Ordinary Council Meeting Tuesday 18 January 2022

18 Jan 2022

Following is a summary of resolutions from the Ordinary Council meeting of Tuesday 18 January 2022. NB: it is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minutes

Congratulating new and returning Councillors

A Lord Mayoral Minute (LMM) congratulated all successful candidates from the 4 December Local Government election and welcomed them to the Chamber as City of Newcastle Councillors. Councillors were also given an opportunity to address the Chamber.

COVID-19 Omicron Variant

An amended Lord Mayoral Minute was passed that noted the significant public health and economic consequences to Newcastle of the current national outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. It expressed deep concern that NSW Health is no longer publishing daily COVID statistics for the Hunter-New England region, including the Newcastle LGA and called for Council to write to the NSW Premier and Minister for Health urging the reinstatement of reporting of daily case numbers for Newcastle. It also called for an assessment of the specific public health risks of the upcoming Newcastle 500 Supercars event, and a review of the Supercars COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Ordinary business

Appointment of Deputy Lord Mayor

Councillors voted to elect Cr Declan Clausen as Deputy Lord Mayor for the duration of current the Council term.

Countback election

Council determined that casual vacancies occurring in the office of a councillor within 18 months of the election on 4 December 2021 are to be filled by a countback of votes cast at that election.

Appointment of Councillor representatives to external committees and City of Newcastle committees

Council resolved to appoint Councillors as members of various external committees for the current Council term. This includes the Fort Scratchley Historical Society Incorporated, the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel, Hunter Sports Centre Incorporated, the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Board, the Newcastle City Traffic Committee and the NSW Public Libraries Association. Council also resolved to appoint Councillors to a number of City of Newcastle committees for the current Council term.

Appointment of a Councillor representative to the Hunter Water Customer and Community Advisory Group

Council resolved to appoint a Councillor representative and an alternative to the Hunter Water Customer and Community Advisory Group for the current Council term.

Endorsement of motions for submission to the 2022 Local Government NSW Special Conference

Council voted to endorse three motions to be submitted to the 2022 Local Government NSW Special Conference, which will be held in Sydney from Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March 2022. This included a motion to amend the Local Government Act to prohibit property developers and real estate agents from running for elected local government positions; a motion to advocate for the removal of universal rate pegging in NSW, allowing elected Councils to set rates in consultation with their communities; and a motion to re-establish a fixed four-year term for Council, with the next Council elections to be held in September 2025.

Public exhibition of draft Community Strategic Plan

Council unanimously voted to publicly exhibit the draft Community Strategic Plan (Newcastle 2040) for 28 days. The Plan provides the basis for ongoing alignment of CN’s decision-making processes, strategies and activities with the vision of the Newcastle community and has been informed by extensive community and stakeholder engagement.