AGENDA R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Meeting

                            

TUESDAY 14 AUGUST 2018

 

6.30pm

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Live Streaming of Council Meeting

 

In the spirit of open, accessible and transparent government, this meeting of the Inner West Council is being streamed live on Council’s website. By speaking at a Council meeting, members of the public agree to being recorded and must ensure their speech to the Council is respectful and use appropriate language. A person who uses defamatory, discriminatory or offensive language may be exposed to liability for which Council takes no responsibility. Any part of this meeting that is held in closed session will not be recorded

 

Pre-Registration to Speak at Council Meetings

 

Members of the public must register by 2pm of the day of the Meeting to speak at Council Meetings. If you wish to register to speak please fill in a Register to Speak Form, available from the Inner West Council website, including:

 

Are there any rules for speaking at a Council Meeting?

The following rules apply when addressing a Council meeting:

 

What happens after I submit the form?

Your request will then be added to a list that is shown to the Chairperson on the night of the meeting.

 

Where Items are deferred, Council reserves the right to defer speakers until that Item is heard on the next occasion.

 

Accessibility

 

Inner West Council is committed to ensuring people with a disability have equal opportunity to take part in Council and Committee Meetings. At the Ashfield Council Chambers there is a hearing loop service available to assist persons with a hearing impairment. If you have any other access or disability related participation needs and wish to know more, call 9392 5657.

 

Persons in the public gallery are advised that under the Local Government Act 1993, a person may NOT tape record a Council meeting without the permission of Council.

 

Any persons found recording without authority will be expelled from the meeting.

 

“Record” includes the use of any form of audio, video and still camera equipment or mobile phone capable of recording speech.

 

An audio recording of this meeting will be taken for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the minutes.  

 

 

   


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

 

 

PRECIS

 

 

1          Acknowledgement of Country

 

2          Apologies

 

3          Notice of Webcasting

 

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

 

5          Moment of Quiet Contemplation

 

6          Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                             Page

Minutes of 24 July 2018 Council Meeting                                                                        5

7          Mayoral Minutes

 

ITEM                                                                                                                                          Page

 

C0818(1) Item 1  Mayoral Minute: Marion Street Carpark                                                     22

C0818(1) Item 2  Mayoral Minute: Public Library Funding                                                     23

 

8          Staff Reports

 

ITEM                                                                                                                                          Page

 

C0818(1) Item 3       Multicultural Policy                                                                                 26

C0818(1) Item 4       Draft Grants and Fee Scale Policy                                                        45

C0818(1) Item 5       Revised Public Access to Information held by Council Policy            100

C0818(1) Item 6       Delegations to Legal Services Staff regarding Appeals from Inner West Planning Panel                                                                                                              139

C0818(1) Item 7       EEO Management Plan 2018 - 2022                                                   141

C0818(1) Item 8       Report on the Recruitment Process for a General Manager               156

C0818(1) Item 9       Local Environmental Plan - Funding Offer from Department of Planning and Environment                                                                                         159

C0818(1) Item 10     Council Submission to WestConnex Parliamentary Inquiry                168

C0818(1) Item 11     GreenWay Master Plan                                                                        265

C0818(1) Item 12     Parkfit-Fitness Stations in Parks                                                          278

C0818(1) Item 13     Sporting Grounds Allocation Policy - Discussion Paper                      329

C0818(1) Item 14     Amendment No. 16 to Leichhardt Local Environmental Plan 2013 - 17 Marion Street, Leichhardt                                                                                             375

C0818(1) Item 15     Statement of Business Ethics                                                              395

C0818(1) Item 16     Sustainable Procurement Policy                                                          402

C0818(1) Item 17     Fire and Rescue NSW                                                                         413

C0818(1) Item 18     Easy to do Business Program                                                              418

 

9          Notices of Motion

 

ITEM                                                                                                                                          Page

 

C0818(1) Item 19     Notice of Motion: King George Park, Rozelle – Additional  Facilities  426

C0818(1) Item 20     Notice of Motion: Principles of Co-operation Agreement with 'Metro' 428

C0818(1) Item 21     Notice of Motion: Register of Voluntary Planning Agreements           430

C0818(1) Item 22     Notice of Motion: Review of Food Organics Waste Management      444

C0818(1) Item 23     Notice of Motion: Recycling at Inner West Council                             446

C0818(1) Item 24     Notice of Motion: Condolence Motion Vale Liz Butterworth                448

C0818(1) Item 25     Notice of Motion: Remediation of Asbestos Contamination at 101 Australia Street Camperdown and Public Areas of Australia Street Camperdown      450

C0818(1) Item 26     Notice of Motion: Marrickville Park                                                      452

C0818(1) Item 27     Notice of Motion: Request for Investigation into Administrative Decisions       453

C0818(1) Item 28     Notice of Motion: Supporting Use of Keep Cups                                 454

C0818(1) Item 29     Notice of Motion: Darley Road Signalised Pedestrian Crossing          456

C0818(1) Item 30     Notice of Motion: Abandoned Shopping Trolleys                                 458

C0818(1) Item 31     Notice of Motion: Condolence Motion Sr Salamao                             460

C0818(1) Item 32     Notice of Motion: Portuguese Community Collaboration                    462

C0818(1) Item 33     Notice of Motion: Lewis Herman Reserve                                           464

C0818(1) Item 34     Notice of Motion: WestConnex Noise Mitigation                                 466

C0818(1) Item 35     Notice of Motion: Gambling Harm Prevention and Reduction Policy 470

C0818(1) Item 36     Notice of Motion: May Murray Early Learning Centre                         478

C0818(1) Item 37     Notice of Motion: Save Globe-Wilkins Preschool                                479

 

10        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 separately.

ITEM                                                                                                                                                 

 

C0818(1) Item 38     Compulsory Acquisition Ashfield, Part 321 Parramatta Road Ashfield Depot

C0818(1) Item 39     Sydney Metro City & Southwest acquisition of freehold interest in Part Murray Street, Marrickville.

C0818(1) Item 40     Status of Westconnex Stage 3 proposed compulsory acquisitions

C0818(1) Item 41     Ashfield Aquatic Centre Project Management

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

 

Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting held on 24 July 2018

 

Meeting commenced at  7.16 pm

 

 

 

 

 

Present:

Darcy Byrne

Julie Passas

Marghanita Da Cruz Mark Drury

Lucille McKenna OAM

Sam Iskandar

Tom Kiat

Pauline Lockie

Victor Macri

Rochelle Porteous

Vittoria Raciti

John Stamolis

Louise Steer

Anna York
Rik Hart

Elizabeth Richardson

Mayor

Deputy Mayor (7.44pm)

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor (7.44pm)

Councillor

Councillor

Councillor

General Manager

Deputy General Manager Assets and Environment

Michael Tzimoulas

Deputy General Manager Chief Financial and Administration Officer

John Warburton

Deputy General Manager Community and Engagement

Nellette Kettle

 

Wal Petschler

Cathy Edwards-Davis

David Birds

Joe Strati

Erla Ronan

Brooke Martin

Ian Naylor

Katherine Paixao

Group Manager Civic and Executive Support, Integration,

Customer Service and Business Excellence

Group Manager Roads & Stormwater

Group Manager Trees, Parks and Sports Fields

Group Manager Strategic Planning

Group Manager Legal Services

Group Manager Community Services and Culture

Group Manager Properties, Major Building Projects and Facilities

Manager Civic and Executive Support

Business Paper Coordinator (Minute Taker)

 

APOLOGIES:    

 

Motion: (Macri/Iskandar)

 

THAT apologies from Clr Hesse and lateness from Clrs Passas and Raciti be accepted.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

DISCLOSURES OF INTERESTS:              

 

Clr Passas declared a non-significant, non-pecuniary interest in Item 6 Planning Proposal at 2-6 Cavill Avenue Ashfield as her cousin lives in Cavill Avenue Ashfield.

 

 

 

 

Motion: (Byrne/Macri)

 

THAT Council receive and note the declarations of interest.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

 

Motion: (Porteous/Stamolis)

THAT the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 and  Extraordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday, 3 July 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

Suspension of Standing Orders

 

Motion : (Da Cruz/Porteous)

 

THAT Council bring forward Items 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 26 to be dealt with at this time.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

C0718 Item 3      Henson Park - Proposed Development

Motion: (Byrne/Macri)

 

THAT Council:

 

  1. Take the lead role in preparing a joint application with Newtown Jets, NSW AFL and the Sydney Swans to the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund for the Henson Park Proposed Development, noting that for projects worth more than $1 million a 25 percent financial co-contribution of the grant amount requested will be required;
  2. Receive a further report on the Maintenance of the Ground and any additional investment that may be needed to maintain the ground at the standard required for the Intrust Super Premiership competition;
  3. Adopt an objective of having a NSW Sydney Swans Women’s AFL team (W League) and any future Cronulla Sharks NRL Women’s Premiership team, playing games at Henson Park;
  4. Seek further clarification about the not-for-profit status of the Newtown Jets, the NSW AFL and the Sydney Swans as pertains to the tender process;
  5. Investigate the condition of the hill particularly the one opposite the grandstand due to the degraded of the grass surface and to come up with options how to treated; and
  6. Seek further licence arrangements to amend or replace the existing licence agreement for non-exclusive seasonal matches and training during winter be negotiated in accordance with Council’s Sports Ground Allocation Policy, to maximise community benefit including for informal and casual use.  

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

Councillors Passas and Raciti entered the Meeting at 7:44 pm.

 

Councillor Passas left the meeting at 7.50pm as she had declared a non-pecuniary, non-significant conflict of interest in the following item and did not participate in discussion or voting.

 

C0718 Item 6      Planning Proposal at 2-6 Cavill Avenue Ashfield

Motion: (Kiat/Drury)

                            

THAT Council defer consideration of the developer’s Planning Proposal for 2-6 Cavill Avenue Ashfield pending investigation of appropriate legal mechanisms by which Council can secure affordable housing as part of the anticipated affordable housing contribution.  

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Crs Macri and Raciti

Absent:                        Cr Passas

 

Foreshadowed Motion (Macri)

 

THAT:

 

1.        Council support and finalise to gazettal stage the Planning Proposal PP_2017_IWEST_012_00 for 2-6 Cavill Avenue Ashfield to amend the Ashfield Local Environmental Plan 2013 as indicated in the report;

 

2.       Council liaise with Department of Planning and Environment and Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to draft and finalise the LEP Amendment;

 

3.       Following completion of (2) above, Council instruct the Department of Planning and Environment to notify the plan;

 

4.       Council authorise the General Manager to finalise the LEP amendments using the delegation granted by the Gateway Determination, and to finalise the amendments to the site specific Development Control Plan as indicated in the report;

 

5.       Council adopt the site specific amendments for 2-6 Cavill Avenue, Ashfield to the “Inner West Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2016 for Ashbury, Ashfield, Croydon, Croydon Park, Haberfield, Hurlstone Park and Summer Hill” as recommended in the report, and:

 

(i)     Carry out the procedures under the Environmental Planning and Assessment  Act 1979 for making the amendment to  the Development Control Plan, and

 

(ii)    Place an advertisement in the local newspaper advising that Council has adopted the amendments to the Development Control Plan, which will come into force in the event and at the time Planning Proposal PP_2017_IWEST_012_00 LEP amendment is published on the Legislation website.

 

This Foreshadowed Motion Lapsed.

 

Councillor Passas returned to the Meeting at 7:58 pm.

 

C0718 Item 7      Victoria Road Precinct, Marrickville - Development Control Plan Amendment

Motion: (Byrne/Passas)

 

THAT the matter be deferred pending a meeting with interested councillors, Department of Planning, the Proponent and Council Officers. With the matter to be reported back to council within 1 month.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

 

Councillors Passas and Raciti retired from the Meeting at 8:04 pm.

 

C0718 Item 8      Local Traffic Committee Meeting held on 3 July 2018

Motion: (Byrne/Macri)

 

THAT the Minutes of the Local Traffic Committee Meeting held on 3 July 2018 be received and the recommendations be adopted subject to staff reviewing the proposal to remove parking spaces in Item 19 Nowranie Lane Summer Hill – Proposed ‘No parking’ restrictions.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                                  Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 12    Sydney Metro - Sydenham to Bankstown Upgrade - Council Submission on Preferred Infrastructure Report

Motion: (Drury/Steer)

 

THAT:

 

1.    Council reiterate our view that the case for the Sydney Metro Sydenham to Bankstown has not been adequately made. Our community is not prepared to accept the disruption that would be caused by this project, that we are not convinced will benefit our community or Sydney as a whole;

2.    Council suggest the State Government build new rail services to suburbs that don’t currently have them rather than converting existing commuter rail services from one rail mode to another rail mode;

 

3.    Council point out to the Department of Planning that simply reiterating the reasons for the project in the “Preferred Infrastructure Report” has, surprisingly, has not changed our minds;

 

4.    Given the appalling record of the State Government in managing infrastructure we also fear there will be a construction blowout;

 

5.    Council adopts the report with the following amendments. First sentence of first paragraph and replace with:

 

            “Inner West Council does not believe that the case for the Sydney Metro      Sydenham to Bankstown has been adequately made and we oppose the       Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor Strategy. The Council on 24 October 2017           called on the NSW Government to abandon the strategy, given concerns about          impacts on local character and heritage and existing affordable housing and             lack     of provision of community and State infrastructure.”;

 

·         Delete “Additionally” from the second line of the first paragraph;

 

·         Amend third paragraph to commence with:

 

“If the NSW Government is determined to press ahead with the strategy, in the face of council and community opposition, then the cumulative impacts of the Metro and the strategy need to be more adequately addressed”;

 

·         In relation to parking management -include the requirement for the Project to                        fund a Parking Management Plan, along with the subsequent implementation of                  any recommendations of this plan, to manage parking impacts from the                                    project’s construction and operation;

 

·       In relation to vegetation and biodiversity - include “Council expresses extreme           concern over the loss of 503 trees and requests 2 for 1 replacements of any             trees   lost as a result of the project”;

 

·          In relation to stormwater – “Council expresses concern that the flooding,                             drainage and stormwater assessment provided in the EIS was inadequate        and                  it is considered that the proposed revised mitigation measures are                                                    insufficient.  Consequently, Council requests that comprehensive stormwater                      modelling should be conducted to provide an evidence-based assessment of all                    issues and that Council Officers be consulted prior to finalising any mitigation                  measures”;

 

·        In relation to disabled access between carriages and platforms – “While Council        Officers recognise that a straightening of platforms would provide the most   reliable accessibility.  It is accepted that the proposed active and passive gap-           filling mechanisms should provide DDA compliance with a lower level of          disruption to passengers and nearby residents”

 

6.    Council thanks the staff for the preparation of the report;

 

7.    Delete the last 2 sentences of the conclusion of the report and replace with:

 

“Where the Sydney metro builds brand new rail lines to suburbs that don’t currently have them it represents an improvement to Sydney’s mass transit network. Where it converts existing heavy rail lines to metro it is failing to expand Sydney’s rail network, thus preventing a shift toward sustainable travel from private car dependency.”

 

8.      Council forward a copy of the resolution to Canterbury-Bankstown Council.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Cr Macri

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 20    Notice of Motion: Supporting Community Refugee Sponsorship Program

Motion: (Kiat/Byrne)

 

THAT Council support an expanded and improved Community Sponsorship Program (CSP) for refugee resettlement in Australia by:

 

1.   Writing to the Local Federal Member, and the relevant Minister and Shadow Minister, supporting the CSP and calling for its improvement so that the Program:

 

a.   Does not take places from others in need;

 

b.   Provides adequate support and services;

 

c.   Limits the costs on sponsors;

 

d.   Allows community, family and businesses to act as sponsors; and

 

e.   Creates more places for people in need of protection to settle in Australia.

 

2.   Communicating with the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative to seek information on how council can partner to support their work.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 21    Notice of Motion: Expanding Refugee Centre support services

Motion: (Byrne/Stamolis)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Write to Peter Shergold requesting a meeting to discuss future expansion of the Callan Park Refugee Welcome Centre;

2.   Liaise with local vacation care providers and sports clubs to identify School Holiday programs places for clients of the Refugee Welcome centre;

3.   Liaise with the Police Citizens Youth Club at the Debbie and Abbey Borgia Community Recreation Centre regarding the possibility of recreation programs for clients of the centre;

4.   Install signage on the corner of Wharf Road and Perry Street, and at the Refugee Welcome Centre, advising of the Centre’s location; and

5.   Build on community acceptance and integration by publicising and promoting the great results being achieved by the centre, including the clients who are set to train as life guards following learn to swim and water safety lessons provided for by the Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre.

 

  1. Approve building 504 to be made available for wider community use - when not used by the refugee centre - by listing it on Council’s website under either Community Centres or Room, Hall and Other Venues.

 

  1. Prepare a report detailing its existing policies, programs and services in relation to refugees and for the policies and programs to be adopted by the Inner West Council.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 23    Notice of Motion: City West Cycle Link

Motion: (Kiat/Drury)

 

THAT Council:

1.   Note its support for the City West Cycle Link concept;

2.   Notes that there may be an opportunity for the project to be delivered by the WestConnex project; and

3.   Seek a meeting with the RMS Project Director WestConnex and the City of Sydney to discuss the opportunity to deliver the City West Cycle Link, with the outcome to be reported back to Council.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Cr Stamolis

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Amendment (Stamolis)

 

THAT Council:

1.   Note its support for the City West Cycle Link concept; and

2.   Seek a meeting with the RMS and the City of Sydney to discuss the opportunity to deliver the City West Cycle Link, with the outcome to be reported back to Council.

This amendment lapsed for want of a seconder.

 

C0718 Item 24    Notice of Motion: Advocacy against the Cuts to Income Support for People Seeking Asylum Living in the Community

Motion: (Da Cruz/York)

 

THAT:

 

     1. Council writes to the Prime Minister and to the Federal Minister of Home Affairs                    asking the Federal Government to reverse cuts to the Status Resolution Support                Services (SRSS) program and highlighting the unfair and devastating impact of                        these cuts on people seeking asylum and the Inner West community’s                          disagreement with these cuts;

 

     2. Council writes to the Premier of New South Wales asking her to make                               representation to both the Prime Minister and the Federal Minister of Home                                Affairs to highlight the devastating impact of these cuts on the NSW community                  and to reverse the cuts;

 

     3. Members of Parliaments for the seats of Balmain, Heffron, Newtown, Strathfield,                   Summer Hill and Grayndler; New South Wales Senators; and Members of the              NSW Legislative Council are informed of Council’s position;

 

      4. Other NSW Councils are contacted seeking their support for joint advocacy on                      this issue;

 

     5. Council publicises practical way members of the Inner West Community can                           work with the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown to support people seeking                                asylum – see attached document;

 

     6. Council considers practical ways of supporting people seeking asylum; and

 

     7. Council works with the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown to organise a civic                       leaders meetings with community leaders in the Inner West. The meeting will                        discuss ways the community can collectively address the challenges        lying                            ahead for people seeking asylum.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 26    Notice of Motion: Review of Upfront Speaking at Council Meetings

Motion: (Stamolis/Steer)

 

THAT Council to seek an independent assessment of its new practice of having all registered people speak at the commencement of Council meetings. This should include: assessing the effectiveness of the new practice in supporting high quality decision-making by Councillors and to compare the effectiveness of the new practice against the previous approach.

 

Motion Lost

For Motion:                 Crs Lockie, Stamolis and Steer

Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous and York

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

Resumption of Standing Orders

 

Motion: (Porteous/York)

 

THAT Standing Orders be resumed.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Motion: (York/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT the Items 4 and 5 be brought forward and moved en bloc and the recommendations contained in the reports be adopted.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 4      Amendment No. 14 to Leichhardt Local Environmental Plan 2013 - 101 -103 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield

Motion: (York/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT:

 

1.   Council resolve to make the amendment to Leichhardt Local Environmental Plan 2013 for 101 - 103 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield.

 

2.   Council delegate the plan making function for the above amendment to the Group Manager Strategic Planning.

 

3.   The Plan, once made, be forwarded to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for publication.

 

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 5      Post Exhibition Report - Review of Planning Proposal and Development Control Plan Amendment Fees

Motion: (York/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.       Adopt the exhibited fees for planning proposals and development control plans amendments in accordance with the provisions of Local Government Act 1993; and

 

2.       Amend the Fees and Charges FY2018/19 to reflect the new fee structure.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                       Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 1      Improving Community Safety in the Inner West

Motion: (Steer/Da Cruz)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Notes the current work to address Community Safety through the delivery of community safety initiatives and projects;

 

2.   Note that Council staff are actively working with Police and the community in known hotspots (i.e. Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Salmon Park Playground and Darrell Jackson Gardens); and

 

3.   Continue working with key partners to investigate and research strategic approaches addressing community safety including establishment of a community safety forum held twice a year.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Amendment (Stamolis)

 

THAT:

 

1.    Council conduct an audit of areas which have safety measures such as CCTV, lighting improvements or other measures; and

 

2.    A report be brought back to Council detailing the areas where these safety measures currently exist and other areas currently in investigation.

 

This amendment lapsed for want of a seconder.

 

Amendment (Byrne/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT the words ‘community safety committee’ in point 3 be replaced with the words  ‘community safety forum held twice a year’.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM and York

Against Motion:          Crs Da Cruz, Kiat, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

As the Amendment was carried it was incorporated into the Primary Motion.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

9.51pm - The Mayor, Clr Byrne adjourned the meeting for a short recess.

10.10pm– The Mayor, Clr Byrne resumed the meeting.

 

C0718 Item 2      Operational Land Classification  for Arlington Grove, Dulwich Hill Affordable units (x 2)

Motion: (McKenna OAM/Macri)

 

THAT Council classifies land at Lot 8 and 47, 6-26 Grove Street and 60-64 Constitution Road, Dulwich Hill as operational land for the purposes of the Local Government Act 1993.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Kiat, Passas, Porteous and Raciti

 

Councillors Kiat and Porteous re-entered the Meeting at 10:13 pm.

 

C0718 Item 9      WestConnex Air Quality & Noise Concerns

Motion: (York/Byrne)

 

THAT:


1.      A new “Air quality, pollution, environmental and traffic impacts” fund is          considered at the next quarterly review, with a view to allocating $250,000 to   the fund; and

2.      Council notes the efforts of the community to organise citizen-run air quality monitoring around various Westconnex construction sites, such as the project     being instigated by the Haberfield P&C, and writes to the University of        Wollongong Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, Sydney             University, UTS,        ANSTO and the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy & Health Research (CAR)             inviting their partnership and seeking advice on how Council can work with the     Haberfield P&C and others to implement this monitoring and analyse and share          the results.

 

3.         Writes to the NSW Minister for the Environment and Minister for Health to request that:

 

    1. Specific staff and other resources are allocated within the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Health to:

                                          i.    Further analyse and explain clearly to the broader community all issues, including complex technical matters, that arise from meetings of the WestConnex Air Quality Community Consultative Committee (AQCCC);

 

                                        ii.    Review on a regular (preferably daily) basis the air quality monitoring data being produced by WestConnex air quality monitors; investigate and report publicly on any exceedances; and recommend and/or require any additional measures that may be required to mitigate health impacts from air pollution;

 

                                       iii.    Explain why air quality monitoring data for the WestConnex Stage 1 (M4 East) now being posted on EPA’s public website and previous readings taken from the WestConnex monitor at St Peters Public School has at times showed exceedences of some air pollution standards, and the health implications of these exceedences;

 

                                       iv.    Investigate the health impacts caused by construction noise, particularly night works, on residents impacted by WestConnex, including noise caused by any utilities works in these areas;

                                        v.    Undertake a comprehensive study into the health impacts of WestConnex, including both construction and operational health impacts.

 

    1. The Ministers and relevant staff meet with Council to discuss an implementation program for the above, and the ongoing air quality and noise issues our residents are experiencing as a result of WestConnex.

 

 

4.           Look into the boundary fences at Wattle Street and any affected properties near    the WestConnex; and

 

5.           Write a letter to the NSW Premier and WestConnex stating that construction            will be ongoing until 2023 at the very least they should offer to pay council rates   for the affected properties so to compensate for the impacts on the       residents.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Amendment (Lockie/Stamolis)

 

THAT Council Employs an officer with suitable expertise in air quality and/or environmental health to advocate for residents on WestConnex and other matters should EPA and NSW Health fail to act, with funding to be identified and prioritised in the next quarterly review if surplus is available.

 

Motion Tied

For Motion:                 Crs Da Cruz, Kiat, Lockie, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer

Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM and York

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

The Chairperson used his Casting Vote against the MOTION and the MOTION was lost.

 

 

Matter Arising - Parliamentary Inquiry into WestConnex

 

Motion: (Porteous/Kiat)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.         Provides information on the Council website to residents regarding the        Parliamentary Inquiry key issues, how to make a submission and key issues   that could be included in a submission;

 

2.         Use e-news, social media and the Inner West Council page in the Inner West            Courier to inform residents about the upcoming Parliamentary Inquiry and         how     they can make a submission; and

 

3.         Runs a public workshop on how to make a submission providing information          on some of the key issues that can be included in a submission. 

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

C0718 Item 10    Voluntary Planning Agreement - 101-103 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield

Motion: (Macri/Stamolis)

 

THAT:

 

1.   Council enter into the Voluntary Planning Agreement for 101-103 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield provided in ATTACHMENT 1; and

 

2.   A draft Voluntary Planning Agreement Policy be reported back to Council no later by October 2018.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Amendment (Porteous/Steer)

 

THAT:

 

1.         The Voluntary Planning Agreement for 101-103 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield  should        have a monetary payment of $500,000 for affordable housing; and

 

 

Motion Lost

For Motion:                 Crs Da Cruz, Kiat, Porteous and Steer

Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Stamolis and York

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

2.         The staff bring proposed Voluntary Planning Agreements to councillor         briefings before they come to a Council meeting so councillors can provide input.

 

Motion Tied

For Motion:                 Crs Da Cruz, Kiat, Lockie, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer

Against Motion:          Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Macri, McKenna OAM and York

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

The Chairperson used his Casting Vote against the MOTION and the MOTION was lost.

 

Amendment (Byrne/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT a draft Voluntary Planning Agreement Policy be reported back to Council no later by October 2018.

 

 

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

As the Amendment was carried it was incorporated into the Primary Motion.

 

 

Matter Arising – Affordable Housing Fund

 

Motion: (Kiat/Drury)

 

THAT Council receive further advice on how cash obtained for the purpose of Council affordable housing could be managed under an affordable housing fund in accordance with Council’s Affordable Housing Policy. 

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Cr Macri

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

 

C0718 Item 11    Voluntary Planning Agreement - Petersham RSL

Motion: (Macri/McKenna OAM)

 

THAT Council enter into the Voluntary Planning Agreement for Petersham RSL sites 1, 2 and 3 provided in ATTACHMENT 1

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Stamolis and York

Against Motion:          Crs Da Cruz, Kiat, Porteous and Steer

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Foreshadowed Motion (Steer/Da Cruz)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.         Renegotiate the VPA proposal with Council’s position as 25% of the 360 units to     be transferred to Council to be managed as public affordable housing; and

 

2.         Investigate an affordable housing contribution scheme for the site to mandate         affordable housing contributions under section 7.32 of the EPA Act in     accordance with Council’s inclusion in State Environment Planning Policy No. 70           (Affordable Housing Revised Schemes). 

 

This Foreshadowed Motion Lapsed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C0718 Item 13    Draft Heads of Agreement with WCX M4 PT Pty Ltd for Community Facilities in Haberfield

Motion: (McKenna OAM/Byrne)

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Note the community engagement undertaken to explore suitable projects for $2.5m funding from Sydney Motorways Corporation for community projects in Haberfield.

 

2.   Approve the $2.5m funding be allocated to the following priorities identified in the community engagement

a.   Significantly upgrading the Haberfield Centre comprising community rooms, library and garden

b.   Refurbishing the Mervyn Fletcher Hall including landscaping upgrade

 

3.   Note that these projects align with the requirements of WestConnex M4 East  identified in the enclosed Draft Heads of Agreement and

a.   approve these projects proceeding; and

b.   approve signing of the Heads of Agreement.

 

4.   Approve that Council staff proceed with the concept design (initial proposals), design development, cost plan, DA submission and construction for an expanded upgrade of the Haberfield Centre and Mervyn Fletcher Hall in accordance with the Heads of Agreement

 

  1. The design concept include options for converting one of the available rooms to be made use of as a theatre and musical rehearsal space.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Confidential Session

 

Motion: (Drury/Kiat)

 

THAT Council move into Confidential session to consider Items of business containing Confidential Information.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Members of the public were asked to leave the Chamber.

 

Motion: (McKenna OAM/Da Cruz)

 

THAT Council return to open session to read out the recommendations from the

Closed Session.

 

 

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

The Mayor read out to the Meeting the recommendation from the Closed Session of

Council.

 

Reports with Confidential Information

 

C0718 Item 27    General Manager's Performance Agreement

Motion: (McKenna OAM/Da Cruz)

 

THAT:

 

  1. The General Manager’s performance agreement be reported back to the General Manager’s Performance Review Panel with the amendments to the agreement as  discussed in confidential session; and

 

  1. Council receive a report in relation to the recruitment process to appoint a General Manager to the next Ordinary Council Meeting.

 

Motion Carried

For Motion:                 Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Stamolis, Steer and York

Against Motion:          Nil

Absent:                        Crs Passas and Raciti

 

Meeting closed at 11.06pm

 

The following Items will be considered at the next Ordinary Council Meeting on 14 August 2018: Items 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22 and 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Speakers:

 

 

Item #

 

Speaker                     

Suburb

Item 3:

Stuart McCarthy

Marrickville (Newtown Jets)

Item 6:

Andrew Duggan

Sydney

Item 12:

Heather Davie

Marrickville

Item 20:

Praveena Gunaratnam

Marrickville

Item 21:

Cynthia Nadai

Lilyfield

Item 23:

Colin Jones

Summer Hill

Item 24:

Frances Rush

Kobi Shetty

Newtown

Lilyfield

Item 26:

Cynthia Nadai

Michele Hacking

Lilyfield

Rozelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 1

 

Subject:         Mayoral Minute: Marion Street Carpark           

From:             The Mayor, Councillor Darcy Byrne  

 

 

Motion:

 

THAT:

 

1.   Council be provided with a report outlining potential improvements to the Marion Street car park to:

a.   Increase space availability for use during school drop off and pick up at Leichhardt Public School;

b.   Facilitate greater opportunities for utilisation by the public;

 

2.   The Report include a review of staff parking permit arrangements; and

 

3.   The report on potential improvements to the Marion Street car park be brought back to Council within three months.

 

 

Background

 

Earlier this year Council opened the extension of the Marion Street Car Park, which made 22 new parking spaces available for the public.

 

I have been contacted by many residents complaining that a high proportion of these spaces are not available for the general public throughout the day as they are being used by Council vehicles with all day permits.

 

Council officers have confirmed that 160 staff parking permits have been issued to Leichhardt Service Centre staff, which allows them to park in the Marion Street car park all day.

 

With the bulk of Council operational vehicles located at the Leichhardt Service Centre, demand for staff parking is high.

 

Whist there is undeniably a need for Council officers to have access to parking, we need to strike a balance that ensures that the new parking spaces are of significant benefit for the public, not only after hours, but during Monday-Friday shopping hours as well.

 

In terms of maximizing public benefit from the parking spaces in the Marion Street car park, there is also an ongoing need for short term parking spaces for parents dropping off and picking up children from Leichhardt Public School. With approximately 600 students at the school, demand for drop off spaces is high.

 

 

Officer’s Comments:

 

Comment from Group Manager Roads & Stormwater:

Estimated cost to undertake investigations and report proposed changes through traffic committee, including occupancy surveys and staff time is approximately $3,000.

 

ATTACHMENTS

Nil.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 2

Subject:         Mayoral Minute: Public Library Funding           

From:             The Mayor, Councillor Darcy Byrne  

 

 

Motion:

 

THAT Council:

1.   Endorse the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW library funding advocacy initiative, Renew Our Libraries;

2.   Take a leading role in activating the campaign locally;

3.   Endorse the distribution of the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW library funding advocacy initiative information in Council libraries, as well as involvement in any actions arising from the initiative; and

4.   Formally advise the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW that Council has endorsed the library funding advocacy initiative.

 

 

Background

 

I am calling on Councillors to support the NSW Public Libraries Association and Local Government NSW in their advocacy to State Government for additional funds for Public Libraries.

 

Whilst Council receives funds from State Government, these have gradually declined. In 2015/16, State funding for Public Libraries covered only 7.5% of the total costs of operating the 368 libraries across NSW. The level of State Government funding for NSW public libraries has reached crisis point.  This is an historic issue that has been ignored by successive NSW governments.  The key issues are that:

 

·    NSW public libraries receive the lowest per-capita funding from their State Government compared to all other states in Australia;

·    NSW councils are currently paying 92.5% of the costs to operate public libraries, up from 77% in 1980;

·    In 2015-16, NSW State Government funding for public libraries was only $26.5M compared to a contribution of $341.1M from Local Government. NSW councils are paying 12 times more than the State Government to provide library services to their communities;

·    The total funding available through the NSW Public Library Funding Strategy is not indexed to population growth or consumer price index (CPI), thereby contributing to the ongoing attrition of State Government funding;

·    The 2018-2019 State Budget delivered a 5% cut to current funding and cut access to all infrastructure funding for metropolitan areas;

·    Physical and virtual visitation, library borrowing and participation in library programs continue to increase year on year;

·    Libraries play a major part in supporting the achievement of government literacy targets; and

·    Libraries provide collections, programs and spaces for marginalised groups including older people, refugee and multicultural communities, and people who are digitally disadvantaged.

 

In 2011, the NSW State Government made a pre-election commitment to comprehensively review the level and allocation of funding for NSW public libraries. The Library Council of NSW worked with the NSW Public Libraries Association and the State Library of NSW to develop an evidence-based submission.

