cabonne Council colour 200 wide

 

27 April 2010

 

EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING & COMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

MONDAY 3 MAY 2010

 

NOTICE is hereby given of COMMITTEE MEETINGS commencing at 9.30am and an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING, commencing at 11.15am, to be held at the Cabonne Council Chambers, Bank Street , Molong on Monday 3 May, 2010.

 

9.30am

COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE – Core Members – Clrs Bleakley, Dean, Dowling, Hyde, Gosper and Walker (45 mins)

 

9.30am

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM COMMITTEE – Core Members – Clrs Duffy, Culverson, MacSmith, Wilcox, Farr and Durkin (30mins)

 

10.15am

WORKS COMMITTEE – Core Members – Clrs Bleakley, Dean, Dowling, Hyde, Gosper and Walker (1hr)

 

10.00am

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES & SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE – Core Members – Clrs Duffy, Culverson, MacSmith, Wilcox, Farr and Durkin (1 hr)

 

11.15am

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING

  • 2010/2011 Draft Management Plan and Budget
  • Manildra Sewerage Treatment Plant – Lease Agreement

12.00 noon

LIGHT LUNCH

 

Business papers are attached and, in accordance with Council’s policy all Committee Meetings are open to any interested Councillors. Please note Committees will commence at the nominated time or at the conclusion of each preceding Committee.

                                                                           

 

                                                                  Yours faithfully,

                                                                 

G.L.P. Fleming

                                                                  GENERAL MANAGER

 

 


 

 

 

 

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COUNCIL’S MISSION

“To be a progressive and innovative Council which maintains relevance through local governance to its community and diverse rural area by facilitating the provision of services to satisfy identified current and future needs.”

 

 
 

 

 


         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COUNCIL’S VISION

Cabonne Council is committed to providing sustainable local government to our rural communities through consultation and sound financial management which will ensure equitable resource allocation.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT ON MATTERS FOR DETERMINATION SUBMITTED TO THE Extraordinary Council Meeting TO BE HELD ON Monday 3 May, 2010

Page 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

ITEM 1      2010/11 DRAFT MANAGMENT PLAN & BUDGET........................ 2

ITEM 2      Manildra Sewerage Treatment Plant - Lease Agreement  25  

 

ANNEXURE ITEMS

 

ANNEXURE 1.1    Draft Strategic Plan 2010/2011............................. 27 

 


 

 

ITEM 1 - 2010/11 DRAFT MANAGMENT PLAN & BUDGET

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

To table the Draft Management Plan, advise Council of the key issues and recommend its consideration and adoption by Council

Policy Implications

Consistent with Council's policies and directions set during this and previous terms of Council

Budget Implications

Provides the funds for Council's projects and authorises work to be carried out

Area of Responsibility

Governance

Annexures

1.  Draft Strategic Plan 2010/2011    

File Number

\My Workspace\Business Paper Report Directory\Working Reports InfoCouncil 2010 - 182184

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

I am pleased to present to Council my report in relation to the 2010/11 Draft Management Plan and accompanying budget documents.

 

My report is also accompanied by reports from various Council officers highlighting issues in their particular area of responsibility.

 

Annexure 1.1 Strategic Plan

 

The attached Strategic Plan is a compilation of a range of issues that have been considered by Council, particularly over the past 18 months. Being strategic in nature it is not intended to cover in detail Council’s operations, as these matters are covered through other sources such as quarterly management plan reports, budget reviews, special reports to Council, workshops, reports by senior staff to relevant committees etc.

 

There has been significant reform in relation to Council’s approach to strategic planning, mainly linked with the Integrated Planning and Reporting requirements which have now been introduced by the State Government. Council has received a number of reports on the Integrated Planning and Reporting and this year’s Management Plan is the first step in the new process. It should be noted however that Council has set a 3 year deadline for the final adoption of the Integrated Planning and Reporting. This is certainly a wise move as it will allow the incorporation of the outstanding research already undertaken by Council and response from the community members in relation to the Cabonne Community Plan 2025 which will form the central component of Council’s Strategic Plan going forward.

 

In the coming year Council will be required to conduct further workshops and consultation in relation to the Cabonne Community Plan 2025 and the 2011/12 Management Plan will be further enhanced as a result of the Integrated Planning and Reporting requirements.

 

In relation to the current Strategic Plan, once adopted its importance can not be underestimated as it is a way of communicating Council’s direction and priorities to our various communities and stakeholders across the Shire as well as State and Federal Government agencies, the WBC Alliance, other Councils and Council Staff.

 

Supporting documentation for the Strategic Plan includes:

 

·    Draft Budget

·    Draft Fees & Charges

·    Draft 5 Year Plan

·    Environmental considerations

 

Input for the preparation of the Strategic Plan has come from a very wide range of sources including:

 

1.       Decisions and resolutions made by Council during the past year

2.       The recent review of Council’s policies which have been undertaken

3.       Councillor workshops

4.       Consultants reports

5.       Community Focus meetings

6.       Future Direction Forum

7.       2009/10 Management Plan

8.       Comments from Councillors

9.       Input from Staff

10.     Court & legal decisions

11.     Legislative changes imposed by State and Federal Government

12.     Directions by the Minister

13.     Division of Local Government and other Government agencies

14.     Macroeconomic considerations including climate change, water and the ongoing effect of the Global Financial Crisis

 

This represents a huge range of input and by its nature does require Council to set priorities, evaluate service levels, make compromises and develop various strategies. The process whilst complicated and at times and frustrating does however provide a balance in the 2010/11 Management Plan and essential requirement of a progressive and sustainable Council, particularly in the tight economic environment being experienced by Councils across Australia.

 

Specific Comments in Relation to the Management Plan

 

The Management Plan attempts to address the challenges and priorities that have been identified by Council. As such there are a number of issues that the General Manager wishes to comment on due to their strategic importance, impact on Council or cost considerations. The comments by the General Manager are supported by comments from the relevant Director of issues important to their Department.

