AGENDA


Environment and Planning Committee

 

Monday, 14 September 2020

7.00pm

 

ONLINE MEETING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 2

 

          Environment and Planning committee meeting

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 MEETINGS

ENV034-20       Confirmation of the Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting Held on 10 August 2020

(Report by Executive Services Officer)....................................................................... 3  

8.      COMMITTEE REPORTS

ENV035-20       Draft Georges River Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy 2020 for Public Exhibition

(Report by Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services)........................ 6

ENV036-20       Adoption of Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020

(Report by Executive Strategic Planner).................................................................. 21

ENV037-20       Food Waste Feasibility Study and Recycling Trial

(Report by Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services)................... 106  

9.      CONFIDENTIAL (CLOSED SESSION)

ENV046A-20     Adoption of the Traffic Modelling Report (Kogarah Local Environmental Plan Rezoning)

(Report by Strategic Planner)

 

 


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 3

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Item:                   ENV034-20   Confirmation of the Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting Held on 10 August 2020 

Author:              Executive Services Officer

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Previous Minutes

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting held on 10 August 2020 be adopted.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting as attached be adopted by Council as a true and correct record of that meeting.

 

FILE REFERENCE

SF19/3593

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee - 10/08/2020


DRAFTGeorges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 5

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES


Environment and Planning Committee

 

Monday 10 August 2020

7.00pm

 

 

 

ONLINE MEETING

 

 

 

 

 

 


PRESENT

Council Members

Councillor Nick Katris (Chairperson), Councillor Stephen Agius, Councillor Vince Badalati, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Con Hindi, Councillor Kathryn Landsberry, and Councillor Leesha Payor.

Council Staff

Director Environment and Planning - Ms Meryl Bishop, Manager Strategic Planning - Ms Catherine McMahon, Manager Development and Building - Mr Ryan Cole, Manager Office of the General Manager - Ms Roxanne Thornton, EA to the Director, Environment and Planning -  Ms Leanne Allen ,Senior Strategic Planner – Ms  Harkirat Singh, Senior Strategic Planner – Ms Rebecca Lau,  Mrs Marina Cavar - Executive Services Officer and Technology Services Officer - Mr Alex Wong

 

OPENING

Councillor Katris, opened the meeting at 7.02pm.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

Councillor Katris acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land, the Biddegal people of the Eora Nation.

APOLOGIES/LEAVE OF ABSENCE

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor  Badalati and Councillor Agius

That an apology on behalf of Councillor Kastanias and Councillor Wu be accepted and a Leave of Absence granted.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING

The Chairperson, Councillor Katris, advised staff and the public that the meeting is being recorded for minute-taking purposes and is also webcast live on Council’s website, in accordance with Section 4 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.  This recording will be made available on Council’s website.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Councillor Katris disclosed a Pecuniary Interest in Item ENV030-20 Public Exhibition of Draft Georges River Development Control Plan 2020, specifically Part 7 and Part 9 of the Development Control Plan for the reason that he is a part owner of a property that is situated within the Rocky Point Road Ramsgate Business District (Bayside Council side of Rocky Point Road) and because his business/office has provided consultancy advice to a current client of his business/office. Councillor Katris will not be participating in the discussion or voting on this item.

Councillor Agius disclosed a Pecuniary Interest in Item ENV030-20 Public Exhibition of Draft Georges River Development Control Plan 2020 for the reason that he owns property in the area. Councillor Agius will not be participating in discussion or voting on this item.

Councillor Hindi disclosed a Non-Significant Non Pecuniary interest in Item ENV030-20 Public Exhibition of Draft Georges River Development Control Plan 2020 for the reason that friends or relatives properties may be impacted. Councillor Hindi will not be participating in the discussion or voting on this item.

PUBLIC FORUM

There were no registered speakers for this meeting.

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Environment and Planning - 13 July 2020

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati  and Councillor Hindi

That the Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee meeting held on 13 July 2020, be confirmed.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

ENV029-20       Adoption of Local Housing Strategy and Inclusive Housing Strategy

(Report by Strategic Planner)

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati and Councillor Hindi

(a)     That Council adopt the Local Housing Strategy and Inclusive Housing Strategy as strategic planning documents that will inform the development of policies and planning directions.

(b)     That Council delegate to the General Manager to approve any minor modifications in the finalisation of the Local Housing Strategy and Inclusive Housing Strategy.

(c)     That Council write to all those that made a submission advising them of the adoption of the Local Housing Strategy and the Inclusive Housing Strategy.

(d)     That the adopted copy of the Local Housing Strategy be forwarded to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

ENV031-20       Adoption of Hurstville Oval and Timothy Reserve Plan of Management and Masterplan

(Report by Strategic Planner)

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati and Councillor Hindi

(a)     That Council, pursuant to section 40(2)(b) of the NSW Local Government Act 1993, confirms that the amendments to the Hurstville Oval and Timothy Reserve Plan of Management are not substantial and do not require further public exhibition.

(b)     That Council adopt the Hurstville Oval and Timothy Reserve Plan of Management and Masterplan in accordance with section 40 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act) and in accordance with section 3.23(6) of the Crown Lands Management Act (CLM Act).

(c)     That Council authorise the General Manager to make minor editorial modifications in the finalisation of the Hurstville Oval Plan of Management and Masterplan.

(d)     That all individuals who provided a submission during the public exhibition of the Hurstville Oval Plan of Management and Masterplan be notified of Council’s decision.

(e)     That the adopted Plan of Management and Masterplan be forwarded to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

ENV032-20       Georges River Local Environmental Plan 2021 (Planning Proposal - Housing Choice and Capacity)

(Report by Strategic Planner/Urban Designer)

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati and Councillor Hindi

(a)     That Council resolve to prepare a Planning Proposal (stage 2 of the Principal LEP to be known as LEP 2021) to amend the Kogarah and Hurstville Local Environmental Plans (or if gazetted, Georges River LEP 2020) to promote housing choice and create capacity for additional dwellings to meet the Greater Sydney Commission’s 6-10 year housing target (3,450 - 4,250 additional dwellings).

(b)     That Council authorise the General Manager to execute the renewed funding agreement with the NSW Government to utilise the surplus grant funding from the Accelerated LEP Program to enable the preparation of stage 2 of the Principal LEP, the Georges River Local Environmental Plan 2021 (“LEP 2021”), and to commence stage 2 of the Commercial Centres Strategy including the preparation of the masterplan for the Mortdale Local Centre.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

ENV033-20       Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Directions 2020

(Report by Executive Strategic Planner)

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati and Councillor Hindi

That Council note the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Local Infrastructure Contributions) Directions 2020. 

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

  

 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

 

That due to a lack of quorum arising from the declarations of interests (Councillors Agius, Hindi and Katris), the meeting was adjourned, deferring Item ENV030-20 to the next Ordinary Meeting of Council on 24 August 2020. The time being 7.33pm, Tuesday 10 August 2020.

Note:    At the time of the Adjournment, the following three (3) Councillors were present; Councillors Badalati, Landsberry and Payor.

Note:        The Committee adjourned at 7.33pm, Tuesday 10 August 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Chairperson

 


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 12

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Item:                   ENV035-20   Draft Georges River Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy 2020 for Public Exhibition 

Author:              Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services

Directorate:      Environment and Planning

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

(a)     That Council endorse the Draft Georges River Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy 2020, contained in Attachment 1, to be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days.

