Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting






Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016






1          Welcome by Administrator


2          Acknowledgement of Country


3          Apologies  


4          Disclosures of Interest (Section 451 of the Local Government Act
and Council’s Code of Conduct)


5          Election of Chairperson for Joint LRAC


6          Staff Reports                                                                                                            Page


L0916 Item 1       Integration & Innovation Plan - Progress Report                                          3

L0916 Item 2       Local Democracy Framework - Establishment of Strategic Reference Groups  14

L0916 Item 3       Mainstreet Revitalisation Quantitative Data Study and Expert Advisory Panel    17

L0916 Item 4       Establishment of an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel for the Inner West Council                                                                                                        43


7          Reports with Confidential Information


Reports appearing in this section of the Business Paper are confidential in their entirety or contain confidential information in attachments.


The confidential information has been circulated to members separately.


L0916 Item 5       Live Streaming of Council Meetings                                                           67



Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


Item No:         L0916 Item 1

Subject:         Integration & Innovation Plan - Progress Report 

File Ref:         16/6032/102479.16        

Prepared By: Emma Lannan - Executive Policy Officer, Marrickville 

Authorised By: Nellette Kettle - Director, Innovation and Strategy



This report provides the combined LRACs with a high level summary of progress against the actions in the Integration and Innovation Plan (i-Plan).





THAT the report be received and noted and the LRACs provide any feedback.






The Integration and Innovation Plan (i-Plan) outlines the key projects to establish the Inner West Council in preparation for the return of the elected Council in September 2017.

During August, community feedback on the i-Plan was invited, via Council’s online engagement portal, Your Say Inner West. In this period, over 40 visits were recorded and the plan was downloaded 16 times. Four people provided their comments and these have been summarised below.


Summary of Comments

Recommended Action

Social sustainability issues need to be prioritised including housing affordability, access to services and programs

Agreed.  Access to services and programs will be considered as part of the service integration work. A detailed affordable housing study has been commissioned to inform the development of policy instruments that will apply to the whole Inner West Local Government Area. It will include a specific assessment of the Bays Precinct.

Contemporary local democracy needs to be accessible and highly participatory, not just relying on engaged community members who regularly self-select

Agreed.  The local democracy project aims to address these concerns.  Participation and accessibility are key considerations in establishing the new framework.

Transport services need to be addressed to improve connections between major nodes in the LGA, is challenging for the young and elderly

Addressing strategic challenges, such as the accessibility and connectivity of transport, will be guided by the Statement of Vision and Priorities - on which Council is currently undertaking community engagement. There is opportunity for Council’s greater strategic capacity to influence key stakeholders for better outcomes in terms of planning and service provision.

Request to return elected Council

The State Government has determined that Council elections for merged councils will be held in September 2017.


Publish DA information online to improve access to information

Currently, DA information of varying degrees of detail is published on all three former councils’ legacy websites, under the Planning and/or Development sections.

Publishing consolidated DA information on the new IWC website will be progressed as part of the services integration project. 

Extend programs across the LGA, such as Perfect Match art program.

Agreed.  A number of programs have already been extended and opened up to residents across the Local Government Area since the merger, including:

·   NAIDOC Week events

·   Environmental sustainability workshops, tours and other events

·   Library events such as Author Talks

·   Tree giveaway for National Tree Day

·   Ashfield Youth Theatre program


The merger implementation continues, guided by the i-Plan. As at 1 September 2016, 35 of the 89 actions have been completed.  A status overview against the actions is provided at Attachment 1. Progress in relation to the seven key strategic areas is highlighted below:


Service integration and review

·    Twenty temporary positions were endorsed at the inaugural meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee on 17 August 2016, and subsequently advertised.

·    Three information sessions were held to inform staff about the roles, structure and recruitment process, and to answer questions. Approximately 120 staff attended these sessions.

·    A total of 62 staff from across the Council applied for these roles, with many applying for more than one position.  This is an exceptional level of interest and commitment from our staff who are excited to be at the forefront of change.  The applicants are representative of the three former councils, with 13 applications from Ashfield branch staff, 18 from Leichhardt based staff and 31 from the Marrickville branch.

·    Interviews commenced the week commencing 5 September.

·    The service integration process will be undertaken by 16 Service Integration Project Leads, working with their respective service areas, from September 2016 to September 2017.

·    The 16 integration areas are:

Customer Service

Finance and Procurement

Governance, Legal and Property

Systems and Information Management

Human Resources

Children’s Services


Community Development, Culture and Recreation Planning, and Economic Development

Planning and Environmental Services

Regulatory Services

Waste and Public Place Cleaning

Civil Works

Parks and Trees


Capital Project Management

Asset Management and Design and Traffic.

·    In the interim, early service integration work continues.  Examples include:

Integrated asset management reporting

Harmonising of traffic permits and applications

Integrated flood planning

Libraries have commenced shared events programming

IWC events programs have been consolidated

Grants programs have been harmonised and consolidated

Sustainability programs have commenced integrating

Common project management methodologies are being implemented across the capital works program

Consolidation of major procurements has commenced

New internal policies and practices are being developed

Resources are being shared across IWC to deliver services

Contemporary local democracy


·    Presentation given to IAG on 14 July to open discussion on new framework for local democracy

·    Civic reception held 18 August to acknowledge and thank former committee members for their contributions. Over 120 people attended the evening

·    First Inner West Council Engagement Forum held 5 September, focussing on developing Council’s Statement of Vision and Priorities.  81 LRAC members, former committee members and community members attended

·    A second Engagement Forum on the Stronger Communities Fund is planned for 12 October

·    Early discussions have commenced with a potential research partner to support establishing a long term contemporary approach to local democracy

Integrated planning


·    Process developed and endorsed by IAG for development of Statement of Vision and Priorities

·    Consolidated 16/17 Operational Plan and Budget exhibited and adopted

·    Commenced scoping of internal governance framework for integrated planning moving forward

·    Common Operational Plan reporting framework agreed and in place for Quarter 1 reporting

·    Consolidated snapshot of Inner West Council assets developed and presented to the Executive Team. The next step is to present the snapshot to LRAC (planned for 20 September) as part of the Stronger Communities Fund Program.

