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POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

NOTICE OF MEETING
Wednesday, 21st April 2010


15th April 2010


His Worship The Mayor and Councillors


I have by direction to inform you that a meeting of the Policy Planning Environment & Master Plan Implementation Committee of the Council will be held at the Civic Centre, Hurstville on Wednesday, 21st April 2010 at 7.00 pm for consideration of the business mentioned hereunder.



Victor G D Lampe
General Manager


BUSINESS

1. Apologies

2. Disclosures of Interest

3. Consideration of reports


COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP

Councillor C Hindi (Chairperson)
Councillor A Istephan
Councillor W Pickering
Councillor C Wong

The Quorum for the meeting is 3

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POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

SUMMARY OF ITEMS
Wednesday, 21st April 2010



ITEMS


PPE005-10 ACCREDITATION OF COUNCIL BUILDING SURVEYORS (10/656)
(Report by Manager - Building Control, Ms J Nicol)


PPE006-10 HURSTVILLE COUNCIL FIRE SAFETY PROGRAM (10/151)
(Report by Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyor, Mr M Alexander)


PPE007-10 UPDATE ON STRATEGIC PLANNING PROJECTS AND RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS BY DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION (09/215)
(Report by Acting Manager Strategic Planning, Carina Gregory)


PPE008-10 MATTERS SUBMITTED FOR THE INFORMATION OF MEMBERS - LEGAL MATTERS INVOLVING COURT ACTION AND LIMITED CONSENTS - PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORATE (09/1077)
(Report by Director - Planning and Development, Mr B Daintry)




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POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, 21st April 2010


PPE005-10ACCREDITATION OF COUNCIL BUILDING SURVEYORS
Report Author(s)Manager - Building Control, Ms J Nicol
File10/656
Reason for ReportTo advise Council of the new legislation for and requirements involved in the certification of Council's Building Surveyors
Existing Policy?NoNew Policy Required?No
Financial ImplicationsFor 2010/11 costs are already captured within the existing training budget
Previous Reports ReferencedNo



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On 1 March 2010, new legislation introducing a framework for the certification of Council Building Surveyors began. The new legislation establishes qualification and experience standards for all certifiers – whether they work for a Council or in the private sector.

From 1 September 2010 all building certification work done by Councils in NSW must be undertaken by accredited certifiers.

Councils will need to seek the accreditation of Council Building Certifiers to issue Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates, Occupation Certificates and Compliance Certificates and to undertake inspections of building work.

Certification work involving subdivision or strata work, or the issue of Compliance Certificates, Complying Development Certificates or other Part 4A certificates not in relation to building work, do not need to be carried out by an accredited person.


AUTHOR RECOMMENDATION

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT a further report seeking the necessary recommendation from Council, allowing the applications for accreditation of Council's Building Surveyors to be submitted to the Building Professionals Board, be submitted to Council.


REPORT DETAILS

Introduction

Provisions of the Building Professionals Amendment Act 2008 (“the BP Amendment Act”) together with amendments made by the Building Professionals Amendment (Accreditation of Council Employees) Regulation 2010 (“the Amending Regulation”) commenced on 1 March 2010.

These provisions, together with amendments to the Building Professionals Board’s Accreditation Scheme, will establish a framework for the accreditation of Council employees as “Council accredited certifiers”.

Council has until 1 September 2010 to have a sufficient number of Council accredited certifiers available to undertake building certification work. After this date, any building certification work undertaken on behalf of Councils must be undertaken by an accredited certifier. Councils have a number of options to comply with this requirement. They can;

• employ Council accredited certifiers;
• engage an external accredited certifier from the private sector;
• engage an accredited body corporate;
• engage a Council accredited certifier from another Council;
• obtain an exemption from the Minister to provide certification services; or
• a combination of these.

Applications for accreditation

The BP Act has been amended to enable employees of a Council to apply to the Board for accreditation. Council employees, once accredited, will be known as “Council accredited certifiers”, defined in the BP Regulation as an accredited certifier whose certificate of accreditation is subject to a condition that the certifier may carry out certification work only as an employee of a Council. An application for accreditation to carry out certification work on behalf of Councils may only be made on the recommendation of a Council.

When determining an application for accreditation, or renewal of accreditation, the Board must not refuse to issue or renew the accreditation on certain grounds unless the Board has information that gives it reason to believe that it should refuse the application.

Once accredited, Council accredited certifiers can carry out certification work in other Council areas. Council accredited certifiers will not be required to be reassessed by a subsequent employing Council.

Accredited Council Building Certifiers can only undertake certification work on behalf of a Council they are unable to carry out any private certification work. However, private accredited certifiers do not need to seek additional accreditation if employed by Council.

The Board may suspend or cancel a person’s accreditation to carry out certification work on behalf of a Council if the person has ceased to be employed by a Council.

