AGENDA


Finance and Governance Committee

 

Monday, 09 September 2019

6.00pm

 

Georges River Civic Centre

Hurstville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 2

 

          Finance and Governance Committee

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Opening

2.      Acknowledgement of Country

3.      Apologies / Leave of Absence

4.      Notice of Webcasting

5.      Disclosures of Interest

6.      Public Forum

7.      Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting  

MINUTES: Finance and Governance Committee - 12 August 2019

8.      Committee Reports

FIN058-19         Legal Services Report - August 2019

(Report by Director Legal Services and General Counsel).................................... 4

FIN059-19         Parking Options for Community Volunteers at Hurstville

(Report by Head of Strategic Property)....................................................................... 6

FIN060-19         First Grade Ground of the Year Prize Money - 1st Place Hurstville Oval

(Report by Acting Manager, Project Delivery)........................................................... 9

FIN061-19         Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy

(Report by Manager Governance and Risk)........................................................... 12

FIN062-19         Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Minutes from 20 May 2019

(Report by Internal Auditor)........................................................................................ 35

FIN063-19         Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Independent Member Appointment Extension

(Report by Internal Auditor)........................................................................................ 45

FIN064-19         Administration of 2020 Local Government Elections

(Report by Head of Executive Services).................................................................. 64

FIN065-19         End of Year Progress Report July 2018 - June 2019

(Report by Senior Corporate Planner)..................................................................... 66


 

 

FIN066-19         Investment Report as at 31 July 2019

(Report by Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting)......................................... 195

FIN067-19         Georges River Council - Inaugural Female Leadership Workshop

(Report by People and Culture Projects Specialist)............................................ 213

FIN068-19         Draft Debt Management and Hardship Policy

(Report by Chief Financial Officer)........................................................................ 218  

 

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 5

Committee Reports

Item:                   FIN058-19            Legal Services Report - August 2019 

Author:              Director Legal Services and General Counsel

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

That the report “Legal Services Report – August 2019” be received and noted.

 

 

To avoid breaches of legislation, the Code of Conduct, perceived conflicts of interest and Council’s policies, this report provides a high level summary of the current litigation matters where Council is a party. 

Current Matters

 

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

Land and Environment Court

·        15 x Class 1 (Merit/DA)

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

 

Local Court

·        3 x Council Prosecutions (including 1 x Police matter)

 

Supreme Court

·        1 x Summons

 

Costs

 

2.      The nett costs for this financial year 2019/2020 are $141,186.

Current Status of Court Actions and Legal Matters

3.      Detailed information regarding these matters is provided in the Councillors’ Information Bulletin and the quarterly Legal Services briefings to Council.

 

Financial Implications

 

4.      Within budget allocation.

 

Risk Implications

5.      No risks identified.

 


 

Community Engagement

 

6.      No Community engagement is required.

 

File Reference

17/1831

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 7

Item:                   FIN059-19            Parking Options for Community Volunteers at Hurstville 

Author:              Head of Strategic Property

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

That the report be received and noted.

 

Executive Summary

1.      At the Council meeting held on 27 May 2019, Council resolved as follows in relation to item (d) of FIN038-19:

“That the General Manager prepares a report investigating ways to provide free community volunteer car parking in the Hurstville precinct.”

2.      There are approximately 150 registered community service volunteers within the Georges River local government area (LGA).  There are approximately 10 who provide services within the Hurstville precinct at any time. 

 

Background

3.      Following a review of available options, it was observed that there is ample untimed, on-street parking within easy walking distance of Hurstville Library and surrounding community facilities. This parking is located notably along Dora and Patrick Streets and the nearby side streets in the vicinity of Hurstville Oval and Queens Road, Hurstville.  A location plan is provided as Attachment 1 to this report.

4.      If Council determined that dedicated off-street parking was more suitable, the most cost effective and practical solution would be to provide registered volunteers with parking exemptions for Council’s public car parks located in MacMahon Street, Gloucester Road and the Avenue, Hurstville.

5.      Registered volunteers could be provided with appropriate parking permits to be displayed on the dashboard within the vehicle for the duration of providing the service of volunteering.  Council enforcement officers would have details of each volunteer’s vehicle registration and be provided with a corresponding timetable of when they are “on duty” volunteering.

6.      This approach would be resource intensive as Council officers would need to be continually updating, issuing and cancelling permits for new and departing volunteers and also auditing users to ensure that all volunteers were using the permits in a legitimate manner. 

7.      Additionally, the issuing of parking permits only for volunteers based in Hurstville could create a precedent as other Georges River volunteers could request that they also be provided with free, untimed parking for the duration of their volunteering for Council at other sites and activities.

8.      General enquiries with other councils has revealed that community volunteers are not provided with dedicated parking spaces during their time of service, although one council indicated that fees were waived for a community volunteer organisation that occupied space in a commercial car park.

9.      In relation to parking at Waratah Hospital, due to the technical challenges associated with the automated parking infrastructure located at this car park and loss of revenue, this site would not be deemed suitable for volunteer parking.

 

10.    Furthermore, Council is currently in the process of undertaking a review of current operations for all Council owned commercial car parks, with a particular focus on improving efficiency and revenue.  The review will consider if further commercial opportunities exist for Council’s free public car parks in Hurstville and it is recommended that Council not commit to any future parking arrangements until such time as the study is completed. 

 

Financial Implications

11.    No budget impact as a result of this report.

 

Risk Implications

12.    There may be future demands for similar parking provisions to be provided to registered bona fide volunteers throughout the Georges River local government area.  Such areas may not have the abundance of untimed on-street parking like that found in Hurstville, which could impact on future budgets should subsidised commercial parking be required.

13.    It would appear that if Council was not in a position to offer similar parking schemes to volunteers in other centres outside of Hurstville, there would be an inequity between volunteer service providers.

 

Community Engagement

14.  Community engagement is not required for this matter.

 

File Reference

13/1543

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Location Plan - Street Parking

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN059-19              Parking Options for Community Volunteers at Hurstville

[Appendix 1]          Location Plan - Street Parking

 

 

Page 8

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 9

Item:                   FIN060-19            First Grade Ground of the Year Prize Money - 1st Place Hurstville Oval   

Author:              Acting Manager, Project Delivery

Directorate:      Assets and Infrastructure

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council congratulate the Hurstville Oval Ground Staff for their achievement in gaining 1st Place in the NSW Premier Cricket, First Grade Ground of the Year Competition.

