AGENDA


Community and Culture Committee

 

Monday, 07 December 2020

6.00pm

 

Waratah Meeting Room (Ground Floor, Georges River Civic Centre, Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 2

 

          Community and Culture

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

COM049-20       Confirmation of the Minutes of the Community and Culture Committee meeting held on 9 November 2020

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

8.      COMMITTEE REPORTS

COM050-20       COVID-19 Georges River Library Debt Recovery and Management Plan

(Report by Manager Library Services)........................................................................ 9

COM051-20       Food Delivery Cyclists - Safety Campaign

(Report by Road Safety Officer)................................................................................ 12

COM052-20       Potential Multi-Purpose Community Hub in Riverwood/Peakhurst Park and Demolition of Scout Hall

(Report by Community Property Officer).................................................................. 16

COM053-20       Place Name Proposals for Beverly Hills, Penshurst and Hurstville

(Report by Coordinator, Library Operations)......................................................... 101

COM054-20       Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

(Report by Senior Project Officer)........................................................................... 108

COM055-20       Council Service Impact During the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Report by Director City Strategy and Innovation)............................................... 159  

 

 


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 3

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Item:                   COM049-20  Confirmation of the Minutes of the Community and Culture Committee meeting held on 9 November 2020 

Author:              Executive Services Officer

Directorate:      Office of the General Manager

Matter Type:     Previous Minutes

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Minutes of the Community and Culture Committee Meeting held on 9 November 2020 be confirmed.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Unconfirmed Minutes - Community and Culture Committee - 9 November 2020


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM049-20            Confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 November 2020

[Appendix 1]          Unconfirmed Minutes - Community and Culture Committee - 9 November 2020

 

 

Page 8

 


 


 


 


 

 


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 11

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Item:                   COM050-20  COVID-19 Georges River Library Debt Recovery and Management Plan  

Author:              Manager Library Services and Coordinator, Library Operations

Directorate:      Community and Culture

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

(a)     That Council notes the unrecoverable accumulated debt of library fines from the former  Hurstville City Council library management system of $310,863, and the former Kogarah City Council library management system of $221,098 and unidentified charges from both former Councils of $5,759.

 

(b)     That Council notes the actions taken by Council officers to recover the accumulated charges, as outlined in this report.

 

(c)     That Council approves the clearing from the library management system of the unrecoverable library debt from the former Hurstville and Kogarah Councils to the amount of $537,694 in accordance with the recommendations from the Georges River Council Debt Management and Recovery Audit 2019-2020.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      Georges River Council inherited debt in the amount of $537,694 from the former Hurstville City Council and Kogarah City Council from unpaid library fines.

2.      The Debt Management and Recovery Audit 2019-2020 outlined recommendations for Library Services to clear outstanding debt from library fines and implement initiatives to effectively manage and recover outstanding debt. Council’s COVID-19 Economic and Social Recovery Plan has outlined debt management and hardship support as part of phase 1 to provide swift and strategic action to assist the community and deliver ongoing services during these unprecedented and challenging times arising from COVID-19.

3.      Based on Council’s accounting policies, fine income is recognised as revenue when payment is received from the fine recipient. As per this policy the current value of unrecoverable library fines of $537,694 has not been accounted for as a receivable on Council’s balance sheet and is only accounted for as revenue on the Profit and Loss/Income Statement when the fine is paid. This treatment of library debt is consistent with practices in other NSW libraries consulted as part of the development of the COVID-19 Georges River Library Debt Recovery and Management Plan.

4.      The proposed clearing of the library fine balance from the unrecoverable former Hurstville and Kogarah Councils’ outstanding debt to the amount of $537,694 will not have a financial impact to Council’s current financial position as the outstanding debt is accounted for in the library management system.

5.      The debt is unrecoverable as the ability to and likelihood of recovery of library debt over 12 months old is unlikely, as patterns of payment of fines indicate recovery usually occurs within 3 to 4 months of the fine becoming due.

6.      As this debt of $537,694 is unrecoverable, Council clearing these debts will provide goodwill and will help remove the financial burden for the community especially due to the challenges arising from COVID-19.

BACKGROUND

7.      Georges River Council inherited the amount of $537,694 from the former Hurstville City Council and Kogarah City Council debt from unpaid library fines.

8.      Both former Councils did not clear their outstanding debt prior to amalgamation.

9.      The library members of the former Councils became members of Georges River Council.

10.    In order to review all outstanding debt, Council conducted the Debt Management and Recovery Audit in 2019-2020.

11.    The audit looked at the robustness of policies, systems, processes and controls relating to the debt management and recovery (rates and sundry debtor accounts) function to ensure all debts were managed and followed up in a timely manner and debt recovery actions were taken promptly to improve the collectability of the debt. The internal controls were also reviewed to assess their adequacy and effectiveness in reducing the potential for error and/or fraud and corruption.

12.    The audit outlined recommendations for Library Services to clear outstanding debt from library fines and implement initiatives to effectively manage and recover outstanding debt.

13.    Georges River Council’s COVID-19 Economic and Social Recovery Plan was approved by Council at the May 25 Council meeting. The plan is made up of three key phases in response to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses and the community at large, and complements packages being rolled out by the State and Federal governments. Phase 1 ‘Immediate Support’ provides actions to support businesses and the community, include a business support program, #WeAreInThisTogether campaign and the waiving or reduction of fees and charges.

14.    An analysis of debt up until 13 May 2016 (amalgamation date) and 21 November 2017 (date when the former Hurstville and Kogarah Council’s Library systems were aligned into the current Georges River Library system) has determined the amount of $537,694 to be unrecoverable debt, incorporating $310,863 from the former Hurstville Council, $221,098 from the former Kogarah Council and $5,759 in unidentified library debt from both the former Councils.

15.    Historical outstanding fines have been, and continue to be a challenge for Council operated libraries and is not unique to Georges River Council.

 

Clearing of former Hurstville and Kogarah Council unrecoverable debt

16.    It is recommended to clear the amount of $537,694 of unrecoverable debt, incorporating $310,863 from the former Hurstville Council, $221,098 from the former Kogarah Council and $5,759 in unidentified library debt from both the Councils.

17.    In the event that the Officer’s recommendation is approved by Council, the unrecoverable debt from the former Hurstville Council and Kogarah Council to the amount of $537,694 will be cleared by January 2021.