(b)     That a further report be provided to Council on the:

 i)     outcomes of the public exhibition; and

ii)     details of a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      The Companion Animals Act 1993 (NSW) (the Act), allows Council to sell or euthanise a seized or surrendered companion animal not claimed by its owner after the following holding periods have expired:

 

·        7 days for unidentified animals

·        14 days for identified animals.

 

2.      However, Section 64(2) of the Act, allows a council, in accordance with any policy that has been adopted by the council in relation to the management of feral or infant companion animals to euthanise the seized or surrendered animal before the end of the above holding periods.  Such a policy would also consider alternatives to euthanasia in accordance with section 64(5) of the Act through the use of Rehoming Organisations approved under section 88B of the Act who will be given the opportunity to rehome animals.

 

3.      This provision in the Act acknowledges that it is often not humane or practical to detain feral or infant companion animals at Council's impound facility for various reasons. These may include biosecurity risk (i.e. transmission of disease), animal welfare or behavioural issues (e.g. feral cats), humane reasons or care requirements (i.e. infant animals which need an intense level of 'round the clock’ care particularly in terms of warmth and feeding).

 

4.      In many circumstances it is known at the time when the animal is seized or surrendered that the animal is not suitable for rehoming (e.g. feral cat). However, without a policy in place the animal is required to be kept for the minimum holding period often only to be humanely euthanaised once the holding period ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.      In addition to not being in the best interests of the animal this practice comes at a cost to Council which was for the 2018/2019 financial year $15,203. This cost to Council will increase further in 2020/2021 following a recent restructure of the fees and charges payable by Council to its contracted impound facility.

 

6.      Using the increased fees and the number of feral and infant cats euthanised in the 2018/2019 financial year the comparison figure for the 2020/2021 financial year could increase by up to $94,698. However, the introduction of the draft Policy could potentially reduce the overall costs to $12,753 due to a reduction in the duration of the holding period.

 

7.      The purpose of the Draft Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy (draft Policy) (Attachment 1) is therefore to authorise (following assessment and subject to the terms of the draft Policy) the humane euthanasia of feral or infant companion animals prior to the expiration of the mandatory holding periods. Euthanasia would only occur prior to the expiration of the mandatory holding periods where the animal:

 

·        was not considered suitable for re-homing (i.e. feral animals); or

·        where a Rehoming Organisation could not accommodate the animal; or

·        where it is not practical to retain the animal at Council's impound facility (e.g. due to the intensive care requirements of infant animals being less than eight weeks of age).

 

8.      A number of councils across NSW have adopted a similar policy on the management of infant and feral companion animals including:

 

·        Blacktown City Council

·        Blue Mountains City Council

·        Camden Council

·        Campbelltown City Council

·        Coffs Harbour City Council

·        Cumberland City Council

·        Dubbo Regional Council

·        Hornsby Shire Council

·        Lachlan Shire Council

·        Liverpool City Council

·        Shoalhaven City Council

 

9.      The draft Policy was provided to an independent veterinarian to seek comment on the merits of the draft Policy from an animal welfare perspective. The veterinary advice supported the implementation of the draft Policy on animal welfare grounds. Contact was also made with the RSPCA who acts as an impounding agency for many councils and the procedures implemented at its holding facilities are consistent with those proposed in the draft Policy.

 

10.    The draft policy addresses the symptoms of the broader issue within the community, that is of the number of unwanted companion animals (mostly cats (98% in 2018/19)) and more work needs to be done to address this issue.  In this regard, Council staff have commenced discussions with animal welfare organisations and veterinarians to develop a program to support companion animal owners to identify and de-sex their animals.

 

 

 

 

11.    Any cost savings realised during the implementation of the draft Policy may be used to support the proposed companion animal identification and de-sexing program. Further, once developed this program will also provide cost-effective options for pet owners of non-de-sexed cats who from 1 July 2020, under a new scheme introduced by the NSW Government, are required to obtain an $80 annual permit.

 

12.    This report therefore recommends that Council endorse the Draft Georges River Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy 2020, contained in Attachment 1, to be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days. During the exhibition period a communications campaign will also be conducted to educate the community on responsible pet ownership. It is further recommended that a future report be provided to Council on the:

 

i)      outcomes of the public exhibition; and

ii)     details of a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

 

The above actions are intended to achieve the long term outcome of reducing the number of occurrences where Council and its animal pound are placed in a position to euthanise unwanted animals.

REPORT

Draft Policy

13.    The draft Policy has been developed under Section 64(2) of the Act to address the animal welfare, practical and cost implications of retaining animals that are not suitable for rehoming for the duration of the required holding period, often only to be humanely euthanaised once the holding period ends (7 days for unidentified animals and 14 days for identified animals).

 

14.    Section 62(2A) of the Act requires that any policy adopted by Council under 64(2) must comply with such guidelines as may be issued by the Departmental Chief Executive.  A review of the Office of Local Government’s website did not identify any such guidelines and the Guideline on the Exercise of functions under the Companion Animal Act 1993 does not provide specific requirements for Councils wishing to develop a policy on the Management of Feral and Infant Animals.  Therefore, the scope and content of the policy is at Council’s discretion subject to complying with the Act.

 

15.    The draft Policy is in accordance with Council’s standard Policy template and has an overall purpose to outline ‘humane assessment criteria to be applied in the management of Feral or Infant Companion Animals, which have been lawfully seized, abandoned or surrendered’.

 

16.    The Policy applies to the assessment and management of any Feral or Infant Companion Animal which has been lawfully seized, abandoned or surrendered with the local government area of Georges River Council that is not suitable for rehoming, or able to be housed a Council’s Impounding Facility. The Policy details assessment criteria for the management of both Feral and Infant Companion Animals and provides options for the early release to the RSPCA or an animal rehoming organisation as an alternative to euthanasia for Infant Companion Animals.

 

17.    Feral and infant companion animals may not be practical to retain at Council’s facility for various reasons such as:

 

 

·        Disease risk

·        Animal health or behavioural issues

·        Humane reasons (animal welfare)

·        Care requirements

 

18.    Whilst the Act allows council to develop a policy that addresses both identified and unidentified animals the draft Policy only applies to any unidentified seized, abandoned or surrendered Companion Animals deemed Feral or Infant that are not suitable for re-homing or practical to retain at Council’s Impound Facility.

 

19.    For a companion animal to be considered as “feral” or “infant”, under the terms of the draft Policy it must be assessed by a senior member of that Approved Premises, an Authorised Officer of Council or a veterinarian and the results of the assessment documented on the respective form contained within the draft Policy.

 

20.    Under the terms of the draft Policy, once a companion animal is assessed as being feral, the animal is not considered suitable for re-homing (due to behavioural and socialisation issues) and is able to be euthanised at any time prior to the expiration of the mandatory holding period. In the interests of the animals welfare, once an animal is declared feral it will be euthanised immediately.

 

21.    With respect to infant animals, once a companion animal is assessed to be an infant, the draft Policy requires a number of steps to be undertaken to ascertain if the infant is in good health and able to receive care prior to a decision on the animals future being made.

 

22.    Under the terms of the draft Policy, once a companion animal is assessed as being an infant animal and where practical and timely care arrangements cannot be implemented, the animal may be euthanised for humane reasons prior to the mandatory holding period.

 

23.    The draft Policy provides options as an alternative to euthanasia in relation to identifying practical and timely care arrangements including the use of Rehoming Organisations approved under section 88B of the Act who will be given first opportunity to rehome the animal.