(b)     That Council make an ex-gratia payment to Mr Rainis to the amount of $1,500 awarded to him by the NSW Premier Cricket, to be shared equally amongst the staff at Hurstville Oval.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report is presented to inform Council that Hurstville Oval has been awarded 1st Place in the NSW Premier Cricket First Grade Ground of the Year Competition. The notification letter from Cricket NSW and copy of prize money cheque is attached.

 

Background

2.        The NSW Premier Cricket First Grade Ground of the Year Competition awards are made to acknowledge the important contribution of ground staff to the success of the Grade competitions, with officiating umpires assessing every ground on every match day during the season.

 

3.        At its annual Premier’s Dinner the following Awards were presented:

·    1st Place                  Hurstville Oval, Georges River Council

·    2nd Place                Sydney University Oval

·    3rd Place                 Tunks Park, Nth Sydney Council

 

4.        This award carries with it a monetary amount of $1,500.00 with the recipient being the Superintendent of the Oval, Mr Philip Rainis. This money is typically shared amongst the all the workers at Hurstville Oval. Mr Rainis subsequently forwarded the cheque to Council, ensuring compliance with Council's Code of Conduct which specifically addresses "Gifts and Benefits", and also to ensure recognition of a well-deserved performance reward.

 

Financial Implications

5.      Within budget allocation.

 

Risk Implications

6.      No risks identified.

 

Community Engagement

7.      No community engagement will be undertaken.

 


 

File Reference

D19/194191

D19/194201

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

NSW Premier Cricket First Grade Ground of the Year 2018 2019 Hurstville Oval

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN060-19              First Grade Ground of the Year Prize Money - 1st Place Hurstville Oval

[Appendix 1]          NSW Premier Cricket First Grade Ground of the Year 2018 2019 Hurstville Oval

 

 

Page 11

 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 12

Item:                   FIN061-19          Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy 

Author:              Manager Governance and Risk

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council endorse the Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy (version 3) and following endorsement, the draft policy be placed on public exhibition for a period of not less than fourteen (14) days inviting submissions from the public on the draft policy.

(b)     That Council receive a further report following the public exhibition period listing any submissions received from the public and recommending a final Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy (version 3) for adoption.

(c)     That Council endorse that if no public submissions are received at the end of the public exhibition period that the Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy (version 3) be adopted without resubmitting to Council.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      Council’s Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy (PID Reporting Policy) encourages the reporting of wrongdoing by any Public Official (including Council Officials) without risk of reprisal. The PID Reporting Policy outlines what type of wrongdoing can be reported, to whom, and how reports of wrongdoing are managed.

2.      A number of amendments are proposed to the existing PID Reporting Policy (version 2) as outlined in the report.

Background

3.      The PID Reporting Policy (version 1) was adopted by Council on 3 July 2017, with a minor amendment to contact details made on 26 February 2018 (version 2). The Policy now requires updating following review and consultation with the NSW Ombudsman’s Office, the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) and the Office of Local Government.

4.      Council’s PID Reporting Policy is based on the Model Internal Reporting Policy for Local Government (June 2014), however the below amendments to the policy are now recommended:

·    Removal of the requirement that a reporter identify their complaint as a PID and that it be in writing, as the onus is actually on the public authority (i.e. Council) to decide whether to treat the matter as a PID (as recommended by NSW Ombudsman’s Office);

·    Strengthening of the definition of ‘corrupt conduct’ (as recommended by NSW Ombudsman’s and ICAC);

·    Updating of ‘council official’ to align with the revised definition contained in new Code of Conduct (as adopted by Council in May 2019);


 

 

·    Clarification that the policy applies to all Public Officials, including Council Officials, and the subsequent removal of any references specific to ‘Councillors and staff’; 

·    Increasing the number of Disclosure Officers at Council (now including the Director Legal Services and General Counsel, Director Business and Corporate Services, Team Leader Content and Discovery, and Coordinator Fleet and Operational Procurement); and

·    The ability for the General Manager to amend nominated Disclosure Officers and update contact details and any other policy content of an operational nature without needing to seek adoption of Council.

Financial Implications

5.      No budget impact as a result of this report.

 

Risk Implications

6.      This policy assists Council to maintain legislative compliance and to meet its statutory reporting requirements to external reporting bodies.

 

Community Engagement

7.      The Draft PID Reporting Policy (version 3) will be placed on public exhibition for a period of 14 days seeking public submissions and/or feedback.

 

File Reference

D17/94059

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy - Version 3

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN061-19              Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy

[Appendix 1]          Draft Public Interest Disclosure Reporting Policy - Version 3

 

 

Page 14

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 35

Item:                   FIN062-19          Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Minutes from 20 May 2019 

Author:              Internal Auditor

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation:

That the Minutes of the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Meeting held on the 20 May 2019 be noted.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      Council’s Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Charter (Clause 5.1) provides for the reporting of Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) Minutes to the Council.         

 

2.      The Minutes of the ARIC meeting held 20 May 2019 were confirmed by the ARIC at their meeting of 19 August 2019 and are now presented (Attachment) for Council’s information.

Background

3.       Council’s Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Charter adopted by Council’s Finance and Governance Committee on 13 November 2017, provides in Clause 5.1 for the periodic reporting of Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Minutes to the Council, as follows:

“The Committee shall report back to Council within a six (6) months period following each meeting. Summary reports may be presented to the Council. The report shall provide Council with the following as appropriate and applicable:

 

- Minutes of each meeting

- All significant issues which can be reported without prejudice to the audit function.

 

This provision is to permit the implementation of Committee recommendations in a reasonable window of confidentiality, to optimise the effectiveness of Committee actions.”

 

4.      The Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee meet four times per year to review, note and recommend on items identified in their Charter.

 

5.      These Minutes relate to the ARIC meeting held on 20 May 2019 and were confirmed at the ARIC meeting held on 19 August 2019.

