $66,964,987 which includes payments and accruals for work completed to the 30 June 2020.

The adjusted delivery rate is 86.3% taking into consideration abnormal items such as net surplus on completed projects, unbudgeted income (eg grants awarded during the financial year), unavoidable delays and circumstances beyond Council’s control (such as COVID-19 related impacts).

The fourth quarter was a period when many projects progressed to completion or substantially near complete.  In particular, the following key projects have been completed:

·    PID 0696 Construct playing fields and pavilion – Lalor West Reserve (Mosaic)

·    PID 0703 Painted Hills Rec Reserve and Community Pavilion, Doreen

·    PID 1324 Construct pavilion and car park – Harvest Home Road, Epping North

·    PID 1815 Bundoora Shopping Centre Upgrade

·    PID 2145 Norris Bank Reserve Master Plan Implementation, Bundoora

·    PID 3022 Urbanise Cookes Road (Bridge Inn Road to 45 Cookes Road, Doreen)

·    PID 3141 Breadalbane Park basketball key and ring, Mernda

·    PID 3299 Blackspot Project McLeans Road, Bundoora

 

Significant projects scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020/21 are:

·    PID 1142 Upgrade tennis courts and pavilion – TH Hurrey Recreation Reserve, Yan Yean

·    PID 1419 Construct Edgars Creek (Ganbu Gulinj) Community Activity Centre, Epping North

·    PID 1698 Upgrade pavilion - Main Street Reserve Thomastown

·    PID 2205 Sycamore BMX Track and Car Park Lighting

Background

Council adopted the 2019/20 New Works Program on 6 June 2019 with a budget of $72,659,135 plus $16,857,345 carry forward, providing a total budget of $89,516,480.

Throughout the year individual project budget adjustments have been reported through quarterly reports to Council, providing a revised annual budget of $87,448,009.

This is a result of projects being completed with savings, unbudgeted external funding received, projects delivered as Works-in-Kind and projects requiring additional funds.

Consultation

The New Works Program is a component of the Council budget which undergoes statutory community engagement as part of the annual budget cycle.  Additionally, specific external and internal stakeholder consultation is undertaken for individual projects and programs.

Financial Implications

A summary of the program performance by group can be found below.  A list of all projects with their current status has been included in Attachment 2.

Financial Status of the New Works Program by Group:

Group

Year End Actuals

Annual Budget   

Revised Budget post Q3

Variance to Revised Budget

Proposed Carry Forward Budget

Buildings

23,149,220

31,569,613

32,506,864

9,357,644

6,492,318

Drains

427,536

275,000

570,700

143,164

147,773

Feasibility & Planning

491,758

500,000

500,000

8,242

0

Open Space

9,493,336

14,170,596

13,115,974

3,622,638

2,891,691

Plant & Equipment

2,986,746

3,421,033

3,486,033

499,287

100,000

Roads & Paths

19,584,296

28,458,474

26,061,586

6,477,290

5,515,204

Transport

10,832,096

11,121,764

11,206,852

374,756

311,345

Total

66,964,987

89,516,480

87,448,009

20,483,021

15,458,331

The year-end result was a net surplus to the approved annual budget of $1,694,563 derived from projects completed under budget and unbudgeted income received through grant opportunities.

Some key projects that have been impacted throughout the year are proposed to be carried forward to 2020/21 to enable their completion and compliance with awarded contracts. This is a result of COVID-19, latent conditions, inclement weather, inadequate tender submissions and service authority delays.

This equates to a proposed carry forward of $15,548,331 into 2020/21 to enable completion of these projects. An itemised list of these projects and justification for carry forward is included in Attachment 5.

COVID 19 Impacts

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted some projects mainly through delays of specific materials that are sourced from overseas and interstate, contractor restrictions and availability and social distancing requirements.  This resulted in a delayed expenditure of $3,637,400 to projects in the 2019/20 New Works Program.  The projects affected include:

·    Project ID 1589 Redevelop Mill Park Leisure Centre

·    Project ID 2072 Streetscape improvements program - Lalor High Street Shops

·    Project ID 2077 Streetscape improvements program - Thomastown High Street Shops

·    Project ID 2192 All Abilities Playspace - Mill Park

·    Project ID 2205 Sycamore BMX Lighting - Track and Car Park

Infrastructure Grants

A total of $24,208,513 grant applications were submitted since 1 July 2019 with $10,581,700 being successful (44%).

Refer to Attachment 4 for a detailed list of successful and pending applications.

Policy strategy and legislation

Business cases were prepared for individual projects to ensure best value against the relevant policies and strategies.

Lessons learnt and continuous improvement plans are implemented to enhance systems, processes and practices to improve the planning and delivery of the New Works Program.

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

Council prepares a 4/15 Year New Works Program to plan for future new infrastructure and renewal needs. Failure to address community needs will result in inadequate infrastructure and services being provided.

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

This report provides a summary of the status of the New Works Program at the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

The adjusted delivery rate is 86.3% after taking into consideration abnormal items such as net surplus, unavoidable delays and circumstances beyond Council’s control (such as COVID-19 related impacts).

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the 2019/20 Year End New Works Program report.

2.       Note the adjusted delivery rate of 86.3% to the revised budget.

3.       Approve the proposed carry forward of projects totalling $15,458,331.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:                Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.4      2019-20 Net Cash Year end report

Attachments:                        1       Report of Cash Result   

Responsible Officer:            Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Coordinator Management Accounting   

 

Brief overview

This report provides an overview to Council of the operating cash result for the year ended 30 June 2020 and seeks Council’s endorsement to distribute the favourable operating variance to reserves for future strategic use.

KEY FACTS

The achievement of operating cash surpluses by Council provides the ability to make necessary financial contributions to the City’s future funding of community infrastructure (capital works projects) and key organisational initiatives.

After adjusting for the following one-off factors:

i.    The take up of $10.663M in cash grants received in advance from the State and Federal governments for use in 2020/21;

ii.   The avoidance of loan repayment and interest expenses of $2.782M by Council deferring new loan borrowings during the year;

iii.   Deferred programmed operational expenditure of $1.549M; and

iv.  A favourable capital works budget surplus of $1.695M, the adjusted underlying 2019/20 operating budget cash surplus achieved was $2.7M.

The main contributors to this favourable adjusted operating cash budget result was:

a)   Additional income received of $2.583M through supplementary rates and Developer contributions associated with growth and development of the municipality.

The total rolled up 2019/20 net cash position after taking into account all above factors is $19.455M favourable, comprising a Capital budget favourability of $1.694M and Operating budget favourability of $17.761M.

Affecting this result was the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced during the April to June quarter of 2020, which was a net expenditure deficit consequence of $1.12M.

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

1.      Note the rolled up 2019/20 net cash position, which shows a cash surplus between budget and actual of $19.455 million (capital $1.694 million, operating $17.761 million).

2.      Endorse the transfers from the net operating cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a.    Allocation of State and Federal Government grants of $10,663,265 received in advance for use in 2020/21 to a Grants Reserve for expenditure in accordance with respective grant conditions and requirements.

b.    Allocation of $2,580,786 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

c.    Provisional allocation of $1,000,000 for further emergency relief and response as result of the continued impacts of the ongoing COVID19 environment.

d.    Allocation of $1,617,176 relating to postponed expenditure on approved digital technology projects to the Technology Improvement Reserve to continue the investment in digital transformation across the organisation.

e.    Allocation of $350,544 to the People Plan Reserve to fund the implementation of the approved People Strategy embedding of a number of overarching initiatives including cultural transformation, workforce planning and capability framework.

