ITEM 28 CANOWINDRA EFFLUENT RE-USE - AGREEMENT TO ACCESS 2
Clause 240(4) of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requires Council to refer any business to be considered when the meeting is closed to the public in the Ordinary Business Paper prepared for the same meeting. Council will discuss the following items under the terms of the Local Government Act 1993 Section 10A(2), as follows:
ITEM 29 Gasworks Remediation Project – recommendation of preferred tenderer
(d) (ii) commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council
ANNEXURE 28.1 application for consideration............................. 8
ANNEXURE 28.2 meeting held 24 october 2000.................................. 9
ANNEXURE 28.3 signed agreement......................................................... 13
ANNEXURE 28.4 signed agreement 7 march 2012........................... 17
ANNEXURE 28.5 special conditions....................................................... 18
ANNEXURE 28.6 canowindra effluent irrigation pump and reticulation system.................................................................................. 19
REPORT IN BRIEF
Reason For Report
Consideration of Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Trust terms for access to Council's Irrigation works.
per annum if agreed.
\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY - 322202
1. Council consider the Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Trust terms for agreement to access the Trust Land and to determine if a nominal rental should apply.
2. Should agreement not be reached Council apply to the Minister to create an easement over the irrigation infrastructure in favour of Council.
Director of Engineering and Technical Services' REPORT
The Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Trust has submitted terms for agreement for Cabonne Council to access the effluent re-use irrigation works located on Trust Land. The nominated rental fee of $3,600 per annum plus waiving sewerage fees has been put to council for consideration.
This report provides background information leading up to the Trust’s submission and providing options for the on-going management and operation of the irrigation system.
It is noted the Trust have indicated that Cr Walker and the Director gave an understanding that sewerage charges could or would be waived. This is not the understanding of the Director.
Associated documents referred to and included in the annexure to this report;
a) Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Trust’s “Application for consideration by Cabonne Council” June 2012.
b) Minutes of the October 2000 Canowindra Wastewater Management, Operating Group meeting.
c) 2002 Agreement between Canowindra Golf Club Ltd. and Cabonne Council relating to usage of the Belubula River Pump Station and Water pumped for application at Morris Park, Canowindra Oval and the Canowindra Golf Course.
d) Trust and Council temporary access agreement, March 2012.
e) Trust “Special Conditions” (handed to DETS at a site meeting in March 2012).
f) Council letter dated 24 April 2012 – to the Trust in response to the “Special Conditions”.
In the late 1990’s Cabonne Council obtained a licence for effluent re-use to irrigate the showground, golf course and sports grounds and constructed pump stations and pipe work for the irrigation system. The effluent is delivered to a holding dam via a rising main from the Canowindra sewerage treatment plant. The irrigation pump station and holding dam for the irrigation system is located on Crown Land under the Trusteeship of the Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Trust and adjacent to the golf course.
In October 2000 members of the Canowindra Wastewater Management Operating Group held a meeting to explain the requirements of the EPA Wastewater Disposal Licence and to detail operating arrangements, responsibilities and access. The operating arrangements noted Council, as the licence holder having responsibility for the system and therefore the maintenance of the works (doc. “a”).
In 2002 Council entered into an agreement with the Golf Club (doc. “c”) that included access arrangements and responsibilities for the maintenance of the works. It is noted that the arrangement is with the Golf Club and not the Trust.
With a recent change in the Trust executive, Council were made aware that no arrangement existed with the Trust for the irrigation works or access for Council staff to enter onto land administered by the Trust. A lock was placed on the pump shed by the Trust locking out council staff in April 2012.
Council’s Director of Engineering and Technical Services met with members of the Trust Executive in March 2012 to discuss the Trust’s position and a temporary access agreement was provided (doc. “d”). The Director was also handed a document containing “special conditions” for a permanent access agreement (doc. “e”).
The “special conditions” were discussed with the General Manager. A number of the conditions were considered untenable and a letter proposing a meeting to further discuss the mater was forwarded to the Trust (doc. “f”).
The Director and Manager Operations (USU) met with representatives of the Trust and Golf Club on Friday 18th May to discuss the on-going wastewater management and irrigation of the golf course and access agreement with the Trust. The meetings were held separately.
Golf Club meeting issues and outcome;
· The Golf Club concerned with the regular failures in the irrigation system and having to manually turn valves on and off.
· Golf Club would like to see the irrigation system fully automated and functional.
· Irrigation of the course through the drought essential in keeping the course in reasonable condition.
· Want to see the issues resolved securing the future of the irrigation system.