 

Financial Implications

6.      There are no budget impacts for this report.

 File Reference

D19/195694

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

ARIC Minutes 20 May 2019

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN062-19              Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Minutes from 20 May 2019

[Appendix 1]          ARIC Minutes 20 May 2019

 

 

Page 44

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 46

Item:                   FIN063-19            Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Independent Member Appointment Extension 

Author:              Internal Auditor

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation:

That Mr John Gordon and Ms Elizabeth Gavey be re-appointed as independent members to the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee for the period October 2019 to 31 December 2020.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      Mr John Gordon and Ms Elizabeth Gavey initial three (3) year term on Georges River Council Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee (ARIC) concludes in October 2019.

2.      Mr Gordon and Ms Gavey have re-nominated to be independent members of the ARIC for an extension period in accordance the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Charter-Clause 2.3 Tenure.

3.      Re-appointment or extension to the tenure of the independent members to ARIC requires approval by the Council under Clause 2.3 of the Charter.

4.      The extension period from October 2019 to 31 December 2020 is aligned to:

a.   Council elections in September 2020, and

b.   Office of Local Government Internal Audit Guidelines, which are expected to become effective In March 2021.

 

Background

5.      In 2016, Georges River Council invited expressions of interest for the independent membership of Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee. Council required three (3) independent members. Two (2) appointments, including the position of Chair, were for three (3) years and one (1) appointment for two (2) years.

Mr Gordon and Ms Gavey were each selected for the three (3) year appointments. This was approved by the Administrator, Mr John Rayner, on 17 August 2016 with the appointments taking effect until October 2018.

 

6.      Mr Stephen Horne was appointed for the two (2) year period which concluded in October 2018 and has since been reappointed by Council on 10 September 2018 (FIN074-18) for the period October 2018 to 30 June 2021.

 

7.        It is proposed that Mr Gordon and Ms Gavey be reappointed until 31 December 2020 to allow for continuity, experience and knowledge after the September 2020 Council elections and to allow for the implementation of the Office of Local Government Guidelines expected to become effective in March 2021.

 

8.        This reappointment allows for the staggering of membership between Mr Horne and Mr Gordon/Ms Gavey to ensure continuity for the ARIC.

 


 

Financial Implications

9.      Within budget allocation.

The three independent ARIC members received $1,000 each per meeting.

Risk Implications

10.    Operational risk/s identified and management process applied as follows:

Requirement for independent assurance, oversight and advice over council operations.

 

Community Engagement

11.     Community engagement was conducted in 2016 during the Expression for Interest process for selection of ARIC independent membership. This is expected to occur again in early 2021 when two (2) of the independent member positions expire.

 

File Reference

D19/195784

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Audit Risk and Improvement Committee ARIC Charter - Adopted by Council May 2017 PDF

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN063-19              Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee Independent Member Appointment Extension

[Appendix 1]          Audit Risk and Improvement Committee ARIC Charter - Adopted by Council May 2017 PDF

 

 

Page 63

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 65

Item:                   FIN064-19            Administration of 2020 Local Government Elections 

Author:              Head of Executive Services

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

 

That:

(a)     pursuant to s296(2) and (3) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) (“the Act”), that an election arrangement be entered into by contract for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all elections of the Georges River Council.

(b)     pursuant to s296(2) and (3) of the Act, as applied and modified by s18, that a council poll arrangement be entered into by contract for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all council polls of the Georges River Council.

(c)     pursuant to s296(2) and (3) of the Act, as applied and modified by s18, that a constitutional referendum arrangement be entered into by contract (if required) for the Electoral Commissioner to administer all constitutional referenda of the Georges River Council.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report recommends that Georges River Council enter into an election arrangement with the NSW Electoral Commission to administer the council’s elections, polls and referenda with regard to the 2020 Local Government elections.

 

Background

2.      To enable preparations to commence for the next ordinary election to be held in September 2020, this report is submitted to Council to consider the options and legislative requirements to ensure the arrangements for the election are undertaken in a timely manner.

3.      The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has undertaken a review of the costs of conducting local government elections in NSW.  The review included consultation with local councils, and IPART submitted its report on the review to the Minister for Local Government on 30 August 2019.

4.      As a result of the review being undertaken, the Local Government Act 1993 (The Act) was amended to extend the timeframe for Councils to make a decision on the administration of the September 2020 Local Government elections.

5.      Councils now have until 1 October 2019 to make a decision on the administration of the elections.

6.      Should Council wish to engage the NSW Electoral Commission to conduct the 2020 Local Government election, an arrangement must be entered into with NSW Electoral Commission by 1 January 2020.

7.      If Council does not resolve to enter into an agreement with NSW Electoral Commission, it must resolve that the elections are to be administered by the General Manager.  In this case, the resolution would have to include whether the General Manager intended to administer the elections personally or engage an electoral services provider.

Options for administration of Local Government Election

Appoint the NSW Electoral Commission to conduct the election

8.      This option is considered good governance as it ensures that the election is carried out independently and transparently, and this perception is key to maintaining public confidence in the electoral process.  The NSW Electoral Commission also has the expertise, resources and experience in administering local government elections, whereas Council does not currently have the resources to conduct the election.

Council to administer elections or appoint an electoral services provider

9.      An argument for Councils conducting an election other than engaging the NSW Electoral Commission could be to stimulate local economic development through hiring electoral staff locally.  If Council has the resources to administer the election, or prefers to appoint a private provider, it would give Council control over the advertising and polling venues, and make use of existing resources, premises and infrastructure.  At this stage Council does not have adequate resources to administer an election and would need to separately engage electoral staff.

Costings associated with the administration of the 2020 Local Government Elections

10.    On 30 August 2019, IPART submitted its final report, on local government election costs, to the Minister for Local Government.  This report has recommended a costing strategy to be applied in determining the amount the NSW Electoral Commissioner charges councils for local government election services.  The final report will be published to the IPART website once it has been released by the NSW Government.

11.    Due to the increasing demand for early voting options, the Commission may wish to provide more pre-poll venues than the limited venues available at the 2017 elections.  This would have an impact on the costs involved for Council. 