 

The resulting submission Reforming Public Library Funding, recommending a fairer, simpler and more transparent method for the distribution of funds, was presented to the State Government in October 2012. Despite the undertaking of the State Government to comprehensively review funding for its public libraries, the recommendations of Reforming Public Library Funding were ignored and the funding model was neither reviewed nor improved.

 

In 2016, the then Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Troy Grant, undertook to review the matter of State Government funding for NSW libraries at the conclusion of the Fit For the Future program. It can be reasonably assumed that Fit For the Future has concluded, yet there has been no review of library funding nor any mention of libraries in the Government’s pre-election undertakings. At the 2016 LGNSW Conference, the Premier Mike Baird committed to reviewing library funding.

 

The NSW Public Libraries Association has joined forces with Local Government NSW to establish a library funding advocacy initiative in the lead up to the 2019 NSW State election. The Renew Our Libraries strategy will be rolled out over the next 8 months to persuade the Government that its network of 368 public libraries has reached a funding flashpoint that, without significantly increased and sustainable funding, is at risk of imminent service reduction.

 

The success of this approach relies heavily on the support of NSW councils, their libraries and their communities.

 

It should be noted that the following motion (submitted by the Blue Mountains City Council) was unanimously endorsed at the Local Government NSW 2017 Conference:

 

That Local Government NSW works with the NSW Public Libraries Association (NSWPLA) to develop a strategic partnership to:

a) increase public awareness of the multiple roles that Local Government Public Libraries play in supporting the educational, social, cultural and economic outcomes in local communities

b) advocate, in the lead up to the March 2019 State election, for improved State Government funding for Local Government Public Libraries in NSW to enable public libraries to meet the growing needs of our local communities.

 

(Note: This motion covers the following motion set out in small font)

 

Wagga Wagga City Council - Funding for public libraries - That Local Government NSW and member councils lobby the NSW Government to increase annual percentage of funding for public libraries

 

As previously noted, this is not a party-political issue as every government since 1980 shares the blame for the current funding situation. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the NSW Opposition released its Library Funding Policy on 26 March 2018 with an undertaking to increase overall funding to all suburban and regional NSW public libraries by $50 million in the first term of government. This is a very significant pledge insofar as it is the first policy from any political party in recent history that undertakes to provide a significant and specified increase in state funding for public libraries.

 

NSW public libraries are governed by the Library Act 1939, a legislative instrument that was initially introduced to ensure the provision and ongoing sustainability of libraries through State Government and Local Government collaboration, and providing up to 50% of the funding required to establish and operate libraries. Since then local government has increasingly carried the funding burden with the situation deteriorating significantly since the 1980s. As a result, there are examples of attrition in library staffing, opening hours, collections, services and programs in a number of councils across the state.

 

Disappointingly, the 2018-19 NSW state budget delivered a 5% cut to current library funding and cut access to all infrastructure funding for metropolitan areas. The State Government has completely ignored the recommendation of its own expert panel, the Library Council of NSW which, in consultation with the State Library of NSW and the NSW Public Libraries Consultative Committee, recommended an increase in public library funding to $30M in 2018-19. The public library grant funding component, which has been a budget inclusion for many years, has been scrapped entirely. This component financed a competitive grant project which has part-funded countless library infrastructure and service projects over many years.

 

The NSW public library network is at serious risk. Neither this Council nor the broader NSW Local Government sector can continue with the high degree of uncertainty about the level of ongoing State Government funding for public libraries.

 

I am recommending that we support urgent action from the NSW local government sector and NSW Public Libraries Association / Local Government NSW, to reverse the ongoing deterioration of state funding for public libraries to ensure that local councils will not be forced to continue meeting the funding shortfall.

 

 

Officer’s Comments:

 

Comment from Group Manager Library and History:

 

Library and History Services has recently received the Renew Our Libraries funding initiative kit that includes information on how Council can support the initiative and a unique url link for each council, to tag sign ups based on the council area who recruits them to the campaign. 

 

Library & History Services plan to support the campaign via social media, posters in the library, the library and Council What’s On, the Library and Council e-newsletters, library staff / word of mouth, installing the link on the homepage of the library’s computers, providing information to the community at the beginning of programs and events, Marrickville Festival etc.  In addition, options for printing and installing banners are currently being investigated; however, no funding has been allocated for this.

 

Council has previously written to State and Federal members, the Arts Minister and Shadow Arts Minister seeking bi-partisan support of this initiative. 

 

Supporting the initiative will be the responsibility of all library staff.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Nil.  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 3

Subject:         Multicultural Policy           

            Council at its meeting on 24 July 2018 deferred this item to the meeting to be held on 14 August 2018.

Prepared By:     Simon Watts - Social and Cultural Planning Manager  

Authorised By:  Erla Ronan - Group Manager Community Services and Culture

 

SUMMARY

Inner West Council resolved to develop new initiatives in Multicultural Policy on 24 April 2018. A draft Multicultural Policy is proposed for exhibition (Attachment One). This policy is to ensure equity of access to Council services, to ensure the voices of people from multicultural backgrounds are heard in Council’s decision-making and that Council advocates for the needs of people from multicultural communities. It seeks to promote Council celebration of its unique and diverse communities. A stocktake of Council policies and services for multicultural communities, and a list of potential new initiatives are proposed. Community engagement on the Policy and potential new initiatives is proposed for August 2018.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT:

 

1.       Receive and note the stocktake of activities across Inner West Council which support multicultural communities;

 

2.       Receive and note a report back on potential additional multicultural initiatives;

 

3.       Endorse the draft Multicultural Policy for public exhibition; and

 

4.       Endorse the community engagement plan and the action plan 2018-2020 contained in the report.

 

 

BACKGROUND

Notice of Motion (C0418 Item 21) Multicultural Policy

 

THAT Council prepare a report on ways to support our multicultural communities including:

a)         Delivering the largest Lunar festival in the history of the Inner West to celebrate our Chinese and Vietnamese communities;

b)         Establishing an Inner West Anti-Racism Film Festival with entries to come from local residents, community groups and schools;

c)         Creating a Multicultural Advisory Committee and Inter-Faith Reference Group to inform Council decision making;

d)         Instituting Civic Receptions to celebrate the national days of local ethic communities including the Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, Portuguese, Italian and Lebanese communities;

e)         Making sure important Council information is available and easily accessible in community languages;

f)          Reestablishing international community to community relationships which existed under the former councils;

g)         Appointing a dedicated multicultural development officer to support local organisations;

h)         The report include detailed costing and additional information such as concept/brief event size, location, reach, capacity and programming; and

i)          The report should fully detail what the Inner West currently does to support multicultural policies either directly or indirectly.

 

More than one third of the population of the Inner West is from multicultural backgrounds, 66,228 people were born overseas, and 51,597 speak a language other than English at home.

This policy seeks to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds participate in local decision making, including in design of Council’s services and policies; access and are supported by Council services and policies; and that people from diverse backgrounds are celebrated and acknowledged across our communities in the Inner West. Overall, this policy seeks to ensure that residents of the Inner West from diverse backgrounds achieve high degrees of social and economic participation.

 

A Mayoral forum was held on 3 July 2018. The Mayor and Councillor Iskandar met with leaders from the Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Chinese communities. A key expressed need was for continuing close engagement with each community, particularly to ensure that any Council response was effective and timely. This was particularly the case where Council advocacy was the recommended response.

 

Council is deeply engaged in service provision to people from multicultural backgrounds, through specifically designed and tailored services, and through service provision provided for the whole community. A stock take of tailored service provision to people from diverse communities is at Attachment Two.

 

New initiatives for people from multicultural backgrounds are also proposed for inclusion in community engagement on the Policy. These initiatives include new celebrations for Lunar New Year, creation of an anti-racism film festival, a new inter-faith reference group, new approaches to translation and interpretation for residents who use community languages, and expanded community to community relationships for specific groups.

 

The Policy supersedes earlier Council plans and policies: Marrickville Cultural Action Plan 2016-2020, Strengthening Marrickville's Migrant Communities: a Local Action Plan 2010-2015, Local Ethnic Affairs Policy Statement (2007), Marrickville’s Cultural Diversity Action Plan (2003), Local Ethnic Affairs Policy (1998), Culturally Diverse Society Principles Policy (1997), Culturally Diverse Society Principles NSW Charter (1997) and Ethnic Affairs Policy (1994).

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The dedicated Multicultural Officer proposed by the resolution would be required.  The estimated cost for a four day per week position would be $89,600 per annum (plus on-costs). It would be appropriate to appoint the Officer for a two year pilot period to implement initiatives as set out in the action plan for 2018-2020, and then review ongoing needs.

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Extensive input from Council officers was required for the services and policy stock take, for creation of the Engagement Plan, and for scoping the new initiatives. The draft policy was discussed with the Leadership Team.

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Public engagement will follow Council consideration of the Policy according to the Plan at Attachment Three.

 

CONCLUSION

Responding to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds includes improving the manner in which Council services and programs are designed to meet specific needs along with timely and effective advocacy. The proposed policy intends to frame and formalise this requirement.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

Draft Multicultural Policy

2.

Multicultural Services and Policy Stocktake Attachment Two

3.

Draft Engagement Plan Attachment Three

4.

Draft Multicultural Action Plan 2018-2020 Attachment Four

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

 

Title

Multicultural policy

Summary

To provide policy guidance on supporting people form multicultural backgrounds and celebrating cultural diversity in the Inner West of Sydney

Background

At the time of the 2016 Census, the Inner West Council area had a population of 182,037. Of these 62,228 or 34% were born overseas and 51,597 (28%) spoke a language other than English at home. Inner West Council resolved to develop new initiatives in Multicultural policy on 24 April 2018. This policy is to ensure equity of access to council services and to ensure the voices of people from non-English speaking backgrounds are heard in Council’s decision-making. It seeks to promote Council celebration of its unique and diverse communities.

Policy Type

Council

Relevant Strategic Plan Objective

Links to Community Strategic Plan, Strategic Direction 4: Caring, healthy communities. Particularly 4.1 Everyone feels welcome and connected to the community.

The indicator for the outcome is: Satisfaction with programs and support for newly arrived and migrant communities.

Relevant Council References

This policy is informed by the draft Social and Cultural Planning Framework. The policy builds on the approach of Marrickville Cultural Action Plan 2016-2020.

The policy supersedes the former plans: Strengthening Marrickville's Migrant Communities: a Local Action Plan 2010-2015 and Marrickville’s Cultural Diversity Action Plan (2003).

Citizen and stakeholder engagement will be delivered through the Community Engagement Framework 2017.

Main Legislative Or Regulatory Reference

Multicultural NSW Act 2000 and its principles

Applicable Delegation Of Authority

As per delegations register

Other External References

Multicultural Policies and Services Program (Multicultural NSW) and the statutory framework Multicultural Planning of NSW Government Agencies

Attachments

NA

Record Notes

External

Version Control

See last page

 

1.   PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure Council engages with and plans effectively for the needs and aspirations of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

 

2.   OBJECTIVE

The objectives of policy are to ensure that people from multicultural backgrounds participate in local decision making, including in design of Council’s services and policies; access and are supported by Council services and policies; and that people from diverse backgrounds are celebrated and acknowledged across our communities in the Inner West.  

 

3.   SCOPE

The policy seeks to ensure that residents of the Inner West from a diversity of backgrounds achieve high degrees of social and economic participation.

 

3.1. In scope

All advocacy, policy development, service design and delivery of the Inner West Council.

 

3.2. Out of scope

Not applicable

 

4.   DEFINITIONS

People from multicultural backgrounds include those who were not born in Australia, including those who speak a language other than English at home. Many of the second generation of multicultural people will also identify as having heritage formed by their diverse background. Newly arriving communities are recognised as having additional support needs as they settle in a new cultural context.

 

5.   LINKS TO COMMUNITY STRATEGIC PLAN

The Community Strategic Plan is structured around a guiding principle: to work together in a way that is creative, caring and just. Five strategic directions give effect to this principle: an ecologically sustainable Inner West; unique, liveable, networked neighbourhoods; creative communities and a strong economy; caring, happy, healthy communities; and progressive local leadership.

 

6.   POLICY STATEMENT

Council affirms the principles of the Multicultural NSW Act 2000 including that people of different linguistic, religious and ancestral backgrounds are free to profess, practise and maintain their own linguistic, religious and ancestral heritage. Further, that all people should be able to contribute to, and participate in, all aspects of public life and make use of, and participate in, relevant activities and programs provided or administered by Council.

 

Council is committed to listening and responding to the specific needs of people from diverse backgrounds. This response may be improvements to Council services and programs, or it may be more focussed advocacy with the NSW and Commonwealth governments. 

 

7.   POLICY

That Council service delivery is effective for people from diverse backgrounds, and is supported inclusive and responsive planning. Council leader’s value diversity, and equitable access to opportunity is promoted in Council policy and decision making. Effective engagement with diverse communities in communicating council actions and services is supported by authentic input into policy development, service design and advocacy. Council recognises that the engagement with multicultural communities and their expressions of culture enrich our whole community and build inclusion across the city.

 

8.   RESPONSIBILITIES

That the principles of the Multicultural NSW Act 2000 guide inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds, and of their needs, in Council policy development and decision making, advocacy and in service delivery.

 

9.   ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES

Availability of key council information in community languages and access to appropriate and specific support services relevant to the needs of diverse communities supports social and economic participation.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

INNER WEST COUNCIL

Multicultural Services and Policy Stocktake

July 2018

 

Introduction

More than one in three residents of the Inner West was born overseas, more than 62,000 people. Almost one in three people, or 52,000 residents, speak a language other than English at home. Inner West Council has extensive services and programs aimed at providing support for people from multicultural communities.

Major festivals and celebrations

Inner West Council is a principal sponsor or producer of major festivals that celebrate multicultural diversity on a large scale. 2018 was the second occasion that Open Inner West was produced, featuring an unprecedented celebration of 69 cultures in 24 suburbs over 10 days from 15-24 June.

Council also supports other iconic multicultural celebrations including the Carnival of Cultures in Ashfield Park which celebrates Portuguese provinces and Mediterranean cultures, the Bairro Portuguese Petersham Food & Wine Fair in Petersham, and the Norton Street Fiesta. Council also supports local Lunar New Year celebrations in Marrickville and Ashfield involving Lion Dances and a concert. The calendar of religious events of Greek Orthodox Easter are also marked in celebrations at Marrickville.

Customer service, translation and interpreting

For most residents speaking a language other than English, contact with the Council call centre staff is supported by the option of transfer to the Telephone Interpreter Services which supports the customer to organise their required Council service. Council also employs Greek and Italian speaking call centre operators. One staff member in the Council service centre at Ashfield speaks Mandarin, at Petersham staff speak Greek, and at Leichardt there is a local contact list that can be engaged for those who speak Italian.

In partnership with Chinese Australian Settlement Services, Council provides a free Chinese Language Help Desk. This volunteer run service provides support to Chinese speaking residents in English. The service helps people to translate correspondence and engage with government departments including Medicare and housing providers. Volunteers also assist with filling in routine forms.

Council uses digital translation tools and also support provision of key Council information in community languages including for example information on the opening of Council grant programs in 2018.

 

 

Libraries and information provision

Council provides an extensive engagement to people from diverse cultural and language backgrounds through its libraries. Council offers extensive books for children and adults, audio and video recordings, talking books, magazines, eBooks, and community language newspapers in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Italian, Nepalese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Council also lends from the Multicultural Bulk Loan Service of the State Library of NSW which holds approximately 80,000 items in 42 languages. This service is available free to any library user in the Inner West.

A home and residential aged care library service is offered to people unable to visit a library in person arising from age, disability or illness. These resources include books, magazines, talking books, and video recordings. This volunteer service if offered in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Wellbeing presentations are offered in community languages in Council libraries. These quarterly events feature topics including social support, accessing Centrelink and social housing, health promotion, legal support and law week discussions, environmental awareness and action, public safety, home fire safety, and mental health. These are presented in Arabic, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, and Vietnamese.

The libraries also host Tech Savy computer training for people from diverse backgrounds to gain knowledge and skills about how to use social media and online banking safely. This complements monthly classes in Greek and Mandarin for social media, internet browsing and email use by seniors. Monthly groups are held in Mandarin, Green and Spanish to celebrate the language, culture and literature of those cultures. Mandarin and Spanish classes are also offered four times per annum for those wanting to improve their proficiency in these languages.

Council offers English language courses eight times a week at four of its libraries. This is complemented by an English writing course offered at one library. Council also offers seasonal cultural engagement including events for the Greek Festival of Sydney, Chinese New Year, and international film screenings 24 times per annum.

Community wellbeing

In partnership with Metro Assist, Council offers a multicultural social support group for migrant and refugee families living in the Inner West. An example is an employment focused project in partnership with Metro Assist and TAFE. This project is currently delivering a 10 week course for focused on developing the skills necessary for securing employment.

Together with Metro Assist, Council provides free English classes for community members. Classes are held: each Monday at Pratten Park Sport and Bowling Club Ashfield and each Friday at the Ashfield Service Centre. Many of Council’s 37 community venues are used regularly by groups of all ages from playgroups to seniors, and self help, creative and artistic, recreation and exercise and hobby and interest groups.  These community groups make up more than one third of community venue users and incorporate both multicultural and specific language groups and include people from diverse community backgrounds including Arabic, Greek, Indian, Italian, Mandarin, Nepalese, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Yugoslavian.

 A regular subsidised community venue hire is provided for 38 community groups for people from diverse backgrounds, in addition a large number of groups use venues on a one off basis. Groups include the Chinese Classical Poets Society, Chinese Migrant Welfare Association, Ethnic Craft Group, Inner West Asian Business Association Sydney, Italian Social Support, and a Japanese Playgroup.

Specific support services are also offered on supporting those living with dementia, accessing My aged care and Commonwealth support for those who are ageing, and exercise programs to support physical wellbeing. Council’s Home Linked Support services support the needs of the older people from multicultural backgrounds through centre-based meals, home delivered meals, and social outings.  Home Modification and Maintenance provide grab rails and ramps for support to enable people from diverse backgrounds to remain living at home for longer.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Long graphic

Engagement Overview

Project Description

Explain your project to the community.

To engage with citizens of the Inner West and other relevant stakeholders on a policy for supporting and celebrating cultural diversity in the Inner West of Sydney

Engagement Purpose

What do you want to achieve by engaging the community / stakeholders?

To involve citizens in developing the policy

Engagement Goals

Outline specific goals for the engagement.

To ensure that the concerns and aspirations of people from diverse backgrounds are directly reflected in guiding access to Council services and policies. Secondly, the engagement seeks to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds are celebrated and acknowledged, and that they participate in local decision making, including in design of councils services and policies.

Project Manager/s

Simon Watts

Project Sponsor

Erla Ronan

TRIM reference

Note the trim container and sub-container for community engagement (Email records to set this up).

 

MULTICULTURAL POLICY – Communication and Engagement Plan

 

 

 


 

Strategic links

Insert Community Strategic Plan KRA and Delivery Program outcome/s plus other relevant strategic plan or action plan.

Links to Community Strategic Plan, Strategic Direction 4: Caring, healthy communities. Particularly 4.1 Everyone feels welcome and connected to the community.

The indicator for the outcome is: Satisfaction with programs and support for newly arrived and migrant communities.

Drivers

Why is this project happening now? Insert Council resolution or other driver e.g. scheduled capital works.

A Council Notice of Motion (C0418 Item 21) from 24 April 2018 requires development of a Multicultural policy and action plan for select multicultural initiatives for 2018/19. The policy and action plan will be considered on 14 August 2018. The action plan will include a high level summary of current Council support for those form diverse communities.

Background

Describe the project’s history. Outline any previous engagement related to this project.

At the time of the 2016 Census, the Inner West Council area had a population of 182,037. Of these 62,228 or 34% were born overseas and 51,597 (28%) spoke a language other than English at home.

This policy is to ensure the voices of people from non-English speaking backgrounds are heard in Council’s decision-making and to ensure equity of access to council services. It seeks to ensure that Council celebrates its unique and diverse communities.

Related projects

Describe any related projects that may impact this project or create opportunities.

 

 Scope

Outline what is negotiable and what has already been decided or is outside the scope.

Council will consider the draft Multicultural Policy and action plan for select multicultural initiatives for 2018/19 on 24 July 2018.

This timing means that the views of citizens on ensuring the voices of people from Multicultural backgrounds are heard before Council’s decision-making on adoption of the policy and to ensure input on how to improve equity of access to council services.

The timing also presents the opportunity for citizen input into how best Council might celebrate the unique and diverse communities in the Inner West.

 Timeline

Over what period will this engagement take place? Outline key dates and expected timeline including proposed Council meetings.

A mayoral Multicultural round table occurred on 3 July 2018.

The draft policy and action plan will be considered for adoption by Council on 24 July

28 days of engagement will follow from 25 August 2018.

Final policy adoption proposed for Council meeting on 11 September 2018.

 

 

 

 

IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum

 

 


 

Engagement Program and Methods

Engagement Stage -  when the community can have input

Enter stage number and name. Use a separate column for each stage of the engagement.

Stage1

Stage 2 (if required)

Stage 3 (if required

Objectives

Detail what you are aiming to achieve from the engagement in this stage.

Exhibition of draft policy

 

 

Timeline

Outline the timeline for each stage including key dates/deadlines

28 days from 25 July 2018.

 

 

 

Communication Plan

Outline how you will promote your engagement..

Social media, press and email communication to key stakeholders

 

 

Engagement methods

Outline how you will obtain community/ stakeholder input.

Via Your say Inner West

 

 

Next steps

Outline what  you need to do at the end of the stage to feed back to stakeholders.

Publish on Council website and promote via social media, press and email communication to key stakeholders

 

 

Evaluation

Outline how you will evaluate this stage.

Number of citizens who participate in engagement

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication and Engagement Evaluation

 

Evaluation should consider the process as well as the outcomes.

 

What worked well?

 

 

How could this process have been improved?

 

 

Was the process implemented as planned? If not, what was changed and why?

 

 

How effective was this community engagement process in achieving the objectives?

 

 

How did input from the community / stakeholders contribute to or  influence the outcome?

 

 

Stage objectives and measurements

 

Outline the overal engagement goals plus objectives for each stage then evaluate how well they were met.

 

Engagement Goals

Measurements / analysis

 

● To engage citizens in the content of the policy
● To engage citizens in identifying barriers to access and inclusion in services for people form diverse backgrounds

 

Stage 1 -

 

 

● To
● To

 

 

Stage 2 -

 

 

● To
● To

 

 

Stage 3 -

 

 

● To

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Inner West Council

Draft Multicultural Action Plan 2018-2020

1.   LUNAR NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is one of the world's most prominent and celebrated festivals, and involves the largest annual mass human migration in the world. It is a major holiday in Greater China and has strongly influenced the lunar New Year celebrations of China's neighbouring cultures, including the Korean New Year (seol), the Tết of Vietnam, and the Losar of Tibet. Traditionally, the evening preceding Lunar New Year's Day is an occasion for families to gather for an annual reunion dinner. The first day of the Chinese New Year 2019 falls on Tuesday 5 February. The Marrickville Chamber of Commerce organises celebrations with lion dancers in Alex Trevellian Plaza. Ashfield Civic Centre is the focus for lion dancers and a concert in the Town Hall. 

EXPANDED EVENT CONCEPT

A proposed day long performance event featuring lion dancers and cultural performance including opera and a New Year parade on Tuesday 5 February 2019. An event in Marrickville would celebrate Tet Vietnamese New Year and in Ashfield the event would celebrate Chinese New Year. The events would engage local businesses and build upon previous Council supported celebrations. It is proposed that Council seek expressions of interest from community and business to plan and deliver these celebrations.

2.   ANTI-RACISM FILM COMPETITION AND FESTIVAL

In collaboration with Create NSW and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, offer a commencement workshop for prospective film makers to outline the nature and quality required for a competition of this type. Offer coaching opportunities for the most promising film makers. Engage the ABC on the judging panel to ensure high quality films are chosen, and professional development notes are available for film makers not chosen.

All the films will be shown at an anti-racism film festival to be convened by Inner West Council, and the winners will be broadcast on ABC iView and will feature on the Virgin Australia in-flight entertainment system.

3.   MULTICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND INTER-FAITH REFERENCE GROUP

The Multicultural Strategic Reference Group has been approved by Council and it meets this need.

An Inter-Faith Reference group is proposed that would draw together the leaders of faith communities in the Inner West to provide Council with advice on issues of interest and concern to religious communities and on support for community harmony. The group would also provide an ongoing dialogue between Council, faith leaders and each of the Inter-Faith Reference group members. Following the model of Multicultural NSW, it is proposed that each faith leader would invite others from the group to attend a welcome event in their religious centre/Church/Mosque that would enable sharing about beliefs and customs, and a simple meal from that religious and cultural tradition.

4.   CIVIC RECEPTIONS

Civic Receptions are hosted by Council in a venue or park to celebrate the diversity of local communities. The format may include an official component, music and entertainment activities, recognition of community / individual achievements and culturally significant refreshments. Consideration might also be given to creating banners for Council display poles in Marrickville and Leichardt that would celebrate the multicultural city.

It is proposed to commence new receptions for the following communities: Chinese, Cypriot, Greek, Indian, Italian, Lebanese, Maltese, Nepalese, Portuguese and Vietnamese. It is proposed that Council seek expressions of interest from community and business to plan and deliver these celebrations over two years.

5.   LANGUAGE SERVICES

Multicultural NSW has undertaken extensive policy work on accessibility to language services including telephone interpreting and document translation. Service NSW is the NSW Government shopfront for translation services, and a sliding scale of accessibility and cost applies. It is proposed that new business processes be identified within Council to ensure that simple information is available in translation in key community languages, and that effective referral pathways are created for other translation and interpretation needs.

There are also a shortage of interpreters and translators in the languages of more recently arrived communities. It maybe that Council could play a role in supporting/encouraging people to create new employment for themselves in these domains.

6.   COMMUNITY TO COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

Council’s traditionally engage in community to community relationships to develop economic, trade, cultural, educational and other beneficial exchanges with international cities. These relationships serve to mobilise local communities from countries with which the exchanges occur, and to build understanding between those who may have emigrated from that country and those communities who remained in place. 

The former Marrickville Council had community relationships with:

§ Keelung, Taiwan

§ Kos, Greece

§ Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

§ Larnaca, Cyprus

§ Safita, Syria

§ Bethlehem, Palestine

§ 6th October City, Egypt.

 

The former Leichardt Council had a community relationship with Giovinazzo, Italy and a community to community committee to support outcomes in the Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills.

 

 

 

7.   STOCKTAKE OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

A stocktake of Council actions for people from diverse communities has been completed.

8.   MULTICULTURAL PROJECT OFFICER

In order to deliver these initiatives a part time Multicultural Project Officer maybe required.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 4

Subject:         Draft Grants and Fee Scale Policy            

            Council at its meeting on 24 July 2018 deferred this item to the meeting to be held on 14 August 2018.

Prepared By:     Simon Watts - Social and Cultural Planning Manager 

Authorised By:  Erla Ronan - Group Manager Community Services and Culture

 

SUMMARY

The Grant and Fee Scale Policy outlines integrated, transparent and equitable processes to govern the allocation of grants and fee scales for Council venues and town halls. The policy aligns Council’s investment in the community with the strategic directions in the Community

Strategic Plan, Our Inner West 2036. The Grants and Fee Scale Policy (Attachment 1) provides an overarching grants policy for the IWC Grants Guidelines, as well as providing consistent fee scales across Council’s venues and town halls. This report recommends Council's adoption of the policy.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT Council:

 

1.         Notes the Grant and Fee Scale Policy public exhibition has concluded and adopts the policy with the following inclusion:

 

·    local disadvantaged groups be considered for greater access of Council venues and town halls.

 

2.         Implement the Grant and Fee Scale Policy from 1 July 2018, and applies to all bookings for Council venues scheduled for use from 1 January 2019.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

Community resourcing through grants and affordable venues is integral to enabling the community to contribute to delivering enhanced wellbeing, creativity and sustainability in the Inner West. The former Councils of Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt had differing policies regarding the ways they provide community resourcing in the form of grants and fee scales that apply to for venue hire. This Policy addresses the inconsistencies and confusion for residents and staff which have resulted from the lack of a single Inner West policy.

 

Context

Council recognises that innovation and best practice comes from supporting new and emerging ideas. Investing in the community’s ingenuity, strengths, and capabilities provides expanded opportunities for community and cultural development; promotion of wellbeing and social inclusion; and environmental improvement. Council’s grants and scaled fee structures support community groups to help deliver the Community Strategic Plan.

 

The Local Government Act 1993 provides the legislative context for Council’s Grants and Fee Scale Policy. Section 356 of the Act allows Councils to grant financial assistance to persons for the purpose of exercising its functions (with specific requirements for public notice in some circumstances where private gain is a factor); and Section 610 E allows Councils to waive or reduce fees if it is satisfied that there is a category of hardship or any other category Council determines warrants waived or reduced fees.

 

Guiding principles

The following principles underpin the Grants and Fee Scale Policy:

·    Consistency: consistent processes governing applications for grants, and applications to book venues

·    Transparency: clear eligibility criteria and decision-making

·    Social justice: allocating and pricing community resources in order to promote social inclusion, and address disadvantage, equity, access, participation and rights.

 

Strategic Reference

The Grants and Fee Scale Policy is designed to ensure the allocation of resources aligns with Council’s community strategic directions, in particular:

·    Strategic Direction 1: An ecologically sustainable Inner West

·    Strategic Direction 2: Unique, liveable, networked neighbourhoods

·    Strategic Direction 3: Creative communities and strong economy

·    Strategic Direction 4: Caring, happy and healthy communities

·    Strategic Direction 5: Progressive local leadership

 

Policy Implementation

Grants Guidelines for the five grant programs including program aims; selection and eligibility criteria; reporting requirements are outlined in Attachment 1 (Appendix 1). Guidelines for determining access to scaled fee subsidies for community venues and town halls are contained in Attachment 1 (Appendix 2).

 

Council resolved (C0418) on 24 April 2018:

 

THAT:

1.         Council notes the Grants and Fee Scale Policy for the purposes of public exhibition;

 

2.         Once adopted Council implements the Grants and Fee Scale Policy from 1 July 2018, and applies to all bookings for Council venues scheduled for use from 1 Jan 2019;

 

3.         Council trial a quarterly small grants stream component to the Community Wellbeing Grants, effective from 1 July, to be reviewed after 12 months operation;

 

4.         The Community Wellbeing Grant Guidelines be revised to include a new small grant stream (for grants from $200-$500) to ensure these grants are governed in a professional and transparent manner; and

 

5.         Council allocate $10,000 each year from the annual Community Wellbeing Grant budget to fund the new small grant stream.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The following represents an estimate of possible impacts:

 

•     Overall the proposed new fee scales aim to be cost neutral to current income

 

•     The 100% subsidy for all support groups will likely result in a decrease in revenue from support groups of $14,500

 

•     It is anticipated that 7 out of the 126 regular hirers will be impacted:

o If they meet the criteria for 50% subsidy: revenue may increase by approximately $38,000

o If they meet criteria for 100% subsidy, revenue may decrease by approximately $74,000

 

Finance has been consulted around the potential financial impacts of implementing the proposed Fees and Charges Policy. Review will occur in Quarter 3 of this Financial Year.

 

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Community Operations will need to assess community groups applying for fee subsidies based on the group's eligibility and status, level of fees charged to its members and types of activities being undertaken.

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

The Draft Grant and Fee Scale Policy was placed on 28 days public exhibition through Council's Your Say engagement process from 23 May until 20 June. Council's previous grant applicants and venue hirers were notified and invited to comment on the policy. The survey results show that 10 respondents completed the questionnaire. Of these 10 respondents, 4 (or 40%) of respondents accept the policy without changes; 5 (or 50%) of respondents accept the policy with changes and 1 (or 10%) do not accept the policy.

 

Respondent's comment:

1.       I would not have been able to teach meditation to more than 2000 people in the Inner West Municipality without the support of a reduced fee. Anonymous 5/25/2018 12:22 PM

 

Council's comment:

Community Operations advise that most respondents are concerned that they may be disadvantaged due to the group charging a fee to participate. Under the new policy, groups will need to be assessed based on their eligibility status and level of fees charged.

 

Respondent's comment:

2.       I would like it to say that public health organisations get 100% subsidy i.e. get venues for free. Anonymous 5/26/2018 12:09 PM

 

Council's comment:

Community Operations advise that most respondents are concerned that they may be disadvantaged due to the group charging a fee to participate. Under the new policy, groups will need to be assessed based on their eligibility status and level of fees charged.

 

Respondent's comment:

3.       On behalf of The Polly's Club, we would find the reduced or nil fee for the hire of Marrickville Town Hall of great benefit to the continuation of our club. In continuous operation since 1964, the club has been using Marrickville Town Hall for our 5 social dances per year since 2000 and has forged strong ties with local council. We provide a safe and friendly environment where people can be themselves, dance, socialise and be entertained at an affordable price. This format has allowed us to be Australia's longest running LGBTIQ social group, celebrating 55 years in 2019. The biggest threat to our continued existence is operating costs. A reduced or nil fee for Marrickville Town Hall hire will greatly assist in ensuring our continued operation and ability to provide the inner west community with a cheap, safe and friendly social event where they can connect with others and assist in the raising of funds for The Polly's Club charity grants program. This program allows us to donate funds to charities focused on men’s health, women’s health, youth health, mental health and animal welfare at every dance. Regards, David Haynes, President The Polly's Club. Anonymous 5/29/2018 10:00 AM

 

Council's comment:

Community Operations advise that not-for-profit target groups that charge to attend an activity are not eligible for a fee subsidy and would receive a community rate (at a rate of 50%).

