KG: AR

 

22 April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Councillor/Sir/Madam

 

You are invited to attend an ORDINARY MEETING of Ashfield Council, to be held in the Ashfield Civic Centre, Level 3, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield on TUESDAY  28 APRIL 2009 at 6:30 PM.

 

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEN GAINGER

General Manager

 

SEE ATTACHED AGENDA


 

Ordinary Meeting

28 April 2009

 

AGENDA

 

1.                      Opening

 

2.                      Acknowledgement of Local Indigenous Community

 

3.                      Apologies/Request for Leave of Absence

                   

4.                      Condolence and Sympathy Motions

 

5.                      Moment of Private Contemplation

 

6.                      Disclosures Of Interest

 

Disclosures to be made by any Councillors who have a pecuniary / non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters that are before Council at this meeting.

(28/04/2009)

 

7.                      Confirmation of Minutes of Council/Committees

 

Ordinary Meeting - 14/04/2009

Code of Conduct Working Party – 07/04/2009

Aquatic Centre Working Party – 07/04/2009

 

8.                      Mayoral Minutes

 

MM 12/2009     FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BRIDGE FOR ASYLUM SEEKER PROJECT

 

 

9.                      Notices of Motion

 

 

NM 13/2009      REVITALISATION OF THE SOCIAL AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF THE CROYDON TOWN CENTRE AREA

 

NM 19/2009      STORMWATER OVERFLOW FROM QUEEN STREET ASHFIELD INTO NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES IN QUEEN STREET AND SERVICE AVENUE

 

 

10.                  Staff Reports

 

10.1     DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: 10.2006.299.2
1-11 CHARLOTTE STREET, ASHFIELD

 

10.2      SECTION 94 PLAN REVIEW UPDATE

 

10.3      ASHFIELD CBD PUBLIC DOMAIN IMPROVEMENTS

 

10.4      WASTE AND RECYCLING - PROJECTS & INITIATIVES

 

10.5      USE / HIRE OF ASHFIELD COUNCIL PARKS

 

10.6     IMPACT OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS ON LOCAL SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES

 

10.7      DRAFT ASHFIELD COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT 2009

 

10.8      UPDATE ON ASHFIELD COUNCIL'S STRATEGIC PLAN

 

10.9      BIODIESEL FUEL FOR DEPOT VEHICLES / PLANT

 

10.10   2009 REFUGEE WEEK PROJECT

 

 

11.                  General Business

 

 

 

12.                  Close

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ashfield Council

 

Ordinary Meeting

28 April 2009

 

 

8         Summary of  Mayoral Minutes

 

8.1         FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BRIDGE FOR ASYLUM SEEKER PROJECT. Councillor Cassidy - Mayor. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(17/04/09)                                                                                      Donations from Council

                                                    h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409MM_12.doc

                                                                                                         MM12/2009 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council donate $2,000 from the Contingency Fund to support Bridge for Asylum Seekers.

  


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

MM12/2009

Donations from Council

MAYORAL MINUTE

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BRIDGE FOR ASYLUM SEEKER PROJECT

       

 

I am in receipt of a letter from Leichhardt Council dated 6 April 2009 (copy attached) seeking financial support for the Project which operates out of the offices of the Balmain Uniting Church.

 

The Co-ordinator has raised significant funds to support over 120 Asylum seekers who rely almost entirely on BASF for their survival.

 

A contribution of $2,000 from Councils identified as Refugee Welcome Zone Councils would enable the Project to continue providing essential daily support to asylum seekers.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Letter from Leichhardt Council

1 Page

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council donate $2,000 from the Contingency Fund to support Bridge for Asylum Seekers.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

COUNCILLOR E CASSIDY

Mayor

 

 

Mayor’s Room

Civic Centre

 


Attachment 1

 

Letter from Leichhardt Council

 

  


 

Ashfield Council

 

Ordinary Meeting

28 April 2009

 

9         Summary of  Notices Of Motion

 

9.1         REVITALISATION OF THE SOCIAL AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF THE CROYDON TOWN CENTRE AREA. Councillors Rerceretnam, Wangmann, Kennedy and Kelso. Report submitted.

(18/03/09)                                                                            Croydon CBD Improvements

                                                     h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409NM_13.doc

                                                                                                         NM13/2009 Attached

 

Accordingly, I move:-

 

1/3        Ashfield Council request a report by the Economic Development Officer, in conjunction with Council’s Community Services section, to examine ways Council can encourage stronger social and business activity in the Croydon Park and Croydon Village, especially Elizabeth Street, Edwin Street North and Hennessy Street.

 

2/3        This report come back to Council for determination within 16 weeks.

 

3/3        The Mayor initiate discussion on this issue relating to the Croydon Village and Croydon Park in his Mayoral column.

 

 

9.2         STORMWATER OVERFLOW FROM QUEEN STREET ASHFIELD INTO NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES IN QUEEN STREET AND SERVICE AVENUE. Councillors Rerceretnam, Kennedy and Kelso. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(08/04/09)                                                             Stormwater > Flooding > Investigation

                                                     h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409NM_19.doc

                                                                                                         NM19/2009 Attached

 

Accordingly, I move:-

 

1/3        That Council officers convene a public meeting for all concerned residents with special emphasis on residents/owners from the following properties: 232 to 250 Queen Street and 21 to 29 Service Avenue, Ashfield.

 

2/3        That Ashfield Council provide a comprehensive report to Council on the stormwater drainage systems that run through Queen Street and Service Avenue Ashfield and that this report come back to Council within 6 weeks.

 

3/3        This report look at all options Council has to stop stormwater run off from Queen Street and entering surrounding properties.

  


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

NM13/2009

Croydon CBD Improvements

NOTICE OF MOTION OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN BY

 

COUNCILLORS Marc Rerceretnam, Monica Wangmann, Lyall Kennedy and Patrick Kelso

 

 

REVITALISATION OF THE SOCIAL AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF THE CROYDON TOWN CENTRE AREA

     

 

To move Notice of Motion No. NM13/2009

 

 

Over the last 30 years the different town centres of the Ashfield municipality have developed in a haphazard manner. The Haberfield town centre has had the benefit of a long established post-war association with the Australian-Italian community and its wonderful culinary traditions. The success of this area to a large extent has worked in tandem with the growth of the nearby Leichhardt restaurant areas.

 

Summer Hill has had the benefit of its small village aesthetic and atmosphere and a vigilant, close-knit community intent on guarding against inappropriate overdevelopment - as seen in their fight against a proposed multi-storeyed carpark in the late 1980s.

 

The Ashfield town centre has not been so lucky. Large developments like the Ashfield Mall in the early 1980s stunted the growth of small business in the Liverpool Road area. Retail business declined inordinately. However in the last 15 years the area has experienced a rebirth as a cluster of relatively successful North Chinese (Shanghainese) restaurants and grocery shops. The area has also become a magnet for shoppers outside of the Ashfield municipality, especially on the weekends. The on-going business revitalisation program (a Greens initiative), beginning in 2005/6 continues to address pivotal issues for the area. 

                                                                                     

One of the remaining business centres is located in the Croydon area, especially the Edwin Street North, Elizabeth Street and the Hennessy Street areas.  While Council has already received a proposed plan for a physical makeover of this area, it is important that social and economic initiatives, comparatively similar to that of the Ashfield Town Centres 2005/6 Revitalisation/Community Harmony Program be implemented in this area.

 

This area has several significant social and economic features:

 

1.   Many ratepayers compare this area with new improvements to Burwood Council’s successful revitalisation of The Strand area, only 150m away.

2.   Some businesses have left the area.

3.   Some of the shops and shop-fronts are being used as residential and/or rental properties.

4.   The area is being cast in a negative light especially if there are any further attempts to re-establish additional brothels in the area.

5.   Many ratepayers believe new high-rise developments on Edwin St North have severely killed off the aesthetic appeal of the traditional Victorian/Edwardian streetscape.

 

We would like to propose Ashfield Council consider the following:

 

1.   Initiate an audit of businesses in the Croydon Village and Croydon Park area.

2.   Initiate an audit of businesses that have abandoned this area in recent years and determine why this took place.

3.   Look at ways to target potential growth for particular businesses ie. Elizabeth Street has a small cluster of book shops and Edwin Street has a cluster of art galleries and studios.

4.   Evaluate the pros and cons of using shops as residential apartments.

 

 

Officers Comments

 

Duncan Gilchrist – Economic Development Officer

 

The Town Centre of Croydon is bisected by the railway line with the majority of businesses being located on the Burwood Council side. Despite the proximity of the two sections there are massive infrastructure differences particularly in relation to the width of the thoroughfares. This area needs to reinvent itself. For instance, a working relationship between Council PLC Sydney and a University could see this area turned into a very successful varsity precinct specialising in business or arts studies. The existing businesses such as bookshops and galleries would complement this type of change and the existing food outlets could have more coffee shops and eateries added to improve the atmosphere and convenience.

 

A varsity village would see most people arrive by train or bus, thus minimising traffic congestion that would be associated with other forms of development. Some discussions has already been undertaken by the EDO with the property officer at PLC Sydney.

 

 

Gerard Howard – Manager Community Services

 

The Croydon Town Centre area around Edwin Street North/Elizabeth Street and Hennessey Street is an historic precinct, evidence of which can be seen in one of the heritage photos within the Brown Street Pedestrian Underpass. The precinct benefits from good exposure, due to a daily high volume of vehicular traffic that passes through in both a western and easterly direction. It is adjacent to Croydon Railway station and the PLC School. An interesting array of shops already feature in the precinct including old and restored books, home décor, tax agents, upholstery, art gallery/classes, hairdresser, Italian eatery, florist etc. These features are some of the strengths of the precinct.

 

Nevertheless, a high proportion of shops in the Croydon town centre have security grills and bars on their windows. Others have very poor shop-front presentation with no effort to create interesting product displays for the benefit of passers by. The railway fence adjacent to the Italian Pizza restaurant is in poor condition and looks unattractive. A coordinated colour scheme for the historic building facades does not exist. There is no designated car park for shoppers and those who wish to stop and purchase convenience items. These then are some of the weaknesses of the precinct.

 

There is a relatively high proportion of home ownership in the North Croydon geographical area. This, combined with proximity to a railway station and to a private school, where it can be expected families have a high level of disposable income, presents some real opportunities. Such opportunities might include encouraging a vibrant sector of home décor shops, craft and ‘collectible’ businesses, hobby shops, antique businesses etc., which complement existing art galleries & second hand book outlets. Added value would also come from services such as a doctor &/or dentist operating from the precinct.

 

Unless action is taken, the issue of pedestrian safety could be an ongoing threat to the future prosperity of the precinct. This is particularly so with an ageing population. It is important that pedestrians can move safely in all directions – north, south, east and west.

Given a lack of car parking, shoppers can park in adjoining streets and make a short walk to the shops. However it is essential that this walk be made safe and pleasant.

 

The Croydon Town Centre precinct already features public art in the form of murals. However there is scope for further street beautification through planter boxes & additional wall murals. Attracting a grocery store and fruit and vegetable outlet to the town centre might have appeal to railway commuters, amongst others.

 

A number of shops are currently vacant and this presents a poor image particularly since these are located near key intersections. Developing a data base of vacant properties would be beneficial particularly if it was accompanied by details of floor space, internal facilities etc. Such a data base enables prospective tenants to be quickly provided with essential information.

 

The Croydon Town Centre precinct presents clear opportunities for revitalization & some possible strategies include:

 

·    Initial enhancement through colourful planter boxes and the replacement of railway fence near the Italian Pizza restaurant with something more visually appealing.

·    Coordinated education effort with shopkeepers to develop attractive shop-front presentation and window displays. This is essential for sparking the curiosity of passing motorists and pedestrians.

·    Investigate the need for/alternative to bars and grills on shop-front windows.

·    Development of a vacant property data base to assist prospective business tenants with essential information.