12.    The 2017 elections cost Council $681,461, which was below the initial cost estimate of approximately $750,000.  As at September 2019 there is $923,160 available in the budget (election reserve) for the 2020 elections. 

 

Financial Implications

13.    The Election Reserve currently has a balance of $923,160.

 

Risk Implications

14.    No risks identified.

 

Community Engagement

N/A

 

File Reference

D19/181129

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 74

Item:                   FIN065-19            End of Year Progress Report July 2018 - June 2019 

Author:              Senior Corporate Planner and Chief Financial Officer

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council receive and note the End of Year Progress Report July 2018 – June 2019 (Attachment 1) of performance made against Georges River Council’s Delivery Program 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 and Operational Plan 2018/2019 including the Quarterly Budget Review for Quarter Ending 30 June 2019.

(b)     That Council endorse the Delivery Program and Operational Plan items recommended for cancellation and carry over, as detailed in Table 1: Proposed Cancellations and  Table 2: Proposed Carry Overs.

(c)     That a copy of the End of Year Progress Report July 2018 – June 2019 be published on Council’s website.

 

Executive Summary

1.      The July 2018 – June 2019 End of Year Progress Report of performance made against Georges River Council’s Delivery Program 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 and Operational Plan 2018/2019 is submitted for the information of Council and the community. Council’s Financials Statements for 2018/19 will be presented to Council in a separate report. Any associated budget carry overs will be submitted to Council for approval in the 2019/2020 Quarter 1 Budget Review Report.

Background

2.      Section 405(5) of the Local Government Act 1993 requires the General Manager to ensure that regular progress reports are provided to the Council on its progress with respect to the principal activities detailed in its Delivery Program, at least every six months. This is the second progress report on the 2018/19 to 2020/21 Delivery Program and 2018/19 Operational Plan.

3.      Section 203 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requires that a Quarterly Budget Review be considered by Council that shows current estimates for income and expenditure for the year, indicates whether Council’s financial position is satisfactory and makes recommendations for remedial action, if required.

4.      Council’s Three Year Delivery Program 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 and One Year 2018/2019 Operational Plan sets the strategic and financial objectives of the year. These documents also detail the goals and strategies for Council’s six (6) pillars which underpin Council’s planning, their relevant performance measures and the projects Council plans to deliver initially in 2018/2019 and within the next three (3) years.

Progress against Operational Plan

5.      Attachment 1 includes details for each of the six (6) pillars and the 25 goals, detailing the targets adopted by Council and the performance to date in achieving these targets by 30 June 2019.


 

 

6.      77% of the Operational Plan items for 2018/2019 were either completed or are ongoing.

7.      Whilst only 2% of projects were cancelled (1 project) or behind schedule (1 project) a large number of items have had to be carried over (21%).

8.      Of the 34 projects that have been carried over, 7 were carried over at the half year point due to changing priorities or situations outside Council’s control. Reasons for the remaining 27 carry overs can be seen in Table 1: Proposed Cancellations and Table 2: Proposed Carry Overs. Whilst the number of items being carried over to 2019/2020 seems high, it should be noted that five (5) of the items listed below have been carried over due to Council’s decision to extend the public exhibition period of the Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy and that one (1) item that was previously on hold pending outcome of legal action recently recommenced mid May 2019.

Progress against Delivery Program

 

9.      Progress against Council’s Three Year Delivery Program 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 is tracking well, with 91% of items either complete, ongoing or on track. Only 5% of projects are behind schedule or on hold and only one (1) item was previously cancelled at the half yearly review. Approximately 3% of items have not commenced.

10.    All projects that are proposed to be cancelled or carried over are listed in this report for Council’s consideration. 

 

Table 1: Proposed Cancellations

Cancellations

Item Code and Description

Delivery Program (DP) or Operational Plan (OP) item

Reason

2.3.1ai
Investigate suitable building materials and procedures for Jubilee Stadium roof extension.

OP

The Jubilee Stadium roof extension project did not proceed. Council has developed standardised plans for amenities buildings that incorporate quality design and sustainability principles.

 


 

Table 2: Proposed Carry Overs

Carry Overs

Item Code and Description

Delivery Program (DP) or Operational Plan (OP) item

Reason

1.1.1ai
Develop an Energy Management Plan for Council's top 10 energy using sites

OP

A report which established a priority list of actions and funding mechanisms to implement the Energy and Water Management Plan 2018-2022 was approved by Council’s Executive Team in December 2018. The guidelines for the operation of a 'Revolving Energy Fund' and 'Environmental Retrofit Energy Fund' were adopted by Council’s Executive Team in August 2019. The final Energy and Water Management Plan 2018-2022 will be reported towards the end of 2019.

 

1.4.2 dii
Conduct a heritage information session for owners of heritage listed properties.

OP

A heritage information session for owners of heritage listed properties was held in May 2018. The next heritage information session will be held after the completion of Stage 3 of the Hurstville Local Environmental Plan 2012 heritage review. This review is due for completion at the end of 2019.

 

1.3.1ai
Implement the 2018-19 Parks and Open Space Improvement Program

OP

Delivery behind schedule due to quantity of projects and several additional grant funded open space projects. 90% of projects completed including major and minor works across all parks.

 

1.3.4ai               
Identify open space and recreation priorities based on the findings of the GRC Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy

OP

Delayed due to extension of public exhibition period for Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy. The Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council in August 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4.1.aii
Complete heritage review of Hurstville LEP

OP

The discrepancies in historical and fabric statements between the existing State Heritage Inventory (SHI) forms and the preliminary investigations that were noted in Stage 1 of the Review were found to be even more significant than anticipated. As a result, the consultant was required to conduct original historical research for all items using all historical resources. Historical research and analysis are now completed. Uploading of all inventory sheets into the SHI database is underway.

 

2.1.5.ai
Commence the review of the Design Review Panel

OP

As a result of the 'pre work' associated with developing the new Development Advisory Service the review of the Design Review Panel was rescheduled to be undertaken in 2019/2020.

 

3.1.1.ai
Develop a car parking strategy for the commercial centres in the Georges River LGA.

