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Council Chamber

Council meeting summary - May 4, 2020

News Article Date: 
Friday, 8 May 2020

For more information and appendices for each item, view the Council Meeting Agenda.

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the May 4 Meeting are accepted by Council.

1. Opening Prayer & Original Custodians Statement

2. Apologies

None.

3. Confirmation of Minutes

Council confirmed the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on March 2 2020 and the Minutes of the Special Meetings of Council held on March 16 2020 and April 8 2020.

4. Declaration by Councillors and Officers of any Conflict of Interest in any Item on the Agenda

None

5.1 Consideration of Councillor Appointment to Various Advisory Committees

Following the resignation of Peter Hulin from Council in February 2020, four vacancies have arisen on the following Advisory Committees which require a Councillor to be appointed to fill each of the vacancies:

1. Chief Executive’s Employment Matters Committee

2. Visitor Economy Advisory Committee

3. Municipal Fire Prevention Committee

4. Bicycle Users Reference Group.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Crs. Peter Sycopoulis and David Owen be appointed as the Councillor representatives on the following Advisory Committees of Council to fill the vacancy following the resignation of Peter Hulin from Council in February 2020:

Cr. Peter Sycopoulis

- Chief Executive’s Employment Matters Committee

- Municipal Fire Prevention Committee

- Bicycle Users Reference Group

Cr. David Owen

- Visitor Economy Advisory Committee

5.2 March Financial Support

This Finance Report compares actual financial results to budget for the 9 months from 1 July 2019 to 31 March 2020.

This report is reviewing the past financial performance of Council and due to the impact of COVID19, Council is reviewing its strategic and financial position going forward.

The report sets out financial results for Councils recurrent (day to day operations) Projects, Capital Works, Rates and Loan activities.

Year to date budgets are profiled to reflect the timing of cash inflows and outflows.

Overall, the 9-month actual results indicate a favourable financial position of $677,000 when compared to the YTD Budget.

The Enterprise Agreement has recently been approved through FairWork, Council has now implemented the new pay rates and is working to calculate and pay the backpay to July 1. The impact of the backpay is approximately $450k.

Council is reviewing the forecast and budget due to the business interruptions caused by COVID19. The impact of these restrictions is beginning to show in the March financial results where previous gains in Parking, Flagstaff Hill and Lighthouse Theatre have been negated.

Aquazone has seen a further deterioration of its position with the Centre now closed.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the March Financial Report be received.

5.3 Activities and Initiatives 2019-2020: January-March

This report offers a stark contrast in the realities of the speed and impact of the current international health and economic crisis we face. The retrospective nature of this report means that many of the actions and initiatives outlined in the report have experienced significant and often catastrophic change from the time of reporting. Whilst the report reflects accurately the circumstances of the period of review it does not adequately reflect the change that has occurred in the intervening period.

Officers will be seeking to implement an interim report to be tabled in June which reflects the changing impacts to many of the actions and initiatives detailed in the report.

The A&I’s underpin activities Council undertakes to work toward the vision of Warrnambool: A Cosmopolitan City by the Sea.

The 5 key objectives that underpin this Vision are:

1. Sustain, enhance and protect the natural environment.

2. Foster a healthy, welcoming city that is socially and culturally rich.

3. Maintain and improve the physical places and visual appeal of the city.

4. Develop a smarter economy with diverse and sustainable employment.

5. Practice good governance through openness and accountability while balancing aspirations with sound financial management.

The work undertaken daily by Council towards the fulfilment of these objectives remains paramount

in Councils efforts to support the community now and in a future free of pandemic.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the Activities and Initiatives 2019-2020: January-March be received.

5.4 Council Plan 2017-2021 (2020 revision)

Section 125 of the Local Government Act (1989) requires a Council to prepare and approve a Council Plan by the June 30 following a general election. The plan is reviewed annually.

The 1989 Act is in the process of being repealed and replaced with the Local Government Act (2020). The section in the new Act that address requirements for the Council Plan do not come into effect until October 2020.

All councils in the State have been granted until 31 August 2020 to adopt their revised Council Plans in recognition of the state of emergency that currently exists.

The Council Plan is the feature document in Council’s suite of strategic planning documents, formulated to guide the work of Council over the next four years.

Over recent months Council has reviewed the Council Plan 2017-2021.

The Council Plan retains Council’s vision for Warrnambool to be a Cosmopolitan City by the Sea, which references our beautiful and unique location and proclaims that the city is striving to be more welcoming, open and inclusive.

