Highlights of the 11 May Ordinary Council Meeting

Date

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Release

Audited financial reports for 2019-20 adopted

Council has adopted the 2019-20 audited financial reports for Central Coast Council and the Central Coast Council Water Supply Authority.
 
Council’s net operating result for the financial year ending 30 June 2020 is a deficit of $88.7M excluding Grants and Contributions for capital purposes. After adjusting for Capital Grants and Contributions, the net operating deficit is $21.8M.
 
Central Coast Council Water Supply Authority’s net operating result for the financial year ending 30 June 2020 is a deficit of $48.3M excluding Grants and Contributions for capital purposes. After adjusting for Capital Grants and Contributions, the net operating deficit is $31.5M.
 
Council Administrator, Mr Dick Persson AM said a range of measures are in place to ensure the financial sustainability of Central Coast Council.
 
“The financial challenges of Central Coast Council have been well publicised and the audited financial reports for 2019-20 reiterate the importance of the decisive action that has been taken,” Mr Persson said.
 
“Council has undergone major change in recent months – much of which has been very difficult – but the community can be assured that a strong pathway to financial sustainability has been established.
 
“There is a considerable value of rates that have been outstanding for over five years and I have tonight called for an urgent report which outlines rates in arrears, history and options to recoup with consideration to our hardship policy.”
 
The Central Coast Council Financial Reports were prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993, the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, and the relevant accounting and reporting requirements of the Office of Local Government prescribed Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting – Update No. 28 and Australian Accounting Standards.
 
The Central Coast Council Water Supply Authority Financial Reports were prepared in accordance with Section 41B of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 and the Public Finance and Audit Regulation 2015.

 

Planning Proposal to be submitted for 39 Dell Road, West Gosford

Central Coast Council will prepare a Planning Proposal to rezone land at 39 Dell Road, West Gosford to enable additional opportunities for industrial development and ensure environmental conservation outcomes.
 
The proposal will seek to expand on the existing 1.2 hectares of IN1 General Industrial zoned land at the site. It will also propose to zone the remainder of the land to E2 Environmental Conservation, allowing for the dedication of 4.3 hectares of land to Council for inclusion in the Coastal Open Space System (COSS) reserve network.
 
Council Administrator, Dick Persson AM said zoning of 7.3 hectares into Environmental Conservation land for inclusion in the COSS reflects Council’s commitment to ensuring land use planning and development is sustainable and environmentally sound.
 
“It is vital that all planning considers the importance of local habitat and green corridors,” Mr Persson said.
 
“This land will be provided to Council for inclusion in the COSS, which consists of over 70 natural reserves set aside for plants and animals and nature-based recreation to preserve the bushland character of the Central Coast. COSS includes woodland ridgelines, gallery rainforests, steep cliffs, wetlands and creeks.”
 
A request for the preparation of a Planning Proposal was originally supported by the former Gosford City Council on 8 December 2015. This was withdrawn by the applicant in 2020 following advice from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment that all planning proposals unresolved after four years would be discontinued.
 
The current request was lodged with Council on 9 December 2020. Considerable work had been undertaken on the original proposal, which is considered suitable for assessment of the current request.
 
The Planning Proposal was considered by the Local Planning Panel (LPP) on the 22 April 2021 and was supported in principle. A Planning Proposal will be prepared and forward to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces for a Gateway Determination.

 
Council releases quarterly Governance Lighthouse report

 Central Coast Council has released its quarterly Governance Lighthouse report for Quarter 1 2020/21, revealing a decline in Code of Conduct complaints this quarter, as well as an increase in the number of tier one customer complaints being resolved at first point of contact.
 
Council’s Governance Lighthouse report provides independent assurance that management is achieving objectives in an ethical and legal way. The quarterly report provides information on items such as complaints, GIPA requests and meeting of legislative deadlines, with staff now investigating ways to improve its effectiveness.
 
Key points noted in the report are:

  • The number of Code of Conduct complaints declined this quarter and the number of tier one customer complaints resolved at the first point of contact rose.
  • There has been an increase in the number of requests to access information.
  • There was 100% compliance with statutory reporting deadlines during the quarter.

The Governance Lighthouse report is in line with the structure of the NSW Audit Office Governance Lighthouse and is provided to Council’s Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee prior to Council.
 

Constitutional referendum on councillor and ward numbers to be held in 2021

 A constitutional referendum to determine the future number of Central Coast councillors and wards will be held on 4 September 2021.
 
The referendum, which is to be undertaken on the same day as the conduct of the 2021 Local Government Elections being held across New South Wales, is for Central Coast voters to determine the following question:
 
Do you favour a reduction in the number of Central Coast Councillors from fifteen to nine? This will result in three Wards with each Ward electing three Councillors.
Central Coast Council Administrator Dick Persson AM said despite the Central Coast Council local elections being postponed the referendum is continuing so that any structure changes can take effect at the next local election.
 
“The current structure of 15 Councillors are too many to effectively govern the Central Coast and that this should ideally be reduced to 9 Councillors, with a Mayor being elected from one of the nine by the Council. A smaller number of Councillors would assist in changing the council from a combative political arena to a more collaborative and co-operative approach to its business and a cohesive governing body”, Mr Persson said.
 
“The reduction in Councillor numbers requires a reduction in the number of wards, and I have updated the referendum question so that a ward structure is reduced from the current 5 to 3, rather than a removal of wards all together.”
 
The Central Coast Local Government area is currently divided into five wards (The Entrance Ward, Wyong Ward, Budgewoi Ward, Gosford West Ward, Gosford East Ward) with 15 councillors. Each ward is currently represented by three councillors.
 

Rate

Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Comments

Add new comment

Last updated : Fri 28 May 2021