cabonne Council colour 200 wide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 12 November 2015

 

 

NOTICE OF EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING

 

Your attendance is respectfully requested on Monday 16 November, 2015 for an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING commencing at 6.00pm, at the Cabonne Council Chambers, Bank Street, Molong to consider the undermentioned business.

 

 

Yours faithfully

GM - A Hopkins Signature

Andrew L Hopkins

GENERAL MANAGER

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1)            Open Ordinary Meeting

2)            Consideration of General Manager’s Report

a)      IPART findings – 18 November 2015 final submission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

http://cc2k/intranet/images/cabonne%20Council%20colour.JPG

 

 

 

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 16 November, 2015

Page 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

ITEM 1      APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE................................. 2

ITEM 2      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST...................................................... 2

ITEM 3      DECLARATIONS FOR POLITICAL DONATIONS.......................... 3

ITEM 4      IPART FINDINGS - 18 NOVEMBER 2015 FINAL SUBMISSION. 3   

 

ANNEXURE ITEMS

 

ANNEXURE 4.1    FAQs from GM Briefings - FINAL for distribution 9

ANNEXURE 4.2    Supplementary FAQs - 30 October 2015........... 13

ANNEXURE 4.3    Message Blayney Mayor Fit for the Future Options         15

ANNEXURE 4.4    Minister Toole-12112015............................................. 19

ANNEXURE 4.5    Media Release-merger no benefit 4 nov 2015 20 

 


 

 

ITEM 1 - APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

To allow tendering of apologies for Councillors not present.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Nil

IPR Linkage

4.5.1.g - Code of Meeting Practice adopted and implemented.

Annexures

Nil   

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNANCE\COUNCIL MEETINGS\COUNCIL - COUNCILLORS LEAVE OF ABSENCE - 712658

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT any apologies tendered be accepted and the necessary leave of absence be granted.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

A call for apologies is to be made.

 

 

ITEM 2 - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

To allow an opportunity for Councillors to declare an interest in any items to be determined at this meeting.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Nil

IPR Linkage

 4.5.1.g - Code of Meeting Practice adopted and implemented.

Annexures

Nil   

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNANCE\COUNCIL MEETINGS\COUNCIL - COUNCILLORS AND STAFF DECLARATION OF INTEREST - 2015 - 712659

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT the Declarations of Interest be noted.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

A call for Declarations of Interest.

 

 

ITEM 3 - DECLARATIONS FOR POLITICAL DONATIONS

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

To allow an opportunity for Councillors to declare any Political Donations received.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Nil

IPR Linkage

 4.5.1.g - Code of Meeting Practice adopted and implemented.

Annexures

Nil   

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNANCE\COUNCIL MEETINGS\COUNCIL - COUNCILLORS DECLARATION OF POLITICAL DONATIONS - 712660

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT any Political Donations be noted.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

A call for declarations of any Political Donations.

 

 

ITEM 4 - IPART FINDINGS - 18 NOVEMBER 2015 FINAL SUBMISSION

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

To ensure Council has a full understanding of the implications prior to making its final submission on the findings of IPART.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Nil

IPR Linkage

4.5.1.b. Maintain strong relationships and liaise effectively with all relevant government agencies and other councils

Annexures

1.  FAQs from GM Briefings - FINAL for distribution

2.  Supplementary FAQs - 30 October 2015

3.  Message Blayney Mayor Fit for the Future Options

4.  Minister Toole-12112015

5.  Media Release-merger no benefit 4 nov 2015    

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNMENT RELATIONS\LOCAL AND REGIONAL LIAISON\FIT FOR THE FUTURE - INDEPENDENT LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW PANEL - 712988

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT Council:

 

a)   Note the report; and

 

b)   Include the following 50 words in its response to the IPART findings:-

 

“Cabonne is one of the most financially sustainable councils in NSW. It’s a specialist rural/small town based council. Over 90% of its residents do not want to amalgamate, particularly with Orange City. Cabonne is financially superior and has greater current and/or future population than two neighbours deemed ‘fit’.”

 

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

Fit for the Future Program (FFF program)

 

a)   Background

 

The local government reform program initiated at a conference in Dubbo in 2011 (referred to as Destination 2036) and the government’s subsequent establishment of an Independent Local Government Review Panel (ILGRP) and the progressive work and reporting of the ILGRP and the more recent government FFF program are all well known to this council as they have dominated the term of this council.

 

This council has actively participated (except where excluded – such as at meetings of regional councils with the ILGRP) in each opportunity for consultation/feedback presented to it throughout this process, yet has been faced with an uphill battle caused by its geographic position/shape, surrounding Orange City. This council, despite providing substantial evidence of its worthiness, was dismissed in the initial ILGRP report as being a typical ‘donut’. Eventually, through the submission of further evidence, the ILGRP conceded Cabonne could well be sustainable into the longer term. However, the geographic position/shape proved difficult for strategists to dismiss and Cabonne’s resultant merger recommendation was made – albeit subject to scrutiny by the Boundaries Commission (presumably to test the ILGRP theory and to get a good sense of community sentiment).

 

Accordingly, Cabonne is primarily a merger recommendation due to the ILGRP’s theory that a merged Cabonne and Orange would have greater scale and capacity to enable Orange City to function better in its capacity as a regional city/centre.

 

In preparation for Cabonne’s and Orange’s responses to the initial FFF submission both councils jointly commissioned independent consulting firm Morrison Low to undertake a business case to determine whether a merger of the two councils would be beneficial. The business case was primarily constrained to quantifiable elements (and hence only made observations about non-quantifiable matters such as the dominant rural community of interest in Cabonne and the dominant urban community of interest in Orange) and found that in the absence of the many potential identified risks coming into effect, a merged council could have a saving of $5.4 million over ten years. However when the $5 million amalgamation implementation grant is deducted this results in a modest $40,000 pa financial benefit representing 0.11% of the rate income of a combined Orange/Cabonne. The report also found that, independently, both councils perform well financially. Cabonne passes six (6) of the seven (7) financial/sustainability/asset tests already and will pass seven (7) from seven (7) by the end of this financial year – Orange is similar.