 

 

Ongoing management of outstanding Library debt

18.    The Library Debt Recovery and Management Plan includes practices which have improved the return of library items by the due date and the payment of library fines. This plan includes, for example:

·        Improved communication to library borrowers to remind customers of their obligations as members of the Library Service.

·        Implementation of an amnesty on remaining library fines in accordance with the approved Libraries 2030 Georges River Library Strategy to develop and implement an annual amnesty on fines for overdue items. This amnesty will encourage the return of library items and will be implemented in February 2021.

·        Implementation of a debt management plan to encourage customers to return overdue items and ensure customers pay outstanding fines in a timely fashion.

·        Ongoing audits of the library management system to systematically managed outstanding fines.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

19.    Based on Council’s accounting policies, fine income is recognised as revenue when payment is received from the fine recipient. As per this policy, the current value of unrecoverable library debt has not been accounted for as a receivable on Council’s balance sheet and is only accounted for as revenue on the Profit and Loss/Income Statement when the fine is paid.

20.    Therefore, the proposed clearance of the unrecoverable debt from former Hurstville Council and Kogarah Council to the amount of $537,694 will not have a financial impact to Council’s current financial position.

21.    As this debt of $537,694 is unrecoverable, Council clearing these debts will provide goodwill and will help remove the financial burden for the community especially due to the challenges arising from COVID-19.

22.    Since May 2016, Georges River Council has received and/or recovered library fines to the value of $98,085.

RISK IMPLICATIONS

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

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

24.    Community consultation will take place to promote the amnesty for fines and overdue items.

25.    A clear engagement program will be introduced to communicate customer responsibilities of fees and charges associated with overdue items.

FILE REFERENCE

D20/196887

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 15

Item:                   COM051-20  Food Delivery Cyclists - Safety Campaign  

Author:              Road Safety Officer and Community Safety Officer

Directorate:      Assets and Infrastructure

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

(a)     That Council writes to SafeWork NSW to advocate for access to Work Cover, as well as the provision of formalised training to support food delivery drivers in NSW;

(b)     That Council include a Food Delivery Bicycle Rider’s Safety campaign in the 2021/22 annual Road Safety Action Plan;

(c)     That Council partner with Transport for NSW to promote the ‘Go Together’ campaign to educate the local community on road safety rules to better protect bicycle riders and pedestrians.

 

Executive Summary

1.      This report is to advise Council of the findings of the investigation of food delivery cyclists parking areas throughout Council’s town centres.

Background

2.      At its meeting on 22 June 2020, Council resolved (NOM045-20):

(a)     That Council writes to the Member for Oatley, Mark Coure MP and the Minister for Transport, Member for Kogarah Chris Minns, Member for Lakemba Jihad Dib and Member for Rockdale Mr Steve Kamper, The Hon Andrew Constance MP to request a review of the NSW road rules, insurance, registrations and bicycle penalties to specifically address the safety concerns caused by the rapid increase in food delivery cyclists occupying footpaths within local shopping precincts.

(b)     That Council writes to the NSW Police St George Local Area Command to request additional enforcement of food delivery cyclists in local shopping precincts.

(c)     That Council officers investigate the establishment of a designated parking area for food delivery cyclists in the Council town centres and a report be presented to the Local Traffic Advisory Committee with the findings of the investigation.

(d)     That Council runs a safety campaign targeted at delivery drivers as part of the annual Road Safety Program.

3.      In November 2020, Council’s Road Safety Officer carried out site inspections of town centres within the LGA. The town centre locations below were inspected and the following bicycle parking areas identified:

Hurstville

-        Ormonde Parade

-        Dora Street

-        Humphries Lane

-        Crofts Avenue

-        Forest Road

-        Station Lane

Kogarah

-        Station Street

-        Railway Parade

Mortdale

-        George Street (2 locations)

-        Cook Street / Morts Road (corner)

Penshurst

-        Bridge Street

-        Penshurst Street

Oatley

-        Mulga Road

-        Oatley Parade

-        Mulga Road (near Coles)

-        Mulga Road/ Mi Mi Street (corner)

Riverwood

-        William Road

Allawah

-        Roberts Lane

4.      The above locations demonstrate that there are currently sufficient locations for food delivery riders to park their bicycles throughout town centres.

5.      Food delivery bicycle riders were also surveyed throughout town centres.

6.      The survey covered topics relating to understanding of road rules specific to a bicycle rider: if they felt safe while riding; if the company they work for provides enough information about road rules; and ways Council could help by providing more community-based information.

7.      Results from the surveys indicated that:

·        Most riders were aware of the road rules which applied to them as bicycle riders;

·        Riders are aware of where they can find more information on road rules;

·        Most riders were aware that they could be fined for riding on the footpath;

·        A mixed response to feeling of safety while riding with many stating that they did not feel comfortable on the road due to vehicles’ driver behaviour;

·        Many riders stated that the company they work for provided sufficient information about road rules;

·        Many riders stated that they would feel safer riding on the road if they had dedicated bicycle lane to ride in;

·        Majority of riders stated that it would be helpful if Council provided more education information.

8.      As a result of the survey, Council’s Road Safety Officer has developed a number of strategies that can be incorporated into a safety campaign targeted at delivery riders. Proposed strategies include the installation of decals on the footpath within town centres and educational posters which will be placed at restaurants frequently visited by delivery riders. The decals, similar to the ‘look out’ pedestrian decals, are thought to be an effective method to reinforce appropriate behaviour of delivery riders and increase pedestrian awareness. 

9.      A broad education campaign that targets, riders, drivers and pedestrians has been developed by Transport NSW called “Go Together”. The campaign covers rules and safety measures in place for sharing roads and footpaths with different methods of transport.

10.    Promotional material in the Go Together campaign promotes that drivers, bicycle riders and pedestrians all need to Go Together safely by covering:

·        Minimum distance requirements between bicycles and cars on shared roads;

·        Minimum distance requirements between bicycles and pedestrians on shared paths;

·        Exemptions to the rules;

·        Importance of bicycle riders carrying ID;

·        FAQs; and

·        Safe riding tips.

11.    It is proposed that Council partner with Transport NSW to promote the Go Together campaign to educate the community on following the rules and staying safe while sharing the roads as bicycle riders, motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians.

12.    Council can promote these safety messages to the Georges River community through communication packs provided by Transport NSW to Council Road Safety Officers. Promotion may be done through:

·        Community Magazine;

·        Council’s website and social media platforms;

·        Police outreach events;

·        Child restraint sessions;

·        Bicycle shops and delivery food outlets;

·        Hot Spot pop-up education stalls.