Council will also continue with the theme for the Council Plan – Growing Pride and Confidence in the City, which emphasises the need to celebrate and promote our city, its attributes and its appeal to those in the region and beyond.

This view of a City emerging from the current crisis is an important factor to keep in mind when dealing with the current challenges.

The key objectives are unchanged and remain:

1. Sustain, enhance and protect the natural environment.

2. Foster a healthy, welcoming city that is socially and culturally rich.

3. Maintain and improve the physical places and visual appeal of the city.

4. Develop a smarter economy with diverse and sustainable employment.

5. Practice good governance through openness and accountability while balancing aspirations with sound financial management.

The draft revision of the Council Plan lists key activities and initiatives Council will undertake over 2020-2021 to deliver on the five objectives described in the Plan.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council

1. That Council, pursuant to Section 125 of the Local Government Act 1989 gives public notice of the Draft Council Plan 2017-2021 (revised 2020) for the Warrnambool City Council as set out in Attachment 1 of this report, inviting interested persons to make a written submission relating to such plan, with written submissions to be received at the Warrnambool Civic Centre not later than 5pm, Wednesday June 3, 2020, and with any person who requests to be heard in support of his or her written submission to be read out at a Special Meeting of Council (if required) to be held at 5.45pm Monday, June 15, 2020.

2. That Council consider any:

a) Submissions on the proposed Council Plan and;

b) Recommendations to adopt the 2017-2021 Council Plan (revised 2020), at an Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held at 5.45pm, Monday 6 July 2020 by virtual live streamed meeting.

5.5 Warrnambool City Council – Proposed Budget 2020 - 2021

Warrnambool City Council along with the rest of the world is preparing for a future of unprecedented uncertainty and financial hardship, this is reflected in the preparation of our 2020-2021 Budget.

The Budget is informed by the vision and objectives of the Council Plan as Councils continue to look to a future where we are free from pandemic.

Warrnambool: A Cosmopolitan City by the Sea.

Council seeks to

1. Sustain, enhance and protect the natural environment

2. Foster a healthy, welcoming city that is socially and culturally rich

3. Maintain and improve the physical places and visual appeal of the city

4. Develop a smarter economy with diverse and sustainable employment

5. Practice good governance through openness and accountability while balancing aspirations with sound financial management

Resources are allocated to try to best achieve these outcomes for our community

The proposed budget for 2020-2021 financial year has been prepared in accordance with Section 127 of the Local Government Act 1989 (LGA) – refer Attachment 1.

The 1989 Act is in the process of being repealed and replaced with the Local Government Act (2020). The section in the new Act that address requirements for the Council Plan do not come into effect until October 2020.

All councils in the State have been granted until 31 August 2020 to adopt their revised Council plans in recognition of the state of emergency that currently exists.

The Budget has been prepared in accordance with the budget principles set down by Council and follows a number of workshops by the Council and executive starting in November 2019.

As required by the LGA and the Local Government (Planning & Reporting) Regulations 2014, and following the best practice guidelines of a model budget the Draft Budget includes prescribed information, including:

- Financial Statements

- Statement of Capital Works

- Services and Initiatives funded in the budget

- Fees and charges

- Rating and borrowing details

Public notice of the prepared budget must then be given, copies of the budget be made available for at least 28 days and persons given the opportunity to make submissions in accordance with Section 223 of the Local Government Act.

Council proposes to adopt the Budget, with or without modification, on Monday 6 July 2020.

The budget is set to trying to respond in a balanced way to the impacts of the current pandemic.

It responds to the financial constraints facing Council and the community to achieve many of the aspirations set out in Warrnambool 2040 Plan and the Council Plan. Council’s budget and Strategic Resource Plan are the mechanisms which Council allocates funds to achieve the priorities of the community and meet its financial obligations in a sustainable manner.

Over 2020-2021, the Council will develop and utilise its existing resources and a community and business stimulus\recovery fund to develop and deliver initiatives to see our community regrow out the other side of this Pandemic.

The allocation in 2020-2021 for community and business support in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic is $1.951 million.

This figure is inclusive of an unallocated $450,000 of community and business support funds and the focussing of existing resources to community and business stimulus and recovery efforts.