3.      Endorse the transfers from the net new works (Capital) cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a.    Allocation of $1,694,563 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

rationale for recommendation

The recommendations are in accordance with the terms of reference for strategic discretionary reserves that was adopted by Council at its 31 October 2017 meeting. Further the recommendations provide allocations to capital works funding and key organisational initiatives.

impacts of recommendation

Financial resources will be available for future strategic use.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Financial performance against budget is monitored closely and presented to the Executive Leadership Team and Council on a regular basis. 

Report

Background

The attached report of cash result reconciles Council’s cash surplus to the Comprehensive Income Statement surplus for 2019/20.

The statement shows a net cash position of $19.828 million which is $19.455 million greater than the adopted budget of $0.372 million and $16.402 million greater than the mid-year budget.

The major items which have contributed to this cash surplus are tabled below:

Major items which contributed to cash surplus

Variance $

Victorian Grants Commission Financial Assistance Grant received in advance to fund 2020/21 expenditure

7,489,552

Other grant income received in advance to fund 2020/21 expenditure

3,173,713

Loan payments and interest due to budgeted new borrowings not undertaken during the year

2,781,769

Supplementary valuation and waste collection income arising from higher than expected development activity

2,582,712

Capital works surplus (see 2019/20 New Works Program – Year End Report)

1,694,563

Unexpended budgeted costs related to the digital technology strategy

1,617,176

19,339,485

Of this favourable variance to adopted budget, $10.663 million relates to the prepayment of the 2020/21 Financial Assistance Grant and other grant income which was budgeted to be received in 2020/21. This grant income has been budgeted in 2020/21 and is required to fund expenditure in 2020/21. The accounting treatment of income required under the new accounting standards requires this income to be recognised in 2019/20 and therefore this does not constitute a true surplus in 2019/20, hence it is proposed that these funds be transferred to a grants reserve to fund budgeted 2020/21 committed expenditure.

The Finance team has closely analysed the factors contributing to the net operating cash surplus in consultation with relevant stakeholders, in order to assess the potential impact on the Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) for future years. Refer to attachment 1 for Council's net cash year-end report and commentary on the variances between actual and budget.

Proposal

The 2019/20 net cash year-end report presents the net operating cash result for the 2019/20 financial year and highlights the major variances between actual and budgeted operational performance (Attachment 1).  

Proposal of the following transfers of the 2019/20 net cash surplus to the following reserves:

·    Allocation of State and Federal Government grants of $10,663,265 received in advance for use in 2020/21 to a Grants Reserve for expenditure in accordance with respective grant conditions and requirements.

·    Allocation of $2,580,786 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

·    Provisional allocation of $1,000,000 for further emergency relief and response as result of the continued impacts of the ongoing COVID19 environment.

·    Allocation of $1,617,176 relating to postponed expenditure on approved digital technology projects to the Technology Improvement Reserve to continue the investment in digital transformation across the organisation.

·    Allocation of $350,544 to the People Plan Reserve to fund the implementation of the approved People Strategy embedding of a number of overarching initiatives including cultural transformation, workforce planning and capability framework.

The remaining $1,548,888 of the surplus is restricted to fund deferred programmed operational expenditure which will be completed in 2020/21.

As reported in attachment 1 and the 2019/20 new works year-end report, the capital program surplus of $1,694,563 is proposed to be transferred to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.  Refer to the 2019/20 new works year-end Council report for analysis on this surplus.

The above proposals are in accordance with the Terms of Reference for Strategic Discretionary Reserves that were adopted by Council at its 31 October 2017 meeting.

Consultation

A review of the 2019/20 end of year financial performance has been undertaken in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team and department managers for the preparation of this report.

Financial Implications

As discussed above, it is proposed to reallocate the amount of the surplus that exceeds budget to reserves for future strategic use.

Policy strategy and legislation

The recommendations made in this report align with the principles of responsible financial management that underpin Council’s Strategic Resource Plan.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Financial Sustainability - Inability to meet current and future expenditure

This report provides Council with an oversight of the City of Whittlesea’s key financial information to enable monitoring and to ensure City of Whittlesea’s financial position is sustainable.

 

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

The 2019/20 end of year financial performance presents a net cash position of $19.455 million.  The proposed treatment of reallocating the surplus to reserves for future strategic use is consistent with responsible financial management principles.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the 2019-20 net cash position, which shows a cash surplus between budget and actual of $19.455 million (capital $1.694 million, operating $17.761 million).

2.       Endorse the transfers from the net operating cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a)      Allocate State and Federal Government grants of $10,663,265 received in advance for use in 2020/21 to a Grants Reserve for expenditure in accordance with respective grant conditions and requirements.

b)      Allocate $2,580,786 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

c)      Allocate a provisional $1,000,000 for further emergency relief and response as result of the continued impacts of the ongoing COVID19 environment.

d)      Allocate $1,617,176 relating to postponed expenditure on approved digital technology projects to the Technology Improvement Reserve to continue the investment in digital transformation across the organisation.

e)      Allocate $350,544 to the People Plan Reserve to fund the implementation of the approved People Strategy embedding of a number of overarching initiatives including cultural transformation, workforce planning and capability framework.

3.       Endorse the transfers from the net capital cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a)      Allocate $1,694,563 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

 

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:                Administrator Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the 2019-20 net cash position, which shows a cash surplus between budget and actual of $19.455 million (capital $1.694 million, operating $17.761 million).

2.       Endorse the transfers from the net operating cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a)      Allocate State and Federal Government grants of $10,663,265 received in advance for use in 2020/21 to a Grants Reserve for expenditure in accordance with respective grant conditions and requirements.

b)      Allocate $2,580,786 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

c)      Allocate a provisional $1,000,000 for further emergency relief and response as result of the continued impacts of the ongoing COVID19 environment.

d)      Allocate $1,617,176 relating to postponed expenditure on approved digital technology projects to the Technology Improvement Reserve to continue the investment in digital transformation across the organisation.

e)      Allocate $350,544 to the People Plan Reserve to fund the implementation of the approved People Strategy embedding of a number of overarching initiatives including cultural transformation, workforce planning and capability framework.

3.       Endorse the transfers from the net capital cash surplus to reserves as follows:

a)      Allocate $1,694,563 to the Infrastructure Reserve to fund future strategic infrastructure projects.

4.       Receive an Officer report at a forthcoming Council meeting outlining additional projects of community benefit which could be funded through the Infrastructure Reserve in the short term including, but not limited to:

a)          sustainability projects;

b)         streetscape improvements;

c)          pedestrian and bike links; and

d)         phase one of the Gathering Place.

 

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.5      Certification of 2019/20 Financial Statement & Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting

Attachments:                        1       2019-20 Financial Statements

2       2019-20 Performance Statements

3       Draft Audit and Risk Committee minutes   

Responsible Officer:            Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Acting Manager Finance & Assets   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

THAT Council resolve to:

1.   Note the Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee Meeting held on 20 August 2020.

2.   Approve in principle the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

3.   Authorise the Principal Accounting Officer to make minor amendments to the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to meet the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) requirements.

4.   Authorise Audit & Risk Committee Council representatives, Administrator Lydia Wilson and Administrator Bruce Bilson to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

5.   Authorise the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Accounting Officer to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

6.   Authorise the final audited Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government as part of the Annual Report by 30 September 2020.

Brief overview

This report seeks Council approval for adoption in principle of the City of Whittlesea Annual Financial Statements (Attachment 1) and Performance Statement (Attachment 2) for the year ended 30 June 2020 and authorisation of two Administrators to sign the certifications included in the Reports.