 

24.    The draft Policy advocates a practical and humane approach to managing infant and feral animals received at Council’s impound facility, particularly during times of seasonal influx (such as cat breeding season), which is consistent with policies adopted by many other councils including Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Camden Council, Campbelltown City Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Cumberland City Council, Dubbo Regional Council, Hornsby Shire Council, Lachlan Shire Council, Liverpool City Council, and Shoalhaven City Council.

 

Financial implications

25.    During the 2018/19 financial year, three dogs and 187 cats held at Council’s impound facility, were euthanised as they were not claimed by their owner and were not able to be rehomed. These animals were all unidentified and included 91 cats that would meet the definition of feral under the draft Policy and 76 infant cats. The remaining animals were euthanised immediately following veterinarian assessment either due to medical or untreatable heath conditions in accordance with the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (NSW).

 

26.    Under s64 of the Act, each unidentified companion animal (not claimed by their owner) must be held for a period of 7 days before they can be either sold or euthanised.

27.    The draft Policy provides options to rehome suitable infant animals rather than euthanising as once the animal is assessed as infant an opportunity would be provided to Rehoming Organisations to accept these animals. This approach will lead to a reduction in the number of animals euthanised and a reduction in holding costs as the Rehoming Organisations take responsibility for care and rehoming.

 

28.    Under the existing agreement with Council’s contacted impounding facility the cost of holding and euthanasing the unidentified feral and infant cats in 2018/2019 (1169 days) was $15,203 and is broken down in the table below:

 

2018/2019

Feral

infant

Total Cost

Cats

$9,461

$5,742

$15,203

 

29.    The above costs will increase in 2020/2021 following a recent restructure of the fees and charges payable by Council to its contracted impound facility. As a result of this review daily holding costs for cats have increased by 2.7 times and those for kittens have moved from a flat rate for the duration of the holding period to a daily rate equivalent to that of a cat. Using the increased fees, with the assumption of a seven day holding period and the number of feral and infant cats euthanised in the 2018/2019 financial year the worst case comparison figure for the 2020/2021 financial year is tabulated below:

 

2020/2021

Feral

infant

Total Cost

Cats

$51,606

$43,092

$94,698

 

30.    However, the introduction of the draft Policy could potentially reduce the overall costs in the above table to $12,753 as the animals could be held for only one day before either being adopted by a rehoming agency or euthanised. The cost savings realised during the implementation of the draft Policy may be used to support a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program discussed latter in this report.

 

Pre-Exhibition Consultation

31.    The draft Policy was provided to an independent veterinarian to seek comment on the merits of the draft Policy from an animal welfare perspective. The advice provided supported the implementation of the draft Policy as follows:

 

·        Feral Companion Animals – ‘adult feral companion animals brought in to Council are very unlikely to become suitable pets, or actually be re-homed to a domestic situation at all. A delay in what is likely to be inevitable euthanasia means a period of confinement with all the stresses for the animal that confinement involves.’

 

·        Infant Companion Animals – ‘The level of care required to raise kittens is high and often unavailable, especially at short notice as often required. Almost inevitably, when raised from an early age by humans rather than the mother cat, the social environment for these kittens is abnormal, and the boundary between play and aggression is not well-established. This leads to behavioural problems in adulthood which make these cats unsuitable as pets. The level of fear-aggression expressed of often high.’

 

32.    In addition, feedback was obtained from the RSPCA on the approach taken at their shelters in relation to feral and infant animals.  Where an RSPCA client Council has implemented a Policy relating to the management of feral or infant companion animals, RSPCA NSW staff refer to the Council Policy. Where an RSPCA client Council has not implemented a Policy relating to the management of feral or infant companion animals, contact is made with the Council and each situation is assessed on its merits. The RSPCA have animal welfare practices in place to limit any stress placed on the animal under assessment.

 

33.    Therefore, it is considered that the Draft Policy is consistent with and will address the animal welfare concerns discussed above.

 

Annual permits for non-de-sexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs

34.    On 1 July 2020 the New South Wales Government introduced annual permits for owners of non-de-sexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.

 

35.    This means that owners of cats not de-sexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. It is anticipated that this approach will create a stronger incentive to de-sex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, including reducing the risk of some cancers. Improving de-sexing rates will also ease the burden on Council’s pound, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife.

 

36.    Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs that are already registered. This action will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.

 

37.    Council staff have implementing a communications strategy to advise owners of non de-sexed cats and restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous of the new requirements.

 

Companion Animal Identification and De-sexing Program

38.    A number of Council’s in NSW have varying programs to promote micro-chipping and de-sexing of companion animals including free or subsidised services. Whilst the former Councils had previously conducted such programs no such programs were current at the time of amalgamation and have not been conducted since by the merged entity.

 

39.    It is recognised that in order to address the issue of unidentified cats within the LGA that a suitable program is developed to increase the number of cats that are micro-chipped. Further to reduce the number of unwanted cats a program to assist pet owners in having their cat de-sexed is also necessary.

 

40.    Council staff have commenced discussions with animal welfare organisations and veterinarians to design such programs for the owners of companion animals within the LGA. It is recommended that a further report on this be provided to Council in conjunction with the report which discusses the outcome of the public exhibition of the draft Policy.

SUMMARY

41.    The draft Policy aims to provide Council with the necessary flexibility to appropriately manage feral and infant companion animals impounded in the area. It provides sufficient provisions to consider alternatives to euthanasing the animal. The draft Policy also supports the responsible and effective use of community funds to manage these animals with the anticipated savings through the adoption of the draft Policy proposed be used to support future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

 

42.    This report therefore recommends that Council endorse the Draft Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy, contained in Attachment 1, to be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days. During the exhibition period a communications campaign will also be conducted to educate the community on responsible pet ownership. It is further recommended that a future report be provided to Council on the:

 

i) outcomes of the public exhibition, and

ii) details of a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

 

The above actions are intended to achieve the long term outcome of reducing the number of occurrences where Council and its animal pound are placed in a position to euthanise unwanted animals.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

43.    The adoption of the draft Policy will substantially reduce the costs associated with Council’s current animal impounding agreement.

RISK IMPLICATIONS

44.    No risks identified.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

45.    Should Council adopt the recommendation, community engagement will be conducted during the public exhibition of the draft Policy via Council’s website, customer service centres and YourSay platform.

 

FILE REFERENCE

19/2272, D20/154757

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Draft Georges River Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2020

 


Georges River Council -         Environment and Planning - Monday, 14 September 2020

ENV035-20             Draft Georges River Management of Infant and Feral Companion Animals Policy 2020 for Public Exhibition

[Appendix 1]          Draft Georges River Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2020

 

 

Page 20

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 31

Item:                   ENV036-20   Adoption of Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020 

Author:              Executive Strategic Planner

Directorate:      Environment and Planning

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

(a)       That Council adopt the Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020 (Version 2), as included at Attachment 1 to this report.

(b)       That Council authorise the General Manager to make any minor modifications to the Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020 (Version 2) in order to rectify any numerical, typographical, interpretation and formatting errors.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      The Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2016 provides Council’s principles, framework and procedures for the use of voluntary planning agreements (VPAs).

2.      A review of the existing Policy was undertaken in 2019 to improve the Policy in line with best practice and to address the issues raised in a number of Council resolutions. The review was undertaken by economic consultants Hill PDA Consulting, Lindsay Taylor Lawyers and Council staff.

3.      At its Meeting on 20 April 2020 Council resolved to endorse the Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy – Version 2 (2020) (‘Draft VPA Policy’) for the purpose of public exhibition.

