Highlights of the 25 May Council Meeting

Date

Monday, 25 May 2020

Release

Council to engage with community on Lake Munmorah Skate Park

Council has resolved to start additional online community engagement for a proposed skate part at Lake Munmorah.

The skate park and regional playspace will be located opposite Lake Munmorah shopping centre on Tall Timbers Road and it is anticipated that the creation of this facility will provide an inclusive recreational space for a range of ages, abilities and skills, provide a safe and accessible venue for community activities and attract regional and significant skate events. 

Dependant on final community feedback it is also anticipated to include fitness equipment, shared pathways, picnic areas, area for multi-generational enjoyment, outdoor activities and social gatherings. Initial consultation was held in 2019 and funding for the project has been allocated in the draft 2020/21 Capital Works budget.

Visit yourvoiceourcoast.com for further information about the next steps for community engagement.

Council delivers third quarter Business Report

Natural disasters and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure or reduction of some Council’s services to the public and cancellation of events have combined to have had an impact on the financial performance for Q3.

The Q3 year-to-date (YTD) operating result (excluding capital grants and contributions) is showing an unfavourable variance of $19.4M, consisting of an actual surplus of $14.5M compared to a budget surplus of $33.9M. The Q3 capital works spend is $137.4M compared to a budget of $151.4M.  While Council has sufficient funds to pay its vendors and staff at this time to continue to provide essential services, it must be noted that the impact of COVID-19 on Council’s cash flows are being monitored to ensure essential services and much needed community and business support as a result of COVID-19, can continue.  Whilst Council has provided a forecast to June 2020, the forecast was developed based on Government COVID-19 restrictions in place in early April 2020. Recently, the NSW Government has commenced the easing of social restrictions which has allowed Council to re-open some services to the public and this will impact the forecast.

The forecast to June 2020 is an operating deficit (excluding capital grants and contributions) of $41.6M. For more information on the forecast to June 2020 please refer to the 2019-20 Q3 Business Report.

Council’s review of the capital works program has resulted in a proposed budget decrease of $21.2M which decreases the capital works program to $233.9M to June 2020.

Council confirms 2020-21 water, sewerage, and drainage fees for ratepayers

In May 2019, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) made three-year determinations concerning Councils water, sewerage and drainage charges, for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022 inclusive.

In accordance with these determinations Council has increased the charges using the permitted CPI multipler of 2.2%.

Council’s proposed changes were included in the 2020-21 Operational Plan that was on public exhibition from 31 March to 4 May based on an estimated CPI multipler of 1.9% as the March quarter CPI had not been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the time the draft 2020-21 Operational Plan was developed.

It was noted that the IPART determined fees and charges would be updated once the March quarter CPI was released and the CPI multipler could be calculated. The 2020-21 fees and charges are expected to raise approximately $163,901,515 in revenue and are in-line with the IPART determination.

As per legislative requirements the Minister for Water, Property and Housing will review and approve the charges before Council can levy the charges for 2020-21 financial year.

Carpark solution remains on Council’s radar

Council adopted for the purpose of public exhibition, the short, medium and long-term actions of the Central Coast Car Parking Study: Implementation Plan with minor amendments.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said that parking issues continue to be an issue of concern for the community.

“Population growth coupled with the increasing commuter parking demands and increased economic activity around key centres has placed considerable strain on the limited existing parking capacity across the Central Coast

“We know that people want reliable access to parking, and the eventual implementation of this strategy will address commuter parking, drop-off zones, access and movement around transportable hubs to support and increase use of public transport,” said Mayor Matthews.

Key recommendations of the Central Coast Car Parking Study: Implementation Plan include; 

  • Council should focus its investment at key centres along the “Central Coast and Newcastle Line” (i.e. Gosford, Woy Woy, Tuggerah, and Wyong) where parking data has confirmed parking capacity issues.
  • Parking issues at the surf clubs and foreshore areas are synonymous with parking in these areas in peak summer periods and do not in themselves warrant substantial investments in additional parking supply. However, future parking needs for coastal areas should be continuously monitored.

The amended Central Coast Car Parking Study: Implementation Plan will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days.  Visit  yourvoiceourcoast.com for further information and to have your say.

