Ordinary Council Meeting Tuesday 23 February 2021

23 Feb 2021

Following is a summary of resolutions from the Ordinary Council meeting of Tuesday 23 February 2021. NB: it is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minutes

Inaugural New Annual Cultural Festival success
A Lord Mayoral Minute acknowledging the success of the City’s inaugural 10-day cultural festival New Annual held across the City between 12-21 February 2021, which attracted over 30,000 people, cementing Newcastle’s status as a hub of creativity and culture, was supported.

The minute acknowledged that more than 500 artists and 250 staff, crew and volunteers were involved in the delivery of New Annual and congratulated the local artists for embracing New Annual, and helping the City to create a world-class arts and cultural festival for Novocastrians and visitors.

City of Newcastle Local Government Remuneration Tribunal annual determination submission 2021
A Lord Mayoral Minute (LMM) was carried that noted that on 17 February 2021, correspondence from the NSW Government’s Local Government Renumeration Tribunal was received, calling for submissions by Friday, 19 March 2021 regarding its 2021 annual determination.

The Lord Mayoral Minute called for Council to make a submission to the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal, advocating for clarification regarding City of Newcastle’s status as either metropolitan or regional.

The LMM called for the creation of a new categorisation for City of Newcastle as a ‘Gateway City’ – recognising the immense importance of Greater Newcastle to the broader economy of New South Wales.

It also called for appropriate superannuation entitlements be paid to all Councillors and Mayors in New South Wales.

City of Newcastle Budget Submission 2021/22
A Lord Mayoral Minute noting that the NSW and Federal Governments are calling for submissions for their 2021-2022 Budgets, with an emphasis on shovel-ready, economic stimulus projects to assist in the recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic, was supported.

The minute also called for acknowledgment that Newcastle-based projects identified on the Infrastructure Australia priority list be funded as a matter of priority, noting their significance for the national economic recovery.

Build Them Here – BusTech Electric bus technology
A Lord Mayoral Minute welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to designate Australian-based electric bus manufacturer BusTech Group as an official supplier, in support of its aim to decarbonise the NSW bus fleet by 2030. The NSW Government has committed to buying 120 new electric buses in 2021, and converting all 8,000 NSW Government buses to electric by 2030.

The minute noted Newcastle’s long history as a manufacturing hub, specialisation in advanced manufacturing, clean tech credentials in batteries and renewable energy, and traditional energy, and connection to the CSIRO Energy Centre and University of Newcastle, which has just become NSW’s hydrogen hub.

The Lord Mayoral Minute, which was supported, called for Council to write to BusTech, inviting them to meet to discuss their product, and opportunity to locate their NSW manufacturing facility in Greater Newcastle

Newcastle Art Gallery Redevelopment update
A Lord Mayoral Minute acknowledged that the current 44-year-old Newcastle Art Gallery is home to the most valuable collection of over 7,000 works of art in regional Australia, with a collection valued at $115 million, including works by Arthur Boyd, William Dobell, Donald Friend, Tracey Moffatt, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Patricia Piccinini, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and Brett Whitely to name but a few.

The carried LMM supports in principle the request to increase City of Newcastle’s contribution to $16.2 million and notes that this breakdown of figures sees an outstanding amount of $10 million required to realise the important project, which the City of Newcastle will request from the NSW and/or Federal Governments, while 75% of the project costs will be raised and funded by City of Newcastle, the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation and the Margaret Olley Art Trust.

Ordinary Business

Councillor representation on external committee - Newcastle Art Gallery foundation board
Councillors noted Councillor Dunn’s resignation from the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Board and appointed Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Clausen as City of Newcastle’s representative and nominated Director on the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation Board until the day before the next local government election.

Nomination to list Newcastle Recreation Reserve (King Edward Park) on the state heritage register
Councillors moved to lay the item on the table to allow for a Public Voice session to be held.

Termination of outdated policies
Councillors voted to terminate outdated policies to ensure all City of Newcastle policies are current, relevant and accurately reflect the services and work of City of Newcastle.

