cabonne Council colour 200 wide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 May 2016

 

 

NOTICE OF EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING

 

Your attendance is respectfully requested on Monday 23rd May, 2016 for an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING commencing at 4.00pm, 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)      Funding for Amalgamation Court Case

b)      Land & Environment Court – Consideration of possible Appeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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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 23 May, 2016

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      FUNDING FOR AMALGAMATION COURT CASE......................... 4

ITEM 5      LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT - CONSIDERATION OF POSSIBLE APPEAL................................................................................................................... 5   

 

ANNEXURE ITEMS

 

ANNEXURE 5.1    Amended Statement of Claim................................... 8 

 


 

 

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 - 758565

 

 

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.

 

Please note that guidelines have been issued under Section 23A of the Local Government Act titled “Council decision making during merger proposal periods”. Council must consider the guidelines in relation to each decision they make during the proposal period, this matter is of an ongoing nature and it is considered it complies with the guidelines.

 

 

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 - 2016 - 758566

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT the Declarations of Interest be noted.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

A call for Declarations of Interest.

 

Please note that guidelines have been issued under Section 23A of the Local Government Act titled “Council decision making during merger proposal periods”. Council must consider the guidelines in relation to each decision they make during the proposal period, this matter is of an ongoing nature and it is considered it complies with the guidelines.

 

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 - 758568

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT any Political Donations be noted.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

A call for declarations of any Political Donations.

 

Please note that guidelines have been issued under Section 23A of the Local Government Act titled “Council decision making during merger proposal periods”. Council must consider the guidelines in relation to each decision they make during the proposal period, this matter is of an ongoing nature and it is considered it complies with the guidelines.

 

 

ITEM 4 - FUNDING FOR AMALGAMATION COURT CASE

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

Advising of an increase in costs from previously reported.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Increase in expenditure

IPR Linkage

4.5.1.a. Provide quality administrative support and governance to councillors and residents

Annexures

Nil   

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNANCE\AMALGAMATIONS\BLAYNEY SHIRE, CABONNE AND ORANGE CITY COUNCILS PROPOSED MERGER 2016 - 758586

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Vote an additional $30,000 for legal expenses; and

 

2.   Resolve that the expenditure is required and warranted to enable the legitimate exercise of the right of appeal.

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

On 12 April 2015, Cabonne Council resolved to join a court case against the lawfulness of the provisions used by the State Government in its merger proposal of Cabonne, Blayney and Orange.  The case was initiated by Woollahra Council and the strategy was for Walcha, Cabonne and other rural/regional councils to join the Woollahra case.

 

At that time and upon the advice of Walcha Shire Council (which invited Cabonne to participate in the case), the total cost of legal fees for the rural/regional councils was to be $20,000, to be shared between the rural/regional councils party to the court action.  Subsequently, Council resolved to join the case and allocated $20,000 maximum for expenditure on legal services.

 

By email dated 29 April and read out at the Extraordinary Council meeting of 10 May, the General Manager advised the Mayor that he had been verbally advised by the General Manager of Walcha that because ‘our’ case was not able to be joined with Woollahra Council, the costs would now be ‘up to $80,000’ for the separate case lodged by Walcha and the costs would be shared between the participating rural/regional councils (which were then three, with the inclusion of Oberon). 

 

Most recently, in a teleconference between the Mayor, Director of Finance & Corporate Services, General Manager and the solicitor instructing the barrister, it has been revealed the costs of the case, heavily discounted, are likely to be in the order of $120,000 plus disbursements of $15,000 - $20,000 plus Cabonne’s in-house legal support provided by Marsdens – up to $10,000.  The solicitor also advised there are four councils party to the case: Walcha, Cabonne, Oberon and Gundagai.

 

Therefore, the individual cost to Cabonne would likely be in the order of $45,000.  Much (possibly two-thirds) of this cost would have already been incurred due to the immediacy of the matters required to progress the case to a hearing and the preparatory work required by the solicitors and barristers.

