AGENDA


Finance and Governance Committee

 

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

6.00pm

 

Georges River Civic Centre

Hurstville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 2

 

          Finance and Governance Committee

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Acknowledgement of Country

2.      Apologies

3.      Disclosures of Interest

4.      Public Addresses to the Meeting

5.      Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting  

MINUTES: Finance and Governance Committee - 13 May 2019

6.      Committee Reports

FIN040-19         Terms of Reference - Finance and Governance Standing Committee

(Report by Manager, Office of the General Manager)............................................. 3

FIN041-19         Advice on Costs and Status of Council's Court Proceedings - May 2019

(Report by Director Legal Services and General Counsel).................................. 11

FIN042-19         Investment Report as at 30 April 2019

(Report by Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting)........................................... 20

FIN043-19         Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund - 2018/2019 Program Results

(Report by Manager, Office of the General Manager)........................................... 37

FIN044-19         Property Matter - Proposed Grant of Easement to Ausgrid - 1 Centre Street Penshurst

(Report by Strategic Property Specialist)................................................................. 42

FIN045-19         Property Matter - Lease of Commercial Office Space - Suite 4B 34 MacMahon Street Hurstville

(Report by Strategic Property Specialist)................................................................. 46

FIN046-19         Property Matter - Classification of Land - Part 12-22 Woniora Road Hurstville

(Report by Head of Strategic Property)..................................................................... 48

FIN047-19         Georges River Boundaries, Wards and Number of Councillors

(Report by Head of Strategic Partnerships and Performance)............................ 55  

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 3

Committee Reports

Item:                   FIN040-19          Terms of Reference - Finance and Governance Standing Committee 

Author:              Manager, Office of the General Manager

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

Recommendation

That the revised Terms of Reference for the Finance and Governance Standing Committee be received and noted.

 

Executive Summary

1.   At its meeting on 27 May 2019, Council adopted a revised Code of Meeting Practice.

2.   To ensure compliance with Council’s revised Code of Meeting Practice, all Terms of Reference documents for all of Council’s Standing and Advisory Committees have been revised.

 

Financial Implications

3.   No budget impact for this report.

 

Risk Implications

4.   No risks identified.

 

Community Engagement

5.   Relevant community engagement was conducted during the public exhibition of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

6.   No additional community engagement is required.

 

File Reference

D19/127940

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Terms of Reference - Finance and Governance Standing Committee - Amended - June 2019 - VERSION 4

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN040-19              Terms of Reference - Finance and Governance Standing Committee

[Attachment 1]        Terms of Reference - Finance and Governance Standing Committee - Amended - June 2019 - VERSION 4

 

 

Page 10

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 19

Item:                   FIN041-19 Advice on Costs and Status of Council's Court Proceedings - May 2019 

Author:              Director Legal Services and General Counsel

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

That the re report “Advice on Costs and Status of Council’s Court Proceedings – May 2019” be received and noted.

 

Executive Summary

1.      Advice on Council’s Court proceedings for the period 1 May 2019 to 31 May 2019 is contained within this report.

2.      Total costs to date for the 2018/19 financial year for Court proceedings are $1,692,689.

3.      Total legal costs recovered to date for the 2018/19 financial year are $1,080,376.

4.      Total nett costs are $612,313.

Background

5.      The current Court Proceedings for the reporting period are broken down as follows:

Supreme Court

·        2 x Summons

Land and Environment Court

·        16 x Class 1 (Merit/DA)

·        2 x Class 4 proceedings (including 1 x Contempt of Court proceedings)

·        5 x Class 5 (Environmental Prosecutions) Summons’

Local Court

·        5 x Council Prosecutions

New Matters

6.      There were five new matters: two new Class 1 matters received during this period (Touma Carlton Pty Limited) and (A V Jennings SPV No 19 Pty Ltd) and three new Local Court matters (Ivanov), (Fusion NSW Pty Ltd) and (Conis).

Finalised matters

7.      Three matters were finalised – (95 Regent Street Kogarah Pty Ltd), (Borina Pty Limited), (Sans Souci Bathers Pavilion).

Current Table

8.      The Court proceedings current for the reporting period are set out below. The external costs include both external legal and expert consultants’ (Court witnesses’) fees.

 


 

 

 

 

No.

Property Address / Applicant / Proceedings Number

Description of Matter

Status / Critical Dates

Land and Environment Court Proceedings – Class 1 Appeals

1

10 – 12 Mimosa Street, Oatley

 

Applicant: Ezra 1 Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/140860

Class 1 appeal against deemed refusal of Development Application DA2018/0071 for demolition of existing structures and construction of basement car park and 8 attached units to be used as seniors living housing and other ancillary works.

 

Matter was not resolved at the S34 Conference on 17 October 2018 and has been listed for hearing on 3 and 4 June 2019.

External planner, traffic, acoustic and urban design consultants briefed.

2

71 – 97 Regent Street, Kogarah

 

Applicant: 95 Regent Street Kogarah Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/140943

Kogarah North Precinct

SSPP concurrence authority

Class 1 appeal against deemed refusal of DA2017/0438 for demolition of existing structures and construction of a part 12 part 13 storey residential flat building development with 3 levels of basement car parking.

Matter was not resolved at the S34 Conference on 16 November 2018 and a S34 Agreement has now been entered into.

External planning, urban design and traffic experts have been retained.

3

158 Connells Point Road, Connells Point

 

Applicant: Chung Kei Ng

 

Proceedings No: 2018/223668

 

Class 1 appeal against LPP refusal of DA2017/0286 for alterations and additions to a dwelling, construction of a new building to rear and change of use into a child care centre.

 

Matter was listed for S34 Conference on 24 January 2019 however was not resolved. 

Matter is listed for hearing on 15 and 16 August 2019.

4

70 Kyle Parade, Kyle Bay

 

Applicant: Marilyn Kidd

 

Proceedings No: 2018/214451

 

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2017/0625 for subdivision into 2 allotments and demolition of carport structure.

Matter was not resolved at the S34 Conference on 13 November 2018 and is now listed for hearing on 17 and 18 June 2019.

External lawyer retained.

5

32 – 38 Montgomery Street, Kogarah

 

Applicant:  Lateral Estate Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/260971

 

SSPP concurrence authority

 

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0139 for the demolition of existing structures and construction of a 12/13 storey mixed use development comprising a residential flat building with 74 apartments over ground floor retail, basement car parking and landscaping.

 

Matter was listed for S34 Conference on 12 December 2018 however was not resolved.  Matter has been set down for hearing on 29, 30, 31 July and 1 August 2019. 

External planning, urban design and heritage briefed.

6

513 Princes Highway, Blakehurst

 

Applicant: Borina Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/296856

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/303 for the demolition of the existing motel and improvements and the erection of a residential flat building development comprising 43 units being 1 x 1 bed and 42 x 2 bed apartments over two levels of basement parking (77 cars).

 

Matter listed for a S34 Conference on 29 April 2019.  S34 Agreement entered into on 30 May 2019.

External planning consultant retained.