Equipping and supporting Council staff to be resilient through change


·    Culture audit has been completed and will be used to inform the organisational values and culture project

·    Training opportunities continue to be offered across the organisation, including resilience; lateral transfer, recruitment and selections; applying for jobs; LSI coaching; Essential Skills for Emerging Leaders; Great Managers; navigating organisational change.

·    ‘Love it, leave it or change it’ workshops conducted in all teams to feed into the culture audit

·    General Manager video updates and fortnightly staff newsletter

·    Directors have established regular program of staff meetings

·    Joint Consultative Committee established and first meeting held 17 August.  Next meeting planned for 20 September

·    Lunch-time sessions on navigating change delivered by EAP provider

·    Change network program under development to assist with roll out of values project

Organisational re-design


·    Interim Executive Structure in place.  Relocations underway to provide senior leadership presence across staff sites.

·    Organisational re-design project team formed and early scoping work commenced. To be reviewed with new Interim General Manager.

Systems integration and transformation


·    Systems inventory completed

·    Procurement in progress for consultant to develop ICT roadmap (two stage process, second stage closed 24 August and appointment of successful consultant expected in September)

·    Contract awarded to develop dark fibre connectivity between sites and implementation is 80% complete. Project is expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of September.

·    Procurement process is underway to engage technical assistance to select and implement the consolidation of the three existing active directories and exchange servers. These are the infrastructure pieces that allow users to log into and use systems (like email, printing and software applications). Once complete, this will result in all users’ details and email networks being held one place and allow for the integration of systems to follow.

·    New position approved late August for Head of Systems Integration, reporting to Director, Innovation and Strategy

·    Inner West Council website established

·    Inner West Council email addresses active 


Organisational development


·    Integration and Innovation Plan (i-Plan) developed

·    Interim structure for the Innovation and Strategy Directorate finalised

·    Integrated Learning and Development Plan nearing completion

·    Leading Through Change seminar/Q&A scheduled for managers – 20 and 21 September

·    Executive leadership and team-building held 11 and 12 August  

·    Research on service review methodologies commenced

·    Values project to be rolled out from September 




A budget for the merger implementation is being developed and will be considered as part of the quarter 1 budget review process.








The public consultation process and outcomes undertaken are outlined above.




This report provides the joint LRAC meeting with a high level summary of progress against the actions in the Integration and Innovation Plan (i-Plan).






Integration & Innovation Plan (i-Plan) - Update 6 September 2016


Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


Item No:         L0916 Item 2

Subject:         Local Democracy Framework - Establishment of Strategic Reference Groups 

File Ref:         16/6032/103075.16        

Prepared By: Nellette Kettle - Director, Innovation and Strategy 

Authorised By: Nellette Kettle - Director, Innovation and Strategy



This report outlines a proposal to establish a number of interim Strategic Reference Groups as part of Council’s framework for participatory local democracy/community engagement.








1.       the report be noted and LRAC members provide any feedback; and


2.       each LRAC nominate one member to form the appointment panel with the Administrator.






One of the key strategic projects in the Integration and Innovation Plan (i-Plan) is the establishment of a new local democracy framework (Action 1.11). 


Officers have been working on a number of sub-projects in recent months that contribute to the delivery of this Action.  These include:


·    Appropriately marking the closure and important contribution of the members of the former committees of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils, culminating in a Civic Reception held on 18 August 2016, attended by 120 former Committee and LRAC members.


·   Establishing a program of issue/topic specific community engagement forums, drawing attendance from LRAC members, former committee members and interested inner west community members.  The first of these, attended by many LRAC members, was held on 5 September 2016 at Ashfield Town Hall, with a focus on establishing the Vision and Priorities for the Inner West Council over the next 1-2 years.  As expected, interest and participation in the forum was very high, with 81participants. In addition, over the next two weeks, there will be three focus groups held with youth, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and accessibility/inclusion groups, to ensure broad engagement on the Vision and Priorities.

The second community engagement forum will be held on 12 October 2016, at the Petersham Town Hall, with a focus on the Stronger Communities Fund.  (A report on the Stronger Communities Fund process and governance will be considered by LRAC on 20 September 2016).


·    Establishing a research partnership to work with Council (discussions have commenced with UTS) on identifying best practice community engagement/participatory local democracy in Australia and internationally, and to assist in auditing Council’s current practices and shaping the longer term framework.


Council is working towards a local democracy/community engagement framework that provides diversity in the communities, activities, projects and type of engagement undertaken.


