AGENDA


Environment and Planning Committee

 

Monday, 08 February 2021

7.00pm

 

Dragon Room (Level 1,Georges River Civic Centre,

Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Georges River Council –        Environment and Planning -  Monday, 8 February 2021                                                     Page 1

 

          Environment and Planning

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

ENV001-21       Confirmation of the Environment and Planning Committee minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2020

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

8.      COMMITTEE REPORTS

ENV002-21       Adoption of Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021

(Report by Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services)...................... 10  

 

 


Georges River Council –        Environment and Planning -  Monday, 8 February 2021                                                     Page 1

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Item:                   ENV001-21   Confirmation of the Environment and Planning Committee minutes held on 7 December 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 7 December 2020 be confirmed.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee - 7/12/2020


Georges River Council –        Environment and Planning -  Monday, 8 February 2021                                                     Page 1

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES


Environment and Planning Committee

 

Monday, 07 December 2020

7.00pm

 

 

Dragon Room (Level 1, Georges River Civic Centre,

Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PRESENT

COUNCIL MEMBERS

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

COUNCIL STAFF

Director Environment and Planning - Meryl Bishop,  Manager Development and Building - Ryan Cole, Manager Strategic Planning - Catherine McMahon, Manager Office of the General Manager - Roxanne Thornton, Executive Services Officer - Marina Cavar and Executive Assistant to the Director Environment and Planning - Leanne Allen (Minutes).

OPENING

Councillor Hindi, opened the meeting at 7.18pm.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

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

APOLOGIES/LEAVE OF ABSENCE  

There were no apologies or requests for leave of absence.

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING

The Chairperson, Councillor Hindi, 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

There were no disclosures of interest made.

PUBLIC FORUM

ITEM

SPEAKER

ENV048-20: Report on submissions- Planning Proposal for the reclassification of Taylors Reserve, Lugarno

Russell Green

ENV048-20: Report on Submissions - Planning Proposal for the reclassification of Taylors Reserve, Lugarno

Kay Low

 


 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

ENV047-20       Confirmation of the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 November 2020

(Report by Executive Services Officer)

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Badalati and Councillor Katris

That the Minutes of the Environment and Planning Committee Meeting held on 9 November 2020 be confirmed.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

COMMITTEE REPORTS

ENV048-20       Report on Submissions - Planning Proposal for the Reclassification of Taylors Reserve, Lugarno

(Report by Coordinator Strategic Planning)

MOTION: Councillor Katris

(a)     That Council note the submissions received during the public exhibition of the Planning Proposal PP2017/0003.

(b)     That Council adopt the proposed amendments to Hurstville Local Environmental Plan 2012 as exhibited in relation to part of Lot 1 and whole of Lot 2 DP1200078, Taylors Reserve, Lugarno to:

a.      Amend Part 2 to Schedule 4 of HLEP 2012 to include Lot 2 and part of Lot 1 in Deposited Plan 1200178 and noting in Column 3 Any trusts etc not discharged as Reservations to the Crown Grant and minerals; and

b.      Add a new map to HLEP 2012 titled ‘Land Reclassification (Part Lots) Map - Sheet RPL_003’ which identifies part of Lot 1 in Deposited Plan 1200178 outlined in red as ‘Operational Land’.

(c)     That Council forward the Planning Proposal for gazettal to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in accordance with Section 3.36 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

(d)     That all persons who made a submission to the Planning Proposal be advised of Council’s decision.

(e)    i    Council Officers are to proceed with the final detailed designs of an informal public road in accordance with the previous resolution of Council on 26 November 2018, as indicated in Item CCL074-18, and as depicted in the detail drawing which was attached as Appendix I, in the supplementary information and referred to as the proposal for a public road. The only exception being that every effort is to be employed, by Council officers, to ensure that the link between Woodlands Avenue and Taylor Avenue is not a right of way but a one way public laneway. In the event that this link has to be a right of way, then all residential properties and the general public are to be given legal rights of access.