As required under Council’s Audit and Risk Committee Charter, this report also presents the Unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee meeting held on 20 August 2020 (Attachment 3).

rationale for recommendation

·    Council is required to submit its audited financial statements and performance statement to the Minister for Local Government by 30 September each year under the Local Government Act 1989 section 131 and the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014.

·    The Financial Statements and Performance Statement have been reviewed by the Audit and Risk Committee and Council’s external auditor at the Audit and Risk Committee meeting held on 20 August 2020 with no audit qualification or high-risk issues identified.

impacts of recommendation

Council will meet its legislative requirements for Council’s Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The impact is monitored regularly by finance and presented to the Executive Leadership Team and Council on a regular basis. This is further measured and assessed in accordance with the development of Council’s budget and long-term financial plan.

 

Report

Background

The Financial Statements (Attachment 1) and Performance Statement (Attachment 2) are required to be certified by Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and two Administrators on behalf of Council prior to Council’s auditor signing the audit certifications.

The draft Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 are firstly presented to Council’s Audit and Risk Committee for review and recommendation for adoption by Council.  The review focuses on:

·    Accounting policies and practices, including any changes to accounting policies and practices;

·    Compliance with accounting standards and other reporting requirements;

·    Significant adjustments to the financial report (if any) arising from the audit process; and

·    Significant variances from prior years.

As required under Council’s Audit and Risk Committee Charter, this report also presents the Unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee meeting held on 20 August 2020 (Attachment 3).

aUDIT and RISK cOMMITTEE MEETING 20 AugUst 2020

The Audit and Risk Committee discussed and reviewed the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement with a representative of Council’s external auditor, Kathie Teasdale (RSD).

The Committee recommended minor amendments which have been incorporated and are reflected in the attached Draft Financial Statements and Performance Statement. 

Comprehensive result

The Comprehensive Income Statement includes an amount after the total surplus (deficit) that represents the net revaluation increase of all property and infrastructure assets.  Therefore, the total comprehensive result for the year ended 30 June 2020 is $54.061 million.

Council measures its underlying operational result to assist in the determination of whether it is operating in a sustainable fashion or not. The underlying result is an important indicator of Council's long-term financial sustainability. Whilst an underlying deficit in one financial year is not significant, the continued recording of deficits over a sustained period from Council's operations gradually erodes the net assets of Council.

The underlying result from operations excludes transactions which are either 'non-recurring' or not operational in nature. These items are frequently unpredictable and typically can change from one year to the next. The best examples of these items are assets (roads, footpaths, drains, land reserves, etc) that are given to Council by developers once a new subdivision is completed. There are also other accounting adjustments for when existing assets are revalued.

The aim of an underlying result is to determine whether Council's operational costs/income result is a surplus or deficit outcome. In this way, Council can, in long-term financial planning, aim for an outcome where pure operational outcomes assist Council in achieving a sustainable organisation.

The table below shows the underlying operational result for the year ended 30 June 2020.

Comprehensive Result from Comprehensive Income Statement

$54.061M

Less Other comprehensive income:

 

Asset revaluation increment (decrement)

($50.327M)

Surplus for the year from Comprehensive Income Statement

$104.388M

Less Non-operating income and expenditure

 

Grants – capital (non-recurring)

$1.673M

Contributions – cash (developer contributions)

$17.658M

Contributions - non-monetary assets

$79.547M

Underlying surplus (deficit)

$5.510M

While showing a total comprehensive result of $54.061 million, the table above shows that the City of Whittlesea’s underlying operating result for the year ended 30 June 2020 is a surplus of $5.510 million. 

Financial sustainability indicators

The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office publishes Council’s result against a range of indicators used to assist in measuring performance and financial sustainability. The estimated result of the 2019/20 indicators are presented in the table below.

RATIO

2019/20

COMMENTS

Net Result

(Net result / total revenue)

33%

Green

This ratio measures Council’s ability to fund operations and asset renewal.  Operating deficits cannot be sustained in the long term.

A less than -10% (deficit) is deemed high risk (red) and a positive result is desirable (green).

 

Adjusted underlying result

(Adjusted underlying

surplus (or deficit) /

Adjusted underlying revenue)

2.47%

Amber

Indicator of the broad objective that an adjusted underlying surplus should be generated in the ordinary course of business. A surplus or increasing surplus suggests an improvement in the operating position.

 

A result of less than 0% is deemed as high risk (red) and a result higher than 5% is desirable (green).

Liquidity

(Current assets / current liabilities)

3.18

Green

This ratio measures Council’s ability to pay existing liabilities in the next 12 months.

A result of less than 0.75 is deemed as high risk (red) and a result higher than 1 is desirable (green).

 

Internal financing

(Net operating cash flows / net capital expenditure)

127%

Green

This ratio measures Council’s ability to replace assets using cash generated from operations.

A result of less than 75% is deemed as high risk (red) and a result higher than 100% is desirable (green).

 

Indebtedness

(non-current liabilities / own-sourced revenue)

5.6%

Green

This ratio measures Council’s ability to cover its non-current liabilities with its own sourced revenue.

A result of more than 60% is deemed as high risk (red) and a result lower than 40% is desirable (green).

 

Capital replacement (Cash outflows for property, plant and equipment / Depreciation)

1.81

Green

Comparison of the rate of spending on infrastructure with its depreciation.

A result lower than 1 is deemed high risk (red) and a result higher than 1.5 is desirable (green).

 

Renewal gap

(Renewal and upgrade expenditure / depreciation)

0.89

Amber

 

Comparison of the rate of spending on existing assets through renewing, restoring and replacing existing assets with depreciation.

A ratio lower than 0.5 is deemed high risk (red) and a result higher than 1 is desirable (green).

 

Overall assessment for long-term financial sustainability

 

Green

The City of Whittlesea remains low risk (green) for its long-term financial sustainability.

Proposal

It is proposed that Council:

1.   Note the Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee Meeting held on 20 August 2020.

2.   Approve in principle the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

3.   Authorise the Principal Accounting Officer to make minor amendments to the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to meet the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) requirements.

4.   Authorise Audit & Risk Committee Council representatives, Administrator Lydia Wilson and Administrator Bruce Bilson to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

5.   Authorise the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Accounting Officer to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

6.   Authorise the final audited Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government as part of the Annual Report by 30 September 2020.

Consultation

Consultation has been conducted with the relevant Council departments and external service providers as necessary through the course of the audit.

Critical Dates

Council is required to submit its audited financial statements to the Minister for Local Government by 30 September each year.

Financial Implications

The cost of the annual audit by VAGO is included within Council’s annual budget.

Policy strategy and legislation

Local Government Act 1989 section 131 and the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Financial Sustainability - Inability to meet current and future expenditure

This report provides Council with an oversight of the City of Whittlesea’s key financial information and performance obligations to enable monitoring and to ensure City of Whittlesea’s financial position is sustainable.

 

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

The Unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee meeting held on 20 August 2020, (Attachment 3) are presented for information.

The Financial Statements and Performance Statement have been reviewed by the Audit and Risk Committee and Council’s external auditor at the Audit and Risk Committee meeting held on 20 August 2020 with no audit qualification or high-risk issues identified.

Two Administrators are required to sign the certification of the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement once clearance is obtained from the Victorian Auditor-General and after the Principal Accounting Officer has signed his certification. 

In accordance with usual practice, it is proposed that the Administrators on the Audit and Risk Committee be authorised to sign the certification on behalf of Council after the necessary clearance has been obtained. 