 

Allowable Rate Increase

 

It is most unfortunate that the State Government has only allowed an increase in rates for the coming year of 2.6%. This is difficult for Council to juggle particularly when increases in areas such as electricity, street lighting, insurance, ongoing superannuation surcharge (amounting to an extra $348,000 per annum), new award increases etc are way above the State Government’s rate pegging level.

 

The level of the allowable rate increase set by the State Government will need to be closely reviewed in future years as it is continuing to have a negative impact on Councils across NSW and their ability to provide the level of service that residents, ratepayers and Council’s demand.

 

Finance Workshop

 

The Finance Workshop conducted with Councillors on April Committee meeting day and subsequent follow up by individual Councillors should materially assist Council in the consideration and the adoption of the Draft Management Plan and Budget. I take this opportunity to thank Councillors for their input at the workshop and for those Councillors that have subsequently followed up with the relevant staff querying items in the Draft Budget.

 

This was a process commenced by Council only last year and certainly proves beneficial to both Councillors and Staff and saves a lot of time and questions when the budget is formally presented to the Extraordinary meeting.

 

Financial Sustainability

 

The financial sustainability of many local government areas across Australia has been brought sharply into focus in the last few years. Cabonne is fortunate that due to sound decisions by current and previous councils that it is in a solid financial position. It is important however that Council continue to:

 

a)      Evaluate services and service levels

b)      Adhere to sound long term financial planning principles

c)      Stay within budget allocations

d)      Identify source of funds for unallocated or unapproved items

e)      Review expenditure items for increased effectiveness and efficiency

f)       Continue to examine new revenue sources and existing fees and charges

g)      Continue to work with WBC partners to achieve both financial and in-kind savings and provide services. This also applies with Council’s involvement with CENTROC and other similar alliances

 

Asset Management

 

The importance of asset management to local government is well known by Councillors and Council’s active participation with its WBC Alliance partners is seeing progress made with the Asset Management Program. The Asset Management Plan for roads is approaching finalisation and in the coming years we will see attention given to areas such as bridges, kerb and guttering, recreational facilities, plant and buildings etc. Asset Management planing is a sound management tool however it does come with both direct financial and staff costs. This needs to be recognised by Council and the community.

 

Flow on from Global Financial Crisis

 

The flow on from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) continues, albeit there has been a marked recovery in recent times. The impact is still being felt through areas such as interest on investments, significant increase in superannuation contributions, greater scrutiny of Council investment strategies and in some cases higher cost of materials.

 

Cabonne is indeed fortunate that due to its management of investment strategies that exposure to the GFC has been not as significant as other neighbouring councils. It is also pleasing to note that some of the Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs) which are still unresolved are continuing to pay high dividends to Council  (5.75%, which is still above current market rates).

 

Completion of Budgeted Works

 

The completion of budgeted works is essential to Council in terms of keeping both men and machinery fully occupied and also in recuperating oncosts and overheads. It is a matter that Council has expressed some concern about in the pass as uncompleted or deferred works also reflect poorly on Council. Council’s Engineering Department are aware of the necessity to complete budgeted works and this has been emphasised by the Director of Engineering and Technical Services with his Managers and Supervisors. Obviously Council’s Works Committee plays an important role in monitoring the Works Program adopted by Council.

 

Reduction in Reserve Balances

 

Council will note that there has been a reduction in the reserve balances for 2010/11 of some $4.2m. This is due to significant works in relation to capital projects such as the Four Town Sewerage Scheme however Councillors need to be strongly aware that some of the reserve balances have been used to carry out works which will ensure both the workforce and plant are fully occupied.

 

The reduction in the reserve balances will also result in a net loss of investment returns of approximately $231,000.

 

A wide range of Council services are funded from the income generated on interest on investments and this is an area that will need to be continually monitored by Council in the future to ensure that the loss of income can be adequately managed.

 

Departmental Operating Plan

 

Once the Management Plan and associated Budget documents are adopted it will be responsibility of each of Council’s Directorates to prepare a Departmental Operating Plan for the General Manager. This enables the General Manager to more closely monitor key projects and priorities and provides the appropriate focus for staff in carrying out Council’s wishes. The Departmental Operating Plans are also used by the various Directors as a way of preparing reports for various Council Committees and also part of the quarterly Management Plan and Budget Review process.

 

Four Town Sewerage Scheme

 

The continuation on works of Council’s Four Town Sewerage Scheme is one of Council’s absolute priorities for the 2010/11 year. The completion and Official Opening of the Cudal Scheme this year was a significant occasion and work is well underway with the Manildra Scheme. Priority will need to be given however to Yeoval and Cumnock to ensure that these schemes are brought online as soon as possible.

 

Economic Development Strategy

 

Council’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS) will be subject to review in the coming year. The appointment of the new Economic Development Manager will provide a great opportunity for a fresh look at Council’s Strategy, which also incorporates a Tourism Marketing Plan.

 

It will be important as the Economic Development Strategy is reviewed, reported and adopted, that Councillors have input to ensure that they are  providing the necessary direction and support in accordance with Council and community wishes and best practice. Economic Development is one of the key priorities for this term of Council and the importance of the EDS review is self evident.

 

One of the benefits of Council’s EDS is that reports currently prepared for Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee are directly referenced to the appropriate item number in the strategy. This is a principle which could be further adopted by other Committees in relation to Council’s Management Plan priorities.

 

Information Technology & Communication Networks

 

Council has previously been advised that its existing software supplier Fujitsu have been taken over by Civica and that Council’s current IT system will need replacement. Actions are underway with the WBC Alliance partners to advance this matter and it is likely that firm proposals will be presented to Council prior to the end of this year.

 

During the past year there has also been some upgrades to Council’s communication networks however Council needs to note that further upgrading is necessary.

 

It is hoped that if suitable arrangements can be made through the WBC Alliance there should be significant savings to Council with its new IT system. Councillors should note that these systems do not come cheaply, however funds provided in the reserve, which includes the 2010/11 transfers, should be sufficient without any further drain on Council’s budget.

