Council Minutes - Section B: Reports - 2 August 2017

Contents | Previous Page: Section A - Procedural Matters

Reports tabled at the Special Meeting of Council on Wednesday date held at the Council Conference and Reception at City Hall, 30 Gheringhap Street, Geelong.


  1. Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region

  2. Geelong Saleyards

  3. Trudy Moritz City Learning and Care Centre

  4. Osborne House Briefing

  5. New Council Meeting Procedures Local Law

  6. Public Question and Submission Time Policy

  7. Council Election Period Policy


1. Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region

Source:

Investment and Attraction – Enterprise Geelong

Director:

Brett Luxford

Index Reference:

SUB-16-1606 Economic Development - Industry - Agribusiness


Purpose

To recommend the endorsement of the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy (2017 – 2022) for the G21 Region.


Background

Agribusiness is a major industry in the G21 region and has the potential to drive further investment and employment. The Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region has been developed to identify the opportunities to support and grow the agribusiness industry. The development of the strategy has been led by the City of Greater Geelong with significant input through both a Project Control Group and key stakeholders.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council:

  1. endorses the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy (2017-2022) for the G21 Region (Attachment 2); and

  2. proceeds immediately with strategies 19 and 20 and the related actions.

Carried.


Attachment 1

Discussion

The Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region has been prepared recognising agribusiness is an important driver of the G21 economy, and also in the recognition that there are a number local government strategies in place, a state government food and fibre plan, and current agribusiness initiatives underway.

The strategy has identified that the G21 region has the opportunity to build on the current agribusiness industry strengths to grow its profile and support growth in the value of, and employment in, the industry.

The Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region is intended to compliment other strategies, plans and current activities in the agribusiness sector in the G21 region.

Some key considerations for agribusiness in the G21 region are highlighted below:

While the industry is experiencing a growth in small businesses (less than $50k annual turnover), these businesses currently contribute only 5% of the employment and value add.

At the other end of the scale the larger business (Greater than $1m annual turnover) represent 5% of the businesses contributing approximately 45% of the value add and employment.

Agribusiness is a key plank in the region’s offer to the visitor economy through the combination of food, wine and related experiences it provides. This is achieved via local cafes, wineries, providores, and farm-gate experiences as well as the agricultural landscapes.

The strategies and actions developed in the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region reflect the changing nature of the industry. They look to take advantage of the growth of small producers and agritourism by providing a focus on industry collaboration, support for access to markets, building capacity, and the promotion of local produce and the industry.

The strategy recognises the importance of ensuring the right infrastructure (access to port, water and roads) planning policies, and collaborative networks are in place to support the large producers, processors, wholesalers, small producers and agritourism businesses.


Financial Implications

$65,000 has been allocated in 2017/18 budget to support actions arising from the G21 Sustainable Agribusiness Draft Strategy.

The total budget to undertake the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region was $130,000. These costs have been shared across the following agencies:


Stakeholder Consultation and Communication

Extensive consultation, including a series of workshops, was undertaken to inform, develop and test the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region with business, peak bodies, key stakeholders and government agencies.

A Project Control Group (PCG) was also formed to oversee the development of the strategy. A list of those consulted and the PCG members is detailed in Appendix 1.

Targeted workshops were completed to test and seek feedback to the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region. These workshops include:

(Note: organisations in italics are the hosts/organisers of the targeted workshops).

Twenty four submissions were received to the draft strategy following the public consultation period and updates to the strategy have been incorporated into the strategy as agreed by the PCG. The consolidated feedback and the responses can be found at Appendix 2.


Policy/Legal/Statutory Implications

There are no Policy, Legal or Statutory implications.


Alignment to City Plan

The report supports the Growing the Economy and How We Do Business strategic directions of the City Plan.

The nature of the industry is changing and the use of technology is becoming a key element of developing and maintaining a sustainable business in the sector. The G21 Agribusiness Forum are developing projects through their Agribusiness Innovation Roadmap which are supported through this strategy. This links closely with the ‘Our Future’ vision for a ‘Clever and Creative’ future.


Conflict of Interest

There is no direct or indirect interest by Council Officers involved in the preparation of this report or strategy.


Risk Assessment

There are no inherent risks associated with Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region.


Environmental Implications

There are no environmental considerations with releasing the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region.


Attachment 2

Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region 2017 - 2022


Appendix 1
Page 1 of 2

Consultation:

Project Control Group

A Project Reference Group (PRG) was formed to workshop the G21 Sustainable Agribusiness Issues Paper. This group comprised of members of the project control group and:


List of Stakeholders


Appendix 2

Consolidated feedback with responses from consultant RMCG

The draft strategy was released for public comment and submissions on 14th July 2017 and closed on 27th July 2017.


[Back to List]

2. Geelong Saleyards

Source:

City Services – Engineering Services

Acting Director:

Peter Godfrey

Index Reference:

Saleyards


Purpose

For Council to make a decision in relation to the future of the Geelong Saleyards.


Background

In August 2016 a decision was made to close the saleyards due to OH&S concerns in both the sheep and cattle pens.

Following the 13 December 2016 Council meeting resolutions (refer Attachment 2) the sale of sheep resumed at the Geelong Saleyards in February 2017, an independent local stock market analysis was noted by Council on 23 May 2017 and an independent assessment of the cost to repair the cattle yards has been completed.

Temporary cattle holding pens have been installed and are available for use to provide interim support to cattle producers.

A Sustainable Agribusiness strategy for the G21 Region has also been prepared.

The Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee Terms of reference were adopted in January 2017 (refer Attachment 3) and the first meeting of the committee was held in March 2017. The committee has been valuable in identifying stakeholder concerns.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council:

  1. close the Geelong Saleyards to the sale of sheep and cattle by 31 August 2017;

  2. inform neighbouring Councils and stakeholders of the decision to close the Saleyards;

  3. engage with the poultry sales operator, who currently operates at the Geelong Saleyards, to consider and determine the future of poultry sales at Geelong Saleyards site;

  4. engage with representatives of the livestock transport industry to consider and determine the future usage of the truck wash facility at the Geelong Saleyards;

  5. engage with the community to develop a strategy to recognise the history of the Geelong Saleyards;

  6. identify Heritage elements to be retained at the Geelong Saleyards, and to make safe the site by demolishing unsafe infrastructure;

  7. develop a Precinct Plan for the Weddell Road site incorporating the provision of public open space; and

  8. thank the members of the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee for their advice and input to the operations of the Geelong Saleyards since March 2017.

Carried.


Attachment 1

Discussion

Reports on the operation and potential closure of the Geelong Saleyards have been brought before Council since 1998 with a number of recommendations to close. Refer to schedule of resolutions and actions to date. Since 1998 there have been 10 reports to Council. Even in the early reports it was noted that the current location was not a viable long term option for the operation of the Geelong Saleyards.

Refer to Attachment 2 for a full list of all the reports that have gone to Council since 1998.

Independent Market Analysis

At its 13 December 2016 meeting, Council resolved to defer repair works on the cattle pens until an independent expert local stock market analysis was completed and a full costing estimate was prepared based on the recently completed OH&S audit inspection.

An independent market analysis was completed by Mecardo and presented at the Council’s May 2017 meeting. It has also been presented to the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee, the G21 Board and Surfcoast Shire Council by Mecardo.

Key findings from the Independent Market Analysis – throughput and income

Income for saleyards is directly related to yarding and agency fees which are based on throughput. So as the number of head of cattle has decreased, so has the income.

The diagram below shows that in 2000 Geelong was yarding 28,818 head of cattle. By 2011 the yarding numbers had dropped to 5,151. During the drought years starting in 2014, numbers did increase as farmers were forced to destock due to a lack of water and feed.

Saleyard throughput volumes and herd size - Victorian cattle

Looking across the trends from 2000 to 2016, to return the Geelong Saleyards to cattle numbers experienced between 2000, current numbers would have to triple. Ballarat and Warrnambool are the only two sale yards with increasing yarding’s, ranging between 10-15% over the period 2000 to 2016. Colac, Hamilton and Camperdown experienced a moderate decline in throughput of between 15-25%, while Geelong has seen a significant decrease over the same time frame, just short of a 70% decline.

The diagram below shows the combined sheep and lamb throughput figures for the Ballarat, Geelong, Hamilton, Bendigo and Horsham saleyards along with the total for Victoria. As presented with the cattle data, Auctions Plus sheep and lamb sales are included in the table for the last four financial years along with the size of the Victorian flock as measured by the ABS.

combined sheep and lamb throughput figures for the Ballarat, Geelong, Hamilton, Bendigo and Horsham saleyards along with the total for Victoria

The saleyard income has, however, started to rebound since it’s lows in 2010/11, and a large percentage of this rise can be attributed to an increase in income sources other than stock throughput, such as revenue from the truckwash facility.

Key findings from the Independent Market Analysis – alternate options

The Mecardo report provided a number of alternatives to be considered as options to cater for the needs of peri-urban farmers that use the Geelong Saleyards. The Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee (GSAC) selected three of these options for further exploration. These included:

Co-operative Operated Saleyards

In this option a co-operative could be formed by current saleyard users to manage the Geelong saleyards. A co-operative model could involve the Council either providing a commercial lease, or an outright sale of the facility to a co-operative group.

While this co-operative model addresses a number of issues, the planning and execution of a co-operative model may be difficult. Currently there is a group of peri-urban producers who have indicated strong support for the continued operation of the Geelong Saleyards, but they are not in any formal co-operative group. The GSAC strongly disagreed with the establishment of a co-operative model citing the experiences with the Murray Goulburn Dairy Co-operative, which was not successful.

The GSAC do however support the concept of a similar model, such as the Ouyen Saleyards model. At Ouyen there is an independent board that runs the Council-owned saleyards. The Ouyen saleyards are in good condition with little requirement for renovation. Any income raised at the Ouyen sale yards is used for maintenance only. In the case of the Geelong Saleyards, over $2million would need to be spent on the Geelong Saleyards to build a safe and modern facility before it could hand over management to another entity.

With the stock numbers trending down across the region, as highlighted in the market analysis report, there is no suggestion that by building a new facility that this would increase stock numbers to the level necessary for the saleyards to return a profit. In this model, the OH&S responsibility and asset maintenance costs would still remain with Council.

Peri-urban Exchange

The market analysis suggests that a livestock exchange that is easily accessible could provide additional services by private investment, or Council, to assist the peri-urban farmer.

While there has been no identified development in Australia of this proposed model, it does exist in other countries where farms are small. The UK and United States have a network of sale yards designed to accommodate small mobs. These yards are owner-operated with the yard operator providing all services including an auctioneer, settling processes and sale reports.

A peri-urban exchange could be established at the Colac Saleyards if there is demand for extra services for the novice or small scale farmers.

There are already small operators in the Geelong region who offer services for peri-urban producers such as mobile shearing, animal husbandry and transport. Novice farmers now tend to seek advice at their local rural supply store that can either provide the equipment or the contacts for them to manage their stock.

This peri-urban exchange service is preferred by the GSAC as a long term solution to facilitate the needs of peri-urban farmers, either at the current Geelong Saleyards site or a new green field site within the G21 region.