13.    Five delivery rider deaths have been recorded in NSW in two months. The NSW government has launched an investigation and recommended a taskforce to determine tighter safety regulations to protect food delivery riders.

14.    Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson said “the taskforce will look at potential avenues for regulatory reform to improve safety in the industry and assess safety measures currently implemented by each food delivery operator, and advise on any improvements needed to prevent further incidents.”

15.    As part of the broader education campaign for delivery riders, drivers and pedestrians, it is proposed that Council write to Safe Work NSW to advocate for formalised training, education, support and work cover for delivery riders, using Council’s survey of local delivery riders’ understanding and concerns for safety as support.

Financial Implications

16.    The cost of the education campaign is estimated to be $5,000.  This will be funded from the 2020/21 Road Safety budget allocation of $120,000.

Community Engagement

17.    Community engagement was conducted including a survey was conducted of food delivery bicycle riders over a period of a week.

File Reference

D20/280719

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 20

Item:                   COM052-20  Potential Multi-Purpose Community Hub in Riverwood/Peakhurst Park and Demolition of Scout Hall  

Author:              Community Property Officer

Directorate:      Community and Culture

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION:

(a)     That Council receive and note the condition assessment report for 7A Hedley Street Riverwood;

(b)     That, following surrender of the lease of 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood from Scouts Australia NSW, Council delegate to the General Manager the authority to take any necessary steps (including demolition of the building) to ensure that public safety is maintained at the site;

(c)     That Council seek grant funding opportunities for the future planning and development of 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood as a multi-purpose community hub designed to fulfil the future needs of the community.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.      On 27 July 2020, Council resolved (NM058-20):

(a)     That the General Manager prepare a condition assessment report that assesses the potential for renovation or rebuilding of the Peakhurst Scout Hall at 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood located in Peakhurst Park for utilisation by local community organisations; and

(b)     That the General Manager undertake consultation with relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to the Australian Scouts Association NSW and the Nepalese community, to determine the requirements for a multi-purpose hub for local community groups and to establish a model of shared usage between multiple stakeholder groups should the proposed new facility progress to construction.

2.      Council staff engaged professional services to assess the building and provide the following reports to Council: General Building Condition report; Structural Engineering report; and Hazardous Materials report.

3.      This report herewith provides an update on the condition assessment undertaken for the Community Hall at 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood (known as Peakhurst Scout Hall) and relevant community consultation on the requirements for a possible multi-purpose hub for the site as outlined in the resolution.

BACKGROUND

4.      The Interim Community Property Strategy, adopted by Council in November 2020 (COM043-20), identifies that Council’s Community Property portfolio has variable building conditions with many aging properties, particularly for Scouts and Girl Guides halls, and that opportunities exist to improve key properties in strategic locations, for example Peakhurst Scout Hall.

5.      The Scout Hall properties within the Portfolio were identified as being in the worst condition, with an average 1.4 star rating (out of a possible 5 stars), requiring major renovation or demolition and rebuild for these properties.

6.      Recommendations in the Strategy are that Council continue negotiations with the Scouts and Girl Guides associations to determine the current and potential utilisation, community expectations and needs, and future management of these properties.

7.      Action 5.1 within the Interim Community Property Strategy Action Plan is to obtain condition reports for key properties such as Peakhurst Scout Hall, and to repurpose excess properties to fulfil identified community needs.

8.      In August 2020, Council engaged Childs Property Services to conduct a Building Condition report for the property known as 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood (Peakhurst Scout Hall). The Building Condition report is detailed in this report (Attachment 1).

9.      Following recommendations found in the Building Condition report for 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood, in September 2020 Council engaged Cooper Construction Services (Lahiff Consulting Pty Ltd) and Clearsafe Environmental Solutions to provide a Structural Engineering and Hazardous Materials report, respectively.

10.    A summary of each report received by Council from the service suppliers for 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood is as noted below. Full details of each report may be found in Attachments 1, 2 and 3.

BUILDING CONDITION REPORT

11.    The Building Condition report undertaken by Childs Property Services reported the following major issues with the building:

·        External timbers have decayed and are aged and weathered;

·        Rust was noted to the steel lintels supporting the brickwork;

·        Rusting roofing sheets are visible;

·        Termite damage was observed in loose timber against wall of building and ceiling timbers.

Additional minor issues were also detected by the inspector. A full report of the findings from the Building Condition report is attached to this report (Attachment 1).

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REPORT

12.    The Hazardous Materials report undertaken by Clearsafe Environmental Solutions noted that asbestos was found in material samples throughout the walls and ceiling of the building. In addition, lead was found in the walls and window frames of the building. A full report of the findings from the Hazardous Materials report is attached to this report (Attachment 2).

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING REPORT

13.    The Structural Engineering report undertaken by Cooper Construction Services found the following major issues with the building:

·        External brick walls show evidence of vertical cracking in some areas of the external cavity brick walls;

·        Window and door lintels show evidence of cracking in the brick wall above the windows;

·        Lintels to the windows and doors around the building are corroding and causing lifting/cracking of the brickwork above the lintels;

·        Evidence of termite damaged timbers throughout the floor framing, wall framing, and roof framing was found;

·        The roof appears to be structurally unsound;

·        Timber roof truss framing appears to be very light weight construction, any plasterboard attached would overload the trusses.

 

14.    Due to the age of design and construction, the timber truss would not be suitably designed for current wind loading, uplift loading and maintenance access loading and not suitable for installation of solar panels. Roof sheeting throughout was found to be corrugated type sheeting with extensive rusting and holes throughout, leading to water ingress issues. A full report of the findings from the Structural Engineering report is attached to this report (Attachment 3).

SUMMARY OF CONDITION REPORTS

15.    From the findings of the three condition reports received above, major structural issues were found during each inspection as reported. Recommendations were made to replace the lintel supporting the roof, roof sheeting, check for further termite damage throughout the building and replace parts where damaged, remove or stabilise presence of lead and confirm asbestos onsite prior to refurbishment or demolition.

16.    The reports collectively recommend extensive remedial and structural works in order for the community hall to be maintained for its current usage and to comply with current Australian Standards.  The cost of these works are estimated as being not economically viable.

17.    Due to the age and condition of the building and the extensive remedial works required to ensure the safety of the community and to mitigate risk of liability to Council, it is strongly recommended that the building be immediately demolished rather than any attempt to remediate.