Categories of certificates of accreditation and required training

Existing Building Surveying categories A1, A2, A3 (refer to Appendix 1 for details) will apply to Council accredited certifiers. Category A4 for Building Inspectors has been added. All building certification work must be undertaken by an accredited certifier with the appropriate level of accreditation , having regard to any specific conditions of accreditation.

Once they are accredited, Council accredited certifiers are required to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date by complying with the Board’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program.

The CPD program consists of two elements. Certifiers must:

• complete up to two courses each year that are approved by the Board, and
• undertake CPD relevant to building surveying as specified by the Board.

The first requirement is designed specifically to keep Council accredited certifiers’ knowledge of legislative requirements and their professional practice skills current. The second requirement is designed for Council accredited certifiers to keep their underlying building surveying skills current.
The Board can refuse to renew a Council accredited certifier’s accreditation if they have not satisfied the requirements of the program.

Record keeping requirements

Amendments to the BP Regulation require certain records to be kept by Councils in relation to persons who carry out certification work on their behalf and in relation to the carrying out of such work:

• The date and accreditation number of the certifier,
• The date on which the certifier commenced employment or was engaged by Council,
• The date on which the certifier ceased employment or to be engaged by Council, and
• A brief description of each project in respect to which the certifier carried out certification work on behalf of a Council.

Notice to be given by Council of certain matters

Councils will now be required to give notice to the Board of the date on which a Council accredited certifier commences or ceases employment with the Council where the position involves the carrying out of certification work on behalf of the Council and the accreditation number of the certifier. Such notice is to be provided in writing to the Board within 7 days.

Fees and transitional arrangements

The BP Regulation now sets the fee for an application for a certificate of individual accreditation as a Council accredited certifier, or the annual renewal of accreditation if made before 1 March 2013, at $250.

Savings and transitional provisions provide that no application fee will be payable in relation to an application for a certificate of accreditation as a Council accredited certifier in the period from 1 March 2010 up to and including 28 February 2013.

A three year transition period from 1 March 2010 provides time for Council Building Certifiers to become accredited using the Council accreditation process. All certificates of accreditation issued to Council accredited certifiers in the transition period will be subject to a condition that the certifier may only carry out certification work as a Council employee.

Accreditation awarded in the transition period is valid for work as a Council accredited certifier in any Council.

During the transition period Council accredited certifiers can apply for a higher level of accreditation by providing evidence of meeting the qualifications and/or experience required for a higher grade. This is a simple application procedure that must be accompanied by the recommendation of their employing Council.

At the end of the transition period, 1 March 2013 there will be only one set of requirements in the Accreditation Scheme applicable to all persons applying for accreditation, whether they are employed in Council or the private sector.

Council accredited certifiers accredited in the transition period, will not be required to be assessed against the requirements of the Accreditation Scheme at the end of the transition period.

Provided they renew their certificate each year, Council accredited certifiers can continue to work under their certificate of accreditation subject to the prescribed condition that they only carry out certification work on behalf of a Council.

Auditing and reviewing of Council Accredited Certifiers

Unlike the private sector Council accredited certifiers will now be one of the most over regularised professions within the building industry. Not only will Council accredited certifiers be subject to existing reviews, auditing and disciplinary procedures within the frame work of Councils management, the Department of Local Government, the Ombudsmans office, ICAC, and State and Federal Members of Parliament they will now also be subject to auditing and investigation by the Board.

Any person can make a complaint about the professional conduct of a Council certifier under the BP Act and the Board will investigate the complaint unless the Board considers the complaint is trivial, vexatious, misconceived or otherwise lacking in substance. The Board will also conduct audits of the work and activities of Councils.

The Board and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal have a range of powers available to discipline an accredited certifier who is found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct. These include penalty infringement notices along with hefty punitive fines.

Current Position

Council’s Building Control Unit currently has seven qualified Building Surveyors undertaking certification and Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) services (building inspections). In addition the Director - Planning and Development is a qualified Building Surveyor and Council’s recently appointed Development Compliance Officer would qualify as a trainee Building Surveyor as would one of the Customers Service Officers who is undertaking the Building Surveying course.

The Building Control Unit holds 55% to 60% of the market share of certification and PCA services work within the Hurstville LGA, the majority of this is within the Class 1(a) and Class 10 buildings (dwelling houses, swimming pools, garages, etc). The Unit is also responsible for Fire Safety, development referral advice and compliance matters.

It is expected all ten positions will be seeking Council’s recommendation to the Board for certification accreditation in Categories A1 x 3, A2 x 4, A3 x 1, A4 x 2.

At this stage no significant additional costs are expected to be incurred by Council by the accreditation requirement. The Department of Planning have advised the initial $250 application fee will be waived up until 28 February 2013 although the annual renewal fee of $250 remains. Council’s Building Surveyors already undertake annual professional development training, catered within the existing training program budget, up to a level and at times above that required by the Board. Advice from Council's Manager - Finance is that no added insurance cover costs are likely as Council’s Building Surveyors are already covered within the policy for professional indemnity/public liability.