Existing Colac Saleyards

The Colac Regional saleyards is predominately a cattle-selling centre operating on a weekly basis. The yards have 138 cattle pens under cover with soft flooring installed, as well as 80 holding yards. Colac also has sheep & goat selling pens in good order with capacity for approximately 3,000 head. The Colac Regional Saleyards has the capacity to provide both sheep and cattle selling services to current users of the Geelong saleyard.

The distance between Colac and Geelong Saleyards of 87.7 km is considered an inconvenience by peri-urban farmers in Geelong. However they only account for 25% of those who use the saleyards, with the majority of users being closer. With the trend for peri-urban farming moving west in the region, the average distance for farmers will reduce over time.

The GSAC identified that there is no sale day on a Monday which allows for peri-urban producers to deliver stock on a Sunday prior to the sale day. The location is also seen as a deterrent in terms of transport costs and travel time from the Bellarine.

At its April 28 2017 meeting the G21 Board reaffirmed the designation of the Colac livestock Selling Centre redevelopment as the key Regional Agricultural project as referenced in the G21 Regional Growth Plan Implementation Plan. Refer attachment 8.

The G21 Board had requested that the City of Greater Geelong and Colac Otway Shire work together to further explore what would need to happen at the Colac Regional Saleyards to make it more accessible to peri-urban farmers in the Geelong region, if the Geelong Saleyards were to close. Mecardo were engaged to assess the possible use of the Colac Regional Saleyards for Geelong-based peri-urban farmers, and the key recommendations from their assessment were:

In Mecardo’ s report on the Colac Otway Regional Saleyards it was concluded that for the future viability of the Colac Otway Shire’s saleyards, and to attract additional support, a new saleyard model needs to be developed to service the G21 region. This must effectively address the needs of the peri-urban farmer with the larger scale producer comfortably catered for via other offerings.

To progress, it was recommended that Colac Otway Shire and G21 should form an advisory committee to explore the wide range of options that could be considered as value-add inclusions to be offered by the Colac Regional Saleyards, and to consider any capital investments that will contribute to increased throughput.

It was also concluded that the Colac Otway Regional Saleyards should also take on a rolling improvement model, adding services progressively in response to demand, or at least to the identification of new demands.

Future Threats to the viability of the Geelong Saleyards

It needs to be noted that the Mortlake facility build has commenced and they anticipate they will be operating in early 2018. The new Ballarat facility has also commenced in its new location. The Mecardo report states that “… the larger markets are recognised as having increased competition, better prices and are therefore attracting greater numbers from sellers. It is expected that this trend will not only continue but will likely increase with the proposed construction of large regional yards at Mortlake and Ballarat. Not only is this a threat to Geelong saleyards, but other council based yards in Victoria, namely the Ballarat and Mortlake catchment areas, will be under pressure”.

Costing Estimate – Cattle Pens

The City has acknowledged that over time there has been a lack of investment in the maintenance and renewal of the Geelong Saleyards which has contributed to the OH&S concerns, causing the closure of the facility in August 2016. A structural engineering assessment was completed followed by an OH&S assessment of the cattle pens at the Geelong Saleyards. The OH&S report highlighted the extent of the safety concerns, particularly with the cattle pens. The independent OH&S report concluded that “..it should be noted that in its present condition the cattle yards would not meet Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Legislative requirements for the provision of a safe work place”. Due to the extensive OH&S concerns raised about the current state of the nearly 150 year old timber pens, the GSAC agreed with Council officers that demolition of the cattle pens would be the most practical and economical way to rebuild safe and compliant cattle yards.

Costing for acceptable operating yards

A concept design layout, allowing for approximately 80 pens, was developed, based on the current yard usage and feedback from the GSAC members. A quantity surveyor was engaged to provide a cost estimate for the rebuilding of the cattle pens. With the cattle holding pens available as a short-term measure, the longer-term options for the cattle pens has been reviewed by the GSAC.

The estimated cost of works to enable operation of the cattle yards is $2,895,000.

This estimated cost does not include a roof. The construction of the new cattle pens incorporates a concrete floor, so there is an expectation that, in order to meet animal welfare best practice, soft flooring should be installed in the cattle pens to reduce the risk of cattle being foot sore from standing on concrete. Without a roof over the cattle pens, there would be an ongoing additional cost to maintain the soft flooring which, if exposed to the elements, would wash away in rain events. This in turn poses risks to the drainage system at the Geelong Saleyards. There is also the concern about the increased need to have contaminated material removed from the Saleyards site.

Costing for an interim/short term cattle pens

The Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee requested some amendments to the Quantity Surveyor’s cost estimate for the renovation of the cattle pens. The adjustments to the quote reduced the works to a level that could only be considered a short-term option. The cost for this interim solution for the cattle pens was estimated at $1,838,118.

Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region

The consultants working on the Agribusiness Strategy have presented to the GSAC. Members of the GSAC form part of the Agribusiness Strategy consultative group. The draft Agribusiness Strategy was open for public consultation in July and is now finalised.

The Agribusiness Strategy has been developed to identify the opportunities to support and grow the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness is one of the major industries in the G21 region and therefore an Agribusiness Strategy has been prepared to support the industry opportunities.

The Agribusiness Strategy indicates livestock has a 25% share of the Agribusiness sector and in reference to livestock for Geelong indicate that this is 23% of that share and is declining. The infrastructure theme of the strategy considers the Geelong Saleyards and refers to the Mercado report and the need to pursue the options as presented.

The G21 region has a proud history in agribusiness. The diversity of the industry, and the breadth and depth of its sectors is one of its strengths. A rapidly growing population and a large visitor economy means that our regional landscape is changing and thus, so is the industry. The purpose of the Agribusiness Strategy is to provide a framework that will guide both government and private sector investment decisions on how best to assist the ongoing growth and development of the agribusiness industry. The Agribusiness Strategy has been informed by consultation carried out with peak agribusiness bodies, business both large and small, industry experts and government agencies and the wider community.

Four themes have been identified with clear objectives and action plans to support the industry; grow our markets, develop our people and their businesses, encourage innovation and collaboration, and build enabling infrastructure.

The G21 region has a number of competitive advantages it can build on; including established businesses, access to markets, land availability, good climate, quality produce, innovative businesses, and a skilled workforce. The G21 region also has a number of challenges to overcome including lack of collaboration across the industry, cost of compliance in the intensive animal industry operations, lack of reputation as a significant wine and food region relative to other regions, cost of access to the Melbourne container port, and land use conflict.

Historical Recognition

The Geelong Sale Yards, Weddell Road, North Geelong has significance as the most intact functioning 19th century municipal stock yards known in Victoria. The second municipal sale yards to be built in Geelong, these sale yards were established in 1869 by the Town of Geelong to a layout and design by the Town Surveyor, Robert Balding.

Surviving early fabric of the Geelong Saleyards includes the layout of cattle and sheep yards divided by a central thoroughfare, timber post and rail cattle and sheep pen fencing and gates, elevated and narrow covered cattle yard walkways, bluestone pen paving, stands of mature Ash trees shading the western sheep pens, former Caretaker’s Cottage and the bluestone spoon drains.

Should Council decide to close the Geelong Saleyards it is important to recognise the cultural and historic significance of the Geelong Saleyards and their place in Geelong’s early development as a city and region, as well as contribution to the livelihood of many to this day. There are diverse ways in which this history can be preserved and celebrated including personal narratives told through film, digital and on-line platforms, utilisation of site materials and fabric for interpretation and public art works, and interpretive and cultural signage. The City of Greater Geelong will develop a research and engagement plan to determine the best way to recognise the significance of the Geelong Saleyards with the communities who have been part of its history.

Financial Implications

  1. Income - Council has made losses on the Geelong Saleyards for the last 10 years of an average of $171,000 per annum with the last two years experiencing losses of over $200,000. Refer Attachment 5. This has been confirmed by the independent auditor.

  2. $690,000 is budgeted for the repairs to the Geelong Saleyards. The current expenditure for repairs to the sheep yards and the temporary cattle pens is $268,000, leaving $422,000 for potential future repair works on the site.

  3. The cost of the renovation work is estimated at between $1.8M and $2.8M which has not been included 2017/18 budget. Refer attachment 7.

  4. With the use of soft flooring in the cattle pens there will be significant ongoing operational costs as the flooring will need to be replaced more frequently without a roof over the entire cattle selling pens.

Stakeholder Consultation and Communication

Extensive Consultation in regard to the operations and future of the Geelong Saleyards has been completed with relevant stakeholders and is not limited to the list below:

Refer Attachment 4 for full details of the Consultation and Engagement activities and the GSAC activities and actions.

Stock Agents: Recently directors from both of the Stock Agencies, HF Richardson and Charles Stewart, have written to Council advising that due to the high costs to their businesses they regretfully no longer support the sale of cattle at the Geelong Saleyards.


Alignment to City Plan

This report aligns to City Plan through the strategic direction of ‘How We Do Business’. All of the studies and reports about the Geelong Saleyards have reviewed how the service meets the requirements of a growing population through responsible and sustainable financial management as well as ensuring safety to City of Greater Geelong staff and members of the public.


Risk Assessment

Early in August 2016 safety concerns were raised regarding the condition of the Saleyards facility. An engineer’s report was received on the overhead and pedestrian walkways and other components including loading ramps which identified risks to users. This prompted immediate temporary closure of the Geelong Saleyards to sheep and cattle sales on 22 August 2016.

Further inspections of both the sheep yards and cattle yards were completed in November 2016 identifying a number of interventions required to enable yards to reopen. An OH&S audit of the cattle yards identified 17 recommendations. Risk ratings identified 8 very high and 7 high hazards that will require action prior to reopening of the cattle yards. Refer attachment 6.

The sheep pens were reopened in February 2017 for the sale of sheep with new metal selling pens, replaced hardwood rails, secure overhead walkways, improvements to the loading ramps and caps placed on all the metal upright posts.

The most cost effective way to address the significant OH&S concerns in the cattle pens is to demolish the timber pens and replace them with new metal panels that comply with current OH&S and animal welfare requirements.


Council Resolutions for Geelong Saleyards Attachment 2

Council Meeting

Date of Meeting

Report

Division

Confidential

Section B

Notice of Motion

Resolutions

Status

Comment

August 1998

26/08/1998

Saleyards

Development and Strategy - Economic Development

Public

Yes

No

  1. continue operating the Saleyards for a further 3 years

 

 

August 1998

26/08/1998

Saleyards

Development and Strategy - Economic Development

Public

Yes

No

  1. support the development of a new saleyards facility on the following basis:

    1. No funds are spent on improvements to the existing yards other than required maintenance

    2. The City may consider contributing the proceeds from divestment of the existing site (currently estimated at $1Million) towards the new facility

    3. The Geelong Saleyards Advisory Group be required to report back to Council by 31 December 1999 with a firm proposal identifying:

      • a process for developing the new facility

      • private and public sector investors

      • financing arrangement; and

      • a business plan for the new saleyards

    4. If the private sector support is not available by 31 December 1999 the relocation project will not proceed and the Saleyards will be wound down by mid-2001

 

 

December 1999

22/12/1999

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. acknowledges the progress made by the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Group

 

 

December 1999

22/12/1999

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. request a further report by the end of April 2000 confirming the plans to establish a new saleyards and the securing of appropriate funds

 

 

March 2000

08/03/2000

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

Public

Yes

No

That Council supports the establishment of a company to manage and operate the new saleyard development on the following basis.