·    Investigation of the status/availability of shop-top rental accommodation. Residential living above shops can contribute to feelings of safety and vibrancy within an area.

·    Take measures to improve pedestrian safety to and throughout the town centre precinct.

·    Consider additional playground equipment in nearby Edwin Street North Reserve. This can add value to any ‘shopping outing’ for young families.

·    Investigate potential to promote day/ night parking at the Aquatic Centre for users of the Croydon town centre. A similar suggestion was put forward during the public consultation process for the town centre.

·    Create a theme for the shopping precinct e.g. ‘Traditional atmosphere – Traditional Service’.

·    Consider applying to the Commonwealth Innovations Fund in June for a 12 month Main Street Coordinator to revitalize the precinct and provide an economic stimulus to the locality.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

 

Accordingly, I move:-

 

1/3              Ashfield Council request a report by the Economic Development Officer, in conjunction with Council’s Community Services section, to examine ways Council can encourage stronger social and business activity in the Croydon Park and Croydon Village, especially Elizabeth Street, Edwin Street North and Hennessy Street.

 

2/3              This report come back to Council for determination within 16 weeks.

 

3/3              The Mayor initiate discussion on this issue relating to the Croydon Village and Croydon Park in his Mayoral column.

 

 

Marc Rerceretnam

 

 

Monica Wangmann

 

 

Lyall Kennedy

 

Patrick Kelso

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

NM19/2009

Stormwater > Flooding > Investigation

NOTICE OF MOTION OF WHICH DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN BY

 

COUNCILLORS Marc Rerceretnam, Lyall Kennedy and Patrick Kelso

 

 

STORMWATER OVERFLOW FROM QUEEN STREET ASHFIELD INTO NEIGHBOURING PROPERTIES IN QUEEN STREET AND SERVICE AVENUE

     

 

To move Notice of Motion No. NM19/2009

 

 

Ashfield residents have complained how heavy downpour causes an underground stormwater drain located in Queen Street Ashfield, to back up and overflow into surrounding properties in Queen Street and Service Avenue.

 

Several of these properties experience severe flooding in their backyards and in some cases flooding in parts of their home and other built up structures.

 

According to two long-term residents, this issue was brought to the attention of Ashfield Council back in the 1970s however despite promises little to nothing was done to correct this problem.

 

While in the past such flooding may have been infrequent, in the last 3 years such flooding has occurred on an annual basis, a development possibly linked to changes in climate.

 

 

Officers Comments

 

Anthony Ogle – Manager Infrastructure        &       Tony Giunta – Stormwater Engineer

 

The suggestion with the motion is that problems of surface stormwater flow on private land may be associated with global climate change. Sydney experienced an extended drought for approximately a decade, followed by repeated rain/storm events over the last year. This pattern is typical of the past climate of Sydney, and the rainfall patterns have been within the normal statistical variation.

 

Where problems appear to have become worse, especially where residents have a longer occupancy to give a frame of reference, the typical causes are failures/blockages in the underground piping or changes in surrounding land use by residents which re-direct or block surface flows.

 

A plan has been attached to show the properties referred to in this motion and existing stormwater pipes.

 

In this case, since the issue was freshly raised several months ago, Council’s Stormwater Engineer has arranged for the pits and pipes to be cleared and carried out CCTV inspections to confirm there are no blockages upstream of Old Canterbury Rd. Below this point the pipeline is in Marrickville Council and is the responsibility of Sydney Water. Enquiries are being made to confirm the downstream pipeline is clear and functioning.

 

The properties in question back onto a gully which would have been a creek until the pipeline was laid and the land infilled. During rainfall events, the runoff flowing between properties (called riparian flows) crosses between properties through and under fencing and around any features higher than the land such as buildings, garden, paving and swimming pools.

 

In addition, for larger storms, the water that exceeds the capacity of the pipes will follow along the lie of the land above the pipes.

 

An aerial photo of the area shows that many of these properties have added outbuildings (garages, sheds etc) over the years that created almost continuous barriers to any surface flows, redirecting water along different paths and into properties or parts of properties that may not normally have experienced surface flows. This can be made worse by modern metal fencing which is often set at ground level and being solid creates a dam effect (paling fences by contrast are “leaky”). Experience has shown that one flow redirection can come from swimming pools that are constructed higher than the surrounding land to keep the flows out, but then push the water onto the neighbours.

 

In summary, the problems arise due from changes of land use, which is an inter-neighbour civil tort matter, over which Council does not have a regulatory role. Council can meet and advise / assist residents, but does risk getting involved in an intractable situation, where neighbours can be in dispute.

 

In 1988 a report was presented to Council proposing to increase the capacity of the underground pipes to reduce the surface flows as one way of dealing with the problem as it was at the time. The cost for these works was around $500,000. At today’s value this would be in the vicinity of $1.5 to $2.0M. Also in order for the works to take effect all the affected residents needed to agree to a drainage easement, disruption to their property, and possibly reconstruction of some of the outbuildings and fences. There were several objections from property owners particularly to create an easement for future maintenance access.

 

Since 1988, the study and understanding of urban drainage has progressed, and it is now recognised that the drainage works proposed would not perform as intended without further upgrade to the drainage system downstream for most of the way down to Hawthorne Canal.

 

In terms of the proposed motions, it may be prudent to have the investigation of the changes within the properties investigated to determine the extent of their influence, and the report presented to Council, prior to any meeting with residents. As inspections of over 20 yards including arranging the access and possibly some surveying of levels is involved, a comprehensive report will take longer than 6 weeks. This process will also allow individual contact with residents to assess how they are affected without being in a confrontational environment of a public meeting. Allowing for the other work in hand to proceed, a time frame of about 3 months is suggested. This report would also require supplementary analysis by specialist consultants and surveying, and could cost $30,000 plus, which would be funded from the Stormwater Levy.

 

As an interim measure, the properties worst affected could mitigate the effects by adjusting the underside of their side and or rear fences with the addition of a mesh barrier to allow the passage of water from one property to another. This will be suggested to residents during any discussions as part of the investigation.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Aerial map of area showing stormwater line

1 Page

 

 

 

 

Accordingly, I move:-

 

1/3              That Council officers convene a public meeting for all concerned residents with special emphasis on residents/owners from the following properties: 232 to 250 Queen Street and 21 to 29 Service Avenue, Ashfield.

 

2/3              That Ashfield Council provide a comprehensive report to Council on the stormwater drainage systems that run through Queen Street and Service Avenue Ashfield and that this report come back to Council within 6 weeks.

 

3/3              This report look at all options Council has to stop stormwater run off from Queen Street and entering surrounding properties.

 

 

Marc Rerceretnam

 

Lyall Kennedy

 

Patrick Kelso

  


Attachment 1

 

Aerial map of area showing stormwater line

 

  


 

Ashfield Council

 

Ordinary Meeting

28 April 2009

 

 

10       Summary of  Staff Reports

 

10.1       DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: 10.2006.299.2

1-11 CHARLOTTE STREET, ASHFIELD. Martin Amy - Development Assessment Officer. Report submitted with attachments 1 and 2.

(20/04/09)                                                                                                        10.2006.299

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_6.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.1 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That pursuant to Section 80(1)(b) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, as amended, the Council, refuse the application to modify development the development consent 10.2006.299.1 granted on 13 November 2007 for demolition of 11 Charlotte Street, partial demolition of 1-3 Charlotte Street and alterations & additions to existing Club at 5-9 Charlotte Street to include the construction of a café and gymnasium at 1-3, 5-9 & 11 Charlotte Street Ashfield on Lot 1 DP 1124828 and known as 1-11 Charlotte Street, Ashfield applied for in the following manner: -

 

By deleting Condition C(3) – S94 Contributions that reads: -

 

The payment of a cash contribution of $182,496 under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

 

This contribution is based on an assessment of car parking required to support this development and is assessed on the basis of twelve (12) car spaces at the current rate of $15,208 per space as per Council’s Section 94 Contributions Plan: Public Car Parking.

 

Any contributions required in satisfaction of a condition of development consent are to be valid until Council’s next review of Section 94 Contribution Plans on 30 June 2008 following which the amount of the contribution will be reassessed in line with the revised figured.

 

Payment is to be made prior to release of the Construction Certificate.

 

For the following reasons: -

 

1.  The modification will result in a development that has a deficient amount of onsite parking and does not provide an alternative to assist in the provision of future public car parking in the locality.

2.  It will not be in the public interest and will not promote the orderly development of land within the Ashfield Local Government Area.

3.  Approval of the modification will set an undesirable precedent for future applications involving S94 car parking contributions.

 

 

 

10.2       SECTION 94 PLAN REVIEW UPDATE. Phil Sarin - Director  Planning and Environment. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(20/04/09)                                                                                   Section 94 Contributions

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_7.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.2 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/3        That a project brief be prepared for the consideration of Council for a comprehensive review of all current section 94 plans.

 

2/3        That the project brief be reported to Council for endorsement.

 

3/3        That Council reaffirm its position not to proceed with a review of its Section 94 plans until such time as the Minister has released new guidelines for the preparation of Section 94 plans.

 

 

10.3       ASHFIELD CBD PUBLIC DOMAIN IMPROVEMENTS. Ron Sim - Manager Strategic Planning & Projects. Report submitted with attachments 1 to 4.

(16/04/09)                                                                Urban Planning > Strategic Planning

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_5.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.3 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council’s heritage consultant be authorised to prepare paint schemes for eight (8) buildings within the Ashfield CBD at the fee proposed and a further report to Council be prepared canvassing possible incentives and implementation methodologies when this work is complete.

 

 

 

10.4       WASTE AND RECYCLING - PROJECTS & INITIATIVES. Anthony Ogle - Manager Infrastructure. Report submitted.

(21/04/09)                          Waste Management > Management > Budget & Reporting

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_8.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.4 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council note the information on the projects and initiatives for waste and recycling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.5       USE / HIRE OF ASHFIELD COUNCIL PARKS. Epeli Naivalu - Manager Operations. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(16/04/09)                                                                  Parks & Reserves > Seasonal Hire

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_2.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.5 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2        That all five clubs be approved for use/hire of Ashfield sporting fields for the winter 2010 season based on previous amicable associations with Ashfield Council. That this includes Haberfield Football Club using Hammond Park, Croydon for training and competition.

 

2/2        That should Council intend to proceed further to develop a policy for preferential priority in the hire of playing fields, the peak regional sporting bodies for each code using Council’s playing fields and the other Councils within those districts be consulted to assess how the issue of priority allocation of playing field hire is best and equitably dealt with.

 

 

 

10.6       IMPACT OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS ON LOCAL SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES. Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services. Report submitted.

(15/04/09)                                                                  Community & Mental Health Issues

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_1.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.6 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the information contained in this report be noted

 

 

 

10.7       DRAFT ASHFIELD COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT 2009. Vanessa Chan - Director Corporate and Community Services. Report submitted with attachments 1 and 2.

(17/04/09)                                                                                                 Code of Conduct

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_4.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.7 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council adopt the Draft Ashfield Council Code of Conduct 2009 for the purpose of public exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.8       UPDATE ON ASHFIELD COUNCIL'S STRATEGIC PLAN. Lauren McIver - Corporate Relations Officer. Report submitted with attachments 1 to 4.

(21/04/09)                                                                             Ashfield Strategic Plan 2020

                                                     h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_10.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.8 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2        That Council notes the dates and venue for the public conversations for Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation:

·      Public Conversation #1, Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

·      Public Conversation #2, Wednesday 5 August, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

 

2/2        That Council notes the progress on the new strategic plan and provides comments and/or feedback.

 

 

 

10.9       BIODIESEL FUEL FOR DEPOT VEHICLES / PLANT. Epeli Naivalu - Manager Operations. Report submitted.

(16/04/09)                                                                                              Fuel > Alternatives

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_3.doc

                                                                                                               CM 10.9 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council note the contents of this report.