Work is now underway to prepare the required accreditation applications for Council’s Building Surveyors to become Council Accredited Certifiers. A further report with applications and resumes addressing qualifications, practical experience and work history will be submitted to Council seeking the necessary recommendation to allow the applications to be submitted to the Board for determination.


COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPE

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT a further report seeking the necessary recommendation from Council, allowing the applications for accreditation of Council's Building Surveyors to be submitted to the Building Professionals Board, be submitted to Council.

(Moved Councillor W Pickering / Seconded Councillor C Wong)



RESOLUTION - CCL

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT a further report seeking the necessary recommendation from Council, allowing the applications for accreditation of Council's Building Surveyors to be submitted to the Building Professionals Board, be submitted to Council.
(Moved Councillor S McMahon / Seconded Councillor C Hindi)





APPENDIX
 Accreditation Categories.pdf


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POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, 21st April 2010


PPE006-10HURSTVILLE COUNCIL FIRE SAFETY PROGRAM
Report Author(s)Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyor, Mr M Alexander
File10/151
Reason for ReportProposed procedures for implementing Council's fire safety program
Existing Policy?NoNew Policy Required?No
Financial ImplicationsCouncil fees, Penalty Infringement Notices and prosecutions
Previous Reports ReferencedNo



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Council is the main building fire safety regulatory authority. The NSW Fire Brigades also have some, but not all of the powers of Councils to issue orders.

Council’s role is to educate the public, including building occupiers and owners. Where there are breaches of fire safety laws Council has a duty to remedy and/or prosecute those breaches. There is a deliberate two tier approach of education and enforcement.

This report seeks Council’s endorsement of the continuation of the existing fire safety program.


AUTHOR RECOMMENDATION

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT Council supports and endorses the Fire Safety Program as outlined in this report.


REPORT DETAILS

BACKGROUND

Council uses risk management principles to drive the development and enhancement of focused programs. Early intervention can prevent and mitigate the impact of fires and other emergencies, saving lives and reducing damage to property, infrastructure and the environment.

Beyond loss of assets, there are undesirable and often catastrophic social and personal losses associated with fires.

The Hurstville Local Government Area has a great variety of building form, ranging from the modern mixed residential/commercial buildings to the traditional three storey walk up residential flat buildings, aging industrial warehouses and commercial and retail. The area also accommodates many cultures that often share differing views on the importance of fire safety. Given this, there is a definite need for implementing a successful education program.

To address the risks the Fire Safety Program was developed. The Fire Safety Program has now been underway for approximately two years and has been very successful in educating building owners, upgrading existing buildings and maintaining a successful essential services maintenance register. Council has also formed a strong alliance with other regulatory authorities including NSW Police and NSW Fire Brigades.

The Fire Safety Program is considered to be operating efficiently and effectively.


COUNCIL’S COMMITMENT TO FIRE SAFETY

Council’s charter, under section 8 of the Local Government Act 1993 [2] provides, as is relevant to fire safety, that:


Council’s Fire Safety Program and it’s commitment to ensure and promote adequate fire safety and fire safety awareness is consistent with Council’s obligations under its statutory charter.

Our Fire Safety Program’s delivery is open and transparent. Through correspondence, published material, including our website, the community and in particular building owners, are well informed of our activities.


STAFF RESOURCES

Having considered reports (COW 051-08 and CCL 165-08) and its charter under section 8 of the Local Government Act 1993, Council adopted a new organisational structure on 15 November 2008.

This structure provides for one Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyor as Council’s Fire Safety Officer. This Fire Safety Officer reports to the Manager Building Control.

Council’s Fire Safety Officer is responsible for:

· Providing advice to Development Assessment Officers with respect to fire upgrade works reasonably necessary under Clause 93 or 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
· Writing and maintaining Council’s Fire Safety website pages.
· Actively adding buildings to and maintaining the growing register of essential services (fire safety measures) for over 815 BCA class 2 to 9c buildings by the registration of all Fire Safety Certificates, Supplementary Fire Safety Certificates and Fire Orders and building upgrades to the register.
· Ensuring that building owners submit Annual Fire Safety Statements.
· Carrying out targeted inspections of high risk buildings to determine the level of fire safety and compliance with emergency egress requirements.
· Carrying out Joint Authority Inspections together with the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Licensing Police.
· Issuing Fire Safety Notices and Orders to remedy breaches of fire safety laws and to require owners to undertake fire safety upgrades as necessary.
· Seeking Court orders as necessary to enforce orders or seeking injunctions or court orders as necessary to require urgent life safety issues to be remedied.
· Issuing Penalty Infringement Notices for breaches of Fire Safety laws.
· In serious cases, prosecute building owners, managers or occupiers in the Local Court or Land and Environment Court for breaches of fire safety laws.
· Actioning NSW Fire Brigade Referrals, and
· Investigation of Complaints.