18.    Scouts Australia NSW hold a 21-year lease for the Hedley St property, which expires in December 2021. The tenant has advised Council that it does not wish to continue its occupation of 7A Hedley Street, Riverwood.

19.    From findings reported in the condition reports, the following actions have been undertaken by Council staff to ensure safety of the public and the legal obligations of Council are met:

i.     The tenant (Scouts Australia NSW) has been notified and negotiations commenced for the surrender of the lease for the property before 31 December 2020;

ii.    Fencing installed around the site to ensure no public access;

iii.   Signage installed advising of the presence of asbestos;

iv.   Property added to Council’s asbestos register;

v.    Section 149 certificate updated to include an asbestos warning;

vi.   Notified Council’s Insurers; and

vii.  Updated the valuation register.

20.    These actions were communicated to Councillors by way of information placed in the Councillor Information Bulletin in November 2020 and an associated memorandum on the Councillor Portal.

STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION

21.    As part of the Interim Community Property Strategy development, Council undertook stakeholder engagement throughout July and August 2020 to better understand stakeholders’ and the community’s requirements for Council’s community properties. The feedback from the engagement showed a strong desire for a community centre in the western part of the city and co-location with other similar community groups to better service the community.

22.    Workshops were held with stakeholders including current tenants, prospective future tenants, sporting groups, arts and culture groups, service providers, not-for-profit community groups and members of the wider Georges River community.

23.    Consultation with Scouts Australia NSW was conducted between July and November 2020 regarding its tenancy at Peakhurst Scout Hall and other properties within the portfolio.

24.    Consultation with the Nepalese Australian Association (NAA) was conducted in September 2020 and early October 2020. The feedback from these meetings indicated the NAA would expect asset ownership in return for any significant financial contribution to the build. In addition the NAA indicated a strong mandate from their community that they are seeking to reflect their sense of pride in their community through either asset ownership or reflection in the features of the building, for example structural design and/or naming of the facility.

25.    These requests are not consistent with Council’s approved Community Lease Policy (2020), which indicates that an open Expression of Interest would need to be undertaken for lease of a community facility, irrespective of any financial contribution to the construction of the building, which would be seen as a donation by way of a separate Memorandum of Understanding.

26.    Additional stakeholder consultation was conducted with Council’s Community Property tenants in October and November 2020 via a survey to ascertain stakeholder requirements for a possible future multi-purpose community hub. The stakeholder key findings from the survey indicated interest in co-locating options, however cited security of a shared premises as a factor that may hinder co-locating. In addition to co-location, stakeholders indicated that key desirable features for community centres are the provision of multiple storerooms and segregated gender amenities facilities.

27.    Council’s Community Lease Policy (2020) stipulates that “8.1 All leases or licences (and other types of agreements) of community facilities (excluding ground lease or licences) will be subject to an open and competitive process such as tender or expression of interest in cases where, in Council’s view, a facility has been underutilised or becomes vacant”.

28.    Should Council determine to rebuild the Community Hall in the future, an open expression of interest process would be undertaken to select a suitable tenant or tenants under the principles of the Community Lease Policy (2020).

29.    The recommendations made in the attached condition reports should be considered when Council determines a new build of the Community Hall.

30.    Council officers will continue to seek grant funding opportunities as well as community partner contributions in order to redevelop the site as a potential multi-purpose community hub.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

31.    Expenditure totalling $6,291.60 (including GST) was allocated from the 2020/21 Community Property Operating Budget for the General Building Condition report, Structural Engineering report, and Hazardous Materials report.

32.    Estimated costs of the demolition of the existing building are approximately $100,000, taking into account remediation of any identified and unidentified latent hazardous materials. Demolition will be funded from the 2020/21 operational budget for Assets and Infrastructure.

33.    No financial allocation has been made for building repairs associated with the three attached reports received by Council. Should Council resolve to renovate or rebuild this facility, the financial implications will be provided in a future report.

RISK IMPLICATIONS

34.    As detailed in the attached reports, there are concerns relating to structural integrity and hazardous materials located within the building. A barrier fence has been erected preventing public access to the site, mitigating risk to the public. The tenant (Scouts Australia NSW) was contacted and notified to install signage at the property advising that asbestos is contained on the site.

35.    It is recommended that, following surrender of the lease from Scouts Australia NSW, the building be demolished to ensure that public safety can be maintained at the site.

36.    As hazardous materials have been identified in the building reports, additional contingency for any demolition works is required due to the identified and unidentifiable latent conditions involved in the demolition process.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

37.   The following community engagement was conducted between July and November 2020.

i.     Online survey through Your Say and community focus groups throughout July and August 2020;

ii.    Consultation with Scouts Australia NSW was conducted between July and November 2020. Scouts Australia NSW advised Council that it does not wish to continue its occupation of 7a Hedley St, Riverwood;

iii.   Consultation with the Nepalese Australian Association in September and October 2020. Discussions with the Nepalese Australian Association are continuing to date;

iv.   A stakeholder survey was conducted with Council’s Community Property stakeholders in October and November 2020 to gather community requirements for a Community Hall.

FILE REFERENCE

D20/224198

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

General Building Condition Report

Attachment 2

Structural Engineering Report

Attachment 3

Hazardous Materials Report

 


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM052-20            Potential Multi-Purpose Community Hub in Riverwoord/Peakhurst Park and Demolition of Scout Hall

[Appendix 1]          General Building Condition Report

 

 

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Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM052-20            Potential Multi-Purpose Community Hub in Riverwoord/Peakhurst Park and Demolition of Scout Hall

[Appendix 2]          Structural Engineering Report

 

 

Page 82

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM052-20            Potential Multi-Purpose Community Hub in Riverwoord/Peakhurst Park and Demolition of Scout Hall

[Appendix 3]          Hazardous Materials Report

 

 

Page 99

 


 


 


 


 


 


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 106

Item:                   COM053-20  Place Name Proposals for Beverly Hills, Penshurst and Hurstville 

Author:              Coordinator, Library Operations

Directorate:      Community and Culture

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

(a)     That the following names are submitted to the NSW Geographical Names Board for gazettal:

i.        Assign the name “Annie Twiss Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located between Gloucester Road to Illawarra Parade, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 3”.

ii.       Assign the name “Alan Jock Marshall Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located between Gloucester Road and Cahill Street, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 2”.

iii.      Assign the name “Rainbow Lorikeet Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located alongside Gloucester Road from the corner of Stoney Creek Road, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 4”.

iv.      Assign the name “Dumbleton Lane” to the unnamed road between Edgbaston Road and Stoney Creek Road (running parallel to King Georges Road).

v.       Assign the name “McCready Lane” to the unnamed road between Edgbaston Road and Stoney Creek Road (running parallel to Melvin Street).

vi.      Assign the name “Rudduck Lane” to the unnamed road between Melvin Street and King Georges Road.

vii.     Assign the name “Kintail Street” to the eastern section of Princes Street between Grove Avenue and Laycock Road in Mortdale.