Successful Round 2 Heritage Grant Recipients announced

The future of some of the Central Coast’s historic and culturally significant sites will be preserved for future generations to enjoy with 8 projects sharing in $65,100 worth of funds from the second round of Council’s 2019-20 Heritage Grant program.

Designed to support and retain the local heritage of the Central Coast Region the Heritage Grant program aims to encourage the retention, conservation and promotion of the material and social heritage of the Central Coast.

It provides a maximum allocation of $10,000 per application, in combined funding and in-kind Council services and is announced twice a year.

Mayor Lisa Matthews congratulated the successful applicants.

“It’s important that we are able to preserve the history of the Central Coast as it adds to the character of our region,” said Mayor Matthews.

“These funds will go to good use whether it is to produce resources for the community to enjoy or to conserve infrastructure and make the buildings safe, and I would encourage eligible groups to consider applying for future Heritage Grant Programs with the first one for the 2020-21 Financial Year opening in August.”

2019-20 Heritage Grant Round 2 Successful Applicants

Project Title and summary

Allocated Funding

Lerida House - Central Coast ARAMFI Inc – educational book documenting the heritage significance of Lerida

 

$10,000

Former Grafting Shed/Administration Building – second stage of works in the Conservation Management plan

 

$10,000

Yarramalong School of Arts Inc - repairs to external timber cladding, window sill, disabled ramp and handrail

 

$10,000

Scandrett’s Boatshed, Wharf and Slipway - repairs to wharf and mooring poles following natural disaster

 

$10,000

Brisbane Water Historical Society - restore cottage shingles roof

 

$10,000

Central Coast Conservatorium of Music Renovation - preparation of Conservation Management Plan

 

$10,000

‘The Gunyah’- replace and repair weatherboards due to decay and address water damage to timber frame

 

$4,400

Noonan’s Store - removal of asbestos on awning as part of verandah restoration works to meet safety requirements

 

$1,100

 

Council adopts Floodplain Studies Plans

The Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek Floodplain Risk Management Studies and Plans developed by Council in collaboration with the State Government and consultants have been endorsed by Council.  

The Ourimbah Creek Catchment Floodplain Risk Plan was amended to include an additional action of investigating the potential flood impacts of the completed Kangy Angy Rail Facility with particular reference to the February 2020 floods.

The Draft Plans were on public exhibition from 25 March until 26 April 2019 at Council's Wyong and Gosford offices with 17 formal submissions made from the community. There was positive community feedback on majority of the options.  All submissions were considered, an additional site visit was conducted by Council staff and Catchment and Coast Advisory Group. 

Mayor Lisa Matthews said mitigating the risk of floods is an important responsibility of Council and other agencies.

“Staff have done a lot of preliminary work and engaged with the community to get to this point and it’s important that we have these Plans in place to get the best outcomes for residents moving forward.

“As we saw as recently as February this year, floods have the potential to cause significant economic damage in the community as well as impact on the mental health and lives of our residents,” Mayor Matthews concluded.

The adoption of the studies and plans also qualifies Council for State & Federal grant assistance to fund two thirds of the cost of implementation of actions identified in the plans. This means that recommended works, such as culvert upgrades and trunk drainage works, can potentially be included in Council’s CAPEX forward plan of works.

Council commits to climate change path

A summer of natural disasters including bushfires and floods have reinforced the importance of Council’s commitment to the Climate Change Policy which was formally adopted in July 2019.

Council noted the progress to implement climate resilience planning both across Council operations and in the community.  The Council report also outlined resourcing needs and opportunities to meet Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration commitments within the budget framework of the next financial year.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Climate Action Planning face-to-face workshops had commenced to engage and communicate with the community on this matter. The workshops will recommence in a new and improved online format in the near future.

Work is progressing well with several Climate Change related plans in various stages of development including;

  • Climate Change Action Plan
  • Sea Level Rise Policy
  • Energy & Emissions Reduction Policy
  • Sustainability Strategy
  • Disaster Resilience Strategy
  • Greener Places Strategy
  • Biodiversity Strategy

Many of these plans will be considered by Council at future Council meetings.

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Last updated : Mon 25 May 2020