7

505 – 507 Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci

 

Applicant: Al Abrahim

 

Proceedings No: 2018/317003

 

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA 2018/0252 for the demolition of existing dwellings and ancillary structures and the construction of a

mixed-use development over basement parking.

Matter is listed for S34 Conference on 24 May 2019 which was terminated.  Matter now listed for hearing on 20 & 21 January 2020.

External planning and urban design experts retained.

8

125 Boundary Road, Peakhurst

 

Applicant: Australian Fitness Management Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/310085

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0129 for the fit

out and use as a fitness studio (recreation facility (indoor)opening 24 hours, 7 days and associated signage.

 

Matter is listed for S34 Conference on 20 May 2019.  Negotiations are ongoing.  Matter is relisted for further directions on 7 June 2019.

External traffic expert briefed.

9

31 & 31A Regent Street, Kogarah

 

Applicant:  Peter Thanos

 

Proceedings No: 2018/363618

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0214 for the demolition of existing building and construction of a 16 room new generation boarding house comprising 1 ground floor commercial tenancy and a car park for 5 vehicles and 4 motorcycle spaces.

 

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 23 July 2019.

External lawyer retained.

10

143 – 145 Rocky Point Road, Beverley Park

 

Applicant:  Adouni & Raad Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/369087

 

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0429  for the demolition of existing building and the construction of a residential flat building, basement car parking, landscaping and associated works

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 31 July 2019.

11

3 Gray Street, Kogarah

 

Applicant: Best Build NSW Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/393349

 

Class 1 Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0201 for the demolition of existing building and the construction of a 6 storey boarding house comprising 44 rooms including site manager room over basement car parking

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 28 August 2019.

External lawyer retained.

12

301 Kingsgrove Road, Kingsgrove

 

Applicant: Futuristic Design Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2018/390589

 

Class 1 Appeal against refusal of DA2017/0487 for the demolition of all structures and construction of a two (2) storey child care centre for forty seven (47) children and basement car parking

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 19 August 2019.

External lawyer retained.

13

22 Empress Street, Hurstville

 

Applicant: Erdogan Kasif

 

Proceedings No: 2019/9753

 

Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0441 for partial demolition of existing structures and construction of a residential flat building containing 6 apartments with basement car parking

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 13 September 2019.

14

60 Park Street, Peakhurst

 

Applicant:  Costa Kostantopoulos

 

Proceedings No: 2019/70803

 

Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2018/0414 to demolish the existing building and erect a centre based child care facility.

Matter listed for S34 Conference on 1 November 2019.

15

253 – 255 Princes Highway, Carlton

 

Applicant: Touma Carlton Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No: 2019/150524

Appeal against deemed refusal of DA2019/0116 for demolition of existing structures and construction of a six storey mixed use development.

Matter listed for first directions hearing on 12 June 2019.

 

External lawyer retained.

16

2 – 10 Palmerston Street, Kogarah

 

Applicant: A V Jennings SPV No 19 Pty Limited

 

Proceedings No:  2019/152130

 

Proceedings No:

Appeal against modification of Court granted consent on 20 September 2018 approving DA9/2017/112/1 subject to conditions, for the construction of a residential flat building comprising 51 units and 6 serviced apartments  over 3 levels of basement parking for 63 cars.  Modification is seeking construction of a mixed use building containing a ground floor retail shop and 11 residential floors comprising a total of 55 units.

Matter listed for first directions hearing on 13 June 2019.

 

 

Land and Environment Court Proceedings – Class 4 Proceedings

1

34 Milsop & 47 Jersey Avenue, Mortdale

 

Parties: Robert Stojanovski &

Steven Stojanovski

Proceedings No. 2018/99739

Proceedings commenced for unauthorised erection of structures and slabs, including habitation of structure at the premises.

Respondent has failed to comply with Court Orders dated 21 August 2018 requiring demolition of unauthorised structure.

Contempt proceedings were listed for hearing on 15 April 2019 and the sentencing hearing has been listed for 7 June 2019.

External lawyers briefed.

2

297 Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci

 

Parties:

Alan Frederick Goddard

 

Proceedings No.:

2018/366019

 

Proceedings commenced for hoarding at property.

Matter is listed for hearing on 2 September 2019. 

Counsel briefed.

Land and Environment Court Proceedings – Class 5 Proceedings

1

111 Gungah Bay Road, Oatley

 

Parties: W K Strong Pty Limited

Proceedings No: 2018/227315, 2018/227316, 2018/227361, and 2018/227363.

 

Parties: Khaled Awada

Proceedings No: 2018/227336

 

Class 5 appeals in relation to lopping and injuring trees and development not in accordance with development consent at 111 Gungah Bay Road, Oatley.

 

Council’s evidence in chief filed.  W K Strong Pty Limited and Awada entered guilty pleas.

Matter listed for sentencing hearing on 3 July 2019.

Local Court Proceedings

1

50 Queens Road, Connells Point

 

Parties: SAF Developments Pty Limited

Prosecution for development without consent involving unauthorised road closures, materials being stored on the road reserve area, defective/non-compliant sediment and erosion controls , defective non- compliant signage, defective tree protection facilities and allowing materials to enter the storm water system.

 

Defendant has pleaded guilty to 4 offences.  Matter fixed for hearing on sentence 14 June 2019.

 

2

Shop 5 & 6, 309 Forest Road, Hurstville (Spicy Orient)

 

Parties: Jiongyao Lin & L Z Infinity Pty Limited

Prosecution for multiple breaches of the Food Act.  Defendant has closed business and is unable to be located.  Application for substituted service to be made.

Matter is listed for a sentencing hearing on 4 July 2019. 

 

3

27 Cecil Road, Hurstville Grove

 

Parties: Stephen Ivanov

 

Prosecution for companion animal not registered.

Matter listed for a contested hearing on 26 & 29 July 2019.

4

27 – 29 Andover Street, Carlton

 

Parties: Fusion NSW Pty Limited

 

Prosecution for development not in accordance with consent.

Matter listed for sentencing on 6 June 2019.

5

Bunyala Street, Carss Park

 

Parties: Michael Conis

 

Prosecution for depositing litter from vehicle.

Matter listed for first mention on 13 June 2019.

Supreme Court

1

220 – 226 Princes Highway, Kogarah Bay.

 

Parties:

Nikolaos & Marianna Sykalos

Proceedings No.

2018/215935

 

Supreme Court appeal seeking transfer of ownership of public car park on corner of Princes Highway and Park Road to the plaintiffs as adjoining land owners allegedly pursuant to an historic Deed.

Matter listed for formal mediation on 25 February 2019 before Mr Ian Cullinan.  Matter was unable to be resolved.  Proceedings are now listed for further directions on 21 June 2019.

2

977 Forest Road, Lugarno

 

Parties: Taeipo Malifa

Proceedings No. 2019/43432

 

Proceedings seeking leave to appeal Land and Environment Court decision of 12 December 2018.

Applicant has sought leave to appeal against consent orders agreed in December.  The issue of whether leave should be granted to appeal is listed for 31 May 2019.