Tabling of Register of Disclosures of Interest - 1 November 2020 - 31 January 2021
Councillors voted to table the Register of Disclosures of Interest (for the period 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021) by the Chief Executive Officer.

Natural disaster clause - Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012
Councillors voted to confirm to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment that the City wishes to have the natural disaster clause inserted into the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012.

Wood Street, Newcastle West - one-way traffic flow southbound and angle parking between Hunter Street and King Street
Councillors voted to approve the one-way southbound traffic direction, angle parking and raised pedestrian zebra crossing in Wood Street, Newcastle West between Hunter and Parry Street.

Adoption of Parking Plan
Councillors voted to adopt the Parking Plan – On Our Streets and noted that implementation will be staged over several years, in accordance with agreed priorities and resourcing.

Adoption of Cycling Plan
Councillors voted unanimously to adopt the Cycling Plan – On Our Bikes and noted that implementation will be staged over several years, in accordance with agreed priorities and resourcing.

Public exhibition of the draft Economic Development Strategy
Councillors voted unanimously to place the draft 2030 Economic Development Strategy on public exhibition for 28 days.

Public exhibition of the draft Grants Policy and Sponsorship Policy
Councillors voted to place the draft Community Grants Policy and draft Sponsorship Policy on public exhibition for 28 days.

Variations to development standard
Councillors received the report on approved development variations between 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2020 in accordance with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s concurrence to vary development standards in the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012.

Liquor Amendment Bill 2020 update
Councillors received the report on implications for the delivery of the City of Newcastle’s Live Music and After Dark Strategies arising from the Liquor Amendment Act 2020.

December Quarterly Budget Review
Councillors received the December Quarterly Budget Review Statement and voted to adopt the revised budget.

Six-Monthly Performance Report on the 2018-2022 Delivery Program
Councillors received the Six-Monthly Performance Report on the 2018-2022 Delivery Program.

Executive Monthly Performance Report
Councillors received the Executive Monthly Performance Report for January 2021.

Audit and Risk Committee 2019/20 Annual Report
Councillors received the Audit and Risk Committee’s Annual Report for the 2019/2020 financial year and noted the 2020/2021 Forward Internal Audit Plan.

Tender report - geotechnical investigation and design panel contract - contract 2021/221t
Councillors voted to accept a tender panel for the provision of geotechnical investigation and design services for various projects throughout the Local Government Area.

Supply of rock bags for Stockton - contract no. 2021/060t
Councillors voted to approve an exemption to tender under Section 55(3)(k) of the Local Government Act 1993 due to the emergency circumstances at Stockton Beach in July 2020.

Notices of Motion

Permanently raise the rate
Councillors supported a Notice of Motion to call on the Prime Minister, Treasurer and the Commonwealth Parliament to permanently raise the rate of JobSeeker by between $185 per week and $275 per week.

Keeping the Newcastle Ocean Baths free
Councillors supported a Notice of Motion to reaffirm the current Council’s enduring commitment to maintaining the Newcastle Ocean Baths as a safe, free public facility, accessible to all Novocastrians regardless of socio-economic status, gender, age, mobility or background.

A Novocastrian in the White House
Councillors supported a motion to congratulate former New Castle County Councillor Joe Biden on his election to the office of President of the United States of America and noted that both Newcastle, Australia and New Castle, Delaware are part of the Newcastle's of the World friendship network. Council will write to the United States’ representative in Australia, Chargé d’Affaires His Excellency Dr Michael Goldman, and Consul General to Sydney, Ms Sharon Hudson-Dean, expressing the City’s congratulations to the President and Vice President, and seek to maintain the strong relationship between the City of Newcastle and the United States.

Petroleum Exploration Permit (pep 11)
Councillors supported a notice of motion reiterating its previous opposition to any extension of Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP11), which expired on 12 February 2021, due to unacceptable environmental impacts, and negative economic impacts on the recreational and commercial fishing and tourism industries off the coast of Newcastle.