4.      The Draft VPA Policy was publicly exhibited from 3 June to 3 July 2020. One submission was received from the Property Council of Australia. A copy of the submission is attached to this report (refer to Attachment 2) and this report responds to the comments made in the submission.

5.      The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) recently exhibited (15 April to 12 June 2020) proposed reforms to the infrastructure contributions system. This included a draft planning agreements policy framework, comprising a draft Planning Agreements Practice Note and draft amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. These documents have not been implemented to date.

6.      Having considered the comments made in the submission and DPIE draft planning agreements policy framework, this report recommends no changes be made to the Draft VPA Policy at this stage. If the NSW Government implements the DPIE draft documents as exhibited, the Council’s VPA Policy will need to be reviewed and reported to Council.

7.      The review of the VPA Policy has made improvements to the Policy and provided clearer guidance and structure for both developers and the community. This report recommends that Council adopt the Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy – Version 2 (2020) as exhibited. A copy of the final document is contained in Attachment 1.

 

 

BACKGROUND TO THE Review of the VPA Policy

8.      The review of Council’s existing VPA Policy considered and addressed a number of Council resolutions:

NM086-18 NSW Guidelines for VPAs (Council Meeting 24 September 2018):

“That in the interests of consistency, openness and transparency, Council request the NSW Minister for Planning, the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP to immediately publish the new Guidelines for Voluntary Planning Agreements, including any associated policy documents and Ministerial Directions necessary to ensure that the value created by planning decisions is fairly shared by the community.

That Council undertake a review of the current Table of Residual Land Values contained in the Voluntary Planning Agreement Policy 2016 to ensure they reflect current property markets, as provided in Appendix E of the Policy”.

NM017-18 Amendment to the GR VPA Policy (Council Meeting 23 April 2018):

“That the General Manager review the Voluntary Planning Agreements Policy 2016 and prepare a report to Council that investigates the option for development applications which seek additional floor area (of up to 10% over the maximum gross floor area permitted under clause 4.6 of the Hurstville and Kogarah LEPs 2012) to be required to enter into a voluntary planning agreement with Council”.

NM069-19 - Amendment to GR VPA Policy (Council Meeting 23 September 2019):

“That during the current review of the Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2016, the General Manager review the existing provisions relating to the entering into of planning agreement for Council-owned lands to enable community benefits to be provided in a timely and efficient manner”.

 

9.      The review also considered the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulation 2000, relevant Ministerial Directions, the DPIE’s 2005 Planning Agreements Practice Note and 2016 Draft Planning Agreements Practice Note, best practice and general experiences by the consultants and Council with preparing VPAs.

10.    As part of the review the DPIE were consulted and advice was requested on the status of the Draft Practice Note on Planning Agreements (November 2016) and when it may be implemented. There was no indication of the timeframe.

11.    The review was undertaken by economic consultants Hill PDA Consulting, Lindsay Taylor Lawyers and Council staff in 2019/2020.

12.    A Councillor briefing was provided on 21 October 2019. The Draft VPA Policy was presented to the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting on 9 March 2020 and Council Meeting 20 April 2020. Council resolved to endorse the Draft VPA Policy for public exhibition as follows:

(a)     That Council endorse the Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy – Revision 2 (2020) for the purpose of public exhibition.

 

(b)     That Council provide delegation to the General Manager to approve changes to ensure the readability of the document

 

(c)     That any submissions received on the Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy – Revision 2 (2020) be reported back to Council following public exhibition.

 

(d)     That the wording in clause 5.26 (Indexation of monetary contributions) in the draft VPA Policy be strengthened to state that the value of monetary contributions will only be increased over time by indexation, not decreased.

 

(e)     That the clauses 2.10-2.12 in the draft VPA Policy in relation to the ‘Provisions of planning agreement relating to s7.11 and s7.12 contributions’ include a point that Council will generally not support the exclusion of the application of s7.11 and s7.12 contributions of the Act to development that is subject of the planning agreement, unless the contributions that could have been required under those sections are provided for in the planning agreement in addition to any other benefits provided for in the planning agreement.

 

(f)      That the definition of ‘surplus value’ in the draft VPA Policy be amended to read:

 

“The value of the developers contribution under a planning agreement for a category of facilities less the value of development contributions are or could have been required to be made under s7.11 or s7.12 of the Act for that category in respect of the development the subject of the agreement.”

Key Amendments to the VPA Policy

13.    The report to the Council Meeting on 20 April 2020 detailed the work undertaken by Hill PDA to inform some of the amendments to the VPA Policy and legal advice on various matters.

14.    This report outlined the amendments to VPA Policy and addressed the key issues raised in the Councillor workshops and Council resolutions. This included the Draft VPA Policy incorporating additional objectives and clauses to enable Council to require VPAs be entered into in connection with variations to the development standards in the LEP, where the VPA would address the specific impacts of the variation and new clauses relating to the negotiation steps for Council owned lands. The report also outlined the outcomes from Hill PDAs review of the residual land values in the existing Policy and that these values have been deleted from the Draft VPA Policy.

15.    Outlined below are the key changes to the VPA Policy.

Land Value Capture formula amended

16.    The land value capture formula (clause 5.15) has been amended to account for the current market value of the site ‘as is’ under the current planning controls rather than the ‘residual land value’ of a site under the current planning controls.

17.    Hill PDA’s review of the existing VPA Policy identified shortcomings in the current approach to the RLV calculation and failure to consider the existing land use value and/or tipping point FSR.

Residual land values table deleted and replaced by open book feasibility approach

18.    The residual land values (RLV) table (Appendix E) has been deleted and replaced with an open book feasibility approach to determine value capture and a fair contribution. This approach requires the developer to provide detailed supporting documentation, valuations and feasibility testing to support the VPA offer (clauses 5.17 - 5.19).

19.    Hill PDAs review of the existing Policy found that the RLVs vary considerably from site to site and that the only fair way of calculating the value uplift is an open book feasibility approach. Of the seven VPAs executed by Council between 2011 and 2018, all developers disputed the RLV rates in the VPA Policy. In all cases the developers requested a third party be engaged to undertake an independent assessment of land value capture associated with the development proposal and any associated public benefits. Once the market value was established, Council was successful in negotiating on an open book feasibility basis a half share or more of the value uplift for public benefit.

VPAs relating to DAs with variations under LEP clause 4.6 - amended clause

20.    Additional objectives and clauses (clauses 2.16, 2.17, 5.9, 5.10) have been included to enable Council to require VPAs to be entered into, in connection with objections to height and FSR standards in Council’s LEP, where the VPA would address the specific impacts of the variation.

“2.16 Any variation to development standards under clause 4.6 of the LEP as part of a development application will not be permitted by the Council unless the Council is of the opinion that the dispensation sought under clause 4.6 meets the relevant test on its own planning merits. This is whether or not a planning agreement is proposed in connection with such a development application.

2.17 Without limiting clause 2.16 of this policy in any way, the Council may consider a planning agreement which proposes development contributions to address the specific impacts of a development arising from an exceedance of an FSR or building height development standard where a request for variation of such a standard has been made pursuant to cl4.6 of the LEP. The Council considers that a planning agreement will not otherwise have relevance in the consideration of such requests for variations of development standards”.

21.    Legal advice states that Council cannot legally impose a requirement that a VPA must be entered into in connection with a development application which seeks dispensation for additional floor area above that permitted by the applicable planning controls.

22.    Case law makes it clear that any dispensation must be considered on its merits and that a VPA would only be relevant in so far as it directly addressed the impacts of the additional floor area. This legal advice applies irrespective of whether the additional floor area is above or below 10%.