 

 

Respondent's comment:

4.       Some NFP community groups I work with to run the Open Inner West Festival charge a fee of $5 entry fee at their events to assist them in covering their costs to hold large scale cultural festivals for the community. A fee of 50% (that they would be eligible for) would still be a significant fee for hire of the large Town Halls where these events take place. Would there be scope to raise this entry fee to $15? LSmith 6/08/2018 11:11 AM

 

Council's comment:

Community Operations advise that groups organising activities through Open Inner West Festival charge a cost to participants as part of the festival. This may impact on groups' ability to hold their event as they rely on the small charge to offset costs. This would need to be assessed based on each group's eligibility status and level of fees charged.

 

Respondent's comment:

5.       It's great to see grants for the interpretation of heritage and history. Although the Inner West Council area doesn't have many community museums, it does encompass the Sydney Bus Museum and a number of historical societies which have object collections. I am a little confused by the need for the projects to be linked to the Library's collection. The arbitrary parameters of what one body has managed to collect should exclude a group with a wider, or better, collection from accessing funding for projects that help interpret the inner west's history for the public. I hope that this grant is publicised widely to the groups in the Council area with object collections and that there are training sessions, or advice given on how to approach an application. Anonymous 6/14/2018 06:21 PM

 

Council's comment:

Community History and Heritage Coordinator advises that the Community History & Heritage Grants are promoted to the wider groups in the council area. These grants are designed to primarily build up the content of the Library and History collections for access by current and future generations. The Grants are designed to be mutually beneficial to the Local History of the area for example if the Sydney Bus Museum or a group holds an object collection the kind of grant application that would be accepted would be the digitisation of the object, or the cataloguing of the collection or a publication that showcased the collection providing online access to the public.

 

Respondent's comment:

6.       Dear Officer, We are a non-profit-making community organization serving people over the age of 55. All staff are volunteers, but we are proud of it. We don't have any funding support. It is already very difficult. If we cannot afford the venue fee, would you tell me please, how we will continue our activities. Thank you. Anonymous 6/18/2018 11:06 AM

 

Council's comment:

Community Operations advise that most respondents are concerned that they may be disadvantaged due to the group charging a fee to participate. Under the new policy, groups will need to be assessed based on their eligibility status and level of fees charged.

 

Respondent's comment:

7.       Local NFP sporting clubs are a major group providing healthy living and recreation services within our community. The Proposed New IWC Fee Scale Policy doesn't identify sporting clubs as examples in the Fee Subsidy categories. Community-based NFP sporting clubs should sit in the 100% Fee Subsidy category, yet the final criteria of the Activity Type, "and Where there is evidence that payment of a fee for venue use will prevent the activity occurring" may see sporting clubs losing 50% of the fee subsidy. The very nature of community sporting clubs in the IWC is that few, if any, have club houses and they do not have easy access to meeting areas. These clubs are required to hold AGMs, parent information evenings, coach and manager information sessions and other activity-related information sessions; they should not be penalised receiving the 100% subsidy simply because these sessions are a necessity and must occur. IWC should be supporting these community sports clubs by providing a 100% subsidy to community meeting spaces. Anonymous 6/19/2018 10:20 AM

 

Council comment:

Community Operations advises that local not-for-profit sporting clubs are concerned may not be eligible for a fee subsidy. Their applications will need to be assessed based on their eligibility status and level of fees charged to their members.

 

Parks Planning and Engagement notes Council’s key role in proving a diverse range of community facilities. The provision of community facilities like all other Council services needs to be balanced against the many needs of the community and the vast range of services that Council provides. Consequently the extent of Council’s involvement in delivering any service needs to take into account Council’s legal obligations and an analysis of the social and economic benefits, community need and relevant community trends.  Parks Planning and Engagement feels that sporting clubs should contribute towards the cost of hiring facilities which Council maintains.  Noting that a vast number of sporting clubs are non-for-profit organisations a social inclusion discount could be assessed by Council based on their eligibility status and level of fees charged to its members.   

 

Respondent's comment:

8.       I am making this submission on behalf of Leichhardt Swimming Club. The Club receives a fee subsidy from the Council each summer season which enables us to use the swimming pool at LPAC on Saturday mornings from 7:30 am until 10 am without having to pay for lane hire. There seems to be no facility in the grants and fee scale policy for a continuation of this subsidy. The Club caters for approximately 150 children in the inner west area providing opportunities to improve their swimming and compete at area and state levels. Should we be required to start paying for lane hire the Club would cease to function as it is a non-profit organization relying on donations to pay for trophies and ongoing operation costs. This subsidy provision needs to be included in the policy. Anonymous 6/20/2018 08:41 PM

 

Council comment:

It is noted that Council's aquatic and recreation centres and parks are out of scope of this policy and will be reviewed as part of a separate project in 2018/19. The fees and charges for sporting grounds will be reviewed during 2018/19 with a view to making changes from 2019/20.

 

The Policy needs to be amended (Appendix 2 on page 45 of the document) to read:

Venues available for casual and annual hire include community and neighbourhood centres; meeting/activity rooms and are defined in Table 2.

 

Respondent's comment:

9.       I am writing to you as Treasurer of the AL-ANON Wednesday evening meeting at the Rozelle Senior Citizens Hall in Darling St., and request that you consider us for a lower or nominal rent. We are a community group that supports and assists families with alcohol and associated problems. These groups are often referred to by local medical practitioners and psychologists and are of particular value to low income people as cost is coin donation only or less if people can't afford. As such we provide a valuable and freely available resource for the community and support existing health structures with their patient load. Given that many of the members may be on pensions or be of low income etc we request a lower rent structure. We are aware that some of the other Al Anon groups in the council area make donations of literature and books to women's refuges and local libraries in lieu of rent. We have a meeting that lasts 90 mins but currently charged for 2 hours, with a group coming in straight after we leave. Please consider for rent reduction or nominal payment, with thanks Liz R

 

 

 

 

Council comment:

Community Operations advises that local support groups are concerned about being disadvantaged however under the new policy local support groups will be eligible for a fee subsidy.

 

Respondent's comment:

10.     We are particularly keen to apply for grants for new projects under your Community Grants Program, and to encourage our community partners to apply for grants for joint projects which will be based at ARCCO. One of the issues in the past has been that if the projects aren’t fully funded then the cost of the facility rental for projects is usually shifted onto Addison Road. Because Addison Road relies on rental income to be able to deliver services and programs this cost shifting undermines our ability to support projects in other ways, or commit to supporting future projects. It would be great if Council staff could be mindful of this when assessing future grant applications that include a ’facility rental’ component at ARRCO. Another way might be to quarantine some funds available to be distributed as grants, specifically to support facility rental for projects. Sometimes this is the only support community groups need to make a project viable, and a small grants program, say up to $1,500 per application, might be a way around this.

 

Council comment:

Council receives many grant applications each year requesting more funding than is available. Applicants are encouraged in Grant Guidelines and at Information Sessions and Grant Writing Workshops to talk with the Grants Team to discuss their projects to assist with their grant submissions.

 

The Grant Guidelines provide an explanation and example of a budget proposal. Application forms request project costs in the budget section of the grant proposal and questions on the viability of the project are asked. If this information is provided then this perspective is transparent in the Council assessment process and therefore can be taken into consideration.

 

 

CONCLUSION

The Grant and Fee Scale Policy outlines integrated, transparent and equitable processes to govern the allocation of grants and fee scales for Council venues and town halls. The policy aligns Council’s investment in the community with the strategic directions in the Community

Strategic Plan, Our Inner West 2036. This report recommends Council's adoption of the policy.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

Attach 1 Grants and Fee Scale Policy 090518

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 5

Subject:         Revised Public Access to Information held by Council Policy           

            Council at its meeting on 24 July 2018 deferred this item to the meeting to be held on 14 August 2018.

Prepared By:     Rad Miladinovic - Business Information Services Manager 

Authorised By:  Harin Perera - Group Manager Information Communications Technology

 

SUMMARY

Under Part 3 Division 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), all agencies (other than a Minister) must have an agency information guide (AIG).  Further, agencies must review their AIG and adopt a new AIG at intervals of not more than 12 months. 

 

Council’s AIG and Public Access to Information held by Council Policy were recently reviewed.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT:

 

1.    Council receives and notes the revised Inner West Council Agency Information Guide (Attachment 1) and Council determines whether to place the revised Public Access to Information held by Council Policy (Attachment 2) on public exhibition and if so, determines the duration of the exhibition period; 

OR

2.    Council receives and notes the revised Inner West Council Agency Information Guide (Attachment 1) and Council adopts the revised Public Access to Information held by Council Policy (Attachment 2).

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

Under Part 3 Division 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), all agencies (other than a Minister) must have an agency information guide (AIG).  Further, agencies must review their AIG and adopt a new AIG at intervals of not more than 12 months.  The Inner West Council Agency Information Guide was recently reviewed and updated as part of the annual review (refer to Attachment 1).

 

Council’s Public Access to Information held by Council Policy was recently revised and updated with the following changes (refer to Attachment 2):

·     inclusion of an “objectives” section as part of the new IWC policy template

·     detailed explanation of how Council information can be accessed ie through mandatory proactive release, authorised proactive release, informal or formal release

·     change to the service standard for informal access to information requests from 7 to 20 business days

Proposed Change to the Service Standard for Informal Requests:

The Public Access to Information held by Council Policy is based on the legislative requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act).  The service standard for formal public access to information requests is regulated at 20 business days.  The service standard for informal requests is discretionary, as follows:

 

S8(2) of the NSW Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 states “an agency can release government information in response to an informal request subject to any reasonable conditions that the agency thinks fit to impose.”

 

Prior to amalgamation, the service standard for responding to informal GIPA requests by the three legacy councils is as follows:

Ashfield:             up to 20 business days

Leichhardt:         up to 20 business days

Marrickville:       up to 7 business days

 

Benchmarking the informal GIPA request service standard with 6 neighbouring Councils indicates that most Councils provide a service standard of greater than 3 weeks, with the majority of Councils providing a service standard of “up to 20 business days”. 

 

Individual service standards of the benchmarked Councils are as follows:

 

Council

Service Standard

Bayside

“up to 20 business days”

Burwood

20 working days

Canada Bay

“up to 20 business days”

Canterbury-Bankstown

“may take approximately 21 days

City of Sydney

“We aim to respond to requests within 10 working days.  However, response times will vary depending on the current levels of demand on our services and the type of information being requested.”

Georges River

“Requests will be processed in a timely manner and as soon as practical.  Turnaround times will also depend on the volume of information sought and whether documents need to be retrieved from archives.”

 

Benchmarking more broadly with other Councils provides the following service standards:

 

Council

Service Standard

Blacktown

“within 20 working days

Camden

“applications generally take 20 working days to finalise”

Campbelltown

“a minimum of 20 working days from receipt of a completed form for a response.  This time frame is dependent on current workload and accessibility of the information being sought.”

Central Coast

Current processing time is “minimum of 4 weeks

City of Parramatta

“This process may take up to 4 weeks to obtain certain documents under informal access.  Some of the documents listed on the form are available within a week while others are stored offsite and may take longer to access.”

Cumberland

Within 20 working days after receipt of the application

Lane Cove

within 7 days of receipt”

Liverpool

up to 20 working days to complete”

Penrith

up to 20 business days

Randwick Council

“requests are generally processed within five (5) working days, however, depending upon the availability and/or location of the information requested, some requests may take longer

Strathfield

website states applicants will be “notified within 15 working days” ie what information will be available to the applicant upon retrieval of the requested files

Sutherland

20 business days

Waverley

up to 20 business days

Wollongong

up to 10 working days

Woollahra

Will “respond within 10 working days” to acknowledge the request and to advise action taken to date in response to the request

 

 

The “up to 20 business days” service standard can be attributed to the large volume of informal access to information requests that Councils receive seeking access to hardcopy files relating to past development matters.  Based on the number of access to information applications processed by Council during the 2017/18 year (2493 applications), the ratio of informal to formal access to information requests is approximately 24:1.  In May 2018, Council received 240 Informal access requests, of which approximately 50% related to past development applications requiring Council to retrieve physical files from its eight records repositories.  40% of requests relate to development information which is available in digital format.  The remaining 10% of requests are not property-specific and relate to information about Council policies, financial reporting, traffic and parking matters etc.

 

Further, some request types are quicker to fulfil, and if there is a demonstrated urgency Council endeavours to assist with these requests immediately.  For example, requests for property ownership details relating to planned installation of public infrastructure (Telstra, nbn, Sydney Water, Sydney Metro, Department of Planning);  requests for ownership details of neighbouring properties for impacting ‘dividing fence’ matters;  requests for copies of approved DA plans, where these have already been stored electronically;  unsuccessful applicants requesting a copy of the assessing officer’s report (to determine the reasons for refusal);  neighbours requesting a copy of the DA approval (to determine the conditions of consent and construction);  copies of submissions (redacted for privacy) if we have received 5 or less;  assistance with locating Council information such as policies or Council’s progress with major projects.

 

The Inner West Council Agency Information Guide and the Public Access to Information held by Council Policy will next be reviewed in June 2019.  The service standard for informal access to information applications will be assessed with the view to reducing the response time if there is an opportunity to respond most applications more quickly.  It is anticipated that the implementation of unified business solutions and the rationalisation and relocation of physical record collections may present this opportunity.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

 

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

If resolved by Council, the Public Access to Information held by Council Policy will be publicly exhibited for the period resolved by Council.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

IWC Agency Information Guide

2.

Revised Public Access to Information held by Council Policy

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 6

Subject:         Delegations to Legal Services Staff regarding Appeals from Inner West Planning Panel           

            Council at its meeting on 24 July 2018 deferred this item to the meeting to be held on 14 August 2018.

Prepared By:     Joe Strati - General Counsel  

Authorised By:  Rik Hart - Interim General Manager

 

SUMMARY

Land and Environment Court appeals from decisions of the Inner West Planning Panel are subject to the control and direction of the Panel.

 

In order to avoid any practical difficulties associated with such a process, the Panel has agreed to delegate to appropriate Legal Services staff the function of controlling and directing how the appeals are run.

 

Council’s endorsement of such delegation is required to make the delegation operative.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT pursuant to section 381(3) of the Local Government Act 1993, Council approves of the delegations made by the Inner West Planning Panel as outlined in this report.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

As Council would be aware, certain development applications are to be determined by the Inner West Planning Panel (“Panel”).

 

Section 8.15(4) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (“EPA Act”) provides that Land and Environment Court appeals against determinations of the Panel are to be commenced against Council as Respondent yet Council remains subject to the control and direction of the Panel in connection with the conduct of the appeal.

 

This paradigm is considered to create some practical difficulties in the running of appeals, not least because there are numerous decisions to be made throughout an appeal (eg/ selecting expert witnesses, finalising Statements of Facts and Contentions, determining whether to engage counsel, conducting good faith negotiations during section 34/34AA conferences, etc.), some of which are made in limited timeframes or on an urgent basis. Having to obtain the approval of the Panel in the making of those decisions within the timeframes so referenced has the potential to hinder the timely running of appeals. In addition, having to report to the Panel on how appeals are run will require additional resources. Such resources are currently at a premium given the volume of appeals the Council is currently experiencing.

 

Section 2.20(8) of the EPA Act permits the Panel to delegate any function of the Panel.

 

In order to address the aforementioned practical difficulties, legal staff at Council approached the Chair of the Panel, Mr David Lloyd QC (a former judge of the Land and Environment Court), to discuss whether the Panel would considering delegating the Panel’s function of controlling and directing Council in its conduct of an appeal under section 8.15(4) of the EPA Act. After due consideration, Mr Lloyd QC was amenable to the request subject to remaining members of the Panel also agreeing.

 

As with any type of delegation, it is important that only Council officers with the requisite skills and knowledge to exercise the function under discussion be delegated that function. In this regard, the Panel was requested to limit its delegation to the Council’s General Counsel (Joe Strati), Senior Planning and Environment Lawyer (Mark Bonanno) and Planning and Environment Lawyer (Simon Turner), all of whom are legal practitioners employed by Council to conduct Land and Environment Court appeals and to whom the Council has given delegation to conduct such appeals in the usual course. The 3 staff have over 50 years of combined experience in the planning law field and have run hundreds of planning appeals in that time. The General Counsel is also an accredited specialist in Local Government and Planning Law.

 

On 12 June 2018, the Panel resolved to grant the requisite delegations as follows:

 

Subject to the approval of the Inner West Council and the General Manager thereof, the panel individually delegates to Mr Joe Strati, Mr Mark Bonanno and Mr Simon Turner, for so long as they are employees of Inner West Council and hold a practising certificate that permits them to practice as a legal practitioner in New South Wales, the functions of the panel under section 8.15(4) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

 

A copy of the Panel report and decision are provided at ATTACHMENT 1.

 

Despite the delegation, Council would still remain obliged to keep the Panel informed of appeals as required by section 8.15(4) of the EPA Act. In this sense, the Panel can maintain oversight of how appeals against their decisions have been managed by the delegates.

 

In essence, the delegation the Panel has agreed to grant will mean that all appeals (ie. ones from decisions of both staff and the Panel) will be run on the same basis – namely, under delegations afforded to Council’s legal staff.

 

Under section 381(3) of the Local Government Act 1993, the delegation of functions to Council employees must have the approval of the Council and the General Manager. The General Manager has approved of the delegation. The approval of the Council is, accordingly, now sought to make the delegation operative.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

There are no direct financial implications associated with a failure to afford the necessary delegation.

 

However, if delegations are not afforded, there is a risk that appeals from Panel decisions will require additional resources to be run effectively which may result in the need to brief the appeal to external lawyers given the current high volumes of appeals.

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Not applicable.

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Not applicable.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Nil.  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 7

Subject:         EEO Management Plan 2018 - 2022           

            Council at its meeting on 24 July 2018 deferred this item to the meeting to be held on 14 August 2018.

Prepared By:     Melodie Whiting - Group Manager Human Resources  

Authorised By:  Rik Hart - Interim General Manager

 

SUMMARY

Council has responsibility under the Local Government Act in relation to eliminating and ensuring the absence of discrimination in employment on the grounds of race, sex, marital or domestic status and disability, and promoting equal employment opportunity.

The Inner West Council’s EEO Management Plan for 2018 – 2022 and has been developed to meet these responsibilities and to define realistic activities for the recently amalgamated Council when considering the legislative requirements for transferred staff from the former councils under the Local Government Act, and the employment protections resolved by Inner West Council. This plan supports the delivery of our Workforce Management Plan and other supporting strategies including the Inclusion Action Plan and Code of Conduct. The General Manager has overall responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of this plan, but all managerial levels and all staff are responsible for the practical application of activities within the plan.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT Council notes the EEO Management Plan 2018 – 2022 document.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

Inner West Council recognises its responsibilities under Local Government Act 1993 (Section 344 and 345) in relation to:-

(a) Eliminating and ensuring the absence of discrimination in employment on the grounds of race, sex, marital or domestic status and disability in councils, and

 

(b) Promoting equal employment opportunity for women, members of racial minorities and persons with disabilities in councils.

 

The EEO Management Plan 2018 -2022 supports the delivery of the Workforce Management Strategy and the EEO actions are aligned to the strategies and actions of the Workforce Management Plan but are targeted to EEO outcomes. In developing this plan for the 2018-2022 years and determining realistic activities, it is important to consider the current environment for Inner West Council in a newly amalgamated scenario, with legislative requirements relating to transferred staff under the Local Government Act and employment protections resolved by Council. Consideration was also given to the former Councils’ EEO Management Plans.

 

The EEO Management Plan outlines:-

 

·    Practices and programs for the EEO principles to be achieved

·    Communication of the plan and programs

·    Collection and recording of data

·    Review of Human Resources practices covering the employee life cycle and conditions of service

·    Setting of objectives and programs where practicable

·    Evaluation of objectives and programs

·    Revision of this Plan as appropriate

 

The EEO Management Plan actions cover the following key areas:-

 

1.   Development of Human Resource Management Protocols

2.   Communication and Awareness

3.   Implementation and Evaluation

4.   EEO Target Groups

 

The General Manager has overall responsibility for monitoring this plan but all levels of management and staff have responsibility for the practical application of this plan.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

NIL

 

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

NIL

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Not Applicable

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

EEO MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018 - 2022

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

INNER WEST COUNCIL

 

 

EEO MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018 - 2022


 

INTRODUCTION

 

Inner West Council recognises its responsibilities under Local Government Act 1993 (Section 344 and 345) in relation to:-

(a) Eliminating and ensuring the absence of discrimination in employment on the grounds of race, sex, marital or domestic status and disability in councils, and

(b) Promoting equal employment opportunity for women, members of racial minorities and persons with disabilities in councils.

 

Inner West Council will provide a workplace environment that is free of harassment, discrimination, bullying and vilification and provides equal employment opportunities for current and prospective employees. Equal employment opportunity is good management practice which promotes a harmonious and productive workplace, and enhances Council’s efficiency and service delivery.

 

Our Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Management Plan outlines:-

 

a.   Devising of practices and programs by which the abovementioned principles are to be achieved:

b.   Communication of this plan and programs

c.   Collection and recording of appropriate information

d.   Review of human resource practices including recruitment and selection, staff development, promotion and transfer opportunities and conditions of service

e.   Setting of goals or targets where reasonably determined

f.    Evaluation of programs

g.   Revision and amendments to this Plan as appropriate

 

The EEO Management Plan will ensure that all staff and job applicants are treated equitably by setting out actions that will drive Council’s human resource management practices, from all aspects of the employee life-cycle including recruitment through to development and capability building, to operate under EEO principles and actively promote merit based decisions.

 

In developing this plan and determining realistic activities for a recently amalgamated Council, consideration was given to the former Councils’ EEO Management Plans, the legislative requirements attached to transferred staff and employment protections extended by Inner West Council resolution.

 

The plan should be read in conjunction with Council’s supporting strategies including but not limited to Council’s Workforce Management Plan, Inclusion Action Plan and Code of Conduct. The EEO Management Plan objectives are aligned to strategies and actions of the Workforce Management Plan but are targeted to EEO outcomes.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The General Manager has the overall responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of the EEO Management Plan. All management levels also have direct responsibility to ensure the implementation and communication of EEO and all staff must also accept their personal involvement in the practical application of this plan.

 

OBJECTIVES OF THE EEO PLAN

 

The EEO Management Plan 2018- 2022 supports the delivery of the Workforce Management Plan. The objectives are to:-

·    Develop new Inner West Council HR recruitment, selection, development and career progression protocols and practices that support EEO principles

·    Raise awareness at all levels of EEO responsibilities and obligations

·    Enhance and grow diversity in the workplace whilst maintaining legislative compliance

·    Create a workplace that is free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination

 

The action plan below identifies the strategies and actions of the EEO Management Plan for the newly amalgamated Inner West Council and corresponding key performance indicators considering the former Councils’ EEO Management Plans as part of the integration process. The key strategies cover:

 

1. Development of Human Resource Management Protocols

2. Communication and Awareness

3. Implementation and Evaluation

4. EEO Target Groups

 

 

EEO ACTION PLAN

 

OBJECTIVE 1 – HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOLS

Ensure Council HR protocols and processes comply with EEO principles

 

 

 

 

OBJECTIVE

RESPONSIBILITY

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR

TARGET DATE

 

Council HR protocols and practices are developed and regularly updated to comply with EEO principles

 

Group Manager Human Resources

Former Council HR protocols and practices are reviewed and IWC HR Protocols and practices are developed  as required and conform to EEO principles

 

No justified complaints received regarding and EEO

June 2018 and Ongoing

Recruitment and selection protocols, processes and activities comply with EEO principles

Group Manager Human Resources/ Talent Management Manager

All talent acquisition activity complies with EEO principles

 

Position descriptions are developed, and regularly reviewed, to ensure EEO compliance

 

EEO responsibilities are included in all job descriptions

 

Selection Panel to have at least one representative/s of the same sex as the candidates being interviewed where practicable

 

Review and revise content and improve Job Information Packages and advertising mediums to remove unnecessary barriers.

Ongoing

Ensure all appointments, promotions, transfers and higher duties opportunities are based on merit and meet legislative requirements

 All manager levels

Appropriate HR staff on all interview panels to ensure legislative compliance and apply the vacancy management protocols within the amalgamated Council’s staff protection periods

 

IWC Staff Selection / Recruitment Panel training including EEO responsibilities is developed

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2019

Ensure that staff capability development complies with EEO principles

 

All managerial levels

Development of a new performance review framework that includes individual development plans for staff

 

All staff have a personal development plan to support and provide equal access to learning and development

 

Continue to encourage uptake of ongoing education among employees without formal qualifications, and support through study support protocols.

 

 

Roll-out of new Performance framework for 2018- 2019 performance period (Indoor pilot) with individual development plans to be established for each staff member, then ongoing.

 

Continue roll-out for all IWC Council employees through industrial consultation with outdoor staff and unions to ensure equity of processes for all as part of the industrial harmonisation in 2019

Study support ongoing

Ensure all levels of management are aware of and actively implement EEO principles in their activities

 

All managerial levels

Position descriptions for managerial/supervisory roles include knowledge and understanding of EEO principles as an essential criteria

 

EEO principles application is evaluated within mandatory corporate obligations in new the performance review framework

 

No justified complaints regarding opportunities and unfair access to development

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

2018-2019 period (for Indoor pilot) and Ongoing

 

 

 

Ongoing

IWC has flexible working practices included as part of our employee benefits offering

 

Group Manager Human Resources  regarding  development/and

 

 

All Group Managers regarding  application

Development and review of flexible work practices conducted as part of the IWC employee value proposition in consultation with staff and unions

 

Flexible working arrangements are considered on a case by case basis within the scope of operational needs and merit

 

June 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

Disputes arising from EEO related issues are handled in accordance with relevant HR protocols and  procedures and settled within the operational work area

 

All Deputy General Managers, Group Managers and Managers

Updated IWC Grievance Protocol and workplace grievances promptly resolved at workplace level

October 2018 and Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBJECTIVE 2 – COMMUNICATION AND AWARENESS

All staff understand EEO principles and their responsibilities and apply these consistently in the workplace in relation to EEO. IWC employer brand is as an EEO employer and an Employer of Choice

 

OBJECTIVE

RESPONSIBILITY

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR

TARGET DATE

 

IWC has a new EEO Management Plan implemented

Human Resources and all managers

Develop the IWC EEO Management Plan

 

Launch of IWC EEO Management Plan including communication/ education for all staff including:-

document availability on the Intranet and access provided to outdoor staff

 

Review and amend EEO Management Plan as appropriate

August 2018

 

 

September 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every 2 years

Ensure management and staff understand EEO

principles and their responsibilities in relation to the EEO Management Plan and its implementation

General Manager/ Group Manager Human Resources/ Leadership Team and all staff

EEO Awareness training conducted for  new starters and refresher training available for all staff

 

Resources and adequate funds allocated to training, equipment and initiatives to implement the EEO plan

 

EEO Management Plan is placed on the Intranet and other communication channels and is accessible to all staff

 

Supervisor/ Manager Training program implemented including Disability awareness education

 

IWC Grievance Protocol developed for all staff and education/communication rolled-out

June 2018 and Ongoing

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

September 2018

 

 

 

 

December 2018

 

 

 

 

December 2018

EEO information is easily accessible to all staff and prospective employees

Human Resources

EEO information is available through various means e.g. Council’s intranet, website, workplace noticeboards

September 2018

Promote Council as an EEO employer in our employer brand

Human Resources

EEO statements are included in all job advertisements and

EEO information is available on Council’s website 

September 2018 and ongoing

Ensure employees are aware of Council’s no tolerance position on discrimination, bullying, harassment, and vilification

All management levels and staff

 

 

 

Group Manager Human Resources and managers

All new staff to complete induction with learning on EEO and Bullying and Harassment

 

All current staff complete refresher learning on EEO and Bullying and Harassment

 

Regular reviews of anti-bullying and harassment protocol and provide updates for staff

 

New Induction commenced April 2018 and Ongoing

 

 

Ongoing, refresher training on a bi-annual basis

 

 

Ongoing

IWC partners with relevant EEO group providers to deliver specific training needs as appropriate

Human Resources

Partnership established with Job Access (National Disability Recruitment Coordinator) and National Relay Service (NRS)  :-

 

Rollout of Disability Awareness Training

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partnership provides for access to Disability Employment Services for distribution of job adverts

March 2018

 

Customer service staff NRS education provided by March 2018

 

Targeted Managers/ supervisor awareness training by Nov 2018

 

All staff awareness training conducted bi-annually commencing Nov 2018

 

Commence in 2019 financial year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBJECTIVE 3 – IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION

EEO Management Plan is successfully implemented, evaluated and periodically reviewed

 

 

OBJECTIVE

RESPONSIBILITY

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR

TARGET DATE

 

IWC has benchmarked EEO data to ensure ongoing monitoring and compliance

Group Manager Human Resources/ Talent Management Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive and Leadership Team

EEO data collated from the former Council’s systems

 

Voluntary IWC EEO Survey conducted to benchmark current status

 

Regular reporting to the Executive and the Leadership Team on workforce Data and trends once IWC benchmark established

 

Targeted actions developed where appropriate, based on current EEO data, within legislative requirement opportunities to ensure proportional representation e.g. increase skill and progression opportunities for women in senior leadership roles

March 2018

 

 

 

September 2018

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

Ongoing

IWC meets legislative requirements for conduct and reporting of EEO Management Plan activities

General Manager/ Deputy General Managers and all management levels

Group Manager Human Resources/Talent Manager

EEO data and activities analysed for annual report

 

Annual review of EEO Management Plan activities reported within Council’s Annual Report

 

July 2018 and ongoing

 

 

September 2018

Recruitment and selection processes audited and reviewed to enhance EEO compliance

Group Manager Human Resources/Talent Manager

Independent audit conducted by DNRC:-

Audit improvements to be implemented where practicable

August 2018

 

 

March 2019

OBJECTIVE 4 – EEO TARGET GROUPS

Council’s aim is to have its workforce reflective of the community; a workplace free from bullying, harassment and discrimination and will monitor its workforce diversity to try to represent those in the broader community

 

OBJECTIVE

RESPONSIBILITY

PERFORMANCE INDICATOR

TARGET DATE

 

Council has a zero tolerance for bullying, harassment , victimisation and discrimination within its diverse workforce

All Managers and Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Values and Behaviours are measured as part of the staff performance framework

 

Opportunities for employment, training and development, secondments, and higher duties for all staff , including members of EEO target groups, are identified in Individual Development Plans to upskill current staff and remove barriers for progression

 

 

Leadership Development program rolled out to all managers to upskill current staff and remove barriers for progression

 

September 2019

 

 

 

September 2019 and ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2017 and ongoing

IWC Council has identified  activities/programs  for EEO Target Groups to enable a diverse and supported workforce

Group Manager HR and all Group Managers

Affirmative action strategies include the targeted employment of apprentices and trainees; including Traineeship for an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander and person identifying as having a disability

 

Affirmative action strategies include the targeted employment of EEO target groups e.g. LGBTI and ATSI, to identified positions within the organisation structure where appropriate

 

Promote understanding of diversity-related issues through participation/ support of designated activities thematic days e.g. NAIDOC; RUOK Day; International Women’s Day

 

Ensure ATSI staff are aware of their entitlement to cultural leave under the Local Government (State) Award to attend NAIDOC activities

 

Conduct disability awareness and cultural awareness education sessions for managers, supervisors and staff.

 

June 2018 - Apprenticeship Offerings

 

February 2019 –

Traineeship Offerings

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

IWC Council is recognised as an EEO Employer of Choice in its brand

 

Continuing from the former Councils Bronze Award Gender Equity Status:-

Implement initiatives and programs that support Council’s bid for Silver status in the 50/50 Vision Councils for Gender Equity Program

 

Continuing support of LGBTI community though the use of external partnerships

 

IWC HR Protocols and practices enable family friendly working conditions, e.g. flexible working, parental leave entitlements, where operational needs are met.

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

EEO ENQUIRIES AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

If an employee has an enquiry about an EEO issue, they should contact in the first instance:

• Their Supervisor who will seek advice from their Senior HR Business Partner or their Senior HR Business Partner if the matter involves their current supervisor

 

If an employee has a complaint relating to EEO, this may be raised in accordance with the grievance process under the Local Government (State) Award. Council’s goal is to resolve issues in-house wherever possible. A member of Council staff can seek the assistance of a relevant external support person or agency if they feel that their complaint has not been adequately addressed.

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 8

Subject:         Report on the Recruitment Process for a General Manager           

Prepared By:     Melodie Whiting - Group Manager Human Resources 

Authorised By:  Rik Hart - Interim General Manager

 

SUMMARY

As requested by Council at the closed session on 24 July 2018, this report outlines the recruitment process for the appointment of a General Manager. The employment contract of the current General Manager terminates on 12 December 2018. The General Manager has not applied to Council to have his employment contract renewed.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Note the recruitment process and remuneration package, to be determined at the Council meeting, for the appointment of a new General Manager;

 

2.   Delegate the task of recruitment to a selection panel consisting of at least the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, another Councillor and McArthur Management Services recruitment agency, as the suitably qualified independent recruitment facilitator, in accordance with the Office of Local Government Guidelines for the Appointment and Oversight of General Managers July 2011;

 

3.   Resolve the ‘other Councillor(s)’ to be a member(s) of the selection panel; and

 

4.   Delegate to the Mayor the task of ensuring the selection panel is established and recruitment processes are undertaken in accordance with the Office of Local Government Guidelines for the Appointment and Oversight of General Managers July 2011.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

1.    Legislative Requirements under the Local Government Act

 

Council must ensure the appointment of the general manager is made through a competitive recruitment process using merit selection principles, in accordance with Section 349 of the Local Government Act. The recruitment process must be open and transparent but the confidentiality of individual applicants must be maintained. The relevant legislative requirements in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 for the appointment of a General Manager are as follows:-

·    Sect 334 Appointment of General Manager

(1) A council must appoint a person to be its general manager. The person must not be a body corporate.

(2) The position of general manager is a senior staff position.

 

·    Sect 336 Filling of Vacancy in position of General Manager

            (2) A vacancy occurs in the position of general manager if the general manager:

(b) completes the term of his or her contract and is not re-appointed, or

(c) resigns from the position,

 

·    Sect 348 Advertising of staff positions

(1) When it is proposed to make an appointment to a position within the organisation structure of the council, the position must be advertised in a manner sufficient to enable suitably qualified persons to apply for the position.