ii.    The final design for the proposed informal Public Road should minimize the impact on as many mature trees as is practically possible. This is to be subject to the requirements of the Austroads Guidelines 2016 for the design of the Public Road and the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Services that were stipulated in their correspondence to Council which is dated 15 July 2020 and which indicated that the road must comply with Table 5.3b of the document titled “Planning for bushfire Protection, 2019 edition”. It is noted that this correspondence also confirmed that part of Taylor reserve is classified as being Bushfire prone and such a requirement is mandatory.

iii.   implement a program to replace the mature trees that will be required to be removed with plantings of appropriate species within Taylors Reserve;

iv.   prepare an independent Arboricultural Impact Assessment completed by a Level  5 Arborist that:

-        Identifies trees proposed to be removed or retained;

-        Identifies the impact that the proposed development will have on the surrounding trees; and

-        Is developed in accordance with AS4970-2009 Protection of trees on development sites.

v.    Offset the loss of any open space in Taylors Reserve during the preparation and  implementation of Council’s draft Open Space Expansion and Acquisition Plan.

(f)        Council is to proceed with the detail design of the informal Public Road, as indicated in (e)(i) above, as a matter of urgency, and carry out all actions necessary to construct this public road which must allow for the provision of direct access to the residential properties that have been previously identified as relying on access to their sites from the currently existing informal access road that was nominated as Taylor Avenue in 1999 by Council.

It is further confirmed that there is a carryover allocation of $600,000 in the 2020/21 budget that establishes the source of finance for this project . No further contributions are to be requested from the local residents in order for this Public Road to be completed.

Note:    The above Motion lapsed due to want of a seconder.

RECOMMENDATION: Councillor Hindi and Badalati

That consideration of this matter be deferred to full Council at its meeting on 14 December 2020.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Councillors Hindi, Badalati, Landsberry and Payor

Against the Motion: Councillor Katris

On being put to the Meeting, voting on the Motion was four (4) votes FOR and 1 vote AGAINST.

 

 


 

ENV049-20       Generic Plans of Management

(Report by Strategic Planner)

Recommendation: Councillor Katris and Councillor Hindi

(a)     That Council forward the draft Sportsground Generic Plan of Management, draft Parks Generic Plan of Management, draft General Community Use Generic Plan of Management and draft Natural Areas Generic Plan of Management, to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (landowners) for consent and endorsed for exhibition.

(b)     That Council delegates the General Manager to make amendments to the four draft Generic Plans of Management to address points raised by the Department of Industry.

(c)     That Council endorse the draft Sportsground Generic Plan of Management, draft Parks Generic Plan of Management, draft General Community Use Generic Plan of Management and draft Natural Areas Generic Plan of Management (with any amendments resulting from the issuing of the consent from the landowner) for public exhibition.

(d)     That the Plans of Management be placed on exhibition for a minimum of 28 days

         commencing after 20 January 2021.

(e)     That Council hold a public hearing for the Generic Plans of Management, Parks, Sportsground and Natural Area as the proposed plans are altering the categorisation of, community land under section 36 (4) of the Local Government Act 1993.

(f)    That it is noted that the Plan of Management for Kogarah Park/Netstrata Jubilee Stadium will be undertaken in FY21/22 and the Plan of Management for Carss Bush Park/Todd Reserve has commenced and will be publicly available once reported to Council.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

ENV050-20       Former Oatley Bowling Club Site and Closed Road Plan of Management and Masterplan

(Report by Strategic Planner)

Recommendation: Councillor Landsberry and Councillor Badalati

(a)     That Council endorse the draft Former Oatley Bowling Club Site and Closed Road Plan of Management and Masterplan for public exhibition for a period of no less than 28 days in accordance with section 38 of the Local Government Act 1993.

(b)     That the draft Plan of Management and Masterplan be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days commencing after 20 January 2021.

(c)     That Council hold a public hearing for draft Former Oatley Bowling Club Site and Closed Road Plan of Management to amend the categorisation of community land under section 36 (4) of the Local Government Act 1993.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous


 

CONCLUSION

The Meeting was closed at 7.39pm

 

 

 

UNCONFIRMED

 

Chairperson

 

 

  


Georges River Council –        Environment and Planning -  Monday, 8 February 2021                                                     Page 1

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Item:                   ENV002-21   Adoption of Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021 

Author:              Manager Environment Health & Regulatory Services

Directorate:      Environment and Planning

Matter Type:    Committee Reports

 

 

 

Recommendation:

(a)     That Council adopt the Georges River Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy (2021) as contained in Attachment 1 to this report.