  1. the materials, plant and equipment from the current saleyards operation (estimated value of up to $300,000) along with the proceeds of sale from the current property at Weddell Road (estimated at $400,000) be offered to the company on the following basis.

    1. The total amount (estimated at $700,000) be provided as

      • an interest free loan repayable in full at the end of a 10 year term

      • the loan be secured by a 1st mortgage over the company's land and buildings and a floating charge over assets, and

      • be subject to immediate repayment upon the sale or windup of the company

  2. the Memorandum and Articles/Constitution and Rules of the company enable the Council to nominate a person to the Board of Directors whilst the loan is repayable to Council.

  3. that six months prior to the repayment of the loan the Council undertake a review to determine whether:

    • it would consider an extension of the loan, or

    • would be prepared to write off the load in part or in full

 

 

August 2000

09/08/2000

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

No

Yes

No

That subject to the ownership status of the new saleyards development remaining with the Saleyards Advisory Group (SAG), the following contributions be applied to the project:

  1. Any materials, plant and equipment from the current saleyards operation that can be used for the new saleyards development will be granted by Council and that this grant does not require interest payment nor repayment of principal;

 

 

August 2000

09/08/2000

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

No

Yes

No

  1. The net proceeded of the sale of land at the current saleyards sit in Weddell Road be loaned to the new saleyards development. The loan term to be 10 years at no interest. If at any time the business is sold or fails then the loan is to be repaid. The loan is to be secured by way of a second charge over the saleyards assets after the primary bank loan. That should the new saleyards development consistently exceed its initial business performance projections then an interest rate to be applied to Council's loaned amount will be negotiated three years from commencement with the SAG.

 

 

August 2000

09/08/2000

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

No

Yes

No

  1. After ten years, the operations of the Saleyards be reviewed to assess which of the following options be chosen by Council:

    1. "Write-off" the grant with no further obligations

    2. Continue "status quo" for another five years

    3. The grant be changed to an interest-bearing loan;

    4. The initial grant be repaid

 

 

August 2000

09/08/2000

Saleyards

Environment and Recreation Services

No

Yes

No

  1. That Council receives annual, audited financial statements from the new Saleyards Development

 

 

October 2003

28/10/2003

Saleyards

Community and Recreation

no

Yes

No

  1. Council acknowledges the work of the Saleyards Advisory Group and its report indicating its inability to find an alternative site

 

 

October 2003

28/10/2003

Saleyards

Community and Recreation

no

Yes

No

  1. Council confirms that the current Weddell Road site has significant environmental and economical improvements needed to continue as a Saleyards or Livestock selling facility in the medium to long term

 

 

October 2003

28/10/2003

Saleyards

Community and Recreation

no

Yes

No

  1. Council acknowledges the relevance and need for a Saleyard service within the municipality

 

 

October 2003

28/10/2003

Saleyards

Community and Recreation

no

Yes

No

  1. Council identifies the current site as the most appropriate site for the saleyards service to continue

 

 

October 2003

28/10/2003

Saleyards

Community and Recreation

no

Yes

No

  1. a business case for the 2004/2005 budget be prepared

 

 

June 2015

09/06/2015

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. seek opportunities for savings in operation of the saleyards;

Completed

 

June 2015

09/06/2015

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. actively identify potential uses of existing land and facilities outside normal saleyards operations;

Completed

 

June 2015

09/06/2015

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. work with neighbouring Councils to identify and develop a suitable regional solution with the view to initiating a future staged withdrawal from saleyards operation.

In Progress

 

September 2016

27/09/2016

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. reiterates the resolution of the previous Council, to pursue a staged withdrawal of operations at the Geelong Saleyards;

Completed

 

September 2016

27/09/2016

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. notes the extensive consultation undertaken by Council Officers, which included producers, agents, regional saleyard operators and officers of the Surf Coast Shire, Borough of Queenscliffe, Golden Plains Shire and Colac Otway Shire;

Completed

 

September 2016

27/09/2016

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. notes that it was unforeseen that the Saleyards would close due to safety concerns before a transition plan was developed for staged withdrawal;

Completed

 

September 2016

27/09/2016

Saleyards

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. requests Officers to undertake additional consultation for further consideration at the 22 November 2016 Council meeting.

Completed

 

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

That Council:

  1. note the content of the independent OH&S Audit inspection undertaken by SafetyZone (Attachment 4) and the serious range of findings that need to be addressed prior to recommencing cattle sales;

Completed

actions being scoped and costed for cattle yards

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. note that repair works are already underway to enable safe operations for small lot sheep sales at the Geelong Saleyards in January 2017;

Completed

repair works complete

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. note that repair works on the cattle pens have not commenced and an initial estimate is in excess of $320,000 for materials only (to date);

Completed

audit scope of works prepared and estimated

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. defer repair works on the cattle yards until an independent expert local stock market analysis is completed and a full costing estimate is prepared based on the recently completed OH&S Audit inspection;

Completed

audit scope of works prepared and estimate completed

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. work with buyer, seller, agent and transporter representatives and other related stakeholders immediately to develop interim support arrangements for small lot cattle sales;

Completed

initial meeting held in December with small group of stakeholders to determine options for interim cattle sales. Cattle hub installed.

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. consistent with the previous Councils resolution of June 2015, work with the G21 group of Councils, the G21 Agribusiness Forum and other agriculture peak bodies to establish an agribusiness strategy for the region which incorporates the resolutions of the Surfcoast Shire Council (see Attachment 5) with a view to this being available for a final decision by mid 2017;

In Progress

Market analysis complete and noted by Council 23/5/2017

December 2016

13/12/2016

GEELONG SALEYARDS

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. establish a Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee, with a Terms of Reference consistent with the Australian Code of Practice for the Selling of Livestock and work with the proposed Committee to advise Council on user issues at the Saleyards.

Completed

EOI closed 17 February 2017 and committee appointed.

January 2017

24/01/2017

Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference CTR245.5

City Services

Public

Yes

No

That Council:

  1. endorse the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee Terms of Reference CTR245.5 (refer Attachment 3), with the following amendments: remove officers in the first sentence of 2.1; replace Terms of Reference with Specific Functions in Item 3

Completed

Completed - Changes as per resolution has been made to the ToR.

January 2017

24/01/2017

Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference

City Services

Public

Yes

No

  1. authorise the General Manager City Services to commence the Expression of Interest process to appoint members.

Completed

The General Manager City Services commenced the EOI process and submissions closed on 17 February 2017. 8 submissions were received and assessed and committee appointed

May-17

23/05/2017

GEELONG SALEYARDS MARKET ANALYSIS REPORT

City Services

Public

Yes

No

That Council note the Geelong Saleyards Market Analysis Report.

Completed

report noted



Attachment 3

Saleyards Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference

Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Document No:

CTR245.5

Approval Date:

24 January 2017

Approved By:

Council

Review Date:

1 June 2017

Responsible Officer: City Services General Manager

Version No:

01

Authorising Officer:

Chief Executive Officer


1. Summary

At the City of Greater Geelong Council meeting on 13 December 2016, Council resolved to “establish a Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee, with a Terms of Reference consistent with the Australian Code of Practise for the Selling of Livestock and work with the proposed Committee to advise Council on user issues at the Saleyards”


2. Objective

The purpose of the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee (“Committee”) is to advise the City of Greater Geelong on a range of technical and community issues which may impact on the management of the Geelong Saleyards.

The Committee will advise Council on options to address issues, and assist with the identification of preferred solutions for Council decisions on operational issues and in relation to strategic decisions it may make in relation to ongoing service.


2.1. Authority of the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee


3. Specific Functions


4. Membership

The Committee will comprise of members with technical and community expertise, to respond effectively to the complexity and diversity of issues impacting on the Saleyards.


4.1. Constituency of the Committee


4.2. Appointment of members


4.3. Roles and Responsibilities of all members


4.4. Meeting Procedure


4.5. Media Comment and Confidentiality


4.6. Reporting Requirements


4.7. Secretariat


5. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.

Record

Retention/Disposal Responsibility

Retention Period

Location

Minutes of Meetings

City Services

As per PROV

EDRMS



Attachment 4

Consultation and engagement

Geelong Saleyards Consultation list

CoGG

Mecardo

Agri Business

Purpose

Key Themes / Outcomes

Prior to closing

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Operators

YES

YES

YES

To discuss the transition to closure and any subsidy programs that could provide assistance

Subsidy to difficult to administer and determine eligibility.

Stock Agents

YES

YES

YES

To discuss the current stock numbers and options as we moved towards transition to closure

Understand the lack of available Stock Numbers.

Saleyards users

YES

YES

YES

Discussion at saleyards and one on one meeting to discuss impacts on farmers as we transition to closure and to discuss any assistance that Council could offer

Improvements required at the Geelong saleyards

City of Greater Geelong Saleyards staff

YES

N/A

N/A

Discuss the history of pending closure and how that has impacted on the saleyards and on them.

History of nearly closing the saleyards which impacted on budgets

2014 Saleyards Feasibility study.

YES

N/A

N/A

An independent study was conducted to determine the feasibility of the Geelong Saleyards

Independent report that highlighted the lack of stock throughput and the works required at the saleyards

Geelong Saleyards Survey

YES

N/A

N/A

over 1400 surveys were sent out with 463 responses

Surveys sent to determine current usage of the yards and any other options that could assist farmers

Since Closure

 

 

 

 

 

Stock Agents

YES

YES

YES

Discussions around sheep pens, cattle pen requirements and the viability of the saleyards

Sheep pen requirements. Ongoing future of the saleyards.

Transport operators

YES

YES

YES

Advice sought in relation to the sheep loading ramps and what options would work as interim solutions for cattle

How to provide assistance to the Peri-Urban producer.

Geelong Saleyards Users Group - various onsite meetings

YES

YES

N/A

Input sought on numerous occasions in relation to the sheep pen renovation, the interim cattle pen option and responses to the questions and concerns have been addressed via the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee

Sheep pen renovation. Temporary Cattle pens requirements. New cattle pen design

G21 Agribusiness forum

YES

YES

YES

Members of the G21 Agribusiness forum have presented to Council about agribusiness and how the saleyards relate. A member is also represented on the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee.

Broader picture of Agribusiness in Geelong and the region.

G21 Board

YES

YES

YES

The G21 Board have had presentations in relation to the saleyards and Mecardo presented the Market Analysis report.

Confirmed Colac is the preferred regional solution.

Surfcoast Shire – CEO, Mayor and Senior Officers

YES

YES

N/A

Members of City of Greater Geelong Executive have met with Senior officials from Surfcoast Shire on a number of occasions.

Discussion about current arrangements at the Geelong saleyards and its long term future.

Golden Plains Shire – CEO, Mayor and Senior Officers

YES

N/A

N/A

Members of City of Greater Geelong Executive have met with Senior officials from Golden Plains Shire on a number of occasions.

Discussion about current arrangements at the Geelong saleyards and its long term future.