 

Waluwin Community Centre

 

The opening of the Waluwin Community Centre and HealthOne Project was a significant achievement in the current year. However there will be ongoing management and financial responsibilities that will need to be addressed in the coming year. Council at its April meeting gave direction in relation to the establishment of the management committee and it is hoped that once this is operational, strategies, actions and budgets can be presented back to Council.

 

The fact that the Waluwin Centre was acknowledged by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mr Andrew McDonald as the ‘best practice’ in Australia should provide great confidence to Council and the wider Cabonne community.

 

Local Environmental Plan

 

There has been significant work on Council’s Local Environmental Plan with the recent round of Village Strategy Meetings providing excellent information and data for incorporation as part of the Strategy. With the adoption of the Rural and Industrial Strategy and continued input from the WBC Strategic Planner, Andrew Napier with dedicated support from Council staff, the timetable outlined by the Director of Environmental Services is still possible. It should be noted however that every time new information is presented or further consultation is required the timetable is extended.

 

The Local Environmental Plan is certainly one of Council’s major priorities and Councillors will need to continue to provide input and focus on its completion.

 

Engineering & Environmental Services Department Reviews

 

The reviews carried out on Council’s Engineering and Environmental Services Departments in recent months will provide good input and focus for Council in the coming year. It will be important that Council continues to review its operations, give direction and support to the relevant departments and staff.

 

Waste Management

 

The issue of waste management is one that will become clearer in the coming year. With the decision on the HUB and Council’s further investigations into the capacity of existing landfills work will need to commence in earnest on the next phase of Council’s Waste Management Strategy.

 

Council has some funds put aside and will need to closely monitor developments at the Federal and State level into waste management recognising environmental, social and financial requirements.

 

Cabonne Council was a founding member of Netwaste and Council’s continued involvement with Netwaste will continue to provide not only access to expertise and resources, but ongoing financial savings and improved services, such as we’ve seen in the past with E-Waste, scrap metal recycling, green waste and composting.

 

Customer Service

 

Council has received a number of reports and conducted a comprehensive workshop on customer service and it is pleasing to receive feedback, that whilst certainly not perfect, there has been improvements in areas such as response to correspondence, customer service requests and Council’s telephone clusters. Emphasis will continue to be given to customer service in the coming year with strategies and actions already implemented being monitored and ongoing improvements being reviewed.

 

Wellington Blayney Cabonne Alliance (WBC)

 

The importance of the WBC cannot be underestimated as it is now integral part of the way Council functions. The recent presentation by the WBC Project Officer has highlighted the directions, achievements and benefits of the WBC. It will be important that as the WBC sets its own Strategic Plan for 2010/12 that input is provided by Cabonne Councillors and Staff.

 

The WBC is now widely acknowledged across Australia as one of the leaders in collaborative arrangements, but we can not rest on our laurels, we must continued to look at new and improved ways of delivering services, saving costs and collaborative arrangements.

 

Recurrent, Capital, Discretionary, Non Discretionary Financial Implications Matrix

 

The Recurrent, Capital, Discretionary, Non Discretionary Financial Implications Matrix adopted by Council has been an excellent tool to enable Council to consider financial decisions and the implications of them.

 

Financial Implications Matrix

 

Recurrent

Capital

Discretionary

Non Discretionary

 

It has certainly been extensively used by Staff in the preparation of the 2010/11 Budget and will continue to be a simple to use tool that can be applied right across the organisation.

 

Transport & Roads Expenditure

 

Council’s number one priority is and has always been expenditure on roads and transport. The current budget continues this emphasis with some $10.1m , including roads, bridges, curb and gutter etc.

 

Council’s income for roadworks is derived from a wide range of sources including Council funded works, RTA, Roads to Recovery and Blackspot funding. One noticeable trend is the reduction in government grants for road funding, particularly in relation to construction areas. As flagged previously this will see a shift in Council resources to more urban and utility (water & sewer) related services. Whilst this is not expected to have an impact on Council’s total staffing arrangements, it will affect future years expenditure in relation to plant and equipment purchases.

 

Water & Sewer Funds

 

The current Council has made significant progress in relation to the management of its water and sewer funds, with the adoption of the Cabonne Water and Cabonne Sewer Funds. This is in accordance with the State Government’s Best Practice Guidelines and when coupled with user pay arrangements and other components of Best Practice is an important part of Council addressing the State Government’s reform agenda.

 

It is worthy to note that Council has fully completed requirements under the Best Practice guidelines. A significant achievement that places Council in a sound position going forward with Reform.

 

It is a concern however of delays with the completion of capital works identified by Council. Council’s Engineering Department have been specifically requested to focus on this issue in the coming year. Council has provided funds from Reserve and when coupled with loan borrowings, this should enable the necessary projects to be scheduled for 2010/11 and beyond.

 

The work carried out with the WBC Alliance partners in relation to Integrated Water Cycle Management is also noteworthy in relation to the management of Council’s water funds and the impact on wider areas of the community.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The current term of Council is approaching the half way mark. The direction set by the current Council has certainly been supported by Councillors and Staff and continues with the draft 2010/11Management Plan and Budget.

 

Council’s strong financial management has stood in good stead during the Global Financial Crisis and the resultant fallouts, however with increasing costs, reducing government grants and cost shifting Council will need to be vigilant in its ongoing financial management strategies and service level evaluation.

 

The Community Consultation undertaken as part of Council’s Cabonne Community Plan 2025 is the most extensive consultation ever undertaken by Cabonne in its history. The surveys involved some 28 villages and localities and with a response rate of over 30%, a figure unheard of in local government in Australia for a general survey, Council will certainly have good data on which to continue to make decisions in the future.

 

Recognising the challenges faced by local government generally and Cabonne specifically the Draft Management Plan as presented represents the balance between wants and needs that Cabonne Council is faced. The work put in by Councillors in the last 12 months be it through workshops, Council meetings, community meetings etc provides a sound foundation for Council to adopt the attached Management Plan and accordingly it is commended to Councillors

 

 

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & CORPORATE SERVICES’ REPORT

 

The Strategic Plan includes the details of operating income and operating expenditure together with asses and liabilities for each Principal Activity for the 2010/11 year. Similar information has also been provided for the ensuing 4 years.