If late changes are made to the Annual Financial Statements or Performance Statement, including those required after the VAGO review, it is also proposed that the approval given to the Administrators be extended to enable them to sign the certification after the necessary changes have been made.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee Meeting held on 20 August 2020.

2.       Approve in principle the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

3.       Authorise the Principal Accounting Officer to make minor amendments to the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to meet the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) requirements.

4.       Authorise Audit & Risk Committee Council representatives, Administrator Lydia Wilson and Administrator Bruce Bilson to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

5.       Authorise the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Accounting Officer to sign-off on the Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020.

6.       Authorise the final audited Annual Financial Statements and Performance Statement for the year ended 30 June 2020 to be forwarded to the Minister for Local Government as part of the Annual Report by 30 September 2020.

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:                Administrator Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried unanimously

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                       Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDDRAFTOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                                                                                                       Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                       Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.6      Public Transparency Policy 2020

Attachments:                        1       Public Transparency Policy 2020   

Responsible Officer:            Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Principal Governance Advisor   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Public Transparency Policy 2020.

Brief overview

This report seeks to adopt the Public Transparency Policy which states Council’s commitment to open and transparent decision-making and informs the community on the type of Council information that will be made publicly available.

rationale for recommendation

It is a requirement under section 57 of the Local Government Act 2020 for Council to adopt and maintain a Public Transparency Policy on or before 1 September 2020.

impacts of recommendation

Adopting the Policy ensures that Council complies with legislative requirements and affirms Council’s commitment to open and transparent decision-making.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Relevant Council information will be published on Council’s website together with a copy of the Public Transparency Policy.

 

 

Report

PROPOSAL

The objective of the Policy is to promote openness and transparency in Council decision-making processes and to raise public awareness of the availability of Council information.

The Policy seeks to achieve the objective by increasing community confidence and trust in Council’s decision-making processes by providing greater access to Council information and by promoting greater understanding and awareness by the community of how Council’s decisions are made.

The Policy also seeks to facilitate public access to information that is current, easily accessible and disseminated in a timely manner.  The proposed Policy is contained in Attachment 1 of this report.

Consultation

Administrators were briefed on the draft policy and have provided feedback.

A public consultation process was also carried out to seek feedback from the community.  The draft Policy was published on Council’s website seeking community input for a period of 14 days to allow Council to meet the statutory deadline for adopting the Policy.  It is acknowledged that the consultation time was shorter than is preferred but was necessary to enable Council to meet the statutory deadline. 

There were no community submissions received in relation to the draft Policy at the close of the public consultation period.

Critical Dates

Council is required to adopt the Public Transparency Policy on or before 1 September 2020.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications regarding the adoption of this Policy.

Policy strategy and legislation

Section 57 of the Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to adopt and maintain a Public Transparency Policy by 1 September 2020.

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

If the Public Transparency Policy is not adopted by Council by 1 September 2020, Council will be in breach of legislative requirements.

 

 

 

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              High-performing organisation

Key Direction               More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

 

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 Public Transparency Policy be adopted to promote openness and transparency in Council decision-making processes and to raise public awareness on the availability of Council information.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Public Transparency Policy as attached to this report.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried UNANIMOUSLY

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.7      Governance Rules - Local Government Act 2020

Attachments:                        1       Draft Governance Rules 2020   

Responsible Officer:            Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to adopt the Governance Rules as contained in Attachment 1 of the report.

Brief overview

The report recommends that Council adopt the Governance Rules in accordance with section 60 of the Local Government Act 2020, which requires Council to adopt and keep in force Governance Rules.

rationale for recommendation

The adoption of Governance Rules is a requirement under the Local Government Act 2020. Council currently has a Procedural Matters Local Law (No. 1 of 2018) which regulates proceedings at Council Meetings.  The Governance Rules incorporate many of the provisions of the Procedural Matters Local Law which have been amended to reflect the provisions of the new Local Government Act 2020.

impacts of recommendation

The new Rules will ensure that Council is meeting its legislative obligations and will put in place meeting procedures that will facilitate Council’s deliberations.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The Governance Rules will be reviewed by Council in 2021 after they have been in operation for a period of time. This will provide Council with an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the Rules and to provide feedback on any amendments that may be required.

 

Report

Background

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to develop, adopt and keep in force Governance Rules. The Rules will partly replace the current Procedural Matters Local Law (No 1 of 2018) (Local Law) and will address many of the areas currently regulated by the Local Law including the conduct of Council Meetings and meetings of delegated committees and the processes related to Council meeting agendas and minutes.

The draft Rules include the new conflict of interest provisions which will come into operation on 24 October 2020 and will also incorporate Council’s Election Period Policy.  The Rules also acknowledge that Council currently comprises of a Panel of Administrators.

Councils are required to adopt their first Governance Rules on or before 1 September 2020.

The Governance Rules must regulate:

·    The conduct of Council Meetings;

·    The conduct of delegated committees;

·    The form and availability of meeting records;

·    The election of a Mayor and Deputy Mayor;

·    An election period policy;

·    Process around the disclosure of conflicts of interest; and

·    Other matters prescribed by the regulations.

Once adopted, the Governance Rules will operate to the exclusion of those parts of the Procedural Matters Local Law that they essentially duplicate. Where there is an inconsistency between the Governance Rules and the Procedural Matters Local Law, the Governance Rules will take precedence. Council will undertake a review of the Procedural Matters Local Law in the near future to remove any duplication. The Procedural Matters Local Law will remain in operation as not all sections of the Procedural Matters Local Law are able to be addressed by the draft Governance Rules, including the provisions relating to the use of Council’s common seal and the offence provisions.  Changes to a Local Law take at least 3 months which explains why the review will occur after the adoption of the Governance Rules, which is required by the statutory deadline of 1 September.

Proposal

That Council resolve to adopt the Governance Rules, as contained in Attachment 1 of this report.

Consultation

Council’s lawyers reviewed the Rules and assisted in incorporating elements of the existing Procedural Matters Local Law into the draft.

The Rules were presented to the Panel of Administrators at an Administrator Briefing meeting on 21 July 2020 and the feedback received has been incorporated into a draft.

Subsequently, the draft Rules were published on Council’s website and members of the community were invited to provide feedback for a period of 14 days. The public feedback period opened on 24 July 2020 and closed on 7 August 2020. 

During this time, no feedback was received.  It is acknowledged that the consultation time was shorter than is preferred but was necessary to enable Council to meet the statutory deadline. 

Critical Dates

Council is required to adopt the Governance Rules under section 60 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 Governance Rules. There was a small cost to Council in drafting the Governance rules which is included in Council’s recurrent budget.

Policy strategy and legislation

The Governance Rules are linked to the following pieces of legislation, Council policies and Council Guidelines:

Legislation

Local Government Act 2020

Section 60 of the Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to adopt Governance Rules and prescribes what must be included. The Governance Rules also reflect the various requirements of the Local Government Act 2020, including the conflict of interest provisions.

City of Whittlesea policies and guidelines

Election Period Policy

The Election Period Policy is incorporated in the Draft Governance Rules as required by the Local Government Act 2020.

Public Question Time Policy and Procedural Guidelines

The Public Question Time Policy and Procedural Guidelines detail Council’s procedures around the asking of public questions at Council Meetings, as referred to in Rule 21 of the draft Governance Rules.

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 its Governance Rules, it will be in breach of its legislative obligations.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              High-performing organisation

Key Direction               More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

 

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 Council adopt the Governance Rules, as contained in Attachment 1, noting that Council’s Election Period Policy has been incorporated into the Rules.

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Governance Rules, as contained in Attachment 1 of this report.