Colac Otway Shire – CEO, Mayor and Senior Officers

YES

YES

N/A

Members of City of Greater Geelong Executive have met with Senior officials from Colac Otway Shire on a number of occasions.

Discussion about current arrangements at the Geelong saleyards and its long term future.

Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee

YES

YES

YES

The Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee will have met 7 times at the time of the July Council meeting.

Input on the sheep pens once the sales had commenced. Discussion about the temporary cattle pens. Mecardo report and agribusiness strategy input. New cattle pen design.

OH&S Consultant

YES

N/A

N/A

Safetyzone was engaged to conduct a full OH&S safety inspection of the cattle pens and the surrounding facilities.

Independent report on the safety of the saleyards.

Traffic Management Consultant

YES

N/A

N/A

A traffic management consultant produced a full traffic management plan for the Saleyards, including line marking, signage and pedestrian separation areas

Independent report on the traffic management requirement at the saleyards

Geelong West Town Hall Community meeting

YES

N/A

N/A

In November 2016 the City of Greater Geelong held a forum that was independently facilitated by Kismet Forward. The forum was attended by 118 local producers and operators.

Common feedback from local producers was to continue operations at the Geelong Saleyards

Ag Concepts (Mecardo) Consultants

YES

YES

YES

Mecardo was engaged to produce the Livestock Market Analysis report that was noted at the May Council meeting.

Independent report on the livestock market locally and regionally. Conclusion that the current Geelong Saleyards is not the future of livestock selling. Provided options to be considered for the local Peri-Urban farmers.

City of Greater Geelong staff

YES

YES

YES

Many employees of the City of Greater Geelong have provided feedback in relation to the future of the Geelong Saleyards.

City of Greater Geelong staff have provided their thoughts on the future of the saleyards

Poultry Licence Holder

YES

N/A

N/A

The Poultry Licence Holder has a lease that is renewed yearly.

Discussion about their current lease

Local Residents

YES

N/A

N/A

Residents who live near the Geelong Saleyards have been in contact with their views on the future of the saleyards as well as over concerns about the operating hours and noise concerns.

Complaints have been received in relation to noise and late night operation. Local residents have been advised that the report about the future of the saleyards will be available on line and how they can provide comment.

Buyers – Ramon Clarke, Bob Hackett and Steve Cooper

YES

YES

N/A

Ramon Clarke has been the buyer representative on the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee. The buyers were also consulted with as part of the Mecardo report and have been involved in the walk throughs at the Saleyards.

Members of the Advisory Committee as well discussion on sale days from the perspective of local buyers.

Hon Lisa Neville – Member for Bellarine

YES

N/A

N/A

Lisa Neville’s office has been advised regularly about the Geelong Saleyards

Advised about the current situation at the saleyards

Hon Jaala Pulford – Minister of Agriculture

YES

N/A

N/A

Jaala Pulford’s office has been advised regularly about the Geelong Saleyards

Advised about the current situation at the saleyards

Hon John Eren – Member for Lara

YES

N/A

N/A

John Eren’s office has been advised regularly about the Geelong Saleyards

Advised about the current situation at the saleyards

Hon Christine Couzens – Member for Geelong

YES

N/A

N/A

Christine Couzen’s office has been advised regularly about the Geelong Saleyards

Advised about the current situation at the saleyards

Australian Livestock Saleyards Association – Stuart McLean

YES

N/A

N/A

Stuart is a member of the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee and is the President of the Australian Livestock Saleyards Association. He has provided advice to Council on a number of occasions.

Member of the Advisory group. Discussions about the long term options at the saleyards.

Livestock Saleyards Association Victoria – Mark McDonald

YES

N/A

N/A

City of Greater Geelong Saleyards Officers have meet with Mark on a number of occasions.

Member of the Advisory group. Discussions about the long term options at the saleyards.

Scanclear

YES

N/A

N/A

Scanclear provide all the scanning and regulatory reporting work at the Geelong Saleyards. They have been able to provide information about other saleyards.

Discussions about the long term options at the saleyards and about electronic ear tagging

Metalcorp

YES

N/A

N/A

Metalcorp was engaged to provide the new sheep pens and the pens for the cattle holding pens.

Metal sheep pens and metal cattle pens, design and supply

Proway

YES

N/A

N/A

Proway was consulted by the Quantity surveyor in relation to the costing for the new cattle pens.

Quote for new cattle pen design

Geelong Saleyards staff

YES

YES

N/A

Our permanent staff at the saleyards have been able to provide information about the history of the saleyards and have worked very closely with all consultants to complete the updated works.

Discussion about how the repeated near closure of the saleyards has impacted on the operation of the yards and on them.

Dr David Rowe – City of Greater Geelong Heritage Officer

YES

N/A

N/A

Dr Rowe completed the Conservation Management Policy in 2007 that recorded the history of the saleyards and has provided advice about the need to preserve any infrastructure at the Geelong Saleyards.

Heritage advice provided when renovating the sheep pens and on what needs to be retained in the cattle pens

Gordon Nash – Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)

YES

N/A

N/A

Officers have consulted with Gordon Nash in relation to the renovation of the sheep pens and have had discussion about the future of the Geelong Saleyards.

Provided advice on biosecurity and welfare issues.

Worksafe

YES

N/A

N/A

Officers from the City of Greater Geelong Risk Management team have consulted with Worksafe about the renovation works at the Geelong Saleyards.

Provided advise on Worksafe regulations

EPA

YES

N/A

N/A

Officers from the City of Greater Geelong Risk Management team have consulted with the EPA about the Geelong Saleyards.

Provided advise on EPA regulations

VicHealth

YES

N/A

N/A

Officers from the City of Greater Geelong Risk Management team have consulted with VicHealth about the Geelong Saleyards.

Provided advise on VicHealth guidelines

Barwon Water

YES

N/A

N/A

Officers from the City of Greater Geelong Risk Management team have consulted with Barwon Water regularly about treatment of water at the Geelong Saleyards.

Regular discussion in relation to water testing.

Geelong Agribusiness Strategy Consultant

YES

YES

YES

Present and discuss inputs to the Agribusiness Strategy

Attended a Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee meeting and 2 members are on the panel

Victorian Farmer’s Federation - VFF

YES

YES

YES

City of Greater Geelong Senior Management and Officer have meet with several representatives of the VFF. Fiona Conroy is the VFF representative on the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Group

Several VFF members have provided advice about the VFF concerns about the future of the Geelong Saleyards.

VFF – Biosecurity

YES

N/A

N/A

City of Greater Geelong Officers have spoken to the VFF Biosecurity officers on a number of occasions.

Provided advice on biosecurity issues to be considered.

Meat and Livestock Victoria - MLA

YES

YES

N/A

City of Greater Geelong Officers have spoken to MLA and Mecardo also consulted with them as part of the Livestock Market Analysis.

Provided Figures and statistics about sales and trends.

Saleyards Webpage developed on the Geelong Australia Website

YES

N/A

N/A

The Website is updated regularly with information about the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Group, Council reports and information about stock numbers at the sales. It is also where any changes to the sale date by the agents is advised.

Updated regularly – FAQs. Reports. Council resolutions. Sale dates and data.

Notices positioned at the saleyards

YES

N/A

N/A

Signs have been updated and added to as required to provide advice to the users of the Saleyards.

Site rules, parking signs, closing times advice, and truck wash signs.

Notices in the Geelong Advertiser

YES

N/A

N/A

Notices regarding the Geelong Saleyards have been put in the Community news pages in the Geelong Advertiser.

Information about sale dates

Well over 50 letters sent in response to questions

YES

N/A

N/A

The City of Greater Geelong has received over 50 letters either as direct letters or as questions at Council meetings. These have been responded to.

Various correspondence has been responded to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Saleyards

 

 

 

 

 

Colac Otway

YES

YES

N/A

Several site visits and phone conversation by Officers and Mecardo staff.

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards.

Ballarat

YES

N/A

N/A

Office visit by RLX

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Warrnambool

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and site visit by Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Camperdown

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Ouyen

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Kyneton

YES

YES

N/A

Site visit and phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Pakenham

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Hamilton

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Mansfield Council transfer hub

YES

N/A

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Wangaratta Council

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Forbes Central West Livestock Exchange

YES

N/A

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

Casterton Council

YES

YES

N/A

Phone conversations by Officers and Mecardo

Information provided about the operation of their saleyards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee Advice

 

 

 

Actioned by Council

 

Number of cattle pens required

YES

N/A

N/A

Committee member advised that there would need to be 80 selling pens incorporated in the design of new cattle pens for quoting.

Advice on the number of pens required. This number of pens was quoted on.

Footprint of the cattle pens

YES

N/A

N/A

A new plan was quoted on for the new cattle pens at the request of the committee

Requested a change to the footprint of the new cattle pens. This formed the short term option pricing.

Drinking water signs at the truck wash

YES

N/A

N/A

Questions had come through a committee member about the truck wash water. Signs have now been installed advising users not to drink the truck wash water.

Member asked for clarification about drinking the truck wash water. Signs have now been installed.

Renovating the sheep loading ramps

YES

N/A

N/A

A third ramp was renovated rather than a new adjustable ramp purchased at the recommendation by Committee members

Renovations completed

Adding more gates in the sheep selling pens

YES

N/A

N/A

More gates were requested by the committee to

More gates added to make smaller selling pens

Number of temporary cattle pens required

YES

N/A

N/A

It was suggested that there only needed to be 6-8 pens for the cattle holding pens. This was actioned

7 holding pens put in as suggested

Changes to the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

YES

N/A

N/A

The members of the committee provided input into the Terms of Reference when they were being developed.

Terms of Reference were modified

Adding additional holding/delivery pens in the sheep yards

YES

N/A

N/A

Requests had come via committee member about the need for more holding/delivery pens. More were renovated prior the next sale

Additional holding/delivery pens were requested and delivered.

Input into additional information into the Mecardo Livestock Analysis report

YES

YES

N/A

Members of the committee provided feedback about the draft of the Livestock Market Analysis and their requests for additional information were incorporated into the final report.

A draft Livestock Market Analysis was provided for comment. Additional information was provided in the report as requested

Request for consultation on the Agribusiness strategy – 2 members are on the panel

YES

N/A

YES

2 members of the Geelong Saleyards Advisory Committee are part of the Agribusiness Strategy panel.

Feedback was requested and 2 members invited to participate in the consultation panel.

Supply media notes to the Advisory Committee

YES

N/A

N/A

Media releases are sent out to the Advisory Committee

Provided

Preferred options from the Livestock Market Analysis

YES

YES

N/A

The Committee provided advice that their preferred options for the Geelong Saleyards was for the adoption of a model like Ouyen and the Peri-Urban exchange. Their advice that they did not support the Colac option was forwarded to the Administrators as per the committee’s request.

Advice provided about the preferred options about the future of the saleyards.



Attachment 5

Financial Information

Financial Information


Attachment 6

OH&S Report Audit

No.

Item

Risk

Hazard Identification

Recommendation

Update – July 2017

1

Occupational Health & Safety Management System

H

No Occupational Health and Safety Management system in place.
No Emergency Management plan in place.
No Induction program in place

A safety management plan specific to the safe operation of the sale yards should be developed. The safety management plan will identify how the sale yards will ensure compliance to its legislative requirements.
An emergency management plan should be developed that incorporates the potential emergencies likely to occur at a cattle yard.