 

Under Section 405 of the Local Government Act, it is necessary for Council to give public notice of its Draft Management Plan after it has been adopted and that the Plan be placed on Public Exhibition for a period of not less than 28 days for public comment.

 

It is proposed that the Draft Plan be on exhibition at the following locations:

 

·    Council’s Offices in Molong, Cudal and Canowindra

·    Post Offices in Eugowra, Cumnock and Yeoval

·    General Store in Cargo

·    Business Enterprise Centre, Orange

·    Each of the Libraries in Canowindra, Manildra and Molong

·    Council’s website

 

The Librarians will have two copies of the Plan with one being available for overnight loan.

 

The Draft Plan will be placed on Public Exhibition from Tuesday 4 May 2010 inviting public submissions. These submissions will close at 5.00pm on Tuesday 1 June 2010.

 

Any alterations made as a result of submissions will be included in the Draft Plan, which will then be presented to Council at its June Meeting for final formal adoption.

 

DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING & TECHNICAL SERVICES’ REPORT

 

Overview

 

The 2010/11 budget poses a number of challenges for the provision of services and operations. However, notwithstanding these difficult budget constraints, the resulting challenges provide opportunity for innovation and refinement in the way we do things and ultimately improved cost effectiveness.

 

Reviewing operational resource will be necessary to ensure a resilient sustainable workforce is achieved in the current economic environment.  The short to medium term income from the RTA for capital works on the State Road is forecast to be significantly less than in recent years; however other external revenue such as Roads to Recovery and FAGS remains constant.  2010/11 is the 2nd year of the R2R program.

 

Plant utilisation is currently under review and recommendations will be put to Council to rationalize plant fleet to achieve optimal productivity in the current and future budget limitations. While historic utilization of Council’s major plant items is on par with industry standards, the forecast income for capital works will not sustain the same level of utilization.

 

The Four Town Sewer reticulation works continues with the Manildra Sewerage Treatment Plant and reticulation under construction.  This project remains the biggest project on Councils program and will continue into 2011/12 with construction of sewerage systems in Yeoval and Cumnock

 

Annual reporting requirements for council’s assets (required under the International Accounting Standards) has put a strain on councils resources. The information gained from the asset valuations will also be used in the development of the Cabonne Community Plan 2025.

 

Roads and Bridges

 

Council’s road asset consists of 1946 kms of rurals roads (1280 kms gravel) and 102 kms of urban roads. Of this 215 km is Regional Main Roads for which Council receives “BLOCK GRANT” funds from the RTA to maintain this asset. Council also carries out work on the State Road network in the LGA under contract to the RTA. The length of State Road is 220 kms.

 

The Road Asset Management Plan (2009) identifies significant funding gaps for maintenance and renewal of the roads asset. Previous reports to Council have identified the need to address asset renewal in budget considerations and will be a consideration when reviewing the five year plan of works.

 

Council undertakes works on the State Road network under contract to the RTA. This contract (RMCC) has a significant impact on Councils budget and resource injecting around $2m into the budget annually.

 

Capital Works on Roads and Bridges

 

Capital works in the 2010/11 budget includes:

·    Works on State Roads under the RTA RMCC                     $1,055,000

·    Regional Roads including the completion of Murrays Bridge     $880,000
(Note this includes reseals and shoulder rehabilitation works)

·    Local roads including replacement of a timber bridge                  $1,560,000
(Note works under the R2R program and timber bridge replacement program)

Local Community Programs

 

Council and community groups have been successful in obtaining Federal and State funding for local community projects including programs such as the Federal Regional Local and Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) and the Jobs Fund program (funded through DEEWR). It is noted that the Jobs Fund project has resulted in the employment of an additional person in a local business in Canowindra.

 

The second round of the RLCIP will provide funding to enable the refurbishment of the Eugowra Pre-School and Community Hall and the construction of a skate park in Canowindra. Local community fund raising by local community groups needs to be acknowledged as without their contribution many of these community infrastructure projects would not be possible.

 

The VEP, LAIP and CIP programs have been included in the 2010/11 budget. Project detail have yet to be determined. The CIP is a 50/50 program with community groups required to nominate projects later in the year. The LAIP program is for improvements to infrastructure nominated by the Director in consultation with Councilors.

 

The 2010/11 budget provides for the up-grade of the Canowindra pool amenities, provision of a shade structure and lighting up-grade. An application has been made to Sport and Recreation for 50/50 funding for this project.

 

Asset Management

 

Preparation of asset management plans for Council’s asset groups will consume considerable time and resources over the next 2 to 3 years. These plans are necessary to meet Councils legislative reporting requirements and for the development of CCP 2025.

 

Council has completed the Roads Asset Management Plan and is currently preparing stage 2 of the asset plans for urban infrastructure and bridges.

Stage 3 of the asset plan will include buildings, parks and reserves and plant.

Establishing levels of Service/ Community expectation and budget limitations will be integral in the development of these plans.

 

The preparation of an Asset Management Plan for Councils buildings will assist Council in rationalizing management and expenditure on these assets. These assets include, Community Halls, Dwellings, Preschools and other commercial buildings.

 

Economic Activities

 

Other Economic activities undertaken by Council; Includes the Caravan Parks, Private works and the Molong Limestone Quarry.

 

The Caravan Parks continue to be a burden on the budget with $143k allocated for maintenance and operation of the caravan parks in the 2010/11 budget. The social and economic benefit of maintaining caravan parks in the Cabonne LGA needs to be closely examined and determined when looking at the future operation of the caravan parks. Review of the operation of caravan parks is needed and should consider the form of management and amenities provided.

 

Council continues to provide services in the private sector, primarily in the supply and carting of potable water to residents in rural areas. Other works include forming and gravelling private roads.

 

The Molong Limestone Quarry has maintained its share of sales in agricultural lime and should continue to do so into 2010/11. There will be a noticeable reduction in the sale of specified road base (DBG20) as there are no RTA projects identified in 2010/11 requiring specified road base. Some sales have been made to developers in Orange and Council staff will continue to seek new markets for both lime sales & DGB20.