ACHIEVEMENTS

Council’s Fire Safety Officer has, since the commencement of the new organisational structure in 2008, made the following achievements:

· Reviewed, re-engineered and documented the Annual Fire Safety Statement process.
· Published a new brochure setting out Building Owners’ Responsibilities under NSW Fire Safety Laws. Appendix 1 – “Building Owners’ Responsibilities”
· Published a new Fact Sheet providing information on Essential Fire Safety Measures – “Essential Fire Safety Fact Sheet” Appendix 2
· Written and published the following webpages:· Provided ongoing fire safety upgrading advice to the public and applicants for development consent.
· Provided relevant conditions for development consents where fire upgrades are required under development consents.
· Added 50 new or altered buildings to Council’s register of essential services (fire safety measures).
· Sent more than 3,000 reminder letters to Building Owners about the requirement to submit and annual fire safety statements and maintain essential fire safety measures.
· Implemented a Joint Authority Inspection program targeting high risk premises with the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Licensing Police.
· Carried out 25 targeted inspections with and without NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Licensing Police under the Joint Authority Inspection program.
· Issued over 40 Penalty Infringement Notices for breaches of fire safety laws with fines totalling over $20,000.
· Issued 12 fire safety notice and orders.
· Achieved compliance with 9 fire safety notices and orders in the same period.

These achievements have realised tangible improvements in fire safety and fire safety awareness within the Hurstville Local Government Area. Numerous potentially devastating and life threatening breaches of fire safety laws have been disclosed and remedied by a proper balance between education (the carrot) and enforcement (the stick).


CHALLENGES

Westfield Hurstville - Fire Safety Upgrade

Following a fire which broke out in a switchboard at Westfields Hurstville, whereby 2,000 people were evacuated and with the benefit of further discussions with the NSW Fire Brigades, it is highly likely, without prejudice to any further information or submissions that may become evident, that Council may have to issue appropriate fire orders on Westfield Hurstville to upgrade part or all of its fire safety systems (essential services).

We are having discussions with Westfield Hurstville, as at the date of writing this report. We are looking for Westfield to agree to the terms of appropriate order(s) that would permit any necessary fire upgrade to occur. Early conversations with Westfield demonstrate they are working cooperatively with us to ensure that the single largest building in Hurstville’s Local Government Area is appropriately upgraded to prevent fire, suppress fire or prevent the spread of fire as well as ensure and promote the safety of persons in the event of fire or other emergency.

The potential scale of such an upgrade would place our Fire Safety Officer under a heavy workload. Resources may have to be diverted from Building Certification and Enforcement functions across to Fire Safety to assist in delivering a good outcome.

Hurstville Railway Station Fire Safety Upgrade

Hurstville City Council issued a Fire Order on Railcorp to upgrade Hurstville Railway Station. One of the many issues, is the need for the protection of the loadbearing steel structure above and between the railway station platforms. High level and very technically complex fire engineering discussions and negotiations have occurred between Council’s most Senior Environmental Health and Building Surveyors, the NSW Fire Brigades and Railcorp’s Fire Engineers.

We believe that a solution has been found and we have agreed in principle, along with the NSW Fire Brigades, to the implementation of a drenching system subject to the final sign off of a detailed design.

This has been one of the most complex performance based fire engineered solutions to be assessed by Council. It has been peer reviewed by the NSW Fire Brigades and Fire Engineers and will address a long outstanding concern of Council and Railcorp.

Licensed Premises

Licensed premises, where there is entertainment, previously known as places of public entertainment, are among the highest risk premises. There are inherent conflicts between the need to maintain unobstructed emergency egress from these premises and the wish of some club, pub and other venue management, to lock fire exits to restrict unlawful access to their premises.

History has demonstrated that fires in such venues result in very high death rates. Councillors will recall such fire events. The 'Whiskey Au Go Go' fire was a fire that occurred at 2.10am on Thursday 8 March, 1973, in the 'Whiskey Au Go Go' nightclub in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. This resulting in the deaths of 15 patrons and staff. The main cause of death was poor emergency egress.

It is a criminal offence to lock or obstructed any egress path or emergency exit and we treat these type of offences as among the most serious fire safety offences.

Council’s Fire Safety Officer will continue to attend Liquor Accord meetings to educate the managers of the venues to ensure that they understand and comply with fire safety requirements. Council’s Fire Safety Officer will continue Joint Authority Inspections with the NSW Fire Brigades and NSW Licensing Police. Council’s Fire Safety Officer will issue Penalty Infringement Notices for these serious breaches and in the more serious cases will, in accordance with Council’s Enforcement Policy, consider whether prosecution is more appropriate.

Places of Shared Accommodation

Similar to licensed premises, places of share accommodation are high risk premises. A shortage of cheap rental accommodation, especially for students, is driving an underground market for illegal boarding houses. Council’s Fire Safety Officer in concert with our Environmental Health and Building Surveyors have had to intervene to issue emergency orders to make premises safe and then close down these unauthorised uses. This is an ongoing problem as their is a lack of affordable rental housing to service current demands.