(b)     That following the Geographical Names Board gazettal of the names, the outcome is reported on Council’s website.

(c)     Council rescind its previous endorsement of the “Warwick Reserve” proposal to name the currently unnamed reserve located on the corner of Gloucester Road and Warwick Street, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 5”.

(d)     That the following name is endorsed by Council and placed on public exhibition in accordance with the Georges River Place Naming Policy:

i.        Assign the name “Meryl Burton Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located on the corner of Gloucester Road and Warwick Street, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 5”.   

(e)     That following community feedback to prioritise Aboriginal place names, Council consult with the Georges River Aboriginal Reference Group and the Local Aboriginal Land Councils to determine appropriate names for future naming opportunities.

 

 

Executive Summary

1.      The Georges River Place Naming Policy was revised and adopted on 16 December 2019 (COM052-19). The Policy provides a naming convention for all Council assets such as roads and reserves, with the aim of ensuring efficient way-finding for the community, essential utilities and emergency services.

2.      Council resolved on 13 July 2020 (COM026-20) to endorse a proposal to assign names to various roads and reserves in Beverly Hills, Penshurst and Hurstville. In accordance with the Georges River Place Naming Policy the proposal was put on public exhibition from 31 July 2020 to 17 September 2020.

3.      During the public exhibition period, the majority of respondents were in favour of the naming proposals. Some feedback was received in relation to road name proposals which is provide in this report. There was also some feedback received in relation to a lack of names that reflect the area’s Aboriginal history.

4.      During the public exhibition period, the NSW Geographical Names Board advised that the proposal for “Warwick Reserve” and the proposal for “AJ Marshall Reserve”, both adjoining Gloucester Road in Beverly Hills, need to be revised. 

Background

5.      The proposed place names that were endorsed by Council on 13 July 2020 for public exhibition were developed in accordance with the requirements of the Georges River Place Naming Policy. Under that policy, names are required to be appropriate to the physical, historical and cultural character of the area. Names are recommended when a clear connection to place can be shown. Research and selection of names is done according to the identified priorities in Section 2 of the Policy and include: Aboriginal history, heritage and culture; early settlers; historically significant people, activities and industries, and; gender diversity.

6.      The place naming proposals that were put on public exhibition from 31 July 2020 to 17 September 2020 were as follows:

(a)     Assign the name “Annie Twiss Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located between Gloucester Road to Illawarra Parade, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 3”.

(b)     Assign the name “Warwick Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located on the corner of Gloucester Road and Warwick Street, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 5”.

(c)     Assign the name “AJ Marshall Reserve” to the currently unnamed reserve located between Gloucester Road and Cahill Street, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 2”.

(d)     Assign the name “Rainbow Lorikeet Reserve” to currently unnamed reserve located alongside Gloucester Road from the corner of Stoney Creek Road, informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 4”.

(e)     Assign the name “Dumbleton Lane” to the unnamed road between Edgbaston Road and Stoney Creek Road (running parallel to King Georges Road).

(f)      Assign the name “McCready Lane” to the unnamed road between Edgbaston Road and Stoney Creek Road (running parallel to Melvin Street).

(g)     Assign the name “Rudduck Lane” to the unnamed road between Melvin Street and King Georges Road.

(h)     Assign the name “Kintail Street” to the eastern section of Princes Street between Grove Avenue and Laycock Road in Mortdale.

 

Summary of community feedback

7.      Thirty-two responses were received from the community during the public exhibition period via telephone, letter, email and the Your Say website.

8.      While the majority of the submissions were supportive of the naming proposals, of the thirty-two responses received from the community, twelve (31%) responses contained feedback in relation to one or more of the naming proposals.

9.      The feedback received from the community during the public exhibition period is outlined in the table below:

Theme

Feedback

Historic names

·    There was general support for the recommended names and their connection to the history of the local government area (LGA).

·    There was recognition of the opportunity provided by these proposals to learn about and preserve the history of the LGA.

·    One response suggested that the name Dumbleton should not be reinstated for a road in Beverly Hills

Council response

·    Research is undertaken to ensure all proposed names comply with policy requirements and have a strong link to the roads and places to be named.

·    Council Officers will continue to share research about the history of Georges River through the Local Studies collections in the libraries, exhibitions and other means.

·    The name Dumbleton is an important part of the origin of the suburb now known as Beverly Hills and is worthy of preservation. There is no other existing recognition of the name in the area.

Preference for Aboriginal names

·    There was support for the use of Aboriginal names for road and place names.

·    There was feedback that the area already has enough names derived from early settlers.

Council response:

·    It is not always possible to identify Aboriginal names that are appropriately connected to a place.

·    To ensure culturally appropriate and sensitive naming of roads and reserves, Council Officers will work with the Georges River Council Aboriginal Reference Group, the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council for the identification and recommendation of Aboriginal names where possible.

Road name changes are unnecessary

Some community feedback suggested that:

·    Road naming is a waste of money

·    Road naming now will cause confusion

·    Road naming will cause too much development

Council response:

·    Council undertakes naming and renaming of roads only when it is required. The reason for these road name proposals has been outlined in the previous report to Council on 13 July 2020 (COM026-20) and stems from Council’s strict obligation to provide addresses that comply with NSW government policy. It is not possible to have unnamed roads or to have existing roads that cannot have addresses (house numbers) added to them. 

·    The cost of new road signs to Council is covered by NSW Government Traffic Facilities Grant funding. The road name proposals do not require any existing addresses to change.

·    Clear road names actually reduce confusion, allowing emergency services, essential utilities and the general public to find their way safely and efficiently.  

·    Development of land in Georges River is subject to existing planning rules and controls.

 

10.    Advice received from the NSW Geographical Names Board during the public exhibition period is outlined in the table below:

“Warwick Reserve” proposal

·    This name duplicates the unregistered name of a reserve in Rockdale and cannot be used.

Council response:

·    An alternative name for the reserve in honour of “Meryl Burton” has been identified and is outlined below.