 

council resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve:

1.          To adopt the Governance Rules 2020 as contained in Attachment one of the report, subject to the following amendments:

A.         Chapter 1, rule 1(b)(i) be amended to read as follows:

                   Public Question Time Policy, adopted by the Council on 3 July 2018 and as amended or replaced by the Council from time to time.

 

B.         Chapter 1, rule 21 be amended to read as follows:

                   Questions to Administrators

                   A member of the public may submit a question or questions to the Council to be answered at a Scheduled Council Meeting in accordance with policy and procedures adopted from time to time by the Council.

2.          That a review of Council’s Public Question Time Policy be presented to Council at the 6 October 2020 Scheduled Council Meeting.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                                                                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.8      Amended Council Meeting Schedule for 2020  

Responsible Officer:            Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Team Leader Governance Administration   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

THAT Council resolve to amend the Council Meeting schedule for 2020.

Brief overview

It is proposed to amend the remainder of the Council Meeting schedule for 2020 by changing the start time of Council meetings scheduled for November and December from 6.30pm to 3pm and to reschedule the Council Meeting for 8 December to Monday 7 December 2020.

rationale for recommendation

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, Council proposes to amend the start time to 3.00pm for the remainder of the Council Meeting schedule for 2020 and to accommodate Administrator availability, reschedule the Council Meeting planned for 8 December 2020 to Monday 7 December 2020. 

impacts of recommendation

All Council meetings are live-streamed and a recording is publicly available, therefore meetings can be viewed by residents at their convenience.

Council Meetings are generally held in the Council Chamber.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until 1 November 2020, section 394 of the Local Government Act 2020 allows Administrators to participate in meetings remotely by electronic means, subject to certain requirements.  The November time limit may be extended by the State Government depending on health advice.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Amendments to the 2020 schedule will be published on Council’s website and promoted through Council’s social media channels to encourage members of the community to watch Council meetings by live-stream or recording. 

 

Report

Introduction

To adopt an amended Council Meeting schedule for 2020.

Background

The Council meeting schedule for 2020 was adopted at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 6 August 2019 and amended on 12 November 2019 and 7 April 2020.

All Council meetings are live-streamed, and a recording is publicly available, therefore can be viewed by residents at their convenience.

Council Meetings are generally held in the Council Chamber with the exception for the period from 1 May to 1 November 2020.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic during this s394 of the Local Government Act 2020 allows Administrators to participate in meetings remotely entirely by electronic means of communication.

Proposal

It is proposed that Council:

1.       Amend the commencement time for the Council meeting scheduled on 17 November 2020 from 6.30pm to 3pm.

2.       Reschedule the Council meeting scheduled for 8 December 2020 to Monday 7 December 2020 and amend the commencement time for this meeting from 6.30pm to 3pm.

3.       Set the venue as the Council Chamber, Council Offices, 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang.

4.       Give public notice of the amended Council Meeting schedule for 2020.

Critical Dates

The schedule for proposed Council meeting dates for 2021 will be considered at the Council Meeting on Monday 7 December 2020.

Financial Implications

Costs associated with holding Council Meetings are covered in existing budgets.

link to strategic risks

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

Regular Council meetings promote open and transparent decision making and civic engagement.

 

 

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              High-performing organisation

Key Direction               More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

 

Conducting Council meetings throughout the year gives the community an opportunity to become involved in Council’s decision-making process on issues that affect the 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 the relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

It is recommended that the proposed amended Council meeting schedule for 2020 be adopted and advertised to the public. 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Amend the commencement time for the Council meeting scheduled on 17 November 2020 from 6.30pm to 3pm.

2.       Reschedule the Council meeting scheduled for 8 December 2020 to Monday 7 December 2020 and amend the commencement time for this meeting from 6.30pm to 3pm.

3.    Set the venue as the Council Chamber, Council Offices, 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang; and

4.      Give public notice of the amended Council Meeting schedule for 2020.

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:                Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.1.9      Assemblies of Administrators - 1 September 2020  

Responsible Officer:            Acting Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

recommendation summary

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

BRIEF OVERVIEW

The Council is required to note at a Council Meeting that meetings involving Administrators have taken place and topics discussed.  This report provides details involving the Panel of Administrators within the last month.

rationale for recommendation

It is a requirement of the Local Government Act 1989 for Assemblies of Councillors (Administrators) records to be reported to Council.

impacts of recommendation

Meets the legislative requirement which contributes to promotion of open and transparent decision making.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

No impacts are expected.  On rare occasions an item considered at a meeting receives a media enquiry.  If requests for more information are received, these will be managed by our communications team in consultation with the Chair of Administrators.

 

 


 

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

13 July 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

SPO

1.      Administrator Protocols.

2.     Confidential item: Land Acquisition Woodstock.

Nil disclosures

 

Whittlesea Disability Network

14 July 2020

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

 

APO

ASPO

CSPO

DCS

PBUM

TLA

1.     Welcome and Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners.

2.     Introductions and Apologies.

3.     Declaration of Interest.

4.     Minutes of the Previous Meeting.

5.     Business arising from the Minutes.

6.     Council Update:

a.    Digital Devices Grant Update.

b.    Working for Victoria Job Positions Update.

7.     Carers Support Program update.

8.     Carers Victoria Presentation.

9.     Information Sharing.

10.   Action Items.

Nil disclosures

Administrator Briefing

21 July 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

HOC

CIO

EA

OSO

 

1.     Customer Requests and Complaint Handling.

2.     Social Media Discussion, 2020 Guidelines and Draft Protocols.

3.     Councillor Expenses and Reimbursement Policy.

4.     Review of Council Delegations to the CEO and members of Council staff.

5.     Public Transparency Policy.

6.     Draft Governance Rules 2020.

7.     Confidential Item: Overview of Current Legal Matters.

Nil disclosures

 

Administrator Briefing

28 July 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

MCBP

PEA

SAA

MBP

MSPD

MCCD

TLACD

 

1.     Whittlesea 2040 Overview, Engagement Approach and Advocacy Framework.

2.     Proposed Advocacy Priorities 2020/2021.

3.     Administrator Engagement with Business, Developers and Investors.

4.     BIFT – Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal.

        External Attendees for this item: Qube Consulting Staff Members.

5.     Whittlesea Reconciliation Group (WRG) Pre-Meeting Brief.

Nil disclosures

Administrator Briefing

4 August 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

SPPO

TLED

MCBP

CIO

 

1.     City of Whittlesea – Profile of our Community.

2.     Information Technology and Digital Innovation Strategy.

Nil disclosures

 

Administrator Briefing

10 August 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

ALO

MBP

MCCD

MSPD

TLACD

 

1.      Strategic and Statutory Planning Overview.

2.      Reactive Hearings.

3.      COW Australia Day Celebration Event: Review and Recommendation.

4.      Developer Contributions Program.

External attendee from Maddocks Lawyers was present for this item.

Nil disclosures

 

 

 

Administrator Briefing

18 August 2020

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

(Administrator)

Peita Duncan (Administrator)

ACEO

DCTP

DCS

DCRS

DPPE

MG

HOC

ALC

MCCD

MLCF

MPC

TLACD

TLCIP

 

1.     Community and Leisure Infrastructure Provision and Casa D’Abruzzo Indoor Sports Stadium Proposal.

2.     Amended Council Meeting Schedule for 2020 and Council Meeting Schedule for 2021.

3.     General Business - Supporting Local Business.

 

4.     Whittlesea Reconciliation Group (WRG) Presentation to Administrators.

External attendees from WRG were present for this item.