 

9.   Costs to date are as follows:

 

Type

Amount

Class 1 Appeals – Consultants for Court Proceedings

$595,801

Class 1 Appeals – Planning DA External Lawyers

$435,230

Class 2 Appeals

$0

Class 3 Appeals

$0

Class 4 Appeals

$127,964

Class 5 Appeals

$32,339

Local Court Prosecutions/Enforcements

$36,153

Supreme Court Proceedings

$44,687

Industrial Relations Commission (IRC)

$0

Total

$1,272,174

 

 

 

Financial Implications

 

10.    Within budget allocation.

 

Risk Implications

11.    No risks identified.

 

Community Engagement

 

12.    No Community engagement is required.

 

 

File Reference

17/1831

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 26

Item:                   FIN042-19          Investment Report as at 30 April 2019 

Author:              Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation:

That Council receive and note the contents of the Investment Report as at 30 April 2019.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report details Council’s performance of its investment portfolio as at 30 April 2019, and compares it against key benchmarks.

2.      This report also includes the estimated market valuation of Council’s investment portfolio, loan liabilities and any required update on Council’s legal action against various parties.

3.      Council’s annualised rate of return is 2.77%, which is 0.75% above benchmark. Income from interest on investments totals $4.4m, which is $170k less than the 2018/19 year-to-date adopted budget.

Background

4.      Council’s Responsible Accounting Officer is required to report monthly on Council’s Investment Portfolio and certify that the Investments are held in accordance with Council’s Investment Policy and Section 625 of the Local Government Act (1993).

Investment Performance Commentary

5.      Council’s performance against the benchmark for returns of its investment portfolio for April 2019, are as follows:

 

1 Month

3 Month

12 Month

Portfolio Performance

0.23%

0.73%

2.77%

Performance Index

0.16%

0.50%

2.02%

Excess

0.07%

0.23%

0.75%

Notes:                                                      

a)      Portfolio performance is the rate of return of the portfolio over the specified period.

b)      The Performance Index is the rate of return of the market (comparable securities) over the specified period.                                    

c)      Excess performance is the rate of return of the portfolio in excess of the Performance Index.


 

 

6.      Council’s investment portfolio as at the end of April was as follows:

Security Type

Market Value $000's

% Total Value

Cash at Bank

7,909

4.68%

11am Cash

7,336

4.34%

31 Day Notice Account

23

0.01%

Covered Floating Bond

1,014

0.60%

Flexi Deposit (Fix/Float)

6,000

3.55%

Floating Rate Deposit

5,000

2.96%

Floating Rate Note

46,328

27.37%

Floating Rate TCD

3,512

2.08%

Term Deposit

86,041

50.87%

Managed Funds Trust

5,989

3.54%

Total Cash and Investments

169,152

100.00%

 

7.      At the end of March 2019, Total Cash and Investments were $179.57m and have decreased by $10.42m at end of April 2019 due to capital and operational expenditure in the month of April.  

8.      Council continues to utilise the Federal Government’s current guarantee ($250k) investing in Term Deposits with a range of Authorised Deposit Taking Institutions (ADI’s) on short to medium term investments (generally 30 days to 180 days maturity) where more competitive rates are available.

Legal Issues

9.      Georges River Council is participating in a Group Class Action against Fitch Ratings Inc., in respect of losses suffered on the Corsair (Cayman Islands) No.4 Ltd Series 6 Kakadu Collateralised Debt Obligation (CDO) notes. Council suffered a capital loss of $214,812 on these investments dating back to December 2006, and will seek damages of the Capital Loss including lost interest as part of the action.

Loan Liability

10.    Council’s loan liability, as at 30 April 2019, was $1.75m which represents the balance of a $5m 10 year loan drawn down on 16 November 2012 for the Jubilee Park upgrade in Mortdale. The next repayment of $125k is due on 25 June 2019.

11.    The outstanding balance on this facility is at a variable interest rate of 194 basis points above the three month BBSW. At the current three month BBSW rate, the interest rate payable is 3.63% pa.

12.    Council receives a 4% p.a. subsidy under the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme funding agreement for the Jubilee Park upgrade facility. It is intended to continue this financially-advantageous arrangement through to full term in 2022.

13.    It should be noted that Council has been advised by NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp) that the Australian 10 year bond yield fell to 1.52%. It was only six months ago that the 10 year bond yield was trading over 2.80%. The subdued global economy at the beginning of the year, combined with renewed trade tensions (leading to safe haven buying in US treasuries) and the expectation of rate cuts below 1% by the middle of next year in Australia have culminated in a further collapse in bond yields.

14.    While lower interest rates will lead to reduced interest income from new term deposits for councils, the flip side is the potential for a lower cost of borrowing. Based on this, a council could look to fund a 10 year debt fixed with semi-annual payments at 2.6%.

 

Policy Limits

 

15.    The graph below shows the Investment Rating limits, as a percentage of total cash investments, which are allowed under Council’s Investment policy. It also compares them to the amounts actually invested, as a percentage of the total cash investments. It shows that the funds invested are within the limits set in the Investment Policy.

 

 

Investment Income

16.    Income from interest on investments to 30 April 2019 is estimated at $4.4m, which is $170k less than the 2018/19 year-to-date adopted budget.

 

17.    Investments have been made in accordance with the Local Government Act (1993), Minister’s Guidelines, Regulations and Council’s Investment Policy.

Analysis of Investments

Investment Duration

Investment Term

Market Value ‘000

% Total Value

Policy Limits

0 to < 1 Year

93,818

55.46%

100%

1 to < 3 Years

55,090

32.57%

70%

3 to < 5 Years

 20,244

11.97%

50%

Portfolio Total

169,152

100.00%

 

 

18.    Council’s portfolio is liquid, with 55.46% of assets maturing within 12 months. FRNs, At-Call Funds and Fixed Bonds also provide additional liquidity in an emergency.

19.    The following graphs show analysis of the total cash investment by institution:    

 

 

 

 

Type of Investments

 

20.    The majority of Council’s investment portfolio is made up of fixed term deposits, which account for approximately 54% of total investments.

 

21.    Bank Floating Rate Notes (FRN) offer liquidity and a higher rate of income accrual, which is highly recommended by our Investment Advisors (CPG Research & Advisory).

 

22.    The following are the types of investments held by Council:

a)      Cash and Call Accounts refer to funds held at a financial institution and can be recalled by Council either same day or on an overnight basis.

b)      An FRN is a debt security issued by a company with a variable interest rate. This can either be issued as Certificates of Deposit (CD) or as Medium Term Notes (MTN). The interest rate can be either fixed or floating, where the adjustments to the interest rate are usually made quarterly and are tied to a certain money market index such as the Bank Bill Swap Rate.

c)      A Fixed Term Deposit is a debt security issued by a company with a fixed interest rate over the term of the deposit.

d)      A managed fund is a professionally managed investment portfolio that individual investors can buy into, purchasing 'units' rather than shares. Each managed fund has a specific investment objective. This is usually based around the different asset classes (cash, fixed interest, property and shares). The money you invest is used to buy assets in line with this investment objective. When you invest in a managed fund, you are allocated a number of 'units'. The value of your units is calculated on a daily basis and changes as the market value of the assets in the fund rises and falls.

