Highlights of the 15 June Ordinary Council Meeting

Date

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Release

Referendum to determine Councillor numbers will proceed this September

Central Coast Council will engage private provider Australian Election Company Pty Limited for the conduct a Referendum on 4 September 2021. The Referendum will determine community support for the reduction of Central Coast Councillor numbers from fifteen to nine.

Council Administrator Rik Hart said that while Council had previously resolved to engage the NSW Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum, it has since advised Council that it is no longer in a position to provide the referendum services on 4 September as originally planned and costed.

“The NSW Electoral Commission advised that it may be able to conduct a stand-alone referendum in March 2022. While serious consideration has been given to this option, this creates a challenging timeframe,” Mr Hart said.

“Should the referendum be carried forward to March, this would leave insufficient time for review and consultation of ward boundaries in time for a potential Council election in September 2022.

“Council has identified an appropriate provider who is able to deliver the referendum service in September 2021 and at a slightly lower cost than the NSW Electoral Commission has quoted.

“For these reasons, and to provide the Central Coast community the opportunity to have their say on this important issue, Australian Election Company Pty Limited will be engaged for the conduct of a Referendum on 4 September 2021, when local government elections are being conducted in NSW.”

Voting in the referendum is compulsory for all Australian citizens over 18 who reside in the Central Coast Local Government Area.

To learn more, search ‘referendum’ at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au.


Council to implement new Cemeteries Management System

Council will implement a ‘fit for purpose’ and dedicated IT system for cemeteries management after completing an open tender process to select a preferred supplier.

The new Cemeteries Management System will replace two existing systems and deliver significant efficiencies across Council cemeteries including:

  • ability to provide new memorialisation and burial offerings to the community
  • improved customer experience with ability to access records online 24/7
  • ability to record all historic cemetery data and have that data available to search online
  • faster processing times for site sales, burial bookings, ash interments, monumental works and customer enquiries
  • reduced time spent on administration which will increase capacity for other projects within the cemeteries.

Delivering the Cemeteries Management System represents a forecast investment of $361,049 in 2021-22 and $80,000 over 2021-22 and 2022-23. A reduction in the overall cost has been achieved through opting for a multiyear contract and operational savings have been identified to cover licensing costs.

The implementation of a dedicated and Fit for Purpose Cemetery Management System was a recommendation of the Capacity Study and Cemeteries Business Strategy and is a key Strategic Action in the Cemeteries Business Plan for 2020-21.

 

Council to remove ‘Water Poppy’ at properties in Matcham

The aquatic weed Hydrocleys Nymphoides (Water Poppy) has been identified on four properties in Matcham.

Due to the urgency for controlling this priority weed, the Greater Sydney Weed Action Plan (WAP) has provided emergency funding of $8,353 to Council for the removal, disposal and treatment of the Water Poppy on the private properties.

Physical removal has been identified as the best treatment to manage the weed at these locations due to the limited control options available.

Following completion of the works an additional report will be brought to Council.

 

Community’s voice helps develop first region wide Skatepark Strategy

The first region wide Skatepark Strategy has been adopted to set the long-term strategic direction for skatepark development and sustainable management across the Central Coast.

The Skatepark Strategy coordinates the future planning, management and maintenance of these valued recreation assets, and identifies priorities to inform the development, upgrade and maintenance of skate facilities on the Central Coast to meet the needs of our community.

Skateparks provide numerous benefits for our community through the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles, social inclusion and they accommodate the growing popularity of skateboarding and scootering across age groups, genders and abilities. Skating is an inclusive activity, which includes BMX, scooters, in-line skates, longboards and skateboards.

Council Administrator Rik Hart said that community participation played an important role in the development of the Skatepark Strategy.

“Information gathered from engagement activities, such as workshop events, surveys and forums, provided valuable insight and helped Council develop a strategy that reflects what the community want and need.”

“This strategy helps secure funding and sets a framework to ensure resources are appropriately allocated in the short, medium and long term to develop and maintain purpose built, safe and engaging skateparks and recreation areas equitably across our region for the benefit they provide to our community.”

The Skatepark Strategy’s implementation plan is summarised into short term, medium and long term goals including:

  • Short term (1 to 3 years): The development of new regional facility at Umina Beach and Lake Munmorah, redevelopment of the Narara facility to a district level skatepark, and repair existing skatepark facilities to address any safety concerns and extend lifespans until consolidation and redevelopment is implemented.
  • Medium term (4 to 7 years): Consolidation and redevelopment of local facilities in accordance with development of larger facilities (timeline to ensure larger projects are implemented prior to removal of any existing facilities to maintain consistent level of provision), and investigate the opportunity to provide a local or spot facility in the Avoca Beach area with community consultation.
  • Long term (8 to 10 years): Development of new district facility in Warnervale/ Wadalba area (location to consider the Pedestrian Access & Mobility Plan (PAMP), and ensure facility is in high profile, accessible space). Introduction of spot facilities in the Woy Woy / Empire Bay area, Tuggerah / Chittaway Bay area and other locations with limited access to larger facilities (locations to consider PAMP strategy, and integration into shared pathways and social spaces). Investigate the potential of developing a regional skatepark facility west of the Pacific Highway, including identifying potential sites.
  • Other considerations: Develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders and surrounding councils to maximise events, programs and funding opportunities. Further develop communication and promote future facilities, events and programs. Monitor, evaluate and report recommendations annually over the life of the strategy. Review skate strategy every five years for relevance with current trends and standards. Ongoing maintenance and skatepark provision.

 

Council achieving fantastic outcomes to help solve Coast’s affordable housing challenge

Two years on from the adoption of the Central Coast Affordable and Alternate Housing Strategy, Central Coast Council has achieved a range of positive outcomes to help address the broad spectrum of affordable housing need across the Central Coast.

Council Administrator Rik Hart said the Strategy is a comprehensive plan which addresses initiatives across the housing continuum, from homelessness through to home ownership, providing pathways for a range of households, from very low through to moderate incomes.

“The demand for access to affordable and alternate housing is a growing and complex issue impacting the Central Coast LGA and this Strategy seeks to provide effective policy solutions to address this,” Mr Hart said.

“It aims to build a vision for a fair and inclusive region, where everyone has access to affordable and sustainable housing.”

Key highlights and actions undertaken by Council since the Strategy’s adoption in April 2019 include:

  • Employment of an Affordable Housing Officer
  • Council Affordable Housing Land (CAHL) Proposal – The CAHL Proposal, which was endorsed for exhibition on 27 April 2021, provides the framework for developing Affordable Housing on Council owned underutilised land.
  • Transitional Properties Portfolio – Two Council-owned cottages have undergone basic maintenance in preparation for tenanting, with a Request for Information administered to invite responses from Registered Community Housing Providers and Specialist Homelessness Services for a head leasing arrangement.
  • Central Coast Homelessness Protocol - An internal protocol and policy have been drafted to formalise Council’s approach to working with rough sleepers on Council land/property, as well as the ongoing process for Council staff to request Outreach Services for rough sleepers they encounter.
  • Brokerage Pilot Program - Two local neighbourhood centres are piloting the Intervention and Prevention Brokerage Program to prevent people from becoming at risk of homelessness.
  • Community Education - An animated video has been developed to educate the community on the need and design of affordable housing to increase awareness and acceptance. This will be rolled out through local high schools coinciding with Homelessness Week.

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Last updated : Wed 16 Jun 2021