 

 

 

10.10    2009 REFUGEE WEEK PROJECT. Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services. Report submitted.

(21/04/09)                                                              Community > Activities > Multicultural

                                                       h:\reports.bp\Council\Reports\CM280409SR_9.doc

                                                                                                             CM 10.10 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council participate with other Inner West Councils in the signing of a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration’ during Refugee Week 2009.

  

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.1

Subject                            DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: 10.2006.299.2
1-11 CHARLOTTE STREET, ASHFIELD

 

File Name                        10.2006.299

 

Prepared by                   Martin Amy - Development Assessment Officer       

 

 

Reasons                          Matter requires Council determination.

 

Objective                         For Council to determine the application.

 

Strategic Plan Link       N/A

 

Management Plan         2.11 Development & Building Control, Strategic Planning

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

Pursuant to Section 96(1A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, consent is sought for the modification of Development Consent 10.2006.299.1 to delete Condition C(3), which requires the payment of Section 94 contributions.

 

 

1.0    Description of Proposal

 

Pursuant to Section 96(1A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, consent is sought for the modification of Development Consent 10.2006.299.1 to delete Condition C(3), which requires the payment of Section 94 contributions.

 

Condition C(3) states:

 

(3)     Section 94 Contributions

 

Section 94 Contributions - Car Parking

The payment of a cash contribution of $182,496 under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

 

This contribution is based on an assessment of car parking required to support this development and is assessed on the basis of twelve (12) car spaces at the current rate of $15,208 per space as per Council’s Section 94 Contributions Plan: Public Car Parking.

 

Any contributions required in satisfaction of a condition of development consent are to be valid until Council’s next review of Section 94 Contribution Plans on 30 June 2008 following which the amount of the contribution will be reassessed in line with the revised figured.

 

Payment is to be made prior to release of the Construction Certificate.

 

 

Background

 

DA No.10.2006.299 involves comprehensive redevelopment of the site involving the demolition of buildings and construction of additions to the existing Club which include a gymnasium and café. The consent will increase the floor space of the site and also involved variations to Council’s controls with respect to both ALEP 1985 and ADCP 2007. A key issue in the original consideration of the application was the proposal’s non-compliance with Council’s on-site parking requirements.

 

In summary, it was considered that in the absence of providing the required on-site parking, that Council levy a Section 94 contribution. The Section 94 Contribution will assist in the future attainment and provision of car parking off-site. The requirement for a Section 94 Contribution was considered to be appropriate given that the Club does not provide any on-site parking for patrons on its own land.

 

The DA was determined by Council on 13 November 2007. The determination was a ‘deferred commencement’ consent. This approval required the submission of information with respect to the construction of a ‘shared-way’ in Charlotte and Station Streets, acoustic information and a Plan of Management for the site.

 

A rescission motion was also moved to delete Condition C(3). This motion was also considered on 13 November 2007 and lost.

 

The information required by the ‘deferred commencement’ consent has now been received and the release of the operational consent occurred on 10 March 2009.

 

A copy of the previous report to Council and rescission motion is provided in Attachment 1.

 

2.0    Summary Recommendation

 

The subject application has been assessed against Ashfield Local Environmental Plan 1985 (ALEP 1985), Ashfield Development Control Plan 2007 (ADCP 2007) and Council’s Section 94 Contribution Plan - Car Parking.

 

It is considered that the proposal to waive the Section 94 contribution will not meet the objectives of ALEP 1985, as an adverse ‘public’ impact will result in the site not providing the required onsite car parking and furthermore, if the Section 94 Contribution is not paid, the ability for Council to obtain future car parking in the locality will be adversely affected. 

 

As such the recommendation of this report is for refusal.

 

3.0    Application Details

 

Applicant                               :         Form Architects Pty Limited

Owner                                    :         Ashfield Catholic & Community Club Ltd

Value of work                        :         Nil

Date lodged                          :         24 March 2009

Building classification :         9b & 6

Application Type                   :         Local

Construction Certificate       :         No

 

4.0    Site and Surrounding Development

 

The subject site is known as Club Ashfield (or the Ashfield Catholic Club) and is located on the corner of Charlotte and Station Streets.  The amalgamated site area is approximately 1118.2 square metres. 

 

5.0    Development History

 

NO.

DATE

PROPOSAL

DECISION

10.2006.299.1

13/11/2007

The demolition of 11 Charlotte Street, partial demolition of 1-3 Charlotte Street and alterations & additions to existing Club at 5-9 Charlotte Street to include the construction of a café and gymnasium at 1-3, 5-9 & 11 Charlotte Street Ashfield

Approved (Deferred Commencement)

 

Development Consent 10.2006.299 is relevant to the current application as it is this consent to which the modification application relates.

 

Of note is that a similar Section 96 application to waive s94 Contributions at 275 Liverpool Road, Ashfield (10.2008.008) was reported to Council on 24 February 2009. This application was refused.

 

6.0    Zoning/Permissibility/Heritage

 

The modification does not affect the zoning, permissibility or heritage issues of the application. These matters were assessed during the original assessment.

 

7.0    Section 96(1A) & Section 79C Assessment

 

The following is an assessment of the application with regard to the heads of consideration under the provisions of Section 96(1A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

 

1A) Modifications involving minimal environmental impact A consent authority may, on application being made by the applicant or any other person entitled to act on a consent granted by the consent authority and subject to and in accordance with the regulations, modify the consent if:

 

(a) it is satisfied that the proposed modification is of minimal environmental impact, and

The proposed modification is of minimal environmental impact.

(b) it is satisfied that the development to which the consent as modified relates is substantially the same development as the development for which the consent was originally granted and before that consent as originally granted was modified (if at all), and

The proposed modification would result in substantially the same development.

(c) it has notified the application in accordance with:

(i)      the regulations, if the regulations so require, or

(ii)     a development control plan, if the consent authority is a council that has made a development control plan that requires the notification or advertising of applications for modification of a development consent, and

The proposal did not require notification pursuant to Clause 2.26(c) of Part C12 – Public Notification – ADCP 2007).

(d) it has considered any submissions made concerning the proposed modification within any period prescribed by the regulations or provided by the development control plan, as the case may be.

Not applicable.

 

The following is an assessment of the application with regard to the heads of consideration under the provisions of Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

 

7.1    The provisions of any Environmental Planning Instrument

 

7.1.1 Local Environmental Plans

 

Ashfield Local Environmental Plan 1985 (as amended)

 

The original development application failed to comply with Council on-site parking requirements. As such, pursuant to Clause 29 – Provision for public amenities and services, Condition c(3) was imposed to require the payment of a Section 94 Contribution to enable the future attainment and provision of public car parking in the vicinity of the subject land. 

 

As previously noted, the site provides no onsite parking for patrons and the subject Section 96 Application now requests that a Section 94 Contribution not be paid towards future public parking provision. The provision of no onsite parking and the lack of a contribution towards public parking is not considered to assist in the likely demand for further public services (public car parking) arising from the development and in doing so, is considered to be contrary to the public interest.

 

Therefore, it is considered that the modification cannot be supported, as ultimately it will not result in the orderly development of the Ashfield Council area in accordance with Clause 2(a) of the ALEP 1985.

 

7.1.2 Regional Environmental Plans

 

Not applicable.

 

7.1.3 State Environmental Planning Policies

 

Not applicable.

 

7.2       The provisions of any Draft Environmental Planning Instrument that is or has been placed on public exhibition and details of which have been notified to the consent authority.

 

None applicable.

 

7.3       The provisions of any Development Control Plan.

 

The proposal is considered to meet the aims and objectives of Development Control Plan 2007. Specifically to the following Parts: -

 

C3

 

ASHFIELD TOWN CENTRE

 

Refer also to the ASHFIELD TOWN CENTRE STRATEGY that supplements Part C3.

 

The proposal does not alter compliance with respect to the Town Centre controls with the exception that in not levying the contribution fee the proposal will result in non-compliance with the numerical car parking rate required for the site. A minimum of 12 spaces are required.

C11

PARKING

The required parking provision was discussed in the previous report. It concluded that in the absence of providing the required 12 onsite parking spaces, that the ‘alternative’ to the onsite parking is the requirements for a Section 94 Contribution to be paid. Further comment on this matter is included below.

 

C12

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION IN THE PLANNING PROCESS AND ALL ASPECTS OF LAND MANAGEMENT

The application did not require notification - refer to Clause 2.26(c) i.e. applications in relation to technical conditions of consent do not require notification.

 

C11- Parking

 

Clause 3.7 – Alternatives to on-site parking – are financial contributions acceptable?

 

The Clause states that ‘The objective is to provide parking on the site.’ However, it allows Section 94 Contributions to be levied when onsite parking is not provided subject to certain criteria being fulfilled. These being: -

 

Criteria

Compliance

a)         existence of a plan

 

Council has a Section 94 Plan for ‘Public Car Parking’

b)         ability of Council to provide the spaces in the locality in existing or proposed public parking areas

Council has the availability to provide spaces

c)         physical site constraints

 

Vehicular access to the site is slightly constrained due to the boundary to boundary construction of the existing building and the existing roadways around the site being Charlotte Street, Station Street and an unnamed rear laneway.

 

d)         amount of deficiency

 

The 12 space deficiency is considered to be significant. The various uses proposed and the increase in floor area of the existing Club is likely to increase the demand for car parking.

 

 

As no onsite parking is provided, it is considered that the payment of a Section 94 Contribution towards the provision of public car parking is still justified. If the requirement to pay Section 94 Contributions is waived, the redevelopment of the site will result in the provision of no onsite parking and no financial payment to compensate for the lack of onsite parking by the attainment and provision of public car parking.

 

Therefore it is considered the proposed modification is not acceptable.

 

7.4       Any matters prescribed by the regulations that apply to the land to which the development application relates.

 

This application does not alter the requirements in the regulations.

 

7.5       The likely impacts of that development, including environmental impacts on both the natural and built environments, and social and economic impacts on the locality.

 

Parking

 

The applicant has presented the following argument in support of the application:

 

·    The proposal includes substantial public domain improvements to Charlotte and Station Street on the basis of advice of Traffic Consultants (the applicant’s) that the proposed development was neutral in terms of the requirement for additional car parking, thereby not requiring contributions under Council’s Section 94 Contribution Plan.

 

·    The imposition of Condition C(3) is considered an unreasonable impost on the financial viability of the proposed development and fails to recognise the public benefits embodied in the consent with respect to streetscape improvements to Charlotte and Station Streets

 

·    The deletion of Condition C (3) will enable the public domain improvement works to be undertaken (estimated at $281,000 by the applicant). The scope of the proposed works will need to be reviewed if Council maintains its position in respect to the imposition of a parking contribution.

 

·    The applicant disputes the claim inherent in Condition C(3) that the proposal results in a shortfall of 12 car spaces.

 

·    The initial assessment did not take into account the proximity of the site to Ashfield Railway Station and public bus routes through Ashfield Town Centre.

 

·    As stated in the (applicant’s) Traffic and Parking Study, the proposal will result in a surplus of parking spaces and it is unreasonable to apply the car parking rates for the proposed uses.

 

·    The identified ‘lost’ car spaces to 1-3, 11 Charlotte Streets are not able to be considered as existing nor have the existing uses been acknowledged.

 

A copy of the Statement of Environmental Effects submitted as part of this application is provided in Attachment 2.

Comment

The streetscape works were considered as part of initial ‘deferred commencement’ consent and required further documentation to confirm the work. This documentation has now been submitted and Council is satisfied with the proposed works to Charlotte and Station Streets. The works were proposed by the applicant and Council raised no objection to their inclusion in the proposal. The estimated cost is not a consideration in terms of the context of the modification sought given that the streetscape improvements were proposed by the applicant. The parking rates and alternatives to not providing the required car parking are clearly outlined in Council’s LEP, DCP and Contributions plan.