* These managed funds have been grandfathered since the NSW State Government changed the list of Approved Investments as a result of the Cole enquiry (which was reflected in the Ministerial Order dated 31/7/2008).

 

 

 

Credit Rating

23.    Credit ratings are generally a statement as to an institution’s credit quality. Ratings ranging from AA to BBB (Short Term) & AA to BBB (long term) are considered investment grade.

 

24.    A general guide as to the meaning of each credit rating that Council deals with is as follows:

Short-term

AA:            The best quality companies, reliable and stable. An obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.

A:               The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions.

BBB:          Adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments.

Unrated:   This category includes unrated Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADI’s) such as some Credit Unions and Building Societies to the extent not Commonwealth-guaranteed. No rating has been requested, or there is insufficient information on which to base a rating.         

Long-term

AA:            Quality companies, a bit higher risk than AAA. An obligor has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It differs from the highest-rated obligors only to a small degree.

A:               Economic situation can affect finance. An obligor has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments but is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in higher-rated categories.

BBB:          Medium class companies, which are satisfactory at the moment. An obligor has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments.

Unrated:  This category includes unrated Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADI’s) such as some Credit Unions and Building Societies to the extent not Commonwealth-guaranteed. No rating has been requested, or there is insufficient information on which to base a rating.

 

25.    The credit quality of Council’s portfolio is relatively high with approximately 73% of assets rated ‘A’ or higher. The ‘AAA’ assets represent the deposit investments covered by the Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).

 

26.    The remaining 27% rated ‘BBB’ or ‘unrated’ reflects the deposit and FRN investments with the regional and unrated ADIs.

 

 

 

 

Council’s Investment Powers

27.    Council’s investment powers are regulated by Section 625 of the NSW Local Government Act (1993), which states:

·        A council may invest money that is not, for the time being, required by the council for any other purpose.

·        Money may be invested only in a form of investment notified by order of the Minister published in the Gazette.

·        An order of the Minister notifying a form of investment for the purposes of this section must not be made without the approval of the Treasurer.

·        The acquisition, in accordance with section 358, of a controlling interest in a corporation or an entity within the meaning of that section is not an investment for the purposes of this section.

 

28.    Council’s investment policy and strategy requires that all investments are to be made in accordance with:

·        Local Government Act 1993 - Section 625

·        Local Government Act 1993 - Order (of the Minister) dated 12 January 2011

·        The Trustee Amendment (Discretionary Investments) Act 1997 – Sections 14A (2), 14C (1) & (2)

·        Local Government (Financial Management) Regulation 1993

·        Investment Guidelines issued by the Department of Local Government

 

Financial Implications

29.    Within budget allocation.

 

Risk Implications

30.    Enterprise risk/s identified and management process applied.

 

31.    Council’s enterprise risk identified was ‘poor financial management adversely impacts Council’s long term financial sustainability’. The risk has been managed by Council’s management of investments in accordance with the relevant act and regulations, along with Council adopted Investment Policy. To further minimise the risk, Council will progressively move towards the placement of investments only in investments rated A or above.

 

Community Engagement

32.    No community consultation is required as a result of this report. Members of the community are able to attend and address Council at the Council meeting in relation to this matter in accordance with Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

 

File Reference

D19/119978

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Investment Report as at 30 April 2019


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN042-19              Investment Report as at 30 April 2019

[Attachment 1]        Investment Report as at 30 April 2019

 

 

Page 27

 


 


 


 



 


 


 



Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 40

Item:                   FIN043-19 Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund - 2018/2019 Program Results 

Author:              Manager, Office of the General Manager

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council note the successful outcomes achieved during the inaugural year of the Councillor Discretionary Ward Fund program.

(b)     That the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund program be continued for the 2019/2020 financial year and the budget allocation be retained at $1 million.

(c)     That the General Manager be delegated authority to make minor editorial changes to the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund Policy to allow for more efficient administration of the program.

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report provides a detailed summary of the 2018/2019 outcomes of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund program and the funding allocations made in accordance with the Policy.

2.      This report proposes the continuation of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund for the 2019/2020 financial year.

Background

3.      At its meeting on 26 March 2018 Council endorsed the implementation of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund program for the 2018/19 financial year.

4.      Council resolved that the General Manager prepare a Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund administrative guideline (Policy), to support the implementation of the Fund, having regard to similar successful Funds operating in New South Wales and Victorian councils.  Independent advice and review of the ‘Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund Policy’ was sought from both the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Office of Local Government (OLG) prior to Council’s consideration and adoption of the Policy.

5.      The purpose of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund is to provide a structure which enables Councillors to provide immediate minor financial support to individuals, community groups or for the provision of minor capital works.

6.      The Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund was implemented for a trial period of 12 months, from 1 July 2018.

7.      The Policy provides two funding categories for the consideration of Councillors:

·    Capital funds are pooled by Ward with $170,000 being allocated per Ward per annum; and 

·    Non-capital funds being individually allocated with $10,000 per Councillor per annum.


 

 

8.      The approved 2018/2019 Operational Budget included appropriate funding for this Policy, being a total of $1,000,000 split over the two categories:

·    Capital funds: $850,000

·    Non-capital funds: $150,000

 

2018/2019 Program Results

CAPITAL FUNDS

9.      A total of $847,000 of the $850,000 was allocated to 25 approved capital projects across the Georges River Council Local Government Area.

·    Kogarah Ward, Hurstville Ward and Peakhurst Ward expended the entire $170,000 available for their Wards.

·    Blakehurst Ward and Mortdale Ward had a $1,500 unallocated balance for their Wards.

Ward

Allocated

Balance

Number of Projects Funded

Kogarah

$170,000

$0

7

Blakehurst

$168,500

$1,500

10

Hurstville

$170,000

$0

4

Peakhurst

$170,000

$0

1

Mortdale

$168,500

$1,500

3

TOTAL

$847,000

$3,000

25

10.    Examples of projects funded;

·    1,047m of footpath restorations and renewals including:

o Arnold Street, Waldo Crescent, Warrawee Place, Basset Street, Dudley Street, Ruby Street and Warwick Street

·    Shelters and picnic tables (16 total) including:

o Woodville Park, The Green, Gifford Park

·    Water stations and bubblers (8 total) including:

o Near various railway stations, Moore Park, Beverley Park, Gifford Park

·    Olds Park amenities building upgrade

·    Resurface Stuart Park basketball court

·    New solar lighting at Moore Reserve

 

2018/2019 Program Results

NON-CAPITAL FUNDS

11.    Councillors submitted 150 requests for non-capital funding, totalling $144,000. 

12.    All Councillors with the exception of Councillors Hindi, Liu and Badalati spent their entire $10,000 budgeted fund.