OP

Council, at its meeting on 27 May 2019 resolved to exhibit the draft Georges River Council Car Parking Strategy and a position paper prepared by Council on the recommendations of the draft Strategy for a minimum of 60 days. The draft Strategy applies to the business zoned land under the Hurstville Local Environmental Plan 2012 and Kogarah Local Environmental Plan 2012. The draft Strategy, Council’s Position Paper on the draft Strategy recommendations and relevant Council Reports will be on public exhibition from 24 July 2019 until 25 September 2019.

 

3.2.2.ai
Develop and deliver the 2018-19 capital works program for new construction and renewals.

OP

All civil works at Central Plaza are complete with the exception of Ausgrid commissioning work which has been delayed indefinitely due to Ausgrid’s live work ban. The Ausgrid ban has also halted the progress of the Forest Road Stage 2 Footpath Upgrade, which delayed the commissioning of new work and the installation of new light poles and removal of old poles. All other footpath works planned for 2018/2019 are completed.

3.2.2.aiii
Deliver the 2018-19 drainage upgrade program including new and replacement works.

OP

There are six (6) outstanding jobs to complete. The funds for these will be carried over to the 2019/2020 budget.

3.2.3ai
Establish a framework, mechanism and resourcing strategy for working with neighbouring councils to deliver large-scale infrastructure projects.

OP

Delayed due to extension of public exhibition period for Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy. The Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council in August 2019. Implementation of projects will commence in 2019/2020.

 

3.4.1.ai
Prioritise new projects and service changes in response to the GRC Open Space and Recreation Strategy

OP

Delayed due to extension of public exhibition period for Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy. The Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council in August 2019. Implementation of projects will commence in 2019/2020.

 

3.4.1.aii
Develop innovative funding and delivery models to implement priority projects and recommendations from the GRC Open Space and Recreation Strategy.

OP

Delayed due to extension of public exhibition period for Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy. The Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council in August 2019. Implementation of projects will commence in 2019/2020.

 

3.4.1aiii
Complete Hurstville Central Plaza as community open space.

OP

Delayed due to extension of public exhibition period for Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy. The Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy was adopted by Council in August 2019. Implementation of projects will commence in 2019/2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.3.1.ai
Identify critical infrastructure needs arising from the new car parking strategy.

OP

The draft Georges River Council Car Parking Strategy, Council’s Position Paper on the draft Strategy recommendations and relevant Council Reports will be on public exhibition from 24 July 2019 until 25 September 2019. Following exhibition, the draft strategy will be reported back to Council. Once adopted the critical infrastructure needs will be identified.

 

5.1.1e
Develop an online event toolkit to help community and commercial groups deliver events. Build community capacity in event planning and delivery.

DP

All documentation for event organisers is now located on Council’s website. Implementation of an online event form that will be integrated into Council’s approval system has been delayed as integration process is still being finalised.

 

5.1.1aii.
Evaluate event value to the LGA, investigate a destination event for the LGA and review the events process.

OP

Council collected event data and surveyed event participants of the LGA in 2018/2019. The information attempted to capture all events run by Council, events supported by Council but run by the community and events run independently of Council. Event surveys were collected from all three (3) event examples in order to inform Council of a destination event focus. Events processes were also independently reviewed within the period via an Event Service Delivery Review and a self assessment undertaken by staff. Destination Event planning recommenced in early 2019 to consider results of event surveys and is progressing well but requires further development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.1.1.aiii
Engage sponsorship expertise to review and revamp event sponsorship.

OP

Council has received a report from Brooks Community Engagement regarding Council's sponsorship review. The 2019/2020 Sponsorship Prospectus has been launched with recommendations from the review incorporated and all sponsorship options showcased in one publication. A business case for a Sponsorship Officer will be presented to Council’s Executive for consideration by the end of 2019.

 

5.2.1.ai
Prepare an affordable rental housing policy.

OP

Council engaged the consultant Hill PDA in December 2018 to prepare the Inclusive Housing Strategy and related Delivery Program for the Georges River Local Government Area (LGA). Council, on 24 June 2019 endorsed the findings of the Stage 1 report – Assessment of Housing Needs of the Inclusive Housing Strategy. The report will be exhibited as a supporting document with the Local Strategic Planning Statement, which will be exhibited during June-August 2019. It is anticipated that the complete report on the Inclusive Housing Strategy will be exhibited along with the Georges River LEP.

 

5.2.2.ai
Use the new Housing Strategy to inform NSW Government advocacy that includes key worker housing in affordable housing initiatives.

OP

Council engaged the consultant Hill PDA in December 2018 to prepare the Inclusive Housing Strategy and related Delivery Program for the Georges River Local Government Area (LGA). Council, on 24 June 2019 endorsed the findings of the Stage 1 report – Assessment of Housing Needs of the Inclusive Housing Strategy. The report will be exhibited as a supporting document with the Local Strategic Planning Statement, which will be exhibited during June-August 2019. It is anticipated that the complete report on the Inclusive Housing Strategy will be exhibited along with the Georges River LEP.

 

 

5.2.3ai 
Based on the findings of the Affordable Housing Strategy, approach the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to include mandatory affordable housing in State Environmental Planning Policy No.70 - Affordable Housing (Revised Schemes).

OP

The Inclusive Housing Strategy has not been finalised. Council engaged the consultant Hill PDA in December 2018 to prepare the Inclusive Housing Strategy and Delivery Program for the Georges River Local Government Area (LGA). Council, on 24 June 2019 endorsed the findings of the Stage 1 report – Assessment of Housing Needs of the Inclusive Housing Strategy. The report will be exhibited as a supporting document with the Local Strategic Planning Statement, which will be exhibited during June-August 2019. It is anticipated that the complete report on the Inclusive Housing Strategy will be exhibited along with the Georges River LEP.

 

5.3.2.aiv
Develop a directory of free and low-cost services for seniors.

OP

The directory of free and low cost services for seniors has been prepared and will be launched during Seniors Week 2020. An annual program of free and low cost seniors activities is available on Council's website.

 

5.4.2.biii
Work with the NSW Government to facilitate an increase in crisis accommodation in the LGA for women and children who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness as a result of domestic violence.

