NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

Ordinary Council Meeting - 16 January 2013

 

LATE AGENDA                                                                                        Page

 

1        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

 

   

L        General Manager Report

L.2     Gumma (Boulton's Crossing) Reserve - Stakeholder Meeting...................... 2

L        Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

L.1     Tender For Electricity Supply...................................................................... 4    


      


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                      16 January 2013

General Manager's Report

ITEM L.2     PRF54             160113        Gumma (Boulton's Crossing) Reserve - Stakeholder Meeting

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:   Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

At Council’s meeting on 29 November 2012 it was resolved that Council not proceed with any management plan until there has been a meeting with National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Lands.  The meeting occurred on 9 January 2012.  There was general agreement amongst the stakeholders that camping should continue to be allowed on the Reserve. 

 

It was suggested that a list of options be prepared and distributed to the stakeholders for consideration at a future meeting.  The list of options would include opportunities and constraints to enable their evaluation.  It was also noted that the options should consider short term issues.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council note the options to be distributed to stakeholders and to be discussed at a further meeting of the group.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

Council can add or modify the listed management options for the Gumma (Boulton’s Crossing) Reserve.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

At Council’s meeting on 29 November 2012 it was resolved as follows:

 

1        That Council does not proceed with any management plan until there has been a meeting with National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Lands.

 

2        That port-a-loos be installed for the period of the festive season.

 

3        That a report come to Council regarding any obstacles which may be expected in relation to the Section 68 Approval and Section 82 Variation.

 

4        That a report come to Council regarding how the land which was gazetted on 5 May 1938 as a reserve for public recreation came to be transferred.

 

And also

 

That the fees remain at $12 per night per site until after the festive season (and after a meeting with various interested parties on 6 January 2013) and further, that a sign be erected outlining the fees and rules of the camping facility.

 

The sign referred to in the second resolution was ordered in December but the company had back orders and was not able to deliver before Christmas and then shut down over the New Year period.  Delivery is expected in January 2013.

 

The meeting referred to in resolution 1 occurred on 9 January 2012.  In attendance were:

 

Bob Birse (Crown Lands - Taree)

Cam Cocchini (Crown Lands – Taree)

Glenn Storrie (National Parks & Wildlife Service – Coffs Harbour)

Raylene Ballangarry – Chair of Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management

Robin Bryant – Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management

Michelle Donovan – Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management

Michael Donovan- Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management

Ken Robinson – Gumma resident

Mayor – Cr Rhonda Hoban

Cr Anne Smyth

Cr Paula Flack

Michael Coulter – General Manager

 

The meeting was useful in identifying the different stakeholder perspectives and some options.

 

These are summarised as follows:

 

National Parks and Wildlife Service

 

Mr Storrie explained that the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park is Aboriginal owned land which is leased back to the State Government as part of its National Park system.  He noted the Boulton’s Crossing Reserve was impacting on the National Park through visitors collecting firewood and allowing their dogs to enter the Park.  He indicated the Reserve was an important entry point to the National Park and that NPWS were keen to explore options for the future management of the land.

 

The view of the NPWS is that they would like to achieve a more “presentable” and “better managed” entry to the National Park.  The NPWS also see good potential for the Reserve to provide a base for cultural and environmental based tourism excursions into the National Park.  In summary Mr Storrie indicated his preference that the Reserve remain a camping ground.  He noted that the Board of Management has secure funding and the Reserve would provide the opportunity for Aboriginal employment based around its maintenance as well as cultural/environmental based tourism.

 

He listed a number of options being:

 

·             Transfer of the land to the National Parks and Wildlife Service with the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management being appointed to manage the reserve.

 

·             A co-management arrangement between Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management.

 

It was noted that the Coffs Coast Regional Park at Coffs Harbour was an example of a co-management arrangement and that Council has a representative (Cr Ainsworth and in his absence Cr Ballangarry) on the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management.

 

Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management

 

The Chair, Raylene Ballangarry indicated that the Board would prefer to have sole control rather than a co-management arrangement.  If co-management was to be considered as an option then the respective responsibilities of the parties would need to be clearly defined.  The Chair agreed there was the potential to increase tourism and income from a well managed reserve that utilised the opportunities provided by the National Park.