Whilst the streetscape work will be a public benefit, it is not relevant to the issue of the proposal’s lack of car parking which is similarly a matter of public interest.

As outlined in the previous report, the proposed shortfall of 12 car parking spaces was based on the additional floor area created by the proposal and the loss of existing car parking resulting from the new works. This is not considered to be an inappropriate method of determining the required car parking provision and applicable rates for calculating the contribution.

The location of the site is fortunate in its proximity to public transport nodes. However, notwithstanding its location, the proposal seeks to provide no onsite parking and is reliant upon a ‘non-permanent‘ car park arrangement with a third party (Vincentian Fathers) and public street parking for any person visiting the site by car. The applicant’s traffic consultant commented that the use of the leased car park is essential, however, this cannot be guaranteed indefinitely into the future.

It is considered that the imposition of a levy to assist with the provision of future car parking in instances were no onsite parking is provided is available (as per Part C11 – Parking and s94 Contribution Plan – Public Car Parking) is a reasonable imposition. In not imposing the contribution concern is raised that an undesirable precedent will occur with respect to the payment of Section 94 Contributions.

 

It is considered that the modification is not acceptable as it will result in a proposal that does not provide the required onsite parking and does not assist in the provision of future parking in the locality.

 

7.6       The suitability of the site for the development

 

These matters have been considered as part of the assessment of the application.

 

7.7       Any submissions made in accordance with this Act or the regulations

 

The proposal did not require notification – refer to Clause 2.26(c) of Part C12 – Public Notification, ADCP 2007.

 

7.8    The public interest

 

The waiving of the car parking contribution is not considered to be is in the public interest.

 

8.0    Referrals

 

Not required.

 

9.0    Other Relevant Matters

 

S94 Contribution Plan - Public Carparking/Financial Implications

 

The Plan levies an amount of $15,208 per space, resulting in a required contribution of $182,496.

 

It should be noted that public parking within the Town Centre is likely to be reduced as the lease has recently expired on the Holden Street car park that contained 84 spaces (near Ashfield Railway Station) and the court approved Ashfield Mall redevelopment will result in fewer public car parking spaces being dedicated to the Council (approximately 60 fewer spaces).

 

Without contributions being made for car parking deficiencies, it is likely Council will not be able to secure alternative funds to assist in establishing additional public car parking in the Ashfield CBD.

 

10.0  Building Code of Australia (BCA)

 

The subject application does not affect compliance with the Building Code of Australia.

 

 

Other Staff Comments

 

See 8.0

 

Public Consultation

See 7.7

 

Conclusion

 

The application has been assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 as amended with all matters specified under Section 96(1A) and 79C (1) Clauses (a) to (e) having been taken into consideration.

 

The modification has been assessed against Ashfield Local Environmental Plan 1985, Development Control Plan 2007 and Council’s Section 94 Contribution Plan - Car Parking.

 

It is considered that the proposal to waive the Section 94 contribution will not meet the objectives of ALEP 1985 as the proposal will result in an adverse ‘public’ impact by not providing the onsite car parking and not providing any assistance for the attainment and provision of future car parking in the locality. 

 

Therefore, the application is recommended for refusal.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Previous Council Report

158 Pages

 

Attachment 2View

Applicant's Statement of Environmental Effects

17 Pages

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That pursuant to Section 80(1)(b) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, as amended, the Council, refuse the application to modify development the development consent 10.2006.299.1 granted on 13 November 2007 for demolition of 11 Charlotte Street, partial demolition of 1-3 Charlotte Street and alterations & additions to existing Club at 5-9 Charlotte Street to include the construction of a café and gymnasium at 1-3, 5-9 & 11 Charlotte Street Ashfield on Lot 1 DP 1124828 and known as 1-11 Charlotte Street, Ashfield applied for in the following manner: -

 

By deleting Condition C(3) – S94 Contributions that reads: -

 

The payment of a cash contribution of $182,496 under Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

 

This contribution is based on an assessment of car parking required to support this development and is assessed on the basis of twelve (12) car spaces at the current rate of $15,208 per space as per Council’s Section 94 Contributions Plan: Public Car Parking.

 

Any contributions required in satisfaction of a condition of development consent are to be valid until Council’s next review of Section 94 Contribution Plans on 30 June 2008 following which the amount of the contribution will be reassessed in line with the revised figured.

 

Payment is to be made prior to release of the Construction Certificate.

 

For the following reasons: -

 

1.          The modification will result in a development that has a deficient amount of onsite parking and does not provide an alternative to assist in the provision of future public car parking in the locality.

2.          It will not be in the public interest and will not promote the orderly development of land within the Ashfield Local Government Area.

3.          Approval of the modification will set an undesirable precedent for future applications involving S94 car parking contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Previous Council Report

 






























































































































































 


Attachment 2

 

Applicant's Statement of Environmental Effects

 

















 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.2

Subject                            SECTION 94 PLAN REVIEW UPDATE

 

File Name                        Section 94 Contributions

 

Prepared by                   Phil Sarin - Director  Planning and Environment        

 

 

Reasons                          Council resolution

 

Objective                         For Council to progress the review of its current S94 Plans

 

Strategic Plan Link       N/A

 

Management Plan         2.11 Development & Building Control, Strategic Planning

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

At the last Council meeting a draft Section 94A plan was adopted for public exhibition purposes. There was also discussion raised about progress on the review of the current Section 94 plans. This report provides an update on the status of the review.

 

 

Background

 

The last major report to Council on the review of its current Section 94 plans was considered in September 2007. The Council resolved as follows:

 

1    That Council pursue the preparation of a Section 94A plan for the whole of the LGA for all forms of development not covered by the current Section 94 plans, based on Ministerial direction criteria contained in Section 94E of the EP&A Act.

2    Council retain its current Section 94 plans.

3    That when the Department of Planning issues new guidelines/criteria for Section 94 plans, that Council review its Section 94 plans as soon as possible thereafter.

 

A draft Section 94A plan was prepared in accordance with this resolution but has been, until last week’s meeting, held in abeyance pending the State government’s introduction of new legislation relating to contributions plans.

 

A copy of the previous report and the discussion papers which were an attachment to the report are included for the benefit of existing and new Councillors in Attachment 1. These discussion papers put forward the pros and cons of Section 94 and 94A plans and the potential combination of the use of both means for the levying of development contributions. Council ultimately chose to retain both approaches.

 

Since this report and papers were prepared the State government has embarked on a major planning reform agenda which culminated in the passage of an amendment to the EP&A Act in June 2008 to reform the NSW planning system. Parts of the new amendment to the Act have come into effect but not the specific provisions relating to developer contributions. Despite repeated calls and enquiries to DOP Council officers have not been able to ascertain when the new provisions will take effect nor when Ministerial guidelines for the preparation of plans under the new amendment will be available. They have been mooted for some time and the latest news suggests that the guidelines could be published within the next few months.

 

As an ‘interim measure’ the State government issued a series of Ministerial directions under the current Act as follows:

 

November 2007

 

Advised that future plans could only levy for a range of specifically defined infrastructure items where the need for that infrastructure arises from the development of land (rather than infrastructure driven by general population growth – this is particularly relevant to Section 94 as opposed to Section 94A). In addition, plans prepared under the new guidelines would need to be endorsed by a delegate of the Minister for Planning.

 

December 2008

 

Various changes were introduced aimed at reducing the amount councils could levy. A $20,000 maximum threshold was advised to come into effect from the 30th April 2009 (unless the Minister agrees to a larger amount). Ashfield’s current figures for residential development (per new dwelling or allotment charge) are well below this threshold figure ($9070 for new lots and detached dwellings and $6385 for new flats/apartments).

 

Advice was also provided about changes to the concept of ‘nexus’ and ‘apportionment’ under the new Act provisions which will restrict and limit what key community infrastructure a council will be able to levy for. There will also be new reporting requirements for the expenditure of funds.

 

January 2008

 

Further more detailed information was provided on how councils who wish to submit applications for plans which allow for levies in excess of the proposed $20,000 maximum threshold figure should proceed and how such applications will be assessed by the Minister.

 

The State government has been clear in signalling its intentions that the new changes will be aimed at reducing the ability of councils to levy for developer contributions. This is being driven by lobbying from developer groups, the global economic downturn and the question of housing affordability. The days of councils charging significant levies for the creation of new allotments and/or new dwellings are numbered and we will see, in the near future, all new plans coming under much greater scrutiny and having to go through a formal review process led by the State government for the first time.

 

Where to from here?

 

While it is acknowledged that the current Section 94 plans are long overdue for review and replacement if Council were to go ahead and commence a review in the absence of the new Ministerial guidelines it could result in the review missing vital information, not including the appropriate justification for the premise of a new levy or including a works schedule which was inappropriate. The end result may be that the Council incurs additional expenses to rectify deficiencies or for the research and preparation of additional information. Given that a review of the current plans could cost in the order of $50,000 it may be prudent to wait until the guidelines are published before commissioning a new review.

 

Unfortunately, there are many questions which relate to the content and interpretation of the new legislative provisions which remain unanswered at the moment so while some preliminary work may be able to proceed, principally in terms of research, it would obviously be beneficial and responsible to wait on the new guidelines before engaging consultants to commence a review for the preparation of a new Section 94 plan(s).

 

At the last Council meeting queries were raised about the works schedule, which was included in the draft Section 94A plan, concerning the Council’s ability to fund the same project in both a 94 and 94A plan. In my view this may not be possible, however, there is no clear information available from DOP on this point. In addition, it is also unclear as to what interpretation DOP will have of the new ‘community infrastructure’ provisions which are intended to establish the types of services and facilities upon which a levy can be imposed. There is ongoing speculation that under the new legislative requirements it will no longer be possible to levy for facilities for an existing population, i.e. the services and facilities must relate to those required to service new residents. This will have a significant bearing on what facilities can be included in a new plan.

 

 Financial Implications

 

As the Council has no specific budget allocation to undertake the review it will be necessary to source funds from the Section 94 reserve fund.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Not sought at this time.

 

Public Consultation

 

Will be sought following the preparation of a draft plan.

 

Conclusion

 

Given the uncertainty over the timing of the State government’s planning reform agenda program and the release of the guidelines to assist councils in their preparation of new developer contribution plans it is recommended that the Council only proceed with the preparation of a project brief at this time.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Previous Council report and Discussion Papers

44 Pages

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/3              That a project brief be prepared for the consideration of Council for a comprehensive review of all current section 94 plans.

 

2/3              That the project brief be reported to Council for endorsement.

 

3/3              That Council reaffirm its position not to proceed with a review of its Section 94 plans until such time as the Minister has released new guidelines for the preparation of Section 94 plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Previous Council report and Discussion Papers

 












































 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.3

Subject                            ASHFIELD CBD PUBLIC DOMAIN IMPROVEMENTS

 

File Name                        Urban Planning > Strategic Planning

 

Prepared by                   Ron Sim - Manager Strategic Planning & Projects       

 

 

Reasons                          Council resolution – explore improvements to Ashfield CBD

 

Objective                         Pro-actively encourage upgrading of buildings within the Ashfield CBD by preparing paint schemes. Explore possible incentives for progressing painting upgrades in a future report to Council.

 

Strategic Plan Link       OH&UE 2.1(06 – 08) Develop management plans for each of Ashfield’s town centres to improve visual amenity and to promote pedestrian movement over car and truck traffic.

 

Management Plan         Enhance the quality of Ashfield’s built environment whilst

Activity                             protecting its heritage

 

 

 


Overview of Report

 

Responds to a previous Council resolution to investigate ways of encouraging upgrading of buildings within the Ashfield CBD by preparing paint schemes.

 

 

Background

 

When Council adopted the Ashfield Town Centre Development Control Plan it resolved in part that Council’s heritage consultant, Mr Bob Irving, OAM be asked to provide a quotation to prepare paint colour schemes for building facades of properties located within the Ashfield CBD. Council also resolved that possible incentives to encourage property owners to paint buildings be investigated, including financial incentives such as “rate holidays”. Council also resolved that advice be obtained from Council’s legal representatives to explore mechanisms for entering into agreements with property owners to ensure that painting was carried out to an acceptable standard if financial incentives were offered.