(3) This section does not apply to:

(a) the re-appointment, under a new contract, of a senior staff member

 

2.   Guidelines for the Recruitment Process

 

The Guidelines for the Appointment and Oversight of General Managers from the Office of Local Government (July 2011) advise that:

·    Council delegates the task of recruitment to a Selection Panel.

·    The Selection Panel composition consists of:-

v At least the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, another Councillor and a suitably qualified independent recruitment facilitator.

·    The Selection Panel membership should remain the same throughout the entire recruitment process.

·    Council delegate to the Mayor the tasks of ensuring the pre-interview phase is conducted with the external recruitment facilitator

·    The Mayor, or the independent recruitment facilitator, should be the contact person for the position and should maintain confidentiality with respect to contact by potential candidates.

·    The Panel report back to a closed meeting of Council on the process and recommend the most meritorious applicant for appointment by the Council.

·    The conditions such as the term of the contract (1-5years) and remuneration package is approved by Council

·    The Mayor makes the offer of employment after Council has resolved to appoint the successful candidate

·    The Standard Contract for Employment of General Managers, as approved by the Office of Local Government, must be the contract used and the standard terms must not be varied.

 

Typically Council would engage a recruitment consultancy that has a specialty in local government senior executive recruitment to manage the recruitment process for engaging a new General Manager, including sourcing qualified candidates, advertising, shortlisting including any psychological assessment testing, facilitating the interview process, conducting reference checks and pre-employment background screening checks and preparing the report to Council recommending the most meritorious applicant .

 

Independent specialist recruitment provider McArthur Management Services, were engaged by Council for the recruitment of the Deputy General Manager and Group Manager positions. They have also recently conducted the independent facilitation for the development of the General Managers Performance Agreement. Due to their recent knowledge and understanding of the organisation and requirements for senior staff roles, and the short time schedule available for the recruitment process, McArthur are recommended as the preferred suitably qualified independent recruitment facilitator.

 

a)      Recruitment and Selection Timeframe:

The current General Manager terminates at the expiry of this contract on 12 December 2018. Therefore, the recruitment process should begin as soon as possible.

 

(i)         Advertisement:

The advertisement must be placed in a manner to ensure maximum circulation to enable suitably qualified persons to apply for a period of at least two weeks. 

 

(ii)        Applicant assessment and testing:

McArthur Management Services will provide access to this pre-selection screening which can take up to two – three weeks depending on candidate availability.

 

(iii)       Interview:

The interview schedule for short-listed candidates may take up to two – three weeks depending on availability of the Panel and candidates.

 

(iv)       Council Approval:

The selection report for the recommended applicant must be approved by Council in closed session.

 

(v)        On-boarding:

Once the preferred candidate had been offered and accepted the role, it may take up to 3 months for them to start depending on the notice period in their current contract.

 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Nil

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Nil

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Nil

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Nil.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 9

Subject:         Local Environmental Plan - Funding Offer from Department of Planning and Environment           

Prepared By:     David Milliken - Manager Urban Strategy 

Authorised By:  David Birds - Group Manager Strategic Planning

 

SUMMARY

One of Council’s major projects is the preparation of a consolidated Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan. The recently adopted budget included four years of funding to complete the project, and it was expected completion of the final LEP will take approximately 3½ years.

The Department of Planning and Environment has subsequently offered Council funding support of $2.5m on condition that it completes the project by 30 June 2020 and delivers outcomes aligned with the requirements of the Greater Sydney Commission’s Eastern City District Plan. This would be around 15 months faster than otherwise scheduled.

This report discusses the risks and issues associated with the funding offer, including the associated changes in project scope, and recommends that Council should accept the offer and enter into a funding agreement, but should also write to the Minister for Planning requesting a further year within which to complete the project, whilst committing to work to meet the two years project timeframe.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Accepts the offer of $2.5m funding towards the preparation of the Inner West Council Local Environmental Plan within two years; and

 

2.   Writes to the Minister for Planning requesting a further year within which to complete the project, whilst committing to work to meet the currently proposed two years project timeframe, for the reasons identified in the report.

 

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

One of Council’s current major projects is the preparation of a consolidated Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Inner West Council area. Funding has been identified by Council to complete the project over four financial years, and work on the project commenced on 1 July 2018.

 

The following outcomes from the project have been identified:

·    A contemporary, adaptable local planning framework that is consistent with the state planning framework and reflects the desired outcomes of the Community Strategic Plan;

·    A clear vision for the future growth of the area, importantly including an appropriate response to major changing local circumstances;

·    Setting the planning objectives for the Inner West for next 20+ years;

·    Aligning supporting strategies for the former Council local government areas (LGAs) on:

Housing;

Integrated Transport;

Economic, Employment and Retail;

·    Taking a local approach to regional issues:

Population growth in locally appropriate areas taking note of local considerations, particularly the Parramatta Road and Sydenham to Bankstown growth corridors;

Finer grained assessment of heritage and urban design issues in all precincts;

Maintaining and boosting local jobs and local industrial areas;

·    Focus on outcomes that are locally important including:

High quality design of new development;

Affordable housing;

Creative industries;

Night time economy;

Open spaces, vegetation and urban greenery;

Supporting local businesses and activity;

Sustainable transport;

New developments providing appropriate community and infrastructure contributions;

·    Consolidating the three LEPs and DCPs into a single LEP and DCP;

·    Ensuring the DCPs are reviewed to align with the LEP; and

·    Concurrent exhibition of the Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS), LEP and DCP with extensive consultation across three years to ensure an engaged community.

 

The relevant initiatives for this project are included in the Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program 2018-22 as follows:

 

Strategic Direction

Outcome

CSP Strategy

Initiative

Unique, liveable, networked neighbourhoods

2.1 Development is designed for sustainability and makes life better

2.1.1 Pursue integrated planning and urban design across public and private spaces to suit community, and local environment needs

Prepare a Local Strategic Planning Statement

Prepare an Inner West Council Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP)

2.1.2 Identify and pursue innovative and creative solutions to complex urban planning and transport issues

Prepare the Inner West Integrated Transport Strategy

2.6

People are walking, cycling and moving around Inner West

with ease

2.6.1 Deliver integrated networks and infrastructure for transport and active-travel

 

In March 2018 the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) released the final Eastern City District Plan to supplement the Greater Sydney Region Plan. The updated Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires Sydney councils to align their LEPs with the District Plan within three years.

 

For the Inner West LGA, this alignment will include the following major considerations:

·    Ensuring the protection of industrial zoned land;

·    Implementing growth in the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor through the LEP;

·    Implementing growth in the Parramatta Road corridor through the LEP;

·    Working with stakeholders to implement the Camperdown-Ultimo Health and Education Precinct; and

·    Implementing the Greenway.

 

On 22 May 2018 the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) wrote to Council to offer funding support of up to $2.5m in order to achieve alignment of Council’s LEPs with the District Plan within two years by 30 June 2020.

 

On 27 July 2018 the DPE wrote to Council agreeing to Council leading the planning for relevant parts of the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor as part of the LEP review process. Whilst this is a good outcome for Council, it places further pressure on the schedule as planning for this corridor is complicated and requires significant work to complete. Staff have identified significant risks in seeking to complete this to an adequate standard within two years.

 

STAFF COMMENTS

Whilst potential funding assistance to complete projects as complex and important as the LEP is welcomed, there is concern that delivery within the two-year timeframe is extremely ambitious and subject to a range of risks, many of which are outside of Council’s control.

 

The DPE is primarily concerned with implementing the District Plan through the LEP and appears less concerned with outcomes important to Council such as consolidation of the three former Council LEPs into one, addressing local issues that do not affect the major District Plan deliverables, and work to prepare a comprehensive DCP that supports the new LEP.

 

Should Council decide to accept the funding offer, the schedule and scope for the delivery of the LEP project would need to be adjusted accordingly. This includes:

·    Completing the LEP in line with the DPE requirements by mid-2020, and then undertaking other tasks, such as key aspects of consolidation after that;

·    The additional funding will support additional resources up to mid-2020 to enable the completion of more tasks in the first two years.

 

In addition, Council’s newly established role in leading the planning for the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor significantly adds to the project scope. This work needs to commence in the very near future in order to feed into the LEP project at the appropriate time.

 

The following sections discuss the impacts on the project from a project management perspective in terms of schedule, funding and scope.

 

Schedule

The current project plan for the consolidated LEP and DCP includes ten tasks to complete within four years and produce the deliverables identified in the project plan:

 

 

Year

 

Task

2018/19

1. Preliminaries

 

2. DCP Alignment

 

3. Evidence Based Studies

 

4. Local Strategic Planning Statement

2019/20

5. Locality Based Studies

 

6. Local Environmental Plan

2020/21

7. Development Control Plan

 

8. Gateway

2021/22

9. Exhibition

 

10. Finalisation and Review

 


 

The DPE has released its version of a project plan, to be completed in two years, as follows (see also Attachment 1):

 

 

Task

Comment

2018/19

1. LEP review

Task required by DPE, not included in current Council Project Plan but able to be accommodated.

 

2. Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement

·      Undertake studies

·      Prepare and exhibit draft LSPS

Similar to task 3 in current Council project plan

2019/20

3. Finalise Local Strategic Planning Statement

·      Review submissions

·      Implementation options

·      Finalise LSPS

This will likely take 4-6 months from the close of exhibition of the draft LSPS so is likely to be completed around Nov/Dec 2019.

4. Gateway

·      Prepare LEP and planning proposal

·      Gateway determination

The DPE project plan moves quickly from LSPS to Gateway and there is a significant risk it provides insufficient time to prepare the provisions/controls in the new LEP, consolidate the three LEPs, consider all local issues and prepare DCP provisions to support the LEP. Council’s project plan will be altered to move some of these tasks earlier supported by the additional funding, however there remains a significant schedule/timing risk at this point.

5. Exhibition

·      Prepare material

·      Exhibit planning proposal

·      Finalise planning proposal

This would need to occur in early 2020 in order to submit the LEP by mid-2020. The schedule/timing risk outlined above under (4) would impact on the date that exhibition would occur.

6. Submission

The mid-2020 date has been endorsed by Cabinet.

 

It is noted that the first year of the two project plans are quite similar, in that completing the LSPS and undertaking (evidence base) studies are the priority for that year.

 

However, the following year of the DPE project plan includes all of the work Council previously intended to do over the following three financial years. The DPE project plan anticipates exhibition in March 2020, whereas the current Council project plan anticipates exhibition in mid-2021. Major differences between the current Council project plan and that proposed by the DPE include:

·    The DPE plan does not consider early work Council is currently undertaking to align some DCP provisions that are quite different across the three former Council DCPs, such as the notifications policy;

·    The DPE plan provides much less time to undertake locality based studies, which is how the fine grain detailed planning to support the LEP and DCP would be determined, in particular in the Sydenham to Bankstown and Parramatta Road corridors;

·    The DPE plan does not fully consider Step 6 of Council’s plan, which is the preparation of provisions/controls for the LEP (converting the LSPS into LEP provisions), and where the consolidation of the three LEPs would occur, there appears to be insufficient time in the DPE schedule to complete these tasks;

·    The DPE plan does not provide for preparing a supporting DCP; and

·    The DPE Plan only considers the statutory 28 days formal public exhibition period.

 

The proposed schedule, due to its standardised ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for all councils, by its nature underestimates the amount of work required for the Parramatta Road and Sydenham to Bankstown corridors, where significant effort and consultation will be necessary to prepare provisions for the LEP and the supporting DCP. By the welcome handing back of the planning for the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor to Council the DPE has added more work to the already constrained schedule. It is proposed to discuss the implications of this with DPE at a forthcoming meeting on planning for the corridor to identify how DPE can provide support to expedite this work.

 

It is also noted that the standard DPE project plan does not consider locally important matters such as affordable housing, design quality or creative industries. It also does not provide for time to prepare a consolidated LEP for the entire Council. This is also due to the standard nature of the plan which is applied to all councils, and does not consider the additional challenges faced by amalgamated councils, as for Inner West Council the three existing former council LEPs are substantially different in the detail behind them and require significant work to align them.

 

If Council accepts the funding agreement, the current Council project plan will need to be refined to better reflect the DPE project plan. The additional funding could be used to support certain tasks starting earlier, such as:

·    Work on the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor starting in the very near future in order to feed into the LEP prior to it being submitted for Gateway;

·    Work on the consolidation of the LEPs could begin in September 2018; and

·    Work on a supporting DCP could also begin before the end of 2018.

 

However, the schedule is still very ambitious and carries significant risk of slippage towards the end of 2019.

 

Funding

The $2.5m funding offer is a maximum funding amount, where the DPE will fund works and resources towards achieving an LEP aligned with the District Plan by 30 June 2020. There is no guarantee of funding provision after this date if the schedule slips.

 

The State does not pay GST contributions and the agreement would require Council to continue an allocation up to $250,000 over the two years.

 

Council’s current budget includes a total of $4.709m over four years to complete the consolidated LEP and DCP, as follows:

 

 

18/19

19/20

20/21

21/22

Total

Current Project Costs

$1,113,000

$700,000

$194,000

$125,000

$2,132,000

Current Staff Costs

$635,000

$651,000

$667,000

$624,000

$2,577,000

Current Total Cost

$1,748,000

$1,351,000

$861,000

$749,000

$4,709,000

 

The DPE has prepared a funding agreement which includes the following milestones and payments:

·    $250,000 upon signing of the funding agreement (immediately);

·    $500,000 upon DPE approval of project plan (short term);

·    $625,000 upon exhibition of draft LSPS (~June 2019);

·    $625,000 upon submission of LEP for Gateway approval; and

·    $500,000 upon submission to the Secretary of the final LEP, no later than 30 June 2020.

 


 

Assuming that the DPE timeframe can be satisfied, the likely maximum funding would be:

 

 

18/19

19/20

20/21

21/22

total

DPE Funding

$1,375,000*

$1,125,000#

Nil

Nil

$2,500,000

* assumes LSPS is advertised before 30 June 2019.

assumes all tasks completed before 30 June 2019.

 

The change to the schedule and scope would mean that Council would undertake additional tasks over the first two years of the project, importantly including much more work associated with the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor.

 

 

18/19

19/20

20/21

21/22

Total

Current Project Costs

$1,113,000

$700,000

$194,000

$125,000

$2,132,000

Current Staff Costs

$635,000

$651,000

$667,000

$624,000

$2,577,000

New costs to accelerate program

$1,375,000

$1,125,000

Nil

Nil

$2,500,000

Current Total Cost

$3,123,000

$2,476,000

$861,000

$749,000

$7,209,000

 

 

 

18/19

19/20

20/21

21/22

total

IWC Funding

$1,748,000

$1,351,000

$861,000

$749,000

$4,709,000

DPE Funding

$1,375,000*

$1,125,000#

Nil

Nil

$2,500,000

Total Funding

$1,351,000

$861,000

$749,000

$7,209,000

$7,209,000

* assumes LSPS is advertised before 30 June 2019.

assumes all tasks completed before 30 June 2019.

 

It is anticipated that the much of the additional funding provided by the DPE would be required to complete the accelerated program. In particular, additional resources are likely to need to be identified to undertake the detailed planning for the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor, and providing for additional resources to begin consolidating the LEPs and preparing DCPs earlier than originally considered.

 

At the end of each budget period expenditure would be drawn down from the DPE allocation first, followed by the Council budget allocation. Any funds not spent from Council’s allocation would either be carried forward, or returned as project savings. It is also considered a prudent risk-management strategy to maintain the budget allocations for the project in 2020/21 and 2021/22 as, at this stage, there is a significant risk that the ambitious schedule set by DPE may not be met and some tasks will be completed once the LEP has been submitted, such as finalising the DCP.

 

Scope

Acceptance of the funding agreement would provide access to staff resources within the DPE to assist with the project, however at this stage there is little clarity as to what this may entail. The two year schedule remains an extremely ambitious timeframe in any event, and requires significant adjustment of the project scope in order to meet the DPE deliverable in the time required.

 

The changes to the scope as a result of accepting the DEP funding would include:

·    Work on the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor starting in the very near future in order to feed into the LEP prior to be submitted for Gateway;

·    Work on the consolidation of the LEPs would begin in September 2018;

·    Work on a supporting DCP would also begin before the end of 2018; and

·    Some tasks not critical for the final submission of the LEP would occur following submission, such as the finalisation of the DCP.

 

Risks Associated With Accepting the Funding Agreement

 

The following is a summary of the risks to meeting the agreement requirements should Council decide to accept the funding agreement:

·    The Local Strategic Planning Framework must be exhibited by 30 June 2019 in order to secure the associated funding in that financial year. This is a tight timeframe but achievable if there are no major delays.

·    There is a significant risk that the milestones for the second year of the DPE funding will not be achieved in the time required. Should the LEP not be submitted for Gateway by 30 June 2020 there is a financial risk of $625,000. The final draft LEP must also be submitted to the Secretary of DPE by 30 June 2020 to receive the final payment of $500,000. Given the amount of work required to prepare LEP provisions for the Sydenham to Bankstown and Parramatta Road corridors, and the need to undertake exhibition in that year, there is a very high risk that these timeframes may not be met. There is no guarantee of funding post June 2020.

·    There is no contingency allowance time in the schedule, so unexpected issues such as key staff and/or consultant changes or changing requirements from DPE and the like, would have a direct impact on the schedule;

·    LEPs for all priority Councils would be submitted to DPE at the same time, and there is a risk that DPE would not be able to process them in the time required;

·    There is a shortage of planning staff and consultant resources in NSW and there may be risks of engaging and retaining suitable staff and consultants and keeping on schedule;

·    The DPE project plan does not provide for the preparation of a DCP, this still needs to be done as the existence of a LEP without a complementary DCP would be a poor planning outcome and would have the potential to delay development outcomes;

·    Whilst the funding agreement does provide for DPE staff resources it is unclear at this stage how this will assist, and past experience has shown that securing these resources can sometimes prove difficult; and

·    There is a lack of clarity of the DPE’s monitoring and approval role, and little information as to what penalties might or might not exist if the schedule is not met.

 

In this respect it is noted that the funding offer does have provision for variations but at this stage discussions with DPE staff have indicated that no particular circumstances have been identified where these may be agreed. Nonetheless it is notable that many of the risks identified in this report are outside of Council’s control and should they arise it would seem reasonable to seek to agree appropriate variations to the schedule with DPE. There are also no penalty provisions that appear to apply that would enable seeking the return of staged payments already made.

 

Options

1.   If Council decides to accept the funding offer, staff will revisit the project plan to adjust the scope accordingly, as outlined in this report. Council would be accepting the funding with an understanding of the associated risks with such an ambitious schedule. In the event that the project is completed under Council’s budget, project savings would be returned to Council. The extent of potential savings will become clear as the project progresses.

 

2.   Should Council decide not to accept the funding offer, then the LEP project will continue in line with the current project plan and budget, noting that Council is required to complete the LEP in three years in any event. Council would be required to fully fund the project directly.

 

3.   Council could write to the Minister and the DPE accepting the offer but noting the project risks that arise due to Council’s particular circumstances, and whilst committing to work to meet the currently proposed two years project timeframe, requesting more time to complete the LEP for the following reasons:

·    Consolidating the LEPs into a single LEP is important in order to build a consistent vision for the future of the Inner West and to reduce the inefficiencies of continuing to operate three different planning frameworks;

·    The work required to prepare a LEP that includes appropriate provisions for the Sydenham to Bankstown and Parramatta Road corridors is significant, and there is a high risk this may not be completed in the scheduled time together with all of the other tasks associated with this project without the allocation of further support to Council;

·    The geographic size of the Council and complexity of the planning issues it faces requires appropriate resources and time to consider these issues adequately;

·    The Inner West community will only support updating the planning framework through extensive, ongoing and detailed consultation, not just a statutory 28 days exhibition period; and

·    An additional year would more realistically enable a consolidated LEP to be prepared that aligns with the District Plan, includes fully planned appropriate provisions for the corridors, considers important local matters, and is supported by a DCP that is fully complementary to the consolidated LEP. This would be a good outcome for Council, for the State, and would reduce the risks associated with a constrained timeframe.

 

Recommendation

It is recommended that Council accepts the offer but also writes to the Minister requesting a further year within which to complete the project, whilst committing to work to meet the currently proposed two years project timeframe, for the reasons outlined above.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The immediate financial implications are nil as the LEP/DCP project is identified within Council’s current budget allocations. However the offer of funding provides for additional work necessary to be completed in FY2018/19 and FY2019/20 in order to achieve an LEP within two years. This may result in budget savings and may also help meet new costs to Council that may potentially arise due to Council’s new role leading planning for the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor. 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Nil for this report, although the project itself will include extensive public consultation.

 

CONCLUSION

While the offer of additional funding is welcomed there are significant risks associated with accepting the funding proposal and seeking to complete the project in a shortened timeframe. Notwithstanding this the additional funding would allow Council to complete the LEP in line with the DPE’s goals and also complete locally important tasks such as consolidating the three LEPs. In order to help manage the schedule risks, it is recommended that Council accepts the offer but also writes to the Minister requesting a further year within which to complete the project, whilst committing to work to meet the currently proposed two years project timeframe.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

Timeline for accelerated LEP review and update

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 10

Subject:         Council Submission to WestConnex Parliamentary Inquiry           

Prepared By:     Kendall Banfield - Manager WestConnex Unit 

Authorised By:  David Birds - Group Manager Strategic Planning

 

SUMMARY

On 21 June 2018 the NSW Legislative Council’s Upper House Public Accountability Committee announced it had commenced an inquiry into the impact of WestConnex.  Council had been calling for an inquiry into WestConnex for some time. This report presents Council’s draft submission to the Inquiry.

 

Though the inquiry’s terms of reference focus on strategic and economic aspects of WestConnex, Council’s draft submission raises issues beyond these aspects. This is appropriate as the inquiry terms of reference includes “any other related matter”, and Council is of the view that the project has imposed significant health and other costs on the community that have been ignored in the business case.

 

It is recommended the draft submission be used as the basis for a final submission to be lodged before the due date of 31 August 2018.  It is also recommended that comments received from Council and the community be integrated into the submission.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT Council:

 

1.   Notes the draft Council submission to the WestConnex Inquiry at Attachment 1, to be used as a basis for developing a final submission to be lodged by the due date of 31 August 2018;

 

2.   Provides edits, additions and general comments on the draft submission to assist the development of the final version; and

 

3.   Notes that further community issues will be integrated into the submission, including issues raised at the forthcoming community workshop on preparing submissions on this matter.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

On 21 June 2018 the NSW Legislative Council’s Upper House Public Accountability Committee announced it had commenced an inquiry into the impact of WestConnex.  The terms of reference for the inquiry are at Attachment 2 and are also available on the NSW Parliament websiteThe inquiry is welcomed, as Council has been calling for an inquiry into WestConnex in various submissions and representations for some time. 

 

It is noted from the terms of reference that the inquiry will focus on strategic and economic aspects of WestConnex.  These aspects include the business case, benefit-cost analysis, governance structure of the organisations involved, compulsory acquisitions and relationship to other motorway projects. 

 

Whilst it is appropriate that these strategic aspects are examined, Council is concerned that these terms of reference do not include health and other impacts on residents from the construction and operation of the project.  In the absence of such a term, these pertinent issues have been raised under the inquiry term “any other related matter”.  In any event, it is considered that it is not possible for the inquiry to properly assess the benefits and costs of the project without considering the way it continues to impose health and other costs on the community from its construction and operation. 

 

In October 2017 the then newly-elected Council made a number of resolutions on WestConnex, including “That Council commits to writing to all members of State Parliament seeking their support for a full inquiry into WestConnex and that the EIS for Stage 3 not proceed until the inquiry is concluded.”

 

Subsequently, Council’s October 2017 submission on the WestConnex Stage 3 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) included a request that “Prior to any further consideration of the Stage 3 EIS, an inquiry should be held into all parts of WestConnex examining issues with the project’s business case, flawed Stage 3 EIS and unacceptable construction and operational impacts. Findings of the inquiry to determine whether Stage 3 should proceed and to recommend improvements to Stages 1 and 2 in relation to its design, conditions of approval and environmental licensing to reduce currently unacceptable impacts.”

 

The draft submission at Attachment 1 draws on Council’s October 2017 submission on the Stage 3 EIS, which had included issues arising in the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Council’s submissions on EISs for Stages 1 and 2. This is appropriate as most of the issues raised in these submissions remain pertinent. 

 

In drawing on these EIS submissions, this inquiry submission raises strategic issues, process issues, current construction issues based on experiences with Stages 1 and 2, forthcoming construction issues for Stage 3 and forthcoming operational issues for all three stages of WestConnex, as well as the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT). 

 

The draft submission draws on two documents that have also been attached to the submission:

·     the 20016 SGS Economics & Planning (2016) WestConnex Business Case Review for former Leichhardt Council & City of Sydney Councils; and

·     notes from five public meetings convened by Inner West Council in late 2017 and early 2018 to discuss WestConnex construction and operational issues.

 

The draft submission also draws on Council’s experience with engaging with the community over WestConnex through a variety of means, including:

·     Council meetings;

·     meetings of Council’s WestConnex Community Liaison Forum (WCLF);

·     meetings of the NSW Government’s WestConnex Community Reference Group (WCRG);

·     a public meeting in late 2017 to discuss the Stage 3 EIS;

·     a set of five public meetings in late 2017 and early 2018 to discuss Stage 3 construction issues (notes from these meetings are attached to the inquiry submission);

·     a drop-in meeting to discuss operational traffic issues in late 2017;

·     various less formal meetings between staff and affected residents and resident groups; and

·     various meetings between Council staff, project staff (SMC and its contractors) and staff from relevant NSW Government agencies, predominantly Roads & Maritime Services (RMS), the Department of Planning & Environment (DP&E) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

 

At its 24 July 2018 meeting, Council resolved to:

·     provide information on the Council website to residents regarding the inquiry’s key issues, how to make a submission and key issues that could be included in a submission;

·     use e-news, social media and the Inner West Council page in the Inner West Courier to inform residents about the inquiry and how they can make a submission; and

·     convene a public workshop on how to make a submission providing information on some of the key issues that can be included in a submission.

 

The abovementioned public workshop, to be held on the evening of Thursday 16 August 2018, is being designed to assist the community by providing information on Council’s key issues as a prompt for community members to draft their own submissions.  It is also being designed to allow Council staff to obtain community feedback so it can be incorporated into Council’s submission.

 

The draft submission has an introduction that includes background to the development of the submission, Council’s position on WestConnex, Council resolutions and submission statements calling for an inquiry and process issues related to the planning of the project. 

 

The draft submission then discusses Council’s issues with WestConnex according to:

·     strategic justification;

·     all local impacts (summary);

·     construction impacts;

·     air quality impacts;

·     health impacts;

·     operational traffic impacts;

·     impacts on public transport;

·     impacts on active transport;

·     land use & property impacts;

·     social & economic impacts;

·     urban design & visual amenity impacts; and

·     other impacts.

 

A summary of key strategic issues raised in the draft submission is as follows:

·     Council continues to oppose the project;

·     Council prefers public transport solutions to Sydney’s traffic problems;

·     Council seeks to mitigate negative impacts and seize opportunities for community benefits;

·     planning of the project has been rushed and consultation tokenistic;

·     the project is not justified at a strategic level on economic and environmental grounds;

·     the project’s business case is flawed, with little consideration of alternative transport and demand-management options; and

·     there has been no accounting of the significant health and other costs imposed on communities, and the equity impacts of tolls.

 

A summary of key local issues raised in the draft submission is as follows:

·     air quality impacts from ventilation facilities and increased surface traffic;

·     the full range of construction impacts, including construction noise and vibration, dust and contaminants, truck movements, employee parking demands – from a multitude of construction sites across the Inner West Council area and beyond;

·     residents suffering health issues from cumulative construction impacts;

·     continuation of impacts at Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters as a result of Stage 3;

·     noise, safety and amenity impacts from construction truck movements and ad-hoc stabling of trucks on streets;

·     operational traffic impacts, particularly around the Haberfield, Rozelle and St Peters interchanges;

·     operational traffic congestion impacts on main roads, including Anzac Bridge and The Crescent / Johnston Street;

·     need for a stronger commitment to reducing surface road capacity and implementing streetscape and public transport improvements – in particular, along Victoria Road and Parramatta Road;

·     the social and economic impacts of all compulsory acquisitions;

·     risk of damage to buildings as a result of construction vibration and settling;

·     need for full delivery of residual lands to Council at no cost with all landscaping, paths and facilities constructed by the proponent;

·     a potential right-of-way through the Rozelle Rail Yard (RRY) site for future a future light rail link to White Bay has been compromised;

·     Council’s strong objection to permanent deletion of Buruwan Park and temporary use of publicly-accessible areas of open space for the project; and

·     the need to address a range of other local issues continually raised by Council and the community.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Nil.

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

In accordance with Council’s 24 July 2018 resolution on this matter, information on the inquiry has been posted on Council’s website and a public workshop on community issues raised by WestConnex for the inquiry is being arranged to be held on the evening of Thursday 16 August 2018.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

Draft Council Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry

2.

Terms of Reference - Parliamentary Inquiry

3.

Notes from five meetings regarding WCX impacts

4.

SGS WestConnex business case review

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

 

 

SUBMISSION FROM INNER WEST COUNCIL

 

TO THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE

OF THE NSW LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

 

FOR THE INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT

OF THE WESTCONNEX PROJECT

 

DRAFT - AUGUST 2018

 

 

 

Contents

·                     

Introduction. 1

Council’s concerns about the strategic justification. 4

Summary of Council’s concerns about local impacts. 8

Council’s concerns about construction impacts. 10

Council’s concerns about air quality impacts. 16

Council’s concerns about health impacts. 20

Council’s concerns about operational traffic impacts. 23

Council’s concerns about impacts on public transport 26

Council’s concerns about impacts on active transport 29

Council’s concerns about land use & property impacts. 30

Council’s concerns about social & economic impacts. 31

Council’s concerns about urban design & visual amenity impacts. 33

Council’s concerns about other impacts. 35

References. 37

 

 

Attachments

 

1.    Notes from five public meetings Convened by Inner West Council in late 2017 and early 2018 to discuss WestConnex construction and operational issues

2.    SGS Economics & Planning (2016) WestConnex Business Case Review, for former Leichhardt Council & City of Sydney

 

 

Introduction

 

As Council has been calling for an inquiry into WestConnex for some time, it follows that Council welcomes this inquiry and appreciates the opportunity for input.  It is noted from the terms of reference that the inquiry will have a focus on strategic and economic aspects of WestConnex.  These aspects include the business case, benefit-cost analysis, governance structure of the organisations involved, compulsory acquisitions and relationship to other motorway projects. 

 

Whilst it is appropriate that these strategic aspects are examined, Council is concerned that these terms do not include health impacts on residents from the construction and operation of the project.  In the absence of such a term, Council has proceeded in this submission to raise these and other pertinent issues under the term “any other related matter”.  In any event, Council is of the view that it is not possible for this inquiry to properly assess the benefits and costs of the project without considering the way it continues to impose health costs on the community from its construction and operation. 

 

This submission draws on Council’s October 2017 submission on the Stage 3 EIS, which itself drew on former Ashfield, Leichardt and Marrickville Council’s submissions on EISs for Stages 1 and 2.  This is appropriate as most of the issues raised in these submissions remain pertinent.  In drawing on these EIS submissions, this submission raises strategic issues, process issues, current construction issues based on experiences with Stages 1 and 2, forthcoming construction issues for Stage 3 and forthcoming operational issues for all three stages of WestConnex, as well as the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT).

 

This submission also draws on Council’s experience with engaging with the community over WestConnex from 2015 onwards through a variety of means, including:

·     Council meetings;

·     meetings of Council’s WestConnex Community Liaison Forum (WCLF);

·     meetings of the NSW Government’s WestConnex Community Reference Group (WCRG);

·     a public meeting in late 2017 to discuss the Stage 3 EIS;

·     a set of five public meetings in late 2017 and early 2018 to discuss Stage 3 construction issues (notes from these meetings are at Attachment 1);

·     a drop-in meeting to discuss operational traffic issues in late 2017;

·     various less formal meetings between staff and affected residents and resident groups; and

·     various meetings between Council staff, project staff (SMC and its contractors) and staff from relevant NSW Government agencies, predominantly Roads & Maritime Services (RMS), the Department of Planning & Environment (DP&E) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

 

At its 24 July 2018 meeting, Council resolved to:

·     provide information on the Council website to residents regarding the inquiry’s key issues, how to make a submission and key issues that could be included in a submission;

·     use e-news, social media and the Inner West Council page in the Inner West Courier to inform residents about the inquiry and how they can make a submission; and

·     convene a public workshop on how to make a submission providing information on some of the key issues that can be included in a submission.

 

The abovementioned public workshop was held on 16 August 2018 to assist the community by providing information on Council’s key issues to help community members to draft their own submissions.  It was also designed to allow Council staff to hear the community issues so they could be incorporated into Council’s submission.

 

Inner West Council and the three former councils that make up Inner West Council have strongly opposed WestConnex since planning of this project began.  Council would prefer that no part of the project had been planned or constructed, and the substantial funding for the project had been directed to public transport, active transport and other demand-management (traffic reduction) options. 

 

Council has also raised concerns about the multitude of local impacts from the project - environmental, health, traffic, transport, construction and economic impacts, as well as lack of adherence to good planning and management practice.  These concerns are outlined in this submission and will continue to be communicated in all of Council’s submissions and other dealings with regard to WestConnex. 

 

At meetings on 21 September and 3 and 12 October 2017, the then newly-elected Inner West Council discussed a number of WestConnex matters and resolved (among other things) that “Inner West Council formally adopts a position of continued opposition in the strongest terms to the WestConnex project, both approved and future stages including stage 3, consistent with the opposition of the former councils of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville.”