 

The Chair indicated that whoever ended up with responsibility would need security of tenure as without this no one would be willing to make the required investment in the Reserve.

 

Nambucca Shire Council

 

The Mayor summarised Council’s previous deliberations.

 


Gumma Resident – Ken Robinson

 

Mr Robinson outlined the history of the Reserve and its operating arrangements.  Although he believed the $12 per night camping fee should be increased to $20 or $25 per night, he said the community was concerned that it remain an affordable camping ground and expressed concern about the cost of National Park camp sites.  In summary he indicated that the locals’ preference was that the Reserve not be operated by the NPWS.

 

There was then a discussion about the independence of the Gaagal Wanggaann (South Beach) Board of Management to manage land and set their own fees.  The Chair indicated that the Board had the authority to manage and the NPWS confirmed that the Board had the authority to set fees.

 

Crown Lands

 

The Crown Lands representatives indicated that the Gumma (Boulton’s Crossing) Reserve may be part of a compensatory package for a Native Title claim.  It apparently is not the preferred compensatory land but Crown Lands indicated there may be an issue in changing management arrangements pending the finalisation of the claim.  There is no indication as to when the claim would be resolved, although it has been long running (since the mid 1990’s) and there is increasing pressure in the Court for the matter to be resolved.

 

It was advised that the unresolved Native Title Claim was the primary reason Council was unsuccessful in its 2012 application under the Public Reserves Management Fund for $156,000 for the installation of a new waste treatment system and amenities.  The General Manager advised that this reason was not indicated in the response.

 

A Crown Lands representative suggested two potential options being:

 

·             Council could lease the Reserve to the National Parks and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management.

 

·             Council could seek the transfer its trust management to the Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) Board of Management.

 

They advised they did not have the resources to manage the Reserve themselves and that Crown Lands were not interested in taking back care, control and management.  They indicated this could not be an option.  Further under the Local Government Act responsibility devolved to Council whether or not they (Council) were officially appointed as the trustee.

 

They indicated that if the Reserve remained as part of the Crown Lands system it would continue to be eligible for grant funding under the Public Reserves Management Fund.

 

Conclusion

 

There was considerable discussion about the legal standing of the Board of Management and it was confirmed that the Native Title owners are the two Local Aboriginal Land Councils (Nambucca and Unkya) and that the Board is not a legal entity that can enter into a lease or agreement.  Such leases or agreements would need to be with the National Parks and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Board of Management.

 

There was general agreement amongst the stakeholders that camping should continue to be allowed on the Reserve.  It was also noted that Council had to address both short and long term issues and there may be different approaches for each.

 

It was suggested that a list of options be prepared and distributed to the stakeholders for consideration at a future meeting.  The list of options would include opportunities and constraints to enable their evaluation.  It was also noted that the options should consider short term issues.

 

The following is a list of the options identified at the meeting with their perceived benefits and constraints.

 

Management Options for the Gumma (Boulton’s Crossing) Reserve

 

Option

Benefits

Constraints

 

 

 

 

1.  Short Term - prohibit camping

Reduces maintenance costs

Objections to loss of affordable camping by residents and tourists alike (social)

Eliminates most environmental risks

Loss of economic benefit from decline in tourism

Eliminates legal compliance and insurance issues

Loss of income from camping fees

Provides an opportunity to re-open Reserve for camping if and when approvals are obtained; management arrangements are sorted out and works completed.

Problem of attracting grants and interest in operating the camping ground if it has been closed for an extended period.

 

 

 

2.  Short Term – retain camping

Maintains affordable camping by residents and tourists

May mean increased maintenance costs eg, more frequent pump outs etc.

Maintains economic benefit from tourism

Council continues with legal compliance and insurance risks

Maintains income from camping fees

Difficult to justify investment without knowing future management arrangements

 

 

 

3.  Short Term – prohibit camping but seek approvals to use the land as a camping ground

As per 1.

As per 1.

Provides opportunity for camping to recommence once approvals and management arrangements are in place.