Establishment of interim Strategic Reference Groups


A suite of targeted interim Strategic Reference Groups are proposed to ensure that Council maintains close links with the community and continues to receive strategic input and focused community involvement in key areas, as follows:


·    Young Leaders Reference Group

·    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Reference Group

·    Access and Inclusion Reference Group

·    Economic Development Strategic Reference Group

·    Housing and Affordability Reference Group

·    Transport Strategic Reference Group

·    Environment Strategic Reference Group

·    Planning and Heritage Strategic Reference Group


Role of the Reference Groups


·    Provide feedback, guidance and recommendations to Council on specific issues, including strategic planning and policy

·    Contribute local knowledge regarding community impacts, emerging trends, opportunities and service gaps

·    Undertake activities, programs and forums in conjunction with Council officers, as agreed

·    Full terms of reference would be finalised for Council adoption at the first meeting following selection of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson




·    Time limited to December 2017, with progress to be reviewed by the Council following its election in September 2017

·    To meet a minimum of 5 times between establishment and December 2017, with a meeting schedule to be determined at the first meeting




·    Up to 15 members

·    Derived from an open expression of interest process

·    Applicants would be required to meet selection criteria based on skills and experience relevant to the focus of the Reference Group

·    Applicants would nominate to join as either a member, Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson

·    Members of relevant community organisations would be eligible to apply

·    Membership would be diversely representative of the Inner West LGA



Resourcing and Support


·    Reference Groups would be resourced by a Council officer, whose role would include:

­  Convening meetings during Monday to Friday

­  Preparing agendas and minutes in a timely manner

­  Council reporting, including preparation of a progress report for the new Council following the September 2017 election, that includes best practice review

­  Other administration, as provided for in the terms of reference


Indicative Timetable


14 – 28 Sept

Expression of Interest period

29 Sept – 7 Oct

Officers compile and undertake preliminary assessment of applications

w/c 10 Oct

Appointments made by panel*

Period 24 Oct – 11 Nov

First meetings of each Reference Group held


* It is suggested that a representative from each of the three LRACs form a panel with the Administrator to determine the membership of the Reference Groups following the EOI process.




The Reference Groups can be established and resourced within existing budgets.




The Executive Team and relevant managers and staff have provided input and/or have commented on this report.




A communications campaign will be developed to inform the community of the new Reference Groups, including how to apply to be part of them.




Establishing the new local democracy framework remains an important and high priority activity for the Council.  This report outlines a proposal to establish a number of interim Strategic Reference Groups as part of Council’s framework for participatory local democracy/community engagement.





Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


Item No:         L0916 Item 3

Subject:         Mainstreet Revitalisation Quantitative Data Study and Expert Advisory Panel 

File Ref:         16/6014/77489.16        

Prepared By: Andrea Tattam - Economic Development Officer, Leichhardt 

Authorised By: Simone Schwarz - Director, Service Delivery



This report provides an overview of the recent quantitative transactional data research study from Council’s Economic Development Unit, Leichhardt, examining retail and consumer behaviour in Darling Street Balmain/Rozelle.

Key findings presented clearly demonstrate the retail strip is performing well and equally supported by both core local residents (48%) and out of area visitors and shoppers (46%).  There is however much still to be done in terms of centralised marketing for the area, enhancing and developing the retail mix and developing an improved amenity for shopping and retail to ensure the precinct remains competitive, attractive and vibrant.

The findings have been used in conjunction with the outcomes from the consultation through the Peninsula Partnership expert advisory panel to develop a number of key strategic initiatives. These strategic initiatives have been integrated into the 2016/17 Leichhardt Economic Development work program and are considered in future economic development planning for Inner West Council.





THAT the LRAC receives and notes the attached consumer behaviour study and report on Mainstreet Revitalisation Quantitative Data Study and Expert Panel in respect of the Darling Street Rozelle and Balmain pilot study area.






At its Ordinary Meeting on 24 November 2015, the former Leichhardt Council received a report investigating a Centralised Marketing Fund and resolved to allocate funding in the current Centralised Marketing Fund Pilot to fund a detailed analysis and quantitative study into the performance of our mainstreets, and to continue with marketing and promotion activities as per the adopted marketing and promotion strategy (including shopping promotions and street activations).

Consultants Taylor Street Advisory were selected to perform the in depth transactional data-based study of shopper behavior in the retail precincts of Darling Street Balmain and Rozelle.  The Darling Street precincts were selected as a pilot study area given significant recent increases in vacancy rates and the subsequent media attention focusing on the impact to local businesses and traders.

While many shopping centres and major malls use transaction data to understand shopping patterns within their centres, it is understood this is the first time this approach has been used in the context of local main street strip retailing and represents innovative leadership and governance.

Two key initiatives developed under the study;

1.   A quantitative research study using transactional data of current shopper behavior within the study area

2.   The establishment of the Peninsula Partnership, a coalition of local businesses, residents and community activists with the collective impact to act as an expert advisory panel.


Key findings of the transactional data analysis

The power of the findings from this piece of research cannot be overstated, the insights gained into the strengths and weaknesses of the retail strip at an individual retailer and shopping category are beyond any previous understanding and importantly are statistically and empirically valid and purely evidence based.  The research provides clear guidance to Council in informing its strategies to engage business, investors and land owners into meaningful dialogue to curate and develop the best business mix, marketing strategy and retail offer within our shopping precincts.

Examining both ‘Core’ local resident and ‘Extended’ out of area shoppers we have clear understanding of how well needs are being served by local retailers, where else local shoppers are directing their spending, why out of area shoppers are coming to the precinct and where they are coming from.

Overwhelmingly the research shows that, despite media and anecdotal reports, the Balmain/Rozelle precinct is ‘far from dead’, with Rozelle booming and Balmain performing satisfactorily. 

Almost half (48%) of the spend in the precinct is from core residents, a small percent come from within the remainder of the former Leichhardt LGA (6%) with the remainder being out of area(46%), reflective of a strong visitor economy.

