Council update Tuesday 28 May 2019

28 May 2019

Following is a summary of the Ordinary Council Meeting for Tuesday 28 May 2019. NB: it is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minutes

Hunter Street Mall Rate Relief from development construction

A Lord Mayoral Minute was supported to implement a rate assistance plan to help local small and medium businesses experiencing financial pressure from ongoing development construction in Hunter Street Mall and Newcastle East.

Lower Hunter Freight Corridor Prioritisation

Another Lord Mayoral Minute was supported to write to the State Government urging it to expedite preservation of the Lower Hunter Freight corridor after its future was made uncertain by the approval of a motorsport park at Wakefield by the Hunter and Central Coast Planning Panel.

Light Up Newcastle Street Trees Initiative

A Lord Mayoral Minute to support the installation of LED bud lighting in street trees in businesses and local centres to create more attractive, safe and exciting streetscapes was supported.

Federal Election Results

A fourth Lord Mayoral Minute to commit to continued collaboration with the newly re-elected Federal Government and Federal Labor opposition, and congratulate four returned local Hunter members, was supported.

Ordinary Business

Create a new heritage item for the former Civic Railway Station, Newcastle. Endorse amendment to the Newcastle LEP 2012

Council endorsed a planning proposal to begin the process to maintain the former Civic Railway Station as a heritage item of local significance once its ownership transfers to City of Newcastle later this year.

Proposed road closure and sale of part of Hill Street, Jesmond, and request for reduction of fees

Council unanimously resolved to gift a parcel of land adjacent to Zara’s House refugee centre in recognition of the critical role it plays in providing support services to the migrant community.

Exhibition of the draft Fern Bay and North Stockton Strategy

Council deferred to exhibit the Draft Fern Bay and North Stockton Strategy, pending a workshop between the report authors and councillors to better understand the detail of the plan. An invitation will also be extended to Port Stephens councillors to attend the workshop.

March quarterly budget review

Council received the March Quarterly Budget review statement

Endorsement of March quarterly performance of our budget (2018-2022 delivery program)

Council voted to receive the March Quarterly Performance on the 2018-2022 Delivery Program

Executive monthly performance report

Council received the monthly performance report for April 2019

Review of business improvement areas in Newcastle implementation report – consideration of public submissions

Council voted to change the scheme used to invest the $1.35 million raised annually via special benefit rates, which are special rates paid by some commercial property owners in the CBD, Hamilton, Wallsend and Mayfield business districts.

Council representation at the United Nations High Leave Political Forum July 2019

Council voted to support an amended motion to select an elected representative to attend the United Nations’ High-Level Political forum in New York.

Notice of Motions

Offshore mining and supporting the fight for the Bight

Councillors supported an amended Notice of Motion to re-affirm opposition to offshore exploration and mining, due to unacceptable environmental impacts and negative economic effects on fishing, and advocate strongly against them.

Climate emergency declaration

An amended NOM acknowledging that we are in a state of emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, was supported.

City welcome-sign upgrades

An NOM to update the signage at the City’s entry points to provide a more modern and dynamic welcome via a design competition, and by incorporating smart city elements in signage, was supported.

Tighes Hill Community needs assessment

Another NOM to conduct a needs assessment to allocate funds from the sale of the Tighes Hill School of Arts Building, as part of the community engagement and consultation for the development of the Local Strategic Planning Statement, was supported.