A full OH&S Management plan has been developed and adopted at the Geelong Saleyards. An emergency management plan has been developed and relevant training conducted with staff.

2

Site Security

VH

Gates are not locked out of hours.
Limited or degraded safety.
Main gate and perimeter fencing in a state of disrepair.
Risk of unauthorised entry.
No documented traffic management plan in place - limited advisory signage in place.

Site security requires review and upgrade.
The age and location of the site presents a very high risk of injury unauthorised persons.

Site has new front gates installed. Gates are locked on a Sunday night prior to a sale and on a Monday night after a sale. A full traffic management plan has been developed and advisory signage is in place.

3

Site Fire Safety

VH

No emergency management plan in place.
No fire fighting equipment available within the cattle yards.
Only one fire hydrant available.

An emergency management plan should be developed that incorporates the potential emergencies likely to occur at a cattle yard.
The location and condition of fire fighting equipment requires review.

An emergency management plan has been developed and relevant training has been conducted with staff. A full fire plan will be developed including fire fighting equipment. Works would also be undertaken to bring in the required water for an additional fire hydrant. - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

4

Ramp Docking Facilities

VH

Ramps lack modern ramp docking requirements for the prevention of cattle escape during unloading activities.
Limited supervision available when unloading activities take place.
Many ramps are old and degraded.
Previous history of animal escape.

Ramp docking facilities require assessment and upgrade to meet best practice standards for the receival and safe unloading of cattle.

3 ramps at the sheep pens have been renovated with new retaining walls, OH&S Compliant metal fencing and stairwells. New ramp flaps are in place to ensure animals don't escape out the side or hurt themselves between the truck and ramp.

5

Cattle Crush

H

Cattle crush presents with numerous potential strike and crush hazards.
No scheduled maintenance program in place to ensure the safe operation of the cattle crush etc.

The cattle crush requires a risk assessment be undertaken to ensure it is fit for purpose and safe operation within the environment is set within.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

Cattle crush area will be improved to ensure it meets OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

6

Cattle Weigh Bridge

VH

Weighbridge gates represent a strike hazard.
Potential entrapment points for people and animals.
No scheduled maintenance program in place to ensure the safe operation of gates etc

The cattle crush requires a risk assessment be undertaken to ensure it is fit for purpose and safe operation within the environment is set within.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

The cattle weighbridge area will be improved to ensure it meets OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

7

Cattle Yard Gates

H

Protruding gate latches represent a catch point to people and animals.
No scheduled maintenance program in place to ensure the effective and safe operation of gates.
The age and condition of many gates

Gate latches require upgrade to latch and spring type - removal of protrusions.
Ensure gates open smoothly and do not stick.
Gates should be secure in both the closed and open state.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

The cattle yard gates will be improved to ensure they meets OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

8

Drafting Races

H

Potholed and cracked and uneven flooring presents a risk of sprains and strains.
No scheduled maintenance program.
Nuts bolts and gate latches present as strike hazard.

Repair and upgrade flooring to remove all potential trip and sprain hazards.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.
All protrusions should be removed.
Gate latches require upgrade to latch and spring type - removal of protrusions.

The cattle area will be improved to ensure it meets OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

9

Metal Fence Posts

M

Jagged, sharp and rusted parts of posts represent a hazard to both people and animals.

Jagged edges should be levelled and capped, sharp edges should be removed.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

All metal posts in the renovated sections of the sheep pens have capping. Areas not renovated are secured to ensure they cannot be accessed. The metal fence posts in the cattle pens will be improved to ensure they meet OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

10

Timber Fence Posts

VH

Degraded fence posts represent a strike and crush hazard to people and animals.
High risk for animal escape.
Escaped animals represent a strike hazard.
No emergency management plan in place.

Degraded fence posts should be identified and replaced.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

All degraded timber posts in the renovated sections of the sheep pens have been removed and replaced with metal posts. Areas not renovated are secured to ensure they cannot be accessed. The timber fence posts in the cattle pens will be removed and replaced with metal posts to ensure they meet OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

11

Timber Fence Railings

VH

Degraded fence posts represent a strike and crush hazard to people and animals.
High risk for animal escape.
Escaped animals represent a strike hazard.
No emergency management plan in place.

Degraded fence posts should be identified and replaced.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

All degraded timber rails in the renovated sections of the sheep pens have either been replaced with new hardwood rails or replaced with metal panels. Areas not renovated are secured to ensure they cannot be accessed. The degraded timber rails in the cattle pens will be improved to ensure they meet OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales.

12

Water Troughs

M

Water troughs filled with dirty and murky waters.
Some water troughs observed in degraded state.

Degraded water troughs should be replaced.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.

All troughs are cleaned regularly in the sheep pens. The troughs in the cattle pens have been emptied and not refilled.

13

Yards and Pens

H

Potholed and cracked and uneven flooring presents a risk of sprains and strains.
No scheduled maintenance program.

Repair and upgrade flooring to remove all potential trip and sprain hazards.
Implement a scheduled maintenance program.
Sharp edges such as corrugated iron (used to secure fencing) should be removed or rectified.
All protrusions should be removed.
Gate latches require upgrade to latch and spring type - removal of protrusions.

All of the selling pens in the sheep yards have been resurfaced with a new concrete pad under the new metal fencing panels. All gate latches in the sheep pens have been improved. All metal posts in the renovated sections of the sheep pens have capping. Areas not renovated are secured to ensure they cannot be accessed. The footing in the cattle pens will be improved to ensure it meets OH&S requirements - pending decision to renovate the cattle pens and return to cattle sales. All protrusions will be removed and all gate catches will be quick shut latches.

14

Site Drainage

M

Limit water drainage points.
People and animals working or standing in water for prolonged periods.
Risk of site runoff impacting neighbours.

Review drainage requirements at site to ensure they meet the relevant codes of practice for:
A workplace
Animal management
EPA requirements

 

15

Site Amenities

L

Toilets aged and exposed to elements.
No disabled toilets provided.

Review and upgrade amenities to ensure they meet the requirements of the relevant building code.

An additional portable toilet is in place near the poultry sales. Any decision to improve the existing toilets will be deferred - pending a decision about the future of the saleyards.

16

Workshop

VH

Poor housekeeping presents a risk.
Unregistered and inspected pressure vessel.
Free standing gas bottle.

Review and update housekeeping requirements.
Ensure pressure vessel is registered and inspected as per legislative requirements.
Ensure all gas bottles are secured in the upright position by use of chain.

Workshop has had a full refit and clean out of old tools. New shelving has been installed. Gas bottles have been secured with a chain.

17

Site Lighting and Electrical Management

VH

Aged and damaged electrical wiring in cattle yard lights.
No scheduled maintenance program in place.
No emergency management plan in place.
No fire fighting equipment available within the cattle yards.
Only one fire hydrant available.
Zelemite electrical panel - no identification
No asbestos audit has been conducted and as such an asbestos register is not available for reference by staff or contractors.

All electrical wiring requires review.
Implement a scheduled inspection and maintenance program.
An emergency management plan should be developed that incorporates the potential emergencies likely to occur at a cattle yard.
The location and condition of fire fighting equipment requires review.
Schedule an asbestos audit of the site, review and implement recommendations from the audit.

All electrical wiring in the offices and workshops have been tested and reviewed. Lights in the sheep pens will need to be assesed and replaced as necessary. An asbestos audit has been conducted and a copy of the assessment is held at the saleyards office.



Attachment 7

Cattle Pen Estimates

Works

Full cattle yard cost ($)

Interim cattle yard cost ($)

External works and services

  • Includes

$1,709,000

$1,397,600

Sub-Total (Excl.GST)

$1,709,000

$1,397,600

Contingencies and Cost Escalation

$324,000

$251,568

Non-Construction Costs

$122,000

$98,950

TOTAL END COST (excl. GST) – excl additional items

$2,155,000

$1,748,118

Additional Items

$740,000

$90,000

TOTAL END COST (excl.GST) – incl additional items

$2,895,000

$1,838,118



ZINC report - page 1 of 6

ZINC report - page 2 of 6

ZINC report - page 3 of 6

ZINC report - page 4 of 6

ZINC report - page 5 of 6

ZINC report - page 6 of 6

Attachment 8

G21 Board Minutes – 28 April 2017

The G21 Board resolves to:

Notes the Livestock Market Analysis

Reaffirms the designation of the Colac livestock Selling Centre redevelopment as the key Regional Agricultural project as referenced in the G21 Regional Growth Plan Implementation Plan

Item 2 - presentations

Notes that Colac Otway Shire and City of Greater Geelong are working together to progress the outcomes of the Local Livestock Market Analysis.


[Back to List]

3. Trudy Moritz City Learning and Care Centre

Source:

Community Life - Family Services

Director:

Linda Quinn

Index Reference:

City Learning and Care - Trudy Moritz - Reports

(Sub-16-610)


Purpose

To seek approval for the closure of the Trudy Moritz City Learning and Care Centre (Trudy Moritz), Sparks Road, Norlane and the relocation of children to Corio City Learning and Care (Corio CLAC).


Background

Trudy Moritz currently provides long day care for children 0-6 years and has been in operation for approximately 30 years. Trudy Moritz has the capacity to provide education and care for up to 39 children (33 families). The children and families utilising this centre come from very diverse backgrounds. A number of families attending the Centre experience significant vulnerability and complex social issues.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council approves the closure of the Trudy Moritz City Learning and Care Centre on 22 December 2017 and supports families to transition to Corio City Learning and Care Centre.

Carried.


Attachment 1

Discussion

Council is committed to providing high quality integrated services for families and children. The Trudy Moritz CLAC Centre no longer meets these requirements, (Trudy Moritz) has experienced a significant reduction in attendance over a number of years (88% in 2012 to 55% in 2017).

Significant marketing has been undertaken to increase participation however this has not been successful.

The low utilisation at the Centre can be attributed to a number of factors. The 2016 Census data shows a reduction of 201 children in the 0-4 year old age group since 2011. This is coupled with the closure of Ford Motor Company five years ago which has changed the demographic of families residing in the area. Low utilisation also impacts on the opportunity for parents and children to build broad support networks.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio Economic Index For Areas (SEIFA) rates Norlane very high in vulnerability. Norlane has a score of 737, compared to the average score for Greater Geelong of 993. The lower the score the higher the vulnerability.

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) indicates that the average rate of vulnerability for children in Norlane is over double the average rate for the City of Greater Geelong.

Corio CLAC staff team are very experienced and well equipped to meet the educational and care needs of the families from Trudy Moritz.


Financial Implications

If the closure of Trudy Moritz is approved the operating budget would transfer to Corio CLAC to cover the additional operating costs.


Stakeholder Consultation and Communication

Staff currently working at Trudy Moritz CLAC are aware of the low utilisation and the proposed centre closure. A comprehensive communication plan was developed and involved consultation with staff, parents, carers and agencies.

Six staff permanently employed at the Centre have attended two staff meetings to discuss the proposed centre closure and their relocation to other centres.