Affordable Housing - amended clauses

23.    Council adopted the Inclusive Housing Strategy on 24 August 2020, along with the Local Housing Strategy. The next stage is for Council to adopt a housing policy that sets out the circumstances when Council may seek to negotiate a VPA where the Council is authorised to impose an affordable housing condition under s7.32 of the Environment, Planning and Assessment Act.

24.    As an interim measure the Draft VPA Policy includes the circumstances in which Council may negotiate a VPA for affordable housing, as required in clause 5(3) of the 2019 Ministerial Direction.

Council owned land – new clauses

25.    The Draft VPA Policy includes the negotiation steps for VPAs for Council owned land and the how Council may secure community benefits:

4.22  This policy is intended to apply as far as practicable to planning proposals relating to Council-owned or controlled land, and to development by or on behalf of the Council of Council owned or controlled land, in the same way as it applies to other land.

 

4.23 In such circumstances, the Council will provide a public benefit in accordance with this policy by one of the following means:

a)      registering a covenant on title under s88D of the Conveyancing Act 1919,

b)      entering into a planning agreement via a deed poll and registering the agreement on title, or

c)      making provision in the relevant local environmental plan to require provision of the public benefit in respect of the development of the land.

 

4.24 The Council will generally prefer to register a covenant on title as described above. However, if that is not practicable, the Council will provide for the public benefit by one of the other specified means.

Enforcement of VPAs – clauses strengthened

26.    The enforcement clauses (section 7) and Template VPA (Appendix B) have been strengthened to identify the means of enforcement that Council will require in a VPA. In addition to the registration of the VPA on the title of the land, these include;

·        financial security in the form of an unconditional bank guarantee (in respect of a VPA in connection with a development they are required “on or before the granting of the development consent or modification approval” and in respect of a VPA in connection with a planning proposal, “on or before the making of the instrument change”;

·        restriction on the issuing of certificates (i.e. construction, subdivision and occupation certificates) where a VPA requires payment of monetary contributions;

 

·        the ability for Council to compulsorily acquire land for $1 under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991;

 

·        the granting of a charge and registration of a caveat on the title upon execution of the VPA;

 

·        prior to the Council executing the VPA, the developer is required “to provide Council with the necessary instruments in registrable form signed by all landowners, and produce all title documents and all written consents necessary in order to register the planning agreement on title”. 

 

Entering into a VPA – new and amended clauses

27.    A new clause states that Council will generally require a VPA to include a clause that ensures that the provisions of the VPA are binding, even if there is a failure of the developer to give a letter of offer, or Council, for whatever reason delays in executing the VPA.

28.    If there is development application, the Council will generally require the VPA to be entered into as a “deferred commencement condition” of granting development consent (clause 7.16).

29.    To address the timing of payment of contributions, a new clause (clause 7.20) states that “Council will not agree to receiving monetary contributions in the absence of a fully executed planning agreement”.

Valuation of land dedicated – clause amended

30.    The clause relating to the dedication of land has been amended as the residual land values table has been deleted from Policy. The new clause (clause 5.22) states that “Unless otherwise agreed, where the benefit under a planning agreement is the provision of land for a public purpose, the Council will generally seek to value land being dedicated. In that case, where the floor space potential of the dedicated land can be transferred and developed elsewhere on the development site, the value of the dedicated land will be 25% of generic market value of the land prior to floor space transfer

Other amendments

31.    Various other clauses in the VPA Policy have been strengthened, including clauses relating to the VPA costs, negotiation procedures, pooling of contributions, management of land dedicated and works by the developer, monitoring and annual reporting.

 

PUBLIC EXHIBITION AND SUBMISSION

32.    The Draft VPA Policy was publicly exhibited from 3 June to 3 July 2020 with advertisements in the local St George Leader newspaper, an online exhibition on Councils Have Your Say webpage and hard copy exhibition folders at Council’s Customer Service Centre, Hurstville.

33.    One submission was received from the Property Council of Australia (see Attachment 2). In summary the submission refers to the recent DPIE reforms for infrastructure contributions and states that it would be premature for Council to finalise the draft Policy until the Minister has made a decision on the DPIE reforms. Notwithstanding this issue, the submission notes that there does not appear to be any significant misalignment between the Draft VPA Policy and DPIE draft documents and that Council developed the Draft Policy prior to the DPIE exhibiting the reforms.

34.    The Table 1 below outlines the submission comments and Council’s response.

 

Table 1: Submission comments and Councils response

Submission Comments

Response to the Submission Comment

1. It would be premature for Council to finalise the draft Policy until the Minister has made a decision on the DPIE package of reforms for infrastructure contributions.

 

Council’s VPA Policy was reviewed in 2019 and early 2020. As part of this review the DPIE were consulted on the status of the then Draft Practice Note on Planning Agreements (November 2016). There was no indication from DPIE of when the Draft Practice 2016 would be implemented or of the proposed reforms.

The Draft VPA Policy was reported to the Environment and Planning Committee on 9 March 2020 and endorsed for exhibition by Council on 20 April 2020.

The DPIE planning reforms for infrastructure contributions was placed on exhibition at this time, from 15 April 2020 to 12 June 2020. These reforms included a draft Practice Note for Planning Agreements, draft Planning Agreement Direction and draft amendments to the EP&A Regulation 2000.

The DPIE draft documents have not been implemented at this point in time by the NSW Government.

As it is uncertain as to when and whether all the DPIE draft documents will be implemented, it is not considered reasonable for Council to delay adopting the Draft VPA Policy.

The review of the VPA Policy has made improvements to the Policy and provided clearer guidance and structure.

No change to the Draft VPA Policy is recommended.

2. “Definition of Terms – the change from ‘Works in Kind’ to ‘Works’ makes the term confusing and needlessly ambiguous”.

 

The term ‘works-in-kind’ was changed to ‘works’ in the draft Policy to ensure that the definition was clear. ‘Works-in-kind’ is sometimes used to refer to work accepted by councils under s7.11(5)(b) of the Act in satisfaction of a s7.11 monetary contributions condition that has been imposed. The ‘works’ as defined in the Policy relate to “a work or action which replaces a monetary contribution in whole or in part”.

No change to the Draft VPA Policy is recommended.

 

3. “Clause 5.15 – contrary to the draft DPIE’s policy. It appears to impose a mandatory value capture contribution of 50% of the uplift where there is a variation from the height or FSR standard – in our view this is both excessive and contrary to the DPIE draft Practice Note.

 

The Draft VPA Policy (section 5) provides that Council will determine appropriate contributions by applying land value capture or use an alternative mechanism considered by Council.

In respect of the calculation of contributions for a development application that does not comply with the LEP development standards, the Draft VPA Policy (clauses 5.9 – 5.11) states:

“….Council will determine appropriate contributions by applying either land value capture as set out in paragraphs 5.12 - 5.19 for monetary contributions to be applied towards addressing the specific impacts of the development arising from the development standard exceedance or use an alternative mechanism which Council considered appropriate. An alternative mechanism could involve, without limitation:

 

§ the consideration and provision of development contributions to address the specific impacts of the development arising from an exceedance of an FSR or building height development standard, and/or

 

§ the consideration and provision of development contributions towards community infrastructure where such contributions or infrastructure are required by a provision of the local environmental plan to be provided in connection with development which exceeds FSR or building height development standards”.