·    Councillor Hindi has a balance of $1,500 unallocated.

·    Councillor Liu has a balance of $500 unallocated.

·    Councillor Badalati has a balance of $4,000 unallocated.

 

Councillor

Allocated

Balance

Number of Recipients

Stephen Agius

$10,000

$0

8

Vince Badalati

$6,000

$4,000

4

Sam Elmir

$10,000

$0

8

Kevin Greene

$10,000

$0

15

Sandy Grekas

$10,000

$0

13

Con Hindi

$8,500

$1,500

7

Rita Kastanias

$10,000

$0

9

Nick Katris

$10,000

$0

8

Lou Konjarski

$10,000

$0

9

Kathryn Landsberry

$10,000

$0

14

Nancy Liu

$9,500

$500

7

Leesha Payor

$10,000

$0

10

Colleen Symington

$10,000

$0

18

Warren Tegg

$10,000

$0

11

Christina Wu

$10,000

$0

9

TOTAL

$144,000

$6,000

150

 

13.    During the inaugural year of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund, Councillors have been able to provide financial assistance to a wide number of community groups, individuals and projects as follows:

Category

Total Recipients

Percentage

Community Service

49

33%

Cultural/Arts

19

13%

Environmental

10

7%

Individuals

9

6%

Sporting

63

42%

 Total

150

100%

 

14.    Examples of funding purpose;

·    Purchase of equipment and uniforms

·    Support individuals in the ‘Artist in Residence’ program

·    Contributions towards sporting season costs

·    Support of local charities

·    Support to special needs programs

·    Contribution towards players coaching clinics

·    Heritage conservation projects

15.    The purpose of the fund was to provide Councillors with an agile and responsive program to address an unmet demand in the community for minor funding support that did not qualify for other established and traditional funding programs of Council such as the annual Community Grants Program, Venue Hire Grants Program, etc. 

16.    Feedback from funding recipients has been excellent and has resulted in extensive and positive promotion of Council on social and other media platforms including the websites of many funding recipients.

17.    On review of the feedback received and the number of projects funded, it is considered that the inaugural year of the Fund has been a great success within the local community and is therefore recommended that the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund program be continued for the 2019/2020 financial year and the budget allocation be retained at $1 million.

 

Disclosures of Interest

18.    Councillors declared a total of nine (9) conflicts of interest for the total 175 requests for funding.

Council Meeting

Council Report

Councillor

Organisation

17 December 2018

CCL082-18

Clr Elmir

Kogarah Cougars JRLFC

23 April 2019

CCL021-19

Clr Elmir

Connells Point Rovers FC

23 April 2019

CCL021-19

Clr Hindi

Kids with Cancer Foundation

23 April 2019

CCL021-19

Clr Landsberry

Carss Park Community Garden

27 May 2019

CCL023-19

Mayor Greene

Forest Rangers FC

27 May 2019

CCL023-19

Clr Hindi

St George Little Athletics

27 May 2019

CCL023-19

Clr Kastanias

Forest Rangers FC

27 May 2019

CCL023-19

Clr Konjarski

Forest Rangers FC

27 May 2019

CCL023-19

Clr Landsberry

Carss Park FC

19.    Councillor disclosure of interest forms were made available for public inspection during every Council meeting and the forms continue to remain available for inspection by the public upon request.

 

Administration of the Funding Program

20.    Although the overall response has been enormously positive, administration of the program has on occasion proved cumbersome for some of the recipients and has resulted in staff having to follow up the return of the required acquittal documentation.

21.    In the interests of improving some aspects of the program, it is recommended that minor editorial changes be made to the Policy and related procedures to assist Council staff and funding recipients with processing payments and acquittal documentation.

 

Financial Implications

22.    The continuation of the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund has been included in the draft 2019/2020 Operational Plan (budget). It is not recommended that the total budget allocation or the proposed split of funding be changed.

23.    The proposed 2019/2020 budget and split of funding is as follows:

Per Ward     (5)

Per Councillor (15)

Total

Capital

$170,000

-

$850,000

Non-capital

-

$10,000

$150,000

Total

 

 

$1,000,000

 

Risk Implications

24.    The risk implications of continuing the program beyond its initial year are considered to be low due to Council’s existing robust Policies and Procedures, including but not limited to;

·    Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund Policy

·    Sponsorship and Donations Policy

·    Code of Conduct

·    Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy

·    Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy

25.    To ensure transparency of the funding provided under the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund Policy, a register of all approved fund allocations is made available on Council’s website https://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/StGeorge/media/Documents/Councillor-Ward-Discretionary-Fund-Register-2018-2019.pdf

 

Community Engagement

26.    The proposed 2019/2020 budget allocation for the Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund was on public exhibition as part of Council’s Operational Plan 2019/2020. No submissions have been received.

 

File Reference

D19/124751

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 41

Item:                   FIN044-19          Property Matter - Proposed Grant of Easement to Ausgrid - 1 Centre Street Penshurst 

Author:              Strategic Property Specialist

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council resolve to grant an Easement for Electricity Purposes and Access over Lots 8 and 21 in Deposited Plan (DP) 11492 located at 1 Centre Street and 23 Railway Parade, Penshurst to Ausgrid as generally detailed in this report.

(b)     That the General Manager be authorised to execute all documentation required to create    the easement.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      1 Centre Street and 23 Railway Parade, Penshurst are leased to Kogarah Health, Aged and Community Care (NSW) Pty Ltd for the development of an aged care facility.

2.      The proposed development incorporates an electrical substation and associated cabling and access for which the electricity retailer Ausgrid requires an easement from Council as landowner.

3.      It is considered appropriate for Council to grant the easement required by Ausgrid.  

 

Background

4.      Georges River Council is the owner of vacant land described as Lots 8 and 21 in Deposited Plan (DP) 11492  located at 1 Centre Street and 23 Railway Parade, Penshurst.

5.      Lots 8 and 21 in DP 11492 were leased by the former Kogarah City Council to Kogarah Health, Aged and Community Care (NSW) Pty Ltd for a period of thirty years commencing on 1 August 2013, with a further three (3) ten year options thereafter.

6.      In accordance with the terms of the lease, Kogarah Health, Aged and Community Care (NSW) Pty Ltd is developing the property as an aged care facility.

7.      The development consent for the facility includes an on-site electrical substation and associated cabling for which the electricity retailer Ausgrid requires an Easement for Electricity Purposes (which will incorporate appropriate access) from Council as landowner. 

 

8.      The essential purpose of the relationship between Council and the lessee is to cause the creation of an aged care facility.  As such, it would be appropriate for Council to grant the easement required by Ausgrid so that the development of the facility may proceed.

 

9.      A site location plan and a plan showing the proposed easement details can be found in Attachments 1 and 2 (respectively) to this report.

 

 

 


 

Financial Implications

10.    It is proposed to grant the required easement to Ausgrid for a nominal fee with any legal costs incurred by Council to be met by the lessee.  As a result, no budget impact is anticipated as a result of this report.

