Economic Development Committee




Monday, 10 July 2017


Council Staff

Georges River Council Administrator, Mr John Rayner

Acting General Manager, Mr David Tuxford

Director Environment and Planning, Ms Meryl Bishop

Manager Strategic Planning, Ms Catherine McMahon

Economic Development Officer, Mr Craig Edmondson

Executive Services Officer, Ms Sina Camilleri


Committee Members

Mr Nickolas Varvaris (Chair)

Mr Nick Aroney

Ms Rosemary Bishop

Mr Vince Badalati

Mr Frank Bates

Ms Linda Hurst

Mr Lawrence Debono

Mr Con Hindi

Ms Nancy Liu

Ms Lesley Mannion

Mr Dominic Sin

Mr Sam Stratikoppolous

Mr Alan Zreik

Mr Warren Tegg




The Chair Mr Nickolas Varvaris opened the meeting at 6.10pm.



Apologies were received from Ms Nancy Liu and Mr Lawrence Debono.




Disclosure of Interest

There were no disclosures of interest made.


Minutes of previous meetings

Economic Development Committee - 24 April 2017


That the Minutes of the Economic Development Committee held on 24 April 2017 as adopted by Council be confirmed.


Council Reports

EDC015-17       Christmas Decorations

(Report by Coordinator Communications, Anthea Gregory-Desmond)


(a)     That an increase in the use of Council’s communication channels occurs to promote the celebration of Christmas with the creation of two new events: Christmas Lights Decoration Competition for residents and also a Shop Window Christmas Decoration Award to encourage business participation.

(b)     That in respect of the Christmas Lights Decoration Competition a judging criteria be developed and a representative panel appointed to include input from children and youth; and that the judging process occur prior to the final Council meeting of 2017. 

(c)     That the renaming of the Magic of Christmas at Carss Bush Park event occurs between 5.00pm and 9.30pm, to include a fireworks display at 9.00pm, funded through the Christmas Decoration budget.

(d)     That ‘Project Give!’ Christmas Charity Appeal occurs to support not-for-profit organisations.

(e)     That the placement of static Christmas-themed decorations across all wards occurs with a traditional ‘Merry Christmas’ message using existing Council and other infrastructure including Ausgrid light poles across the local government area.

(f)      That South Hurstville be included in the list of town centres that will receive decorations.

(g)     That the monthly flag infrastructure campaign occurs to help promote key events.

(h)     That approvals for road closures for neighbourhood street Christmas parties be harmonised.

(i)      That recognition of other cultural celebrations important to existing and emerging communities such as Diwali be considered.

The Committee commended the report.



EDC016-17       Georges River Employment Lands Study

(Report by Manager Strategic Planning, Catherine McMahon)


(a)       The Committee note the contents of the report.

(b)       That with regards to planning proposals, long term employment outcomes should be sought in preference to short term employment outcomes.

(c)       That Council Officers investigate a new LEP provision that requires a percentage of the floor space to be set for non-residential uses in planning proposals rather than a set non-residential FSR.

(d)       That careful consideration is given to planning proposals that include childcare facilities as part of the development to ensure that there is a community need in the proposed location.

(e)       That current vacancy rates be considered as part of any planning proposal for the rezoning of industrial land.



EDC017-17       Joint Georges River Council and St George Business Chamber Event

(Report by Economic Development Officer, Craig Edmondson)


(a)  That the Committee note the date of the joint St George Business Chamber/ Georges River Council Business Event to be held on Friday 11 August.

(b)  That the event provide information to the local business community on Council’s economic development initiatives and an update of major development applications and planning proposals.



EDC018-17       Home Sweet Hurstville-Kogarah Now! City Centre Activation Plan

(Report by Economic Development Officer, Craig Edmondson)


(a)       That the Committee note and accept the report.

(b)       That the Kogarah City Centre be given equal attention as part of this project.

(c)       That the Hurstville LAC (Local Area Command) be contacted to request that it reinstate a police presence in the Hurstville City Centre on weekdays during the hours of 3.00-5.00pm due to public concerns regarding antisocial behaviour.

(d)       That comments regarding public safety concerns be captured and monitored.

(e)       That Council consider improved measures to ensure that 50% of shopfront signage in Forest Road Hurstville is in English.

(f)        That busking and other unauthorised street activities such as the selling of food or other goods on the footpath is to be discouraged.

(g)       That the program should foster and encourage a sense of community and shared values.

(h)      That the name of the program be reviewed.




EDC019-17       Smart Cities Funding Application

(Report by Economic Development Officer, Craig Edmondson)


That the Committee note and accept the report.





EDC020-17       Easy to do Business Update

(Report by Economic Development Officer, Craig Edmondson)


That the Committee note and accept the report.


EDC021-17       Statement of Business Ethics

(Report by Economic Development Officer, Craig Edmondson)

Several members of the Committee commented that the Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure guidelines needed further clarification; and also raised concerns about sponsorship of the 2017 Lunar New Year Festival.


That the Committee note and accept the report and provide comment on the Draft Georges River Council Statement of Business Ethics by Tuesday 25 July.




General Business

The Committee provided comments on the Draft Business Survey submitted as an item under General Business.


Mr Frank Bates tabled a paper for Council’s consideration outlining the advantages of attracting a 4-5star hotel to the local area to meet anticipated demand from the St George Hospital expansion and sporting events. In the paper the former Kogarah Council Chambers was identified as a potential site for a hotel. Council’s Administrator Mr John Rayner informed the Committee that the Kogarah Civic Centre has been leased to several businesses, however he assured Mr Bates that a copy of the report would be provided to Council’s Strategic Property Manager.  



Mr Allan Zreik suggested that Council investigate the feasibility of returning Park Road and The Avenue to two-way traffic in order to reduce traffic congestion.


The Committee expressed concern that the recent public transport announcement by the State Government did not include improvements to rail services on the Illawarra Line.


Council’s Administrator Mr John Rayner thanked the Committee for their valuable input and informed them that the new Council will be responsible for establishing Advisory Committees following the election on 9 September.  


The Meeting was closed at 8.10pm.