One-on-one meetings with families and agencies was undertaken to assess the future child care needs of families and the possible relocation of children to Corio CLAC. Staff members have provided advice and insight into the services offered at Corio CLAC, travel to Centre and what alternative long day care services may be available to them if they choose not to take up the offer of transitioning to Corio CLAC. An individual tailored transition plan will be developed to support each family.

A total of 33 parents have been consulted in relation to the proposed closure. 11 children will transition to school or sessional kindergarten in 2018. 12 families have indicated they will transition to other Council operated early learning services including Corio CLAC. The remaining 10 families are unable to commit for personal and complex reasons and we will continue to support and work with them in transitioning to a service that meets their needs post 2017.

The timing for the proposed closure in December 2017 relates to the end of the kindergarten year and provides children with a smooth transition to school.

Meetings have taken place with the external agencies who are providing support to families.

Corio CLAC is approximately three kilometres (5 minute drive, 12 minute walk) from Trudy Moritz CLAC however our aim is to ensure no family is disadvantaged due to travel or other access issues.


Policy/Legal/Statutory Implications

Council’s role in supporting provision of local child care is consistent with obligations under Section 3E (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 and Best Value requirements.

The planning and regulatory role of Local Government in relation to the provision of services for the community is also legislated in the Victorian Planning and Environment Act (1987) and the Health Act (1958) and acknowledged within the MAV/DET Partnership Agreement.

The proposed project is consistent with Federal, State and Local Government policy in relation to the development of integrated children’s services.

The proposed project is consistent with recommendations contained within the Municipal Children’s Services Infrastructure Plan.


Alignment to City Plan

This report is in alignment with How We Do Business - Responsible and Sustainable Financial Management. Responsibly manage ratepayers’ funds in the delivery of services and programs.


Conflict of Interest

No Council Officer involved in this report has a direct or indirect conflict of interest.


Risk Assessment

There is a risk families may choose not to pursue child care after the closure of the Trudy Moritz CLAC. We will however work with external agencies to provide ongoing support.


Environmental Implications

No environmental impact.


[Back to List]

4. Osborne House Briefing

Source:

Finance & Strategy – Property & Procurement

Director:

Joanne Moloney

Index Reference:

Land & Buildings


Purpose

To provide a progress report on the closure of Osborne House.


Background

On 13 April 2017, a report was received from an independent industrial hygienist which showed readings of mould at levels that posed a significant health risk to the occupants of the Osborne House precinct. Due to this, the site was immediately closed and has remained closed while undergoing further testing and assessment.

A second independent industrial hygienist report was commissioned on 28 June 2017. Results from this report confirm the findings of the first report and, further, identified mould spores from the potentially deadly Stachybotrys strain also known as “black mould”.

Both reports attribute the abnormal weather events during recent years as being a contributing factor of mould forming and spreading so rapidly throughout the Osborne House precinct.

As part of the ongoing assessment process, quotes totalling approximately $1.5m have been received for cleaning the building and undertaking both minor and structural repairs. These quotes do not include the cost of cleaning, storage of artefacts or the like-for-like replacement of damaged building materials as required by Heritage Victoria.

The artefacts contained within the building have an estimated value of $1.5m – $2m. The majority of the artefacts are owned by the Commonwealth with Council acting as the management authority. Cleaning of these artefacts is required to be undertaken by a specialist and this work will need to be tendered. The cost for removal, cleaning and secure storage of the artefacts for a 12 month period is estimated at being in the range of $500k - $1m.

Heritage Victoria has been consulted and have outlined the management process for Council moving forward. This includes permits and other requirements for approving replacement of materials and the like.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council:

  1. acknowledge the requirement to maintain closure of the Osborne House precinct until further assessments and costings are undertaken and options for the future of the precinct are developed;

  2. endorses the commencement of a procurement process to engage a suitable experienced contractor to commence the cleaning of artefacts;

  3. endorses the commencement of a procurement process to secure a lease on a suitable storage facility for the artefacts both during and post cleaning;

  4. approves the allocation of funds of up to $1m to meet the relocation, cleaning and ongoing storage of artefacts.

Carried.


Attachment 1

Discussion

It is estimated that there are approximately 20,000 artefacts in the Osborne House precinct both large and small. The cleaning process, as it is currently understood, consists of removing each object to a ‘freezing room’. They will then be moved to a room dedicated to cleaning and, finally, into a temperature controlled room to ensure no further damage.

Heritage Victoria has advised that, from August 2018, any permits for works on heritage listed buildings will be increased significantly following recent action on some heritage listed properties in Victoria. As an example, estimates of $50k per permit to dismantle non-heritage listed components of Osborne House have been received.


Financial Implications

A quote has been provided to Council in relation to cleaning of the artefacts. The quote of approximately $215k (ex GST) is inclusive of the cleaning and storage of artefacts utilising shipping containers.

Dehumidifiers have been identified as key in the cleaning process to allow air to flow throughout the buildings. Quotes received for this aspect alone are for 80 humidifier units at a cost of $77.3k (ex GST) for the naval museum and $126.3k (ex GST) for Osborne House itself, totalling $203.6k (ex GST) to clean the air within the building over a 6 month period. This process would remove the mould from the air while surface would still need to be treated.

Note, storage and refrigeration costs have not yet sourced but are being estimated at approximately $300k-$400k.

The current overall estimate for cleaning and repair of the site (inclusive of artefacts) is $2.5m - $3m. This estimate is inclusive of cleaning and replacement of damage that can be seen. This does not include the rectification of building damage that can only be identified once works commence. Some material will need to be matched with like-for-like replacement should it be damaged and be heritage listed. Cheap replicas will not be accepted by Heritage Victoria.

To date, Council has spent approximately $70k on investigating the mould issue, commissioning an engineering report and completing some minor remedial works.

Council currently generates less than $1k of revenue annually from tenants of the Osborne House precinct.


Stakeholder Consultation and Communication

Tenants have been kept informed of the progress to date via two engagement meetings held on 13 April and 10 May. Tenants were advised at the meeting on 10 May that the precinct was to remain closed indefinitely and further meetings were to be scheduled when new information of significance was available.

The second hygienist report, received 24 July, has highlighted a previously unreported mould, Stachybotrys, which has extreme health risks associated. Based on these findings, a third meeting is scheduled with the tenants on 31 July.

All tenants are continuing with their agreed short term moves. The Brass Band has been provided with a hall which accommodates both their rehearsals and provides secure storage of their equipment.. The Vietnam Veterans were offered but initially rejected a move to the North Geelong Football Club, however they have now informed Council that they prepared to work towards this outcome as an interim solution.

Rotary have been offered access to storage options on GREP land to help meet their interim needs, however they have refused this offer numerous times. Council do not have any alternate sites outside the GREP that meet the Rotary Clubs needs.

All tenant groups have been granted limited supervised access to the building and surrounding grounds to enable them to remove some items that were deemed urgent or critical to their ongoing functionality. These site visits have been supervised by the relevant facilities maintenance officer and a hygienist, with protective masks and cleaning process followed for the removal of any item.


Policy/Legal/Statutory Implications

Heritage Victoria will be consulted regularly throughout this process.


Conflict of Interest

Nil to declare.


Risk Assessment

The growth of mould is an ongoing issue. While work is being undertaken, all personnel and contractors entering the building will wear protective clothing as outlined in the hygienist report.

Significant OH&S risk to the public entering the buildings on the site without protective gear.


[Back to List]

5. New Council Meeting Procedures Local Law

Source:

Governance and Legal Services

Executive Manager:

Rebecca Leonard

Index Reference:

Governance


Purpose

For Council to endorse a new Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017 and submit the new Local Law for public consultation.


Background

In response to the Commission of Inquiry, the City has established a new Governance and Legal Services Department which is now reviewing governance practices across Council. As part of that review, a new Council Meeting Procedure Local Law (Local Law) and related policies have been drafted.

The new Local Law regulates the orderly conduct of meetings of Council, including ordinary meetings, special Council meetings, and meetings of Special Committees, the use of the common seal, the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and provides for new arrangements for the conduct of public question and submission time.

As part of the governance review, and in line with Item 3.1, Appendix 4 of the Commission of Inquiry assessment of the Council against the framework for good governance, there is a need to improve the use of Special Committees by Council to facilitate decision making and oversight. A change in the Council’s Special Committee structure will be implemented by Council to enable greater community engagement and improve opportunities for Council to consider community views on issues which will be decided upon by Council.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council, in accordance with Sections 111, 119, 223 and Schedule 8 of the Local Government Act 1989:

  1. gives public notice of its intention to make the Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017 (Refer Attachment 2) and invites submissions for a period of 28 days;

  2. note that any person who makes a written submission and has requested to be heard in support of the written submission is entitled to appear in person, or by a person acting on his or her behalf, before a meeting of the Council’s Submissions (Section 223) Committee;

  3. receives a further report outlining any submissions received in respect of the proposed new Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017, including a report on the submissions, the Submissions Committee’s proceedings and summary of any hearing. A recommendation will then be presented to Council for consideration on or about 20 September 2017.

Carried.


Attachment 1

KEY PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE LOCAL LAW

Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor

The process for election of a Mayor and Deputy Mayor reflects the provisions of the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Act 2017.


Quorum

Provisions relating to assessing and responding to an inability to reach or maintain a Quorum at any Meeting have been included.


Minutes

A more clearly defined process has been incorporated into the Local Law to ensure that the Minutes of each meeting are properly considered and a process is in place to ensure that any proposed amendments to the Minutes are dealt with in a clear, transparent and consistent manner.


Recording of Meetings

The proposed new Local Law states that no one, other than an authorised member of Council Staff, is allowed to video or audio record any Meeting.


Public Question and Submission Time

Public questions and submissions are to be asked and responded to or submitted in accordance with the Council’s Public Question and Submission Time Policy, to be considered concurrently with this proposed new Local Law.


Motions and Amendments

A detailed step-by-step procedure for moving Motions and Amendments has now been included in line with best practice across the sector.


Procedural Motions

A table has been included outlining the processes to be followed in respect of Procedural Motions.


Notices of Motion

The proposed Local Law requires a Meeting Member to submit a Notice of Motion form at least one day before the Agenda is provided to the Members. This will enable the Chief Executive Officer time to consider the proposed Notice of Motion and consider the application of the Local Law in respect of any proposed Notice of Motion.


Notice of Rescission

A clear, transparent and consistent process for moving and considering Motions that a previous Council decision be revoked, rescinded or altered is set out in the proposed new Local Law. Notice of rescission can be given by either a Member of a Meeting or a Member of Council Staff. Provisions are also included to clarify what happens when a Motion seeking rescission of a previous Resolution is lost, and when such a notice of rescission is not required.


Urgent Business

A clear, transparent and consistent process for bringing urgent business before a Meeting has been included in the proposed new Local Law.

For instance, urgent business will now be considered if it relates to a matter that has arisen since distribution of the Agenda, cannot be deferred until the next Meeting without having a negative impact on Council and cannot be addressed through operational service requests. For an item of urgent business to be considered it must be lodged with the Chief Executive Officer by no later than 4.00 pm on the Meeting night.


Disagreement with Chairperson’s Ruling

The updating of this section improves clarity of the process to be followed in the event this occurs.