                            

The primary objective is to encourage private investment and enhance economic viability in the CBD through the sensitive improvement of the public domain. Other aims were to realise paint schemes that would serve as quality examples and at the same time preserve some of the heritage and architectural character distinctive to Ashfield’s CBD.

 

Similar paint schemes (available on Council’s web site) have proven to be useful tools for property owners. See Attachment 1 for an example of a paint scheme in Lackey Street, Summer Hill. Closer to home a “Paint the Town” scheme exists in Canterbury City Council operating on a relatively modest budget ($500 grant for painting an eligible property) - see Attachment 2 for details or visit.

 

http://www.canterbury.nsw.gov.au/www/html/762-facade-improvement-program.asp  

 

Attachment 3 is self- explanatory and describes how a façade painting scheme typically operates in towns in the United States of America (it is apparent from internet searches that there are many schemes of this type operating in that country).

 

Update

 

Robert Irving has recently been engaged on other projects including assisting Council with a review of its Heritage Conservation Development Control Plan which will shortly be the subject of a report to Council. However, he has now submitted a proposal to prepare painting schemes for a total of 8 representative buildings in the Town Centre, These buildings are in Charlotte Street (2) Liverpool Road (4) and Hercules Street (2) – see Attachment 4 for details. Mr. Irving has verbally advised that preparing a paint scheme for each and every property in the Town Centre is not necessary (many buildings are of brick (unpainted) construction and many are also similar in form and detailing. Selecting a smaller representative sample of eight (8) buildings which are good examples of their era/genre can achieve the same objectives at much less cost.

 

Mr. Irving says the schemes would be indicative of facade colour schemes appropriate to the style and period of the selected building facades, prepared as follows:-

 

®            A colour photograph of each facade as existing.

 

®            An outline drawing of each street facade, carefully differentiating the component parts of the building to be painted, such as main walling, architectural details including modelled embellishment, joinery or window trim, footpath awning fascia and other differentiated details.

 

®            Colours to be chosen from exterior and traditional palette schedules in the Dulux range, selected for attractiveness and acuity as well as heritage relevance, so as to enhance the identified architectural and period qualities of each facade. This would generally not include modern or recent shopfronts.

 

®            Each presentation would also include notes intended to indicate possible improvements such as removal of excrescences and possible repairs, resulting from careful observation of existing conditions.

 

Mr Irving’s quote for completing the above work is a very modest $200 per building or $1,600 in total. There is sufficient existing funding allocated for the task.

 

In order to expedite progress it is suggested that Mr. Irving’s quote and methodology now be accepted and he be authorised to proceed. When the work is finished a further report can be submitted to Council providing details of the paint schemes and suggested ways to “incentivise”/publicise this initiative.

 

It is very important to note that besides the primary objective of kick-starting an improvement in the appearance of the CBD, the scheme is also intended to boost business confidence in the centre.

 

Note: It is appreciated that the concept of providing possible future financial incentives to assist owners to implement painting schemes is highly problematic given Council’s present budget constraints. However, options for targeting/minimising expenditure can be explored in a further report. For example, expenditure can be limited by either offering modest financial assistance on a “first come first serve basis” (the Canterbury Council model) and/or by targeting a small number of buildings for assistance as part of a longer term “rolling incentives” program. A modest level of targeted expenditure provided on a dollar for dollar basis and limited to facade improvements may not only achieve “value for money” but also act as a catalyst for improvement of other neighbouring properties at no cost to Council while demonstrating Ashfield Council’s ongoing commitment to improving the CBD environment. Such an initiative would also demonstrate support for our business community in the midst of what is a remarkably difficult economic climate.

 

To reiterate, it is suggested that “incentive options” including mechanisms for implementation be explored further after Mr. Irving has completed the painting schemes and reported back to Council. Ultimately, even if no “incentive” funding scheme was approved the colour schemes to be prepared can be widely publicised at little cost and used regularly to promote a culture of “main street awareness” and pride for owners and tenants of properties within the CBD.

 

Financial Implications

 

Preparing paint schemes for eight buildings as proposed by Mr. Irving involves a modest expenditure of $1600. This can be funded from existing budget allocations. If Council decides in due course to offer limited assistance to property owners to paint buildings additional expenditure will be involved. Options for minimising expenditure whilst making inroads into the problem of deteriorating/unsightly façades in the Ashfield CBD can be explored in a further report to Council.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Council’s Economic Development Officer was consulted and broadly concurs with the objectives expressed in this report.

 

Public Consultation

 

Not applicable at this stage.

 

Conclusion

 

There is little doubt that the CBD built environment needs considerable visual improvement. Many traditional buildings have a dilapidated “street presence”. A painting uplift could transform their appearance for relatively modest outlay. Over time, a scheme to encourage painting of key traditional buildings which contribute to the character of the centre will realise this objective, enhance civic pride and indirectly support businesses by making the CBD more attractive.

 

Targeted assistance limited to façade painting only for selected buildings, may also reap substantial long-term environmental “dividends” because (in addition to the building being improved) it will encourage upgrading of other important buildings in the Town Centre. Such an initiative would demonstrate Council’s ongoing commitment to improving the CBD environment and complement the significant public domain improvements anticipated as a result of the new Civic Centre development.

 

Finally, Council’s corporate image with businesses and the wider community as a key player in promoting an enhanced CBD environment would undoubtedly be enhanced.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Example of paint scheme for property in Lackey Street Summer Hill

1 Page

 

Attachment 2View

Canterbury City Council "Paint the Town" scheme - website extract

2 Pages

 

Attachment 3View

Details of painting improvement scheme operating in USA

5 Pages

 

Attachment 4View

Submission by heritage consultant

1 Page

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council’s heritage consultant be authorised to prepare paint schemes for eight (8) buildings within the Ashfield CBD at the fee proposed and a further report to Council be prepared canvassing possible incentives and implementation methodologies when this work is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Example of paint scheme for property in Lackey Street Summer Hill

 

 


Attachment 2

 

Canterbury City Council "Paint the Town" scheme - website extract

 


 


Attachment 3

 

Details of painting improvement scheme operating in USA

 





 


Attachment 4

 

Submission by heritage consultant

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.4

Subject                            WASTE AND RECYCLING - PROJECTS & INITIATIVES

 

File Name                        Waste Management > Management > Budget & Reporting

 

Prepared by                   Anthony Ogle - Manager Infrastructure       

 

 

Reasons                          To advise Council of the status of several waste and recycling related projects and initiatives that provide service capability conforming to Council’s strategic direction

 

Objective                         To continue with the projects and initiatives reported

 

Strategic Plan Link       Our Natural Environment

 

Management Plan         Our Natural Environment

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

Council is required to tender for contracts for waste and recycling collection services as the current contract have already been extended to the limit considered acceptable. New contracts need to be operating by the time the current ones expire at the end of June 2009. The collection arrangements and scope of the contracts will be substantially the same as present, with provision for changes based on known and likely changes in the market and regulatory framework.

 

 

Background

 

Council is responsible for providing property based domestic waste and recycling services under the Local Government Act. In addition, these services allow Council to offer similar services to business for which Council charges a commercial fee.

 

The NSW Waste Avoidance & Resource Recovery Act requires Council to meet certain targets for recycling and resource recovery. To reinforce this, the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) charges levies on waste to landfill to fund the City & Country Environment Restoration Program. It rebates some of these levies to Council under the Waste Service Performance Improvement Program provided the requirements and targets of the Act are met.

 

Some of these requirements involve the structuring of Councils services and contracts, as well as creating a situation for the separation and recovery of materials that have viable re-use. This report gives an update of the project and initiatives that allow Council to meet the above requirements.

 

Collection Services – Waste & recycling bins

 

The report to Council of 28 Oct 2008 confirmed proceeding to tender for collection services for the bins. The specification and tender documentation for this is being prepared with the assistance of consultants experienced with these type of contracts (Impact Environmental), and should be finalised within the next few weeks. The public tender period will start in May, with a report to Council to accept a tender expected in June. It is possible that there may be a lag in the contractor in commencing, and the current contractor (SITA) have agreed to a casual monthly extension to cover this.

 

This timeline is delayed to what was expected, some of the reasons being the need to be consistent with the food organics contract and the SSROC directions, and the demands on Council’s Infrastructure staff resources for a range of other issues.

 

The key factors of note for this contract are :

·    it is for a 5 year period rather than longer to allow Council flexibility to align with emerging technologies and arrangements which are being pursued by SSROC and other Councils but not yet ready.

·    the existing bins will be retained, avoiding the impact of a major changeover and disruption to residents, as well as getting the best material life of the plastics involved, and not requiring the financial cost of replacing approximately 40,000 bins.

 

Separated Food organics

 

At its meeting of 27 March 2007 Council agreed to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the Inner West Councils for a contract for dealing with the separation of food from the waste stream. This project has been led by Leichhardt Council, with valuable assistance from the DECC, and has also required ACCC approval for a joint contract and a probity advisor. To deal with the practicalities of bins and public awareness, it is most likely that the system will involve Food and Garden Organics being put into the same bin, and accordingly the contract has been labelled FOGO.

 

At present Council offers the garden organics as an optional bin service, with close to 4,000 bins issued  (out of over 17,000 premises) with almost all to single dwellings.

 

The contract documentation has recently been finalised, and the tender advertisement will be appearing in the newspapers commencing Tuesday 21st April. The contract is limited by the ACCC requirements to be no longer than 10 years from their approval date.

 

Clean Up / Kerbside

 

Council currently provides a collection of material left on the kerb side in 4 cycles a year. Although this approach assists residents and allows for resource scavenging, it poses many challenges from a streetscape amenity and safety perspective. Many other metropolitan Councils have moved away from this general approach and offer only phone in requested pickups, and this system appears to be well accepted, particularly if not limited to a small number of requests (normally 2 or 4 per year per property).

 

It is intended to develop a project in 2009/10 to consult with the community on the option of moving to align our services with the other Councils that have phone in requests only.

 

Mattresses

 

Mattresses are a bulky item that traditionally have been difficult to recover any material from. WSN and Veolia have introduced charges for the receipt and disposal for each mattress, well in excess of the weight based charge applied for waste (currently $20 each). Council was approached by a firm prepared to collect and shred the mattresses for some recycling, at a lesser charge (currently ($15), and has been using this firm on a casual basis. The number of mattresses collected each year is such that the aggregate payment is well below the tendering limit, and this arrangement will be continued until such time as a viable alternative provider emerges.

 

Textiles

 

The audit of the waste stream shows that approximately 4% of waste is in the form of textiles, mainly clothing, representing about 40t pa out of Ashfield’s waste. Although relatively small, it is still a significant quantity of material for which there are markets. The most effective way of separating this material has been shown to be the drop off clothing bins operated by registered charity organisations. The material collected is separated to recover clothing of value for re-use through sale at charity outlets, direct distribution and overseas aid, as well as sale of cloth. Apart form the social benefits, it assist Council achieve its landfill diversion and resource recovery targets. The bins also achieve this at no cost to Council.

 

Although there are bins around the municipality on private property, Council has not allowed them in public places due to some past issues with poor management of the overflow. The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) has developed protocols for their members including best practice management to deal with this issue. One of the members, Learning Links, has approached Council to permit six or seven bins in selected public locations through the municipality. This organisation has agreements in place with several other Councils in the SSROC area, all of which report the management of the bins and any overflow has been in accordance with the protocols and provide good references.

 

These Councils allow the bins under various controls, the most suitable seeming to be an annual licence system that can be revoked if the operator is not performing, and can be converted to a tender/quote system is multiple operators are seeking access to locations.