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

MG

Manager Governance – Michael Tonta

ALC

Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator– Donna Wright

MLCF

Manager Leisure & Community Facilities – Benjamin Waterhouse

APO

Access Project Officer – Ibrahim Elsoukmani

MPC

Manager People & Capability – Sanjib Roy

ASPO

Administration Support & Project Officer – Kayla Mountjoy

MSPD

Manager Strategic Planning & Design – George Saisanas

CIO

Chief Information Officer – Hans Wolf

OSO

Office of Chief Executive Officer Support Officer – Jennifer Fothergill

CSPO

Carer Support Programs Officer – Trina Laffy

PBUM

Pandemic Business Unit Manager – Neville Kurth

DCS

Director Community Services – Belgin Besim

PEA

Participation & Engagement Advisor – Luke Hambly

DCRS

Director Corporate Services – Amy Montalti

SAA

Senior Advocacy Adviser – Michele Purtle

DCTP

Director City Transport and Presentation – Ben Harries

SPO

Senior Property Officer – Greg Phippen

DPPE

Director Partnerships, Planning & Engagement – Julian Edwards

SPPO

Social Policy & Project Officer – Karen Greer

EA

Executive Assistant to the Acting Chief Executive Officer – Madeleine Knowles

TLA

Team Leader Access – Stephen Bell

HOC

Head of Communications – Kristi High

TLACD

Team Leader Aboriginal & Cultural Diversity – Nick Butera

MBP

Manager Building & Planning – Karen Leeder

TLCIP

Team Leader Community Infrastructure Planning – David Mazzotta

MCBP

Manager Community Building & Planning – Joanne Kyrkilis

TLED

Team Leader Economic Development – Sarah Rowe

MCCD

Manager Community Cultural Development - Rachel Francis

 

 

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 Billson

Seconded:                Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.2       Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

            Nil Reports


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.3       Community Services

            Nil Reports


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.4       City Transport and Presentation

6.4.1      2020-32 - Construction of McLeans Road Kindergarten, Bundoora - Tender Evaluation Report

Attachments:                        1       Detailed Evaluation - 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 details relating to private commercial information, being information provided by a business, commercial or financial undertaking that—  (i) relates to trade secrets; or (ii) if released, would unreasonably expose the business, commercial or financial undertaking to disadvantage. The attachment contains tender amounts submitted by tenderers and provided to Council in confidence and tender evaluation scoring prepared by Council officers on the tenders. The release of this information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the commercial position of the persons who supplied the information or to confer a commercial advantage on a third party.     

Responsible Officer:            Director City Transport & Presentation

Author:                                  Senior Contracts Executive    

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

It is recommended that contract number 2020-32 for the Construction of McLeans Road Kindergarten is awarded to Circon Constructions Pty Ltd for the lump sum price of $3,775,770 (excl. GST).

Brief overview

The tender evaluation panel advises that:

·    Ten tenders were received; and

·     The recommended tender was the highest ranked and is considered best value because it has demonstrated it has the highest ability to deliver this project in accordance with Council’s specified requirements.

rationale for recommendation

The tender evaluation clearly demonstrated that Circon Constructions Pty Ltd is the best tenderer to undertake this project in accordance with Council’s requirements. The company demonstrated the right capability and capacity to undertake this project, with minimal risk to Council. Circon Constructions Pty Ltd has delivered similar projects for Councils in Victoria and also for the City of Whittlesea. The company is currently undertaking the construction of the Thomastown Primary School Kindergarten.

impacts of recommendation

The main impact is the completion of this project within the 2020/21 New Works Program. The new kindergarten will be completed before the start of the 2022 school calendar year.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

There will be regular consultation with the relevant stakeholders during the delivery of the project. Any change in the progress of this project shall be communicated to affected parties in a timely manner. Contingency plans shall be implemented to manage such impacts.

Report

Background

The purpose of this contract is to engage a Contractor for the redevelopment of the McLeans Road Kindergarten.

The existing McLeans Road Kindergarten is a single room kindergarten built in 1977 within the Norris Bank Reserve in Bundoora.  In order to meet forecast demand in the Bundoora precinct by 2022, Council’s Established Areas Infrastructure Plan (EAIP) recommends the provision of a two-room kindergarten.  A detailed feasibility analysis and Business Case recommended the demolition of the existing outdated facility and the construction of a new two-room kindergarten along with maternal child health rooms and community meeting space.  The existing indented off-road car parking will be expanded to meet the additional parking demand as part of the project.

Tenders for the contract closed on 15 July 2020.  The tendered prices and a summary of the evaluation are detailed in the confidential attachment.

EVALUATION

No member of the Tender Evaluation Panel declared any conflict of interest in relation to this tender evaluation.

A Tender Probity & Evaluation Plan was designed specifically for this tender process and it was authorised prior to this tender being advertised.  All tenders received were evaluated in accordance with that plan.  The evaluation involved scoring of conforming and competitive tenders according to these pre-determined criteria and weightings:

Criteria

Weighting

Price

50%

Capability

23%

Capacity

20%

Impact

7%

The weightings reflect the relative importance of each element to this particular contract.  They were determined as being most appropriate after considering numerous factors including (but not restricted to) the time, quality, risk and contract management requirements which were likely to have the most impact on the achievement of best value.

Only tenders that were conforming and competitive were fully scored.  Tender submissions that were evaluated as non-conforming or not sufficiently competitive were set aside from further evaluation.  In cases where this occurred the reasons for that outcome are detailed in the confidential attachment.

The evaluation outcome was as follows:

TENDERER

CONFORMING

COMPETITIVE

SCORE

RANK

Tenderer A
Circon Constructions Pty Ltd

Yes

Yes

92.4

1

Tenderer B

Yes

Yes

81.7

2

Tenderer C

Yes

Yes

79.2

3

Tenderer D

Yes

Yes

76.2

4

Tenderer E

Yes

Yes

74.0

5

Tenderer F

Yes

Yes

70.5

6

Tenderer G

Yes

Yes

64.1

7

Tenderer H

Yes

Yes

62.5

8

Tenderer I

No

No

N/A

 

Tenderer J

Yes

No

N/A

 

Refer to the confidential attachment for further details of the evaluation of all tenders.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Sufficient funding for this contract is available in the budget for Construct Kindergarten – McLeans Rd Kindergarten.

link to strategic risks

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

Links to WHITTLESEA 2040 AND the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                                 Connected community

Key Direction                                 A socially cohesive community

A new kindergarten facility to meet the population growth and the needs of the diverse community in the Bundoora precinct as identified in the Council’s Established Areas Infrastructure Plan (EAIP).

 

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 tender from Circon Constructions Pty Ltd was determined to be best value and it is considered that this company can perform the contract to the required standards. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to:

1.         Accept the tender submitted by Circon Constructions Pty Ltd for the sum of $3,775,770 (excluding GST) for the following contract:

Number:    2020-32

Title:          Construction of McLeans Rd Kindergarten, Bundoora

subject to the following conditions:

a)    Tenderer to provide proof of currency of insurance cover as required in the tender documents.

b)    Price variations to be in accordance with the provisions as set out in the tender documents.

c)    Tenderer to provide contract security as required in the tender documents.

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

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

  

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

6.5       Corporate Services

6.5.1      Epping Cemetery Trust - Freedom of Information Requests and Abstract of Accounts

Attachments:                        1       Site Plan & Photo

2       Abstract of Accounts 2019/20

3       Signed FOI 2019/20

4       Statutory Declaration Form   

Responsible Officer:            Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Senior Property Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

1.       This report requests that two Administrators, as members of the Trust, be signatories of the 2019/20 Abstract of Accounts (which reports on the annual finance, maintenance and burials records).