“AJ Marshall Reserve” proposal

·    The use of initials is no longer allowed.

·    The use of a full name will be allowed.

Council response:

·    The proposed name “AJ Marshall Reserve” is therefore amended to “Alan Jock Marshall Reserve” to correspond with the name the famous naturalist was most known by.

 

11.    NSW Geographical Names Board requires Council to assign names to all the unnamed reserves adjoining Gloucester Road. The Board identified the need to name these reserves when they accepted but suspended gazettal of Council’s previous request (following Council’s decision on 23 April 2019 (COM009-19)) to assign the name “Gloucester Reserve” to the reserve informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 1”. After an initial review, the Board has not found any issue with Council’s current proposal to assign the name “Annie Twiss Reserve” to the reserve informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 3” or to assign the name “Rainbow Lorikeet Reserve” to the reserve informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 4”.

 

12.    A map of the reserves adjoining Gloucester Road:

 

 

13.    In the matter of the original proposal to assign the name “Warwick Reserve” to the reserve informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 5”, the new name “Meryl Burton Reserve” is now recommended. Meryl (Merle) Burton was a long term resident of Hurstville, living nearby the reserve in Carrington Avenue. She maintained a continuing involvement with a number of community associations and bodies throughout her life. Among the many local groups to which Mrs Burton contributed were the Roselands Red Cross, the Hurstville Historical Society, the Hurstville Community Committee and the NSW Justices' Association. Mrs Burton received a Queen's Birthday honour in 1990 and died in 2004. No alternative Aboriginal names have been identified regarding this location.

14.    In the matter of the original proposal to assign the name “AJ Marshall Reserve” to the reserve informally known as “Gloucester Road Reserve No. 2” the proposed name will be amended to reflect the person’s full name “Alan Jock Marshall Reserve” in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Geographical Names Board.

15.    The use of full names for these reserves complies with place naming requirements and is consistent with other reserves which have been endorsed by Georges River Council including Edith Blake Reserve in Kogarah and Annie Twiss Reserve in Beverly Hills. 

Financial Implications

16.    Within budget allocation.

17.    Should the proposed road names be endorsed by Council and then assigned by the Geographical Names Board, new signage will be required.

18.    Signage for the four reserves will cost approximately $900 each, a total of $3,600 and will be jointly funded from the Parks budget cost centre 679001.6000.62358 and the Parks Maintenance budget cost centre 40.5722.1001.61001.

19.    The cost of new road signs is approximately $250 per sign. The total estimated cost to put road signs at each required intersection is $4,250. The specific cost for the proposal to rename the eastern section of Princes Street, Penshurst is $1,500 for signs at all 6 intersections of that section of road. The cost of road signs to Council is covered by NSW Traffic Facilities Grant funding.

Risk Implications

20.    Failure to undertake the road name change for Princes Street, Mortdale will mean that new addresses cannot be added to the road if they are required in future in accordance with the NSW Addressing Policy.

Community Engagement

21.    Should the new name proposal for “Meryl Burton Reserve” be endorsed by Council, community consultation will be conducted. Community engagement will include Council’s Your Say website.

22.    Community engagement for the original proposed names was conducted for 49 days from 31 July 2020 to 17 September 2020.

File Reference

D20/280248

 

 

 

  


Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 109

Item:                   COM054-20  Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs 

Author:              Senior Project Officer

Directorate:      City Strategy and Innovation

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

(a)     That Council endorse the four final concept designs attached to this report for the Hurstville Revitalisation Project.

(b)     That Council endorse the detailed designs for Palm Court and MacMahon Courtyard to enable, upon receipt of adequate grant funding, construction to proceed.

 

Executive Summary

1.      The Hurstville Revitalisation Project was developed to enhance          the Hurstville City Centre          through the delivery of quality green open space and innovative public domain           improvements. The project will improve open space, connections and walkability in key     areas within the City Centre and deliver on multipurpose open spaces for the      community.

2.      GSA was engaged by Council to prepare concept designs for:

·    Palm Court

·    Memorial Square

·    Forest Road

·    MacMahon Courtyard

 

          The final designs have been prepared following consideration of the submissions received during the exhibition of the draft concept designs. 

3.      The final concept designs for the four sites are attached to this report as Attachment 1. GSA has prepared the detailed construction designs for Palm Court and MacMahon Courtyard to support grant funding applications and enable a swift construction timetable once funding is secured. These detailed designs are attached (attachments 2, 3, 4 and 5).

4.      The final concept designs were presented to Councillors through an e-briefing on 16 November 2020.

5.      The Key elements of the detailed design for Palm Court are:

·    Elements of play

·    Tree planting for shade

·    Dual purpose landscape fixtures (ie seating and edges)

·    Smart furniture – solar powered charging stations

·    Shade Structures

·    Turf areas

·    Improved lighting

·    Short term parking

6.      The key elements of the detailed design for MacMahon Courtyard are:

·    Consistent paving treatment

·    Large planters to increase canopy cover, provide shade and for vehicle mitigation

·    Furniture – seating and tables

·    Shade structures

·    Improved access to site

·    Smart furniture – solar power charging stations

Background

7.      The Hurstville Revitalisation Project responds directly to the Hurstville City Centre Urban    Design Strategy, endorsed by Council in June 2018, and the Hurstville Heart of the City         Place Strategy, endorsed by Council on December 2019.

8.      Council embarked on the Hurstville Revitalisation Project, a city shaping project identified to deliver quality green open space and innovative public domain improvements in key           areas within the city centre. This project will deliver multipurpose open spaces for the     community – a key priority for Council.   

Financial Implications

9.      No budget impact for this report.

10.    Funding is being sought for the capital works for these key projects through available         grant           funding opportunities. Council is actively seeking to secure funding for these projects         to           commence construction in 2021/22 financial year.

Risk Implications

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

Community Engagement

12.  Community engagement was conducted from June 2019 through to September 2020 as      the concepts evolved. This engagement included:

·    Parking survey to understand current users of Palm Court car park

·    Direct correspondence with key external stakeholders, including adjoining landowners and businesses and the RSL (in relation to the Memorial Square)

·    Draft concept designs on Your Say from 25 August 2020 – 22 September 2020

13.   There were eight submissions received and feedback was overall very positive, with strong support for the greening of Hurstville, increased public spaces, bike parking and public art. The RSL supported the concept and has requested the inclusion of appropriate flag poles within Memorial Square, which has been accommodated in the final design. There were 2 submissions arguing that Palm Court should remain as a car park.  