Cost (time & $) of obtaining approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Local Government Act and Regulations

Problem of attracting grants and interest in operating the camping ground if it has been closed for an extended period.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Short Term – retain camping and seek approvals to use the land as a camping ground

As per 2.

As per 2

Will more readily facilitate transferral of the Reserve from Council to another management authority.  Otherwise there will be reluctance to accept responsibility for an unauthorised camping ground without knowing consent conditions and S68 requirements

Cost (time & $) of obtaining approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Local Government Act and Regulations

Council may have better standing in managing risk by at least attending to its statutory obligations to obtain the relevant approvals

Approvals redundant if Reserve was proclaimed as part of the National Park (NP’s act overrides requirements of LG Act) or if the Reserve is ultimately closed to camping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Lease Reserve to NPWS on behalf of the Gaagal Wanggaan Board

Board has secure funding and has the capacity to increase tourism via cultural and environmental links to the NP

Will require endorsement by Crown Lands for a long term lease.  Note – Reserve has been identified as part of a compensation package for a Native Title claim.

Potential for increased Aboriginal employment in maintenance and tourism

Gaagal Wanggaan Board will have to agree to lease and terms

Integration of management of NP and Reserve should improve presentation of the Reserve and reduce spillover impacts on NP.

Except for the involvement of Council on the Gaagal Wanggaan Board, Council will lose control over camping fees

Will require requisite approvals under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and LG Act as the Reserve would continue to be Crown Land, not National Park

 

 

 

6.  Appoint Gaagal Wanggaan Board as Trust Manager

 

As for Option 5

Crown Lands would need to agree

Administratively simpler than 6. as it doesn’t require the preparation of a lease.

Gaagal Wanggaan Board would need to accept the role of Trust Manager of the Reserve.

 

 

7.  Council continue to operate the Reserve as Trust Manager

 

Maintains economic benefit from tourism

Reserve will require significant capital expenditure which is currently unfunded and for which there is no certainty of receiving grant funding assistance.

Council retains control and can set fees at levels it believes are socially and financially acceptable

Will require approvals under Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and LG Act and regulations.

 

 

 

 

8.  Seek inclusion of the Reserve in Gaagal Wanggaan National Park under the management of the Gaagal Wanggaan Board

As for Option 5

Crown Lands would need to agree.  There may be an issue with the unresolved compensatory package for the Native Title claim.

Inclusion of land within National Park will remove requirements to comply with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and LG Caravan and Camping Regulations.  National Parks would consider requirements for camping under their Act.

National Parks would need to agree to incorporate the land in the National Park.  The relevant Minister, the State Government and the Governor would need to agree and endorse the incorporation of the land.

The Gaagal Wanggaan Board would need to agree to accept management responsibility.

9.  Council prohibit camping in the Reserve on a permanent basis.

As for Option 1 but on a permanent basis

As for Option 1 but on a permanent basis.

 

In the list of options there are potential combinations of short term and long term options which have not been separately listed.

 

If Council was to seek a Section 68 approval for the operation of the Reserve as a camping ground it is possible to seek a variation to standards which may not be appropriate for the “rustic” and “low fee” philosophy which has applied to its use.

 

Under section 82(1) of the Local Government Act, an applicant for an approval to operate a caravan park or camping ground may lodge with their application an objection that compliance with any provision of the regulations or policy is unreasonable or unnecessary in the particular circumstances of the case.  Council would need to obtain the concurrence of the Director General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to waive any standards in the regulations.

 

There are good environmental and social reasons for seeking to waive or reduce some of the standards.  These relate to limiting the volume of effluent and also maintaining the rustic amenity of the place.

 

CONSULTATION:

 

There has been consultation with stakeholders

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

The issues with the environment have been previously reported on and are discussed in the report.

 

Social

 

The social issues are discussed in the report and options.

 

Economic

 

The economic issues are discussed in the report and options.  It would be useful to try and quantify the economic benefit of the Reserve to the Nambucca Valley, particularly in terms of the visitation and expenditure by tourists.

 

Risk

 

The risks have been previously reported on.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

At this stage there are no budgetary impacts.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

At this stage there is no impact on working funds.