Supermarket (21%) and specialty food retail (14%) dominate as key categories driving sales in the area, followed by Pubs and Bars (13%), Cafes/Restaurants/Takeaway (12%), retail services (10%) and clothing (10%). 

Data findings were benchmarked against both Sydney and Lane Cove as the closest comparable area based on demographics, income, size, proximity to CBD etc.

As expected the strategic challenges now are how marketing, centralized marketing, retail mix and amenity (including parking) can be leveraged to further develop and enhance the area in what is a fiercely competitive Sydney market.

The pilot will now be extended into the Leichhardt/Annandale retail precincts as per the 2016/17 Centralised Marketing Program with the study being part of the Leichhardt Economic Development budget and work program. 


Recommended Strategic Initiatives for Council and the Peninsula Partnership Advisory Panel

The attached report (Attachment 1) outlines a number of strategic initiatives for Council and the Peninsula Partnership as an expert panel and advisory group.  The initiatives concentrate primarily on actions relating to Advocacy, Business Mix, Marketing, Resourcing and Amenity.  These strategic recommendations will be integrated into the 2016/2017 Economic Development work program and considered in future economic development planning for the Inner West Council accordingly.


Commercial in Confidence

The data used in the study and analysis was prepared by Quantium Group Pty Ltd, using raw data obtained from the National Australia Bank Limited (NAB).  As such the information contained within the analysis report has been provided as commercial in confidence and may not be reproduced in a public document.


Leichhardt Council Resolution C217/16 - 26 April 2016


‘That Council prepare robust and effective community survey to assess shopping behaviours to increase shopping in the local area and report the draft and methodology back to the June Ordinary Meeting.’


It should be noted that by examining transactional data such as in the case of this study consumer behavior is empirically captured, and examines factors including;

·    Where shoppers come from

·    What they buy (by retail category, for example, clothing, groceries, pharmacy, etc)

·    Where else they shop, and for what they go elsewhere to buy

·    Their brand preferences.


The emergence of ‘big data’ to feed this quantitative approach has fundamentally changed the consumer behavior research paradigm.  These studies are now based on transactions from tens of thousands of credit and debit card transactions over a period of 12 months – which compares to a few hundred responses in out-dated, costly field-based surveys which are notoriously fraught with sampling error, limited historical perspectives and untested responses from participants.

In response to the above mentioned resolution therefore it is recommended that shopping behavior only be measured in this empirical manner as the most robust and effective means of understanding shopping behaviours, and the strengths and weaknesses within our local retail strips.




Within current budget.








A key element of the quantitative study was the formation of an expert advisory panel consultative group comprised of local business leaders, resident community activists and other local stakeholders

The Peninsula Partnership (Attachment 2) was created as an expert consultative group.  The partnership met to discuss the transactional data anaylsis and key issues impacting the Darling Street retail precinct on the 21 March 2016.  The outcomes of the consultation were central in developing the strategic recommendations contained within the subsequent consultant’s report.






Report - Mainstreet Revitalisation Quantitative Data Study & Expert Advisory Panel


Member Biographies - Peninsula Partnership Expert Advisory Panel


Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


Item No:         L0916 Item 4

Subject:         Establishment of an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel for the Inner West Council 

File Ref:         15/5804/101925.16        

Prepared By: Judy Clark - Manager Development Assessment, Marrickville and Elizabeth Richardson - Manager Assessments, Leichhardt 

Authorised By: Phil Sarin - Director, Planning and Environment



This report responds to an Administrator’s minute that requested a report on the establishment of an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP). It is considered that the most expedient and appropriate way to introduce an IHAP to cover the Inner West Council (IWC) area is to adapt and tailor the existing Leichardt Planning Panel (LPP) model with revisions to the operational guidelines and delegations, essentially to ensure that that the IHAP has capacity to determine development (and related) applications in a timely manner, is representative of the interests of the community within the expanded geographic area, and that only matters are referred to it that are appropriate for referral to an independent expert body.

A suite of documents is also included (Attachments 1 to 3) that outline the proposed Operational Guidelines and Code of Conduct and Charter to support implementation of an IWC IHAP, to be called the Inner West Planning Panel (IWPP). With these requirements in place it is intended that the IWPP builds on the achievements and experience gained through the establishment of the LPP in February 2015, and promotes a system that is fair, balanced and provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in decision making about certain development proposals.





THAT Council:

1.       establishes an independent hearing and assessment panel to be known as the Inner West Planning Panel (IWPP) as outlined in this report and in accordance with the details contained in the following procedural documents - Operational Guidelines, Code of Conduct  and Charter (Attachments 1, 2 and 3);

2.       requests the Interim General Manager arrange an Expression of Interest to recruit and appoint a pool of suitably qualified and experienced independent experts and community members to the IWPP;

3.       upon its commencement, delegates authority under Section 377 of the Local Government Act 1993 to the Panel to determine all matters delegated to it, as per Attachment 5;

4.       at the relevant time, gives public notice of the commencement of the IWPP and cessation of the LPP;

5.       notes the estimated recurring cost of the IWPP of $163,800 per annum to be funded from the existing LPP budget, and allocate additional funds to cover the estimated recruitment cost of up to $30,000; and

6.       requests officers provide an annual report to Council on the activities and outcomes of the IWPP in the previous 12 months.






At the extraordinary meeting of Council on 24 May 2016, an Administrator’s minute called for a report from staff for the potential to establish an IHAP across the Inner West Council area.