 

Risk Implications

11.    No risks identified.

.Community Engagement

12.    No community engagement is required for this matter.        

 

File Reference

18/1303

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Location Plan - 1 Centre Street Penshurst

Attachment 2

Proposed Easement for Electricity Purposes and Access - Plan Detail

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN044-19              Property Matter - Proposed Grant of Easement to Ausgrid - 1 Centre Street Penshurst

[Attachment 1]        Location Plan - 1 Centre Street Penshurst

 

 

Page 43

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN044-19              Property Matter - Proposed Grant of Easement to Ausgrid - 1 Centre Street Penshurst

[Attachment 2]        Proposed Easement for Electricity Purposes and Access - Plan Detail

 

 

Page 44

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 46

Item:                   FIN045-19 Property Matter - Lease of Commercial Office Space - Suite 4B 34 MacMahon Street Hurstville 

Author:              Strategic Property Specialist

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council receive and note the report “Property Matter - Lease of Commercial Office Space-Suite 4B 34 MacMahon Street Hurstville.”

(b)     That future matters relating to lease and licence agreements that are approved by the General Manager under delegated authority be reported to Council on a quarterly basis as part of the Quarterly Property Report. the regular Councillor Quarterly Property Report, which is reported to Council on a quarterly

 

Executive Summary

1.      During the General Manager’s performance review in late 2018, it was requested that future lease and licence agreements be reported to Council. As the General Manager has delegated authority to approve such lease and licence agreements and the recommendations are receive and note only, this report recommends for this practice to now cease and instead be included in the regular Quarterly Property Report.

2.      This report concerns a new lease intended to be entered into by the General Manager under delegated authority.

3.      Council is the owner of a commercial office building located at 34 MacMahon Street, Hurstville known as Hurstville House.  A new tenant has been found for a vacant suite.

4.      A new lease will now be entered into with Pak Ki Bobby Chan for the 68m2 commercial office space, for a three (3) year lease term with two three (3) year options.

Background

5.      Georges River Council is the owner of a commercial office building located at 34 MacMahon Street, Hurstville and known as Hurstville House.

6.      Council’s managing agent has advised that a new tenant known as Pak Ki Bobby Chan has made an offer for a new lease of Suite 4B for a three (3) year term with two three (3) year options.

7.      The tenant has agreed to pay the asking market rent as detailed in the confidential Letter of Intent shown as Attachment 1 to this report. The main terms of the lease are summarised below:

Lessor:      

Georges River Council

Lessee:

Pak Ki Bobby Chan

Address:

Hurstville House – Suite 4B/34 MacMahon Street, Hurstville

Area:

68 square metres (approx)

Usage:

Medical Consultation

Rental:

See attached Letter of Intent

Parking:

One (1) car space

Lease Term

Three (3) years

Option

Two X three (3) years

Guarantee/Bond

Three (3) months’ rent as bond or Bank Guarantee

Lease Commencement

1 July, 2019

Lease End Date

30 June 2022

Rent Review

See attached Letter of Intent

Option Rent Review

See attached Letter of Intent

Legal Costs

Lessee to pay Council’s reasonable legal costs in relation to preparation of the lease document (capped at $1,200).

Special Conditions

1.   Insurance - Lessee to keep a current policy covering Public Liability ($20 million) noting Georges River Council as an interested party

2.   Any option to include a demolition clause whereby Council may give the tenant one month’s notice of termination in the event that it wishes to demolish or substantially alter the property.

 

Financial Implications

8.      Within budget allocation.

                                        

Risk Implications

 

9.      No risks have been identified as a result of this report.

 

Community Engagement

 

10.    No community engagement is required for this matter.

 

File Reference

16/1714

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Letter of Intent - Suite 4B 34 MacMahon Street Hurstville (Confidential)

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 48

Item:                   FIN046-19          Property Matter - Classification of Land - Part 12-22 Woniora Road Hurstville 

Author:              Head of Strategic Property

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council resolves to classify Lot 1 in Deposited Plan (DP) 1242704, located at 12-22 Woniora Road, Hurstville as Operational Land in accordance with Part 2, Division 1 (Section 31) of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act).

(b)     That Council advertise for a period of not less than 28 days inviting public submissions to be made on the proposed classification as per section 34 of the Act.

(c)     That a further report be presented to Council after the exhibition period to advise of any public submissions received.

(d)     That the General Manager be authorised to sign all documentation associated with the proposed classification of land.

 

Executive Summary

1.      Through the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) process, Council has received via transfer, a two hundred (200) square metre commercial property (shop) together with a fully constructed 79 space public car park that has been reinstated within the development located at 12-22 Woniora Road, Hurstville.

2.      The Council owned car park and shop is contained within a stratum allotment described as Lot 1 in Deposited Plan (DP) 1242704.

 

3.      In accordance with Part 2, Division 1 (Section 31) of the Act, it is proposed that Council resolves to classify the stratum allotment as “Operational Land”.

 

Background

4.      On 16 June 2016, Georges River Council entered into a VPA with Combined Projects (Hurstville) Pty Ltd over land that was redeveloped at 12-22 Woniora Road, Hurstville. The subject property was the site of the Australian Taxation Office and the Council owned Woniora Road Car Park.

5.      Through the VPA process, Council agreed to receive via transfer, a fully constructed public car park incorporating 79 spaces together with a 200 square metre commercial shop located at street level fronting Greenbank Street.

6.      To facilitate delivery of the Council parcel, a stratum allotment was created for both the shop and car park components.  The subject lot is legally described as Lot 1 in DP1242704.

 

7.      In accordance with Section 31 of the Act, Council is now required to classify the land as either community of operational land upon acquisition.

 

8.      In this regard, it is proposed to classify the stratum allotment as operational land.  However, in order for the land to be classified as operational land, a resolution of the Council is now required. 

 

9.      The resolution and subsequent required statutory advertising is to take place within three months of Council acquiring the land (in this case, transfer date was 17 May, 2019) as per section 34 of the Act :

·    A council must give public notice of a proposed resolution to classify or reclassify public land.

·    The public notice must include the terms of the proposed resolution and a description of the public land concerned.

·    The public notice must specify a period of not less than 28 days during which submissions may be made to the council.

10.    An extract of DP1242704 is provided in Attachment 1 to this report. The car park component of the land is highlighted blue.  The shop component of the land is highlighted orange.  The public car park has its own separate entry from Greenbank Street with the parking spaces located on the lower first and second levels upon entry.

 

11.    A company search for Combined Projects (Hurstville) Pty Ltd is provided in Attachment 2 to this report.

 

12.    It is anticipated that the car park will be operational and available to the public by mid-June, 2019. 

 

Financial Implications

13.    Within budget allocation.

 

Risk Implications

14.    Failure to classify the land as operational land will result in the land being classified as community land (by default).  Council’s ability to commercially manage the property would then be governed by the community provisions of the Act.

 

Community Engagement

15.   Community engagement will be conducted via the statutory advertising process required in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act.