OP

Lessee has been identified, works are underway at identified property. Lease and MOU have been drafted and will be finalised by September 2019.

 

 

 

6.2.1aiii
Provide fact sheets at each Council meeting to inform the community on the reasons for confidential Council reports

OP

A draft fact sheet has been prepared. Work is required for this fact sheet to be finalised and readily available for the public at each Committee and Council meeting.

 

6.2.5.aiv
Implement any mandatory internal audit guidelines issued by the OLG.

OP

Office of Local Government have not issued any mandatory guidelines for Internal Audit or Audit, Risk and Improvement Committees in 2018/2019.Such guidelines are expected to be issued in 2019/2020.

 

 

6.3.2.ciii
Develop a Digital Innovation Strategy

OP

Discussion paper endorsed by Council's Executive Team and consultant currently being appointed.

 

6.3.3.ai
Prepare a 30-year City Vision and City Reputation Strategy.

OP

Council’s Reputation Strategy will be completed late 2019. The 30 year vision has been workshopped with Council and is currently in draft.

 

6.4.1.bi
Develop a funding strategy to consolidate the GRC depot sites in accordance with the GRC Depot Masterplan.

OP

A Council report will be presented during September 2019 with further work required in conjunction with Finance to confirm funding strategy.

6.4.3.ai 
Redevelop Sans Souci Bathers' Pavilion to provide commercial leasing opportunity

OP

Project was on hold pending outcome of legal action. Project recommenced mid May 2019 with a new estimated completion date for development approval being March 2020.

 

6.4.3.iii
Progress Planning Proposals for planned Council developments. Implement leasing management system.

OP

System in place. Data currently being populated.

6.4.3.civ
Implement outdoor dining and footway trading application management system.

OP

System in place. Data currently being populated.

 

Financial Implications

1.      Council’s Financials Statements for 2018/2019 will be presented to Council in a separate report. Any associated budget carry overs will be submitted to Council for approval in the 2019/2020 Quarter 1 Budget Review Report.

Risk Implications

2.      Enterprise risk identified and management process applied.

 

Community Engagement

3.      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

D19/200506

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

End of Year Report July 2018 - June 2019


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN065-19              End of Year Progress Report July 2018 - June 2019

[Appendix 1]          End of Year Report July 2018 - June 2019

 

 

Page 76

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 201

Item:                   FIN066-19  Investment Report as at 31 July 2019 

Author:              Senior Financial Accountant - Reporting

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation:

That Council receives and notes the contents of the Investment Report as at 31 July 2019.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report details Council’s performance of its investment portfolio as at 31 July 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 2.75% which is 1.15% above benchmark. Income from interest on investments totals $338k, which is $68k more than the 2019/20 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 July 2019, are as follows:

 

1 Month

3 Month

12 Month

Portfolio Performance

0.25%

0.66%

2.75%

Performance Index

0.12%

0.40%

1.90%

Excess

0.13%

0.26%

0.85%

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 July was as follows:

Security Type

Market Value $000's

% Total Value

Cash at Bank

4,777

5.02%

At Call Deposit

8,207

1.85%

31 Day Notice Account

3,027

2.92%

Covered Floating Bond

1,010

0.62%

Flexi Deposit (Fix/Float)

6,000

3.67%

Floating Rate Deposit

5,000

3.06%

Floating Rate Note

46,647

28.53%

Floating Rate TCD

2,504

1.53%

Term Deposit

80,041

48.95%

Managed Funds Trust

6,301

3.85%

Total Cash and Investments

163,514

100.00%

 

7.      At the end of June 2019, Total Cash and Investments were $168m and have decreased by $4.5m at the end of July 2019 due to the capital and operational expenditures in the month of July.

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).

Legal Matters

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. There is no update on this matter, in terms of an outcome as at 31 July 2019.

Borrowings

10.    Council’s loan liability, as at 31 July 2019, was $1.625m 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 $125,000 is due on 23 September 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 3.05% 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.

 

 

 

 

Policy Limits

 

13.    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

14.    Income from interest on investments to 31 July 2019 is $338k, which is $68k more than the 2019/20 year-to-date adopted budget.

 

15.    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

74,364

45.48%

100%

1 to < 3 Years

75,885

46.41%

70%

3 to < 5 Years

13,265

8.11%

50%

Portfolio Total

163,514

100.00%

 

 

16.    Council’s portfolio is liquid, with 45.48% of assets maturing within 12 months. FRNs, At-Call Funds and Fixed Bonds also provide additional liquidity in an emergency.

 

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

 

 

 

Type of Investments

 

18.    The majority of Council’s investment portfolio is made up of fixed term deposits, which account for approximately 52% of total investments.

 

19.    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).

 

20.    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

21.    Credit ratings are generally a statement as to an institution’s credit quality. Council’s Investment Advisors (CPG Research & Advisory) use Standard & Poor’s Credit ratings to classify the investments held by Council. Ratings ranging from AA to BBB (Short Term) & AA to BBB (long term) are considered investment grade.

 

22.    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.

 

23.    The credit quality of Council’s portfolio is relatively high with approximately 76% of assets rated ‘A’ or higher. The ‘AAA’ assets represent the deposit investments covered by the Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).

 

24.    The remaining 24% rated ‘BBB’ or ‘unrated’ reflects the deposit and FRN investments with the regional and unrated ADIs.

Council’s Investment Powers

25.    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.

 

26.    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

27.    Income from interest on investments totals $338k, which is $68k more than the 2019/20 year-to-date adopted budget.

 

Risk Implications

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

 

29.    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

30.    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

D19/201429

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Investment Report as at 31 July 2019

 


Georges River Council -         Finance and Governance Committee - Monday, 9 September 2019

FIN066-19              Investment Report as at 31 July 2019

[Appendix 1]          Investment Report as at 31 July 2019

 

 

Page 204

 


 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 



Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 217

Item:                   FIN067-19  Georges River Council - Inaugural Female Leadership Workshop 

Author:              People and Culture Projects Specialist

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council resolve to proceed with the Inaugural Female Leadership Workshop in late 2019.

(b)     That interested Councillors contribute funds from their Councillor Discretionary Ward Funding to fund this initiative.