 

Major modifications to the conveyor system were completed in 2009/10 and will improve productivity by eliminating the need to double handle aggregate and roadbase.

 

A business plan for the quarry will be undertaken in the current financial year. The business plan will enable a review of the management structure of the Molong quarry. The imminent retirement of the current production supervisor will also necessitate this review.

 

 

Plant replacement program plant operation

 

As mentioned previously plant utilization will be reviewed in light of the current budget limitations and may require down-sizing council’s major plant complement. Any adjustment would be undertaken through natural attrition. Developments in plant technology and design requires continuous development and training for operators. Council has been pro-active in this area conducting workshops for grader operators and development of a training program for operators across the WBC Alliance. Designated grader operator trainers will be accredited and provide training for refresher training and training of new operators.

 

Water and Sewerage Services, Best Practice

 

Cabonne council has completed the six modules for best practice for water and sewer services;

 

1.   Strategic Business Planning

2.   Pricing (including Developer Charges, Liquid Trade Waste Policy and Approvals).

3.   Water Conservation

4.   Drought Management

5.   Performance Reporting

6.   Integrated Water Cycle Management

Council has included in the 2010/11 budget funds to complete the strategic plan to address the issues noted in the Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan (IWCMP). This document will examine the sustainable supply of potable water from the Molong Dam and capacity of the Sewerage Treatment Plants to cater for predicted populations 20 to 30 years into the future.

 

 

DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES’ REPORT

 

Council’s Environmental Services budget focuses on delivering an adequate level of service to the community with respect to:

 

1    Development Assessment and Building Control

2    Strategic Planning

3    Statutory Planning

4    Environmental Health

5    Waste Management

6    Cemetery Management

7    Animal Control

 

Many of these areas have a high level of regulatory control, often shaped by State and Federal laws. It is Council’s responsibility to implement and regulate a range of laws, policies and procedures relating to landuse planning and environmental matters. In many instances the functions of the Council’s Environmental Services Department have a significant impact upon the wider community and it remains essential that community remains informed about the nature of environmental law.

 

As is all too frequently evidenced community members are unfamiliar with the planning process and are often frustrated by the requirements of Council, regardless of whether the process is instigated by State and Federal laws. The Environmental Services Department is a small component of Council’s staff, yet responsible for a broad range of high profile programs.

 

In particular the review of the Local Environmental Plan for Cabonne remains a key priority with Council and the community. Also of key priority is the strategic planning for the delivery of an environmentally sustainable waste management service. These two issues remain central to the Environmental Services budget for the forthcoming year.

 

Of concern however is the continued shortage of staff within the Environmental Services Department.  This has been an issue for Council in recent years and remains a challenge. The inability of Council to secure and retain senior planning staff has placed strain on the resources of the department. This in turn impacts on the productivity of the staff and results in prioritising of work programs. Current work loads within the planning and health and building areas has resulted in certain areas being under resourced leading to a decline in the ability to adequately monitor areas such as food inspections, or to complete works projects such as the comprehensive review of the Council’s 2003 Heritage Study. Unfortunately the trend of the past few years looks set to continue into the forthcoming financial year.

 

Legislative change such as the Integrated Planning and Reporting process is likely to add further components to the Environmental Services Department’s responsibilities, which will need to be incorporated into the department’s workflow.

 

Local Environmental Plan

Significant progress has been made with the LEP review during the past year. Considerable research, assessment and analysis of planning policy, trends, demographics, past strategies and the like is required to prepare the necessary documentation to support the new standard LEP. While significant progress has been made by the WBC Strategic Planner in completing this complex task, the expectations of the Council and the community to gain a new LEP have not been realised and may be an unrealistic demand of a detailed process. However during the forthcoming financial year it is expected that the village strategies will be finalised and a draft LEP will be prepared. To achieve this there will need to be an ongoing commitment from Council to support the program by provision of adequate resources including funding.  A budget allocation has been identified to enable the preparation of documentation and mapping. Where possible, grant funding will also be sought to assist in undertaking the required work.

 

Heritage

The Council facilitates an annual heritage grants program to assist property owners with the maintenance of older buildings. Council also funds an annual Heritage Advisory Service with the ongoing employment of David Scobie as Heritage Advisor. David’s attendance at Council has been increased from half a day to one day per month to facilitate an appropriate level of work flow. Both the heritage grants and the heritage advisory service are partially funded by Council and also the NSW Heritage Branch of the Department of Planning. Funding by the Heritage Branch for the Advisory Service has been reduced and now requires Council to allocate funds based on one dollar grant funding to three dollars council funding. It is proposed within the budget to maintain both programs to their current level of operation.

 

Grant funding has been secured on a $ for $ basis to undertake a review of the Council’s 2003 Heritage Study. Funding to a maximum of $15,000 has been offered by the Heritage Branch to assist Council in the conversion of data into the required State Heritage Inventory format that will be required to support the draft LEP. The 2010/11 budget includes budget support to match the grant funding. Council’s heritage advisor, assisted by staff will undertake the heritage study review.

 

Waste Management

This remains a priority area for Council. In the past year Council has received reports by Quadro Pty Ltd into the operation of Cabonne’s existing landfill sites and the capacity of each site. The next phase of investigation is to draw upon the existing studies to prepare a comprehensive strategic plan for the future delivery of waste services within the Cabonne area. With Cabonne Council’s withdrawal from the Orange City Council regional waste development proposal it is essential that sound strategic planning is put into place to deliver sustainable and environmentally accountable waste management services. Funding for the vital strategic planning of waste service delivery has been incorporated into the 2010/11 budget. Also included in the budget is funding to commence site rehabilitation at landfill sites, initially being Yeoval and Cargo landfill sites. Budget allocations for this type of work will need to be maintained by Council in the immediate years to come.