 

It is proposed to trial the bins by this operator using an annual fee of $500 per bin site (proposed by the operator and is equivalent to a road use permit) and being given a performance bond of $2,000. The operator would be required to promote the textile recovery aspect being provided, and be closely monitored given the visibility of the locations of:

 

·    Ashfield - at the Mall carpark & the railway commuter carpark,

·    Croydon – the aquatic centre carpark & Georges River Rd at corner with Forbes St

·    Haberfield - Gillies St carpark & UTS rowers carpark

·    Summer Hill  - carpark towards the back fences away from the main thoroughfare

 

Waste Education

 

Council's Sustainability Team is currently working on a range of new waste education material to raise the awareness of our community with regards to waste issues. The materials being produced include a comprehensive guide to Councils waste services, educational flyers and postcards that target illegal dumping and fact sheets for our business waste customers. The waste information pages were comprehensively revised and updated in line with the launch of Council's new website.

 

We offer alternative waste disposal options for Mobile Phones and Corks and we are currently investigating light globe recycling. In addition we continue to promote alternative waste disposal options to our residents through participation in and promotion of:

 

•     the Bower Reuse & Referral Service

•     Freecycle

•     Chemical Clean Out (run by DECC)

•     Fridge Buy Back

 

Where possible, we also partner with our neighbouring councils and SSROC on waste education campaigns including grant programs, educational workshops and development of regional strategies and education materials.

 

This year as part of the Environmental Levy Program for schools Council has engaged the Keep Australia Beautiful Waste Watchers Program to undertake curriculum based waste and water education programs for primary schools in the LGA.

 

Financial Implications

 

The budget and domestic waste charge for 2009/10 has been set on the expectation that the new contracts and material disposal costs will not differ significantly in price from present, but does recognise that some increase above CPI may occur to account for external trends affecting businesses in the waste and recycling industry. It is intended the domestic waste reserve acts as buffer to cover any variability, and that subsequent years adjusted to match contract prices whilst maintaining an adequate reserve.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Included in the report.

 

Public Consultation

 

As the collection and recycling contracts do not change the service collections arrangements for residents, it is considered that public consultation is not required. Once it is clearer as to the bin implications for the FOGO contract, which is likely to be swapping the regular waste and garden bins around for which is weekly and fortnightly, this will be communicated with the residents with the optional service. There will also be a program of public awareness to promote the uptake of the organics service, which should be favourable given the community satisfaction survey has shown 80% or residents want such a service.

 

For the proposal of changing the kerb side collection to a phone in request system, a methodology on seeking community opinion on this will presented in a further report.

 

Conclusion

 

The projects and initiatives are part of Council’s ongoing waste and resource recovery services and to meet its statutory obligations. They are all interdependent to achieve the target of 2/3 diversion from landfill and meet the communities expectations for resource recovery. Further reports will be presented to Council on the key aspects such as tenders or where there is potentially significant public affect such as kerb side collection arrangements. Other initiatives are operational and are provided for Councillor awareness.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council note the information on the projects and initiatives for waste and recycling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.5

Subject                            USE / HIRE OF ASHFIELD COUNCIL PARKS

 

File Name                        Parks & Reserves > Seasonal Hire

 

Prepared by                   Epeli Naivalu - Manager Operations       

 

 

Reasons                          The demand for use/hire of sporting fields within the Ashfield Council is growing for all sporting codes and Council needs to set some guidelines on how best to allocate a limited resource to a growing need

 

Objective                         To provide Council with a report on feedback from sporting organisations who hire/use Council sporting fields

 

Strategic Plan Link       N/A

 

Management Plan         N/A

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

Council is considering introducing a policy on preferential hire/use of playing fields other than the current historical use basis. This report presents an overview of the responses received from sporting bodies on Council Resolution 526/08, being for local membership as the factor for determining preferential priority.

 

 

Background

 

The Council Resolution 526/08 on 11 November 2008 states:

 

“Council seek the opinion of all sporting associations within the Ashfield Municipality and groups currently using Council fields on a policy under consideration that in all future applications for use of Council’s sporting grounds that preference for use/hire be given to local schools within Ashfield Municipality and sporting clubs or groups fostering junior sporting codes with membership predominantly made up from local Ashfield Council residents.”

 

The demand for seasonal hire of playing fields is predominantly for winter season codes, where demand exceeds availability. During summer, only cricket is played and preferential priority is not required. Council did not write to schools within the LGA at this stage as they do not hire playing fields at peak times, and the preference in their favour would not see a diminishment of their likelihood or ability to hire fields.

 

Council wrote to the sporting organisations who have hired playing fields in previous winter seasons, seeking their feedback. These are:

Ø A.P.I.A Leichhardt Tigers

Ø Balmain Wanderers

Ø Burwood Football Club

Ø Young Irelands GAA Club

Ø Canterbury District Soccer Football Association

Ø Football NSW

 

Feedback from these are included as Attachment 1.

 

Main issues

 

The clubs operate within a district and code framework, with significant control by the respective peak body. This control may not align with Council’s priority of supporting junior sport. This also means that locals could also be involved as away players rather than direct membership.

 

A robust system to confirm local membership to determine hire may not be possible given the Privacy Act and the methods/timeframes for annual enrolments.

 

If tenure of use is no longer a priority, Council has not considered how to handle new entrants requesting use of fields, and growth in other codes of sport. In the same vein, the priority doesn’t address any proportionality of membership numbers to the amount of space/time requested.

 

The codes and clubs need some surety of the booking rather than a year to year basis, to allow for recruitment and club development. A system of not confirming bookings until after recruitment would radically affect how any club operates within the district, and could generate conflict of expectations should recruits and members be turned away without any alternatives within their chosen sport

 

The relative priority given to junior players over adults is not consistent with any social policy of encouraging adult fitness, and may also be discriminatory, on the basis of age. Council has been advised through several forums that the demographic trend is for an ageing population that will have greater demand for fitness and recreation activities.

 

A suggestion has been raised to relocate Haberfield Football Club to Hammond Park, Ashfield for training and competition. This has been discussed with the club, and they are agreeable for this to take effect from 2010. As the club has only about 40 players, the impact should not be overly significant, especially bearing in mind that by having a playing field in the park, there should be a reasonable expectation of it being used.

 

Financial Implications

 

Hire costs are stipulated in Council’s Fees and Charges structure. These are sent out to clubs as part of the winter application kit. These are also on the website.

 

If more than 70% of a club’s membership resides within Ashfield LGA, clubs receive 30% discount on fees for night training. As the total fees for night training is not the major component of income for Council, the impact is not large. Of more concern is the ability to reliably determine whether the threshold for the discount has been achieved, given the privacy issues mentioned above.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

A policy of the nature proposed could affect the patterns of usage of playing fields, and would be of interest to the broader community. Also, with local membership preference, the community represents the body of potential and actual membership of clubs, and would expect to be consulted before any further consideration of the proposal.

 

The proposed relocation of HFC to Hammond Park from 2010 will be communicated to the surrounding residents.

 

Conclusion

 

Other Councils that have attempted to change the method for hiring playing fields have generated controversy and struggled with the issue. Some have dealt with the issue by establishing stakeholder forums and processes to work through the issues involved. These Councils are typically larger and have specialist recreation planning staff.

 

Council could consider a similar approach, but would need to resource it with facilitation, investigations and reporting. The priority and effort for this should also be balanced against the benefit to be achieved. In its current form, the only likely effect in the short term is to deny the Haberfield Football Club (HFC) to the benefit of the APIA Leichhardt club. The relocation of the HFC to Hammond Park would remove the major catalyst for introducing the proposed policy on playing field hire for the present.

 

Applications for use/hire of Council sporting fields closed on 20 February 2009 and all five clubs have submitted their applications. Clubs would clearly have been disadvantaged if applications had not been approved so close to the start of the winter season (01 April 2009), and accordingly the existing arrangements were extended for 2009 while Council considered the proposed policy.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Feedback from sporting organisations

2 Pages

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2              That all five clubs be approved for use/hire of Ashfield sporting fields for the winter 2010 season based on previous amicable associations with Ashfield Council. That this includes Haberfield Football Club using Hammond Park, Croydon for training and competition.

 

2/2              That should Council intend to proceed further to develop a policy for preferential priority in the hire of playing fields, the peak regional sporting bodies for each code using Council’s playing fields and the other Councils within those districts be consulted to assess how the issue of priority allocation of playing field hire is best and equitably dealt with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Feedback from sporting organisations

 

FEEDBACK FROM SPORTING ORGANISATIONS

 

A.P.I.A Leichhardt Tigers

 

·        Parks

o Train – Pratten, Algie, Hammond and Ashfield Parks

o Games – Algie

·        Registration – 1000 plus players in juniors and seniors.

·        Residency qualifications – 70% of club members reside in Ashfield LGA.

·        Tenancy – approximately last  20 years

·        Comments

o Supports policy.

 

Balmain Wanderers

 

·        Park – Centenary Fields (games only)

·        Registration – Approximately 600 players (juniors and seniors)

·        Residency qualifications – Unknown.

·        Tenancy – last two years

·        Comments

o Membership and residential status of members will be unknown until 2 – 3 weeks before start of the season at registration, so meeting residential requirements will be unknown and it would be unfair to dismiss clubs 2 – 3 weeks before season starts based on residential requirements which cannot be proven due to privacy laws.

o Adults should have same rights as children in using sports fields.

 

Burwood Football Club

 

·        Park – Centenary Fields (train and games)

·        Registration – Approximately 600 players (400 juniors and 200 seniors)

·        Tenancy – approximately last 10 years

·        Residency qualifications – Unknown.

·        Comments

o Council needs to consider the absolute number of players within the Ashfield LGA.

o Council needs to consider the length of the association between club and Council.

 

Haberfield Football Club

 

·        Park – Algie Park (train and games)

·        Registration – Approximately 40 players

·        Residency qualifications – Greater than 50% of members reside in Ashfield LGA.

·        Tenancy – last 40 years

·        Comments

o Policy does not take account of the rules or situations over which the clubs have no control eg parent body (Sydney Amateur Football League) prohibits affiliated clubs to have junior teams.

o The fact that a club does not have junior teams does not mean that they do not support junior sports.

o The policy does not take account of situations where clubs are allocated grounds but do not use them.

o The policy does not account for club and area loyalty.

o The policy does not account for the fact of how the name of the club depicts the area it represents.

o The policy is potentially discriminatory as it adversely affects groups of predominantly older members over groups with predominantly younger members.

o The requirement to provide names and addresses may be a breach of the Privacy Act 2000 (Cwth).

o Club has met Council’s requirements to submit applications for ground hire by 20 February 2009.

o Only club to be part of the sporting history of Ashfield.

 

Young Irelands GAA Club

 

·        Park – Ashfield Park (train)

·        Registration – Approximately 40 players

·        Residency qualifications – Unknown.

·        Tenancy – last 20 years

·        Comments

o Over the last 20 years the club has had no issues adhering to Council regulations.

o Club has met Council’s requirements to submit applications for ground hire by 20 February 2009.

 

Canterbury District Soccer Football Association

 

·        Affiliated clubs - Leichhardt Tigers and Burwood Soccer Club

·        Comments

o Association is member of Pratten Park Advisory Council.

o Association would like to be involved in meetings with Council in regards to the resolution.

 

Football NSW

 

·        Affiliated clubs – All clubs through intermediary associations.

·        Comments

o Supports resolution.

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.6

Subject                            IMPACT OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS ON LOCAL SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCIES

 

File Name                        Community & Mental Health Issues

 

Prepared by                   Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                         Council request for a further report.

 

Objective                         To provide Council with an update on the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on  local social welfare services.

 

Strategic Plan Link       OCW 1.6

 

Management Plan         Our Community Well-being

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

 

Significant social impacts of the Global Financial Crises are widely predicted. At this stage there are some initial indications of this impact at a local level but it is considered that the major effects are yet to be felt. The report seeks to provide Council with an update on the impact of the crisis on local welfare services and an overview of national, state and local responses.

