Extraordinary Council Meeting
23 February 2021
Minutes of Extraordinary Council Meeting held remotely and livestreamed on Council’s website on 23 February 2021
Meeting commenced at 6.32pm
Marghanita Da Cruz Mark Drury
Lucille McKenna OAM
Acting General Manager
Chief Operating Officer, Director Development and Recreation
Acting Governance Manager
DISCLOSURES OF INTERESTS: Nil
Councillor Kiat entered the meeting at 6:37pm
Procedural Motion: (Passas)
THAT the Mayor voluntarily stand down from Council and this Extraordinary Council meeting until such issues regarding his potential suspension are addressed and the deputy Mayor resume the chair.
The Mayor ruled this motion Out of Order as it breaches the Code of Conduct and is a more serious breach then the charges brought against the Mayor by the Office of Local Government.
The Mayor issued a warning at 6:40pm to Clr Passas for her repeated interjections.
The Mayor issued a second warning at 6:42pm to Clr Passas for her repeated interjections.
Councillor Passas left the Meeting at 6:42 pm.
Councillor Passas returned to the Meeting at 6:46 pm.
Councillor Iskandar entered the Meeting at 6:46 pm.
The Mayor, Councillor Byrne left the meeting and vacated the chair at 7:27pm and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Macri assumed the chair.
The Mayor, Councillor Byrne returned to the Meeting at 7:44pm. The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Macri vacated the chair and the Mayor, Councillor Byrne assumed the chair.
1. Notes that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) statutory process for processing an application for a minimum rate requires 28 days public exhibition and 3 weeks community consultation and that the March 1 date for submission of applications is not a statutory requirement;
the Premier, Treasurer, the Minister for Local Government
and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal
(IPART) informing them that Council is not able to implement their
directive to implement their new rates system at this time as:
a) The Local Government Amendment
(Rating) Bill 2021 has yet to be tabled by the NSW Government or passed
by the Parliament and due diligence requires Council be informed of the
legislation prior to harmonising rates;
b) The Premier and relevant Ministers
have failed to respond to representations from Council
regarding the fact that Council was improperly prevented from applying
for the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund - Tied Grants
c) Council requires a response and a hearing about what avenues are available for us to access funding for community infrastructure, noting that the $24 million we would have received had the $252 million fund been distributed fairly to amalgamated Councils on a per capita basis, constitutes an enormous budgetary impact.
the correspondence to IPART a request for an extension to allow Council to
submit the application after the Government’s Bill is tabled in the
Parliament, the Council’s community engagement report on rates
harmonisation as well as our indicative preference for the minimum rates
tabled in point 3 of the Council officers’ recommendation, should the
rates harmonisation proceed. Further, that Council request from IPART and the
Local Government Minister a specific timeline for when the legislative
changes to the rating system will be tabled in the Parliament;
the NSW Government is yet to adopt key recommendations of a 2016 IPART Local
Government Rating System report which put forward a detailed review
of the local government rating system and how to make the system fairer
and more efficient;
in writing to everyone who made a submission to Council about to proposed
changes to the rating structure, advising them of this resolution;
future communications to residents about rates harmonisation
include reference to Council’s opposition to the NSW
Government’s council rate harmonisation process and our campaign
to get access to the Stronger Communities fund for community infrastructure;
7. Receive an update at the March 9 Ordinary meeting on the response from the NSW Government to Council’s correspondence and the status of the Local Government Amendment (Rating) Bill 2021.
For Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, McKenna OAM and York
Against Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Macri, Passas, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis and Steer
Foreshadowed Motion (Porteous/Hesse)
1. Notes the significant community opposition to the proposal for rates “harmonisation";
2. Notes that Community Consultation overwhelmingly rejects the minimum rates tabled in point 3 of the Council officer’s recommendation (Minimum rates $850 residential/$820 business);
3. Recognises that the inherent unfairness of this “rates harmonization” process which results in the benefit of lower rates to some residents being at the cost of higher rates to others;
4. Notes that the only fair way to proceed is to remove winners and losers in this rates recalculation process and retain the existing rate structures of the three councils : Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils;
5. Therefore immediately writes to the NSW Minister for Local Government seeking permanent retention of the pre-amalgamation rating structures for the three councils;
6. Recognises that the “rates harmonisation” is the direct result of the forced amalgamation of the three councils: Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt;
7. Therefore immediately writes to the NSW Minister for Local Government to request that a referendum be authorised at the forthcoming local government elections set for September 2021 to answer the question “do you wish Inner West Council to revert to its previous local government areas of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville
8. Writes to the Premier, Treasurer, Minister for Local Government and the Independence Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) informing them that Council is not able to implement their directive to implement the new rating system due to its inherent unfairness to the citizens and businesses of the Inner West.
For Motion: Crs Da Cruz, Hesse, Porteous and Steer
Against Motion: Crs Byrne, Drury, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Raciti, Stamolis and York
Foreshadowed Motion (Stamolis)
THAT Council immediately commence demerger discussions with State Government. These discussions will cover the lack of financial benefits and outcomes for our community, reduced service standards from the merger, much worse representation of residents and ongoing financial stress.
This Foreshadowed Motion lapsed for want of Seconder.
Councillor Iskandar retired from the Meeting at 8:25 pm.
Foreshadowed Motion (Macri/Raciti)
THAT Council request a deferral from IPART until mid-March 2021.
For Motion: Crs Drury, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Passas, Raciti and York
Against Motion: Crs Byrne, Da Cruz, Hesse, Kiat, Porteous, Stamolis and Steer
Meeting closed at 8.27 pm.
The Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of Council held on the 23rd day of February,2021 were confirmed as a correct record on this 9th day of March, 2021.