 

Council’s position of opposition to WestConnex is consistent with its 2016 independent survey of Inner West Council residents on a number of issues, including WestConnex.  The survey found that almost 60% of respondents were opposed to WestConnex.

 

Whilst Council has continued to express its position of opposition in all its dealings over WestConnex, it has also continued to work with the Inner West community, relevant NSW Government agencies and project contractors to ensure the extensive negative impacts from the project are minimised and community benefits are maximised wherever they arise.

 

At the abovementioned 2017 meetings, Council had also resolved “That Council commits to writing to all members of State Parliament seeking their support for a full inquiry into WestConnex and that the EIS for Stage 3 not proceed until the inquiry is concluded.”

 

Subsequently, Council’s October 2017 submission on the WestConnex Stage 3 EIS included a request that “Prior to any further consideration of the Stage 3 EIS, an inquiry should be held into all parts of WestConnex examining issues with the project’s business case, flawed Stage 3 EIS and unacceptable construction and operational impacts. Findings of the inquiry to determine whether Stage 3 should proceed and to recommend improvements to Stages 1 and 2 in relation to its design, conditions of approval and environmental licensing to reduce currently unacceptable impacts.”

 

Council stated at that time that the inquiry’s main task would be to investigate the business case for the project to identify flaws in the process of evaluating the project at the highest level, and to determine whether Stage 3 (as currently designed) represents the best outcome compared with other transport and demand-management options.  Whilst Council considers it relevant that the inquiry’s terms of reference include strategic and financial aspects of the project (including the business case) Council is also keen to see that the inquiry investigates other less strategic but equally important issues. 

 

In particular, the inquiry must investigate the full range of issues from construction impacts that have been encountered to date from Stages 1 and 2 as well as future operational traffic impacts from the entire project.  In doing so, it is anticipated that the inquiry’s findings would lead to immediate improvements to the design details and construction practices of Stages 1 and 2.  The primary immediate aim would be to reduce the currently unacceptable impacts being suffered by the Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters communities.  This would require a number of retrospective actions, including modifications to Stage 1 and 2 conditions of approval and environmental licenses.

 

The inquiry should note that Council had in its Stage 3 EIS submission also requested, prior to determination of Stage 3, “an independent health study of Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents affected by Stage 1 and 2 construction sites. Study to be overseen by NSW Heath and used to inform any Stage 3 conditions of approval.”  Although Stage 3 has been approved without such a study, this inquiry provides a much-needed opportunity to ensure health impacts are duly assessed.

 

Throughout the planning process for all stages of WestConnex, Council has raised a number of issues about process flaws.  These flaws have signalled to the community that community engagement has been rushed and tokenistic.  In summary, these are:

·     exhibitions occurring during school holiday periods and over the Christmas / New Year period – an example of the latter is exhibition of the Stage 2 EIS from was undertaken almost entirely over the Christmas / New Year period;

·     the short period (nine working days) between the close of exhibition of the Stage 3 concept design and commencement of exhibition of the EIS could not have possibly allowed the issues raised by the former document to influence the latter;

·     a 60-day EIS exhibition period for a very large and complex project like WestConnex does not allow for proper consideration of issues by councils and the community - though extensions have been sought, they have not been granted;

·     lack of detail and clarity in EISs on key issues, particularly for Stage 3; and

·     no public exhibition of Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Reports, even though Council had requested this for Stage 3 – essential to allow the community to comment on further changes to the project after approval. In its submission on the Stage 3 EIS, Council’s had expressed concerns about the complex designs of the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link (i.e. Stage 3(b)) and the difficulties that would be involved construction of that part of the project.  The fact that the NSW Government has not been able to readily procure a contractor for Stage 3(b) is evidence of the difficulties involved.  This raises the possibility of significant design changes to Stage 3(b) prior to construction commencing, including the possibility that some parts of the interchange may be above-ground with an increased environmental impact.  It also adds weight to Council’s argument elsewhere in this submission about the need for community input into design changes, although Council expects a new EIS would be prepared if these changes were significant.

 

Council’s concerns about the strategic justification

 

Council believes WestConnex is not justified at a strategic level on economic and environmental grounds.  It represents a poor transport option compared to public transport and demand management alternatives.  It will have profound negative impacts on the liveability and urban form in the Inner West and wider metropolitan region.  Nor is the project justified at a local level due to the severe and widespread local impacts that continue to be suffered by the Inner West community.

 

The project is not consistent with key NSW Government planning and transport policies and does not meet some of its own original aims.  Costs have been underestimated and benefits overestimated.  Of particular concern to Council is lack of accounting for the significant health costs imposed on communities and the equity impacts of tolls.

 

As Council has repeatedly argued, public transport, active transport, demand management, location-specific road improvements and other transport options that can reduce traffic and consolidate development are needed to move Sydney toward a more liveable and economically efficient transit-oriented urban form.  This kind of urban form allows the majority of the city’s inhabitants to access most jobs, services and recreational opportunities by means other than private car. 

 

Creation of a transit-oriented urban form is increasingly necessary for a city’s economic performance, as liveability and transport efficiency are increasingly pre-requisites for the ‘new economy’.  Knowledge-based corporations and their workers seek mixed, densely-developed urban areas that facilitate face-to-face interaction and are liveable, affordable and well-served by public transport. 

 

It has been proven around the world that the most cost-effective means of reducing traffic is to continue to increase the extent and quality of public transport, supported by active transport, demand-management and transit-oriented development.  In large cities such as Sydney, rail speed and reliability can be the most significant factor determining road speed and reliability.  Increasing road capacity to solve traffic congestion has been proven to be self-defeating and ultimately futile. 

 

The economic future of Sydney depends on its ability to compete with other large cities nationally and around the world to attract activity in the new economy, with the key measure for success being quality of public transport.  Google’s 2017 decision to withdraw its interest in establishing a corporate headquarters in the Bays Precinct due to lack of public transport access to the site highlights the importance of quality public transport in securing Sydney’s economic future.

 

WestConnex will contribute to the opposite – reduced patronage of public transport with corresponding declines in reliability and quality, induced traffic, urban sprawl, polluted air, compromised neighbourhoods, declining public health and an inefficient, costly transport system that will drain the city’s economy.  While other major cities around the world have abandoned large-scale inner-urban motorway construction, the NSW Government continues to push forward with this outdated road-based solution to Sydney’s traffic problems.

 

Most of the views expressed in this submission on the strategic aspects of WestConnex are not unique to Inner West Council – they are the views of the former councils that now make up Inner West Council, the City of Sydney and numerous planning/transport professionals and residents of Inner West Council and the wider inner-Sydney area.  These views have also been expressed by some individuals and organisations in other parts of Sydney, including Western Sydney.

 

Council is also concerned about the equity impacts of WestConnex, where the toll burden will fall primarily on lower-income earners in western Sydney.  This is becoming an issue for western Sydney councils and their communities – not only through the direct impact of the tolls, but through revenue indirectly lost to western Sydney businesses, increased costs of living and a consequent decline in economic activity.

 

Through induced traffic, WestConnex will undermine the NSW Government’s own efforts to create transit-oriented development in other parts of Sydney, such as that proposed within along the Parramatta Road and Sydenham to Bankstown corridors.

 

It is well recognised that the provision of on-site parking contributes significantly to the cost of housing and the cost of doing business. Consequently, by encouraging increased reliance on private vehicles and increasing the need for development to provide parking, WestConnex undermines policies that promote affordable housing and business viability.  Increasing pressures for kerbside parking also makes it difficult for Council to reclaim kerbside space for much-needed street improvements such as widened footpaths, bicycle lanes and street trees and gardens.

 

WestConnex will also undermine several of the NSW Government’s own transport and planning policies, including the 2014 Metropolitan Strategy, the 2016 draft Central Subregional District Plan and 2016 Future Transport Technology Roadmap.  The latter strategy foresees a number of changes around technology, demographics and rates of car ownership that threaten to undermine the value of WestConnex in the longer-term.  By increasing vehicular traffic, WestConnex also undermines the NSW Government’s active transport plans and policies, such as the 2013 Sydney City Centre Access Strategy and 2013 Sydney’s Cycling Future.

 

Council is concerned that WestConnex, as a motorway-only transport option, fails to meet some of its own objectives.  Key failures include:

·     the likelihood that surface traffic will not be reduced in the long-term due to mode-shifting and associated induced traffic;

·     the project will not lead to the rejuvenation of Parramatta Road as originally planned;

·     there will be worsening of congestion on already congested roads such as Victoria Road at the Iron Cove Bridge and City West Link Road at Anzac Bridge;

·     there will not be connectivity to Sydney Airport and Port Botany as originally planned; and

·     the project will bring only limited benefits for heavy vehicles. 

 

Council continues to be seriously concerned about the flawed processes for the evaluation of this project.  In 2015 and 2016 submissions from the former councils that now make up Inner West Council on WestConnex Stages 1 and 2, particular concerns were raised the poor business case for the project. 

 

In particular, there has been no serious evaluation of the chosen motorway-only option against combinations of other transport options that would have been more effective in allowing the project to meet its own objectives at a lower cost.  It is apparent from the project’s business case that the motorway-only option was chosen at the beginning of the planning process and the business case drafted to support this. 

 

As part of the development of submissions by former Leichhardt and City of Sydney Councils Stage 2 (New M5) in 2016, SGS Economics and Planning was commissioned by both councils to undertake review of the WestConnex business case.  The SGS review report is at Attachment 2.  Though the review was undertaken in 2016, all of its findings remain relevant. 

 

In summary, the SGS review’s findings are:

·     WestConnex does not align with the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Strategy (‘A Plan for Growing Sydney’, December 2014) or reflect Sydney’s changing employment, land-use and transport needs.  It could be added that WestConnex also does not align with the Greater Sydney Commission’s 2016 Draft Central District Plan;

·     whilst WestConnex will be the largest continuous motorway in Australia and will influence land use and transport patterns over half of Sydney, its purpose and the challenges it is trying to address are unclear;

·     the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Strategy sets out a multi-centre strategy, focused on making it easier for Sydney residents to move between their homes, jobs and the centres where they shop, study and play. The plan highlights the transformation of western Sydney centres (Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool and the Campbelltown-Macarthur region) through growth and investment.  WestConnex does not align with the Metropolitan Strategy and squanders limited infrastructure funding that is needed for effective transport solutions for western Sydney;

·     WestConnex will not deliver for western Sydney, taxpayers or the travelling public. Sydney’s travel and employment patterns are changing and motorways focused on the inner city do not align with current travel needs, let alone the emerging needs for the future of Sydney;

·     the stated freight and urban renewal justifications for WestConnex are outdated or unsubstantiated.

·     the first original rationale of freight connections to Sydney’s gateways of Port Botany and Sydney Airport are no longer a core part of the project, and WestConnex does not take into account the second airport at Badgerys Creek;

·     the Federal Government’s commitment to the construction of a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek was made after WestConnex was announced and its business case completed. The announcement of the second airport itself is sufficient to warrant a review into the merits of WestConnex;

·     by the time WestConnex links to Sydney’s existing airport in 2023, planes will be arriving at Sydney’s new international airport at Badgerys Creek. When WestConnex finally links to industrial areas in Mascot, most of the area’s freight industry and manufacturing jobs will have relocated to the light industrial centres of Eastern Creek, the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area and south-west Sydney;

·     alternative freight infrastructure is already being delivered, including the Port Botany Rail Freight upgrade and the Moore bank Intermodal terminal. These projects will increase capacity to move freight to and from Port Botany by rail. WestConnex will duplicate the M5 East motorway without clear benefits for freight transport;

·     the second original rationale of urban renewal on Parramatta Road is uncertain, as congestion is likely to continue to undermine amenity along Parramatta Road. No traffic forecasts have been released to justify how this busy road will become any safer, healthier or more liveable, compared with a ‘do nothing’ scenario. Parramatta Road remains in need of the only real solution to congestion—high quality public transport;

·     WestConnex won’t increase western Sydney residents’ access to jobs and economic development;

·     only a small proportion of workers from western Sydney commute to inner Sydney. Of those that do need to commute to inner Sydney, 90% rely on public transport. Increasingly, commuters are facing crush conditions on the CityRail network approaching both Parramatta and central Sydney. WestConnex will divert funding to a project that will not ease pressure on rail services and which does not serve western Sydney’s major employment centres;

·     Western Sydney needs more jobs close to where people live, and better transport within and to the key centres of Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Campbelltown-Macarthur;

·     industrial areas near Mascot are rapidly becoming commercial and residential, and manufacturing jobs have largely moved to Western Sydney;

·     WestConnex will cost taxpayers $11.5 billion (2016 figure) – in direct Government funding and the payment of user tolls for decades, including the introduction of new tolls on roads that are not currently tolled. It is residents of western Sydney who are most likely to be short-changed, with toll and parking costs of up to $48 predicted for a single trip. That’s $240 per week for a commuter who has no reliable access to public transport alternatives;

·     alternative projects could deliver more effectively on stated NSW Government objectives, including public transport projects focused on Western Sydney.

·     extending the North West Rail Link through the Sydney CBD to Liverpool, Sydney Rapid Transit (SRT) would connect the North West and South West to jobs, unlocking critical capacity across the rail network;

·     similarly, the Western Sydney Rapid Transit (WSRT) would link Western Sydney to the Sydney CBD via the Parramatta Road Corridor, serving important centres such as Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and Strathfield and supporting the renewal of Parramatta Road could also be created;

·     concern that the project has not been subject to proper governance and independent assurance are supported. The Auditor-General’s Report (WestConnex: Assurance to Government, 18 December 2014) raised serious concerns around the process undertaken to date and the adequacy of the project in terms of governance and independent assurance. The report found that the Government failed to implement its own Major Projects Assurance Framework;

·     the NSW Auditor-General’s Report found that the preliminary business case submitted for a Gateway review had many deficiencies and fell well short of the standard required for such a document. The subsequent business case put to Government still included deficiencies; and

·     significant questions remain about the WestConnex project’s capacity to achieve its stated aims and meet Sydney’s transport challenges.

 

The SGS review explained that the NSW Auditor General had been critical of the project.  Since the SGS review, the Australian Auditor General has also reviewed the WestConnex business case and in February 2017 released a report on its findings.  These were critical of many aspects of the project’s funding and approvals process.  They found the project had a poor business case that did not adequately consider alternative transport options, had lacked strategic oversight of its funding/approval process and appeared to be rushed to implementation.

 

Council is of the view that the economic case for all stages of WestConnex is flawed, with the costs far outweighing the benefits.  Even if the case for WestConnex could be boosted through enhanced connectivity with other motorways such as the Western Harbour Tunnel, the Beaches Link and F6 Extension (which is doubted), there is no business case, firm timeline or funding commitment to these other projects.  Even the Sydney Gateway Project, which would provide a critical link to Sydney Airport / Port Botany, has been separated from WestConnex and will be assessed separately.

 

It would appear the project’s benefits have been overestimated and its costs underestimated.  As is discussed elsewhere in this submission, Council doubts the timesaving benefits of the project - and even if realised, whether they are of sufficient magnitude to be of any real value to motorists.  The financial opportunity cost of WestConnex is high and rising - but of particular concern to Council are the substantial unaccounted health costs inflicted on Inner West residents through the many and varied construction and operational impacts of the project. 

 

Summary of Council’s concerns about local impacts

 

Council’s comments on EISs for all three stages included comments and recommendations designed to ensure that appropriate conditions of approval and licensing conditions were applied and best-practice management practices implemented to protect the Inner West community against a range of negative construction and operational impacts.  The comments and recommendations were also designed to ensure that all opportunities for positive outcomes from the project were seized wherever possible.

 

Council is keen to ensure that lessons from Stages 1 and 2 are learned so that conditions of approval are strengthened, construction practices improved and incidences of non-compliance reduced.  It is imperative that current poor practices for Stages 1 and 2 are not repeated, and that residents affected by Stage 3 are not subject to the same intolerable impacts as those affected by Stages 1 and 2.

 

Whether or not Stage 3 had proceeded, Council had requested that a retrospective review of conditions of approval and licensing conditions for Stages 1 and 2 be undertaken to ensure:

·     adoption of best practice;

·     rectification of flaws in existing conditions of approval and environmental licenses; and

·     long-term impacts (particularly those associated with operational traffic) resulting from the absence of Stage 3 be addressed and rectified prior to the opening of Stages 1 and 2.

 

In summary Council’s local impact issues from construction and operation of WestConnex are:

·     air quality impacts from ventilation facilities and increased surface traffic;

·     the full range of construction impacts, including construction noise and vibration, dust and contaminants, truck movements, employee parking demands – from all construction sites;

·     particular concerns about residents suffering health issues from cumulative construction impacts and continuation of impacts at Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters - many of these affected residents have already endured significant impacts from the construction of Stages 1 and 2 and will now be subject to an extension (and possibly amplification) of these impacts;

·     particular concerns about noise, safety and amenity impacts from construction truck movements and ad-hoc stabling of trucks on streets;

·     operational traffic impacts around the Haberfield, Rozelle and St Peters interchanges - with long-term consequences for residential amenity, pedestrian/cyclist safety and parking demand - and the need to protect affected streets from this traffic;

·     particular concerns about operational traffic impacts on the Anzac Bridge and The Crescent / Johnston Street due to traffic increases on already congested roads and roads that are within residential or shopping areas;

·     need for a stronger commitment to reducing surface road capacity and implementing streetscape and public transport improvements wherever traffic is reduced by WestConnex – in particular, along Victoria Road and Parramatta Road;

·     social and economic impacts of all compulsory acquisitions, including a number of dwellings in Haberfield-Ashfield, dwellings along Campbell Street, St Peters, dwellings and businesses along Victoria Road at Rozelle, businesses adjacent to the Rozelle Rail Yards (RRY) site and businesses along Parramatta Road and Bridge Road at Annandale-Camperdown;

·     risk of damage to buildings as a result of construction vibration and settling caused by tunnel-induced groundwater movements and need for independent verification of damage;

·     need for full delivery of the St Peters Interchange (SPI) and RRY site recreation areas, Haberfield Gardens and other residual lands to Council at no cost, with all landscaping, paths and facilities constructed by the proponent according to final designs which have been the subject of a comprehensive community consultation program;

·     concerns that construction of WestConnex Stage 3 and the Western Harbour Tunnel (if built) have compromised rights-of-way through the RRY site for future a future light rail link to White Bay;

·     impacts from the of clean-up of the RRY site on heritage and biodiversity – concerns about lack of consideration of retention of rail heritage features in-situ and staging of site clearing to minimise biodiversity impacts;

·     the need to improve the design of the RRY recreation area to limit the extent of motorway service areas, create more usable areas of open space and improve walk/cycle connectivity;

·     Council’s strong objection to deletion of Buruwan Park for the widening and realignment of The Crescent at North Annandale; and

·     the need to address a range of other local issues raised by Council staff, community groups and members of the community through redesign and/or management plans within conditions of approval.

 

Council’s concerns about construction impacts

 

WestConnex will not only continue to impose devastating construction impacts on residents and business operators around multiple construction sites, but also indirect impacts on the wider Inner West community from the disruption these construction activities create across the region.  The direct impacts have been mostly felt to date around Stage 1 construction sites at Haberfield-Ashfield (since 2015) and around Stage 2 construction sites at St Peters (since 2016).  For Stage 3, these impacts will continue to be felt in Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters, and will be felt in new areas in Lilyfield, Annandale and Rozelle. 

 

A raft of additional activities that are not core to the project will also continue to be undertaken in areas outside construction sites and along tunnel alignments, including geotechnical investigations and relocation of utilities.  This has added to the problem of cumulative impacts, discussed further in this submission.  Whilst most of the facilities will be temporary, some will be permanent - raising further concerns about on-going, longer-term impacts.

 

All of these construction sites are within the Inner West Council area, with the exception of the Campbell Road construction site (within the SPI site), which crosses the boundary between the Inner West and City of Sydney Council areas.  The Bridge Road construction site at Annandale-Camperdown and construction sites at the RRY site and Rozelle Bay are close to Inner West Council’s border with the City of Sydney. The Northcote Street construction site is within reasonable proximity to the border between the Inner West and Canada Bay council areas.

 

Stage 3 is proposed to be constructed in two stages:

·     Stage 3(a) – construction of the mainline tunnel from Haberfield-Ashfield to St Peters to start in 2018 and be open to traffic in 2022; and

·     Stage 3(b) – construction of the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link to start in late 2018 and be open to traffic in 2023. 

 

Building the project in two stages would allow for the Stage 3(a) mainline tunnels to operate independently (initially with two lanes in each direction) prior to the completion of Stage 3(b).  As a result of Stage 3 being constructed in two parts, the length of the construction period and commencement/conclusion times of the sites will vary.  Council has been concerned to ensure that the two-stage construction of Stage 3 does not in itself increase or extend construction or operational impacts on residents.

 

As mentioned above, Council is keen to ensure the numerous shortcomings from Stages 1 and 2 in relation to management of construction impacts not be repeated for Stage 3.  Council has repeatedly argued that lessons learned must result in appropriate design changes, stronger conditions of approval, improved management regimes and a more generous and considerate attitude toward affected residents.  Mitigation measures should not benefits to some residents at the expense of others. 

 

Stage 3 construction sites at or near the existing Stage 1 and 2 construction sites at Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters raise particular concerns, as Haberfield-Ashfield residents have already endured significant impacts from these earlier stages.  Some Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents had anticipated that construction impacts would draw to a close as Stage 1 moves to completion, but have been distressed to learn that impacts will continue for Stage 3 – extending three years of impacts for a further three (or more) years.  Though construction is often referred to as “temporary”, a continuous construction period of five, six or more years does not feel like a temporary impact to affected residents. 

 

Council is particularly concerned about extended construction impacts on residents near construction sites at Northcote Street at Haberfield and Campbell Street at St Peters (area near Crown Street and Barwon Park Road).  At every opportunity, Council has argued that these residents be well protected by noise and dust mitigation measures.  Council is also concerned that should the WHT proceed, residents in parts of Lilyfield and Rozelle near the WHT construction site within the RRY site would also experience an extended period of impacts.

 

For Haberfield-Ashfield, Council has been particularly concerned about construction and operational impacts on residents along Wattle Street.  This includes five dwellings at 14 to 24 Wattle Street who have already suffering years of construction impacts but will also suffer operational impacts due to their exposure to traffic noise.  Council seeks mitigation of these impacts to the satisfaction of all affected residents. 

 

Residents’ endurance of extended impacts raises serious health concerns, and Council has repeatedly called on the NSW Government to undertake a health study.  Council has also called on key NSW Government agencies DP&E, EPA and NSW Health to investigate construction-related health issues and work collaboratively to ensure they are addressed in EISs, construction management plans, conditions of approval, environmental licenses and construction monitoring and complaints procedures. 

 

The experience of Inner West residents and business operators living day-to-day with impact from Stages 1 and 2 has proved that construction activities have had profound negative impacts – not only on individuals, but whole neighbourhoods.  Even where construction activities comply with the project’s conditions of approval and environmental licenses, residents of Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters have complained about the impacts being intolerable.

 

The most pressing of these impacts has been noise from night-works, as residents continue to suffer health problems related to stress and sleep deprivation.  The impacts have been particularly acute when night-works are undertaken over a long period without residents being given adequate respite.  In many instances, residents in this position have not been offered alternative accommodation or other suitable mitigation, so have endured impacts over a long period with resulting health problems.

 

Council has been concerned that extended working hours and night-works have been driven by imperatives to keep roads open to traffic during the day and by incentives for contractors to complete project milestones on time.  This has been without sufficient regard for affected residents.

 

Though Council and residents are repeatedly reassured by the proponent that tunnelling is not likely to create significant noise or vibration impacts, and only for a short period, Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents already affected by general construction noise have also complained about tunnelling vibration impacts.  In areas above underground interchanges and near portals, tunnel depths will be shallower, increasing the risk of operational noise and vibration impacts. Vibration from construction, ground settlement and possibly operation also puts all properties above and in the vicinity of WestConnex tunnels at risk of cracking. 

 

Under-reporting of health issues is likely, as residents speak of “complaint fatigue” – where they feel their repeated complaints have not resulted in positive responses.  Residents eventually stop complaining and endure the impacts in silence.  For some, language has been a barrier to making complaints, and under-reporting has resulted from complaints not being officially registered, e.g. verbal complaints being made to project construction staff rather than official complaints channels.

 

The response by SMC and its contractors on health issues created by Stage 1 and 2 constructions has not been adequate, nor has the response from NSW Government agencies responsible for compliance and the health and well-being of Sydney’s residents – DP&E, EPA and NSW Health. 

 

Experience with Stages 1 and 2 has shown that cumulative construction impacts have been a major issue for residents.  These have arisen primarily from a vast range of utility relocation works (necessitated by WestConnex) being undertaken at the same time as project works or during periods when residents might otherwise enjoy respite.  Whilst core project works are ‘contestable’ in that they must comply with the project’s conditions of approval, the utilities works are ‘non-contestable’ as they are formally not part of the project and are instead regulated by environmental licenses.

 

In addition to utilities works, geotechnical investigation works for various stages of WestConnex have added to the cumulative impact problem.  These works are permitted by the NSW Roads Act and are non-contestable.  There have been instances in Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents have complained about intolerable impacts from project works, utilities works and geotechnical investigation works being undertaken simultaneously. 

 

The cumulative impact problem has been further exacerbated by works and other activities not at all related to WestConnex.  These have included Metro Rail works, emergency and routine utilities works, Council road and footway maintenance works, construction of buildings on private property and ambient noise from road traffic and aircraft – the latter being a particular issue for St Peters residents.  In 2017 for example, Campbell Street residents at St Peters endured impacts from emergency night-time repairs by Sydney Water to ageing water supply infrastructure.  Though not related to WestConnex, this had a significant impact on residents already fatigued by WestConnex works. 

 

The effectiveness of enforcement has been hampered by the fact that contestable works are enforced by the DP&E (responsible for monitoring conditions of approval) whilst non-contestable works are enforced by EPA through specific environmental licenses or generic legislation such as the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.  The splitting of these functions has meant that complaints handling has been complex and not as effective as it might have been if a single agency was responsible for enforcement.  In most instances residents have not been able to distinguish between contestable and non-contestable works (nor should they be expected to) so have unwittingly not followed correct complaints procedures.  

 

A further construction issue for Stages 1 and 2 has been lack of NSW Government compliance resources for this very large, high-impact project.  Responding to advocacy by Council on this matter in early-mid 2016, the DP&E created a full-time WestConnex compliance officer position, and that officer has been working from Council offices part-time.  This has been welcomed, but Council has needed to argue to the DP&E that this is not sufficient.  Council is pleased that DP&E has recently devoted additional compliance resources to this project.

 

Council has also been concerned that the compliance resources within EPA have also not been adequate, and that there has not been sufficient input from other relevant agencies – particularly NSW Health – in minimising the impacts on residents described above. 

 

A further cumulative construction impact issue has been overlapping of noise envelopes from project works from several construction areas – a particular issue for Haberfield-Ashfield residents living between a number of work sites.  It would appear the conditions of approval have considered the impacts of each work site in isolation without considering how noise, vibration and other impacts add together to become intolerable.  For Stage 3, this is likely to be an important issue for Rozelle, Lilyfield, and North Annandale due to the number of construction activities that would be underway across multiple sites.

 

The cumulative impact issue has been exacerbated by works that may have breached conditions of approval, such as works extending slightly beyond approved hours - or where breaches are not clear due to imprecisely worded conditions of approval.  An example of the latter issue is idling of trucks in residential streets.  In addressing this issue, it has not been clear that from conditions of approval that this activity has in fact constituted a breach, even though this has had a major impact on residents. 

 

There have been instances where there has been an apparent lack of willingness by SMC and/or project contractors to undertake best practice (beyond simple compliance) and deal with residents with a spirit of generosity in addressing cumulative impact issues.  Council is particularly concerned that this lack of generosity may be the result of an inadequate funding available to assist affected residents through measures such as voluntary acquisition and provision of alternative accommodation. 

 

Since construction of Stages 1 and 2 began, Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents have continued to complain about kerbside parking pressures created by WestConnex construction.  Whilst SMC and its contractors has made some effort to address parking issues through actions such as creation of dedicated car parks, Haberfield-Ashfield residents have expressed their dismay that some of these car parks have been unused, being located away from construction sites.  There have been no penalties to discourage parking in residential streets or incentives to encourage parking in facilities provided by the project.  It is apparent to Council that conditions of approval for Stages 1 and 2 related to parking are vague, unenforceable and ultimately ineffective.

 

A more comprehensive approach to street closures is needed, as Haberfield/Ashfield residents have experienced many seemingly ad-hoc road closures and diversions implemented at short notice, with several of these having major implications for local residents and businesses.  A blanket speed limit reduction around all construction sites of 30 or 40kph is also warranted to minimise road safety risks, particularly on streets with residential and school uses. 

 

Residents have complained about inadequate lead times between notices being issued and the commencement of works.  There have been instances where residents have been notified by leaflet distribution, but the notice has not been posted on the SMC website, leading to the situation where residents express their concerns to Council about forthcoming works to be told that Council has no knowledge of the matter.  Council has repeatedly advocated to SMC the importance of all notices being posted on SMC’s website in a timely manner so that Council and the wider community is kept informed.

 

Council is aware of the processes that have been established to co-ordinate WestConnex construction activities between councils, State agencies, SMC and project contractors.  However, Council’s experiences with Stages 1 and 2 show there is much room for improvement.  For example, Council has received several reports from Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents of inconsistent information being disseminated by SMC and its contractors and inconsistent responses to complaints.  In relation to project-related roadway changes such as the closure of Ramsay Street at Haberfield, there have been reports of inaccurate signage and Sydney Buses drivers being unaware of changes.

 

Council has received many reports about project trucks departing from routes defined by conditions of approval and travelling along local residential streets – with resultant noise and traffic safety impacts.  In some instances, project trucks have been reported travelling past and parking near primary schools in Haberfield (in breach of conditions) creating a traffic safety hazard.  Simple measures to improve enforcement include easy-to-read identification numbers on project trucks and employment of a dedicated traffic-monitoring officer for the project.

 

Lack of marshaling arrangements has led to circling of trucks around Haberfield-Ashfield streets and queuing of trucks on Parramatta Road at Haberfield-Ashfield as drivers await clearance to enter construction sites.  This has raised noise and traffic safety issues.  Council is aware that DP&E compliance staff have taken formal enforcement action on these queuing issues. 

 

For Stage 3, the recent addition of truck marshalling and employee parking areas at White Bay – known as the White Bay Civil Site (C11) – is welcomed in general terms as it will provide these services without direct impacts on local residents and businesses.  Importantly, it would avert use of streets for marshalling, which has been a major issue for Stage 1.  The car park will assist with minimising parking demands on surrounding local streets. 

 

In the main, trucks would use main roads to/from the White Bay site – predominantly James Craig Road and City West Link Road, so there would not be a significant direct noise impact on residents near these roads.  However, Council is concerned about the traffic congestion and road safety impacts of spoil trucks using all roads, including main roads.  There would also be a cumulative truck traffic impact from other projects that would use the White Bay site and surrounding roads.  These projects include WHT spoil handling facility, multi-user facility and concrete batching plant. 

 

Council is also concerned about trucks using residential streets to travel between marshaling areas and construction sites.  For Stage 3, Council has expressed its concerns about trucks using Johnston Street (southbound from White Bay) to access the Bridge Road site.  The high frequency of truck movements, coupled with sensitive uses along Johnston Street (schools, residential areas and local shops) would result in amenity impacts and road safety risks.

 

For all construction sites, there is the potential for truck conflicts with other motor vehicles and bicycles on any road, and conflicts with pedestrians at pedestrian crossing and wherever trucks cross footpaths.  Risks of these conflicts are at their greatest during the morning peak traffic periods and school travel periods.  Working hours should be designed to avoid peak traffic periods, particularly where school travel safety issues are raised. 

 

Council’s traffic management staff that have been involved in traffic & transport liaison groups for WestConnex Stages 1 and 2 have sought increased involvement by Council.  These staff have recommended to relevant conditions for the Sydney Metro (rail) project as a guide.

 

Truck access to the Bridge Road construction site would be from the City-bound kerbside lane of Parramatta Road.  Vehicles would enter via a new temporary driveway, travel in an anti-clockwise direction via an internal access road and exit the site onto Pyrmont Bridge Road via a new temporary signalised intersection.  Despite the fact that minimal modifications to the existing road network would be needed, Council has concerns about walk/cycle diversions around site entry/exit points and potential conflicts between project trucks, buses, cyclists and pedestrians wherever trucks cross the paths of these other road users.

 

Experience with construction trucks accessing Haberfield-Ashfield sites from Parramatta Road has shown that issues with on-site management can result in empty trucks travelling slowly in the kerbside lane when the loading area is already occupied, to avoid being sent around the block.  This inhibits traffic flow in the kerbside lane, delaying buses and compelling some drivers to make hazardous manoeuvres at short notice.

 

The Bridge Road site has no suitable ‘go-around’ route as the left turn from Mallet Street to Pyrmont Bridge Road and the left turn from Pyrmont Bridge Road to Parramatta Road cannot be negotiated by spoil trucks.  Layton and Barr Streets are too narrow to accommodate left turns, and large vehicles also cannot negotiate the left turn from Parramatta Road to Ross Street and Glebe Point Road is unsuitable for heavy vehicles.  In any event, it is not appropriate for project trucks to be travelling on those roads for amenity reasons.

 

Though the site is surrounded primarily by commercial uses, there is the potential for noise, dust and other impacts on nearby sensitive uses, i.e. five dwellings located at 67 to 77 Pyrmont Bridge Road and the Bridge Road school at 127 Parramatta Road directly opposite the site.  There is also the potential for site activities to negatively affect sensitive commercial and healthcare uses, e.g. dust impacts on brewery adjacent to the site.  Careful site management and physical buffering will be needed to protect these sensitive uses.