 

 

Background

 

At a meeting of 9 December 2008 Council considered a report on Social Issue Arising from the Global Financial Crises and determined:

 

That a further report be provided to Council in the first half of 2009 outlining how welfare agencies are responding to demand and proposing further actions to be taken by Council.

 

This report seeks to provide updated details on national, state and local responses to the economic crises.

 

National

 

1)   In response to the Global Financial Crisis The Commonwealth Government has introduced a $42 Billion ‘Nation Building-Economic Stimulus Plan’. Some of the features of this plan include:

 

·    $14.7 billion over 3 years for Building the Education Revolution including new school infrastructure.

·    $12.2 billion towards targeted bonus payment to assist households and support economic growth

·    $6 billion over 3 and a half years for the construction of new social housing with a further $400 million over two years for repairs and maintenance to existing public housing dwellings.

 

It can be fairly assumed that this stimulus plan will either directly or indirectly impact on residents in the Ashfield Municipality.

 

2) ACOSS (the Australian Council of Social Service) notes that figures for February show there are an extra 47,100 people looking for work.

 

“In 1-2 years we can expect to see a sharp rise in long term unemployment. Long term unemployment breeds social exclusion and erodes people’s skills, confidence and health. It can also lead to family breakdown, being forced to move to lower-rent areas where jobs are scarce and social problems become entrenched.”

 

3) The Job Services tender announced recently by the Federal Government has resulted in the following successful tenders for the Inner West of Sydney:

·    Job Find Centres Australia Pty Ltd.

·    Max employment

·    The ORS Group

·    The Salvation Army Employment Plus.

 

ACOSS have commented in relation to the tendering process:

 

“With unemployment rising, tendering the entire employment services network couldn’t have come at a worse time. There is real potential for disruption and disadvantage for job seekers.”

 

State

 

Information from the NSW Government emphasises efforts to support jobs in order to boost the economy. Features outlined include:

 

·    A $56.9 billion infrastructure program supporting more that 150,000 jobs a year.

·    4,000 new government apprenticeships and 2,000 cadetships over four years.

 

NSW COTA (Council on the Ageing) notes that the number of new aged pensioners rose from about 2,000 per week in October 2008 to 3,000 weekly in December. The financial crisis and the accompanying decline in the value of superannuation accounts and other assets are believed to be behind the increase, according to COTA. COTA notes that decisions on the future of the pension system are to be announced in the May Federal budget.

 

Local Area


Exodus Foundation

 

In January this year the Exodus Foundation provided approximately 250 lunches per day. By February this had gone up to 280 per day and now it is 300 lunches being provided per day. Exodus expects to be providing 700 meals a day by the end of this year.

Rev Bill Crews was recently quoted in the metropolitan media:

 

“Getting donations is harder than ever due to the economic crisis and the demand for services is rising each week. There’s a twin tsunami of increased need and less money.”

 

St Vincent de Paul Society

 

The Society advises that they have not seen any major impact of the financial crisis on clients at this stage, but expects assistance to increase as unemployment rises. However, support to clients for rent arrears has doubled from last year mainly because landlords have taken advantage of the lack of supply of affordable housing to increase rents.  It is worth noting that Ashfield Municipality has a very high proportion of residents in rental accommodation -39.5% in Ashfield LGA compared to 29.7% in the Sydney Metropolitan Area.

 

The St Vincent de Paul Society is finding more homeless people are coming to them for food vouchers, clothing and warm blankets. More people than ever before are also seeking financial counselling assistance because they find themselves being unable to cope with their escalating cost of normal day to day living and want to be able to help themselves and not ask for charity.

 

Burwood Community Welfare Service

 

This service has experienced a slight increase in referrals to financial counselling in the last 3 months compared to the same period last year. The service also can’t meet the demand for Emergency Financial Relief, although this was the case last year as well. People have been impacted by the issue of housing. Housing is a significant issue for clients largely due to rent increases experienced towards the end of last year. The Family Support Services within the agency finds that 50% of their clients are having a major issue with housing.

 

Catholic Care Sydney

 

Council partners with CatholicCare Sydney on various project including our Confident Parenting workshops. The CEO of CatholicCare, Bernard Boerma, said recently in reference to the current economic crisis:

 

“It is not unusual for a family presenting to CatholicCare to have a negative equity in a home in the vicinity of $50,000 to $100,000 and to have $20,000 to in excess of $100,000 worth of unsecured debt, credit cards, personal loans and the like”. In this context CatholicCare have reported an increase in families presenting for financial counselling.

 

On the theme of financial pressures on families due to housing costs, one media report has noted the Reserve Bank saying that more borrowers will fall behind on their loans in the coming months, even as interest rates fall. By last December 20,000 households had slipped more than 90 days behind on their mortgages, according to Reserve Bank estimates. A year earlier, only 13,000 were behind. In this context it is important to note that 31.1% of Ashfield’s households are in the process of being purchased.

 

Ashfield Council

 

Where practical Council seeks out employment solutions for our most vulnerable, for example people with disabilities through our Disability Employment Program. At the present time Council is working on an application to the Commonwealth Innovations Fund. The objective of the Innovation Fund is to fund innovative place-based solutions to address barriers to employment for groups of the most disadvantaged job seekers. The specific Council application being worked on by Community Services seeks to address employment issues for people with disabilities and the long term unemployed in the Ashfield LGA and the Inner West area. Broadly the proposal involves working in partnership with local non-government agencies to identify work opportunities and build the capacity of new enterprises to employ people with disabilities, low income people and the long term unemployed. It is anticipated the application will be submitted in May.

 

Additionally, Council has been approached by the Regional Industry Career Adviser of the Australian Industry Group regarding possible use of office space. This organisation provides practical information, advice and assistance to help members run their businesses more effectively. Council officers will meet with the Adviser to assess the proposal in respect of whether it may benefit businesses in the Ashfield LGA and the potential employment opportunities that may arise for the area.

 

Financial Implications

 

Nil

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

Council contacted various welfare agencies in the preparation of the report.

 

Conclusion

 

Not a lot of additional information has come to hand since the first report was provided to Council on this topic. It is anticipated that the major impacts on our community will be felt further down the track, perhaps in 6 to 12 months time. The major impact is likely to be in the area of employment and housing costs. Council needs to continue open communication with, & support for, local welfare agencies as they deal with significantly increased demand for their services.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the information contained in this report be noted

 

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.7

Subject                            DRAFT ASHFIELD COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT 2009

 

File Name                        Code of Conduct

 

Prepared by                   Vanessa Chan - Director Corporate and Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                          Presentation of Draft Ashfield Code of Conduct

 

Objective                         Adoption of the Draft Ashfield Code of Conduct for the purpose of public exhibition, in accordance with the Local Government Act

 

Strategic Plan Link       Our Organisation

 

Management Plan         Our Organisation

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report


Ashfield Council adopted the new Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW on 28 October 2009. The Code of Conduct Working Party has reviewed the provisions of the Model Code and recommended its formal adoption and exhibition with minor amendment.

 

 

Background

 

The Local Government Act requires that Council review and exhibit the Code of Conduct Policy within 12 months of the election of each new Council. The Code of Conduct must be adopted in accordance with the Local Government Act, the Regulations and any guidelines and/or models as released by the Department of Local Government from time to time.

 

On 20 June 2008 the Department of Local Government gazetted a new Model Code of Conduct. The new Model Code took effect on 20 June 2008 and at it’s meeting held 28 October 2008 the then newly elected Council determined to adopt the Model Code as an interim measure and established this Working Party to undertake a substantial review of the Ashfield Code of Conduct. At that meeting Council further resolved to support the formation of a sub-regional Code of Conduct Review Panel.

 

The Code of conduct Working Party met on 7 April. The meeting was in two parts, the first was a presentation from the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) about corruption risks in the planning process and outcomes of the ICAC investigation into Wollongong City Council. The second part of the Working Party involved a review of the Model Code of Conduct in the context of Ashfield Council.

 

About the new Model Code of Conduct

 

The Department of Local Government released several detailed papers outlining the major difference between the previous and new Model Codes. The DLG Circular 08-38 is attached for information.

 

The major changes include:

·    introduction of new declaration of political donations requirements

·    call for divisions on every DA matter and publishing of an associated register

·    a new complaint handling framework

 

As previously indicated Council has a responsibility to work in accordance with the requirements of the new Model Code. Additional Council provisions that strengthen the provisions of the Model Code are permissible; however the Model Code acts as the minimum standard and will supersede any provisions that do not meet minimum standard. Also provisions that are significantly more ‘onerous’ than the Model Code may be deemed beyond powers.

 

Complaint handling and the SSROC Sub-Regional Conduct Review Panel

 

One of the most welcome elements of the new Model Code is that it outlines much more clearly the range of complaint handling options available to Council, the initial assessment criteria for complaints; and substantially changes the role of the GM and particularly the Mayor in the complaint handling process moving the investigative role to new ‘independent conduct reviewers’. 

 

At the Council meeting 28 October 2008 Council resolved to support the formation of a sub-regional Code of Conduct Review Panel. I am able to report that SSROC has subsequently called for quotation, interviewed and finalized a panel of independent reviewers and that this regional service is now available.

 

Policies and Procedures

 

Supplementing the Council’s Code of Conduct policy is a set of procedures that provide more detail on key elements of the policy. This includes a suite of forms and detailed lists and associated business processes. Responsibility for developing, monitoring and updating these procedures lies with the GM and they are reviewed annually. 

 

Outcomes of Code of Conduct Working Party

 

At its meeting held 7 April 2009 the Code of Conduct Working party resolved:

 

That Council adopt the DLG Model Code of Conduct with the following amendment to the body of the Code:

 

(a) Procedural Fairness, page 31, be amended to read

 

“provide the person the subject of the complaint with a reasonable opportunity to respond to the substance of the allegation without undue delay”

 

The attached Draft Ashfield Council Code of Conduct 2009 includes this amendment.

 

 

Financial Implications

 

Nil

 

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

In accordance with the Local Government Act, the Draft Ashfield Code of Conduct will be placed on public exhibition for a period of not less than 28 days. An advertisement will be placed in the local press, copies available at Customer Service, Ashfield and Haberfield Libraries and on the Council website. A report will be brought back to Council detailing any submission received for consideration of Council in adoption of the final Code of Conduct.

 

Conclusion

 

Ashfield Council adopted the new Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW on 28 October 2009. The Code of Conduct Working Party has reviewed the provisions of the Model Code and recommended its formal adoption and exhibition with minor amendment.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Department of Local Government Circular 08/38

9 Pages

 

Attachment 2View

Draft Ashfield Council Code of Conduct 2009

32 Pages

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council adopt the Draft Ashfield Council Code of Conduct 2009 for the purpose of public exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Department of Local Government Circular 08/38

 









 


Attachment 2

 

Draft Ashfield Council Code of Conduct 2009

 
































 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.8

Subject                            UPDATE ON ASHFIELD COUNCIL'S STRATEGIC PLAN

 

File Name                        Ashfield Strategic Plan 2020

 

Prepared by                   Lauren McIver - Corporate Relations Officer       

 

 

Reasons                          To update Councillors on the process design and progress for the development of Ashfield Council’s new Strategic Plan, including the community engagement strategy.

 

Objective                         To facilitate open government and high quality community consultation and leadership on major public issues

 

Strategic Plan Link       Our Organisation

 

Management Plan         Our Organisation

Activity

 

 

 


Overview of Report


As part of its new integrated planning framework, Ashfield Council is developing a new 10 year strategic plan to guide the Council’s operations and budget towards 2020.

 

Council has partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) for this process which involves extensive and ongoing engagement with Council’s key stakeholders, including residents, ratepayers, community groups, local businesses and other government agencies, to develop a shared vision for the future.

 

An extensive process of community engagement is currently underway utilising Council’s existing networks, events and activities in the community.  These events are leading up to two public conversations which will provide an opportunity for anyone to have their say on the future of the Ashfield Council area.