 

In respect of the calculation of contributions for planning proposals, clause 5.12 of the Draft VPA Policy states that “Where a planning proposal is likely to result in an increase in value of the unimproved land the subject of the planning proposal, Council will determine appropriate contributions by applying land value capture as set out in paragraphs 5.13 - 5.19 or use an alternative mechanism which Council considered”.

The value capture formula in the Draft VPA Policy (clause 5.15) calculates the monetary contribution based on the uplift between the residual land value (RLV) of a site where the development proposal intensifies development and the current market value of the land and its existing improvements (MLV). The contribution value is calculated to be 50% of this uplift.

The DPIE draft Planning Agreements Practice Note states that “in general, the use of planning agreements for the primary purpose of value capture is not supported as it leads to the perception that planning decisions can be bought and sold and that planning authorities may leverage their bargaining position based on their statutory powers”. It states that council policies should outline “the method for determining the value of public benefits”.

 

Council’s submission to the DPIE did not support this position and noted that the draft Practice Note is silent on the ‘method’ that councils can use to calculate contributions.

 

There needs to be a clear and transparent method and/or formula for both local communities and developers to determine the value of public benefits and ensures that the value is objectively determined and directly proportionate to the proposed development.

 

Value capture is considered to be one such mechanism, by ensuring consistency, transparency and certainty in the negotiation of planning agreements and in guiding the value of the public benefits.

 

No changes are recommended to the Draft VPA Policy

 

4. Clause 5.22 (now Clause 5.20) is unclear in its drafting but appears to heavily discount the value of land dedicated under a planning agreement.

 

Clause 5.20 relates to the dedication of land under a VPA.

 

The clause in the existing VPA Policy states that Council will generally seek to value the land on the basis of the residual land values in the Policy.

 

The RLV table has been deleted from the Draft VPA Policy and the clause has been amended as follows:

 

“Unless otherwise agreed, where the benefit under a planning agreement is the provision of land for a public purpose, the Council will generally seek to value land being dedicated. In the case, where the floorspace potential of the dedicated land can be transferred and developed elsewhere on the development site, the value of the dedicated land will be 25% of generic market value of the land prior to floor space transfer.”

 

Hill PDA has advised that, the land dedicated under a VPA will be at market value for its intended use. Clause 5.20 refers to a specific case of land dedication “In that case, where the floor space potential of the dedicated land can be transferred and developed elsewhere on the development site, the value of the dedicated land will be 25% of generic market value of the land prior to floor space transfer”

The land dedicated therefore has minimal development potential other than open space. The market value of the residual land is therefore significantly reduced. There is precedence in commercial negotiations and various council Contribution Plans (where this FSR transfer upon acquisition often occurs) for adopting a basis of 25% of Market Value for the acquisition of where:

-     The developer/vendor is able to preserve total development density by a FSR transfer to the retained land; and

-     In Contribution Plans where the land is identified by Council’s Open Space (acquisition) objectives.

This basis has been found to occur in the City of Sydney Open Space Strategy and S94 Contributions Plan.  The percentage is specifically adopted in the Section 94 and Community Infrastructure Contributions (Review of Land Dedication Rates).

 

No changes to the Draft VPA Policy are recommended.

5. Clauses 7.1-7.2 – it is our understanding that it is usually held to be sufficient that either a bank guarantee or the registration of a VPA on land title is sufficient to protect the Council’s interest under a planning agreement, but these clauses state that registration on land title is intended to be in addition to other forms of security.

The EP&A Act (s7.4(3)(g)) requires a VPA to provide for

enforcement by suitable means.

 

The existing VPA Policy (section 7) requires enforcement by suitable means typically including security such as an unconditional bank guarantee and/or registration on the title.

 

The Draft VPA Policy has been strengthen based on legal advice to require the registration of the VPA on the title of the land in addition to other means of enforcement (i.e. unconditional bank guarantee, restriction on the issuing of certificates, compulsory acquisition of land and/or the granting of a charge and registration of a caveat on title) as follows:

 

the suitable means will vary depending on the circumstances, but will typically include financial security in the form of a bank guarantee, restriction on the issuing of certificates under Part 6 of the Act, the ability for Council to compulsorily acquire land under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 and/or the granting of a charge and registration of a caveat. The above means of enforcement are to be in addition to and/or the registration of the planning agreement on title”.

 

The registration of the VPA on the title ensures that all land owners, potential purchasers and parties with an interest in the land are aware that there is a VPA applying to the land and the obligations of that VPA. The other forms of security provide financial security and other legal mechanisms for Council to enforce the VPA. 

 

No changes are recommended to the Draft VPA Policy.

 

6. Clause 7.20 is identical to clause 5.25 (now clause 5.23) and redundant.

 

 

Clauses 5.23 and 7.20 state Council will not agree to receiving monetary contributions in the absence of a fully executed planning agreement”.

 

Clause 5.23 relates to ‘Monetary Contributions’ and clause 7.20 relates to ‘The time when developer’s obligations arise under a planning agreement’. The wording is considered relevant to both clauses. 

No change to the Draft VPA Policy is recommended.

 

7. “It is not clear why clause 16 of the template VPA relating to Council’s obligations to not unreasonably hinder the Developer has been deleted entirely”. 

Most VPA policies contain a VPA template document, that provide councils preferred structure and clauses that may be used, where appropriate, in a VPA.

The VPA template in the existing VPA includes the following clause for Council's obligations relating to Work.

The Council is not to unreasonably delay, hinder or otherwise interfere with the performance by the Developer of its obligations under this Deed, and is to use its reasonable endeavours to ensure third parties unrelated to the Developer do not unreasonably delay, hinder or otherwise interfere with the performance of those obligations".

 

This clause was deleted as it is not considered relevant and is not used by Council in the drafting of VPAs. Council would not unreasonably delay, hinder or interfere with the developers obligations.

 

No change to the Draft VPA Policy is recommended.

 

 Future Review of the VPA Policy

35.    Council’s VPA Policy may be reviewed in the future should the NSW Government implement any of the proposed changes outlined in the DPIE proposed planning agreements framework that include a draft Planning Agreement Direction, draft Planning Agreement Practice Note and draft amendment to the EPA Regulation.

36.    Also further review may be undertaken in conjunction with future GRC local environmental plans (LEPs), subject to budget allocations.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

37.    The amendments in the Draft VPA Policy are not considered to result in any changes to the public benefit contributions negotiated and provided under VPAs.

38.    Hill PDA’s review of the seven VPAs executed by Council between 2011 and 2018, noted that in all cases the developers requested a third party be engaged to undertake an independent assessment of land value capture associated with the proposal and any associated public benefits. All developers disputed the RLV rates in the current VPA Policy. Council has been successful in negotiating on an open book feasibility basis that is consistent with the Draft VPA Policy.

 

RISK IMPLICATIONS

39.    The review of the VPA Policy has been undertaken to ensure that the policy reflects current legislation, Ministerial Directions, the DPIE’s current 2005 Planning Agreements Practice Note, best practice and general experiences by the consultants and Council with preparing VPAs.

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

40.    The Draft VPA Policy was publicly exhibited from 3 June to 3 July 2020 with advertisements in the local St George Leader newspaper, an online exhibition on Council’s Have Your Say webpage and hard copy exhibition folders at Council’s Customer Service Centre, Hurstville.