 

 

File Reference

18/2150

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Extract of Deposited Plan 1242704

Attachment 2

Company Extract - Combined Projects (Hurstville) Pty Ltd

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN046-19              Property Matter - Classification of Land - Part 12-22 Woniora Road Hurstville

[Attachment 1]        Extract of Deposited Plan 1242704

 

 

Page 51

 


 


 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Tuesday, 11 June 2019

FIN046-19              Property Matter - Classification of Land - Part 12-22 Woniora Road Hurstville

[Attachment 2]        Company Extract - Combined Projects (Hurstville) Pty Ltd

 

 

Page 53

 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Tuesday, 11 June 2019                                           Page 55

Item:                   FIN047-19          Georges River Boundaries, Wards and Number of Councillors 

Author:              Head of Strategic Partnerships and Performance

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council consider the boundary adjustment proposals contained within the report and determine whether to explore any boundary adjustments to align with Federal Electoral Boundaries.

(b)     That Council consider the options contained within the report in regard to the number of wards and determine whether to proceed with any alteration to the number of wards within the Georges River local government area.

(c)     That Council consider the options contained within the report in regard to the number of Councillors and determine whether to proceed with any reduction to the number of Councillors within the Georges River local government area. 

(d)     That Council consider the option contained within the report in regard to the introduction of a popularly elected Mayor within the Georges River local government area and determine whether to proceed with that option. 

 

Executive Summary

1.      In August 2018 Council resolved to prepare a report to explore a range of options available within the Local Government Area (LGA) in regard to the number of wards, number of Councillors, ward boundaries and LGA boundaries.

2.      Additionally, the council of an area that is divided into wards is required under Section 211 of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) to keep ward boundaries under review.  Under Section 211, a council will be required to alter its ward boundaries if the number of electors between wards in its area differs by more than 10%.

3.      The current variance in Georges River LGA is 8.24% (Australian Electoral Commission, May 2019). Although Georges River currently complies with the Act, ongoing development in the LGA is likely to affect future compliance. 

4.      Proposals to alter ward boundaries or the number of Councillors within a Local Government Area (LGA) must be conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined by the Act.  Variations are limited by the Act which imposes a minimum and maximum number of Councillors, and limitations on the minimum number of Councillors per ward.

5.      This report explores possible configurations and the process that would be required to implement them should Council decide to proceed to explore any of the configurations.

Background

6.      Council resolved on 27 August 2018 that the General Manager provide a report which addresses the following:

 

a)    Options available to rationalise local government area boundaries where anomalies currently exist between Federal, State and Local electoral boundaries;

b)    Options available to alter the number of wards within the local government area;

c)    Options available to reduce the number of Councillors within the local government area;

d)    Possible future locations of ward boundaries that could exist under an alternative ward arrangement within the local government area;

e)    The process required to be followed under the Local Government Act 1993 to progress any reduction in the number of wards or Councillors.

 

Boundary Adjustments to Overcome Anomalies

7.      Federal Electoral Divisions, State Electoral Districts and the LGAs are designed and approved under separate mechanisms and rarely align. Council has the option to attempt to align, as much as possible, to either Federal or State boundaries but it is not usually possible to align to both.

 

Amalgamation with Bayside Council

8.      Amalgamation with the former Rockdale Council to form a St George Council was previously explored by the former Kogarah and Hurstville Councils prior to the 2016 merger of NSW councils (Refer Proposal 5 at ATTACHMENT 5).

9.      There was significant community support for such a merger within Rockdale Council LGA at the time with this merger being the most popular merger proposal by residents.

10.    On 25 May 2016 the former Rockdale City Council, resolved, inter alia, to acknowledge the strong heritage and brand of St George across the three Councils and to make a submission seeking amalgamation of Kogarah, Hurstville and Rockdale Councils to form a St George Council.

11.    Subsequently, the delegate (Peter Peppin) who reported on the merger proposal recommended to the Minister for Local Government in August 2016, “that the proposed merger of Georges River Council (formerly Kogarah and Hurstville City Councils) and Rockdale City Council proceed, subject to consideration by the Boundaries Commission and approval by the Minister for Local Government”.

12.    However, since that time Rockdale Council was amalgamated in September 2016 with Botany Bay Council to form Bayside Council.  Bayside Council currently has 102,131 electors across 5 wards.

13.    Since that merger occurred there has been no apparent community interest in pursuing a further amalgamation with Georges River to form a larger ‘St George’ Council.  Hence, this option has not been further examined in this report.

 

Alignment with Federal Electoral Boundaries

14.    The closest alignment of boundaries is between Georges River LGA and federal electorates. The Georges River LGA currently encompasses parts of the Cook, Barton and Banks Federal Electoral Divisions.

Proposal 1:

Proposes an amalgamation of the areas located in Riverwood and Narwee between the Georges River Council LGA and Watson Electoral Division boundary lines by making use of the M5 motorway which lies on the Watson boundary line and the natural boundary of Salt Pan Creek which is also the boundary of the State Electoral District of Oatley.  These areas are currently located within the Canterbury Bankstown LGA (Refer Proposal 1 at ATTACHMENT 1).

Proposal 2:

Proposes an amalgamation of the area located east of the Georges River Council LGA boundary which is located in the Cook Electoral Division, bounded by President Avenue.  This area is currently located within the Bayside LGA.  This amalgamation would result in the entire Federal Electoral Division of Cook located north of the Georges River being located within the Georges River LGA.  (Refer Proposal 2 at ATTACHMENT 2).

Proposals 3 – 9:

A range of other options were explored in terms of possible boundary adjustments to the Georges River LGA.  However, after further investigation these options were not pursued due to lack of relevant communities of interest and no alignment with existing electoral boundaries (Refer Proposals at ATTACHMENTS 3 to 9).

 

Amalgamation and Boundary Alteration Process

15.    The alteration of the existing boundary of an LGA and the amalgamation of two or more LGAs occurs by proclamation of the Governor upon review of a proposal made by the Minister, by an affected council, or by an appropriate number of electors (Section 218E of the Act).

16.    A ‘Boundary Adjustment Proposal’ would be submitted in circumstances where Council was seeking to address boundary anomalies, which have minimal impact on electors. An ‘Amalgamation Proposal’ would be pursued in circumstances where Council is seeking to expand the LGA in a manner that would include electors who are currently in another LGA. Both proposals above would be defined as an amalgamation proposal.

17.    Prior to the submission of any proposal it is recommended that Council approach all affected stakeholders to determine current views towards rationalisation of LGA boundaries.  After having regard to any stakeholder feedback, if Council wishes to proceed with a proposal to either amalgamate or alter the LGA boundary, Council should provide the Minister with a proposal.

18.    The Minister must refer a proposal for examination to the Boundaries Commission.  After receiving a formal response, the Minister may then recommend to the Governor that the proposal be implemented, that it be implemented with modifications, or that it be declined. The process that the Minister must undertake is detailed in Section 218F of the Act. The role of the Boundaries Commission is detailed in Section 263 of the Act.