The community and business support component of the budget for 2020/21 includes the provision of the following resources of Council to be focused on our recovery and stimulus efforts for the community:

- Community and Business Support and Stimulus Fund - $450,000

- Small Infrastructure Fund 2020/21 - $891,000

- Economic development unit - $545,000

- Community development grants - $65,000

- Council see will review these efforts through the year and set a revised budget if required to best meet the needs of our local community and business as the best way to respond becomes evident Council will roll out its recovery efforts in stages to determine where the areas of greatest need exist, filling gaps and leveraging on the efforts of all levels of Government to maximise our recovery efforts for the community.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That the Warrnambool City Council Proposed Budget 2020-2021 attached to this report, be the Budget prepared by Council (in respect of the 2020-2021 Financial Year) for the purpose of Section 127(1) of the Local Government Act 1989 as amended (“the Act”).

2. That Council:

a) Give public notice of the preparation of the Budget in accordance with Section 129 of the Act; and

b) Make the Budget and the information required to be made available by Regulation 8 of the Local Government (Planning and Reporting) Regulations 2014 available for inspection at the Council Civic Offices and on Council’s website for at least 28 days, and

c) Invite interested persons to make a written submission relating to the budget, with written submissions to be received at the Warrnambool Civic Centre not later than 5pm Wednesday 3 June 2020, and

d) Hear any person who wishes to be heard in support of a submission at the special meeting of Council by virtual live stream on Monday 15 June 2020; and after considering any submissions adopt the Council Plan and the 2020-2021 Budget inclusive of the updated Strategic Resource Plan (with or without amendments) and declare rates and charges at the Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held at 5.45pm, Monday 6 July 2020 by virtual live streamed meeting.

5.6 Domestic Wastewater Management Plan

In accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970, each Council in Victoria is required to produce a DWMP every 5-years, detailing how they will manage and mitigate impacts of un-sewered developments and domestic wastewater systems. The plan is attached – refer Attachment 1.

Warrnambool City Council (WCC) has responsibilities for the orderly planning and development within the Warrnambool Local Government Area (LGA), and for the protection and promotion of public health and the environment.

The plan provides detailed information on areas in Warrnambool which are un-sewered and provides an action plan on how to mitigate the risks posed by onsite wastewater systems.

If Council is to complete the actions within the Action Plan, Council will need to review the required resources and requisite education programs to improve community awareness of landowner obligations in relation to domestic wastewater system The purpose of the Warrnambool DWMP is to, identify current responsibilities, practices, procedures and obligations for domestic wastewater management, identify the public health and environmental risks associated with onsite domestic wastewater.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Agrees to advertise the draft Domestic Wastewater Management Plan (2020-2025) for public comment for a period of not less than 28 days.

2. Receives a future report to adopt the draft Domestic Wastewater Management Plan (2020-2025) which summarises any submissions and amendments made to the document, following the consultation period.

5.7 Asset Management Strategy 2020

The existing Asset Management Strategy was adopted by Council on 1 December 2014 and is due for review.

This strategy has been reviewed and revised in accordance with current best practice principles and provides the framework and guiding principles for the processes involved in managing Council assets and clearly sets out the actions required to improve the maturity of asset management within Council.

This strategy establishes guiding principles and provides a sound basis for decisions for the management of Council assets.

The strategy is an important document which supports the Asset Management Policy.

This strategy provides the framework for better practice in the planning, provision, management and eventual disposal or adaptation of assets for a new use.

Appendix A of the strategy outlines who is responsible for each asset management task over varying asset classes.

Both the Strategy and Roles & Responsibilities matrix have had input from the Asset Management Steering Committee.

The draft strategy is now ready to be advertised before final adoption.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0)

That Council:

1. Agrees to advertise the draft Asset Management Strategy 2020 for public comment for a period of not less than 28 days.

2. Receives a future report to adopt the draft strategy which summarises any submissions and amendment made to the document, following the consultation period.

5.8 Capital Projects Report – Quarter Three 2019/2020

Each year Council undertakes a number of capital projects which help it achieve its objectives as contained in the annual budget and Council Plan.

This report provides a summary of the progress made on Capital Projects to the end of the third quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year (31 March 2020).

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved disruptive to the delivery of some projects but has also provide some opportunities for the pre planning of projects.

Forced shutdowns of some facilities has created an opportunity for works that would normally necessitate the closure of a service to be brought forward.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council receive the 2019-2020 - Quarter 3 Capital Projects Report.

5.9 Stanley Street – Edwards Bridge Renewal

Edwards Bridge is an old timber bridge originally built in about 1895. Photographs of the bridge are provided as attachment 1 and 2.

Council recently engaged a bridge consultant to assess the condition of the bridge, provide advice on the applicability of the current 20 tonne load limit, and provide an options report for renewal works for the bridge.

The advice received is that the bridge has reached the end of its serviceable life, the load limit should be reduced to 15 tonne, and some strengthening steel beams need to be installed as soon as practicable.