Although Council’s current Local Environmental Plan prohibits boarding houses, State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 overrides Council’s Local Environmental Plan and boarding houses are now permissible with development consent. Therefore, we expect to see new places of shared accommodation coming through the development approval process and commencing lawful use. These premises will require more frequent fire safety inspections equivalent to our licensed premises. As the demands placed upon our fire safety functions change we will report this issue to Council in more detail.

Essential Services Register

Council has more than 815 properties on the annual fire safety statement register. Of these, 90% are now submitting Annual Fire Safety Statements, as opposed to only 25% 2 years ago. This has been the result of the new Fire Safety Program. Council’s database is equipped with draft annual fire safety schedules/statements for each of these properties. These schedules are forwarded to the property owner or agent and they are accompanied by fact sheets detailing the owner’s responsibilities and the penalties for non-compliance.

Of the remaining 10%, Council is auditing these properties in order of their potential risk and fines are being issued accordingly. Council is working towards a submission rate of 100% with each schedule being 100% accurate.

We are meeting this challenge by:

· Ensuring that all Fire Safety Certificate and Supplementary Fire Safety Certificate lodged with Council with Occupation Certificate are captured, scanned and electronically filed as a complete record.
· Registering all Fire Safety Certificates into Council’s current property database system (the Register).
· Educating customer service staff and other professional technical officers of the requirements.
· Educating developers through improved development consent conditions of the requirements.
· Implementing a new Fire Safety register together with the implementation of Council’s new property database system.

Sydney Water – Water Main Pressure Drops

Sydney Water has informed the Department of Planning and local government that they are implementing a systematic program of reducing water pressure in their water mains. The stated reason being to save water and extend the life of their infrastructure.

The impact on building owners may be devastating because many buildings currently serviced by street hydrants or internal hydrants, hose reels, sprinkler system or the like which were typically designed on the basis of certain water pressures may fail.

The Department of Planning are proposing to amend the Fire Order provision in section 121B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Department have explained that if building owners do not upgrade their building where required to address fire safety issues, arising from lower water pressures, they expect that Councils will investigate the issues and serve these new orders.

The impacts upon Councils may be significant. Council, once aware of a fire safety issue, has a duty of care to act. That is, Council will be forced to act, issue orders, enforce compliance and will receive the wrath of angry building owners who, in some cases, may have to invest tens of thousands of dollars in pumps, boosters and/or new internal system upgrade works, resulting from lower water pressures.

We will provide a further and more detailed report on this specific issue upon gazettal of any amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Annual Fire Safety Statements

We sent out over 1,200 reminder letters to building owners in 2009. We received 90% of Annual Fire Safety Statements from building owners, as is required, within their anniversary date. Over 30 Penalty Infringement Notices were issued for failure to submit Annual Fire Safety Statements which represents approximately 4% of all registered buildings.

There remains a relatively small, but nevertheless, recalcitrant group of building owners who show a mixture of apathy and/or contempt for compliance with fire safety laws. Buildings must be kept in a safe condition with fully maintained essential fire safety measures. It is a criminal offence not to maintained essential fire safety measures and submit annual fire safety statements.

The challenge is to improve compliance rates. This is done through education, publications, our website, reminder letters and fines. Although there are no statutory requirements for reminder letters we have and will continue to take the education approach before punitive action is taken by way of Penalty Infringement Notices.

Home Smoke Alarms

Only 93.6% of all homes in NSW have proper smoke alarms [1]. This is despite the very high profile education campaign run by the NSW Fire Brigades in concert with most NSW Councils. This is less than a 1% improvement on the 92.9% reported in 2008-2009 [1].

We will continue to support the NSW Fire Brigades education campaign. Our Fire Safety Officer and Environmental Health and Building Surveyors, in the carrying out their building certification and regulatory functions, are ensuring that where there are alterations or additions to existing homes, they are retrofitted with smoke detection and alarms.


JOINT AUTHORITY INSPECTIONS

Council along with NSW Police and NSW Fire Brigades ha initiated a joint authority auditing program. These night inspections of clubs and pubs have been carried out randomly. Areas of interest include fire safety, enforcement of development consent conditions and responsible service of alcohol. The inspections have resulted in numerous penalty infringement notices being issued, fire upgrade notices and orders and general cautions.

Despite often being fined for non compliances, building owners and managers have been appreciative of the assistance and professionalism shown by the three regulatory authorities and have shown a genuine desire to comply with regulations.

A question placed before and then answered in State Parliament has acknowledged that the majority of proactive inspections were carried out by the NSW Fire Brigades in the Hurstville City Council LGA. Hurstville City Council's Joint Authority inspection program accounted for almost 50% of the total audits in NSW. Hurstville City Council has pioneered this program and is committed to its development.

The program has been recognised by the NSW Police and NSW Fire Brigades who are now encouraging other local authorities to follow suit.

Council has also carried out joint inspections with NSW Fire Brigades in reaction to complaints. Complaints have ranged from fire incidents, blocking of egress paths to false alarms. The joint inspections have resulted in the issue of Penalty Infringement Notices and fire upgrade orders.