 

The likely development of a series of transfer stations to service the council area, the imminent closure of the smaller landfill sites such as Cargo and the rehabilitation of such sites will continue to draw heavily on Council’s reserves. A review of fees and charges will continue to take place to reflect actual costs are addressed in an equitable user pay system of the landfill facilities. This may in turn impact upon residents and ratepayers. Maintaining open communication with the wider community remains essential to convey Council’s decisions and management strategies in the area of waste management.

    

Partnerships with agencies such as Netwaste remain important to the delivery of recycling services. Programs to accommodate the growing e-waste are expanding in response to community expectations. In addition, in the coming financial year opportunities will be investigated to expand the recycling services offered at the landfill sites, with the benefit of reducing the quantity of material such as batteries and glass going direct to landfill.    

 

Development and building controls

Despite changes in recent years to NSW planning and building controls, particularly the introduction of exempt and complying development legislation, Cabonne has generally maintained income levels generated by fees for development and building assessment and certification. Further change will be introduced to the industry with the accreditation of building surveyors. This may result in Council having to source external certifiers in some instances, where previously Council’s health and building officers undertook all assessment and certification work.

 

Current staff resources are dedicated to building inspections and development assessment work. There are however resource limitations to the ability to carry out the extensive range of inspections required by legislation. This includes carrying out regular inspection of food premises / businesses, maintenance of a septic tank register and response to specific issues such as noise complaints. In the past year food inspections were contracted to a consultant. Funding has not been able to be provided in the 2010/11 budget for this function and without additional resources Council will be unable to ensure completion of such tasks. A possible solution to this matter may be utilisation of resources across the WBC Alliance, and discussions on this matter have been initiated.

 

Development control and statutory planning processes continue to be carried out by the Environmental Services Department. The lack of appointment of a senior planner has been offset by the recent appointment of a graduate planner.  The role of senior planner is still largely the responsibility of the Director of Environmental Services. While not an ideal situation, a system has been put in place to facilitate assessment of development applications utilising the existing staffing level. Additional support is being provided through the WBC alliance with planning assistance provided as needed by planning staff based at Wellington and Blayney. A consultant planner has also been utilised to carry out complex development assessments.

 

Animal Control

Council continues to operate a part time ranger service. This position is under review with a proposal to update process, procedure and licensing requirements. It is essential that a review of the ranger’s service be completed, including a review of facilities such as livestock/animal impounding yards. The diverse settlement pattern of the Cabonne Council area provides a significant challenge to the implementation of an efficient and cost effective ranger’s service.

 

Cemetery Management

A common issue raised throughout Council’s community focus meetings was the desire of the community for improvements to Council’s cemeteries. During 2009/10 consultation was commenced with village and town communities, and interested persons to gauge and engage public comment on cemetery management. Programs have been implemented to improve maintenance and presentation of each of the operational cemeteries, and to enhance the sites with improved signage.  New beams were constructed where necessary to cater for continued use of the cemeteries. Community grants programs further enhanced the cemetery program with a shelter structure provided at the Canowindra cemetery. Community and school groups provided assistance with campaigns to tidy cemeteries and rebuild perimeter fences at Cumnock and Canowindra respectively.

 

During 2010/11 it is proposed to continue improvements at the cemeteries. An extension to the internal roadway system is planned for Canowindra. Conservation management plans are to be progressively prepared for each of the cemetery sites within Cabonne, subject to staff resources to carry out the assessment work.  An essential part of the cemetery management planning will be the ongoing consultation with the community to address concerns.

 

A program to encourage the conservation and maintenance of historic graves is also proposed to foster community awareness of the historic value of Cabonne’s cemeteries. 

 

Environmental management, climate change and sustainability

Greater emphasis is to be placed on environmental issues and sustainability. With the appointment of Senior Environmental Officer Council is moving to implement policies and programs to foster sustainability and best practise environmental management of its resources. The 2010/11 budget accommodates funding allocations to develop sustainability and environmental management strategies. Funding to assist in the development of programs will be sought along with developing WBC partnership programs as and where practical.

 

During 2010/11 further environmental work is to be carried out on remediation of landfill sites as well as remediation of the former Molong Gas Works site. Monitoring of water quality in Molong Creek will also continue as part of regional environmental monitoring. Council will again participate in the preparation of an annual regional State of the Environment Report facilitated by the Central West Catchment Management Authority to assess environmental awareness and management across the region.

 

The year ahead

 

As outlined above 2010/11 will be challenging for Council. Priority is given to completing the draft LEP and progressing Council’s waste management strategy. The Environmental Services Department is an experienced team, willing and capable of achieving many of the goals set for the department and Council. It is however a small team of staff and realistically it is not possible to adequately service all of the areas of responsibility to an adequate level. This will require out sourcing of some services to consultants, or alternatively recognising that some functions may not be undertaken within the timeframe allocated.

 

Satisfactory completion of the LEP process will be resource hungry and will require dedicated application by the Environmental Services team to support the Strategic Planner achieve timelines. Considerable time needs to be allocated to community consultation to ensure strategic outcomes reflect community expectations or facilitate a better understanding within the community of the legal processes that influence the LEP process.    

 

With Council committed to providing local waste management services the need to review current landfill practice and introduce best practice operation methods will come at a significant investment cost to Council. Future licensing of landfill sites such as Manildra may impose further cost and environmental consideration for Council. It is essential that sound planning be undertaken to ensure that best practice methods are implemented at the current landfill sites, along with cost effective recycling services to meet the needs of the community and address environmental and economic considerations.

 

SENIOR ACCOUNTING OFFICER’S REPORT

 

General Overview

 

Council’s budget has again been prepared under some constraint, and  although the economic outlook for the future is not as bleak as  at this time last year, a difficult year is ahead.

 

The first major restriction imposed on Council is that the increase in rates has been set at 2.6%.  This increase severely limits the scope of Council to maintain a level of service that has previously been provided. Operations expenses have, generally, been increased by the same rate, except where it is known that a greater cost will apply, for example electricity an increase of approximately 12.4% and insurance costs of 10%.