(b)     That a further report be provided to Council on a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program within 12 months of the commencement of the Policy.

 

Executive Summary

1.      Council at its meeting on 28 September 2020 considered a report (ENV035-20) on the subject matter and resolved:

(a)     That Council endorse the Draft Georges River Management of Feral and Infant 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.

2.      The Draft Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2020 (Draft Policy) was publicly exhibited for a 44 day period between the 14 October and 27 November 2020. During this period two submissions in support were received from community members and one raising concerns with the Draft Policy was received from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (SDCH).

3.      The key concerns raised in relation to the Draft Policy relate to the definition of ‘Feral Animal’, the assessment criteria for Feral and Infant Animals and whom should conduct the assessment of an animal as either Feral or Infant. After reviewing the submission a number of amendments are proposed to be made to address the concerns in particular adopting a definition of ‘Feral Animal’ based on the Australian Veterinary Association’s definition, clarifying that only a qualified veterinarian can conduct an assessment and a number of amendments to the Animal Assessment Forms attached to the Draft Policy.  Further details of the proposed changes to the Draft Policy are outlined in this report and in Attachment 2 which provides a response to the submission by Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

4.      The Draft Policy as amended is therefore provided to Council in Attachment 1 seeking a recommendation to adopt the Georges River Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy (2020).

5.      Council staff have commenced discussions with animal welfare organisations and veterinarians to develop a Companion Animal Identification and De-Sexing Program. However, the development/implementation of the program has been delayed in order to monitor the expected cost savings that flow from the Policy implementation (which is the funding source of the Program) and due to social gathering restrictions resulting from COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended that a further report be provided to Council on a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

Background

6.      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.

7.      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.

8.      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).

9.      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. In addition to not being in the best interests of the animal this practice comes at a cost to Council which for the 2018/2019 financial year was $15,203 (91 feral cats and 76 infant cats) and for 2019/2020 was $14,348. Due to recent amendments to the fee structure implemented by Council’s impounding services provider, the costs of this practice to Council are likely to increase in the future.

10.    In relation to feral cats, it is acknowledged by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment that predation by feral cats currently threatens the survival of over 100 Australian native species and has already caused the extinction of a number of native birds and mammals. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment refers to feral cats as a major threat to biodiversity. The Australian Veterinary Association acknowledges that humane control of feral cats may be necessary in urban areas that support significant populations of native fauna. The implementation of the Draft Policy, which may reduce numbers of feral cats in the Council area, is therefore consistent with the Companions Animals Act 1998 (NSW), which declares that the protection of native birds and animals is an objective of animal welfare policy in NSW.

11.    The purpose of the Draft Policy 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).

12.    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

13.    Prior to the previous report to Council, 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.

14.    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, however the development/implementation of the program has been delayed due to social gathering restrictions resulting from COVID-19.

15.    The Draft Policy is intended to achieve the long term outcome of reducing the number of occasions where Council and its impounding services provider are placed in a position of having to euthanise unwanted animals.

16.    The Draft Policy is consistent with the principles for decision-making by Councils set out in the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), in particular with the requirements that Councils should recognise diverse local community needs and interests, and consider the long term and cumulative effects on future generations, as it will result in ongoing cost-savings to the community and assist to sustain the long-term biodiversity of native fauna in the Council area.

REPORT

Draft Policy

17.    The public exhibition of the Draft Policy commenced on 14 October with an advertisement being placed in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader and on Council’s website via the Public Exhibitions page and Your Say platform. The Draft Policy was on public exhibition for 44 days with submissions closing on 27 November 2020. The Draft Policy, whilst on the Your Say platform attracted 105 visits and was downloaded 46 times.

