Ordinary Council meeting summary - August 2022

Published on 18 August 2022

An ordinary meeting of council took place at the Port Macquarie Hastings Council Chambers on Thursday 18 August at 10am.

To catch up on the key decisions from the meeting, read the summary of resolutions below.

Decisions of interest

Mayoral minute - accounting treatment of RFS assets

Mayor Peta Pinson put forward a mayoral minute which called on councillors to support the local government campaign on the financial treatment of Rural Fire Service mobile assets, known as the "Red Fleet".

The Auditor-General's 2021 Report on Local Government this year re-emphasises the State Government's determination that RFS assets are the property of councils and must be recorded in council's financial statements with council's required to absorb all depreciation costs.

Councillors resolved, unanimously, to ask the CEO to write to our local state MPs, the NSW Treasurer, Minister for Emergency Services and Resillience, Minister for Local Government, and Auditor-General expressing their objection to the government's determination of ownership of RFS assets and the impact on council finances.

Councillors also resolved that the CEO write to the shadow ministers, spokespeople for the Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Animal Justice Party, One Nation and all independent members advising them of council's concern, position and seek their support.

Notice of Motion - Southern Breakwall, Port Macquarie

Deputy Mayor Adam Roberts put forward a notice of motion about the proposed works by the state government on Port Macquarie's Southern Breakwall.

Councillors resolved, 8/1, to request the CEO write to the NSW Government through state member Leslie Williams, to request information for the public including:

  • engineering reports, surveys or advice about the need to replace or repair the rocks, sections of the breakwall, including the head of the breakwall and sandbar
  • evidence that the Norfolk Pines must be removed to complete the work
  • timeline for the work to be completed
  • copies of submissions from the recent community consultation process
  • evidence that community feedback has been taken into account in determining the final design for the work
  • reports or information about the impact on local business, economy or health impacts that the community need to be made aware of

Wastewater treatment plant capacities

Councillors resolved to note capacity issues of PMH Sewerage Schemes and that a Process Capacity Review and Optimisation study for the Port Macquarie Wastewater Treatment Plant has been commissioned.

PMHC will continue to:

  • implement its planning program including strategies to complement and inform the Blueprint
  • progress strategic land use planning actions identified in the Urban Growth Management Strategy (UGMS)
  • progress 33 Housing Actions, Economic Development Actions and Making it Happen Action including the UGMS
  • progress planning proposals as per the bi-annual report presented to the June council meeting
  • not proceed past stage 6 of the planning proposal process for any existing or new planning proposals that will increase the loading to the Port Macquarie, Kew/Kendall and Wauchope Wastewater Treatment Plants until design work and approvals are complete for their upgrades

Councillors resolved to request the CEO investigate resources to support PMHC's strategic planning team to implement this program and report to the council in November about our approach to Planning Proposal Assessment in light of the mentioned issues.

Le Clos Sandcrox Planning Proposal

Councillors amended the recommendation and debated the motion. 

Councillors resolved 5/3 to:

  • note the alteration of the gateway determination with a revised timeframe to complete the Local Environmental Plan by 13 November 2022
  • note that infrastructure demand, cost and funding mechanisms associated with the planning proposal have not been fully determined
  • note that the proposal does not adequately demonstrate consistency with PMHC's Community Strategic Plan, Local Strategic Planning Statement, North Coast Regional Plan and ministerial direction under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. For full details of the sections, please refer to the full meeting minutes
  • request the Minister for Planning and Homes determine that the matter not proceed
  • note the detailed investigations to date and merits of the proposal, however also note the importance of resolving infrastructure issues before land is rezoned to a higher use
  • continue to resource and progress infrastructure planning associated with Fernbank Creek, Sancrox, and Thrumster localities which may support future urban development within the Le Clos site, and potential amendment to the Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Environment Plan 2011.

Notice of Motion - Regulatory and governance developments on climate change risk

Councillor Sheppard's notice of motion about significant regulatory and governance developments regarding climate change risk was lost 4/5. See full meeting minutes for details of the notice of motion.

Notice of Motion - Climate Response Fund

Councillor Lauren Edwards' motion to support the Australian Local Government Association's National Funding Priorities and call on the Federal Government to deliver a climate fund to support local governments responding to climate change was lost 4/5. Please see meeting minutes for full details on the motion.

Notice of Motion - Private Native Forestry

Councillor Lauren Edwards' motion to note the State of the Environment Report, and Regional State of the Environment Report summary for the North Coast Region was lost 4/5. Please see meeting minutes for full details on the motion.

Construction of Ocean Drive Duplication

Councillors unanimously resolved to note the forecasted cost of the project, accept the tender from Ditchfield Contracting for $80.1 million (ex GST) for the T-21-50 construction of the duplication's main works package.

ArtWalk future direction

Councillors resolved to endorse ArtWalk continue as a signature local event for a  further three years with the support of a cross-council delivery model and representative internal working group. They resolved to request the CEO confirm funding for the recruitment of a Cultural Events Officer to lead the planning of the event and seek additional funding to support delivering the event.

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