Requests for quotations are currently being sought to install the strengthening beams at an estimated cost of $80,000.

Five (5) renewal options are being investigated, with preliminary cost estimates ranging from $1.06M - $2.69M, and following the full design process could be as high as $3.0M.

Applications close 29 May and Council needs to approve an application which if successful requires a 50% funding contribution from Council, est. up to $1.5M.

It is proposed that this co-contribution would be funded through the roads and bridge renewal program over two financial years, while also exploring other state funding opportunities to offset Council’s contribution.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Acknowledge the options produced for renewal of the Edwards Bridge will be assessed by Council’s Infrastructure Engineers and that further work may be required before a preferred option is selected, and a final design can be produced.

2. Direct that an application for the Bridges Renewal Program Round 5 be prepared and submitted with planning, geotechnical investigations and design programmed for 2020/21, and construction planned for 2021/22; including a commitment of 50% funding by Council of up to $1.5M.

3. Direct that investigations be undertaken to determine if there are any other external funding sources to assist with the local contribution under the Australian Government’s Bridge Renewal Program; and

4. Acknowledge that all necessary permit applications are being prepared and discussions will commence with relevant authorities and the community.

5.10 Cleaning Contract Extension

On the 18 May 2016 Council awarded 2016031 Provision of Cleaning of Main Council Buildings, a three (3) year contract for the provision contract cleaning of Main Council buildings with an option for a further two by one (1) year extensions at an annual estimated cost of $277,605.44.

The current contract provides for cleaning services Civic Centre, Regional Library, Art Gallery, Archie Graham Centre, Aquazone, the Arc Stadium, Flagstaff Hill, Children’s Services Centre, Florence Collins Children’s Services Complex, Lighthouse Theatre, Harbour Pavilion and Civic Centre West Wing.

The contract value is now expected to exceed delegated levels and the extension must therefore be considered by Council.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council

1. Agree to exercise the option to extend Contract 2016031 – Provision of Contract Cleaning of Main Council Buildings by one (1) year, with the extension of Contract through to 1 August 2021.

2. Acknowledge that the contract pricing is subject to the originally tendered Schedule of Rates Contract Provisions subject to the annual Consumer Price Index contract adjustments.

3. Authorise the Director City Infrastructure to negotiate and finalise contractual requirements.

4. Authorise the Chief Executive Officer to extend Contract 2016031 – Provision of Contract Cleaning of Main Council Building until 1 August 2021, in line with the conditions of Contract.

5.11 Principal Pedestrian Network - Status Report and Consultation Plan

The PPN will assist Council to prioritise renewal, upgrades and new expenditure on footpaths throughout Council.

The PPN models pedestrian movements and identifies current and potential usage along routes to key destinations (community centres, shops, schools, public transport, and open space).

Council has completed a draft report that outlines the findings of the modelling and the proposed PPN routes - Refer Attachment 1.

Gaps in network for footpaths, pedestrian improvement projects/ safe crossings and other streetscapes are identified and listed in the report.

The next stage in establishing the PPN is to engage with the community, this engagement aims to increase awareness of the principle network and the need to prioritise expenditure, refine the model to ensure community values are reflected and to consult on the draft levels of service.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council:

1. Agrees to advertise the draft Principal Pedestrian Network for public comment for a period of not less than 28 days.

2. Receives a future report to adopt the Principal Pedestrian Network which summarises any submissions and amendments made to the document, following the consultation period.

5.12 Advisory Committee Reports

This report contains the record of one Advisory Committee meeting:

Economic Development Advisory Committee – 10 March 2020

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the record of the Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting held on 10 March 2020, be received.

5.13 Assembly of Councillors Reports

Section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act 1989 requires the record of an Assembly of Councillors be reported to the next practicable Ordinary Meeting of Council.

The records of the following Assembly of Councillors is enclosed:

The record of the following Assembly of Councillors is enclosed:-

- Monday 21 February 2020 – refer Attachment 1

- Tuesday 10 March 2020 – refer Attachment 2

- Monday 16 March 2020 – refer Attachment 3

- Monday 23 March 2020 – refer Attachment 4

- Monday 30 March 2020 – refer Attachment 5

- Monday 6 April 2020 – refer Attachment 6

- Monday 20 April 2020 – refer Attachment7

- Monday 27 April 2020 – refer Attachment 8

Council received the report (7-0).

5.17 Mayoral & Chief Executive Council Activities – Summary Report

Council received the report (7-0).

 

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