(c)     That the General Manager allocates funding from Council’s operational budget for any shortfall of funding which may occur, for the development, management and delivery of the inaugural Workshop.

(d)     That Council receives a further report from the General Manager with the results and feedback of the success or otherwise of the inaugural event including the costs associated with the event.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      At the Council meeting held on Monday 26 August 2019, Council resolved:

a)   That the General Manager investigate and prepare a report to Council on the costs associated with the in-house development and facilitation of a workshop that would be offered to female Year 9 and 10 local high school students.

b)   The content of the workshop would include female Council officers and Councillors acting as mentors to students, sharing life experiences and lessons and providing practical tools that support developing leadership capacity, confidence, building resilience, celebrating uniqueness and defining individual excellence.

c)    The report should address potential funding sources such as Councillor Discretionary Ward Funding from interested Councillors, subsidised hire of the Dragon Room (or other suitable venues) and external grant funding opportunities.

2.      As a result of the resolution of Council, a report detailing the costs associated with the in-house development and facilitation of a one-day leadership workshop that would be offered to female Year 9 and 10 local high school students is now presented.

3.      This report also seeks funding from Councillor Discretionary Ward Funding from interested Councillors to fund this inaugural workshop, with any shortfall being funded from Council’s operational budget to cover the financial costs of the workshop.

 

Background

4.      Council offers a variety of initiatives that showcase and cultivate the positive social contributions that young people make within the community. These include initiatives that build capacity for innovative leadership, creativity, inclusion and diversity.


 

 

5.      Council’s adopted Community Strategic Plan 2018-2028, Workforce Plan and the Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2019-2021 recognise the importance of mentoring and supporting young women in order to facilitate more women into local government and highlight successful women leaders in the industry.  Conducting a female leadership workshop is therefore consistent with these plans.

6.      It is proposed the in-house development and facilitation of the workshop occur on a voluntary basis sourced through an Expression of Interest process. Staff participation would be a combination of paid and non-paid work demonstrating Council’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.

7.      In a 2015 study commissioned by KPMG, an anecdote shared in the report describes “…a young girl - perhaps a daughter, a niece or the girl down the street. She is smart. She is ambitious. She believes in herself and her abilities. From a young age, she has the desire to lead—to inspire others to greatness, to surpass expectations, to better the world. Yet as she grows up, two elements will affect her ability to lead: confidence and connections.”

8.      The same study revealed that professional working women still felt more leadership opportunities were needed during their formative years. “Three in four (76%) women wish they would have learned more about leadership when they were growing up, and that they had more opportunities to learn how to lead when they were growing up (75%).”

9.      The important messages that can be instilled through a leadership workshop for young women from high schools across the Local Government Area (LGA) and the opportunity to connect with each other and female leaders in public office positions can have positive impacts for the future of these local students.

 

Proposed Program

10.    The workshop is proposed to run on a weekday following the end of HSC written examinations being the week commencing 11 November. The workshop will be offered to up to 150 students from within the LGA and will be a one-day event.

11.    The workshop is proposed to run over 5 hours consisting of a keynote address, four focus sessions and a networking lunch. The proposed program is outlined below.
09:30am – Welcome
09:45am – Keynote Address
10:15am – Morning Tea
10:30am – Focus Session 1
11:15am – Focus Session 2
12:00pm – Networking Lunch
12:45pm – Focus Session 3
01:30pm – Focus Session 4
02:15pm – Wrap-up
02:30pm – Event Close

12.    Students will be allocated to a group which will rotate between the four focus sessions. This will allow students from different schools to also network with each other throughout the day. 

 

Workshop Theme

13.    The workshop will be based on the theme TRUE, with the campaign title “Growing Girls to be TRUE Women”.


 

 

14.    The four key topic areas that will be the basis of each focus session centres on leadership characteristics – confidence, strength, courage and aspiration. Below is an outline of each session.
(a)     TRUST yourself – in this session students will explore what confidence is, self- leadership, communication tools and negotiation techniques.
(b)     Be RESILIENT – in this session students will learn about strength through keeping           perspective and recovering from setback, staying focused and positive and         managing change.
(c)     You are UNIQUE – in this session students will embrace courage through          appreciating diversity, supporting uniqueness in self and others, speaking to passion    and being inclusive and taking risks.
(d)     EXCELLENCE is defined by you – in this session students will be encouraged to       aspire to set goals, implement strategies to stay on track to balance time and     celebrate personal success as well as success of others.

15.    The criteria for engaging a keynote will be defined by their suitability in meeting the theme. Ideally the keynote will be able to share their experience as a leader, preferably within public service, and inspire students to be future leaders.

 

Focus Session Development

16.    The focus sessions will be an interactive 45 minutes dedicated to each of the key topic areas. The content of the focus sessions will be developed by Council’s Organisational Development and Capability (ODC) team.

17.    The ODC team will work in collaboration with female Council officers and Councillors acting as facilitators for the focus sessions and mentors to the students by sharing their life experiences and lessons and providing practical tools that support leadership capacity, develop confidence, build resilience, celebrate uniqueness and define individual excellence.

18.    Officers and Councillors may require facilitation skills training which can also be provided by the ODC team. Likely, the development of the focus sessions will need to take place outside of core working hours and will be time dedicated by staff and Councillors on a voluntary basis.

 

Event Management

19.    The coordination of the workshop will be managed within Council’s current resources as many of Council’s female leadership team have volunteered to contribute their time at no cost on an after-hours basis.  Activities will include event planning, promotion, delivery and post-event activity, managing the logistics including administration, resource management, venue hire, catering and event volunteers.

20.    Event promotion will require marketing via community channels, outreach to schools and communication to parents/guardians about the workshop and regarding permissions. Event delivery will require onsite management to ensure the workshop is kept to a run schedule, with set-up and pack-down required and support for the focus sessions.

21.    Post-event activity will include the collation of feedback and a report to Council regarding the outcome of the workshop.