 

Construction at the Campbell Road site at St Peters involves continued use of part of the SPI site, which raises concerns for Council about on-going impacts on nearby dwellings on the northern side of Campbell Street and the southern end of Barwon Park Road and Crown Street, St Peters.  This is particularly as residents in this location have endured impacts from Stage 2.  Noise and dust buffering will continue to be needed to protect these dwellings. 

 

Cumulative impact issues are raised for Council from the four construction sites proposed in the Rozelle-Lilyfield-Annandale area.  These are the Rozelle civil & tunnel site, The Crescent Civil site, the Victoria Road civil site and the Iron Cove Link civil site - required to support construction of the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link.  Cumulative impacts are likely to be an issue as these sites are within close proximity to each other and are surrounded by densely-developed residential areas, schools and other sensitive uses.

 

The Victoria Road site raises concerns about noise, dust, traffic and parking impacts on densely-developed residential areas surrounding the site.  Numerous single-storey dwellings on the western side would be located directly adjacent to the site, and whilst these could be protected by noise barriers, multi-storey dwellings on the eastern side of the site could not be protected in this way due to the rising topography.

 

Council is also concerned that temporary and permanent closures of streets between Victoria Road and King George Park would create access difficulties for residents and park users.  Proposed temporary walk-cycle path diversions are a further concern given proximity of this site to the Bay Run path and the high volume of pedestrian and cyclist traffic that use footpaths along this part of Victoria Road. 

 

For Stage 3, Council had raised concerns that at the EIS stage of the process, only probable construction methodologies were shown, giving contractors flexibility to later refine their methodology when appointed.  Council as also concerned that the Stage 3 EIS lacked detail about consultation over construction impacts and proposes organisational framework identifying who is responsible for various actions and how local residents will be consulted throughout the construction period.

Council’s concerns about air quality impacts

 

A WestConnex issue of particular concern to the community is air quality impacts - at both the construction and operational phases of the project. 

 

At a strategic level, Council’s preference for public transport is in-part based on the air quality benefits of public transport over motorways.  Council accepts that due to technological advances per-vehicle emissions have declined in recent years, but remains concerned about additional traffic generated by WestConnex will negate these technology-related air quality reductions. 

 

Council continues to argue that high-occupancy public transport (supported by transit-oriented development) is the most effective way to achieve travel emission reductions on a per-passenger-kilometre basis.  It is acknowledged that currently a proportion of power generated for public transport is from non-renewable sources, but it should be a national and State goal for the longer-term that public transport be powered from renewable sources. 

 

It is noted from the EIS that Sydney’s air quality is considered good by world standards. This is not disputed, but the NSW Government’s stated commitment to improving air quality by reducing emissions from vehicles along with other sources is disputed.  This is because WestConnex will inevitably create further traffic growth across Sydney, and with more vehicles will come more emissions.

 

Though vehicle emissions is predominantly an operational issue, emissions from construction vehicles is an issue nonetheless.  Council has been aware of complaints from the community about emissions from diesel generators within construction sites and construction trucks idling within close proximity to residential areas, schools or preschools. Reducing the idling of trucks also has noise-reduction benefits.

 

The main air quality issue at the construction stage is dust emissions from construction sites.  Even though air quality management plans have been implemented for all stages of WestConnex, there have been many complaints from Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents about dust.  Council has raised the need for best-practice monitoring systems to be implemented, and monitoring should be undertaken in both indoor and outdoor environments.

 

Induced demand created by WestConnex - i.e. car trips that happen purely as a consequence of the motorway being built - is anticipated to be 45,000 additional car trips per day.  Induced traffic is likely to increase congestion (and create roadside air pollution hot-spot) around WestConnex, including Iron Cove Bridge, Anzac Bridge and Canal Road at St Peters.  This would likely outweigh improvements achieved by improved traffic flows on the motorway itself.

 

RMS had argued in its Stage 3 EIS that the contribution of car exhaust to total air pollution at the Sydney-metropolitan scale is minor at only 0.75%, with solid fuel burning the largest contributor at 50.6%.  However Council had pointed out that the EIS has omitted other non-exhaust particulates emitted by vehicles (5.5%), light duty diesel exhaust (2.2%), industrial vehicles and equipment (1.4%), which would bring total vehicle emissions to almost 10%. 

 

Even if this was considered to be a low proportion of the total, the EIS conceded that PM2.5 vehicle emissions can have a health impact at any level, as can the cumulative impacts of all emissions.  The point about emissions having a health impact at any level has been made widely by a number of stakeholders, including Australian university research institutes.  Governments should therefore be acting to reduce all types of emissions from all sectors.  For transport, the long-term goal would be zero emissions from high-occupancy public transport powered by renewables. 

 

In planning for WestConnex, RMS has acknowledged that in the future a proportion of the national vehicle fleet will be all-electric.  This would have a positive impact on local emissions, but Council is sceptical that there will be noticeable proportion of these vehicles in Australia in the near future.  The average age of cars in Australia is around 10 years - consequently it will take quite some time for the fleet to turn over, and it is not known if this has been factored into WestConnex air quality modelling.  As far as Council is aware, there are no proactive State or national policies to encourage electric vehicles. 

 

Electric vehicles would in the near future be predominantly powered from coal-fired electricity, so there would be emissions, albeit not in Sydney.  Further, motorways encourage greater car use through induced traffic, which acts to increase emissions overall.  For electric vehicles to be effective in significantly reducing emissions, they would need to be powered by renewables.

 

It must also be recognised that even if at some point in the future almost all vehicles are electric, there will still be emissions from brakes and tyres and excessive traffic will continue to create problems of congestion, road safety risks, compromised liveability and poor land use / transport integration.  Nonetheless Council believes State and Federal action is warranted to encourage electric vehicles to reduce emissions. 

 

RMS has explained that surface road emissions would be reduced wherever vehicles are within WestConnex tunnels.  Council disputes RMS’s claim that this improves Sydney’s air quality, as these same emissions emerge at ventilation facilities.  Council also disputes RMS’s claim that vent facility emissions would not have a significant local impact as pollutants are dispersed into the regional air-shed.  Disputes aside, Council is concerned about any contribution to air pollution at both the local and regional level.

 

It is not acceptable to Council that vent facility emissions are unfiltered as is proposed for all stages of WestConnex - even if compliance with regional air quality standards can be achieved.  RMS points out that filtration is not cost-effective compared to reducing emissions at the source (i.e. the vehicle), it reduces the dispersal of emissions by slowing the velocity of air emerging from the facility and is not currently applied (or proposed to be applied) to any motorway tunnel in Sydney.  Notwithstanding, Council believes that absence of filtration means that health costs will be imposed on the community.  This further highlights the need for a review of the project’s benefit-cost analysis.

 

Council has particular concerns about local impacts from the vent facilities.  Examples are:

·     emissions from the large Parramatta Road vent facility at Haberfield would affect Haberfield Primary School, emissions from the two facilities at the St Peters would affect St Peters Primary School and emissions from the Victoria Road / Terry Street facility would affect Rozelle Primary School and Sydney Secondary College Balmain, with Parents’ and Citizens’ Associations (P&Cs) from these schools raising concerns; 

·     the height of the St Peters ventilation facilities has been limited by Sydney Airport’s Obstacle Limitation Surface, so reduced dispersal can be expected from these facilities;

·     at St Peters, dispersal of ventilation facility emissions would be further affected by turbulence from passing aircraft; and

·     some residential areas and schools in Rozelle and Lilyfield would be located above the level of the Iron Cove and RRY site vent facilities, further increasing impacts.

 

RMS has argued that unfiltered emissions from WestConnex vent facilities complies with national air quality standards.  Even if this is the case, Council sees the need to review these standards to ensure they a bringing about improved air quality in Australia’s cities in the long-term.

 

Above it was mentioned that Council is also concerned about increased roadside emissions from induced traffic from WestConnex.  Of particular concern are the following locations:

·     Victoria Road from the Iron Cove Link tunnel portal at Rozelle through to Drummoyne;

·     Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor; and

·     Canal Road and Gardeners Road in the Mascot-Alexandria area.

 

Although most of the impacts at these locations are (respectively) within the Canada Bay, City of Sydney and Bayside Council areas, they are close to the Inner West, and impacts on the Inner West are likely to be increased because of local weather effects, such as wind – a point that has not been noted by RMS.  Council is concerned about emission impacts on all residential areas and other sensitive uses regardless of whether they are within Council’s boundaries. 

 

Roadside emission impacts along the Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor are of particular concern as they will affect the substantial future residential and commercial development planned for the Bays Precinct.  It may be appropriate that the density of Bays Precinct development be reduced to account for WestConnex emission impacts.  A further concern is the impact on the existing area of high density residential (apartment) development on the southern side of Gardeners Road at Mascot, within the Bayside Council area.

 

Council believes RMS has not given roadside air quality impacts sufficient prominence in its WestConnex air quality assessments.  Council had noted in responding to WestConnex EISs that an assessment of worst-case surface road emissions around WestConnex ramps and interchanges (all technically part of the project) had not been included.

 

RMS has given assurances that WestConnex will include a state-of-the-art tunnel longitudinal ventilation system.  However experience with existing tunnels such as the M5 has shown that it is inherently difficult to achieve clean air within any road tunnel.  Cars and trucks are enclosed, so offer some protection from in-tunnel emission - but this is not the case for motorcycles.  There will always be some tunnel users that are sensitive to pollutants at any level, e.g. asthmatics.

 

Though the journey through WestConnex tunnels would for most last for a relatively short period, there will be regular users of these tunnels that will be affected by pollutants over a long period.  There will also be times when congestion slows traffic, increasing emissions and keeping motorists within the tunnel for a longer period, increasing their exposure to pollutants.  RMS has not confirmed whether there will be an alternative in-tunnel ventilation system should the main system fail, or if there is a fire or similar emergency in the tunnel.  Council notes that these issues generally do not apply to rail tunnels as there are no operational in-tunnel emissions.

 

In-tunnel emissions within the Rozelle Interchange raise particular concerns due to steep grades.  As grades increase, so do emissions - an issue relevant to the existing M5 East tunnels.  Council has also been concerned that in-tunnel emission standards used in the planning of WestConnex – considered by RMS to be 'best practice' for NSW – are not sufficiently stringent compared to in-tunnel standards used internationally.

 

Council will continue to argue that air quality monitoring at childcare centres, schools and aged housing facilities is a priority, and the community is kept fully informed of the results of air quality monitoring established for all stages of WestConnex, including Stage 3. Council is represented on the Air Quality Community Consultative Committee (AQCCC) for Stages 1 and 2, so is aware the air quality monitoring stations are being established to monitor operational emissions.

 

Through this committee, Council will continue to argue that monitoring of sensitive land uses be prioritised.  Council will also continue to argue for the real-time online display of all air quality monitoring data, as is now occurring for WestConnex Stage 1.  Council also seeks a clearer explanation of the implications of this data on community health. 

 

At its 24 July 2018 meeting, Council considered a report entitled WestConnex Air Quality & Noise Concerns and made a number of resolutions. In summary, the resolutions are:

1.    Council to consider a new “air quality, pollution, environmental and traffic impacts” fund at the next quarterly budget review;

2.    Council notes the efforts of the community to organise citizen-run air quality monitoring around various WestConnex construction sites and writes to relevant university research institutes inviting their partnership and seeking advice on how Council can work with the community to implement this monitoring and analyse and share the results.

3.    Council writes to the NSW Minister for the Environment and Minister for Health to request that staff and other resources are allocated within EPA and NSW Health to:

·      further analyse and explain clearly to the broader community all issues, including complex technical matters, that arise from meetings of the WestConnex Air Quality Community Consultative Committee (AQCCC);

·      review on a regular basis the air quality monitoring data being produced by WestConnex air quality monitors, investigate and report publicly on any exceedances and recommend and/or require any additional measures that may be required to mitigate health impacts from air pollution;

·      explain why air quality monitoring data for the WestConnex Stage 1 now being posted on EPA’s public website and previous readings taken from the WestConnex monitor at St Peters Public School has at times showed exceedances of some air pollution standards, and the health implications of these exceedances;

·      investigate the health impacts caused by construction noise, particularly night works, on residents impacted by WestConnex, including noise caused by any utilities works in these areas; and

·      undertake a comprehensive study into the health impacts of WestConnex, including both construction and operational health impacts.

 

Council has raised technical issues about air quality modelling in WestConnex EISs.  The first issue is the modelling and assessment methodology used in the EIS varies from the NSW approved methods in a number of ways – for example, choice of dispersion model, the method used to construct the meteorological input file and the method used to calculate NO2 concentrations. 

 

The second issue is the potential for flawed assumptions in the EIS’s traffic modelling compromising the air quality modelling, leading to an inaccurate assessment of air impacts overall.  The model incorporates main roads only, ignoring emissions from regional and local roads.  It is appropriate that these lower-order roads be included in the assessment as several of these are expected to experience increased traffic as a result of the project.

 

A third issue is that only emissions from ventilation facilities were considered, not roadside emissions.  No mitigation measures or air quality monitoring have been proposed for areas that would be affected by surface road emissions. 

 

There has been lack of consideration of the impact of topography, buildings and other structures in the vicinity of the vent facilities on the dispersal of emissions, which could be significant.  This adds to Council’s abovementioned concerns about dwellings and schools being located above the level of the of the RRY and Iron Cove vent facilities because of topography. 

 

Council’s concerns about health impacts

 

Numerous studies worldwide indicate that the construction of urban motorways contributes to private car dependency.  In turn, this increased dependency - with an estimated induced demand of 45,000 additional vehicle trips per day created by WestConnex - contributes to reduced human and community health through:

·     reduced air quality, potentially leading to increased incidence of respiratory illness;

·     sleep disturbance due to construction activity and increased traffic noise, potentially contributing to stress levels of local residents, reduced immune response, increased personal irritability, reduced concentration span, increased levels of hyperactivity in children;

·     psychological distress created by uncertainty of future circumstances including property acquisitions and property value fluctuations; and

·     reduced use of active transport, where there is direct access to a car in comparison to walking to a railway station or bus stop – potentially leading to increased obesity and corresponding increases in diabetes and cardiovascular illness.

 

While many of the physiological impacts are more prevalent in communities with larger proportions of vulnerable populations, including frail, aged and children, the psychological impacts may affect all groups.  Of particular relevance, in relation to increased stress are young families who may experience the compounding effects of financial stress (due to property value fluctuations), long work hours combined with sleep disturbance when at home and concern over the well-being of their children.

 

Experience to date from Stages 1 and 2 proves Council’s concerns about the human health impacts from WestConnex construction are based on residents’ lived experiences since construction of WestConnex began.  As mentioned above, the key health impact has been stress and sleep deprivation from night-works, and cumulative construction impacts have been a major contributor to health problems.  Haberfield-Ashfield residents located between a number of WestConnex work sites report they are regularly affected by noise even during (so-called) respite periods.  One Haberfield resident has said: “when one worksite stops, another one starts”.

 

Affected residents report to Council their despair at these impacts, frustrations with the complaints processes and consequently a “loss of faith in the democratic process”.  Many believe that community consultation processes for the project are cursory and not genuine.  Residents also despair at the blighted appearance of their neighbourhood whilst works are progressing.  They complain of fatigue from the constant interruptions to their peace of mind from construction noise and vibration, and the psychological impact of project trucks and employees “invading” their neighbourhoods. 

 

Residents report “extraordinary amounts of dust” in their neighbourhoods.  Dust, along with diesel emissions from construction vehicles and generators, has adverse health impacts on all affected residents, but this is particularly so for young and elderly people, where it more readily affects heart, vascular and lung health.  Noise also adversely affects heart and vascular health as well as affecting cognitive functions.  The health impact study requested by Council in this submission will need to investigate these impacts, integrating health data from schools, local doctors and other sources to monitor the health impact of project - at both construction and operational stages. 

 

Beyond health impacts, the dust creates a need for constant cleaning of windows and interior surfaces.  Residents also report their concerns about inadequate and seemingly ad-hoc dust mitigation measures, and see a clear need to improve dust monitoring and compliance enforcement. 

 

From Council staff discussions with affected residents, the project has affected their psychological health and has heightened their general sense of insecurity.  The constantly changing work schedules, changes to traffic arrangements and cumulative noise impacts has led to constant disruptions to the day-to-day lives of residents.  For Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters residents, the impacts from years of construction are showing in the form of fatigue and poor health.  Continuation of these impacts for Stage 3 would have a devastating health impact these residents.

 

At the operational stage, induced traffic from WestConnex will contribute to reduced air quality.  Council is of the view that any reduction in air quality is unacceptable and will contribute to reductions in the quality of human health.  By the same argument, any increase in dust, noise and other impacts from the project will have adverse health impacts.

 

Numerous studies have examined the impacts of various pollutants on human health.  In general terms, human health impacts associated with WestConnex fall into the following categories: particulate matter emissions (particulates); gaseous chemical emissions (e.g. NO2); dust emissions; the mental or psychological impacts of noise; and the psychological impacts of behavioural disruption, sometimes leading to social isolation.

 

In 2015 the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research examined the health impacts of emission sources, types and levels of particulates in air pollution in ambient air in NSW.  It stated that while ambient levels of particulates in urban NSW are low by world standards, evidence suggests that exposure to levels of particulates that currently exist in NSW will have measureable adverse impacts on health.  This is particularly the case for vulnerable people such as individuals with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the elderly, and children.  Reductions in particulates in air pollution in NSW are likely to result in health benefits, particularly for these most vulnerable groups.

 

The review’s main findings are:

·     all particulates, regardless of source, should be considered detrimental to health;

·     there is considerable evidence of adverse health impacts linked to exposure to particulates from combustion-related emissions, including coal-fired power stations, on-road vehicles, diesel exhaust, more so than other particulate sources;

·     there is evidence that fine particles (PM2.5) are more detrimental to health and have a wider range of health effects than larger particles - however, larger inhalable particles are not benign, and it has been demonstrated that coarse particles (PM10-2.5) have detrimental health impacts and that these health impacts differ from those associated with smaller particles; and

·     there is no evidence of a threshold level of ambient PM2.5, below which further reductions in concentrations will not provide additional population health benefits.

 

The study states that increases in ambient PM2.5 and PM10 are associated with increases in mortality and increases in cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity.  Exposure to PM from combustion-related sources (coal -fired power stations, on-road vehicles, diesel exhaust) is associated with impacts on cardiovascular and respiratory health.  There is thus sufficient evidence to indicate that particulates from on-road vehicles will increase risk of mortality, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity.

 

A 2014 study by Munzel et al Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise exposure published in the European Heart Journal found that long-term noise exposure may lead to cardiovascular problems, and night-time noise was particularly of concern.  A 2013 study by Harding et al The cost of hypertension-related ill-health attributable to environmental noise published in the Noise Health Journal found that on-going exposure to high levels of environmental noise has the potential to influence community levels of dementia, stroke and heart attack.

 

A 2013 study by Tiesler et al Exposure to road traffic noise and children's behavioural problems and sleep disturbance published in the Environmental Research Journal indicates that a sample of over 850 10-year-old children living near busy roads in Germany presented with behavioural problems at greater levels than similar children living on quieter streets. These behavioural problems included hyperactivity, inattentiveness and anxiousness.

 

Council has advocated elsewhere in this submission that a health study, overseen by Health NSW, be undertaken prior to any determination which involves collection of data on the current health status of residents affected by Stages 1 and 2 at Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters. This should involve of the NSW Department of Education for the collection of data on the health of school children.  The study should also collect baseline health data on all areas affected by Stage 3.

 

This study would examine the full range of health issues and impacts, including:

·     construction air quality impacts – predominantly dust from construction sites and construction truck vehicle diesel emissions;

·     operational air quality impacts (predicted) – surface impacts, i.e. areas where WestConnex has increased surface traffic and hence vehicle emissions, and predicted ventilation stack impacts, i.e. areas affected by emissions from stacks;

·     cumulative air quality impacts, where WestConnex emissions are added to emissions from a range of other sources across the Sydney metropolitan area, e.g. general vehicle emissions and bushfires;

·     the range of actual health impacts encountered to date from construction air emissions from WestConnex Stages 1 & 2, including the incidence of asthma in school children near construction sites;

·     health impacts from construction air quality impacts likely to be encountered from Stage 3, based on actual impacts from Stages 1 & 2;

·     construction noise/vibration impacts – predominantly noise/vibration from a range of WestConnex tunnelling, surface activities on construction sites and construction trucks on route to/from sites;

·     operational noise/vibration impacts (predicted) – predominantly noise/vibration from increased levels of traffic resulting from WestConnex on residential streets, but also including noise/vibration from motorway operation facilities such as fans within ventilation stacks;

·     cumulative noise/vibration impacts, where WestConnex-related noise is added to noise/vibration from a range of other sources, such as project-related utility relocations, construction of other public/private projects and general traffic and aircraft noise;

·     the range of actual health impacts encountered to date from construction noise/vibration from WestConnex Stages 1 & 2, with a focus on the health effects of sleep deprivation caused by out-of-hours construction noise; and

·     health impacts from construction noise/vibration impacts likely to be encountered from Stage 3, based on actual impacts from Stages 1 & 2.

 

Several other studies indicate broader impacts of traffic and construction noise on human health. A 2007 book by Professor Deepak Prasher of University College London Noise and its effects explains that even if people are habituated to on-going noise, the impacts of exposure can detrimentally affect human physiology, including endocrine, immune and cardiovascular systems. 

 

A 2014 paper by Tzivian et al Effect of long-term outdoor air pollution and noise on cognitive and psychological functions in adults in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health found that on-going noise exposure contributes toward cognitive development in children, cognitive and psychological functions in adults which includes stress, aggravated depression, public conflict, loss of concentration and general exhaustion.

 

Other studies acknowledge that particulate emissions from on-road motor vehicles (diesel and non-diesel) represent only a relatively small proportion of the ambient particulate levels, but caution that any exposure to fine or coarse particulates has the potential to negatively influence human health.

 

It follows that WestConnex will make a major contribution to individual and community health problems through noise, vehicle and dust emissions and social disruption during construction and operational stages.  These health costs have not been included in any of the economic analysis associated with the project’s business case, nor have they been adequately assessed in EISs.

 

Beyond the abovementioned construction impacts, there have been short and long-term impacts on the psychological health and well-being on individuals from loss of friends and community members when residential properties in the St Peters, Haberfield-Ashfield and  Rozelle area were compulsory acquired and individuals, households and families were lost to the community. 

 

Residents of Haberfield/Ashfield tell of neighbours forced out of their homes not being able to rent or purchase equivalent homes within the area and becoming “refugees” in Sydney.  This has long-term impacts the lives of individuals and families, with greatest the impacts usually felt by migrant families. The loss of attachment to a sense of place has been profound for both acquired residents and those left behind. 

 

For Stage 3, this is currently the experience for residents whose homes are being compulsorily acquired along Victoria Road.  It is also the experience of businesses being acquired at Haberfield, Leichhardt, Annandale/Camperdown, Lilyfield (next to the RRY site) and along Victoria Road at Rozelle.  It is likely this impact will widen as voluntary acquisitions are also implemented around other construction sites.

 

 

Council’s concerns about operational traffic impacts

 

Council has had a long-standing concerns about existing high levels of traffic through inner-Sydney and is further concerned about increased traffic from WestConnex.  As is evident from the discussion of strategic traffic/transport issues above, induced traffic is a major issue for Council. 

 

The WestConnex business case indicates that an increase of some 45,000 extra car trips per day, which is approximately 0.4% of the estimated total regional traffic in 2031, is likely to be induced, i.e. trips that have occurred because of WestConnex.  This may underestimate the real situation - but in any event it represents a significant increase in traffic and illustrates the sensitivity of forecasts for regional traffic growth.

 

Council is sceptical that the stated travel time reduction benefits of WestConnex are accurate – they are most likely overstated.  Analysis of the network-wide (motorway and other roads combined) distance travelled and time taken provided in the Stage 3 EIS indicates that in 2033 the do minimum scenario is estimated to result in an average individual vehicle speed of 25.3kph, while the cumulative scenario from multiple planned projects (including Stage 3) is estimated result in an average individual vehicle speed of 26.4kph.  This is noting that today’s average speed across the total network is 33.8kph.

 

If these projections are correct, each individual driver using Sydney’s road network will only experience an increased travel speed of 1.1kph (a negligible benefit) and their average speed will be 7.5kph slower than today’s network-wide average. It appears the time saving benefits of WestConnex have been overestimated and the costs have been underestimated, particularly when the health costs of communities affected by the project have been largely ignored.  Consequently the project’s benefit-cost analysis must be questioned.

 

Further to this, there has been no assessment of public transport and demand management improvements that could be initiated to achieve that same congestion reductions and travel time savings.  Council is particularly concerned about the likelihood of mode shifting from walking, cycling and public transport to private cars.  This not only leads to increased traffic, but also undermines the viability of public transport through reduced patronage.  It is counter to numerous local, State and Federal government policies that all aim to reduce private car use and promote walking, cycling and use of public transport as part of the creation of a liveable city.

 

At the local scale, Council is concerned about WestConnex-related traffic growth along residential streets in the Inner West Council area - particularly those around the Haberfield, Rozelle and St Peters interchanges.  For Stage 3, much of that concern focuses on streets around the Rozelle Interchange. 

 

Council is concerned that should Stage 3 proceed with entry/exit points from the Rozelle Interchange considerable additional traffic will spill onto the already congested Anzac Bridge and other significant streets such as The Crescent and Johnston Street.  Additional traffic would continue onto other connecting streets further afield (including Ross Street, Glebe). 

 

Even though Johnston Street is classified as a State Road, it is essentially a residential street that also includes two schools, two churches, a number of community facilities and the Annandale local shopping centre. Increased traffic is anticipated on this street, but road capacity would need to be reduced accommodate a separated cycleway, as has been proposed by Council.  Such as cycleway is feasible as two of the four traffic lanes could readily be converted to bicycle lanes.  Council sees this cycleway as an imperative to mitigate against WestConnex-related traffic impacts.

 

Of particular concern is that on streets like these and wherever there is additional traffic, RMS may consider road widening (or clearway extensions) to accommodate the additional traffic - similar to what is now underway for Stage 2 at Campbell Street/Road, St Peters and Euston Road, Alexandra.  Reconfiguring these roads in this way is always at the expense of neighbourhood liveability, residential amenity, business vitality and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. 

 

Council is developing a strategy to identify and traffic-calm other local roads that may be affected by additional traffic from WestConnex.  The Crescent, Johnston Street, Waratah Street, Dalhousie Street, Street Ramsay Street and other adjoining streets are being examined as part of this strategy.

 

Council is concerned that ‘rat-running’ will occur as motorists either seek to avoid WestConnex tolls or where WestConnex has missing links  - for example, when Stage 1 opens but there is no direct connection to destinations such as Sydney Airport.  This would result in significant and potentially permanent adverse impacts on the amenity of Inner West residential neighbourhoods.

 

Conditions of approval for WestConnex Stages 1 and 2 acknowledge the need for monitoring and treatment of affected roads around WestConnex.  For example, Stage 1 Condition E36 and Stage 2 Condition E40 requires the preparation of a Road Network Performance Review Plan which includes assessing the impacts of WestConnex on local roads. 

 

Development of the plan would not however commence until 12 months after the project is operational, potentially condemning residents to a period of traffic impacts before any remedial action is contemplated.  Council considers this to be unacceptable, arguing that impacts should be projected through traffic modelling, and other prediction techniques and remediation measures put in place to avoid the impacts before they occur. 

 

As a result, Council has commissioned its own traffic modelling, using the ‘Zenith’ model, which can apply to local roads.  RMS is assisting Council with information from its WestConnex Road Traffic Model (WRTM), which applies to main roads.  Scenarios modelled include: base case 2011; base case 2021; project case 2021 – WestConnex Stages 1 & 2; project case 2031 – WestConnex Stages 1 & 2; and project case 2031 – WestConnex Stages 1, 2 & 3.

 

The modelling has guided the development of Council’s WestConnex Local Area Improvement Strategy (LAIS).  The LAIS uses the above traffic model to identify streets that are likely to be affected by increased traffic and proposes precinct-wide treatments to protect and improve these streets.

 

The treatments are based on three typologies:

·     Typology 1:  integrated traffic calming, e.g. slow points, thresholds, tadpoles, traffic islands/refuges and raised platforms;

·     Typology 2:  intersection modifications, e.g. roundabouts, T-treatments, Give Way and Stop signs/prioritisation; and

·     Typology 3:  traffic diversions, e.g. diagonal, partial and full road closures.

 

The treatments are indicative and will require further investigation and community engagement before final draft schemes can be considered.

 

The LAIS study includes a strategic framework and cost estimates for traffic management, streetscape and water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) improvements for the following five precincts:

·     Precinct 1:            Ashfield                       $3.7M;

·     Precinct 2:            Haberfield                   $9.1M;

·     Precinct 3:            Leichhardt West          $5.7M;

·     Precinct 4:            Johnston Street           $6.6M;

·     Precinct 5:            St Peters                     $2.2M; and

·     TOTAL     all five precincts          $27.4M.

 

At its 8 May 2018 meeting, Council considered a report on the LAIS and resolved to write to RMS seeking funding for the LAIS works.  Council has argued that RMS funding is justified as WestConnex has created the need for these works.  Subject to funding, the LAIS would be implemented in a similar way that all of Council’s Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) schemes are implemented, involving local community consultation, detailed design, approval and implementation. 

 

One of the few benefits from WestConnex is the opportunity to reduce traffic capacity and make a range of surface improvements - including public transport improvements - wherever WestConnex reduces surface traffic.  For Stage 3, the main opportunity is to improve Victoria Road at Rozelle – possible because of surface traffic reductions brought about by the Iron Cove Link.  There is also an opportunity to make improvements to Parramatta Road, created by all stages of WestConnex. 

 

RMS has resisted traffic capacity reductions on main roads, even where traffic levels have been reduced.  Council seeks to avoid a situation where increased road capacity below-ground has not resulted in captured capacity (i.e. use of spare capacity for public and active transport and public domain improvements) above-ground.  In particular, Council seeks assurance from SMC and the NSW Government that reduced traffic capacity along Victoria Road and Parramatta Road will result increased capacity for public and active transport.

 

Though Council has not yet been able to confidently conclude that WestConnex will reduce traffic on Parramatta Road (for its full length through the Inner West Council area), it will continue to advocate traffic capacity capture and high-capacity public transport along that corridor.  One of the public transport options Council has been investigating for Parramatta Road is Guided Electric Transit, with a view to improving public transport and revitalising the corridor.

 

Although one of the main original justifications for the WestConnex was to take airport and port related heavy vehicles off the surface roads, there is little evidence that this project aim remains valid.  As indicated in the EIS, relatively few heavy vehicles in 2031 are likely to have a desire line between the eastern end of the M4 and the airport and port.

 

Further, the project now delivers vehicles at the surface at St Peters, some 5km by road from the airport and some 15km by road from Port Botany, thus requiring the construction of the Sydney Gateway an additional project (not part of WestConnex) to gain access to the airport/port.  It is also not known how sensitive heavy vehicle users will be to tolling regimes or the if it is likely that reduced surface road congestion to attract heavy vehicles back to these streets.

 

 

 

Council’s concerns about impacts on public transport

 

As is discussed elsewhere in this submission, the WestConnex business case indicates that the increased road capacity created by the project will encourage in the order of 45,000 additional car trips per day (induced traffic) in the Sydney region. The business case does not state whether these trips are new trips, a conversion from existing public transport trips or a combination of both.

 

Even if it is conservatively assumed that one-quarter of these trips are converted from public transport, around 11,250 trips per day, or over 4 million trips per year, will move away from public transport. Conservatively assuming these trips cost the minimum rate of $3.46 (peak) and $2.42 (off-peak), with 20% as peak-period trips, WestConnex could reduce public transport revenue by more than $11M per year.

 

It could be argued that the removal of trips from crowded public transport would be beneficial to some degree, but the WestConnex business case does not show any evidence of this. Further, increasing public transport capacity by adding to rolling stock and improving co-ordination of the network would provide significantly greater spare capacity than the removal of 11,250 trips from public transport each day.

 

Over the past decade Council and various public transport advocacy groups have argued that the former freight rail corridor between the RRY site and White Bay should be preserved for future light rail. In 2012 transport advocacy group EcoTransit published its Sydney Light Rail Orbital – White Bay Green Link proposal. This proposal shows a link from Lilyfield and Rozelle Bay Stops to Balmain via White Bay. Whilst former Leichhardt Council had expressed reservations about some aspects of this proposal, Council supported the proposed extension of the Inner West Light Rail to White Bay using the former freight rail corridor.

 

Council has subsequently argued the need to preserve the former freight-rail corridor at meetings and in submissions to the NSW Government on projects/plans such as WestConnex and the Bays Precinct. Working groups for the Bays Precinct have indicated general support for investigations into the light rail to White Bay. The NSW Government has also referred to the possibility of light rail to White Bay and the Bays Precinct in its Draft Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plan/Future Transport 2056. Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) and Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) have also recognised the potential for this light rail link in its Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report (M4-M5 Link).

 

Despite these indications of support from the NSW Government, it is apparent that approved designs for the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange and associated RRY linear park have compromised opportunities for a light rail link between the Lilyfield Light Rail Stop at Catherine Street and White Bay. This is because the placement of motorway operation buildings, motorway portals and drainage infrastructure make it difficult to identify an unimpeded light rail corridor. Even if a suitable corridor could be identified, significant structural works would be needed - for example, the link would require construction of the light rail track length-wise over major drainage channels. This would result in added costs that could make the extension prohibitively expensive.

 

As the Sydney West Metro alignment and depths are yet to be finalised it is not possible to definitively assess the likely impacts of WestConnex on its alignment. In its submissions on WestConnex Stage 3, Council has argued that WestConnex should not affect the alignment of the Sydney Metro West or negatively affect it in any way. Verbal assurances have been given by WestConnex and Sydney Metro West project staff that the alignments of both projects are being co-ordinated and WestConnex will not preclude Sydney Metro West.