 

Another impact  on the budget is the  continuing cost  of Council’s contribution to the Local Government Superannuation Scheme, for those members who are in the Retirement Scheme. This  may   be prolonged and  will affect future years’ budgets as the Annual extra cost amounts to $348,000 based on 2009/10 figures.

 

Provision of funds to provide valuations of Council’s assets is another impost on Council’s budget. Council must now value its assets on a three year cycle, Roads and Bridges have been valued for this year and next year Council must value Water and Sewer Assets, the year after Land  and Buildings will  again been valued.

 

Council has, however, continued its commitment to its communities with several  projects listed to benefit the whole of  Cabonne, including villages and towns. Village enhancement, cemeteries, roads and bridges, drainage improvement, community services, water and sewerage services are some of the areas where this commitment is seen.

 

Another feature of this budget is that the coding of assets has been changed to reflect  the Department in which the Asset is to be recorded, previously all assets had been coded to the Administration Department.

 

All activities within the reserves and working fund provision account will, however, remain in the Administration  Department.

 

Some other matters of importance within the Departments are  as follows;

 

Administration

 

In this section the purchase of IT equipment, to the value of  $697,500, is included. The Majority of this expense is for the upgrade of  Council’s Computer Software System and tender processes are expected to begin in the later half of 2010. It is fortunate that Council has been putting funds in Reserves to meet this cost.

 

The overall value of the General Fund Reserve and  Working Fund Provision accounts has reduced, when compared to the expected value of the reserves as at the 30th June 2010, by a total of $2,538,966. This amount does not include the activity in the Water and Sewerage Funds. Which amounts to a further $1.7m, bringing the total reduction to an extimated $4.2m.

 

Salaries have been increased by 3.2%, in line with a  new Award which  is due in November 2010.

 

Oncosts and Overheads are included in the Administration Department and recoupment is relative to the value of the road works, ancillary works and services included in the budget.

 

Any change in the level of works will, of course, affect the value of the expected oncosts and overheads, however, as changes occur throughout the year, the Quarterly Budget Review process will capture those changes.

 

Public Order & Safety

 

Emergency Services, Fire Control and  Animal Control are covered by this Department. The expected contribution to the Rural Fire Service is $152,031 and to the Emergency Services Department  the contribution is expected to be $37,367.

 

The Rural Fire Service has notified Council that their contribution to Council for the reduction of fire hazard  next year  will be a total of  $87,500.

 

Health

 

Administration and Inspection, Noxious Plants, Health Centres and Food control are the main activities in this Department. No major increases or changes are noted with a net cost of $150,766 expected for the eradication  of  noxious weeds within Cabonne Council area.

 

Community Services & Education

 

In excess of  $1.36M of  income is expected for the assistance of various groups in our Council area, including Family Day Care, Child Care and Youth Services, Community Transport and Aged and Disabled Services.


The receipt of this income enables Council to continue to support the community with essential services required by  families and the elderly residents of our community.

 

Housing and Community Amenities

 

Housing, Town Planning, Domestic Waste and Other Waste Management, Street Cleaning, Environmental Protection, Public Cemeteries, Public Conveniences and Urban Stormwater Drainage are included in this Department.

 

Domestic Waste Management charges have been increased by 3.5%, to meet the service and costs associated with future delivery of waste services as identified in the Director of Environmental Services report.

 

Further Cemetery Beautification has been allocated $10,000 in this budget, for a project, or projects, to be  identified. This is in addition to any CIP or other grant funded projects.

 

$200,000 has been identified in the area of  Urban Stormwater Drainage  for a Floodplain Project (nominally Eugowra), as well as $146,275 for Eugowra Drainage Improvement works.

 

Grant funding to assist the investigation of the old Molong Gasworks site is included with the Department of Environmental Protection contributing and amounts to $475,000. Other funds expected in this area include Grant funding for the voluntary purchase of a flood prone dwelling, $10,000 for the Eugowra Floodplain investigation and $10,000 for the Molong Floodplain Investigation.

 

Water Supplies

 

Water Supply charges have been increased by 3.5%.

 

An amount in excess of $1.4m has been allocated to the provision of new improvements and assets in this area. Those assets are shown on the following table and will be funded by Reserves and grant funds (where available).

 

140. WATER SUPPLIES  ASSETS

Section

2010/11
Budget

15603800 INSTALL LIQUID CHLORINE

5,000

15603801 TELEMETRY SYSTEM

8,000

15703801 UPGRADE POWER BOARD DELGANY

35,000

50310036 BORENORE CK DAM CONSTRUCT AUXILARY SPILLWAY

24,900

50310043 GIDLEY STREET RESERVOIR

250,000

50320001 MOLONG CREEK DAM TELEMETRY UPGRADE

38,000

50320004 FILTRATION PLANT POWER BOARD

80,000

50320014 BORENORE CREEK DAM SEEPAGE MEASUREMENT

11,900

50320015 BORENORE CREEK DAM SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS

25,000

50320019 ALGAE IDENTIFICATION EQUIPMENT

15,000

50320021 BOM (BUREAU METEOROLOGY) MODERNISATION PROGRAM

1,360

50350000 MOLONG WATER - NEW MAINS & SERVICES

192,000

60320000 DROUGHT EMERGENCY 2 - RISING MAIN PS TO RESERVOIR

400,000

70298011 TELEMETRY SYSTEM

9,377

70298012 RIVER BANK PROTECTION AT PUMP STATION

25,000

70298015 SERVICE RESERVOIR 112500 LITRE TANK

15,469

47000000 WATER COLLECTION ASSET DATA

50,000

47000001 KANGA DIGGER (BUCKET/TRENCHER/BACKHOE/GRADER)

65,000

47000002 WATER LOSS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

37,000

47000003 CORROSION CONTROL IN CLEARWATER RESERVOIRS (MOLONG)

6,000

47000004 DAM SAFETY EMERGENCY PLAN UPGRADES (MOLONG)

28,000

47000005 UPGRADE DISINFECTION SYSTEM (YEOVAL 5 YEAR PLAN)

30,000

47000006 IWCM SHARE VALUATION STUDY

57,866

Total of Cabonne Water Assets

1,409,872

 