 

 

Background

 

Strategic Planning Process

 

Ashfield Council has adopted an integrated planning framework which is in line with draft legislation being developed by the Department of Local Government.  The Strategic Plan will set a long-term vision for Ashfield, and will be the overarching document for Council’s other statutory plans, including the State of Environment Report, Social Plan, Management Plan and new Urban Planning Strategy and Local Environmental Plan.  Following an extensive process of engagement and analysis with internal and external stakeholders, a draft Strategic Plan will be made available for public exhibition in September 2009.

 

Ashfield Council has partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Future (ISF) to develop a new, 10 year Strategic Plan for Ashfield Council.  This project commenced in 2008 under the leadership of Director Corporate and Community Services, Vanessa Chan.  Council’s Integrated Planning Team, Councillors and the Executive Management Group have been involved in process design for the project.

 

ISF is an independent, Not-For-Profit research consultancy based at the Sydney University of Technology (UTS).  The consultancy team working with Council is led by Associate Professor Michael Paddon, Director, with Research Principal Emma Partridge and Senior Research Consultant Dr Jason Prior. ISF is also seeking expert advice from two internationally renowned professionals, Graham Sansom from the UTS Centre for Local Government and Prof Lyn Carson from the University of Sydney, an expert in participatory democracy and community engagement.

 

ISF have presented to Council on two occasions about the process for Ashfield Council’s Strategic Plan (November 2008 and March 2009), and have conducted interviews with Councillors about their vision for the process and the future of the Ashfield Council community.

 

 

Community Engagement

 

Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation

The community engagement strategy for Ashfield Council’s Strategic Plan is called Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation.  The strategy enables Council to capitalise on its existing relationships in the community, as well as provide an opportunity to reach other stakeholders not generally connected with Council’s planning and community engagement processes.

 

The strategy provides stakeholders with a number of ways to participate in the process, from written surveys, to face to face meeting, public conversations and online opportunities.

 

The strategy has been designed in accordance with Council’s Community Engagement Policy and Toolkit and, through various stages, aims to encourage participation at the Inform, Consult, Involve and Collaborate levels on the IAP2 Spectrum.

 

The community engagement strategy can be described in three phases:

 

Phase 1 - Broad Community Engagement (March – May)

·    Consultation via Ashfield Council’s Existing Activities, networks and events, including:  Book Groups, Home Library Morning Tea, school visits, Access Committee, Seniors Action Committee, Ashfield Business Chamber, Youth Week, Seniors Week

·    Town planning focussed consultations in Ashfield Mall, and stakeholder workshops

·    Focus Groups with representatives from Council’s Chinese community

·    Meet Your Councillor Session

·    Public Conversation #1, Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

 

Phase 2 - Developing options and priorities for our community’s future (June - August)

·    Public Conversation #2, Wednesday 5 August, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

 

Phase 3 – Providing feedback on the Draft Strategic Plan (September/October)

·    Public Exhibition

 

The public conversations are scheduled to be held at Ashfield Boys High School Hall, a neutral venue close to parking and public transport.  These sessions will be run as facilitated “world café” style sessions, involving small group work around set questions.

 

Events for Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation are being widely promoted via Council’s website, newsletter, weekly column in the “Inner West Courier”, display advertising in the “Inner-West Weekly”, media relations, invitations and posters displayed on Council’s noticeboards.  An invitation to the public conversations is currently being printed.

 

Meet Your Councillor session

 

A successful Meet Your Councillor session was held at Ashfield Mall on Saturday 18 April as part of Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation.  This event was attended by six Councillors, including the Mayor, and provided an opportunity for Councillors to work through the five broad questions with local residents, and record answers on the ‘Conversation Capture’ tool developed for this purpose.

 

Another Meet Your Councillor session as part of Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation will be scheduled in consultation with the Mayor and Councillors.

 

Reporting

 

The outcomes of each session are captured in a “conversation capture” reporting template developed specifically for Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation.  The template enables Council to capture some demographic data, as well as the key issues raised by session participants.  All reports will be entered into an electronic database and analysed by ISF to identify emerging issues.  The website will also be update with emerging issues as throughout the community engagement program.

 

Encouraging maximum participation

 

Councillors and Council staff have expressed a strong interest in ensuring our strategic planning process reaches those people who are “seldom engaged” in our community.

 

This may include, but is not limited to, youth, seniors and people from a Culturally or Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background, such as Ashfield’s Chinese, Italian and Polish communities, as well as the emerging community from the Sub-Continent.

 

Council’s Annual Community Survey results from 2008 also indicated the 18-39 year old age bracket felt somewhat disconnected from Council’s community engagement and decision-making processes.

 

Council is addressing this issue by undertaking a detailed process of stakeholder identification and determining the appropriate strategies to reach different stakeholder groups, including face to face meetings, workshops in with different cultural groups and online engagement.

 

ISF have also developed a working paper on the seldom engaged.  Please refer to Appendix III.

 

Online community engagement

 

Councillors and Council staff have expressed a keen interest in providing opportunities for the “time poor” people in our community to participate in Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation via the World Wide Web.  With the advent of Web 2.0, the use of social networking sites and online forums is exponentially increasing.

 

Indeed, the statistics from the 2006 Census indicate more than 62% of households in the Ashfield Local Government Area have an internet connection, with this number almost certain to have increased since 2006.

 

Council staff are currently investigating the use of new online community engagement tools such as Discussion Forums, Frequently Asked Questions, Quick Survey and Videos for Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation and future community engagement projects.

 

Financial Implications

 

Nil

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

As outlined in the body of this report.

 

Conclusion

 

The development of the strategic plan is progressing well and the model for community engagement is proving a successful method of seeking opinions from a broad range of stakeholders.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Process Flow Chart

1 Page

 

Attachment 2View

Storyboard panels produced to provide stakeholders with background information about the strategic planning process and Council’s services and facilities

12 Pages

 

Attachment 3View

Calendar of Community engagement events being conducted by Ashfield Council as part of “Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation”

7 Pages

 

Attachment 4View

Working paper on consulting the ‘Seldom Engaged’ people in our community, developed by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF)

11 Pages

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2              That Council notes the dates and venue for the public conversations for Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation:

·    Public Conversation #1, Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

·    Public Conversation #2, Wednesday 5 August, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Ashfield Boys High

 

2/2              That Council notes the progress on the new strategic plan and provides comments and/or feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Process Flow Chart

 

 


Attachment 2

 

Storyboard panels produced to provide stakeholders with background information about the strategic planning process and Council’s services and facilities

 












 


Attachment 3

 

Calendar of Community engagement events being conducted by Ashfield Council as part of “Ashfield’s Biggest Conversation”

 







 


Attachment 4

 

Working paper on consulting the ‘Seldom Engaged’ people in our community, developed by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF)

 











 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.9

Subject                            BIODIESEL FUEL FOR DEPOT VEHICLES / PLANT

 

File Name                        Fuel > Alternatives

 

Prepared by                   Epeli Naivalu - Manager Operations       

 

 

Reasons                          This is the first of six monthly reports to Council on the raw material used in biodiesel fuel

 

Objective                         To provide Council with a six month report on biodiesel fuel

 

Strategic Plan Link       N/A

 

Management Plan         N/A

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

This report presents required responses to Council on biodiesel fuel.

 

 

Background

 

Council Resolution 492/08 on 14 October approved the use of biodiesel fuel on diesel vehicles at Council’s Summer Hill depot. This followed a successful trial of five months on three depot vehicles. Council was subsequently requested to provide six monthly reports providing an auditable listing of all the sources of biodiesel fuel provided by The Biodiesel Station (the supplier) including details of exactly what plant and animal matter is used.

 

Depot vehicles transitioned to biodiesel fuel on 18 November 2008.

 

The Biodiesel Station (TBS) has now been supplying Ashfield Council with biodiesel for five months. During this time TBS has supplied Ashfield Council with a B20 Biodiesel blend that is composed of 20% tallow-based biodiesel and 80% fossil diesel. 

 

TBS, since April of 2008, has only purchased Biodiesel from one supplier, Biodiesel Producers Limited.  The BPL plant is located near Albury, on the NSW/VIC border, and they use tallow as the raw material (feedstock) to produce Biodiesel.

 

TBS has no plans to change the current supplier as the quality of their fuel is superb, and BPL has no plans to change their feedstock from Tallow.  Their tallow is locally sourced, and there is sufficient supply of tallow in that area to satisfy their production requirements.

 

Through the use of biodiesel fuel Council assists the environment by saving approximately 2 tonnes of GHD emissions into the atmosphere per month.

 

Council vehicles have had no adverse effects since transitioning to biodiesel fuel.

 

 

 

Financial Implications

 

Cost per litre is approximately $1.25 (variable) which includes delivery to the depot.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

Nil

 

Conclusion

 

·        Council’s biodiesel supplier (TBS) uses biodiesel that has tallow as a raw material.

 

·        The quality of biodiesel fuel is exceptional.

 

·        TBS service standards are satisfactory.

 

·        There are cost savings with the biodiesel fuel option.

 

·        There are environmental advantages with the biodiesel fuel option.

 

·        Council vehicles have had no adverse effects since transitioning to biodiesel fuel.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council note the contents of this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 28 April 2009

CM10.10

Subject                            2009 REFUGEE WEEK PROJECT

 

File Name                        Community > Activities > Multicultural

 

Prepared by                   Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                          Request by external agency for Council project support.

 

Objective                         To seek Council endorsement for the initiative

 

Strategic Plan Link       Our Community Well-being

 

Management Plan         Our Community Well-being

Activity

 

 


Overview of Report

 

Council has received a request to participate with other Inner West Councils in the signing of a Declaration to Welcome Refugees. This report provides the background to the request.

 

 

Background

The Inner West Settlement Service has written to Council regarding a Refugee Week Project for this year's Refugee Week 2009, themed "Freedom from Fear". The service would like to involve Council in the project.

The Settlement Service notes that in a 2008 document produced by the Refugee Council of Australia, that of the five LGA's that make up the Inner West, Leichhardt Council was the only one to sign the 'Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration', which is "a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in our community." The Refugee Council states that this public commitment is also an acknowledgement of the tremendous contributions refugees have made to Australian society in the fields of medicine, science, engineering, sport, education and the arts.

The aim of the Refugee Council itself is to promote humane, flexible and constructive policies towards refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons. Since the end of the Second World War, Australia has become home to over 600,000 refugees.

The Inner West Settlement Service, which is auspiced by the Smith Family, is keen to include Ashfield, Burwood, City of Canada Bay, and Strathfield Councils together in signing the Declaration on a day of celebration and fun during this year's Refugee Week: June 14 - 20. The celebration could be held simultaneously in each Council LGA, or combined at a venue each Council agrees on. The Community Development Manager with The Smith Family Community Settlement Services Scheme would be happy to be the head for this project with the assistance of Community Project Officers from participating Councils. The Smith Family Community Settlement Services Scheme provides free community settlement services to newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants living in the Inner West.

The services states that it is in this spirit of increasing awareness and knowledge about Refugees and Humanitarian entrants that they invite the Inner West Council's to take into consideration this worthwhile event.

The Settlement Service would like Councils to consider this matter as they will be applying for a Small Grant from the Refugee Council to get funding for the provision of refreshments and possible entertainment for the signing of the Declaration. The Settlement Service is willing to organise the signing event in collaboration with any interested Community Project Officers.

 

Financial Implications

 

No financial implication as the project seeks external grant funds. Any staff time commitment could be absorbed within existing work programs.

 

Other Staff Comments

 

Nil

 

Public Consultation

 

Nil

 

Conclusion

 

Support for this initiative would send a positive message of compassion to people in great need. It would also signal Council’s acceptance of cultural diversity in our community of Ashfield.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council participate with other Inner West Councils in the signing of a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration’ during Refugee Week 2009.