18.    In addition, Council contacted the following organisations/businesses providing a copy of the Draft Policy and seeking comment:

·        RSPCA

·        Sydney Dogs and Cats Home

·        The Cat Protection Society of NSW

·        Beverly Hills Animal Hospital

·        Princes Highway Vet Hospital

·        Boundary Rd Vet Hospital

·        Peakhurst Veterinary Hospital

·        Greencross Vets

·        Blakehurst Vet

·        Blakehurst Veterinary Hospital

·        St George Animal Hospital

·        Narwee Veterinary Hospital

·        Connells Point Veterinary Clinic

·        Penshurst Vet Clinic

·        Cat Adopt Team Sydney

·        Maggie’s Rescue

19.    Council received three submissions, two from community members in support of the Draft Policy, and one from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home raising concerns. It is to be noted that SDCH is Council’s current contractor for impounding of companion animals and receives financial payment from Council for those services. The points raised in the community submissions were:

·        “I like the policy and see no flaws. We should also have no cats outdoors policy to prevent birds and lizards from being attacked by cats.”

·        “Congratulations on moving forward in addressing feral animals so I am in favour of the action.”

20.    In summary, the submission from SDCH raised the following issues:

·        The definition of feral animals may result in animals which are not feral being euthanised.

·        The assessment criteria in the feral and infant animal assessment forms may result in animals which are not feral being euthanised.

·        The assessment of animals as either feral or infant must only be conducted by a veterinarian.

21.    Attachment 2 to this report provides a response to each of the matters raised in the SDCH submission and these matters have been addressed in the Draft Policy by the following amendments:

·        Definition of Terms - Amending the definition of Feral Animal to accord with that published by the Australian Veterinary Association, the peak body for veterinarians in Australia.

·        Section 1.3 Feral Companion Animals – clarifying that Feral Companion Animal Assessment can only be completed by a veterinarian.

·        Section 1.4 Infant Companion Animals - clarifying that the Infant Companion Animal Assessment can only be completed by a veterinarian.

·        Appendix A Feral Companion Animal Assessment Form – altering the animal assessment form to:

o       provide a section for the veterinarian to describe the reasons supporting the final assessment,

o       removing any reference to cat and making the wording applicable to cats and dogs,

o       specifying the title of the assessor and

o       providing a note that the assessment is only to be carried out by a qualified veterinarian

·        Appendix B Infant Companion Animal Assessment Form – as per amendments to Appendix A.

22.    Subject to the above amendments it is recommended that Council adopt the Georges River Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy (2020) as contained in Attachment 1 to this report. The Policy will be placed on Council’s website and written communication will be provided to each individual that made a submission on the Draft Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2020 advising of the adoption of the Policy.

Companion Animal Identification and De-Sexing Program

23.    Whilst discussions have been held with animal welfare organisations and veterinarians to develop a program to support companion animal owners to identify and de-sex their animals the development/implementation of the program has been delayed due to restrictions resulting from COVID-19.

24.    Further, as this Program is proposed to be funded through cost savings that will eventuate through the introduction of the Policy it is proposed that the Program be deferred for at least six months to monitor and better understand the cost savings that will eventuate. This deferment will also ensure the program will be conducted when COVID-19 restrictions have been removed.

25.    Therefore, it is recommended that a further report be provided to Council on a future companion animal identification and de-sexing program.

Financial Implications

26.    Within budget allocation. There are anticipated to be cost-savings associated with the implementation of the Policy, the extent of which will be better known over time, however a saving of approximately $15,000 per year is estimated due to a reduction in holding fees.

Risk Implications

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

 

Community Engagement

28.    Community engagement was conducted as outlined in the report.

File Reference

19/2272, D20/288973

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1

Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021 (Final)

Attachment 2

Response to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Submission PDF

 


Georges River Council -            Environment and Planning - Monday, 8 February 2021

ENV002-21             Adoption of Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021

[Appendix 1]           Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021 (Final)

 

 

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Georges River Council -            Environment and Planning - Monday, 8 February 2021

ENV002-21             Adoption of Management of Feral and Infant Companion Animals Policy 2021

[Appendix 2]           Response to Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Submission PDF

 

 

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