IHAP Models and Best Practice

IHAPs have been a component of the planning system in New South Wales since 2008 and operate in a number of (former) Sydney Councils including Waverley, Leichhardt, Manly, North Sydney, Mosman, Warringah, Holroyd and Lane Cove. These are all decision making IHAPs that operate in a determining role, having been granted delegated authority under Section 377 of the Local Government Act 1993.

There is no one size fits all model for the structure of a council decision making IHAP. However, a review of current literature and other council IHAP constitutions (or charters) and operational guidelines identify the following common features:

1.    For each panel hearing meeting the decision is made by a small number of members (typically not exceeding 4) one of whom is the designated Chairperson, with a quorum of at least 3 members. The LPP is an exception to this as it has 5 members. In relation to the optimum Panel size for the IWPP, a panel membership of 4 persons is recommended to reflect contemporary IHAP models operating in Sydney, noting that the careful selection of members is the most critical success factor for good decision making, not the number of members.

2.    Members are drawn from a pool of qualified professionals from a range of disciplines such as planning, urban design, environmental law, heritage, public administration, architecture, arboriculture and social planning and include community representatives with similar professional expertise.

3.    Incorporation of robust contact protocols for interaction with interested parties to eliminate lobbying.

4.    Various operational documents written in plain English regarding appointment and selection of members, meeting notification and governance, practices and procedures, matters the panel will deal with (delegations) and recording of/justification for decisions.

5.    Transparent management of conflicts of interest, member obligations and conduct through a separate “Code of Conduct” document based broadly on the Model Code of Conduct for Councillors.


It should be noted that under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, DA fees are statutory maximum fees that cannot be increased, nor can additional fees be levied to cover the cost of administering an IHAP.

A suite of tailored draft supporting documents to establish the IWPP that reflect best practice are included as Attachments 1 to 3 inclusive and are discussed in more detail later in this report.


The Leichhardt Planning Panel Experience

The former Leichhardt Council operates an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) known as the Leichhardt Planning Panel (LPP) with full delegation to act as a determination body. The LPP commenced in February 2015.The delegation model is considered to be best practice, and is recommended to be the basis for the IWPP.

The LPP meets monthly including January (during the day) with the option (and funding) to hold two additional meetings per annum on an as-needs basis. The Leichhardt Planning Panel in its current format can deal with approximately 140 applications per annum.

This is principally limited by the amount of time taken by the Panel on its meeting day to undertake site inspections in the morning and hold the public meeting in the afternoon.  Due to increased travel time across the expanded IWC, it is possible that fewer items may be able to be dealt with per meeting than these current arrangements.

The Leichhardt Planning Panel has $161,000 allocated in the 2016/2017 adopted budget for the Leichhardt Service Centre, which allows for fourteen (14) meetings per year if required. The budget allocation includes panel member remuneration, catering and use of the community bus for site inspections.

The LPP is well established and has a high level of acceptance and support across all stakeholders groups. Since its inception, benefits have included:

a)    High-quality, transparent, and expert independent oversight of development matters;

b)    Demonstrated high levels of satisfaction and confidence in the decision-making process from those that attend Panel meetings (both applicants and submitters);

c)    A marked reduction (in the order of 30%) in the number of appeals to the NSW Land and Environment Court, resulting in a saving to Council of between $50,000 (minimum) - $350,000 (maximum) on legal and consultant expert costs;

d)    Increased efficiency through removal of business paper agenda duplication; and

e)    Allowing the Council more time to focus on policy development matters. Principally, this was through the replacement of the former Building and Development Council meeting, with the Policy Meeting of Council.



The Inner West Council is expected to determine approximately 1,400 Development Applications per annum. Critical to the success of a new Inner West Council  Planning Panel is consideration of which matters should be referred to it, to ensure only those applications that are appropriate for review by an independent decision making body are captured, and that the IWPP has the capacity to determine applications in a timely, efficient manner.

With only an Administrator representing the Council as the authority in the present interim arrangements, delegation of this authority to an independent panel has advantages from a risk management and governance perspective.

To identify appropriate delegations for an IWPP, analysis of the number and category of development applications referred to Ashfield and Marrickville Councils and the Leichhardt Planning Panel in 2015 is provided in Attachment 4. This analysis highlights significant differences in the delegations specific to the determination of development applications at each (former) Council.

The delegations at the former Marrickville Council were significantly more extensive that those at the other councils, and as a consequence only a small number of  DAs were determined by the elected Council (31) with approximately 95% determined by staff (compared to 80% by staff at former Leichhardt Council and 86% by staff at former Ashfield Council).

In relation to the likely workload for the IWPP there are 3 important matters to note:

a)      The problematic impact of mandatory referrals required by the Department of Planning and Environment in relation to Clause 4.6 variations exceeding 10% in Marrickville and Ashfield, and 60%/40% in Leichhardt for the FSR and landscaped area controls (Council officers are seeking further advice from the Department of Planning and Environment about this issue).

b)      The rationalisation of three very different approaches to officer delegations to ensure consistency is necessary, but in doing this it will not be possible or appropriate to carry forward every existing delegation of each former Council to the IHAP, and conversely some matters that were previously determined by officers under delegation will now require referral to the IHAP.

c)      In relation to call up processes for development applications, different practices existed at each former Council as follows:


·     One Councillor could call up a matter to Council for determination at any time with no requirement to specify a reason(s).


·     The Leichhardt Council Determination of Applications Policy required that an application be referred to the Planning Panel for determination where at least two Councillors have made such a request to the Manager Assessments. For applications where submissions from eight or less properties have been received, these are not able to be determined by officers until an assessment report has been made available on Council’s website for a period of at least five (5) business days. It had been the practice to advise applicants/objectors in correspondence prior to the commencement of that 5–day period that that they have the option to ask two Councillors to call the matter up for determination at a Leichhardt Planning Panel for determination, during that 5 day period.