14.  The final design of Palm Court retains 10 parking spaces and the new public space will attract visitors to Hurstville and encourage visitors to linger supporting more local businesses. The parking survey conducted in late 2019 demonstrated that the Palm Court car park is used for short term stays or single visit trips, such as banking or waiting to pick someone up from the station, which do not support local business spend or the vibrancy of the centre.

File Reference

D20/264119

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Hurstville Public Domain_Concept all sites (1)

Attachment 2

MacMahon Detailed design 2

Attachment 3

MacMahon Detailed Design

Attachment 4

Palm Court Detailed 2

Attachment 5

Palm Court Detailed Design

 


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM054-20            Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

[Appendix 1]          Hurstville Public Domain_Concept all sites (1)

 

 

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Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM054-20            Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

[Appendix 2]          MacMahon Detailed design 2

 

 

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Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM054-20            Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

[Appendix 3]          MacMahon Detailed Design

 

 

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Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM054-20            Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

[Appendix 4]          Palm Court Detailed 2

 

 

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Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM054-20            Hurstville Revitalisation Project - Final Concept and Detailed Designs

[Appendix 5]          Palm Court Detailed Design

 

 

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Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 7 December 2020                                                     Page 163

Item:                   COM055-20  Council Service Impact During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Author:              Director City Strategy and Innovation

Directorate:      City Strategy and Innovation

Matter Type:     Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

That Council receive and note the impact on Council services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledges the work, resilience and commitment of the staff during this period to continue to provide services in the rapidly changing and uncertain environment.

 

Executive Summary

1.      Council is operating and providing local government services in unique circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our experiences during this time will be recorded by and reflected on by others in years to come.

2.      The last pandemic was 101 years ago and unlike other world events, the pandemic affects everyone in the world at the same time. While this allows council to learn from the experiences of others it limits the opportunity to seek assistance. Perhaps at no time in our history will collaboration and partnership be such an essential part of our new Business As Usual.  We cannot thrive without working with others.

3.      This report provides Council with an overview of how the pandemic has affected our service delivery and how we have adjusted and become more agile to respond to the changed business environment.

4.      There have been adjustments to the way Council operates and provides services that are necessary only due to the constraints of the pandemic and there are other changes that will continue to be used post pandemic. An example on this is on-line webinars for community engagement. While we all look forward to getting back to face to face community engagement, there will always be members of our community unable to leave their homes or not able to attend a face to face workshop, the continued use of webinars will increase our tools for engagement post the pandemic.

5.      This report provides an overview of the impact of the pandemic on our services to the community. One of our key lessons from this time is that a week (even a day) is a long time during a pandemic and therefore it is important to say that the information in this report is correct only at time of writing.

6.      A key challenge for Council during this time was the lack of responsiveness from the Office of Local Government to provide advice and guidance to local government on the implications of the NSW Health Orders on the operations of Council.  In some instances advice was provided to councils more than 28 days after the Public Health Order was gazetted.  Council’s leadership filled this vacuum with a clear plan, and quick and decisive actions which led Council and our community safely through the changing and very uncertain environment.

7.      Georges River Council has demonstrated during this time that it is responsive, resourceful, resilient, agile, flexible, adaptable and compassionate and at all times makes the health of our community, customers and staff our first priority.

Background

8.      Google recently released data on how the use of public spaces has been affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately Google may not have caught up with all the new LGA boundaries post-2016 so Georges River data is shown as Hurstville and Kogarah. The data for both areas is very similar. 

9.      Overall the Google mobility data confirms what we have experienced, especially in terms of visitor to our parks which is up by about 70% over the pre-COVID baseline. The following table summarises the data for NSW which is much higher than the data for all of NSW.

Google Mobility DATA September 2020

 

NSW

Hurstville

Kogarah

Bayside

Bankstown

Retail and Recreation

-13%

-17%

+14

-19

+1

Supermarkets and pharmacy

+3%

+12%

No data

+12

+17

Parks

+11%

+69%

+70%

+25

+71%

Public transport

-38%

-20%

-21%

-69%

-19%

Work places

-18%

-22%

-23%

-28%

-13%

Residential

+8%

+9%

+9%

+12

+6%

10.    The attached report provides detail of how the pandemic has affected our services. For ease of presentation information is presented by directorate in the attached report.

11.    Key impacts can be summarised as:

a.      Reduced direct face to face contact

b.      Temporary closure of services and facilities

c.       Changed operation of services and facilities (for reduced number of customers)

d.      Reduction in events and attendance in events

e.      Loss of income

12.    The NSW Government introduced local government legislative amendments to support councils, ratepayers, residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes helped to ensure councils have flexibility to appropriately manage their finances and staff while protecting their community from increasing financial pressures during these difficult times.

13.    The local government changes included:

·        Allowing councils to apply IPART’s annual rate peg more flexibly to respond to short-term changes in their community’s ability to pay, while ensuring long-term financial sustainability.

·        Preventing councils from instigating legal action to recover rates and charges for a period of six months unless financial hardship provisions are considered.

·        Providing employees with greater flexibility around annual and long service leave entitlements to assist councils to minimise job losses and manage and retain staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

·        Removing the requirement for documents to be made available for inspection at council offices, if the document is published on the council’s website or available electronically.

·        Allowing council meetings to be conducted in an on-line environment.

·        Postponement of the election to September 2021.

14.    A brief summary of the impacts on services appears below.

Community and Culture Directorate - Overview

15.    During this period, there has been 100 less events conducted, 5,000 fewer visitors to our customer Service Centres, there were 158,000 fewer visitors to the libraries, 49,000 and fewer visitors to the Hurstville Entertainment Centre.

16.    There were changes to children services during this time, this included temporary and ongoing closure of centres due to lack of patronage.

17.    There were changes to library services during this time, this included temporary and ongoing closure of libraries due to the inability of those facilities to comply with the NSW government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan for Libraries.

Environment and Planning Directorate - Overview

18.    There has been a 9.8% increase in illegal dumping instances throughout the LGA. This has resulted in an increase in tonnages of waste disposed of and an increase in cost to provide this service to the community.

19.    There has been no significant change to the development activity during this period compared to the same period in the previous financial year.

20.    Pre-lodgement meetings have been conducted via Skype during this period with positive reaction and feedback from proponents and their consultants. There was also an increase in large scale projects for pre-lodgement discussions.