Public addressing the Meeting

Members of the public must address the Meeting in accordance with the Local Law, not interject, and must take direction from the Chairperson.


Stakeholder Consultation and Communication

Council will invite submissions in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989. This aligns with the ‘consult position’ of the IAP2 community participation spectrum supported by Councils’ Community Engagement Policy adopted on 25 July 2017.


Policy/Legal/Statutory Implications

The draft new Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2017 has been prepared in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Local Government Act 1989; the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and National Competition Policy.


Alignment to City Plan

How We Do Business.


Conflict of Interest

No officer involved in the preparation of this report has a direct or indirect interest.


Attachment 3

HUMAN RIGHTS CHARTER

Consideration Matrix – Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017

Council is required to act in accordance with the Victorian Human Rights Charter, and to consider human rights when making a decision.

The Charter provides standards and a framework to assist Council to consider the rights of all interested parties, and to be better able to strike a balance between an individual’s rights and those of competing public interests. The rights in the Charter may be subject to reasonable limitation in order to achieve this balance. As with all discerning decision making, if limitations are applied, this must be documented.

There are 20 rights listed in the Charter that promote the principles of freedom, respect, equality and dignity.

Specifically, the draft Local Law proposes to:

  1. implement changes to the City of Greater Geelong Act (Vic) 1993 (as amended);

  2. regulate and control the use of the Common Seal of Council;

  3. regulate proceedings for the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor;

  4. facilitate the orderly conduct of, and regulate proceedings at meetings of Council and Special Committees at the Greater Geelong City Council;

  5. facilitate the good government of the Greater Geelong City Council and ensure that the Council’s decisions are made in the best interests of the community;

  6. promote and encourage community participation in the good government of the City; and

  7. repeal the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2013.

Issues & Purpose

Rights Impacted

(e.g.: s.15 refers to Sections of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006)

Justification / Alternatives

Positive Impact

Negative Impact

Part 1 Preliminary

Nil

Nil

No impact as it sets out Title, Objectives, Legislative requirements and definitions.

Part 2

Election of Mayor & Deputy Mayor

s.15 Freedom of expression

  • Establishes a right for an individual to vote and be elected.

s.16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

  • Provides the process for election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in an open and transparent manner.

  • Meeting must be open to the public (s71).

s.18 Taking part in public life

  • Without discrimination.

  • Right to participate in public affairs by Council members or members of committees at Local Government level.

Nil

Council members are elected in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989. Consequently, this part relates only to Council members, and by virtue of the Act, does not apply to other persons.

Part 3

Procedure at Council meetings

s.15 Freedom of expression

  • Establishes a right for an individual to participate in the conduct of public affairs, and to vote as an elected representative.

  • Refers the process for public question time to Council Policy.

s.13 Privacy and Reputation

  • For Council members, staff and members of the public, privacy is maintained in accordance with the Victorian Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

s.16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

  • Establishes rules for the orderly conduct of meetings and recognises the rights of council members to participate.

  • Ensures a public record of proceedings.

s.18 Taking part in public life

  • Sets the process and the rights of a Council members or member of a Special Committee to participate in the conduct of public affairs and to vote at meetings.

s.15 Freedom of expression

  • Individuals who are not Council members have a right to attend, and also limited participation rights, but they may not participate as an elected member.

  • Refers the process for public question time to Council Policy, but does not allow participation beyond asking questions.

  • Personal information disclosed in public is not protected

s.16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

  • Sets limitations on behaviour for both members and the public.

  • Ensures a public record of proceedings

s.18 Taking part in public life

  • Sets the process and the rights of an individual to participate in the conduct of public affairs, but not at the same level as an elected person.

The Local Government Act 1989 sets out requirements for Council and Special Committee Meetings, and further, requires Councils to adopt a Local Law to establish meeting procedures.

Consequently, this Local Law focuses on the rules for achieving orderly meetings, while recognising that meetings are open to the public.

Public rights are contained within the Act itself, which is subject to the Human Rights Charter.

The Act and any subsequent amendments are assessed against the Charter by State Parliament, and therefore, not further addressed at the local level.

Assistance is available to members of the public who are unable to draft their own written questions prior to Council Meetings.

Part 4

Common Seal

Nil

Nil

No impact as it does not affect any person

Part 5

Offences

s.16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

  • Establishes the rules for the orderly conduct of meetings and recognises the rights of council members to participate.

  • Applies penalties for breaches of the Council Meeting Procedure Local Law.

s.16 Peaceful assembly and freedom of association

  • Applies penalties for breaches of the Local Law.

  • Any person to whom a penalty is applied has rights of appeal under the Local Government and/or other Acts or Regulations.

 

Part 6

Committees

Applies similar guidelines for Special Committees as defined in the Local Government Act 1989. As per Part 3

 

 



Conclusion

The draft Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017 is considered to be compatible with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights.


Attachment 4

REPORT ON COMPETITION ASPECTS OF PROPOSED LOCAL LAW

Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017

Introduction

A Local Law must not restrict competition unless it can be demonstrated that:

the benefits of the restriction to the community as a whole outweigh the costs; and

the objectives of the Local Law can only be achieved by restricting competition,

(Clause 2(j) of Schedule 8 to the Local Government Act 1989).

This report applies this 'competition test' to the proposed Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017.

Part 1 – Preliminary

Part 1 sets out the objectives of the Local Law, when the Local Law commences and ends and definitions of words used in the Local Law.

It does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Part 2 – Election of the Mayor & Deputy Mayor

Part 2 regulates the timing and proceedings for the election of the Mayor & Deputy Mayor.

It does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Part 3 – Procedure at Council Meetings

Part 3 sets out the role of the Chairperson, Quorum, Minutes and general procedural rules applicable to the conduct of meetings. It has no external focus and is aimed at ensuring good governance practices.

It does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Part 4 – Use of Common Seal

Part 4 contains provisions that regulate the use of the Common Seal and to prohibit the use of the Common Seal or any device resembling the Common Seal, as required by Section 5 of the Act.

It does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Part 5 – Offences

In Part 5 establishes offences in relation to behaviour at meetings and again it does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Part 6 – Special Committees

Part 6 applies similar rules to committees established under the Local Government Act 1989.

It does not contain any restrictions on competition.

Conclusion

The Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017 is considered to be compatible with the National Competition Policy because it has no impact on competition as the regulates governance issues associated with the Election of the Mayor & Deputy Mayor, procedures for the operation of Meetings, use of the Common Seal, Offences for breach of the Local Law and Special Committees of Council.


Attachment 5

GREATER GEELONG CITY COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING PROCEDURES LOCAL LAW
COMMUNITY IMPACT STATEMENT

Amended Local Law 2017

PART A – GENERAL COMMENTS

The Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2013 came into effect on 26 September 2013. Since that time, Council has successfully relied upon the Local Law to govern the conduct of meetings of Council and Special Committees and enforce breaches of the Local Law where necessary.

The proposed new Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2017 will supersede the current Local Law 2013.

This community impact statement is intended to provide information to the community about the proposed Local Law and to assist any member of the public who may wish to make a submission to the Council during the public consultation process required by der the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act).

Background

Section 91(1) of the Act requires Council to make local laws governing the conduct of meetings of the Council and Special Committees. The Council is also required to regulate the election of the Mayor and use of its common seal by way of local law.

Overview of the proposed new Local Law

The new Local Law has been designed to clarify language and processes generally, but more specifically in relation to Minutes, Motions and Amendments, Notices of Motion, Notices of Rescission, Procedural Motions, Urgent Business, Disagreement With Chairperson’s Ruling and Public Addressing the Meeting. In addition, public question and submission time will be mandated by the Local Law but regulated by Council policy to empower the Council to effectively transact the business of Council and maintain public accessibility of, and input into Council decision making. The new Local Law also addresses changes in local government legislation and reflects governance practices at the City of Greater Geelong.

Objectives of the proposed new Local Law

The objectives of the proposed Local Law are to:

  1. implement changes to the City of Greater Geelong Act (Vic) 1993 (as amended);

  2. regulate and control the use of the Common Seal of Council;

  3. regulate proceedings for the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor;

  4. facilitate the orderly conduct of, and regulate proceedings at meetings of Council and Special Committees at the Greater Geelong City Council;

  5. facilitate the good government of the Greater Geelong City Council and ensure that the Council’s decisions are made in the best interests of the community;

  6. promote and encourage community participation in the good government of the City;

  7. repeal the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2013.

PART B – EVALUATION OF PROPOSED NEW LOCAL LAW

ISSUE

EVALUATION

Measuring success

Council will measure the success of the new Local Law by -

  • the extent to which it provides for and facilitates the orderly, efficient, participative and fair conduct of meetings to which it applies;

  • the extent to which it effectively controls and records the use of the common seal.

Existing legislation that might be used instead

Existing legislation cannot be used to achieve the objective of the new Local law on the basis that:

  • Section 91 of the Act requires Council to make a local law governing the conduct of Council and Special Committee meetings;

  • Section 5 of the Act provides that Council must have a common seal the use of which must be in accordance with the local laws of the Council.

State legislation is more appropriate

There is no Victorian legislation that can achieve the objectives of the new Local Law.

Overlap of existing legislation

Council does not consider that any provision of the new Local Law overlaps with existing State legislation. Where the new Local Law refers to the Act it is not inconsistent.

Overlap of Planning Scheme

Council does not consider any provision of the proposed Local Law overlaps, duplicates or creates an inconsistency with Council’s Planning Scheme.

Risk assessment

There are no significant risks associated with the advertising and considering adoption of the new Local Law.

Legislative approach adopted

The new Local Law prescribes the regulatory procedures for the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor; procedures for conducting meetings; use of common seal; offences and special committees.

Restriction of competition

Council has conducted a review of the proposed Local Law in accordance with National Competition Principles and there is no impact on competition.

Penalties

Part 5 of the proposed Local Law set-out the penalties for various offences. The maximum penalty for any offence under the Local Law is 5 penalty units.

Permits and fees

There is no provision within this Local Law for permit and fees.

Performance standards or prescription

Where appropriate, Council has adopted prescriptive standards to the extent that it sets out procedures to be followed in the conduct of Mayoral elections, and Council and Special Committee meetings. The prescriptive nature of the new Local Law provides for certainty, fairness and equity for Councillors and members of any Special Committee in the conduct of meetings.

Comparison with neighbouring Councils

In drafting the new Local Law, Council undertaken an informal comparison of equivalent local laws of neighbouring municipalities. The examination of other council’s local laws indicates that the nee Local Law is generally consistent with neighbouring and like Councils.

Consultation meetings

The new Local Law has been developed in consultation with the Councillors (Administrators), the Executive Leadership Team, Council staff and legal advisors.

Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities

Council has assessed the proposed local law for compatibility with the Charter of Human Rights. The key points of engagement between the Charter and new Local Law relate to the freedom of expression and the right to participate in public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

The new Local Law is considered to be fully compatible with the Charter.

Submissions

Submissions on the new Local Law will be invited through a submission process to be conducted in accordance with section 223 of the Act.

Submissions will be invited for a period of 28 days, following which a Submissions Committee will be convened to hear from submitters wishing to be heard.

Topical provisions

Council does not believe that the proposed Local Law contains any substantially new provisions or removes any provisions that would cause concern or controversy within the local community.



