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Ordinary Council Meeting 24 March 2021

Wrap up of the March 24 Ordinary Council Meeting


8.1 Mayoral Minute: General Manager Performance Agreement
Council formally noted that the Mayor and General Manager James Roncon, have reached agreement, with assistance of Local Government NSW Management Solutions, on the Performance Agreement for the Armidale Regional Council General Manager. Given the reduced numbers of Councillors since 12 December 2020, for the remainder of the Council’s term a Committee of three Councillors will comprise the Performance Review Committee for the first half yearly review. The Performance Review Committee will comprise of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and one Councillor nominated by the General Manager. The matter of future performance reviews will be determined by the incoming Council.


9.5 Cost Shifting
It was resolved that Council will write to the local Member Hon Adam Marshall M.P, to the Minister for Local Government Hon. Shelley Hancock and to the NSW Premier and Treasurer as well as to the Prime Minister and the Productivity Commission to protest the increasing impact of NSW and Federal cost shifting from those levels of government to Local government.


10.3 Code of Meeting Practice
A number of amendments to the Code of Meeting Practice were adopted. It was resolved that Council commence the public forum for both have ‘your say’ and ‘presentations’ at 3pm, prior to the commencement of the Ordinary Council meeting at 4pm. Council also endorsed the proposed changes to the policy which can be found in the meeting attachments. The adopted policy will be provided to the Office of Local Government as required under Schedule 2 Item 9 and to meet the requirements of Compliance Report Two due 9 April, 2021. Clauses 3.3 and 3.4 of the policy have been amended to include workshops and councillor briefings being open to the public.

10.4 Tabling of Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest
Council noted the tabling of updated Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest for Mayor Tiley, Councillor O’Brien and Councillor Galletly. It was also noted that redacted Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest will be uploaded to Council website as per the Public Access Act.

10.5 Councillor and Staff Interaction Policy
Council endorsed a number of changes to the Councillor and Staff Interaction Policy, including various insignificant language, formatting and grammatical changes, the insertion of Councillor Request System, clarification around obligations of staff and added the obligations of councillors.

 The Draft Councillor and Staff Interaction Policy will also be referred to the Office of Local Government for review as required under the Performance Improvement Order. Council will also delegate to the General Manager authority to exercise the restrictions included in the Councillor and Staff Interaction Policy to impose limitations on, prioritise, or delay response to disrespectful or excessive use of the councillor request system and excessive use of Questions on Notice, Notices of Motion and Committee reports.


11.3 Sale of Property Proceeds
The property sales which have been supporting Council’s General Fund cash position, is unsustainable. A new Property Specialist role will shortly commence recruiting. Council will consider the strategy for the proceeds from property sales as part of a broader Reserves Policy to be developed in conjunction with the 2021/22 operational plan and budget.


12.3 Proposal to Update 2015 Armidale Flood Study
It was resolved that Council will update the 2015 Armidale Flood Study and the General Manager will seek grant funding under the 2021-22 Floodplain Management Grant Program.       

12.5 Martins Gully Bridge Replacement - Contractor Engagement
The tender submitted by TOBCO of $618,636.36 ex GST for the Design and Construction of Martins Gully Bridge Replacement was accepted.

12.7 Kempsey Road Reconstruction (Natural Disaster Recovery Works only) - Engagement of a Panel of Contractors
Council accepted the Schedule of Rates and Wet Hire Rates submitted by Contractors for the Kempsey Road Reconstruction Works. This is so Council can undertake recovery works on Kempsey Road.

12.10 Implementation of NSW Government Park and Pay App for paid parking at the airport
Council noted the report to implement the NSW Government Park and Pay App at the Armidale Regional Airport.

12.11 Natural Resource Access Regulator - Notification of Penalty Notice (Groundwater)
Council will review its management of water use to ensure it complies with the Water Management Act 2000 and any Licence it holds.

12.12 Guyra Preschool and Long Day Care: Project Update Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Phase 1: Update on Car Park (158 Bradley St, Guyra) project
A new carpark will be constructed at the rear of the new Guyra Early Childhood Learning Centre and grant funds need to be spent by June 30, 2021. The report to Council identified a budget shortfall, and it was noted that the funding of the budget shortfalls be referred to the draft 2021/22 budget process.

12.13 Kempsey Road (Natural Disaster Recovery Arrangements) - Removal of Hazardous Trees
Hazardous trees adjacent to Kempsey Road are required to be removed for public safety and road remediation. To eliminate risk to road users a procurement exemption was sought under the Tender provision of the Local Government Act (section 55)(3)(i). The General Manager will authorise expenditure to Burgundy Heights to an upper limit of $1,650,000 including GST for the Removal of Hazardous Trees on Kempsey Road, noting that a contract for $878,064 (GST Inclusive) has already been awarded.


13.7 ‘Restore and Thrive’ – Realigning Council’s organisation structure with a view to high performance outcomes
Council adopted an Executive Leadership Team structure comprising of three Directors. The new structure will be part of a suite of enhancements the new General Manager is rolling out to realign the ARC and create a high performing culture that ultimately meets the expectations of the community it serves. The Dattner Group has been engaged to undertake a ‘Culture Audit’ of Armidale Regional Council which will form the basis of a benchmark for measuring improvements and the journey towards a high performing organisation.


16.1 Arts, Cultural and Heritage Advisory Committee
The committee supported the release of the Creative Arts Small Grants on April 1. It was also resolved that an EOI be developed for a Guyra community group or individual to collaborate with a local artist to create a mural for a toilet block on Bradley Street. Council will explore options to engage the previously chosen artist to create an artwork for another space in the LGA.


Hay donation
Armidale Regional Council will donate 40 bales of hay to neighbouring regions affected by devastating floods, to help the farming communities suffering the loss and damage of silage and winter stocks.

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