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.   


Ordinary Council Meeting                                                                                      16 January 2013

Assistant General Manager Engineering Services Report

ITEM L.1     SF1696            160113        Tender For Electricity Supply

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:   Peter Baynes, Manager Assets         

 

Summary:

 

Council has participated in a tender for supply of electricity to its non-contestable small sites run by Regional Procurement in conjunction with Energy Action. Tender offers were received from Origin Energy and Power Direct.

 

Origin Energy scored highest in the evaluation conducted by Regional Procurement.

 

The Origin Energy offer represents a $16,500 saving to Council based on Council’s current contract with Origin Energy.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That Council accept the tender submitted by Origin Energy Pty Ltd for electricity supply to Council’s non contestable small sites.

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The tender not be accepted and existing electricity supply arrangements continue.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Regional Procurement in association with Energy Action provides a tender process for the supply of electricity and associated services.

 

In December 2012 the General Manager approved Council’s participation in a tender for the supply of electricity to Council’s non-contestable small sites.  Non-contestable small sites include pump stations, Bush Fire Brigade sheds, libraries and toilets etc.

 

During January 2013 Regional Procurement ran tender T091213NAM for supply of electricity to Nambucca Shire Council’s non-contestable small sites.  Tender offers were received from Origin Energy and Power Direct.  A summary of the tender evaluation follows:

 

Tender Evaluation Criteria

 

Evaluation criteria and weightings applied by Regional Procurement were:

 

·      Price                                                                 85%

·      Quality Assurance                                             5%

·      Customer Service                                              5%

·      Ecological Sustainable Development                           5%

 

 

Tender Evaluation Methodology

 

The tender evaluation methodology utilised by Regional Procurement is detailed below.

 

Price Criteria

 

The lowest amount is awarded the full Criteria score.  Each subsequent amount is then divided into the lowest total amount to obtain a score.

 

Non-price Criteria

 

Quality Assurance was scored by determining whether the tenderer conformed to the Electricity Retailers Supplier’s Licence Conditions in the NSW Benchmark Participants Compliance Status report.

 

Customer Service was scored based on number of breaches listed in the same report:

 

Ecological Sustainable Development was scored by determining whether each tenderer had conformed to the NSW Benchmark Participants Compliance Status report under Table 3.1 of the Compliance and Operation of the NSW Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme.  This was based on whether the tenderer had surrendered sufficient certificates to meet 2009-2010 bench mark.

 

EVALUATION

 

The following table shows Regional Procurement’s scoring of the tender offers against the evaluation criteria.

 

CRITERIA

%

ORIGIN ENERGY

POWER DIRECT

Tendered Rate

 

 

 

Total Price offered

85

85.00

79.6

Quality Assurance

 

 

 

Retailer conforms to the Electricity Retail Suppliers License Conditions

5

5.00

5.00

Customer Service

 

 

 

Number of obligations breached according to the Energy distribution and retail licenses Compliance Report for 2009/10

5

0.00

3.00

Ecological Sustainable Development

 

 

 

Annual Greenhouse Gas Benchmark Statement 2009

5

5.00

5.00

Total

100

95.00

92.60

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

The Origin Energy offer represents a $16,500 saving to Council based on Council’s current energy contract.

 

Origin Energy is already Council’s current Electricity Retailer for small sites, however given the savings achievable under the Regional Procurement tender it is recommended that Council accept Origin Energy’s price offered under the Regional Procurement tender.

 

In addition the contract offered under this tender is for a two year period as opposed to the current one year contract.  This has the advantage of offering security against further tariff increases and provides for easier administration by Council staff.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

General Manager

Technical Officer Assets


 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

 

Environmental factors have been considered in assessing the tender offers.

 

Social

 

No impacts as a result of this report.

 

Economic

 

No impacts as a result of this report.

 

Risk

 

Acceptance of the tender price offers a degree of risk mitigation in that rates are “locked in” over a period in which electricity prices are expected to continue to rise.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The proposal provides Council a saving of approximately $16,500.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

General fund, Water fund and Sewer fund.

 

 

Attachments:

There are no attachments for this report.