2.       Note that the Freedom of Information Commissioner has been advised that no Freedom of Information requests have been received for year ended 30 June 2020.

3.       Due to the public health restrictions in place in Victoria, the statutory declaration process has been modified to allow documents to be signed digitally. Each Administrator (electing to digitally sign the Abstract of Accounts), must also digitally sign the statutory declaration as a supportive document to the Abstract of Accounts.

Brief overview

·    The City of Whittlesea was appointed Trustee of the Epping Cemetery Trust (‘Trust’) on 21 April 1994 under the Cemeteries Act 1958 (now Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003) and all Councillors are Trust members for their term on Council.

·    The Cemetery was widely used for burials through the late 1800’s and 1900’s but has since been retained for conservation value since its formal closure in 1960. 

·    The Epping Cemetery Trust is responsible for the management of native grasses and other flora and fauna located within the site.  All other maintenance, including the replacement and improvement of headstones, remain the responsibility of the descendants of those buried at the cemetery.

rationale for recommendation

·    A signed copy of the ‘Abstract of Accounts 2019/20’ and signed ‘Statutory Declaration Form (two copies)’ must be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services by 1 September 2020.

·    Council officers have confirmed that no Freedom of Information requests have been received during this period.

impacts of recommendation

Failure to provide a signed ‘Abstract of Accounts’ and Freedom Information Report, would result in non-compliance under s. 52(3) of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act.  

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Administrators, as elected representatives of the Epping Cemetery Trust, have appointed Council officers (as responsible officers) to oversee all operational and financial duties of the Epping Cemetery.

An annual report is presented to ensure Council/Administrators are aware of their appointment to the Epping Cemetery Trust and their roles/responsibilities to oversee the overall management of the Epping Cemetery.  

 

Report

Background

The Epping Cemetery, located at the south western corner of High Street and O’Herns Road, Epping, is a closed Class B Cemetery (no longer reserved for the purposes of accepting new burials) that has been managed by Council since its appointment as Committee of Management on 12 April 1994. It remains a historic landmark that symbolises the final resting place of many of the township’s first settlers (refer to Attachment 1 – Site Plan & Photo).

The City of Whittlesea was appointed Trustee of the Epping Cemetery Trust (‘Trust’) on 21 April 1994 under the Cemeteries Act 1958 (now Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003).  In exercising its functions, the Trust must have regard to: 

·    Its obligations in relation to the funding of the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery;

·    The cultural and religious values of the community; and

·    The heritage values (if any) of the public cemetery.

Council, on behalf of the Epping Cemetery Trust, executed a conservation agreement with the former Department of Sustainability & Environment in 1995, for the management of native grasses and other flora and fauna located within the site. 

The Epping Cemetery has undergone significant changes to improve its amenity and overall conservation of native grasslands and other flora and fauna located within the site.  Much of the work, including the monitoring of controlled burns (grasslands) and removal of hazardous trees/limbs is co-ordinated by Council’s Parks & Urban Design department. 

Proposal

To seek Council’s recommendation to endorse the Abstract of Accounts (2019/20 period) from the Department of Health and Human Services (‘Department’) (refer to Attachment 2 – Abstract of Accounts 2019/20) and note that the Freedom of Information Commissioner has been advised that no FOI requests have been received during this period (refer to Attachment 3 – Signed FOI Requests 2019/20).

Due to the public health restrictions in place in Victoria, the statutory declaration process has been modified to allow documents to be signed digitally. Each Administrator (electing to digitally sign the Abstract of Accounts), must also digitally sign the statutory declaration as a supportive document to the Abstract of Accounts (refer to Attachment 4 – Statutory declaration).

Consultation

Council officers held regular consultation with the Department and other Cemetery Trusts to consider any suitable grant applications at the Epping Cemetery. This report acknowledges that there were no suitable grants opportunities identified during the financial year. 

Critical Dates

Council officers must submit a signed copy of the ‘Abstract of Accounts 2019/20’ and signed ‘Statutory Declaration Form (two copies)’ to the Department by 15 September 2020. 

Financial Implications

The maintenance costs related to the Cemetery grounds are included in Council’s overall annual budget for bushland maintenance across the whole municipality.

Policy strategy and legislation

Management of Class B Cemeteries is governed by the legislation defined under the ‘Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003’.

The Department of Health and Human Services have provided the following links for online publications to assist Trust Members with their roles and responsibilities:

·    Introduction as a Trust Member

·    Code of Conduct

·    Conflicts of Interest & Duty

·    Welcome to the Board

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

Conservation and maintenance works, including the monitoring of controlled burns (grasslands) and removal of hazardous trees/limbs is co-ordinated by Council’s Parks & Urban Design department.

 

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                              Sustainable environment

Key Direction               Valued natural landscapes and biodiversity

 

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 Epping Cemetery Trust is required to appoint two members of the Trust (Administrators) to endorse the annual Abstract of Accounts prepared for the 2019/20 financial period and note that Council officers have advised the Freedom of Information Commissioner that no requests were made with regard to the Epping Cemetery during the same period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council, acting in its capacity as the Epping Cemetery Trust, resolve to:

1.       Nominate two Administrators to sign the Abstract of Accounts for the 2019/20 financial period.

2.       Submit a digitally signed copy of the Abstract of Accounts 2019/20 to the Department of Health and Human Services by a date no later than 15 September 2020.

3.       Submit a digitally signed copy of the statutory declaration form (one copy per elected Administrator) as supportive documentation for the digitally signed Abstract of Accounts.

4.       Note that the Freedom of Information Commissioner has been advised that no requests were made in relation to the Epping Cemetery, during the 2019/20 financial year.

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Wilson

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council, acting in its capacity as the Epping Cemetery Trust, resolve to:

1.       Nominate Administrator The Hon Billson and Administrator Wilson to sign the Abstract of Accounts for the 2019/20 financial period.

2.       Submit a digitally signed copy of the Abstract of Accounts 2019/20 to the Department of Health and Human Services by a date no later than 15 September 2020.

3.       Submit a digitally signed copy of the statutory declaration form (one copy per elected Administrator) as supportive documentation for the digitally signed Abstract of Accounts.

4.       Note that the Freedom of Information Commissioner has been advised that no requests were made in relation to the Epping Cemetery, during the 2019/20 financial year.

Carried

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

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UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

7.         Notices of Motion

            Nil Reports 

8.         Questions to Officers

NIL 

9.         Urgent Business

NIL 

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 within the month of August.

Administrator Duncan, provided the following reports on the meetings she has attended:

Whittlesea Youth Advisory Committee Meeting – 17 August 2020

‘Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to the fabulous group of young people who are members of this committee. I am very much looking forward to working with them in the future. At this meeting, some of the topics we discussed related to employment, education and training. We also talked about young people’s rights at work and transitioning to adulthood with regard to whether a young adult decides to attend university upon completing secondary school or instead go straight into the workforce.’

Whittlesea Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee Meeting – 26 August 2020

‘This committee is a fantastic group of individuals across all aspects of emergency services in the municipality. The committee is currently working on the Draft Roadside Strategy and also preparing work in relation to engaging the community prior to bushfires in the upcoming fire season. I am very much looking forward to working with this committee on those two activities.’

Whittlesea Reconciliation Group Meeting – 27 August 2020

‘This was another fantastic meeting and I look forward to working with them on various different initiatives to help the community. Of particular focus is the work on the establishment of a Gathering Place so that we can fulfil the commitment that we made many years ago.’

