Council Meeting Summary: November 2019
The November Ordinary Meeting of Council was held at the Bannockburn Cultural Centre last night, Tuesday 26 November, with all Councillors in attendance.
To accommodate a record number of residents becoming citizens at a ceremony held immediately prior to the Council meeting, there was a change of venue from the Bannockburn Shire Hall to the public hall in the Cultural Centre. This allowed enough seating for all family and friends of the citizenship recipients.
Council welcomed 20 residents to take their oath of citizenship in one of the largest citizenship ceremonies conducted in Golden Plains Shire. The Shire’s newest citizens originated from the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Colombia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Iceland, China, and the United Arab Emirates, and now call Anakie, Bannockburn, Lethbridge, Corindhap, Haddon, Smythes Creek, Inverleigh and Enfield home.
Once the ceremony was over, the formal Council meeting got underway, attracting a large crowd in the public gallery. The meeting began with Public Question Time, where there were questions from six residents. Before moving on to the rest of the agenda, Councillors agreed to move the Best Value Review – Bannockburn Children’s Services report out of the confidential section, and distributing copies to the public gallery.
Councillors provided an update on what meetings and activities they undertook over the last month, with Cr Helena Kirby and Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey highlighting the recent Spring in the Shire Awards Celebration event.
Planning Application P19-014
The meeting then moved on to three town planning related permits. The first was for a three lot subdivision at 8 Merino Drive, Teesdale, which was referred to the Council meeting for determination due to objections. Councillors decided to defer this application to the December Council meeting to consider the lot size and common boundary driveway.
Planning Application P19-134
Council then considered a two lot subdivision at Lot 3 PS 331084 Bannockburn-Shelford Road, Teesdale, which was also referred to Council due to objections. Two objectors spoke at the meeting to present their concerns to Council. Following this, Councillors resolved to support the recommendation to approve the two lot subdivision.
Planning Application P19-055
The final town planning matter concerned a Place of assembly, group accommodation and a liquor license for a function centre at 199 Teesdale-Inverleigh Road, Inverleigh. The existing operation had gone through the process to make its operations compliant, as well as propose some expansion. Council supported the recommendation to approve the development with an amendment to recognise the agricultural use of adjacent properties.
Amendment C87 – Inverleigh Structure Plan
Councillors then considered the Inverleigh Structure Plan amendment. This was exhibited between 16 August and 16 October 2019, and Council received 91 submissions from the Inverleigh community. A number of submissions supported the amendment, others suggested modifications, while many did not support the Amendment for a number of reasons. As Council was unable to resolve all of the concerns raised, Councillors supported the recommendation for submissions to be referred to an Independent Panel to be appointed by the Victorian Minister for Planning.
Amendment C88 – Bannockburn Shire Hall
The meeting then considered a less contentious planning scheme amendment. With no objections, Councillors supported the recommendation to rezone the Bannockburn Shire Hall from PUZ6 (Local Government) to C1Z (Commercial Zone 1). This amendment is to ensure the Shire Hall can continued to be maintained and utilised once its use as a Council Chambers ceases with the opening of the Golden Plains Community and Civic Centre in 2020.
Place Naming Act – Inverleigh River Park
Recently, the Inverleigh community were asked what the name of the new Pick My Project park under construction should be called. The community organised a survey, which came up with ‘Inverleigh River Park’ as the preferred name. Following this, Council went through the formal advertising process. Now that process is complete, Councillors agreed to retain the advertised name.
Meredith Interpretative Centre EOI
The Meredith Interpretive Centre has been vacant since May 2019, and Council recently undertook an expression of interest process to see if there were any commercial or community groups that would be interested in leasing the space. Council received two expressions of interest, and Councillors supported the recommendation to seriously consider the proposal from CLAW Enterprises Pty Ltd for the provision of a creative social enterprise.
Pool and Spa Barrier Compliance
Council then discussed the incoming State Government legislation for local councils to routinely check pool and spa barrier compliance of private properties. Council is preparing for the commencement of the legislation, which is due to come into effect on 1 December 2019.
Local Government Inspectorate Update
At the organisation’s request, in November 2018 Council participated in an examination by the Local Government Inspectorate (LGI) to ensure Council’s processes and practices, specifically, in relation to governance and procurement, met the requirements of the Local Government Act 1989. In its report, the LGI made a number of recommended actions, which Council supported. A progress report on progressing these actions was provided to the LGI on 31 October 2019, and a copy was provided to Councillors at the meeting.
Local Government Performance Reporting Framework
The final progress report on the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework measures for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 was presented to Councillors at the meeting for their reference.
Two further reports were then presented to Councillors. These concerned a summary of business considered at the 12 November 2019 meeting of the Audit & Risk Committee, and the Financial Report on the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year.
New and updated policies
Councillors then turned their attention to five new or updated policies that were tabled. Councillors adopted an updated and renamed Councillor Entitlements Reimbursement Policy, a new Sale of Land Policy, an updated and renamed Property Use Agreements Policy and a revised Fraud and Corruption Control Policy. Councillors also debated a Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Framework and Policy, however, following a failed amendment, the recommendation to adopt the policy was not supported by a majority of Councillors.
Pest Plant and Animal Management Works
Council is currently seeking to form a panel of suppliers to undertake pest plant and animal management works on Council owned and managed land. Following a competitive tender process, Council evaluated and assessed eight tenders, and Councillors supported the recommendation to award contracts to five of these tenderers.
Mayoral and Councillor Allowances
Each year, the State Minister for Local Government reviews the Mayoral and Councillor Allowances for all Victorian municipalities, and this year announced a 2.0% increase from 1 December 2019. In accordance with a Council resolution from 26 March 2019, this increase will also apply to the Audit & Risk Committee independent member allowances.
Following the resignation of Cr David Evans from the Audit & Risk Committee, Councillors appointed Cr Les Rowe to the Committee for the remainder of the term.
Best Value Review – Bannockburn Children’s Service Long Day Care
Finally, following the decision at the start of the meeting to move it out of the confidential section, Councillors considered the future management of long day care at the Bannockburn Children’s Service. After serious consideration and discussion, Councillors voted to seek an alternate provider for the long term day care service. To read more about this decision, click here.