·     At any time prior to determination, a Councillor could register an interest in a DA with the Manager, Development Assessment. If the matter could otherwise be determined by an officer under delegation, a full assessment report was prepared and sent to those Councillor(s) who had registered an interest so they could have the benefit of an objective assessment of the facts. Councillors then had 3 business days to advise the Manager, Development Assessment whether or not they wished to call the DA up (to the Development Assessment Committee). If call up was made, a form signed by 3 Councillors was required to be submitted, including a statement as to why the matter was called up. This statement was included in the report synopsis.


Typically existing IHAPs operating in Sydney councils do not incorporate call up provisions, including the newest IHAPs established in post amalgamation environments, such as the Cumberland Council Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel and the City of Parramatta Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel.

It is not proposed to include a call up process for development applications to the IWPP in this model, as the public interest is best managed through transparent and appropriate delegations that balance the costs and benefits of referral triggers, and acknowledge the contribution of independent experts to the DA process. Call up is not favoured in the best practice model as it increases corruption risk, lacks procedural fairness and is perceived as supporting undue influence through private lobbying.

Current literature on planning panels is clear that the best practice approach for the referral of applications to an IHAP is that it should be predictable and have clear criteria with a low level of discretion. This adds greater certainty to the community and applicants as to what matters are dealt with by the Panel.

The alternative is to establish a process by which the Administrator would take on the former role of Councillors and be solely responsible for determining, upon request, which specific development applications are referred to an IHAP for determination in a situation where an application could be determined under delegation. From a probity and good governance perspective such an approach is not supported.

New delegations have been drafted and are provided in full detail in Attachment 5. These delegations seek to ensure that matters referred to the IHAP are appropriate, achieve a reasonable level of alignment with community interest and expectations across the entire IWC area, and manage probity issues.



The proposed delegations are summarised as follows:


A.   Where a recommendation for approval is made:

1.       Major development on Council property;

2.       Where an applicant or submitter is an Administrator, Councillor or senior member of staff (Team Leader or above);

3.       Where an application involves a variation to a development standard in excess of 10% except as provided for by any special concession agreed to by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment;

4.       Where the applicant has offered to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement in conjunction with the development application.

5.       An application with an estimated cost of development in excess of $10 million, except applications where Council is not the consent authority.

6.       An application with unresolved objections/submissions received in writing from 10 or more properties.

7.       An application for the establishment of a new brothel, sex services premises or boarding house.

8.       An application involving total demolition of a building listed as a heritage item or a contributory item in a Heritage Conservation Area.


B.   A request made under Section 82A of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 where there is no substantial change in recommendation on the matters subject of the Review.


C.  Development on community land in accordance with Section 47E of the Local Government Act 1993.



Role of Councillors

The new Inner West Council faces a considerable challenge to integrate three former organisations and set new standards for excellence in the delivery of services. In the planning context major issues will include setting the framework for and delivering a new Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan. This will be occurring alongside many State Government initiatives including a new District Plan, Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy, Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor, Bays Precinct as well as major infrastructure projects such as WestConnex, Sydney Metro and others.


It is therefore important for the Council going forward to focus on these major strategic initiatives and set its new planning policy direction for the future. Having a planning panel in place to deal with major development applications will provide additional opportunity for newly elected Councillors to work with the community on its land use strategy and responses to regional and metro wide projects.


Supporting Documentation

1.   Operational Guidelines (Attachment 1)

The Operational Guidelines outline the procedures for notifying and conducting Panel meetings and site inspections, hearing speakers and recording decisions.

The key elements of the Operational Guidelines are as follows:


Site Inspections

Site inspections will ordinarily take place for all applications to be considered on the same day as the Panel hearing meeting for that item, at the discretion of the Panel Chairperson. The purpose of the site inspection is for the Panel as a group to obtain an understanding of the application and its context, and any relevant issues. Site inspections are not an opportunity for either proponents or opponents of a development to influence or lobby the Panel. The Panel members may ask questions or seek clarification on certain matters and certain issues may be described by “registered” persons present at the site visit to assist understanding of the issues.



Meetings will be held monthly on a regular schedule during business hours, including in January, with the exact location to be advised via the agenda. Additional meetings may be held from time to time if there is a high number of pending applications to be referred to the Panel. Meeting agendas and reports will be publically available at least five (5) days prior to the meeting. Speakers must register to speak prior to the meeting. Persons who have not lodged a submission during the DA assessment period (other than the applicant or their representative) are required to provide a brief written summary of the matters that the person wishes to address the Panel about.

Speakers will be allowed to speak for three (3) minutes with the option for the Chairperson to grant an extension.

The Panel may deliberate, conclude and determine the matter in the public (open) meeting. However, the Panel may decide to adjourn briefly for the express purpose of deliberating if considered warranted, to reflect on the submissions made to them and discuss together the appropriate weight and response to issues raised prior to their final determination. If this occurs, the Panel will return to the public (open) meeting to conclude and determine the matter.

The decision and reasons and the voting pattern (if not unanimous) will be recorded in the minutes.


2.   Code of Conduct (Attachment 2)

The Code of Conduct outlines the standards of conduct expected of the Inner West Council Planning Panel members and their responsibilities in areas such as conflicts of interest, gifts and access to personal information.

The key elements of the Code of Conduct to note are as follows:


Conduct Obligations

Members are bound by obligations to act lawfully, honestly and consider issues objectively and consistently. Panel members must act with respect, professionalism and courtesy towards one another, Council officers and persons addressing the panel at hearing meetings.