Council has also assisted NSW Police in enforcing conditions of development consent, inspections of unauthorised use and referrals. Councillors are aware of issues with shame development applications for bike club houses. The evidence gathered by Council's Fire Safety officer during Joint Authority Inspections has assisted development assessment staff in reporting these applications to Council.

Council’s Fire Safety Officer has also attended the Local Liquor Accord meetings and presented the changes in regulation to Entertainment Venues. This forum represents major community stakeholders and educates these operators in the requirements of the ever changing regulations.


FIRE SAFETY PROGRAM BUDGET

The Fire Safety Program is now a discrete budget cost centre.

Property owners that fail to comply with a Fire Upgrade Order may be issued with a Penalty Infringement Notice and/or be prosecuted. On the spot fines range from $100 - $2,000. Random audits of buildings that reveal fire safety defects result in fines ranging from $100 for failing to display an annual fire safety statement to $1,500 for failure to maintain essential services. The lodgement and registration of Annual Fire Safety Statements attracts a fee of $55. These are in summary the program area's sources of funding.

With the expansion of the Essential Services Register, fines for failure to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement and the issuing of Penalty Infringement Notices for fire regulation breaches, the Fire Safety Program is intended to operate at or near cost neutral to the community.


FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIRE SAFETY PROGRAM

Over the last two years Council’s MIS Department have been moving towards implementing an automated Civicview (computer software) program. This will allow for an efficient system to notify the 815 premises of their upcoming due date for submission of annual fire safety statement, produce letters, fact sheets, Penalty Infringement Notice reminders, notices, orders and invoices. This system will be a great resource and will see to further income by way of registration fees and Penalty Infringement Notices. Council intends to expand the Essential Services Annual Fire Safety Statement Register and strive to have a 100% submission rate. In the medium term this system will be replaced by a new database that will add further functionality.

Council’s has upgraded Fire Safety web pages encompassing an easy step by step guide to fire safety and to alert property owners of their responsibilities. The maintenance and improvement of the information provided on our website for fire safety is the responsibility of Council's Fire Safety Officer and onging. See: http://www.hurstville.nsw.gov.au/Fire-Safety.html

The highly successful Joint Authority inspections are to continue, both randomly and prearranged. The inspections provide for well informed decisions and in the event of a prosecution, a confident and sturdy case. Council will randomly audit buildings in order of their potential risk. All NSW Fire Brigades referrals or audits to continue to be acted upon expeditiously, ensuring compliance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


CONCLUSION

We are determined to ensure that building owners and occupiers are aware of the duty of care that they owe to all those who occupy or visit their buildings.

Council’s resources are applied in a measured and considered way, targeting high risk premises. The Fire Safety Program is an ongoing process of educating building owners and occupants as well as deterring breaches by taking appropriate enforcement action.

We seek Council’s support and endorsement of the Fire Safety Program as outlined in this report.

References

[1] NSW Fire Brigades Annual Report 2008-2009 - http://www.fire.nsw.gov.au/gallery/files/pdf/annual_reports/2008_09/04_performance.pdf

[2] Local Government Act 1993
http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/act+30+1993+cd+0+N


COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPE

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT Council supports and endorses the Fire Safety Program as outlined in this report.
(Moved Councillor A Istephan / Seconded Councillor W Pickering)



RESOLUTION - CCL

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT Council supports and endorses the Fire Safety Program as outlined in this report.
(Moved Councillor S McMahon / Seconded Councillor C Hindi)





APPENDIX
Appendix 1 - Building Owners Responsibilities - "Fire Safety - Your Responsibilities"

HCC - Fire Safety - Your Responsibilities.pdf

Appendix 2 - "Fact Sheet - Essential Fire Safety Measures"

HCC Fact Sheet - Essential Fire Safety Measures.pdf

Appendix 3 - Fire Safety Presentation - "Fire Safety Our Progress"

HCC Fire Safety Presentation.pdf


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POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, 21st April 2010


PPE007-10UPDATE ON STRATEGIC PLANNING PROJECTS AND RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS BY DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Report Author(s)Acting Manager Strategic Planning, Carina Gregory
File09/215
Reason for ReportTo provide Council with an update on the progress of key Strategic Planning Projects (Draft Hurstville Comprehensive LEP 2011 and Hurstville City Centre Project) and the release of documents by the Department of Planning for public consultation
Existing Policy?YesNew Policy Required?No
Financial ImplicationsYes. Budget needs to be allocated in the 2011/2012 budget for the completion of a comprehensive Heritage Study
Previous Reports ReferencedNo



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report provides an update on progress of the following Strategic Planning Projects:

  1. Hurstville Draft Comprehensive LEP 2011
  2. Hurstville City Centre Project.

Information is also provided on the recent release of documents by the Department of Planning for public consultation, including:
  1. Metropolitan Strategy Review - Sydney Towards 2036 Discussion Paper
  2. Potential Amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs - Consultation Draft (March 2010)
  3. Draft Model Local Provisions for LEPs - Second Round.
  4. Potential Amendments to State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007


AUTHOR RECOMMENDATION

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT allocation be made in the 2011/2012 budget for the commissioning of a Heritage Study, to be completed within 12 months of gazettal of the Hurstville Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan 2011.


