Committee formed to take action over dumping at Mangrove Mountain and Spencer

An Advisory Committee has been established by Council to oversee actions and address issues relating to the Mangrove Mountain Golf Course and dumping at Spencer.

The Mayor, three other Councillors, Chief Executive Officer, General Counsel, community stakeholders and independent experts will make up membership of the Committee with all minutes and resolutions to be reported publicly to an open Council meeting.

Mayor Jane Smith said there was a great deal of concern in the community in relation to the serious allegations raised in the ABC Four Corners story relating to waste issues on the Central Coast.

“The community want to see action on these issues,” Mayor Jane Smith said.

“There are ongoing investigations by Council and external agencies relating to Mangrove Mountain landfill and alleged illegal dumping at Spencer, and these important legal processes must continue.

“By establishing this Committee we are ensuring we are doing everything we possibly can to bring all the parties to the table to resolve these issues in the best interests of the community and the Central Coast.

“Most importantly of all, all activities will be publicly reported to Council to ensure the community is kept up to date on the progress of this Committee.”

The first meeting must be held within a month and the minutes of the Advisory Committee reported to Council.

Council calls for urgent meeting with the State Government on Kangy Angy rail maintenance facility

Council has called for an urgent meeting with Transport NSW, within the next fortnight, on its plans for a rail maintenance facility at Kangy Angy.

The call is in response to landowner concerns relating to the environmental sensitivity of the site at Kangy Angy and the need to explore other options for the rail maintenance facility.

Mayor Jane Smith said Council had acted quickly and would progress community concerns relating to the location of the facility directly with the State Government.

“Landowners feel they have been railroaded in this whole process and their voices remain unheard,” Mayor Jane Smith said.

“If a meeting cannot be held within a fortnight than we will be calling on all work relating to facility to cease until a meeting can take place.”

“We are asking Transport NSW to come to the table with Council to hear firsthand community concerns and to discuss the future of the proposed railyards, particularly in other locations.”

Council is looking to Transport NSW to revisit other site options outlined in previous consultant reports.

Fees set and changes to expenses deferred for new Central Coast Councillors

Council has now set the annual fee to be paid to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors based on a determination of the NSW Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.

All Councillors will be paid $28,950 a year with the Mayor to receive $104,847 and the Deputy Mayor $37,383.  The recommendation is consistent with the resolutions of other Councils of a similar size including Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown and Northern Beaches Councils.

Mayor Jane Smith said the fees were a matter of public interest and that further expenses suggested for the Mayor and Councillors would be deferred for further consideration and review by staff and Councillors.

“We are all pleased and honoured to have been elected to serve the people of the Central Coast,” Mayor Jane Smith said.

“The fees have been set to reflect the high demands placed on us in the execution of our civic duty and the fact that I will be a full time Mayor serving the needs of the community every day.”

“Additional expenses have been suggested to help fulfil Mayoral duties as the head of what is now a major regional Council, with a diverse and growing population.”

“I want the public to have confidence their elected officials are claiming reasonable expenses directly related to their role in the service of the community.”

Additional expenses being considered include a prestige vehicle for the Mayor to undertake civic duties and business class travel when representing the Council at state and national forums. Councillor travel expenses will also be subject to further review.

Council appointments to the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) confirmed

Councillors Kyle MacGregor and Chris Burke have been appointed as Council representatives on the Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).  Councillor Jeff Sundstrom and Mayor Jane Smith will be the alternate delegates.

The appointments are effective immediately and will be for a three year term. 

Mayor Jane Smith said the Council appointments would ensure local knowledge and experience would be brought to the table when decisions about the future development of the region were taking place.  

“By ensuring there is local experience as well as independent oversight of major developments we can ensure there is better integration between the built and natural environments on the Central Coast,” Mayor Jane Smith said.

“This Panel will be responsible for helping to shape how our region grows and develops now and in the future and we need to have a seat at that table.

“The appointments were a unanimous decision of Council so our representatives can be confident they have the full support of Council to carry out their duties.”

JRPPs provide independent, merit-based decision-making and advice to the NSW Minister for Planning on regionally significant development proposals, with a value over $20 million.  The JRPP is made up of five members, three independent experts appointed by the Minister and two recommended by Council.

Council representation confirmed for key Committee and Panel

Councillors have tonight been appointed as Council’s representatives to the key positions in the Grants and Sponsorship Review Panel and the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee.

The Grants and Sponsorship Review Panel is responsible for reviewing all staff recommendations for eligible applications, over $5000, received within the Grants and Sponsorship Program. The Program funds more than $1.4 million in community events and programs across five areas including community partnership, community development, place activation, community support, heritage and sponsorship.

Mayor Jane Smith will chair the Panel with Councillors Lisa Matthews and Jilly Pilon as Council delegates.  Councillors Chris Holstein and Louise Greenaway are alternate delegate.  Group Leader of Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, is also appointed to the Panel.

The Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee has oversight of all Council’s operations, including compliance, risk management, fraud control, financial management and governance and it is important to have external expertise and oversight of those processes.  The Committee also has three independent members on it being Mr Colin Gellatly AO, Mr John Gordon and Mr Carl Millington.

Councillors Doug Vincent and Louise Greenaway have been appointed as the Council representatives on the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee with Councillors Lisa Matthews and Jeff Sundstrom as alternates.