Interactions with others involved in matters referred to the Panel

Panel members’ interaction with stakeholders is restricted to occur only within the formal hearing meeting process. Lobbying by any party either for or against a development, including the Administrator, is prohibited.

Panel members are also prohibited from influencing Council staff in the preparation of assessment reports.


Conflicts of interest

Members of the Panel are designated persons as defined by Section 441 of the Local Government Act, 1993. Each Panel member must complete a Pecuniary Interest Declaration Return as required by the Local Government Act, 1993.

Panel members must avoid or appropriately manage any conflict of interest and the Code of Conduct contains disclosures requirements that reflect those that apply to former Councillors under the provisions of the model Councillor’s Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct contains provisions relating to gifts and benefits and protection of confidential and personal information. There are also provisions that relate to reporting breaches of the Code, and the powers of the General Manager to impose sanctions for breaches.


3.   Charter (Attachment 3)

The Panel Charter contains the Panel Constitution and details of the Panel’s functions and an overview of the Panel members’ obligations, together with an explanation of the structure of the Panel and the membership qualification requirements.

The key elements of the draft Panel Charter to note are as follows:


Matters to be dealt with by the Panel

The list of matters that would be delegated to the Panel are included in the Charter. The categories are provided in Attachment 5.


Panel membership

This report recommends that the Panel for a hearing meeting comprises four (4) members (including the Chairperson) and three (3) members form the quorum for a meeting.

The Chairperson and members will be drawn from a pool of suitable qualified persons (and shall include community representatives), intended to be appointed by the General Manager following a public Expression of Interest process. Panel members will be selected for a particular agenda based on relevance of expertise, also taking into account any declarations of interest and availability.

Each appointed Panel member will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to comply with the Code of Conduct, Operational Guidelines and Charter. The MOU has not been included as part of this report as it is essentially an employment contract document.


Term, trial period and remuneration

It is recommended that Council follows the practice of other Councils (including former Leichhardt Council) and appoint Panel members for 2 years with an option for a further 2 year appointment.

Panel members will be entitled to be paid if selected as a member for a hearing meeting, with exact remuneration determined by the General Manager. Estimated costs are discussed below under the heading “Financial Implications”.



Determination shall be by a majority vote, and the voting pattern shall be recorded in the minutes, together with reasons for any decision contrary to the officer’s recommendation. If a DA is refused against officers’ recommendations the reasons must be capable of being defended in the Land and Environment Court. In the case of deferral, the Panel must state the issues to be addressed by the applicant to enable the application to be brought back to the Panel for final consideration (this may be via electronic means).


Recruiting Panel Members

The terms of the current members of the LPP are due to expire in December 2016. To transition from the LPP to the IWPP, reappointment of members of the current LPP is proposed. Concurrently, a public Expression of Interest (EOI) process is required to broaden the membership of the new IWPP, to ensure that the membership pool contains enough persons with suitable technical expertise and experience, and that it is representative of the interests of the community within the expanded geographic area.

To ensure that a transparent, independent and robust selection process occurs, and that the composition of the Panel is balanced between technical expertise and appropriate interpersonal and engagement skills, a one off allocation of $30,000 (maximum) is required for external assistance with panel selection.

Given the necessity to conduct an EOI, it is anticipated that the IWPP would commence in October 2016. Upon commencement of the IWPP, the current LPP would cease.




Establishment and operating costs have been estimated based on 12 meetings per year with the option for four (4) additional meetings on a needs basis, with a sitting Panel of four (4) members per meeting, paid on a sessional basis.

Estimated costs are modelled on the rates paid to the LPP members (with a small increase for CPI as the rates have not been reviewed since February 2015), and an allocation for ancillary costs (catering, community bus hire, etc.) as follows:

·    Panel member remuneration per meeting (total) $9,800 inclusive of GST X 16 meetings = $156,800.

·    Ancillary costs (catering, bus for site inspections, etc.) = $7000

·    Recurring  cost = $163,800 per annum

·    Recruitment  $30,000 (one off)


TOTAL = $193,800


Based on these estimated costs of operation, the recurring annual cost of the IWPP of $163,800 per annum could be funded from the existing LPP budget, noting that additional funds are required to be allocated to cover the one off cost of recruitment of up to $30,000.




The Manager, Development Services, Ashfield was involved in the preparation of this report.




Appropriate notice of the commencement of the Inner West Planning Panel will be provided.




This report responds to an Administrator’s minute that requested a report on the potential establishment of an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP). It is considered that the most expedient and appropriate way to introduce an IHAP to cover the Inner West Council (IWC) area is to adapt and tailor the existing Leichardt Planning Panel (LPP) model, but  with a reduced sitting panel of four (4) members for each meeting. Transitional arrangements for the existing LPP are proposed in conjunction with a concurrent EOI to recruit a membership pool for the IWPP that it is representative of the interests of the community within the expanded geographic area.






Inner West Planning Panel (IWPP) Operational Guidelines


Inner West Planning Panel (IWPP) Code of Conduct


Inner West Planning Panel (IWPP) Charter


Analysis of DAs Not Determined by Staff by Branch in 2015


Development Applications to be Delegated to the IWPP


Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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13 September 2016


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Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


Item No:         L0916 Item 5

Subject:         Live Streaming of Council Meetings 

File Ref:         16/6032/102062.16        

Prepared By: Renata Krchnakova - Executive Policy Officer, Ashfield 

Authorised By: Peter Gainsford - Director, Corporate Services


This report seeks Council’s endorsement of a solution for live streaming of public meetings.