REPORT DETAILS

Update on Strategic Planning Projects

1. Hurstville Draft Comprehensive LEP 2011
As Council is aware, extensive progress has been made on the preparation of a draft Comprehensive LEP for the Local Government Area, since Council resolved to proceed with the preparation of a new Comprehensive LEP in a single stage on 23 July 2008. Hurstville Council is on the State Government's 2-yr priority list of councils who are required to have a new Comprehensive LEP, in line with the Standard Instrument LEP, completed by June 2011.

Public exhibition of the draft Comprehensive LEP is anticipated in late 2010, subject to Council receiving authorisation from the Department of Planning to exhibit the draft plan under Section 65 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Council will recall that a series of Discussion Papers will be released for community feedback to inform preparation of the Comprehensive LEP. The papers will be based on the land use zones in Hurstville Local Environmental Plan 1994. Discussion Paper No. 1 - Open Space and Waterways and Discussion Paper No. 2 - Special Uses were released for public consultation from 17 December 2009 to 19 February 2010. Council received 28 submissions in total during the consultation period. Discussion Paper No. 3 -  Commercial and Industrial (Employment lands) and Discussion Paper No. 4 - Residential will be released for consultation by mid-2010.

Recent advice has been received from the Department of Planning regarding the heritage component of the draft Comprehensive LEP (refer copy attached). Council is advised that in order to meet the expected timeframes, the following approach is considered acceptable for the heritage component of the Hurstville Comprehensive LEP 2011:

While the first stage of the heritage review can be undertaken within existing budget and utilising existing staff and consultant resources, the completion of a Heritage Study will require consultants to be engaged with heritage expertise.

What this advice means is that Council needs to undertake a thorough Heritage Study of the Local Government Area within 12 months of the gazettal of the Comprehensive LEP and incorporate the findings into a future Amendment to the Comprehensive LEP. The last Heritage Study was undertaken in 1988, more than 20 years ago, and is a priority for review. This report recommends that allocation be made in the 2011/12 budget to complete this work which is estimated to cost in the order of $100,000. This cost could potentially be offset against any successful application for heritage grant funding.

2. Hurstville City Centre Project
As Council are aware, consultants were engaged in September 2008 to review and prepare a new suite of planning controls for the Hurstville City Centre including a new Development Control Plan, LEP Amendment and an update to the City Centre Masterplan 2004. Council resolved at its meeting on 25 March 2009 to prepare the draft LEP, draft DCP and an update to the 2004 Masterplan for the City Centre.

The Draft LEP, to give effect to the Amended Masterplan, is in the course of preparation and initially requires finalisation of the principal controls; namely maximum building height and Floor Space Ratio (FSR). While substantial work has been undertaken on the preparation of the new controls by consultants and staff, the additional urban design investigation of key sites following the Councillor Workshop in July 2009, and the outcomes of the November 2009 Councillor Workshop have necessitated further additional investigations to be undertaken before the planning documents can be exhibited. A Councillor Working Party was also established in February this year to expedite the project and has met a number of times, and is expected to conclude its deliberations at the end of April 2010.

Further, recent verbal advice from the Department of Planning has suggested the draft LEP should be stylised on the Standard Template for LEPs for ready integration with the Draft Comprehensive LEP 2011. Confirmation of such advice in writing is likely to be issued by the Deputy Director of the Department and may well be accompanied by a requirement that the Draft Plan only proceed to public exhibition upon a Section 65 Authorisation being issued by the Director General (i.e. no council staff delegation). The loss of delegations from the Department of Planning to place the draft planning controls on public exhibition will have additional resourcing implications and impact on the current indicative timeline for exhibition of July 2010 as the Department .

With respect to the project budget, Council has taken probity advice from its solicitors. This probity advice will be the subject of a report to Council in Committee of the Whole at the next Council meeting.

Documents released by the Department of Planning for consultation

The following documents have recently been released by the Department for public comment:
  1. Metropolitan Strategy Review - Sydney Towards 2036 Discussion Paper

The Department of Planning has released a discussion paper, Sydney Towards 2036,which will inform a scheduled five-year review of the Metropolitan Strategy. Consultation on this discussion paper is underway until April 30, 2010. The discussion paper sets out the challenges facing Sydney over the next 25 years, including:

The discussion paper is divided into ten chapters as follows: Hurstville's current housing and job targets under the Draft South Subregional Strategy (3,000 new jobs and 4,100 dwellings by 2031) may be increased when the Draft Subregional Strategy is finalised. Once the Metropolitan Strategy has been reviewed, the subregional strategies will be updated. Nevertheless, the Department has advised Councils who are currently progressing their comprehensive LEPs, such as Hurstville, that in the absence of firm 2036 housing and job targets that they are to plan to meet dwelling and job targets as specified under the current Draft Subregional Strategy.