 

 

FILE REFERENCE

14/924

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Georges River Planning Agreements Policy (Version 2) - September 2020 - Attachment to Report 140920

Attachment 2

Property Council of Australia submission on Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy

 


Georges River Council -         Environment and Planning - Monday, 14 September 2020

ENV036-20             Adoption of Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020

[Appendix 1]          Georges River Planning Agreements Policy (Version 2) - September 2020 - Attachment to Report 140920

 

 

Page 103

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council -         Environment and Planning - Monday, 14 September 2020

ENV036-20             Adoption of Georges River Planning Agreements Policy 2020

[Appendix 2]          Property Council of Australia submission on Draft Georges River Planning Agreements Policy

 

 

Page 105

 


 


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 111

Item:                   ENV037-20   Food Waste Feasibility Study and Recycling Trial 

Author:              Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services and Coordinator, Enviornmental Sustainability and Waste

Directorate:      Environment and Planning

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That a further report detailing the outcomes of the feasibility study be provided to Council in early 2021.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      At its meeting on 23 July 2018, Council resolved that:

(a)     The General Manager prepare a report to Council on conducting a limited trial at residential premises/residential apartment buildings for food waste diversion including:

i.     Details of the trial methodology and the proposed locations in the LGA;

ii.    Duration of the proposed trial;

iii.   Potential funding sources;

iv.   Measures for auditing the outcomes of the trial; and

v.    The community education and consultation campaign that will be conducted with affected residents.

(b)     The report also include information on existing arrangements with local providers for rescuing left over food to be provided to the homeless/needy.

2.      Given that the current St George domestic waste collection contract is shared between Georges River and Bayside Council’s, a food waste [known as Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO)], collection trial is best coordinated at a regional scale to ensure that trial findings are representative of existing services, including the determination of accurate contamination rates and the true costs to provide a new collection service for FOGO are considered.

3.      Therefore, this report outlines a regional project commencing with the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) developing a Feasibility Study in order to inform the expected costs of a FOGO trial and the requirements and solutions for managing organic waste for processing/disposal in light of Council’s existing processing/disposal contracts.

4.      The regional Feasibility Study is anticipated to cost $120,000. A non-contestable grant funding opportunity is currently being pursued by SSROC under the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Local Council Transition Fund.  The outcomes of the Grant will be announced in November 2020.

5.      The grant funding, if successful, will be used to undertake a Feasibility Study. SSROC will engage a consultant on behalf of Council to develop recommendations for regional implementation of FOGO, including:

-       A desktop review with a focus on metropolitan areas

-       Onsite processing solutions for existing and new Multi-Unit Developments

-       Financial modelling including:

·        capital outlays and operational costs under various scenarios

·        cost benefit analysis

·        Risk mitigation strategies

·        Processing capacity/options/reuse

·        Regional contract and procurement models

·        Arrangements to create closed-loop cost efficiencies.

·        Understanding of the opinions of Suez and Veolia about FOGO.

6.      Should SSROC not be successful in obtaining grant funding for the Feasibility Study, Council would attempt to attract grant funding on its own or consider funding a Feasibility Study from the Domestic Waste Reserve, in which case a further report will be provided to Council.

7.      Upon completion of the Feasibility Study (estimated May 2021) and pending the findings of the Study, Council can then consider a food waste trial after identifying funding sources and the likely costs to implement a FOGO collection service. A further report providing the results of the Feasibility Study will be provided to Council, in early 2021.

8.      The results of the waste service community consultation program (August – September 2020) and the community’s appetite to pay for an additional collection service of FOGO will also be considered prior to progressing a FOGO trial.

9.      This report in addressing the previous resolution of Council provides details on the proposed methodology to progress a Food Waste Trial and also includes information on existing arrangements with local providers for rescuing leftover food to be provided to the homeless/needy.

10.    Additionally, the report outlines four food rescue options available to local business, residents and community members.  This report provides detail of OzHarvest, Foodbank and SecondBite food rescue organisations operating within the Local Government Area, and also provides details of a food rescue option available to households or community members/groups – Sharewaste – and outlines the Council-provided initiative, Compost Revolution as another available solution for residential food waste.

BACKGROUND

11.    In March 2020, Council was briefed on available strategic waste options to include within the draft Waste Strategy by MRA Consulting. These options, including consideration of food organics garden organics (FOGO) collections, contamination management and waste education, as presented to Council in March, have been included within the draft Waste Strategy (on public exhibition during August and September 2020).

12.    To inform Council of the benefits and barriers to implementing a FOGO collection program, Council will commence investigations into and preparations for considering FOGO collections. Given the current collection contract is shared between Georges River and Bayside Council’s, a FOGO collection trial is best coordinated at a regional scale to ensure that trial findings are representative of existing services, including the determination of accurate contamination rates and costs to provide the service and to meet the requirements of existing contracts.

REPORT

Food Waste Trial

13.    The following section of this report addresses the first part of the previous resolution by providing details on the proposed methodology to progress a Food Waste Trial.

Local Council Transition Fund Feasibility Study

14.    The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) will on behalf of Georges River Council and other participating SSROC member Councils apply for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Local Council Transition Fund. The funding package was created to provide funds to Council and incentivise consideration of FOGO-related solutions.

15.    The Fund supports strategic planning, options assessment and the transitioning to sustainable waste management services that maximise the amount and quality of organics recovered. Therefore, a Feasibility Study will help inform the evidence-based that Council needs to further explore the feasibility of FOGO in the Local Government Area, particularly within a regional context.

16.    The grant funding will be used to engage a consultant to develop recommendations for regional implementation of FOGO, including:

-       A desktop review with a focus on metropolitan areas

-       Onsite processing solutions for existing and new Multi-Unit Developments

-       Financial modelling including:

·        capital outlays and operational costs under various scenarios

·        cost benefit analysis

·        Risk mitigation strategies

·        Processing capacity/options/reuse

·        Regional contract and procurement models

·        Arrangements to create closed-loop cost efficiencies.

·        Understanding of the opinions of Suez and Veolia about FOGO.

17.    Upon completion of the Feasibility Study, Council can confidently apply for grant funding or secure an internal funding source to enable delivery of a FOGO trial, as informed by the financial modelling included within the Feasibility Study.

18.    It is anticipated that the Local Council Transition Grant will be assessed by DPIE by November 2020, a consultant engaged by February 2021 and the Feasibility Study be completed by May 2021.

Potential funding sources

19.    A total of $5 million is available to select Council’s and regional groups, of which both SSROC and Council are both eligible through the Local Council Transition Fund. SSROC will be applying for $120,000 to enable the Feasibility Study.

20.    Pending the results of the Feasibility Study, a FOGO trial can be considered pending further available funding. A potential source of internal funding has been identified as the Domestic Waste Reserve, expected to commence by December 2021.

21.    It is also anticipated that additional funds will be made available to Councils in subsequent rounds of the Local Council Transition Fund to assist with implementing a FOGO trial if a Feasibility Study proves viability.

22.    Council also regularly works in partnership with SSROC to identify suitable grant opportunities available at both local and regional levels. 

Details of the trial methodology and the proposed locations in the LGA

23.    The Feasibility Study will utilise case studies and experiences from regional-based Councils that have successfully implemented FOGO collections. Given the rare successful implementation of FOGO collections in metropolitan Sydney, the Feasibility Study will inform and predict impacts at a metropolitan scale to prepare Council for a future FOGO collection trial. The Feasibility Study will predominantly be delivered via a desk-top study.

24.    Pending the results of the Feasibility Study to progress the trial it is anticipated that a FOGO trial methodology will be developed by a suitably qualified consultant which may be determined by DPIE as minimum requirements in order to obtain grant funding to deliver a FOGO trial. Details of a proposed methodology, if a trial is determined viable, will be provided to Council in a further report prior to the commencement of any trial.