21.    On 31 March 2020, COVID-19 restrictions and advice from NSW Food Authority placed a hold on non-urgent inspections including routine food premises inspections. This allowed Environmental Health Officers to concentrate on contributing their efforts in enforcing and educating parts of the Public Health Orders which they are authorised under the Public Health Act 2010.   

22.    Council changed parking enforcement during the height on the lock-down period to focus on safety and “red zones”. There was a reduction in the number of parking fines issued.

23.    There was a considerable reduction (26%) in trade (commercial) waste generated for disposal from a comparable period. There has been a 6% increase in the volume of waste produced within the community through bulky waste clean-up and illegally dumped waste.

Business and Corporate Services

24.    Staff turnover has been lower during this period and training has moved to an on-line environment.  Interviews for job candidates also moved to on-line.

25.    Income from commercial car parking was down approximately $276,000 and income from commercial leases is also lower than budgeted. This is approximately $22,000 per month.

26.    Allowing more work from home (WFR) arrangement to reduce the risk of infection spread in the workforce has demonstrated that we may be able to permit more flexible work arrangements in the future which would further enhance our reputation as an employee of choice.

Preliminary Impact of COVID-19 on the Georges River Community and payment of Rates and Charges

27.    Council experienced a loss of $600,000 (3%) in forecast rates and charges cash receipts. Business ratepayers were the highest with a 7% decrease.

28.    There was a 13% increase in the total value outstanding compared to the prior year.

29.    However, in relation to reminder notices sent to eligible pensioners, there was little change with only a minor drop in number of reminder notices sent and a decrease in the total value outstanding compared to the prior year (2018/19).

Preliminary Details of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Operating Position and Cash Balances

30.    Finalisation of the 2019/20 year end results is underway and the figures presented in this report are preliminary. This means that final figures presented in the audited financial statements to Council may differ.

31.    Council has dropped $2.5 million (10%) in cash receipts. This figure does not account for the increases in income each year, such as the rate peg and fees and charges increase. This results in a loss/decline of $3.2 million (12%) in the quarter.

32.    The largest decreases were in the Leisure Centres, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Parks, Childcare, Public Halls and business rates.

33.    In terms of council’s Income (Profit and Loss) Statement operating result, council’s 2019/20 adopted budgeted operating deficit is $7.9 million.

34.    Preliminary results indicate that council’s year end results will be closer to an operating deficit of approximately $12 million, after depreciation and debt write offs are finalised. The preliminary operating result as at 22 July 2020 is a $10.7 million deficit (estimate only). 

35.    This is a decline of approximately $4 - $5 million to council’s original adopted budgeted deficit.

36.    As the Profit and Loss Statement doesn’t account for debts outstanding i.e. cash payments, rates, charges and other income owed to council, income may be inflated and will be reflected in the Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position).

37.    In terms of anticipated changes to the final 2019/20 results, the comprehensive revaluations are underway and therefore depreciation, is likely to change. In addition the bad debt provision for 2019/20 and new accounting standards treatment of grant income is under review. 

 

 

Preliminary Details of the Forecast Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic 2020/21 Financial Year

38.    The adopted 2020/21 budget has not factored in impacts to income and expenditure of the COVID-19 pandemic on key affected services. This decision is based on critical factors being unknown, such as the scale of the financial impact, the length of time Government Orders will remain in place and financial support packages required.

39.    Over the coming months, Council will better understand the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on our community and on our operations. Therefore, if major changes are required, these will be factored into quarterly reviews as previously agreed by Council.

Assets and Infrastructure - Overview

40.    The key impacts have been modification to the way outdoor services have been provided.

Project Delivery

41.    Some delay in awarding contracts to manage potential risk and unexpected increase in tender prices which was also experienced by other local governments.

Premium Facilities

42.    All premium facilities have been affected to some degree. Jubilee Netstrata Stadium, while initially closed was eventually used for a number of NRL under amended crowd conditions.   This involved extensive negotiations with the NRL. The Golf Courses and tennis facilities remained open, but with restriction, during this period.  Our aquatic facilities were also closed during this time and have reopened with restrictions.

Infrastructure

43.    There was a delay in starting the winter sports season as all community sport responded to the new health requirements and there has been an increase in demand for casual park bookings, including higher demand for park weddings and fitness trainers.

Engineering Operations

44.    There a quick and agile response to work, including the mobile Service Delivery Teams working 12 hour shifts. New signage was developed and installed, and parks and other facilities were closed and reopened in quick response to changing health orders. The team also responded to increase service requests as there was an increase in maintenance request when facilities were closed.  There was a decline in service requests associated with graffiti.

Office of the General Manager - overview

45.    The Public Health Orders and the directions from the Office of Local Government required significant changes to the way statutory Council meetings were conducted.  Council moved to an on-line meeting environment very quickly.   

46.    Existing technology was adapted to allow for on-line Council and Committee meetings, where Councillors and staff attended online. The community was still able to view the meetings and submissions were read out to the meeting by a member of staff. More recently a blended environment for these meetings has been possible as the Health Orders have changed and persons have been allowed to leave their place of residence to attend work. This has enabled some staff and Councillors to attend in person.  The public has been able to attend online and deliver their submissions remotely.

47.    The Public Health Orders have also limited public gatherings and face to face meetings in a number of circumstances including Courts, site meetings, community engagement and pre-lodgement meetings. In all cases the community, customers and staff have quickly adapted to various on-line systems included Skype, Zoom and Teams.  It is not surprising that the phrase of the year is “you are on mute”.

City Strategy and Innovation – overview

48.    Council’s communication digital communication channels, especially the website was critical to keeping our community informed on changes to services and where to find more information.

 

49.    New community engagement methods, including webinars, were used to replace standard face to face and hard copy methods which were prohibited under the Public Health Orders.

 

 Financial Implications

50.    No budget impact for this report however the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic has been and will be reported as part of quarterly budget reports.

Risk Implications

51.    Enterprise risk/s identified and management process applied. The Pandemic and its impact on the services council provides and the costs/expenses we face and the income council may receive is a significant risk for the organisation and requires constant monitoring and corrective action.

Community Engagement

52.    This is a report for the information of Council and community engagement is not required, however there has been extensive work undertaken.

File Reference

D20/270538

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

COVID-19 Impact on Council Services

 


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 7 December 2020

COM055-20            Council Service Impact During the COVID-19 Pandemic

[Appendix 1]          COVID-19 Impact on Council Services

 

 

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