1.       in accordance with the requirements under the Local Government Act 1993, the information contained in Confidential Attachments 2 and 3 of this report are classified as confidential under the provisions of Section 10A (2) (d) of the Local Government Act 1993 for the following reasons:

a)    commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it;

b)    commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council.

Confidential information provided for assessment by Committee members is not to be shared or published;  and


2.       Council implements option 3, using YouTube to webcast Council and Committee Meetings commencing from November 2016.






On 12 July the Joint LRAC requested:

1.    that the Administrator investigates issues and options for the introduction of public streaming of meetings of Inner West Council; 

2.    that the analysis focuses principally on needs for streaming meetings of the body politic of Council, meetings of the Local Representation Advisory Committee and meetings of the Independent Advisory Group;

3.    the analyses considers the potential for eventually extending the use of such technology to facilitate initiatives like community consultations and the staging of innovation or economic development events similar to those sponsored by Boston City Council;

4.    that the analysis provides a range of short term and long term options for consideration which may include recommendations for low cost interim capabilities, capabilities that are scalable and capabilities that offer high standards of fidelity and or functionality; and

5.    the analysis reflects a strong interest in mobile solutions or other capabilities that are not depended upon staging the meeting or event at the site of which the solution is based.


Livestreaming Solutions for Inner West Council

The merit of introducing live streaming of public meetings was raised in the June meeting of the Marrickville Local Representation Advisory Committee. Streaming is the process of delivering multimedia content via the internet, in audio and/or video format from a single content source to multiple viewers. Councils in NSW and other states are introducing live streaming of council’s meetings at a fast pace. Increasing and expanding public access through streaming can significantly enhanced the ability of Inner West Council to meet open government obligations of transparency and accountability. 

While the benefits of livestreaming are well documented there are some legal issues that may be raised in opposition. Liability for defamation for republishing defamatory remarks and privacy considerations are usually the main objections.

In NSW, the Defamation Act 2005 is likely to provide defence to any claim, namely section 29 which provides defence for the “fair report of proceedings of public concern’. Public Council meetings fall within the description of “proceedings of public concern”. 

Under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, Council has obligations regarding the disclosure of personal information. This can be managed by ensuring speakers are consenting to their personal information and circumstances being disclosed via the livestream. This can be achieved by developing Inner West Council Recording of Public Meetings policy (see sample Attachment 1), by reading a disclaimer that warns the public that the meetings are live streamed at the beginning of each meeting and by displaying it prominently in the council chambers or meeting rooms.


The web streaming solutions:

1.   Fully outsourced solutions – The IT Department Marrickville obtained 3 quotes from providers of ad-hoc services. This solution is based on per event cost. The final recommendation from the IT department was to use provider with the best solution and  lowest quote at $2,145.00[1] per event (Confidential Attachment 2)



·   No set up cost immediate start

·   Fully operated and staffed by Webcasting Inc.

·   Live Closed Captioning for event with stenographer on site



·   Cost, at per event based on 60 (5 meetings per month) council and committee meetings over the next 12 months $128,700

·   Limit on the time of the event 4 hours

·   Limited scope – no opportunities to build or expend as no control and not internal capacity building.


2.   Self- Managed Solution with external support – An Australian Company with an expertise in council solutions. It requires initial set up costs for hardware, software and other equipment and ongoing costs for live streaming services, streaming set up and archive storage. This solution can be expanded to include other public meetings. (Confidential Attachment 3



·   Short set up time – 2-3 weeks to select and purchase equipment

·   Risk reduction – tried and tested solution

·   Initial training provided, extended training available on cost basis



·   Set up costs $1,870.00 + hardware $7,000.00

·   Ongoing  service costs - $429.00 per meeting ($25,740.00 - 60 meetings per year) 

·   Ongoing archiving costs - $71.00 (per month) reducing as number of archives increase $22.00 with 21+ archives ($568.00 per year based on average costs)

·   Total running cost approximately $26,308.00 per year)

·   It is a fixed solution that is set up in one or two location permanently


3.   Full in-house solution using YouTube as streaming platform. This solution has a low uptake in Australian Local Government, however widely used by councils in the USA, UK and Canada and by Australian Universities to stream lectures, tutorial and seminars. There is a movement by a small group of innovative shires and councils that are joining the YouTube solution, the Alpine Shire and the Rural City of Wangaratta are streaming meeting on their YouTube channels. The former Marrickville Council has a YouTube channel and obtaining one for the Inner West Council is simple as joining YouTube with Inner West Details. This is an innovative solution which minimises costs to Council, has wide application, is very familiar to users and creates new 21st century jobs i.e. Digital Governance Officer. You Tube is a free livestreaming service and is capable to stream to all mobile and hand held devices.



·   Equipment Costs approximately $7,000 - 10,000

·   Cost Effective Software and archives free

·   Easy to use for the viewer and accessible on mobile and hand held devices

·   Innovative using existing highly frequented distribution channel

·   Has wide application can be applied across all  community engagement events



·   Staging in process – initially council meetings in set locations the first meeting October 2016

·   Next stage – Committee meetings February 2017

·   Portable solutions fully tested and supported September 2017




$10,000 to be funded in the first quarter budget review.




IT, Legal, Governance and Communications were consulted and provided valuable feedback which was incorporated in the report.









Policy on Recording of Public Meetings


Webcasting  - Confidential


Apstream  - Confidential


Joint Local Representation Advisory Committee Meeting

13 September 2016


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[1] All costs are GST inclusive