 

Further, the WestConnex Stage 3 Submissions & Preferred Infrastructure Report states: Insufficient information is available at this time regarding the alignment of the proposed Sydney West Metro rail tunnels to determine whether there is any conflict of alignment (vertical and horizontal) with the M4-M5 Link project. Consultation has occurred and will continue to be undertaken with Transport for NSW regarding the potential interface of the two projects as the preliminary design for the Sydney West Metro project is developed. If required, adjustments to horizontal and vertical alignments of the tunnels can be made during the detailed design phase.”

 

Even if the Sydney Metro West is not precluded by WestConnex, Council is concerned that its optimum alignment may be compromised – for example, the extent of tunnelling for the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange may force Metro tunnels to a depth that limits opportunities to create Metro stations within the Inner West Council area.  

 

Five bus services run along Victoria Road, Rozelle, and all will be affected by congestion from WestConnex construction vehicles.  They will also be potentially affected by operational elements of WestConnex.

 

The Iron Cove Link tunnel component of WestConnex Stage 3 has the potential to significantly reduce traffic on Victoria Road between the Iron Cove Bridge and Anzac Bridge. The NSW Government has proposed a public transport study be undertaken for Victoria Road, and it is assumed this study would identify long-term improvements to public transport in this corridor.  The opportunity to capitalise on reduced volumes on Victoria Road at Rozelle by improving public transport and by providing a separated cycleway should be taken.

 

However projected construction traffic associated with the concurrent construction of WestConnex, the Bays Precinct and Western Harbour Tunnel is likely to result in over 3,000 additional truck movement/day through the intersection of James Craig Road and The Crescent.  Delays at this intersection have the potential to result in traffic queues along The Crescent, Victoria Road and Anzac Bridge, all of which cater for Sydney Buses services.  As this congestion has the potential to remain for 5 years or more, Council is concerned that it will hamper opportunities to enhance public transport in the near future.

 

Eight bus services run along Parramatta Road between Leichhardt and Camperdown, and as is the case for Victoria Road, all will be affected by congestion from WestConnex construction vehicles.  They will also be potentially affected by operational elements of WestConnex.

 

Of particular concern to Council is the impact on Parramatta Road bus services of construction trucks accessing the Bridge Road mid-tunnel construction dive-site.  Trucks will approach the site City-bound from the northern kerbside lane, which is currently a bus lane. This will affect the reliability of buses by forcing them to either mix with construction traffic or merge into the other traffic lanes.

 

Sections of Parramatta Road are anticipated to experience reduced traffic volumes, and the Draft Greater Sydney Services and Infrastructure Plan/Future Transport 2056 highlights the opportunity to prepare a public transport study for Parramatta Road. The conditions of approval for the M4 East also include the provision of two permanent 24/7 lanes for public transport, one in each direction.  Additionally, Inner West and Canada Bay Councils’ Parramatta Road Public Transport Opportunities Study identified both the opportunity to consider centre-running Guided Electric Transit (‘GETs’ or ‘track-free trams’) for Parramatta Road, and the need to capture released capacity on Parramatta Road immediately WestConnex is completed.

 

For the Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy to proceed it is essential the following actions are undertaken:

·     traffic volumes are reduced;

·     public transport is significantly improved;

·     kerbside parking (at least outside peak periods) is retained;

·     urban amenity and public domain improvements are introduced concurrently with the completion of WestConnex.

 

Without the co-ordinated introduction these actions, the revitalisation of the Parramatta Road Corridor (including revitalisation of selected side streets) will not likely be achieved.  Additionally, as WestConnex may generate additional traffic on some streets crossing Parramatta Road bus services, there is a possibility that congestion and associated delays may reduce the reliability of these services.

 

Council’s concerns about impacts on active transport

 

As Council always strives to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, the active transport strategies associated with WestConnex EISs have been welcomed.  Council has however been concerned that construction of WestConnex will continue to create safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists. 

 

Council is also concerned about operational impacts - that by increasing traffic in the Inner West, through induced traffic, the project would result in an overall deterioration of conditions for walking and cycling in the longer-term.  The extra traffic also makes it more difficult for Council to reclaim traffic lanes for dedicated bicycle lanes, particularly on State and Regional roads, where they are usually most needed.

 

Council is keen to ensure the creation of the RRY recreation area results in significantly improved walk/cycle connectivity across this site.  Council notes that north-south connectivity has been poor in the past due to lack of any public access to or through the derelict site, although some of these movements have been possible along a limited number of public roads that cross the site, such as Balmain Road and Catherine Street. 

 

The wide and heavily-trafficked City West Link Road (and the inaccessible RRY site itself) have traditionally been a barrier to north-south connectivity.  On either side of the RRY site, east-west movements have been possible along reasonably direct local streets such as Lilyfield Road, Railway Parade and Brenan Street, even though the City West Link Road is not available to pedestrians and cyclists.  Creation of the RRY recreation area represents an important opportunity to improve this situation.

 

Though Council has supported the walk/cycle routes proposed, it is apparent further work is needed to ensure routes follow walk/cycle desire lines and are designed to a high standard.  Council’s main concerns at this stage are the need for a greater number of north-south walk/cycle connections, that walk/cycle bridges be constructed to a higher standard than shown and that the proposed land bridge from Buruwan Park does not negatively affect the park or active transport links across The Crescent to Federal and Jubilee parks and the shared foreshore path network.

 

The two connections shown are welcomed, but a third (and possibly fourth) connection is warranted to ensure maximum connectivity.  In the draft RRY site recreation area masterplan, only one of the two bridges shown is a ‘land bridge’ – the other is a minimum-width bridge without landscaping.  All bridges should be designed and constructed as land bridges to ensure the crossing of City West Link Road is as attractive and safe as possible.  The added cost is warranted as the RRY recreation area is expected to generate considerable walk/cycle traffic.  Prioritising walk/cycle access is also important to minimise the need to access the site by car, reducing the need to provide for parking within or near the site.

 

It is important that walk/cycle connections to and through the RRY site are integrated into the regional walk/cycle network defined by various active transport plans of the NSW Government and relevant councils. 

 

Capacity capture opportunities on streets likely to experience reduced traffic from WestConnex (discussed above) should provide the ability to enhance connectivity to existing networks and desired future networks.  These networks are defined in Council’s bicycle plans and in the City of Sydney’s Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network.  A key route to address is the City West Cycle Link, which would run along the Inner West light rail corridor between The GreenWay / Bay Run and Anzac Bridge / Glebe Island Bridge.

 

A reinstated Glebe Island Bridge, a heritage-listed RMS asset, would be part of the wider GreenWay / Bays Precinct active transport network.  Additionally the new (fenced-off) section of James Craig Road, an extension between White Bay and Glebe Island, would be part of a future public/active transport corridor to the City and Pyrmont from Balmain via the Glebe Island Bridge.

 

The project’s active transport strategy should also consider standards set by Council for the GreenWay – developed as part of Council’s GreenWay ‘missing links’ strategy.  This includes standards for landscaping using locally indigenous species, bike path widths, signage, lighting, public domain and street furniture for the Greenway missing links strategy.  Paths should also incorporate public art wherever possible and commission works by local artists.

 

Post-construction, there must be sufficient space at this location for a flat path to run on the southwest edge of the proposed slip-lane from Railway Parade to connect with The Crescent footpath.  The project also provides an opportunity to widen the road shoulder or provide a dedicated bicycle path under the railway viaduct for cyclists using The Crescent.

 

Council’s concerns about land use & property impacts

 

Compulsory acquisition of homes and businesses at Haberfield-Ashfield and St Peters for Stages 1 and 2 has devastated the lives of many individuals, families, households and business operators and their employees.  To make matters worse, some property owners have claimed the compensation they received was not sufficient to enable them to purchase equivalent properties within their neighbourhoods.  Affected residents and business owners have reported their sense that acquisition processes are being poorly treated by RMS in negotiations over their properties.

 

The Victoria Road acquisitions involve a number of businesses, and businesses are also being acquired in the Gordon Street industrial area at Lilyfield adjacent to the RRY site, in the block bounded by Parramatta Road, Pyrmont Bridge Road and Mallet Street at Annandale and at 199 Parramatta Rd, Haberfield (Muirs Holden).  Many of these businesses are well-established, so their relocation (or disappearance) will have a major impact their owners and employees.  Loss of these businesses also raises concerns for Council about loss of employment lands in the Inner West.

 

In May 2018 Council was pleased to learn that the NSW Supreme Court had upheld Desane's legal challenge of the proposed compulsory acquisition by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) of its Rozelle commercial property. The Desane property is located within a commercial/industrial area on the northern side of the RRY site.  Council is also pleased that private timber merchant Swadlings and crane hire firm Gillespies, which have properties neighbouring Desane's in Rozelle, are also considering negotiating higher compensation payments than what the RMS has offered to acquire their land for WestConnex Stage 3(b). This provides further evidence of RMS not acting responsibly in its actions to acquire properties.

 

Recently a RMS spokesperson confirmed that a total 427 properties are required to support the construction of all stages of WestConnex. Of these 427 properties, 111 were yet to be acquired.  Given these figures, the cost of properties required is likely to exceed $1.5 billion. Council considers that the cumulative negative impacts of the project are aggravated by the high financial cost of these acquisitions.

 

Numerous difficulties experienced by residents who have been served with property acquisition notices have exposed cumulative negative experiences ranging from under-valuation of homes to disruption of community life.  Many households reported that they were financially disadvantaged by the acquisition process and as a result has moved away from their local communities and support networks.  This exodus represents a significant loss to the communities concerned.

 

Council has requested the continued review of compulsory acquisition processes by the NSW Government with a view to greater fairness for affected property owners.  Council has also requested similar improvements to voluntary acquisition procedures.

 

Whilst Council welcomed the dedication of residual WestConnex lands to the community and for open space, it would prefer this to occur without WestConnex.  Council expressed an expectation that these residual lands will be delivered to Council for its ownership at no cost, and all landscaping, paths and other facilities are constructed by the NSW Government according to approved designs.  Council has also sought maintenance funding and involvement of the community in plans of management for these areas.  These lands should be unburdened by contamination or any immediate need for maintenance.

 

Council is also keen to ensure that construction and handover of the RRY and SPI site recreation areas and other residual lands is not delayed by construction of other projects, such as the proposed WHT.  The community deserves the benefits of the residual land open space areas as soon as possible and does not want to see land vacant for years awaiting use as a construction zone for another future project.

 

Whilst Council would in general terms prefer all WestConnex residual lands be devoted to community use rather than sold for commercial gain, the possible exception is the Pyrmont Bridge Road site.  This site would be appropriately be returned to a ‘biomedical hub’ use in keeping with the Parramatta Road Urban Transformation Strategy.  Notwithstanding, it is important that surrounding communities who have suffered the negative impacts of WestConnex derive benefit from these lands.

 

Council seeks ownership of useful public space and facilities only.  It does not want to own and maintain useless or problematic residual areas created by WestConnex that are difficult to access and are blighted by motorway traffic.  RMS should retain ownership of problematic areas.

 

For all stages of WestConnex, all properties within 50m of the outer edge of underground tunnels would be offered a property condition survey before construction with a follow up survey for the property after construction.  This is to ensure there is a record of the property’s condition before and after construction.  If there is any damage attributed to the project, it would be repaired at no cost to the property owner. 

 

Residents have raised issues with the WestConnex dilapidation reporting process, required conditions of approval to be carried out by the proponent.  Residents have cited a lack of independence, a perception of conflict-of-interest and a lack of trust in the proponent, and some residents have not been satisfied with the proponent’s decision where the cause of damage has been disputed.  Some community members have also doubted that the ‘affected area’, where the offer of report applies, is sufficiently broad.  As a result, Council has offered to carry out independent dilapidation reports at no cost to property owners. 

 

Council’s concerns about social & economic impacts

 

As is the case elsewhere in this submission, the discussion of social impacts draws on Council staff’s discussions of issues with residents affected by WestConnex Stages 1 and 2. Inclusion of the main points from this dialogue is in Council’s view critical to ensure lessons are learned from Stages 1 and 2 should Stage 3 proceed.

 

Council’s recent discussions with a group of Haberfield public housing tenants revealed they were suffering severe impact from the construction of Stage 1.  They reported serious impacts on their health and well-being as a result of noise, vibration and dust, that the complaints system was inefficient and ineffective and they felt frustration when dealing with this system, which added to the stress in their lives. 

 

There has not been sufficient consideration of alternative designs that would reduce the project’s adverse impacts on residents.  There is concern that all stages of WestConnex will continue to reduce local connectivity and reduced ability for some to participate in community activities. 

 

WestConnex will continue to have a major impact on parks and other publicly-accessible areas of open space across the Inner West.  Examples of parks already affected (temporarily) by Stages 1 and 2 are Reg Coady Reserve (Haberfield), Tempe Reserve and Simpson Park (St Peters).  Council has expressed its strong objection to the proposed permanent removal of Buruwan Park (North Annandale) and impact on King George Park (Rozelle) as part of the implementation of Stage 3. 

 

In stating this objection, Council acknowledges that some parks, such as Buruwan Park are owned by the NSW Government, not Council.  Council also acknowledges that new areas of open space will be created by the project, such as the RRY and SPI site recreation areas.  Notwithstanding, views all publicly-accessible open space as valuable, regardless of ownership – particularly as the Inner West has traditionally been under-supplied with open space. 

 

WestConnex could also have an impact on areas that include public art – for example, a mural in Buruwan Park, and the Guerrilla Gardeners Troll under the Johnston Street Bridge. Council has argued that these items be protected.  The project will result in increased areas of concrete walls, access ramps and related infrastructure which may create new opportunities for public art, but also a need for graffiti management. 

 

The strategic economic impacts of WestConnex have been discussed above.  These include the impact of the financial and opportunity cost of the project and the equity impact of tolls.  At a local level, Council is disappointed that the WestConnex proponent views the negative impact on local businesses as minor.  From Council’s recent experience with the impact of Stage 1 on Haberfield businesses, this was far from minor. 

 

WestConnex Stages 1 & 2 have imposed a number of negative impacts on businesses which have failed to be identified and assessed in the EIS.  These impacts include reduced accessibility for customers, staff and deliveries to business premises due to road closures/diversions, changes in public transport services and loss of parking as construction vehicles occupy spaces side streets.  This has been the most critical issue, particularly in shopping centres such as Haberfield.

 

In addition, the quality of business operations has been reduced from vibration disturbance and noise and air pollution.  There has been an impact on the brand image of businesses because of reduced visibility created by obstruction of views by construction materials and reductions in passing traffic.  An example of the latter issue is the drop in business in the Haberfield shopping centre due to the temporary closure of Ramsay Street. 

 

For businesses with outdoor trading and dining, there has been decreased amenity for customers due to construction noise and increased traffic on some local roads where drivers avoid construction areas.  There has been increased likelihood that newly-established businesses will fail due to combinations of the above pressures.

 

Of all the impacts listed above, it is the changes to road access, public transport and parking that has had the largest impact on businesses.  This is because most customers (not just the businesses) cannot adjust to change in environment brought about through road closures, changes to public transport and parking in project work zones.

 

From Council’s experience with Stages 1 and 2, there is a need to improving directional signage related to road closures, diversions and modifications in areas around shopping centres and other business clusters.  Signs should clearly outline to businesses and the public the changes to road access points into business villages and centres, providing drivers with detailed directions into and around business villages.  Signage should direct people to temporary bus stops locations, and this should be in large print and in languages additional to English.  Open For Business signs are also helpful. 

 

The parking demand impact of the project on local businesses is reduced wherever off-street parking is provided for project employees.  In developing parking management plans, the proponent should consult with local businesses and business chambers.  Other ideas include Council has suggested include installation of bicycle lanes to encourage visitation to businesses, reduce vehicle speed limits and implement traffic calming (even if temporary) to enhance the footway environment at shopping strips.

 

In its submission on the Stage 3 EIS, Council had requested a dedicated full-time business manager, fully funded by the project, to implement the business management plan and to assist affected businesses on a day-to-day basis.  This manager would work closely with Council and local businesses.  This manager would require access to funding to enable actions to be implemented, such as marketing campaigns to boost awareness of affected centres.  Without this, responsibility for this kind of assistance to local businesses would fall on Council, as has been the case for Stages 1 and 2.

 

The possibility that clearways on roads through commercial centres could be created or extended is a major concern for the many mainstreet businesses in the Inner West, as even minor changes can have a profound negative impact on these centres.  The considerable opposition to any extension of clearways on King Street, Newtown provides a good example of the concerns of businesses and communities to this threat.  Road widenings, such as that being undertaken currently on Euston Road, Alexandria are a further threat.

 

Council has repeatedly requested that there be no new road widenings, clearways or extensions of clearways on streets around WestConnex.  It has also been explained that Council seeks to implement, public and active transport improvements, traffic calming and amenity improvements on streets where traffic has been increased or reduced by WestConnex.

 

Council’s concerns about urban design & visual amenity impacts

 

The following comments focus on the RRY recreation area, given this is the main site that will be returned to public use from Stage 3.  Though there is limited information within the EIS on urban design details for this site, Council expects that should the project proceed there will be opportunities for Council and the community to participate in the development of an urban design plan for the site.  Hence comments in this submission are offered as initial comments only. 

 

Council recognises there the need for open space and community facilities across the Inner West.  Some areas have traditionally had a shortfall, and demand will increase into the future as the population increases through redevelopment.  This is particularly the case for the RRY site, where densely-developed residential areas around the site have traditionally suffered a shortfall of open space, and future development at the Bays Precinct will bring substantial new development.

 

Council sees the need for a clear ‘recreational needs’ basis for the use of the area with reference to Council’s Recreation & Open Space Needs Study.  As is the case for the St Peters Interchange recreation area, Council is keen to boost the supply of much-needed active recreation areas.  From the concepts in the EIS, there appears more opportunity to provide active recreational facilities. 

 

Considerations in the design of residual lands include roadside or ventilation facility air quality impacts, walk/cycle desire lines, links to the wider network of paths and open spaces, safety-by-design, equity of access, aesthetics and public art.  It is expected that should the project proceed, Council and the community will be involved the design of the RRY recreation area and other Stage 3 residual lands through development and implementation of urban design and residual lands plans, mandated by conditions of approval. 

 

Given the RRY site is isolated by a number of barriers including roads, cliffs and the light rail line, active uses on the site (including evening uses) would provide security benefits from surveillance and enhance the community’s enjoyment of this facility.  This could include night-time sports and youth-focused outdoor and indoor recreation facilities.

 

Being a former creek-line, management of stormwater on the RRY site is a major task.  All stormwater facilities should be integrated and where appropriate featured, with Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) implemented.  Wetlands (as proposed) are supported and these should be integrated into landscaping, not fenced.  Use of concrete culverts should be minimised.  Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage should also be featured in landscape designs for the RRY recreation area.

 

The other area of importance for urban design is the area along Victoria Road near the Iron Cove Bridge that will be improved as a result residual lands from road widening and significant traffic reductions from the Iron Cove Link tunnel.  As with all residual lands from WestConnex, Council wishes to avoid the creation of useless pieces of open space that could create safety or security issues. 

 

Active edges to this strip of land through developments (business, residential or community uses) that front onto this space are needed to enhance security.  This is preferred to the space being framed by blank side noise barriers or rear dwelling fences, although Council acknowledges there will be a need for some noise buffering.  Being next to Victoria Road, indoor community uses may be appropriate as well as open spaces. 

 

Council is also keen to maximise walk/cycle connectivity to/from all adjoining streets and Easton Park connecting to the new areas.  There are many opportunities to do this on the northern site, but the City West Link Road is a barrier on the southern side and there will be reliance on three proposed bridge connections - two over City West Link Road and one over The Crescent.  Three access points provided by these bridges is considered sufficient, as they are reasonably evenly spaced across the length of the RRY site.

 

It is also important that the existing walk/cycle connections over Victoria Road to the Anzac Bridge, to White Bay and to the Rozelle and Balmain area be improved by the project. Providing both ramp and stair links to the eastern and western sides of Victoria Road are also important. 

 

Council is disappointed at the number and extent of motorway support facilities planned for the RRY site.  This was not so apparent in the Concept Design, but the EIS shows that these facilities would occupy a fair proportion of the site, break up useable areas and create a sense of clutter.  With careful design and consolidation of these facilities, it should be possible to accommodate these facilities without hindering free movement open vistas around the site.

 

The proposed 20-30m tall ventilation facilities within the RRY recreation area near The Crescent will inevitably be a major visual intrusion.  The extent of this intrusion should be minimised, noting that any reduction in the height of this facility would reduce its ability to disperse emissions.  Similarly, the proposed facility at Victoria Road near Terry Street is located in a visually prominent position, and consideration should be given to an alternative facility design which would be less prominent and would be unlikely to direct its plume toward adjacent sensitive uses.

 

A further visual impact issue Council has encountered in relation to Stage 1 is the erection of large standard directional signs and variable message signs.  This has been a particularly important issue for Haberfield as this suburb is a Heritage Conservation Area.  Council has argued that if they are to be erected, then the number, size, height and bulk should be minimised and they should be located to avoid sensitive locations. 

 

Council recognises there are RMS standards for these signs, but has sought exemption from these standards to reduce their size and minimise visual impacts.  Council has also sought to ensure sign footings do not obstruct to walk/cycle paths of travel on footways.  These points should be considered for any signs proposed in relation to Stage 3.

 

Council’s concerns about other impacts

 

Council has raised concerns about that extensive soil and groundwater contamination has been previously found throughout the entire RRY site due to past contaminating activities from its former railway uses.  Council is aware that contamination is being managed by an environmental management plan, and should works reveal any unexpected finds relating to contamination Council should be notified.

 

For the RRY and SPI sites, Council and the community have been particularly concerned about disturbance of asbestos within the surface soils on the site.  Council notes the proponent will continue to monitor airborne asbestos, and its disposal will be guided by appropriate management plans.  Council recommends the proponent keeps Council and surrounding residents informed of the results of asbestos monitoring and any asbestos issues as they are encountered.

 

Project EISs have all proposed that designs will be prepared with recognition to the various flood management plans and policies currently in place.  Council however is not convinced that the many critical issues associated with flooding and drainage have adequately been addressed. 

 

Council recognises the potential for impacts on the adjacent stormwater network, particularly during construction; noting that excess stormwater created by the tunnel should not be diverted into the existing stormwater system.  Council has requested that stormwater, ground water and drainage monitoring should be operational prior to commencement of construction (establishing a hydraulic baseline) and should continue from that onward including a systematic review and rectification program.

 

In addition to run-off issues, there is potential for elevated soil salinity and induced water table changes resulting from both tunnelling activities (during construction) and the long term presence of deep tunnels.  Such impacts could include impacts on local aquifers, potential for an elevated water table and redirection of groundwater flows.  Comprehensive floodplain assessments and hydraulic modelling should be supported by a series of appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that no property (private or public) shall be disadvantaged or adversely affected.

 

Council has sought consideration of the project’s impact on Sydney Water’s Iron Cove Creek renewal proposal at Haberfield / Five Dock and whether the combined Stage 1 and Stage 3 will delay its implementation or cause adverse impacts on this waterway.

 

Potential impacts from groundwater withdrawal induced settlement on properties has raised concern for Council, and this has not been adequately addressed in EISs.  The EISs do not prescribe responsibility for a construction-settlement monitoring program, but imply this may sit with the construction contractor, which would be a conflict of interest. 

 

The studies undertaken for the Stage 3 EIS predict ground water withdrawal, which will permanently affect ground water levels at the end of construction up to 500m either side of the tunnel alignment and up to 1.4km over the longer-term in some areas. This modelling predicts that at the end of construction, steep localised cones of depression will develop beneath Newtown and St Peters within the Ashfield Shale. 

 

The risk of ground movement from groundwater drawdown is lessened where tunnelling is more than 35m deep.  However, some tunnelling in areas near portal and underground interchanges will be far shallower than this.  Steep gradients are likely to cause greater differential settlement with potential damage to buildings in the area. Localised modelling is possible, but Council notes that has been deferred to be undertaken by the construction contractor.  As this modelling has not been undertaken at the EIS stage, there is no information about which properties may be subject to potential exceedances of settlement criteria.

 

Concerns are also raised about the potential for saline water intrusion into the foreshore areas due to depletion of groundwater table along the proposed tunnels.  The impact of sea level rise on this has not been addressed adequately in the EIS.

 

The key site affected by the project that raises biodiversity issues for Council is the RRY site.  There are other smaller areas where biodiversity would be affected, but the principles that need to be applied to manage biodiversity within the RRY site can be applied to these other areas. 

 

In its December 2016 submission on for the surface clean-up of the RRY site, Council had raised a number of site-specific issues including minimisation of biodiversity impacts.  Council staff discussed these issues at a meeting with relevant project staff during the REF exhibition and at a June 2017 site visit.  Although Council is satisfied that SMC is aware of these issues, concerns remain that they have not been resolved to Council’s satisfaction. 

 

The main concern is that there has not been sufficient consideration of how works can be staged to minimise impacts on fauna, particularly native reptiles and birds.  In order to retain fauna on-site, it is critical that a minimum area of habitat be retained at each stage of the clean-up and other works on the RRY site.  Council seeks reassurance that this can and will be achieved.

 

The RRY site contains the most extensive areas of native small bird habitat in the area.  The plant species that make up this habitat are for the most part exotic weed species.  It is a common practice in inner urban areas to preserve these habitats regardless of the fact that they are weedy. Preservation of this habitat should, where possible, be a priority in the flora and fauna management plan for the site.

 

The RRY site is recognised regionally as an important biodiversity corridor, i.e. the Greenway. Loss of species from the RRY site would undoubtedly compromise the biodiversity conservation outcomes Council expects for the Greenway. The project will also need to consider impacts on species listed as vulnerable according to NSW Government legislation. 

 

Regarding rail heritage, Council was informed at the time the RRY site REF was being assessed that the significant rail heritage items would be re-used, i.e. integrated into the landscaping of the RRY recreation area.  Council agrees there is a role for re-use but had argued that some of the more significant items be retained in-situ so the site’s rail heritage more accurately interpreted by future users of the recreation area.  The proponent has not agreed to the retention of rail heritage item in-situ.

 

Regarding hazard and risk, it is a concern to Council that WestConnex EISs have not considered development of plans for situations such as traffic crashes, ventilation disruptions and tunnel fires.

 

Council has been disappointed that there has not been sufficient consideration of the project’s impact on climate change – there has only been consideration of how climate change will affect the project. Consequently, the assessment of environmental (and climate change risk) simply indicates that the likelihood of the project being placed at risk by the environment is “low”.  Further, there has not been any consideration of the ‘heat island’ impacts of road surfaces, ventilation facility surfaces, ventilation plumes and heat from additional traffic induced by WestConnex - engine heat, road surface friction etc.  Council sees a need to soften surface of vents both visually and to reduce the heat island effect.

 

 

References

 

Beca Australia (2017) WestConnex Stage 3 (M4-M5 Link) EIS Review – for Inner West Council

Former Ashfield Council (2015) Submission on WestConnex Stage 1 (M4 East)

Former Leichhardt Council (2016) Submission on WestConnex Stage 2 (New M5)

Former Leichhardt Council (date unknown) GreenWay Revegetation & Bushcare Plan

Former Leichhardt Council (date unknown) Leichhardt Native Revegetation & Biodiversity Management Plan

Former Marrickville Council (2016) Submission on WestConnex Stage 2 (New M5)

Harding et al (2013) The cost of hypertension-related ill-health attributable to environmental noise, Noise Health Journal

Munzel et al (2014) Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise exposure, European Heart Journal

Prasher D (2007) Noise and its effects, Wiley London

RMS (2014) Advisory Committee on Tunnel Air Quality - TP09: Evolution of road tunnels in Sydney

Saunders (2008) Avian Biodiversity Monitoring & Bird Habitat Management within the Leichhardt LGA

SGS Economics & Planning (2016) WestConnex Business Case Review, for former Leichhardt Council & City of Sydney

Tiesler et al (2013) Exposure to road traffic noise and children's behavioural problems and sleep disturbance, Environmental Research Journal

Tzivian et al (2014) Effect of long-term outdoor air pollution and noise on cognitive and psychological functions in adults, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health

Woolcock Institute of Medical Research Centre for Air Quality and Health Research & Evaluation (2015) Review of the health impacts of emission sources, types and levels of particulate matter air pollution in ambient air in NSW for NSW EPA

 

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 11

Subject:         GreenWay Master Plan           

Prepared By:     Ryan Hawken - Project Manager Greenway Delivery 

Authorised By:  Cathy Edwards-Davis - Group Manager Trees, Parks and Sports Fields

 

SUMMARY

The draft GreenWay Master Plan: Cooks to Cove Greenway was placed on public exhibition from 25 May to 25 June 2018. This report provides a summary of the methods and outcomes of the public exhibition and community engagement process and presents the final

GreenWay Master Plan: Cooks to Cove GreenWay for adoption.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT the GreenWay Master Plan: Cooks to Cove GreenWay be adopted.

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

The draft GreenWay Master Plan was presented to Council at its 22 May 2018 meeting. Council resolved to place the draft GreenWay Master Plan on public exhibition and for the results of the public exhibition and community engagement process to be presented to Council along with a final master plan for adoption. At the same meeting Council also resolved to exhibit a submission from IWEG and this was included with the master plan documentation.

 

The draft Master Plan was subsequently exhibited from 25 May 2018 to 25 June 2018.   Comments were sought from the community, Council staff and key agencies including Transport for NSW, Sydney Trains, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Water and the light rail operator Transdev.

 

The results of the public exhibition showed broad support for the draft GreenWay Master Plan. Further details of the public exhibition process and community engagement are provided in the Public Consultation section below.

 

Based on the feedback from the community, agencies and staff, minor amendments to the master plan have been made. The final draft GreenWay Master Plan: Cooks to Cove Greenway is presented for adoption.

 

Due to the size of the master plan, it has been distributed separately in hard copy to Councillors and can be viewed on Council’s website on the following page: https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/environment/projects-and-programs/greenway

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The draft master plan proposes around $57.8m of works over the next 10 to 15 years. Existing funding is available to deliver around $27.8m of works between 2018/19 and 2021/22.

 

At this point in time, the remaining $30.0m unfunded works will not be delivered unless additional funding is allocated through Council’s Asset Management planning and capital budget process or provided through grants. Council staff will continue to apply and lobby for state and federal grants for currently unfunded works.

 

It is intended that an operational management plan be developed separately in 2018/19 to detail recurrent expenditure associated with the GreenWay, including delivery of GreenWay programs and maintenance. This is outside the scope of the GreenWay Master Plan and this Council report.

 

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Comments on the draft plan were sought from staff across Council including Trees, Parks and Sports Fields; Environment and Sustainability; Strategic Planning; Aquatics and Recreation; Community Services and Culture; Properties, Major Projects and Facilities; and Footpaths, Roads, Traffic and Stormwater.  Comments received from staff have informed the preparation of the final draft master plan.

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

 

Engagement Process

The draft GreenWay Master Plan was presented to Council at its 22 May 2018 meeting. Council resolved to place the draft GreenWay Master Plan on public exhibition. The draft Master Plan was subsequently exhibited from 25 May 2018 to 25 June 2018.

 

The draft plan was exhibited on Council’s consultation website, “Your Say Inner West”. Hard copies of the draft master plan were also made available at Ashfield, Leichhardt and Petersham Service Centres and at Dulwich Hill, Haberfield and Marrickville Libraries

 

Exhibition of the draft plan was advertised on Council’s consultation website, “Your Say Inner West”, a newsletter was delivered to all properties within 400m of the Greenway, around 12,000 properties, and posters advertising the exhibition were also put up along the corridor in parks and at light rail stops. The draft plan exhibition was also promoted on social media through Council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

Comments on the draft master plan were sought through the Your Say Inner West website and also through an interactive online map. Comments were anonymous but users were asked to provide their suburb. Email or written comments were also accepted.

 

The Your Say Inner West website contained a survey asking “Do you support the GreenWay Master Plan?” and users were asked to nominate either ,“Yes”, “Yes in principle but with changes outline below”, or “No”. Users then had the option to leave written comments directly and/or attach submissions.

 

The social pinpoint site contained an interactive map of the master plan. Community members, stakeholders and anyone else with an interest in the project could add feedback on the draft master plan to the interactive map by zooming in to an area of interest and dropping a pin to make a comment. Users were able to use themed pins to make comments on specific aspects of the master plan. The pins were aligned with the four main themes of the draft master plan: walking and riding, ecology, recreation, and arts and culture. Users could also give “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to other users comments.

 

Engagement Response

The Your Say Inner West consultation website was visited over 4200 times during the exhibition period. This included:

·    3269 Aware users who viewed the site

·    757 Informed users who downloaded a document or multiple pages

·    206 Engaged users who participated in the survey

 

The video prepared to promote the exhibition received over 3,000 views on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Around 700 responses were provided through all engagement platforms. Including:

·    206 responses through your say inner west, of which 148 provided written responses

·    480 written responses through the social pinpoint interactive map

·    7 written responses received directly via email

 

Responses were overwhelmingly received from residents within the Inner West area and specifically along the GreenWay corridor. The most comments were received from residents in Dulwich Hill (33%), Summer Hill (13%), Haberfield (12%), Marrickville (6%), Leichhardt (5%), Lewisham (5%), Hurlstone Park (5%), Ashfield (4%) and Earlwood (4%).

 

 

 

Engagement Results

The results of the Your Say Inner West survey showed broad support for the draft plan with 92% of responses either supporting the draft plan or supporting the plan with changes. Only 8% of responses did not support the plan.

Of the 206 responses through your say inner west, 148 provided written responses. In addition to this 480 written responses were received through the social pinpoint interactive map and 7 written responses received directly via email.

 

All written submissions from all engagement platforms, and related responses from Council officers, are provided on Council’s website

(https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/environment/projects-and-programs/greenway).  
All submissions have had personal information redacted.