· Director advised the telemetry and filter systems will be repaired.
· Director to develop a MOU with the Golf Club, similar to the existing agreement for the on-going operation and maintenance of the irrigation works.
· The MOU to include a section on the Office of Water Effluent re-use licence conditions.
Trust meeting issues and outcome;
· The Trust concerned that without an agreement, Trust Executive are exposed to liability with council staff entering land under their trust.
· Believe council should pay a “usage” fee similar to the Golf Club and other users, i.e. Show society etc.
· The fee to cover costs associated with the “watering” of the showground and golf course i.e. additional mowing. Fee also to include the pump shed and dam located on the reserve.
· The Director advised the Trust should make a submission to Council for Consideration; however any fee proposal should be minimal and not considered as a fund raiser.
· The Director also advised that Council’s activities are not revenue raising and provide a benefit for the wider community and therefore should not be considered in the same way as the other users/occupiers.
Land and Property Management Authority – Trust Handbook 2007
(A handbook for Trusts managing Crown Land reserves and Common, and Trustees of Schools of Arts)
How are reserve trusts managed?
The reserve trust is set up under the Crown Lands Act 1989 to have responsibility for the care, control and management of Crown reserve. A trust board can make decisions about regulating such things as:
o The way in which the reserve is used
o The driving and parking of vehicles on the reserve
o Hours of entry
o Fees to be charged for entry
o Permitted or prohibited activities.
Leases, Licences and External Land Management Agreements
Section 14 of the Trust Handbook states that;
“Trusts can enter into leases and licences with individuals, groups and organisations, school, companies or even local councils, who may want to use all or part of the reserve on a temporary or ongoing basis. Unless it is for a short term, low impact use (a temporary licence), the Minister’s consent to enter the agreement must be obtained.”
When discussing this matter with Officers of the local Lands Office, Council was advised that a MOU between the Trust and Council would negate the need for a sub lease or licence.
Minister’s power to grant leases
The Minister for Lands can now, in addition to licences, grant leases, permits, easements and rights of way over Crown reserves where a reserve trust manager has been appointed.
The creation of an easement over council’s infrastructure may be an option if a MOU cannot be reached.
Rent and rent review
The rent or licence fee should normally be a commercial market rent.
Relevant factors to consider include:
o The permitted use under the lease/licence
o The value of the part of the reserve being used
o Who owns the building or improvements to be used by the lessee/licensee
o Costs to be incurred by the Trust.
Note: the pump shed and holding dam occupies approximately 1250m2
Location of pump shed and dam
Options for the on-going effluent re-use for Canowindra.
Option 1 – Discontinue irrigation.
Abandon the irrigation works and discontinue the irrigation of the golf coarse and sporting fields.
The effluent re-use provides no direct benefit for effluent management at the sewerage treatment works. However the irrigation of the sporting fields and golf club has a significant benefit to the users of those sporting and recreational facilities. The Golf Club have indicated there would be a significant financial impact on the club if the course was not irrigated.
Option 2 – Enter into a MOU with the Trust.
Enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Trust for the on-going management of the effluent re-use works and irrigation. The MOU would include conditions and responsibilities relating to the access and operation of the irrigation works.
The MOU would also need to include the fee, if considered applicable. The relevant factors for determining the fee need to be considered
1. The permitted use under the lease/licence;
Use is consistent with the permitted use for the reserve.
2. The value of the part of the reserve being used.
A value ($) has not been placed, however the site occupied by the pump shed and dam is located in an area removed from the normal showground and race course activities and would not have significant “value” in terms of an operational context.
3. Who owns the building or improvements to be used by the lessee/licensee
Council owns and is responsible for the maintenance of the buildings and associated infrastructure.
4. Costs to be incurred by the Trust.
There are no costs incurred by the Trust.
The Trust Handbook states that “Where a trust wishes to charge a rebated rent because the lessee is a charitable or non-profit organisation, the trust should contact the local office of the Land and Property Management Authority to discuss whether a rebate from the market rent is appropriate, and if so, the level of the rebate”.
Given the assessment of the relevant factors for determining a rent for council’s infrastructure, should a rent be considered, the nominal rental should apply.
Option 3 – Creation of an easement over Council’s infrastructure
Should agreement not be reached with the Trust for Council staff to gain access to the irrigation works, Council may wish to consider establishing an easement over the irrigation infrastructure. The easement would give entitlement to access and maintain the works. The Minister’s powers, referred to above has power to create an easement over Crown lands where a reserve trust has been appointed.
There would be survey and plan registration costs associated with the creation of the easement.