 

Should council wish to proceed with this matter it should allocate, via resolution, additional funding of $25,000 plus contingency of $5,000 (i.e. $30,000). 

 

Please note that guidelines have been issued under Section 23A of the Local Government Act titled “Council decision making during merger proposal periods”. Council must consider the guidelines in relation to each decision they make during the proposal period.  It is considered it complies with the guidelines. The Section 23A Guidelines state: “In particular, councils and council officials should not make decisions during a merger proposal period… to prevent or disrupt the consideration of merger proposals by the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government or his delegate, the Boundaries Commission or the Minister for Local Government other than through the legitimate exercise of legal rights of review or appeal.”

 

 

ITEM 5 - LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT - CONSIDERATION OF POSSIBLE APPEAL

REPORT IN BRIEF

 

Reason For Report

Seeking Council's consideration of possible appeal.

Policy Implications

Nil

Budget Implications

Potential expenditure

IPR Linkage

4.5.1.a. Provide quality administrative support and governance to councillors and residents

Annexures

1.  Amended Statement of Claim    

File Number

\OFFICIAL RECORDS LIBRARY\GOVERNANCE\AMALGAMATIONS\BLAYNEY SHIRE, CABONNE AND ORANGE CITY COUNCILS PROPOSED MERGER 2016 - 758594

 

 

Recommendation

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Determine whether to appeal any judgement which is adverse to council in the case of Walcha Council & ORS v Minister case no 16/40360 being heard in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales.

 

2.   Should the Council determine to proceed, authorise the Mayor and/or General Manager to take all actions necessary to lodge an appeal consistent with 1) above.

 

3.   Should the Council determine to proceed, vote a maximum $150,000 for legal expenses to fund the appeal referred to in 1) above.

 

4.   Should the Council determine to proceed, resolve that the expenditure is required and warranted to enable the legitimate exercise of the right of appeal.

 

 

General Manager's REPORT

 

Council is an ‘Applicant’ together with Walcha (which is 1st Applicant, meaning they initiated the case), Oberon and Gundagai Councils in a legal challenge against the State Government and to be heard by the Land and Environment Court of NSW on the 24th and 25th of May. The case, in essence, is claiming that the State has improperly used provisions of the Local Government Act to undertake aspects of its Merger Proposal. The claims by the Applicants are set out in the attached Amended State of Claim (ASOC).

 

The judgement about this case could be made at any time post the hearing and is anticipated in early to mid-June. Should the judgement be unfavourable to Council, Council has a lawful ability to appeal the judgement.

 

Advice received from council’s lawyers is that the appeals list in the NSW Court of Appeal is currently in the order of 8-10 months. Therefore, it would be in the order of 8-10 months before an appeal would be heard.

 

Should Council wish to appeal an unfavourable judgement it will need to instruct its legal representatives to set in place specific actions, including lodging an intention to appeal and initiating an injunction.

 

Given an appeal is based around arguing specific points of law, it is often the case that specialist legal consultants need to be engaged. Our solicitors have estimated the cost of an appeal would be similar to the cost of the initial case, possibly more. The costs of the current case are anticipated to be $30,000 per council $120,000 total) plus disbursements of $15,000 - $20,000 plus ‘in-house’ legal support – up to $10,000 for Cabonne. On this basis it is estimated the cost of an appeal would be a minimum of $140,000 plus in-house legal support possibly an additional $10,000. At this stage it is unknown whether any of the other councils party to the case would participate in an appeal.

 

Please note that guidelines have been issued under Section 23A of the Local Government Act titled “Council decision making during merger proposal periods”. Council must consider the guidelines in relation to each decision they make during the proposal period. The Section 23A Guidelines: “In particular, councils and council officials should not make decisions during a merger proposal period… to prevent or disrupt the consideration of merger proposals by the Chief Executive of the Office of Local Government or his delegate, the Boundaries Commission or the Minister for Local Government other than through the legitimate exercise of legal rights of review or appeal.”

  


Item 5 Extraordinary Meeting 23 May 2016

Item 5 - Annexure 1

 

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