 

The written responses overwhelming focused on the theme of walking and cycling (55% of written responses), followed by ecology and recreation (16% of written responses each) and arts and culture (2% of written responses). The remaining responses were general in nature or on multiple themes (11% of written responses).

 

 

Out of all the written submissions a number of key issues emerged. These are discussed in detail below, on a precinct by precinct basis along with any changes made to the draft GreenWay Master Plan.

 

Issues raised which are outside the scope of the master plan have not been discussed below. These included:

·    Support for the Greenway south-west, which is anticipated to be delivered by the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro project.

·    Support for the proposed City West Cycle Link from the northern end of the Greenway to Anzac bridge.

·    Support for better walking and cycling links between Lewisham West light rail stop and Lewisham town centre and station.

·    Opposition to a path between Waterside Crescent and Lang Road, which is a project being delivered by Canterbury Bankstown Council.

 

 

WHOLE OF GREENWAY ISSUES

 

Greenway: Estimated user numbers of the Greenway path and path design

A 3.5m wide path has generally been recommended for the main Greenway path. A large number of submissions suggested a separated path may be more appropriate.

The recommendation is based on current and future user number estimates and the constraints present in the corridor. A 3.5m wide path meets national and state guidelines for the path type and estimated user numbers.

There are two permanent RMS bike traffic counters on the Greenway at Gadigal reserve and Richard Murden Reserve. This data is supplemented through annual ‘Super Sunday’ and ‘Super Tuesday’ counts.

Based on available data around 250 people (including walkers, riders, runners, dog walkers etc.) currently use any given section of the Greenway path each day, with higher numbers of users in active parks. Once the path is completed in 2021 this is likely to increase significantly to around 600 to 900 people per day, with higher numbers of users in active parks. User numbers will continue to increase over time. The path width and design must be selected appropriately as it would be prohibitively expensive to retrofit a wider path at a later date.

The path design must also consider the many uses the wide range of community needs which the Greenway corridor seeks to support along its entire length and the inherent constraints of the corridor. The Greenway corridor is typically narrow; between Old Canterbury Road and Davis Street a path does not fit in the corridor at all and between Parramatta Road and Longport Street a 3.5m path is not physically possible for the entire length; in other sections the ecology of the corridor or open space would be significantly impacted.

Accordingly, the selection of the path type needs to be pragmatic, considering future user numbers, other uses along the corridor and inherent constraints. A 3.5m path is recommended based on these multiple considerations.

Recommendation: No change to master plan. A 3.5m wide path is recommended for the main Greenway path. Local factors to be considered during further design stages.

Greenway: Greenway shared path safety

A large number of submissions flagged the need for measures to make the path safe for all users.

Path safety is a combination of path design and behaviour. Research in NSW for RMS (http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/downloads/rta_ped_bicycle_report_2010.pdf) suggests that safety risks on shared paths are perceived rather than real. And while the great majority of users feel safe using shared paths, it should be recognised that the user experience for certain groups, particularly the elderly, can be different.

To ensure safe and comfortable use, shared paths must be designed appropriately. The design of the Greenway shared path will need to consider a range of factors including path type, width and user volumes; path gradient, alignment and sightlines; lighting; and path surface, pavement markings and signage. For user safety and legibility, changing between separated and shared paths should be minimised.

Shared paths are intended to be designed for a 20km/h speed for cyclists, noting cyclists generally travel at speeds around 15km/h to 25km/h, compared to 10 to 15km/h for runners and 5 to 10km/h for walkers. For walkers aged over 65, this is typically reduced to 3km/h.

While a 3.5m wide shared path is recommend along the length of the route, consideration of local factors will be essential. For instance in active parks, a wider path with pavement markings and signage may be considered. In other areas significant infrastructure or trees may prevent a 3.5m width be achieved for short sections. This will be considered on a case by case basis during design.

As more people ride in Sydney, mutual respect between people walking and riding on shared paths is more important than ever. Behavioural factors, can be influenced by good design but also through specific user education programs.  Council has previously undertaken Share the Path programs in coordination with City of Sydney to help improve shared path behaviour of both riders and walkers. Although outside the scope of the master plan such a program should be considered for the Greenway once it is completed.

Recommendation: No change to master plan. Path design to be considered during further design stages.

Greenway: Development adjacent to the Greenway

As noted in the master plan, the GreenWay corridor is located in an area of significant population growth and urban consolidation. Notably this includes the Greenway intersecting with the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor at Dulwich Hill and the Parramatta Road corridor at Taverners Hill.

The viability of the GreenWay as an ecological and active transport corridor, and the function and amenity it provides, is partly dependent on the adjacent built form. A number of submissions identified that as the corridor develops it is important that development is sympathetic to the Greenway and enhances the corridor rather than detracts from it. To this end a section providing guiding principles for development adjacent to the GreenWay has been included in the final master plan.

It should be noted that these guidelines are not binding. Consideration should also be given to undertaking an urban design study for the corridor and to use the guidelines to inform specific provisions in Council’s statutory planning instruments to ensure sympathetic development along the GreenWay.

Recommendation: Amend the master plan to include a section providing guidelines for development adjacent to the GreenWay.

 

HAWTHORNE PRECINCT

The master plan for the Hawthorne Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for a wider shared path through Hawthorne Reserve

·    Strong support for improvements to shared path connections and sight lines

·    Strong support for improvements to the Marion Street crossing

·    Strong support for bank naturalisation and potential wildlife islands

·    Support for increased tree planting and canopy cover

·    Support to retain and improve dog off-leash area

Note that Council has previously resolved to construct three new netball courts and associated infrastructure in the north of Richard Murden Reserve and this decision has been reflected in the master plan.

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Hawthorne Precinct: Crossing Darley Road near Allen Street

Darley Road sits on the eastern boundary of the GreenWay corridor, north of Marion Street to the city west link. Darley Road is a state road, managed by RMS, with over 15,000 vehicles using it per day. The construction of the light rail, and specifically the Hawthorne Light Rail Stop, has created a point to cross the light rail corridor and also created a destination in itself.

Leichhardt residents wanting to access the light rail or Greenway are required to cross Darley Road. Currently there is a pedestrian refuge at Lyall Street and a narrow splitter island at the round-about at Allen Street, which would not meet modern standards. A large number of submissions have indicated that residents find Darley Road difficult and unsafe to cross. Traffic speeds and pedestrian safety on Darley Road has a long history stretching back to 2009.

Council has previously written to RMS requesting they investigate a crossing on Darley Road near Allen Street. RMS have since undertaken to complete investigations and have indicated they intend to complete the design of a new crossing in the coming year.

Recommendation: Amend the Hawthorne Canal precinct plan to include a note to work with the RMS to provide a safe crossing point across Darley Road near Allen Street.

 

Hawthorne Precinct: Learn-to-ride area

A number of submissions suggested including a learn-to-ride area in the Hawthorne Precinct, in either Richard Murden Reserve or Hawthorne Reserve. These parks currently provide for a range of recreational uses and available open space is limited.

The netball courts in Richard Murden Reserve, south of Waratah Street, are currently used for netball training on weeknights in the winter season from March to September.

Outside of training times these are used informally for a range of ball sports and as an informal learn-to-ride area. It is proposed to reinforce this informal use by providing a painted learn-to-ride circuit on the existing netball courts, so as not to obscure netball line markings, and facilitate use outside netball training times. This is in keeping with the movement towards multipurpose and flexible design identified in the Recreation Needs Study.

In combination with tree plantings, utilizing the courts as a learn-to-ride area would add interest and provide shade to the existing expanse of asphalt. The learn-to-ride area would be suitably located close to the proposed kiosk, amenities and playground.

Recommendation: Amend the Hawthorne Canal precinct plan to include a learn-to-ride circuit integrated with the existing netball courts.

Hawthorne Precinct: Marion Street grade separated crossing

The master plan proposes relocation of the existing traffic signals at Marion Street to be on the desire line of the GreenWay and narrowing the crossing to three traffic lanes to facilitate shared paths on either side. Whilst this proposal received broad support, a large number of submissions were in favour of installing a grade separated crossing of Marion Street and specifically an overpass.

While an overpass at the location is feasible, it would require 90m long ramps on both approaches and long spans to bridge the Hawthorne Canal and Marion Street. This would make it a very expensive option, in the order of $3 million. It would also likely impact on the large fig trees south of Marion Street and impose on the amenity of the southern end of Richard Murden Reserve. The route options assessment report has been amended to include an overpass as a long term, low priority option.

Note also an underpass at this location isn’t considered feasible due to levels and the adjacent Hawthorne Canal.

Recommendation: No change to the master plan. Amend the route options assessment to include an overpass as a long term option.

 

GADIGAL PRECINCT

The master plan for the Gadigal Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for the tunnel under Longport Street

·    Strong support for the underpass below Parramatta Road

·    Strong support for an upgraded shared path and lighting through Gadigal Reserve

·    Strong support to retain and enhance understorey from Marion to Parramatta Road

·    Support for the informal bush track from Beeson to Hathern Street

·    Mixed response to the dog off leash area relocation (refer below)

·    Mixed response to nature play in Gadigal Reserve (refer below)

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Gadigal Precinct: Lords Road pedestrian bridge upgrades

The Lords Road tunnel currently provides a convenient link from Lords Road in Leichhardt, under the light rail to the Greenway and Lord Street in Haberfield. There is an existing 1.5m wide pedestrian bridge over the Hawthorne Canal from the GreenWay to Lord Street on the western side of the light rail.

A number of submissions identified the need for a wider bridge and better connections to the streets at either side to improve accessibility and facilitate use as a shared path.

It is recommended this could be done at marginal additional cost at, or at least closer to, the end of the existing bridges serviceable life, estimated to be around 2040.

Recommendation: Amend the Gadigal Precinct plan to include the Lord Street pedestrian bridge upgrade and associated upgrades to connecting paths as a long term option.

Gadigal Precinct: Dog off leash area relocation

Gadigal Reserve currently includes a bush care site and a dog off leash area bisected by the Hawthorne Canal and the Greenway shared path.

The master plan proposes relocation of the existing dog park in Gadigal Reserve to new open space at Lewisham West. The proposal received a mixed response, with some submissions in favour and some against. The main concerns raised in the submissions were that the proposed dog park would be smaller and was ill-suited, being near to newly constructed apartments, and that the existing off leash area was highly valued by the community for its natural setting.

The existing off leash area has no vehicular access, contains unusable steep areas, and is heavily shaded in parts. This makes it difficult to access and maintain. As a consequence the surface is predominantly uneven dirt. The site is also quite isolated with no lighting and only one entrance, which could feel unsafe especially of an evening.

The proposed dog off leash area in Lewisham West will be a comparable size as the existing one in Gadigal Reserve, with more useable space. The proposed dog off leash area will also be fully fenced, and have good passive surveillance. Importantly is will also be easier to access, enabling better maintenance.

Relocating the dog park also provides an opportunity for good ecological outcomes for Gadigal Reserve which supports threatened species. It would be difficult to achieve the same ecological outcomes without relocating the dog off leash area.

Recommendation: No change to the master plan.

Gadigal Precinct: Nature Play in Gadigal Reserve

Connecting to nature, and specifically nature and adventure play, have been identified in the Recreation Needs Study as a key need (Theme 5: Connections to Nature). Gadigal Reserve currently includes a number of interesting structures which invite informal adventure play.

A number of submissions raised concerns regarding formalizing adventure and nature play within an established bush care area due to the impact this could have on existing bush care areas. Based on the feedback received it is suggested that, in lieu of the adventure play on the western side, the proposed nature play area be moved to the eastern side of Gadigal Reserve. This could be complemented by a small picnic area for use by families and groups of bush care volunteers to enjoy the Reserve.

Recommendation: Amend the Gadigal Precinct plan to include a small nature play and picnic area on the eastern side of Gadigal Reserve, in lieu of the western side.

 

MILLS PRECINCT

The master plan for the Mills Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for traffic signals at Old Canterbury Road and the closure of Weston Street to traffic at Old Canterbury Road

·    Support for a new community garden at Lewisham West

·    Support for heritage interpretation at Lewisham West

·    Mixed response to the dog off leash area relocation (refer above)

·    Opposition to Weston Street slow point (refer below)

Note that Council has previously resolved to close Weston Street to traffic at Old Canterbury Road and this decision has been reflected in the master plan.

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Mills Precinct: Old Canterbury Road grade separated crossing

The master plan proposes new traffic signals at the intersection of Old Canterbury Road, Edward Street and Weston Street, with the closure of Weston Street to traffic at Old Canterbury Road. This approach was recently endorsed by Council. The proposed traffic signals will provide a safe and accessible crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists.

Whilst this proposal received broad support, a large number of submissions were in favour of installing a grade separated crossing of Old Canterbury Road, and specifically an underpass.

The master plan proposes an underpass below Old Canterbury Road as a long term option. An underpass would be an expensive option and has been afforded a lower priority relative to other road crossings where there is no accessible and/or safe crossing.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

Mills Precinct: Weston Street slow point

The master plan proposes a raised threshold and single lane slow point at the bend in Weston Street to reduce traffic speeds.  A number of submissions raised concerns relating to the potential for vehicle and cycle conflicts through the single lane slow point.

The intent of the slow point is to encourage caution and slow vehicle speeds along the bike boulevard around the bend where the sight distance is less than along the straight sections. The master plan has removed reference to the ‘single lane’ slow point. The details of the slow point will be considered during further design stages.

Recommendation: Design of slow point to be considered during further design stages.

 

DULWICH HILL PARKS PRECINCT

The master plan for the Mills Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for the underpass below New Canterbury Road

·    Strong support for the level crossing between Hill Street and Terry Road

·    Mixed response to the main path alignment along western side of light rail (refer below)

·    Mixed response for rest stops between Constitution Road and New Canterbury Road (refer below)

·    Opposition to the path from Hoskins Park to Hill Street (refer below)

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Parks Precinct: Main Path alignment

The master plan proposes a shared path from Davis Street to Constitution Road through the Waratah Mills on the western side of the light rail, linking to two proposed tunnels on the western side of the light rail, under Davis Street in the north and Constitution Road in the south.

Whilst the majority of submissions supported a western alignment, a number of submissions raised concerns over impacts on the Waratah Mills apartment complex, impacts on the bush care sites and/or impacts on Johnson Park. A number of submissions queried why an eastern alignment through the recently completed Arlington Grove development wasn’t suitable for the Greenway.

The master plan looked at a range of routes in the Route Options Assessment report. The Options assessment considered a range of factors in coming to a recommendation. This included all the issues raised in the submissions, including resident amenity, security and privacy, impacts on ecology and impacts on local places, as well as route connectivity, and accessibility and amenity of the path users.

The recommendation was based on a robust assessment of possible options and the wide range of community needs which the Greenway corridor seeks to support along its entire length. The western alignment was assessed to have a number of significant advantages over an eastern alignment. It is considered to be the safest and most accessible route, with good connections to local places and less impact on residents than an eastern alignment. It is acknowledged that it will have significant impacts on existing bush care sites. 

An eastern alignment was not preferred due to impacts on Hoskins Park, safety concerns with light rail users and future café patrons and connectivity and road crossings to the north and the south where the path must be on the western side. Windsor Road was not preferred as it has high volumes of traffic, is not wide enough to accommodate a separated cycle path, and cannot safely link into Johnson Park without property acquisition.

Johnson Park is a popular park which already has a wide path through it suitable for use as the GreenWay path. The GreenWay master plan proposes modification to the playground and surrounds as part of wider works in Johnson Park to avoid conflicts between the path and playground users.

Future planning and design by Council staff will seek to minimise the impacts from construction of this section of the Greenway. The master plan proposes offsetting impacted bush care areas locally adjacent to Johnson Park.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

Parks Precinct: Path from Hoskins Park to Hill Street

The master plan proposes a tertiary path from Hill Street to Pigott Street, through a part of the Pigott Street bush care site.  This was based on feedback from the community wanting a safe, off road connection between Hoskins Park and Johnsons Park. This is an important track for connectivity and would link to the grade crossing across the light rail tracks between Hill Street and Terry Road the path provided through the Andrews Meats and Arlington Grove sites to and Hoskins Park.

It’s acknowledged that construction of the path will have significant impacts on the existing Pigott Street bush care site. The master plan proposes offsetting impacted bush care areas locally adjacent to the Andrew Meats site.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

Parks Precinct: Rest stops

Rest stops are proposed at intervals along the Greenway path, typically at 200m intervals to allow users to stop and rest. These have typically been located in existing open spaces and comprise seating and bike racks, and, where easily accessible bubblers, bins and bike servicing equipment.

Between Constitution Road and Hercules Street, for a length of 750m, there are no existing open spaces and thus rest stops are required to be in the light rail corridor adjacent to residential properties.

A number of submissions raised concerns relating to the use of the rest stops and specifically resident amenity, security and privacy.

To provide a path that is suitable for all ages and abilities, where at all possible the path has been designed to be fully accessible and rest stops are required to compliment this accessibility. It is envisaged rest stops will provide brief respite for a few path users at a time. Rest stop locations will be refined during further design and will seek to position and design them to minimise impacts on nearby residents.

Recommendation: No change to master plan. Rest stop location and design to be considered during further design stages.

 

DULWICH GROVE PRECINCT

The master plan for the Dulwich Grove Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for shared path through the light rail corridor between Hercules Street and Jack Shanahan Park

·    Support for revegetation through the light rail corridor between Hercules Street and Jack Shanahan Park

·    Support for the level crossing between Blackwood Avenue and the new open space behind Hercules Street.

·    Opposition to acquisition of property (see below)

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Dulwich Grove Precinct: Acquisition of property

South of Hercules Street the Greenway path must be on the western side due to space constraints on the eastern side. Immediately south of Hercules Street on the western side the light rail corridor is also very narrow for a very short section. To provide a connection from Hercules Street into the light rail corridor, acquisition of a portion or all of 43 Hercules Street may be required.

Further design will determine if a portion or all of 43 Hercules Street is in fact required to provide a link from Hercules Street into the proposed park in the light rail corridor.

Understandably there is concern from the residents of 43 Hercules Street and their community about the impact on their quality of life if the acquisition was to proceed. Council officers have previously met with affected residents.

Council will seek to reach a solution that does not require acquisition but the light rail corridor here is very narrow and so this may be required, noting an eastern alignment or on-road alignment isn’t feasible.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

Dulwich Grove Precinct: Hercules Street grade separated crossing

The master plan proposes upgrading the existing pedestrian crossing across Hercules Street. This would entail upgrade and widening of the existing pedestrian crossing to facilitate cyclists and wider shared paths or separated paths on either side of Hercules Street, resulting in loss of 3 to 6 car spaces.

Whilst this proposal received support, a large number of submissions were in favour of installing a grade separated crossing of Hercules Street, and specifically an underpass.

The master plan proposes an underpass below Hercules Street as a long term option. An underpass would be an expensive option and has been afforded a lower priority relative to other road crossings where there is no accessible and/or safe crossing.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

 

COOKS RIVER

Planning for the golf course will be determined as part of the separate Golf Course Master Planning process, which has just commenced, and planning for Ewen Park and south of Cooks River will be determined by Canterbury Bankstown Council as part of ongoing discussions.

The master plan for the Cooks River Precinct was broadly supported. This included:

·    Strong support for naturalisation of the Cooks River and a riparian zone

·    Strong support to maintain Tennyson Street Playground as is

·    Strong support to upgrade Lang Road foot bridge

·    Strong support for a shared path around Wills Ground and an underpass below Wardell Road bridge

·    Support for safety improvements to Wardell Road bridge, noting widening isn’t feasible

·    Strong support to upgrade Ewen Park including a learn-to-ride area

·    Mixed response on different path routes through/around the golf course (see below)

·    Mixed response on Left turn into Riverside Crescent from Wardell Road (see below)

In addition to the above, the below issues were raised:

Cooks River Precinct: Path routes through and around the golf course

Planning for the area between Ness Ave and the Cooks River is dependent on planning for the Marrickville Golf Course and Ewen Park. A master planning process for the golf course has just commenced and will take place over the coming months. Because of this the draft GreenWay Master Plan proposed potential options through or around the golf course. Feedback from the community will be considered as part of the golf course and Ewen Park planning process.

There were numerous responses received on the potential path routes proposed through or around the golf course. The responses highlighted a diversity of opinions and there was no consensus.

Planning for the Marrickville Golf Course will be determined as part of the separate Golf Course Master Planning process. Planning for Ewen Park and south of Cooks River will be determined by Canterbury Bankstown Council as part of ongoing discussions.

Recommendation: No change to master plan.

Cooks River Precinct: Left turn into Riverside Crescent from Wardell Road

The master plan proposes a left turn ban into Riverside Crescent from Wardell Road for north bound traffic. The intent of the left turn ban is to eliminate traffic rat running through Tennyson Street and Ness Ave and reduce traffic volumes and speeds along the proposed Greenway route.

The proposal received a mixed response, with some residents supporting the ban citing traffic volumes and speeds and some residents opposing the ban citing access being cut off from their properties.

While the ban would result in a minor increase in travel time for some residents of the precinct, who would need to enter via Ewart Street, this is considered to be relatively minor and would only affect some residents when coming from one of four directions.

The impact on the existing traffic signals at the intersection of Wardell Road and Ewart Street will be considered during further design including potential performance improvements.

Recommendation: No change to master plan. Further traffic studies to be completed during further design including impact on Wardell Road /Ewart Street intersection and possible improvements

 


 

CONCLUSION

The results of the public exhibition showed broad support for the draft GreenWay Master Plan. The results of the Your Say Inner West survey showed 92% of responses either supported the draft plan or supported the plan with changes.

 

Based on the feedback from the community, agencies and staff, minor amendments to the master plan have been implemented.

 

The final draft GreenWay Master Plan: Cooks to Cove Greenway is presented for adoption.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Nil.


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 

Item No:         C0818(1) Item 12

Subject:         Parkfit-Fitness Stations in Parks           

Prepared By:     Aaron Callaghan - Parks Planning and Engagement Manager 

Authorised By:  Cathy Edwards-Davis - Group Manager Trees, Parks and Sports Fields

 

SUMMARY

In 2016, the former Leichhardt Council funded the installation of fitness stations at Gladstone Park in Balmain and at Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Park in Annandale. Council notified its intention to proceed with the installation of these fitness stations in early May 2018.

 

This report highlights the locations which are recommended for the fitness stations and the rationale for shortlisting these sites. The report documents the key concerns raised by local residents.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

THAT:

 

1.       Council proceed with the installation of fitness station equipment at Gladstone Park as highlighted in ATTACHMENT 1;

 

2.       Council proceed with the installation of fitness station equipment at Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks in Annandale as highlighted in ATTACHMENT 2; and

 

3.       Should Council not proceed with the installation of the fitness stations in the locations recommended, that Council consider locating the equipment in the alternative locations identified and undertake appropriate community engagement.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

In 2016, the former Leichhardt Council funded the installation of fitness stations at Gladstone Park in Balmain and at Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks in Annandale. This was part of a program of priority works identified for Section 94 funding, which followed on from community requests for fitness stations in parks within the former Leichhardt area.  As part of this work a major upgrade was also recently completed to the fitness station at King George Park in Rozelle. Council notified its intention to proceed with the installation of Fitness Stations at Gladstone Park and at Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks in early May 2018. Since this date, Council has received submissions from residents who live in close proximity to the proposed fitness stations in these parks (refer to ATTACHMENT 4).

 

The development of fitness stations at Gladstone Park and at Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Park are aimed at providing benefits for the wider community while respecting residential amenity needs and the existing park usage as outlined in further detail below.

 

Gladstone Park 

 

The key design and location considerations are summarised as follows:

 

·    Response to the original Council resolution to develop facilities in this park (refer to C634/15)

·    Heritage considerations on the locations and footprint of the proposed fitness station.

·    Presence of natural shade to support the fitness station

·    Current event uses within the park-key considerations include how the park is currently utilised for Council and community events including Jazz in the Park.

·    Current formalised use of the park, including use by Father John Terry School and Balmain Public School.

 

Gladstone Park consists of a total area of 17,900m².  The synthetic grass footprint of the proposed fitness station will occupy an area of 154m² of which the proposed equipment makes up a total of 34m² The area set aside for the proposed fitness station represents an area of less than 1% of the total park area.

 

Council has been working in partnership with the Balmain Hospital’s “Centre for Strong” on this project. This design of the project has been developed to support outdoor fitness needs with a special emphasis on exercise physiology for people recovering from post-surgery or age related illness. However the equipment can and will be used by the general community for health and wellbeing benefits. The equipment has been situated near an accessible path and access ramp which is an important consideration given the need for equal access for key users.  In addition Council is keen to achieve natural shade over the equipment rather than introduce a large shade sail into the park, which would be needed in other areas.

 

Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks

 

The key design and location considerations are summarised as follows:

 

·    Response to the original Council resolution to develop facilities in this park

·    Location of equipment adjacent to a well utilised fitness trail which has links to parkland in the south of Taylor Street and the north in the City of Sydney Local Government area.

·    The equipment has been located in the north of the park and includes planting and landscaping works.

 

Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Park consists of a total area of 16,978 m².  The synthetic grass footprint of the proposed fitness station will occupy an area of 95m² of which the proposed equipment makes up a total of 22m². The area set aside for the proposed fitness station represents an area of less than 1% of the total park area.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Council has a total budget of $240,000 for the fitness station projects. The proposed fitness stations are funded from the former Leichhardt Council Section 94 funding (now Section 7.11 funding)Should Council not proceed with the installation of fitness stations in the parks recommended by Council officers, alternative locations have been identified at Jarvie and Steel Parks in Marrickville.  The Leichhardt s94 funding for these two projects will need to be returned and Marrickville s94 (s7.11) funding utilised for the works.  These budget changes would need to be made at the Quarter 1 review.

 

OTHER STAFF COMMENTS

Council’s draft Recreation and Needs Study: A Healthier Inner West highlights the short supply of open space within the Inner West and recommends that Council consider improving the recreational value of parks by adopting principles that support the key drivers of sharing, co-design and quality. Both fitness station projects are addressing deficiencies in recreation provision within key park areas where sharing, co-design and quality of experience are key needs.

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Council has undertaken community engagement in relation to the proposed fitness stations and their proposed locations in respective park areas. The exhibition period for community responses ran from the 4th June 2018 until the 13th July 2018. Local residents were informed through a postal letter drop and provided with the opportunity to comment on the proposed fitness stations. In addition A3 Notices were also advertised in the respective parks.  The notification letters are attached as ATTACHMENT 3.

 

ATTACHMENT 4 provides a full summary of community submissions on the proposed fitness stations. In the submission document the names and addresses of submitters has been removed for privacy purposes.

 

Gladstone Park

 

In relation to Gladstone Park, a total of 28 submissions were received. A total of 18 submissions (64%) of respondents were opposed to the proposal while 10 submissions were in support of the project proceeding (36% support).

 

In addition to the formal engagement a petition opposing the project was received with 167 signatures. No addresses were provided.

 

Key Issues

 

Attachment 1 highlights the proposed layout and equipment selection for Gladstone Park.

 

Loss of Open Space

 

A number of submissions have cited the loss of open space as being a key concern. The fitness equipment which is being provided is however being placed on artificial grass which will complement existing park use. The fitness station is not being enclosed and the public will have free access. The equipment is also not set aside for any commercial use. Passive recreational use of this area will continue to be a key feature and the position of the fitness station leaves the main open area of the park intact. The recent example of playground improvements in Cohen Park (Refer Fig 1.0) demonstrates that where the new artificial grass is being well utilised for informal recreation.

 

Fig 1.0 –Artificial Grass at Cohen Park Playground

 

 

Community Events in Gladstone Park

 

A number of submissions to this project have cited that the equipment and the area it occupies will impact on existing events which are held in the park, namely Jazz in the Park. The equipment location is outside of the event area held annually for Jazz in the park and the main open space areas of the park are retained intact.

 

 

Heritage Impacts

 

In terms of heritage impacts, the equipment will not detract from the park and its amenity. The equipment is colour neutral and is located well away from the former bandstand. The location chosen is further softened by existing trees which surround the site and further landscaping is also planned. Sydney Water has also been consulted in relation to the location of the equipment and its proximity to the former underground reservoir and the equipment is located well outside the footprint of the underground reservoir.

 

Loss of Open Space for Schools to Recreate and Play.

 

Opponents have also cited that local schools will lose open space to play and recreate. Balmain Public School has formally provided their support to Council for the project to proceed and have indicated that their students will enjoy utilising the equipment. Both Balmain Public School and Father John Therry Catholic School extensively utilise the whole of Gladstone Park for their physical education activities.

 

Submissions in Support

 

Supporters of the project at Gladstone Park have highlighted that there is a clear lack of outdoor facilities of this nature in Balmain and that more of these types of facilities are needed to support outdoor exercise and healthy lifestyle. The location of the equipment in a centrally located and focal park was seen as positive and as a key attractor. Providing a range of different recreational opportunities in parks was also viewed as positive.

 

Alternative Location

 

An alternative location has been identified in the south east of Gladstone park (refer to Fig 1.2). It is noted that this location may necessitate the introduction of a shade sail in the park which is not ideal given the potential impact on turf bowling greens to the north and the introduction of another large structure within the park. Residential opposition to this location may be forthcoming from residents in the south of Booth Street.

 

Fig 1.1 Alternative Location-Gladstone Park

 

Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks

 

ATTACHMENT 2 highlights the proposed layout and equipment selection for Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks.  A total of 18 submissions were received with 8 submissions (44%) in support and 10 submissions (56%) against. In addition to the formal engagement a petition opposing the project was received with 20 signatures.

 

Key Issues

 

Loss of space for Dogs

 

Opponents have cited that this project will adversely impact on the off leash “dog park.”

Smith, Hogan and Spindlers Parks are a community parkland which supports off leash exercise and socialisation for companion animal owners and their pets. Parks need to be shared spaces and are not set aside exclusively to support one group or another. The park occupies a land area of 16,978 m². The area set aside for the proposed fitness station represents an area of less than 1% of the total park area.

 

Noise and Amenity Impacts

 

Residents who live opposite the park have cited that the proposed fitness station will impact detrimentally on their quality of life through increased noise and traffic congestion on the lane way which runs behind the park. The location of the fitness station has been carefully chosen to support existing park users who use the recreational trail for outdoor exercise. The outdoor equipment is not being developed to support commercial fitness boot camps but rather provide a space in which people who already utilize the park can further improve their health benefits.  The fitness station will not be an attraction for large groups of park users and noise generated by the use of the facility will be very low. 

 

Vandalism and Antisocial Behavior

 

A number of objecting submissions have argued that the new fitness station will increase issues of antisocial behavior in the park and increase thefts to adjoining properties. The fitness station will assist in further activating the park by providing improved recreational opportunities and increased passive surveillance there have been no reports of increased crime/anti-social behavior in existing parks where such equipment is located.  The installation of a fitness station at Camperdown Park has anecdotally led to a decrease in antisocial behaviour, particularly in the evenings.

 

Submissions in Support

 

A number of submissions have also been received in support of this project. Supporters have highlighted that the equipment would activate the park and provide for a range of recreational opportunities. The location was also supported given its adjacent proximity to the recreational trail.

 

Heritage Significance

 

The park is not heritage listed. It is noted that the 1897 Johnsons Creek Sewage Aqueduct is heritage listed and runs through the park to the north of the proposed fitness station.

 

Alternative Location

 

An alternative location in Smith Hogan and Spindlers Park to place the fitness station is in the area immediately to the north of the existing children’s playground (Refer to Fig 1.2). This site was originally not shortlisted as it is off the main recreational trail. It is noted that there will potentially be residential opposition to locating the equipment in this area as well as possible opposition from parents and caregivers who utilise the playground. 

 

Fig 1.2 Alternative Location Smith Hogan and Spindlers Parks

 

 

 

Alternative Parks

Should the Council not wish to proceed with the installation of the fitness equipment in Gladstone Park and Smith Hogan and Spindlers Parks, staff have identified that Jarvie and Steel Parks in Marrickville are suitable alternatives.

Jarvie Park has high value as a recreational open space for families and is also supported by the Marrickville Youth Resource Centre (MYRC). This center is committed to providing young people with the skills and opportunities to reach their potential. The park already has a fitness station which could be expanded to include additional equipment with different functionality. Council staff believe that there would be community support for fitness station improvements in this park. Community engagement would be undertaken prior to proceeding.

Steel Park and Mackey Park in Marrickville have adopted master plans which are part of the Cooks River Parklands Plan of Management. These masterplans included  improvements to the existing fitness station and provision of new fitness facilities. These projects could be brought forward and coordinated with current Cooks River Parklands upgrade projects and community engagement.

 

 

CONCLUSION

Parks and open space areas are provided by Council to meet a wide range of community recreational, health and social wellbeing needs. Council’s draft Recreation and Needs Study highlights the short supply of open space within the Inner West and recommends that Council  consider improving the recreational value of parks by adopting principles that support the key drivers of sharing, co-design and quality. Parks provide a range of health benefits for the community. Similarly, to be valued by the community, parks need to be responsive to changing community needs including outdoor recreation. Strategically, it is important that facilities of this nature are distributed equitably across the local government area to ensure the community has ease of access to a range of quality recreational spaces. Improvements to open space areas should be focussed on the community needs as a whole, with the key consideration that “parks are for everyone.”

 

These two minor park projects highlight an increasing challenge for Council in that increasingly there is opposition to park improvements from residents who live in the immediate vicinity of that space.

 

It is recognised that balancing the perceptions of residents who live opposite a park with the changing and diverse needs of the wider community is challenging for Council. The development of the two recommended fitness stations at the parks listed will not result in a significant loss of open space. Nor will the proposals have a detrimental impact on residential amenity or on how the parks are currently used and enjoyed. The two fitness stations will improve the overall recreational value of these focal parks and provide outdoor health benefits for the wider community.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.

Gladstone Park Fitness Station Design and Location

2.

Smith Hogan and Spindlers Park Fitness Station Design and Location

3.

Notification Letters

4.

Community Submissions

  


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Council Meeting

14 August 2018