[Back to List]

6. Public Question and Submission Time Policy

Source:

Governance and Legal Services

Executive Manager:

Rebecca Leonard

Index Reference:

Public Question and Submission Time Policy


Purpose

To propose that Council endorse the Public Question and Submission Time Policy 2017 subject to the adoption of the proposed Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017.


Background

In response to the Commission of Inquiry, the City has established a new Governance and Legal Services Department which is now reviewing governance practices across Council. As part of that review, a new Council Meeting Procedure Local Law (Local Law) and related policies have been drafted.

Question and submission time at meetings of Council provides an opportunity for the public to ask questions and make submissions about Council actions and decisions and to obtain timely responses and information. Currently, public questions and submissions are forward to Council immediately prior to, or raised at, the Council meeting at which the decision is made.

Question time has been included in the Council Meeting Procedures Local Law (Local Law). A review of the Local Law has been undertaken to ascertain if the procedures and guidelines for question and submission time can be enhanced to better assist the public to have input into, and Council to deliberate on, the issues raised before the Council prior to making a decision.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council endorse the proposed Public Question and Submission Time Policy.

Carried.


[Back to List]

7. Council Election Period Policy

Source:

Governance & Legal Services

Executive Manager:

Rebecca Leonard

Index Reference:

Governance: Council Election


Purpose

To adopt the Election Period Policy in anticipation of the 2017 Council Election.


Background

In April 2016 the Local Government Investigation and Compliance Inspectorate (LGICI)

undertook a review of the election period policies of all Victorian councils and made a number of recommendations to improve governance during election periods. Those recommendations are set out in Attachment 1.

The next council election for the Greater Geelong City Council is on 28 October 2017 and the election period commences on 26 September 2017.

The Election Period Policy has been developed in accordance with the legislative requirements of sections 55D and 93B of the Local Government Act 1989 (the Act) and the LGIGI recommendations. It supersedes the Caretaker Policy Council Elections CPL 45.5.


Key Issues

L Gardner moved, P Dorling seconded -

That Council adopts the Election Period Policy CPL45.5 (Attachment 2).

Carried.



Attachment 1

ELECTION PERIOD POLICY REVIEW

Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate, April 2016

Recommendations:

  1. Election period policies must be displayed on Council websites with clear advice to website visitors that these policies are also available for public access through Council offices or Service Centres.

  2. Councils should include provisions in their policies which prohibit the use of any council resource to be utilised for the purposes of electioneering, by either Councillors or Council staff. These include telephones, office equipment, council email addresses and social media handles.

  3. While Councillors are permitted to attend public events where necessary, policies must provide clear instructions stating that Councillors are not to use appearances at public events for the purposes of electioneering and were not to speak at these events unless expressly authorised by the CEO. Any speeches must be written for them by Council staff under the direction of the CEO.

  4. A public register of information requests should be maintained by Councils and accessible on Council websites so that each request for Council information is recorded and the information is available to all candidates in the election.

  5. Council policies must state that no electoral material would be placed on council websites or social media during the election period. Councils are advised to place an election period statement on their website and social media accounts advising they will not be updating or adding new information to those channels, other than necessary operational information.

  6. Councils are advised to follow the example set by several Councils to include their election policy as part of the candidate information packs they will hand out during information sessions for the upcoming election.


Attachment 2

Election Period Policy

Election Period Policy

Document No:  

CPL 45.5

Approval Date:  

2 August 2017

Approved By: 

Council

Review Date: 

01 June 2020

Responsible Officer:  Chief Executive Officer

Version No:  

01

Authorising Officer:  

Chief Executive Officer 



1. Purpose

This Election Period Policy has been developed in accordance with the legislative requirements of sections 55D and 93B of the Local Government Act 1989.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that, during the election period:


2. Scope

This policy applies to Councillors, candidates, Special Committee members and City staff throughout the election period.


3. Definitions

Act means the Local Government Act (Vic) 1989.

Certified means attesting in writing that:

  1. no electoral matter is contained in; and/or

  2. approval of

material for publication by the Chief Executive Officer during the Election Period.

City means the Greater Geelong City Council.

Consultation means any process that involves an invitation to individuals, groups, organisations or the community in general to comment on an issue, proposed action or proposed policy.

Electioneering means any action, statement and or publication that contains material directly related to, or likely to influence, a Councillor’s re-election or a candidate’s election.

Election Period means the 32 day statutory time period prior commencing on the last day that nominations for the election can be received and concluding at 6pm on election day.

Exceptional Circumstances means where a decision:

  1. is urgent;

  2. cannot reasonably be deferred without major consequence to the City of Greater Geelong; and/or

  3. relates to the completion of projects or initiatives that have already been endorsed by the Council, including but not limited to projects or initiatives made pursuant to the Budget, City Plan or Business Plan.

Inappropriate Decision means a decision that:

  1. would affect voting in an election; and/or

  2. could reasonably be made after the election as defined in section 93B(5) of the Act.

Major Policy Decision means any decision:

  1. relating to the employment or remuneration of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) under section 94 of the Act, other than a decision to appoint an acting CEO;

  2. to terminate the appointment of a CEO under section 94 of the Act;

  3. to enter into a contract the total value of which exceeds whichever is the greater of:

    1. $100,000 or such higher amount as may be fixed by the Order In Council under section 186(1) of the Act; or

    2. 1% of the council’s revenue from rates and charges levied under section 158 of the Act in the preceding financial year;

  4. to exercise any power under section 193 of the Act if the sum assessed under section 193(5A) of the Act in respect of the proposal exceeds whichever is the greater of $100,000 or 1% of the City’s revenue from rates and charges levied under section 158 of the Act in the preceding financial year, as defined in section 93A(6) of the Act.

Publish means publish by any means, whether in hard copy or electronically, including publication on the internet.

Special Committee means a committee of Council established under section 86 of the Act.


4. Election Period for 2017 

The Election Period for 2017 commences on Tuesday 26 September 2017 and concludes at 6pm on Saturday 28 October 2017.


5. Councillor to fulfil duties during election period

During the Election Period, Councillors:

  1. will continue to fulfil their duties (unless they are granted leave of absence);

  2. will continue to engage, and communicate with, the community in their Councillor role;

  3. must comply with the Act and the Councillor Code of Conduct; and

  4. must not use their position to influence Council officers, or access Council resources or information, in support of any election campaign or candidacy.


6. Council decisions and meetings

Council will not consider or make any decisions during the Election Period that would, or could be perceived to, affect voting in an election, or unfairly commit the incoming Council to a major course of action, or could reasonably be made after the election.

The following specifically applies:


6.1 Major Policy Decisions

  1. During the Election Period, the Council will not make any Major Policy Decisions.

  2. Where a Major Policy Decision is required to be considered and decided upon by Council during the Election Period, Council will determine whether there are Exceptional Circumstances for a Major Policy decision to be made. Where there are Exceptional Circumstances requiring a Council to make a Major Policy Decision during the Election Period, Council may make an application to the Minister in accordance with section 93A(2) of the Act seeking an exemption from the application of section 93A of the Act. Only if the Minister grants an exemption under section 93A(3) of the Act can the Council make the Major Policy Decision.

  3. The CEO will ensure that Major Policy Decisions are agreed and scheduled for Council consideration prior to the start of the Election Period, or alternatively, scheduled for consideration by the new incoming Council, unless the Minister grants an exemption under section 93(A) of the Act.


6.2 Inappropriate Decisions

During the Election Period, Council will take all reasonable steps to prevent Inappropriate Decisions being made.


6.3 Business at Council and Special Committee meetings

During the Election Period, matters which may be considered at Council or Special Committee meetings include:

  1. Annual Report;

  2. Procedural items to complete the Council’s term of office, such as assemblies of Council.


6.4 Public Question Time

Public question time at Council and Special Committee meeting will be suspended during the Election Period.


7. Election period statement in Council Reports

The CEO will ensure that an “Election Period Statement” is incorporated in any report submitted to Council or to a Special Committee during the Election Period. The “Election Period Statement” will appear at the start of the report in the form of one of the following statements (as applicable):

or

or


8. Use of City resources

Council resources are not to be used in connection with Electioneering.

In particular, during the Election Period:


9. Consultation and events

Council will not undertake any Consultations or events during the Election Period.


9.1 Consultation

Where Consultation has already commenced, that Consultation will be suspended during the Election Period unless there is a legal obligation to continue the Consultation or the Chief Executive Officer determines that Extraordinary Circumstances exist which warrant the Consultation continuing.


9.2 Public Events

Council will not conduct or promote events during the Election Period. This includes promotion of upcoming events held after the Election Period.

Councillors may attend public events during the Election Period, but they are not to use their appearance at a public event during the Election Period for Electioneering.

Councillors are not authorised to speak at a public event unless authorised to do so by the Chief Executive Officer. Any speeches prepared for Councillors attending a public event during the Election Period must be written by City staff and approved by the Chief Executive Officer.


9.3 Existing City Programs

During the Election Period, existing City programs and operational services for the community will continue as business as usual, but new promotional activity is not permitted during the Election Period.


10. Communications and Marketing

City communications and marketing promote the City’s activities and services through media releases, publications and social media channels.


10.1 City Website and Social Media

At the start of the Election Period a message will be posted on the City’s social media channels and website stating that these channels will have no new content added until after the Election Period unless it relates to existing City services.

No electoral material may be placed on the City’s website or social media during the Election Period.


10.2 Publications generally

During the Election Period:


10.3 Council Spokesperson

The Chief Executive Officer will be the primary spokesperson for the Council during the Election Period.


11. Information and assistance to candidates

All requests for information to the City by candidates during the Election Period are to be directed to the Chief Executive Officer in writing. The City will ensure all candidates have equal access to information.

During the Election Period, an Information Request Register will be maintained by the Chief Executive Officer which will record:

The Information Request Register will be a public document, and will be published on the City’s website for the duration of the Election Period. The Information Request Register will record a summary of the requests for information and the responses and/or link to any requested public document.

Information and briefing material supplied at the request of any candidate during the Election Period will relate only to factual matters or to current City services which is accessible by the public. The information supplied will not relate to policy development, new projects or matters that are the subject of public or election debate or that might be perceived to be connected to a candidate’s election campaign.

Requests for information by candidates that require significant City resources to be devoted to a response may be refused at the sole discretion of the Chief Executive Officer. If a request for information is refused, the Chief Executive Officer must record the reason for such refusal in the Information Request Register.

All enquiries from candidates about the election process are to be made directly to the Returning Officer or, where the matter is outside the responsibilities of the Returning Officer, to the Chief Executive Officer.


12. Responsibility

The Governance Unit is responsible for the administration of this policy. Any issues or items requiring clarification will be referred to the Chief Executive Officer, who will make a determination with respect to matters of policy interpretation or implementation.


13. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.

Record

Retention/Disposal Responsibility

Retention Period

Location

Certified copies of records

EDRMS

As per PROV

DMS



14. Attachments


[Back to List]

Close of Meeting

As there was no further business the meeting closed at 7:05pm. Wednesday, 2 August 2017.


Signed: _________________________________________

Dr Kathy Alexander - Chair



Date of Confirmation: _____________________________



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