The Discussion Paper can be downloaded at http://www.metrostrategy.nsw.gov.au

2. Potential Amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs - Consultation Draft (March 2010)

The Department of Planning has prepared an Options Paper on potential amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs, which is on public consultation until 14 May 2010.

The feedback the Department has received about how the Standard Instrument can be more effective mainly relates to improving clarity and the need to remove any ambiguity in the Standard Instrument dictionary terms and how they relate to each other. It has also been recognised that there is a need for some new definitions to be included in the dictionary, to ensure Aboriginal heritage does not need to be mapped and its location described in detail for cultural reasons, and to make some changes to clauses which are causing confusion.

Some further amendments to ensure consistency with a range of new policies and legislative changes (including State Environmental Planning Policies and amendments to the Heritage Act 1977) are also proposed. The Options Paper presents key issues and where possible, different options to address them.

The Options Paper can be downloaded at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/ under 'What's New'. A Summary Leaflet is attached.

3. Draft Model Local Provisions for LEPs - Second Round

The Department of Planning has also released a second round of model local provisions for Standard Instrument LEPs for consultation until 30 April 2010.

They address common topics raised by councils covering the following matters: Minimum lot sizes for dual occupancy, multi dwelling housing and residential flat buildings; Exception to the minimum lot size for certain residential accommodation; Erection of dwelling houses on land in certain rural and environmental protection zones; Active street frontages; Flood planning; Airspace operations and Development in areas subject to aircraft noise.

The clauses can be downloaded from the Department's website at:
http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/LocalEnvironmentalPlans/ModelLocalProvisions/tabid/250/language/en-US/Default.aspx

The Department advocates that for those Comprehensive LEPs yet to be exhibited, that the model local clauses be adopted 'as is' wherever possible. However it has indicated that the clauses may be altered where appropriate justification is provided and in consultation with the Department's Regional Office.

4. Potential Amendments to State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 was gazetted in December 2007, and commenced on January 1, 2008. The aim was to assist in the efficient delivery of new infrastructure. The SEPP has specific planning provisions for 25 different types of infrastructure, covering areas such as roads, schools, education, hospitals, railways, emergency services, water supply and electricity generation.

The Department of Planning convened a meeting between it, relevant state agencies and authorities and Council Planning Directors on 14 April 2010 to outline proposed amendments to the Infrastructure SEPP. The majority of the proposed changes will have little or no impact upon the Hurstville Local Government area. We will be making a short submission with respect to Division 12 of the SEPP relating to parks and other public reserves. There are insufficient exemptions for minor council works in our public reserves. We will be seeking greater exemptions where the works we propose are in accordance with a Plan of Management adopted by Council under the Local Government Act 1993.

Council officers will review these documents with a view to making a submission, as required.




COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPE

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT allocation be made in the 2011/2012 budget for the commissioning of a Heritage Study, to be completed within 12 months of gazettal of the Hurstville Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan 2011.

(Moved Councillor W Pickering / Seconded Councillor C Wong)



RESOLUTION - CCL

THAT the report be received and noted.

FURTHER THAT allocation be made in the 2011/2012 budget for the commissioning of a Heritage Study, to be completed within 12 months of gazettal of the Hurstville Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan 2011.
(Moved Councillor S McMahon / Seconded Councillor C Hindi)





APPENDIX
1. Letter from Department of Planning - Heritage Review Component of Comprehensive LEP 2011
Hurstville Comprehensive LEP 2011 -  Heritage Component.pdf

2. Potential Amendments to the Standard Instrument for LEPs - Summary Leaflet

Options Paper -  Summary Leaflet.pdf


Print
POLICY PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, 21st April 2010


PPE008-10MATTERS SUBMITTED FOR THE INFORMATION OF MEMBERS - LEGAL MATTERS INVOLVING COURT ACTION AND LIMITED CONSENTS - PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORATE
Report Author(s)Director - Planning and Development, Mr B Daintry
File09/1077
Reason for ReportFor the information of Councillors
Existing Policy?NoNew Policy Required?No
Financial ImplicationsN/A
Previous Reports ReferencedNo



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

To update reports on Legal Matters Involving Court Action and Limited Consents that are actioned by the Planning and Development Directorate.


AUTHOR RECOMMENDATION

THAT the information be received and noted.


REPORT DETAILS

The attached reports are updated for the information of Councillors.


COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION - PPE

THAT the information be received and noted.

(Moved Councillor C Wong / Seconded Councillor W Pickering)



RESOLUTION - CCL

THAT the information be received and noted.
(Moved Councillor S McMahon / Seconded Councillor C Hindi)





APPENDIX
Appendix 1 - Legal Case Management - Public Report

Legal Case Managment - Public Report April 2010.pdf



Appendix 2 - Limited Consents Report

Limited consents report April 2010.pdf