 

 

Community Ties and Sponsorship

22.    Liaison with relevant community organisations to leverage off existing programs would benefit the workshop to connect students with further avenues for building their leadership capacity. For example, there is potential to involve institutions such as Zonta Club of Botany Bay, which currently runs the Young Women in Public Affairs Award. This is a program of Zonta International, which is designed to encourage young women to participate visibly in their community by taking on leadership roles.

23.    Following the resolution of Council, there has also been interest from groups within the community in contributing to the workshop through a sponsorship capacity. A formal avenue through which local organisations could express their interest in supporting this initiative would be beneficial in offsetting the costs of running the workshop.

 

Registration Considerations

24.    There are currently 9 public high schools within the LGA :

(a)     Woniora Road School
(b)     Carinya School
(c)     St George Girls High School
(d)     Blakehurst High School
(e)     Kingsgrove High School
(f)      Beverly Hills Girls High School
(h)     Kogarah High School
(i)      Georges River College Peakhurst Campus
(j)      Georges River College Penshurst Girls Campus
(Of the 9 schools, 2 are schools for specific purposes)

25.    There will be a first round of registrations where a percentage of places will be offered to each school dependent on total number of enrolments in Year 9 and 10 to ensure equity in the registration process. A second round of registrations will open vacant places to schools who wish to send further students above their allocated places.

 

Financial Implications

26.    With the voluntary commitment of Council officers the total estimated cost for the workshop is $12,700.   This estimated cost is made up of the following components:

·    Venue Hire $4,700 - Council venues are suitable to host the workshop and will be required  for a full day (8 hours) to allow for setup and pack down. (Council could consider donating or waiving the cost of venue hire for the workshop).

·    Catering $6,000 - Catering will include morning tea break and a networking lunch to allow students to speak to Council Officers and Councillors. The budget allows for individually packed meals or a light buffet to accommodate the scheduling.

·    Resource Development $1,000 - Resources will include the production of participant workbooks, focus session materials, handouts, stationery, printing, registration collateral.

·    Promotional Materials $1,000 - Promotional materials will include a branded show bag for participants, advertising and event banners. 


 

 

27.    Without Councillor discretionary funds, external financial sponsorship or a donation from Council approximately $12,700 will be required from Council’s operational budget (learning and development budget) to fund this resolution.

 

Risk Implications

28.    Operational risk/s identified and management process applied.

 

 

Community Engagement

29.    Community engagement will be conducted including:
(a)     Outreach with schools through existing networks such as the St George Welfare           Teachers Network via Council’s Youth Development Officer.
(b)     Contact with Principals and Deputy Principals to speak at school assemblies and       promote the workshop.
(c)     Communications with parents/guardians to share workshop information and seek           permission regarding attendance. 

 

File Reference

D19/202363

 

 

  


Georges River Council – Finance and Governance Committee -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                   Page 219

Item:                   FIN068-19            Draft Debt Management and Hardship Policy 

Author:              Chief Financial Officer

Directorate:      Business and Corporate Services

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

Recommendation

(a)     That Council adopt the Draft Debt Management and Hardship Policy for the purposes of placing the draft policy on public exhibition for a period of not less than 28 days to allow   community comment on the draft policy. 

(b)     That submissions received as part of the public exhibition process be reported back to Council for consideration as part of the adoption of this Policy.

(c)     That the General Manager is given delegated authority to make formatting and minor editorial adjustments to the Draft Debt Management and Hardship Policy during the public exhibition period.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      The policy has been developed based on the Debt Management and Hardship Guidelines published by the Office of Local Government in November 2018.

2.      The purpose of this policy is to provide a consistent, fair and transparent framework that outlines Council’s position on how it will collect monies owing, assess hardship claims, provide assistance to those ratepayers who suffer genuine financial hardship and, where necessary, recover overdue payments to manage debt.

 

Background

3.      The Debt Management and Hardship Guidelines were issued by the Office of Local Government in November 2018, to outline best practice approaches for councils to better manage ratepayer debt and respond to genuine hardship.

4.      The Guidelines have been developed to;

·   assist councils to develop proactive measures to ensure prompt payment;

·   monitor debt and minimise default;

·   follow up ratepayers;

·   recover debts fairly, and;

·   assess hardship claims and monitor debt.

5.      The Guidelines promote a range of strategies and actions councils can use to help ratepayers pay on time including:

·   simplified rates notices including information in relevant languages;

·   options for ratepayers to receive their rates notices by email and pay electronically;

·   flexible payment options including weekly, fortnightly and monthly instalments as well as tailored plans;

·   discounts to provide incentives for prompt payment in full;

·   use of Centrepay as a voluntary way for people to pay their rates directly from their Centrelink payments;

·   greater discounts for pensioners facing hardship; and

·   a ‘stop the clock’ approach to suspend debt recovery, legal action and interest accrual while a ratepayer’s hardship application is awaiting determination or while they are complying with a payment plan.

6.      Council’s draft Policy has been developed in consideration of the above. A number of the above items will take time to implement but are all considered worthwhile initiatives for Council to aim to implement.

7.      A high-level summary of major items include, but are not limited to:

·    New hardship options;

·    Introduction of ‘stop the clock’, which is an approach to suspend debt recovery, legal action and interest accrual while a ratepayer’s hardship application is awaiting determination or while they are complying with a payment arrangement.

·    Defined responsibilities of relevant Council officers;

·    30 day credit term, unless bound by relevant legislation;

·    Performance expectation for the issuing of invoices 3 business days after the provision of service;

·    Interest charge or late fee for all overdue debts, as per the annual Fees and Charges;

·    Introduction of a reminder notice for non-rate debts, in lieu of a statement; and

·    Legal recovery process with clear timeframes and escalation points.

 

Financial Implications

 

8.      For 2018/19 financial year, Council received $130,000 in interest income from overdue rates and annual charges.

9.      Introduction of this Policy and the ‘stop the clock’ initiative will impact income though the impact of this initiative is not anticipated to have a material impact.

10.    The cumulative total of written off interest as a result of stop the clock will be reported to Council annually. 

 

Risk Implications

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

12.    Operational risk/s identified and management process applied.

 

Community Engagement

13.    Community engagement will be conducted including the 28 day exhibition period, allowing the community to comment on the content of this Policy.

 

File Reference

D19/201537