Duration of the proposed trial

25.    DPIE requires that FOGO trials are delivered for a minimum of eight months in order to be eligible for grant funding to ensure statistically robust data can be obtained by Councils during FOGO trials. Given the requirement for an eight month FOGO trial, it essential that Council is first informed of the true costs of the trial through the Feasibility Study. The true costs will consider the financial implications of extensive project planning, staffing and resources, expert advice when required and significant costs to provide select FOGO collection and processing/disposal services for the duration of the trial. The duration of the trial, if a trial is determined viable, will be included into a further report to Council prior to the commencement of any trial.  

Measures for auditing the outcomes of the trial

26.    A FOGO trial can be audited using a variety of methods such as both visual and weight based bin audits, results of community surveys, contamination rates, and cost and tonnage data. DPIE will as part of future Transition Fund grant requirements stipulate auditing and reporting measures. Additionally, measures of success will also be advised and learnt during the Feasibility Study process and through understanding case study and best-practice examples. Measures for auditing the outcomes of the trial, if a trial is determined viable, will be included into a further report to Council prior to the commencement of any trial.  

Community education and consultation campaign

27.    A FOGO trial would require the development of tailored and specific education materials to be provided to households participating in the trial at an expense to Council. A FOGO trial will also include provision of kerbside bins (maroon lid for combined food/garden organics), as well as kitchen caddies and compostable bag liners to aid source separation of organic material (food waste) within the home at a cost to Council. These costs will be determined within the Feasibility Study and will enable Council to prepare for trial costs and locate funding sources prior to implementation. 

28.    Community surveys and other methods of auditing the outcomes of the trial will be required to consider the community education and consultation that occurred as part of the trial.

29.    It is also essential to note that the draft Waste Strategy and the future waste collection service arrangements are being dually consulted within the community during August and September 2020. The results of this extensive community engagement and consultation program will further guide Council in considering FOGO collections and whether or not the community has an appetite for a fourth collection service (and bin) and is willing to pay for FOGO services in a new collection contract.

Existing arrangements for Food Rescue

30.    The following section of this report addresses the second part of the previous resolution by providing information on existing arrangements with local providers for rescuing leftover food to be provided to the homeless/needy.

31.    There are a number of food rescue and sustainable management options for food waste offered by private organisations and Council as detailed below:

a)      OzHarvest - operates within the Georges River LGA, collecting surplus food from registered businesses and distributing edible food products to those in need through a network of over 1300 charities. OzHarvest is a food rescue organisation that has contributed to rescuing over 180 tonnes of food each week.  OzHarvest is the principal partner of Woolworths’ and rescues surplus food from stores across the nation.  Additional, ALDI partners with OzHarvest to rescue surplus food and divert it from landfill.

b)      Foodbank - provides 77 million meals a year (or 210,000 meals a day) to more than 2,600 charities around the country. Foodbank is also a supporter of school breakfast programs in Australia, providing food for 2,000 schools nationally, feeding more than 132,000 students who seek food relief.  Additionally, ALDI partners with Foodbank to rescue surplus food and divert it from landfill.

c)      SecondBite – is a food rescue organisation working with food suppliers to rescue surplus food for redistribution to local charities and non-profits around Australia, ensuring food gets to those who need it and preventing food waste disposed of in landfill.  Coles and SecondBite formed a national partnership which has seen the equivalent of more than 100 million meals provided through the program, from more than 780 Coles supermarkets.  Additionally, ALDI partners with SecondBite to rescue surplus food and divert it from landfill.

d)      ShareWaste - is a network of over 68,000 people who compost food scraps, or share waste. The concept allows for registrants to nominate excess food scraps to a registrant with available compost/worm farm space, and vice versa. The program allows for food scraps and compost availability to be shared in an effort to reduce food waste and increase composting of organic material, available to residents and community members within the LGA.

32.    Council currently offers options for the sustainable management of food and organic waste within the LGA. Compost Revolution is a program whereby Councils offers compost bins and worm farms to residents at 50% off RRP with free delivery. Council also offers a range of free composting and worm farming workshops and other community waste education sessions and programs to promote food rescues and reduce food waste.

Implications for the 2023 Waste Collection Contact

33.    Given that the current St George domestic waste collection contract is shared between Georges River and Bayside Council’s, a food waste [known as Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO)], collection trial is best coordinated at a regional scale to ensure that trial findings are representative of existing services, including the determination of accurate contamination rates and true costs to provide a new collection service for FOGO are considered.

34.    It is anticipated that the tender process for the waste collection contract commencing in 2021 ahead of a February 2023 effective date will incorporate maximum flexibility and options for consideration and inclusion of any future FOGO services. This will ensure any concurrent FOGO trial and developments of a collection contract and tender documentation can align ahead of the implementation of a new contract and related waste collection services.

CONCLUSION

35.    Before a food waste (or FOGO) trial can be implemented, Council must first determine the viability of a regional/local food waste collection option to ensure the service is affordable to both Council and the community over the longer-term. On the basis that most Council’s that have successfully implemented FOGO collection are regionally based and can use the outputs (processed food waste) on their grounds or in nearby agricultural applications, the service is proven viable in regional locations.

 

36.    To determine viability in metropolitan locations, a Feasibility Study will first be completed to inform the costs of implementing a FOGO service. The results of the Feasibility Study will be reported to Council in a further report and will guide a FOGO trial if deemed viable and inform future consideration of FOGO collection and processing services delivered within the LGA. Should SSROC not be successful in obtaining grant funding for the Feasibility Study, Council would attempt to attract grant funding on its own or consider funding a Feasibility Study from the Domestic Waste Reserve, in which case a further report will be provided to Council.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

37.    The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) will on behalf of Georges River Council and other participating SSROC member Councils apply for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Local Council Transition Fund. 

38.    Should SSROC not be successful in obtaining grant funding for the Feasibility Study, Council would attempt to attract grant funding on its own and consider funding a Feasibility Study from the Domestic Waste Reserve, in which case a further report will be provided to Council.

RISK IMPLICATIONS

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

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

40.    Not applicable.

FILE REFERENCE

19/2272, D20/204370

 

 

 

    


Georges River Council – Environment and Planning Committee Meeting -  Monday, 14 September 2020              Page 112

CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS (CLOSED MEETING)

Council's Code of Meeting Practice allows members of the public present to indicate whether they wish to make representations to the meeting, before it is closed to the public, as to whether that part of the meeting dealing with any or all of the matters listed should or should not be considered in closed session.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That in accordance with the provisions of Part 1 of Chapter 4 of the Local Government Act 1993, the following matters be considered in closed Meeting at which the press and public are excluded.

 

ENV046A-20     Adoption of the Traffic Modelling Report (Kogarah Local Environmental Plan Rezoning)

(Report by Strategic Planner)

THAT in accordance with the provisions of Part 1 of Chapter 4 of the Local Government Act 1993, the matters dealt with in this report be considered in closed Council Meeting at which the press and public are excluded. In accordance with Section 10A(2) (d(i)) it is considered the matter concerns commercial information of a confidential nature that would if disclosed prejudice the position of a person who supplied it.

THAT in accordance with Section 10D it is considered that if the matter were discussed in an open Council Meeting, it would on balance, be contrary to the public interest as it concerns commercial information of a confidential nature that would if disclosed prejudice the position of a person who supplied it.

 

That in accordance with the provisions of Section 11(2) of the Act, the reports and correspondence relating to these matters be withheld from the press and public.