Yarra Plenty Regional Library Board Meeting – 27 August 2020

‘This was the first meeting that I attended as part of the library board which was very interesting. I very much look forward to being part of the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Board meetings in the future. It’s fantastic to finally get amongst the community.’

 

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

Whittlesea Disability Network Meeting – 11 August 2020

‘This meeting was held via video conference and was chaired by the Team Leader Access, Mr Stephen Bell and supported by Council’s Community Wellbeing Team. Attendees of this meeting were briefed on the work being completed by Whittlesea Community Connections and their COVID-19 community response which was delivered by Ms Patrice Bolden.

There was also discussion on the role of various Working for Victoria staff across the Access Team including an update on Council’s follow-up suggestion at the previous meeting regarding a stronger focus and commitment to access as part of the Australian Building Control standards.

We were also updated on the City of Whittlesea’s COVID-19 community impact survey that was led by Ms Kylie Dean and the Research and Engagement Team. I provided my input at the meeting regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the community, which I note was similar to yours Madam Chair, about having citizens and businesses get involved and sharing their insights and experiences.’  

Yarra Plenty Regional Library Subcommittee Meeting – 11 August 2020

‘Following the Whittlesea Disability Network Meeting, I then attended a subcommittee meeting as part of the Yarra Plenty Regional Library.’

Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum Meeting – 13 August 2020

‘I joined our Council’s Director City Transport and Presentation, Mr Ben Harries and also our Unit Leader Waste and Recycling, Mr Brad Bryne at this meeting. We learnt a lot at this meeting and it appears to be a very busy time for the waste and recovery services sector. We were also provided with information at this meeting with regard to container deposit schemes in other states of Australia and what that means for Local Government. Also, we were given an update on the transition which is underway with regards to Local Governments work concerning yellow lid recovery, and also what the State Government is doing in setting up some of the new and transforming recovery services in the state.

At the meeting there was mention with regard to how our region has a very significant recycling hub in Cooper Street, Epping, within our City. Also, there was discussion with regard to our City’s Food and Organics Good Service (FOGO).’

Whittlesea Youth Advisory Committee Meeting – 17 August 2020

‘This meeting was co-chaired well by Ms Tabitha Anderson and Administrator Duncan. My colleague, Administrator Duncan has already provided a good overview with regard to the issues that young people in the community face.’

City of Whittlesea Audit and Risk Committee Meeting – 20 August 2020

‘This was another great meeting and there is good work that is being done within the audit and risk team at Council.’

Local Government Act Implementation Matters Webinar Meeting  – 21 August 2020

‘This was a useful meeting and the focus of this meeting concerned how can we make strategic planning and reporting more integrated so that it works better for Councils and their communities.’

Yarra Plenty Regional Library Board Meeting – 27 August 2020

‘At this meeting, there was discussion with regard to the excellent progress that has been made with regard to the Library’s Financial Statement and how they have had a really productive and high performing year.’

 

Lastly, the Chair of Administrators, Ms Lydia Wilson provided an overview of the meetings she had attended:

‘I have attended a number of meetings over the past month, and I would like to particularly note four meetings at the Whittlesea Community Connections that I’ve attended on the 5 August 2020, 14 August 2020, 17 August 2020 and 21 August 2020 which all related to the subcommittee work in relation to the annual CEO Performance Review.  In particular, the meeting held on the 17 August 2020 focussed on a comprehensive update on all of the agency’s efforts in relation to COVID-19 and a number of other items concerning financials and financial performance.’

Aside from the Whittlesea Community Connections Meetings, I also attended the following:

Audit and Risk Committee Meeting – 20 August 2020

‘Administrator The Hon Bruce Billson and I attended the Council’s Audit and Risk Committee meeting. The two main parts of this meeting included the Annual Financial Reports for the year ended 30 June 2020 and the Annual Performance Statement also for the year ended 30 June 2020. Most importantly, we had an update in relation to risk management efforts across the organisation and also the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Plan. This was a very beneficial Audit and Risk Committee Meeting.’

Northern Councils Alliance Meeting – 27 August 2020

‘There was a really comprehensive debrief at this alliance meeting in relation to the launch of the City Deal and also the COVID-19 impacts across the Northern Region Councils. There was also an update in relation to the Local Government Elections for the Councils that are still proceeding with an election.’

Whittlesea Reconciliation Group Meeting – 27 August 2020

‘Administrator Duncan and I attended this meeting and it was an extremely beneficial meeting. The Group reported back on their meeting with all of the Administrators and also provided updates in relation to the redevelopment of their website and their plans to refresh the Whittlesea Reconciliation Action Plan.’

Northwest City Deal Virtual Launch Meeting – 24 August 2020

‘The Administrators and I attended this virtual launch regarding the City Deal. The City Deal concerns unlocking employment and economic development opportunities across eight precincts of northern and western Councils. In relation to the City of Whittlesea, the City Deal is absolutely critical, particularly given the local impact of COVID-19 on our economy. We have touched on the impact of COVID-19 on our economy today in the COVID-19 Update Report and the Pandemic Action Plan - Relief Funding Report. I would also like to particularly highlight just two of the key initiatives that are of enormous benefit not just for the City of Whittlesea but a multiplicity of other Councils as well. This includes the Beverage Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT) which would essentially unlock some 18,000 jobs and improve freight movements in and out of Melbourne and Geelong. Also, the plan to build a food innovation hub next to Melbourne Wholesale Market in Epping.

We really welcome the City Deal as a key vehicle to sort of kick start economic recovery. Finally, I note that the benefits are not just for the City of Whittlesea but for a multiplicity of other municipalities in the north and west of the state.’

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to note the Delegate’s reports.

Carried

 

 

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

11.       Confidential Business

11.1     Executive Services

            Nil Reports

11.2     Partnerships, Planning & Engagement

           Nil Reports

11.3     Community Services

            Nil Reports

11.4     City Transport and Presentation

             Nil Reports


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

11.5     Corporate ServiceS

11.5.1  Land Acquisition Woodstock

Responsible Officer:            Director Corporate Services

Author:                                  Senior Property 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 under Section 66(2)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020 to consider confidential information on the grounds that the report and attachment contains personal information, being information which if released would result in the unreasonable disclosure of information about any person or their personal affairs. In particular, the disclosure of information in the report and attachment would be inappropriately detrimental to an identifiable person by revealing details relating to their personal affairs.

 

 


UNCONFIRMEDOrdinary Council Minutes                      Tuesday 1 September 2020

 

11.6     Notices of Motion

Nil Reports

 

 

COUNCIL RESOLUTION

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:                Administrator Billson

THAT the Chair of Administrators recommended that the meeting be closed to the members of the public for the purpose of considering details relating to the following confidential matter in accordance with Section 66(2)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020 as follows:

11.5.1  Land Acquisition Woodstock

This report is presented to Council as a confidential document on the grounds that it contains:

 

●     Council business information, being information that would prejudice the Council's position in commercial negotiations if prematurely released. The report/attachment contains information regarding the proposed purchase of a property for municipal purposes. Premature release of this information could prejudice the Council's position in negotiating a fair market price.

CARRIED

 

ACCORDINGLY, THE MEETING WAS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AT 4:22 PM.

THE MEETING WAS RE-OPENED TO THE PUBLIC AT 4:28PM.


12.       Closure

DELETE THE CLOSURE TEXT NOT REQUIRED

THERE BEING NO FURTHER BUSINESS THE CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS CLOSED THE MEETING AT 4:29PM.

 

CONFIRMED THIS 6th DAY OF OCTOBER 2020.

 

 

 

___________________________

LYDIA WILSON

CHAIR OF ADMINISTRATORS