19.    If Council was to pursue a boundary adjustment or amalgamation, the outcome of these processes would determine the final ward structure (if any) and the number of Councillors within the LGA.

 

Options Available to Alter the Number of Wards and Councillors

20.    Possible ward arrangements for a council area are determined by Sections 224 and 224A of the Act.  A council must have at least five and not more than fifteen Councillors, one of whom is the Mayor, and may not have fewer than three Councillors per ward.

21.    Within these parameters a number of ward and councillor configurations for the current Georges River LGA would be feasible, as shown in Table 1 below:


 

Table 1 – ward and Councillor configurations

Option

Ward

Councillors Per Ward (min 3)

Total Councillors (5-15)

Electors Per Ward (average)

Electors Per Councillor (Average)

A

0

N/A

5

94,722

18,944

A1

0

N/A

7

94,722

13,532

A2

0

N/A

9

94,722

10,525

A3

0

N/A

12

94,722

7,894

A4

0

N/A

15

94,722

6,314

B

2

3

6

47,361

15,787

B1

2

4

8

47,361

11,840

B2

2

5

10

47,361

9,427

B3

2

6

12

47,361

7,894

B4

2

7

14

47,361

6,766

C

3

3

9

31,574

10,525

C1

3

4

12

31,574

7,894

C2

3

5

15

31,574

6,315

D

4

3

12

23,680

7,894

E

5

3

15

18,944

6,315

 

Table 2 below provides details for comparison of other councils.

Council

Wards

Councillors

Electors Per Ward (Average)

Electors

Electors Per Councillor (Average)

Willoughby Council

4

13

11,584

(popularly elected Mayor)

46,337

3,564

Georges River Council

5

15

18,944

94,722

6,315

Bayside Council

5

15

20,169

100,846

6,723

Campbelltown City Council

0

15

107,832

107,832

7,188

Camden Council

3

9

21,858

66,575

7,286

Penrith City Council

3

15

46,914

140,743

9,383

The Council of the Shire of Hornsby

3

10

33,024

(popularly elected Mayor)

99,072

9,907

Fairfield City Council

3

13

43,369

(popularly elected Mayor)

130,107

10,008

Sutherland Shire Council

5

15

33,272

166,361

11,091

Blacktown Council

5

15

42,239

168,957

11,263

City of Sydney

0

10

120,890

(popularly Elected Mayor)

120,890

12,089

Canterbury Bankstown

5

15

45,869

182,757

12,183

Liverpool City Council

2

11

69,007

(popularly elected Mayor)

138,014

12,547

 

 

 

 

Average

9,196

 

22.    Maps depicting the various ward configurations outlined in Table 1 are attached to this report as ATTACHMENTS 10 to 15. These are based on an LGA consisting of 0 and 5 wards.

 

Popularly Elected Mayor

23.    A review may be undertaken to determine preference for election of the Mayor. The Act provides for either election of Mayor by Councillors from among their number for a period of 2 years, or election of Mayor by electors (‘popularly elected Mayor’) for a period of 4 years.

24.    A change to a popularly elected Mayor would require a constitutional referendum and would take effect from the next ordinary election after the decision is made.

 

Process to Change the number of Wards or Councillors within a LGA

25.    Any changes to ward boundaries, the number of wards, the number of Councillors or the introduction of a popularly elected Mayor requires the council to hold a constitutional referendum.

26.    A council may alter ward boundaries (Section 210(3) of the Act), however prior to doing so council must consult the Electoral Commissioner and the Australian Statistician on the proposed ward structure “to ensure that, as far as practicable, the proposed boundaries of its wards correspond to the boundaries of appropriate districts (within the meaning of the Electoral Act 2017) and census districts”.

27.    Council must publically exhibit the proposed alteration (Ward Boundary Plan), giving notice of where the plan can be inspected, the dates of the exhibition and the dates of the submission period.

28.    A change in the number of Councillors would require a constitutional referendum. A council must have at least five and not more than fifteen Councillors. A council that is divided into wards must have at least 3 Councillors per ward (Section 224A(9) of the Act).

29.    Council must give no less than 42 days public notice of the proposed resolution. If the resolution is passed by council, this is then forwarded to the Minister together with a summary of any submissions received and comments concerning those submissions. If approved by the Minister, the number of Councillors is reduced to the number specified in the application with effect on and from the day appointed for the next ordinary election of Councillors after the application is approved.

30.    The process must be completed not less than 12 months before the next ordinary election.

 

Financial Implications

31.    Council’s Election Reserve is estimated to have a balance of $923,160 as at 30 June 2019.

32.    Advice has been sought from the Australian Electoral Commission regarding the cost of undertaking a constitutional referendum as part of the 2020 Councillor elections. It is estimated that this would be approximately $150,000 - $200,000 if a traditional referendum was undertaken.  However, those costs can be significantly reduced should Council decide to undertake a postal vote, rather than a traditional referendum.

33.    Costs associated with undertaking a referendum could be offset against future savings should the number of Councillors in Georges River be reduced.  For example, a reduction in Councillors would result in annual savings in Councillor expenses as follows:

 

Proposed Total Number of Councillors

Annual Cost

Annual Saving

(incl. Mayor)

 

 

15

$1,702,950

$0

14

$1,589,420

$113,530

13

$1,475,890

$227,060

12

$1,362,360

$340,590

11

$1,248,830

$454,120

10

$1,135,300

$567,650

9

$1,021,770

$681,180

8

$908,240

$794,710

7

$794,710

$908,240

6

$681,180

$1,021,770

5

$567,650

$1,135,300

** Note ** Average Annual Cost Per Councillor in 2018/19 ($113,530) includes Councillor Fees, Ward Funds, Catering, Travel,  Accommodation, Professional Development and other expenses.

 


 

Risk Implications

34.    The Enterprise Risk Management Strategy contains two relevant actions in regards to the provision of an open, accessible and transparent decision making and meeting process.  The consideration of this information through the meeting process ensures that these actions are achieved.  

 

Community Engagement

35.    The form of community engagement to be undertaken would be determined by the course of action to be taken by Council, and would be discussed accordingly in a further report.

 

File Reference

D19/129679

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Proposal 1 - published in separate document

Attachment 2

Proposal 2 - published in separate document

Attachment 3

Proposal 3 - published in separate document

Attachment 4

Proposal 4 - published in separate document

Attachment 5

Proposal 5 - published in separate document

Attachment 6

Proposal 6 - published in separate document

Attachment 7

Proposal 7 - published in separate document

Attachment 8

Proposal 8 - published in separate document

Attachment 9

Proposal 9 - published in separate document

Attachment 10

Current Ward Configuration - 5 Wards - published in separate document

Attachment 11

Proposed Ward Configuration - No Wards - published in separate document

Attachment 12

Proposed Ward Configuration - 2 Wards - published in separate document

Attachment 13

Proposed Ward Configuration -  3 Wards - published in separate document

Attachment 14

Proposed Ward Configuration -  4 Wards - published in separate document

Attachment 15

Proposed Ward Configuration -  - 5 Wards - published in separate document