Sewerage Services

 

Sewerage service have also been increased by 3.5% except in those  Small Town sewerage areas of Yeoval and Cumnock  where the  preconstruction levy will apply until the sewerage has been connected.  Manildra is expected to connected by during the coming year. Assets to be completed or purchased  are shown on the following table and will be funded by Grant and Reserve;

 

160. SEWERAGE SERVICES ASSETS

Section

2010/11
Budget

20350016 UPGRADE ALERT SYSTEM

7,389

20350026 EUGOWRA TELEMETRY COSTS

20,000

30311000 CANOWINDRA SEWERAGE BANK PROTECTION

6,097

30352002 UPGRADE ALERT SYSTEM

10,000

30352004 EFFLUENT DISINFECTION SYSTEM

30,000

40307024 NUTRIENT REMOVAL - TREATMENT UPGRADE MOLONG

75,000

40309005 STP EFFLUENT DISFECTION

80,000

25000000 SEWERAGE PUMP STATION EMERGENCY PUMP WORK

11,000

25000001 EXPAND TREATMENT WORKS (INVESTIGATION & DESIGN)

50,000

25000002 CANOWINDRA SEWERAGE TELEMETRY

20,000

Cabonne Sewerage

309,486

55310000 ASSETS PURCHASED - CUDAL SEWERAGE AUGMENTATION

200,000

65310000 ASSETS PURCHASED - YEOVAL SEWERAGE AUGMENTATION

3,899,607

75310000 ASSETS PURCHASED - CUMNOCK SEWERAGE AUGMENTATION

634,077

85310000 ASSETS PURCHASED - MANILDRA SEWERAGE AUGMENTATION

2,031,886

6,765,570

Cabonne Sewer Assets

7,075,056

 

Recreation and Culture

 

Council has provided an amount of $350,000 for the upgrade of the Canowindra Swimming Pool. This is an important provision for the Canowindra Community.

 

Other smaller provisions in this  area include the upgrade of the Molong swimming pool grandstand and the construction of  a shade shelter at Molong and a bike rack for the Yeoval Pool.

 

Mining Manufacturing & Construction

 

No Major  additions to this Department.  Building and Construction income  is expected to be $92,700.

 

Transport & Communication

 

In excess of $2.3m RTA funding is expected for  routine maintenance work, ordered works and specific  projects. The specific project for  this year will be Main Road 310 Shoulder Widening. Other funding has been provided  for regional road maintenance from the Block Grant, including  Main Road 234 Murray’s Bridge.

 

$930K  is provided in the Road to Recovery Program and  $1,495K  from FAG funding for resurfacing, line marking, signage and street sealing and construction. Additional funding  from FAG has also been  directed to other areas including, $100k to Footpath construction and $45k for disabled access.

 

Local drainage will continue this year with $146K funding from reserves allocated and, as well, the Village stormwater  improvement will continue, with a $200K, allocation from Capital Works Reserve.

 

The Bridges Program has been allocated $250K for Packhams Way – The Gap project and an additional $650K for another Bridge Project, to be identified through the Works Committee. The Bridge Replacement Programme implemented nearly 20 years ago has been an outstanding success for Council with 40 bridges replaced.

 

Orchard Road has been allocated $500K from Council’s funding to complete part of the overlay for that road.

 

In total over $10.1M  has been allocated to Transport & Communication.

 

Economic Affairs

 

An amount of $250,000 has been allocated in this section as part of the Village  Enhancement Program to Allocated projects.

 

 

General Purposes Revenues

 

Net rates levied this each total  $8,219,650. This incorporates the 2.6% increase allowable for the 2010/2011 financial rear. A carry over amount of $24,749 for the abandonment of some farmland rates, rates in excess of the allowable increase of the previous year, has been included in the net levied rate amount.

 

Interest has been based on an average interest return of 5.55%, and although it is expected that this rate may increase, caution was exercised in the  calculation  due to the  events of the previous year  with the collapse of the financial market. 

 

The budget has been prepared on the basis of information available to date.

 

It is possible that additional information might come to hand which could potentially change the figures used and should this happen, further information will be supplied on Meeting Day.

 

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT Council:

 

1.  Adopt the Draft Strategic Plan presented with any changes suggested by Council.

2.  Adopt the Draft Budget subject to variations approved by Council.

3.  Adopt the Fees and Charges for 2010/2011 as presented.

4.  Adopt the Five Year Financial Plan as presented.

5.  Adopt the Social Plan as presented.

6.  Adopt the Draft Budget Summary and AAS27 Format.

7.  Publicly exhibit the 2010/2011 Draft Management Plan at each Council Office, Branch Library and other locations throughout the Shire for a period of 28 days, and that a copy of the Plan be made available on a reduced cost basis of $15.00 per copy, with sections of the plan being photocopied at a reduced rate of 15 cents per page.

8.  That an interest rate of the maximum allowable percentage allowed the Department of Local Government for the 2010/2011 period  is charged on  arrears of Rates and Charges.

9.  Make an additional copy available for overnight borrowing at additional locations where exhibited, as per the libraries.

 

 

 

 

ITEM 2 - Manildra Sewerage Treatment Plant - Lease Agreement

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

Obtain Council Seal for Lease

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Nil

Area of Responsibility

 

Annexures

Nil   

File Number

\My Workspace\Business Paper Report Directory\Working Reports InfoCouncil 2010 - 182428

 

Director of Engineering and Technical Services' REPORT

 

Council is required to enter into a lease arrangement for occupation of the site of the Manildra Sewerage Treatment Plant.

The lease is required as subdivision and land transfer to Council has taken longer than expected and allows Council access to the land for construction of the STP while the acquisition process is taking place.

The Lease is for six months from 1st January with a payment of $100.00. The lease addresses OH&S and Public Liability issues

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT Council authorise the signing of the lease agreement and affixing Council seal.

 

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

GLP Fleming

GENERAL MANAGER 


Item 1 Extraordinary Meeting 3 May 2010

Item 1 - Annexure 1