 

Neither council is in financial distress or at risk, neither is below any stated population threshold and neither depends upon the other.

 

The results of the Morrison Low business case assessment were presented to two public meetings in Cabonne and the overwhelming position of those attending those public meetings was not to merge. This was consistent with previous recent surveys of the shire which demonstrated very strong opposition to merging and a preference for remaining a separate council and to continue and advance the WBC Alliance.

 

Concurrent with the release of the Morrison Low report the Cabonne community established an anti amalgamation group called Amalgamation No Thank You (ANTY) with representatives from throughout the shire. The Council and the action group are not connected and the Council has deliberately not sought to influence the opinions or activities of the action group. This was consistent with the government’s wishes for local governments to present the government’s reform program in an unbiased manner to the community.

 

Despite the findings of the Morrison Low report, IPART found Cabonne’s (and Orange’s) evidence in support of standing alone was not sufficient but IPART, itself, did not provide any justification as to why a merger should take place, other than to reference the theoretically based ILGRP recommendation based on the abstract concept of scale and capacity, and which was to be tested by the Boundaries Commission.

 

In reviewing the Morrison Low report, IPART changed discount rates and extended, to 20 years, the time period (ie future years) for the cost/benefit. This resulted in increased savings to $27 million over 20 years. No consideration was given to the impact the potential risks identified by Morrison Low would have upon the future cost/benefit – therefore there is no certainty the benefit in part/full would eventuate or if it did, where it would be spent. When the $10 million combined (merger implementation + infrastructure) grant is deducted from the IPART revised assessment, the savings would be $850,000pa over the 20 year period, which represents 2.37% of the rate income of a combined Cabonne and Orange.

 

b)   Government Financial Incentives

 

Upon releasing the IPART findings, the government advised the following incentives were being put to non-metropolitan councils which volunteered to merge and were accepted as mergers by the government:

 

·    $5 million for a group of councils to assist with the costs of implementing a merger;

·    $5 million for a group of two councils and $10 million for a group of three or more councils for allocation towards infrastructure, including roads.

 

Additionally, the government announced that councils deemed to be ‘fit’, either in accordance with the IPART assessment or as a consequence of a voluntary merger accepted by the government, will have access to cheaper finance to build and maintain community facilities/infrastructure.

 

It is not clear whether councils which might be forcibly merged will be deemed ‘fit’ and will then qualify for this finance and other incentives. It is also not clear whether, if not forcibly merged, a ‘not fit’ council will be excluded from cheaper finance and if so, for how long.

 

c)   Frequently Asked Questions

 

The Office of Local Government, together with the Department of Premier and Cabinet have prepared a list of frequently asked questions about the FFF program. These are attached.

 

Of particular note is their FAQ which says that if a council nominates a merger preference the government will take that as a voluntary merger intent. “Council preferences in the feedback form indicate that the council is agreeing to merge with the councils listed as their preferences.”

 

d)   Resolutions of Orange City Council and Blayney Shire Council

 

Orange

The Orange City Council resolution from 4th November 2015 is as follows:

 

1.   That Orange City Council submits a response to the IPART report by the 18 November 2015.

2.   That Council note the risks raised in the report relating to the inability to access NSW Government funding packages within the Fit for Future reform process and to ongoing funding/financial assistance packages and operational programs unless councils agree to merge.

3.   That Council continues to negotiate with Blayney Shire Council and Cabonne Council advising of a willingness to merge.

 

Blayney

Blayney Shire Council will be meeting on Monday 16th November to consider their response to the final FFF consultation.

 

Blayney Shire Council issued a ‘Message from the Mayor’ (copy attached) on Thursday to the Blayney community which stated their preference is to merge with Orange but only where Cabonne is part of that merger. It is assumed their resolution on Monday 16th will reflect that position.

 

e)   Correspondence from the Premier and the Minister for Local Government

 

The Mayor has received a letter jointly signed by the Premier and the Minister for Local Government, dated 11th November 2015, which is a reminder to councils to have their submissions to the government by the 18th November and reiterates the funding packages and community benefits on offer. The letter is attached. Please note the letter references funding amounts ‘up to’ certain values. The funding referred to in point b) above are correct for non-metropolitan councils (metropolitan councils receive more than non-metropolitan councils for voluntary mergers).

 

On the basis of a), together with very strong community pressure to continue to remain a stand alone council, and with due consideration given to b) and c), Cabonne Council, at is Ordinary Meeting of 27 October, resolved as follows:

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Maintain its stand alone stance on mergers;

 

2.   Does not put in any merger preferences as it is a rural council with ten adjoining neighbouring councils;

 

3.   Authorise the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and General Manager to act in the best interest of council and an extraordinary meeting be called if needed;

 

4.   Informs its community of this decision;

 

5.   Indicate that it believes it meets Scale & Capacity because of projected growth figures and population size; and

 

6.   Meets with any adjoining councils, as good neighbours do.

 

A recent media release by the Mayor articulates Cabonne’s position in context of the October 27th resolution and is attached.

 

  


Item 4 Extraordinary Meeting 16 November 2015

Item 4 - Annexure 1

 

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Item 4 Extraordinary Meeting 16 November 2015

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Item 4 Extraordinary Meeting 16 November 2015

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Item 4 Extraordinary Meeting 16 November 2015

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Item 4 Extraordinary Meeting 16 November 2015

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