Ordinary Council Meeting Tuesday 28 June 2022

28 Jun 2022

Following is a summary of resolutions from the Ordinary Council meeting of Tuesday 28 June 2022. NB: it is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minutes

Defend abortion rights rally

A Lord Mayoral Minute was supported that condemns the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court overruling previously held decisions that the United States Constitution confers a right to an abortion and supports the planned Defend Abortion Rights Rally from 5.30pm on Thursday 30 June at Newcastle Museum and concluding at Nobbys Beach Reserve.

Unfair grant program exclusion

A Lord Mayoral Minute was supported unanimously that called on Council to write to the Minister for Local Government, Wendy Tuckerman MP advising of the inequity of inconsistent State Government classification, which makes City of Newcastle ineligible for many grant programs. Council will request the Minister’s assistance in resolving the issue as a matter of urgency.

25th anniversary of the Newcastle Declaration

A Lord Mayoral Minute (LMM) was supported unanimously that noted 5 June 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of the Newcastle Declaration and acknowledged City of Newcastle’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and equitable communities. The LMM reaffirmed City of Newcastle’s commitment to the objectives of the original Declaration and the continued pursuit for an environmentally sustainable future.

Ordinary business

Public Art Reference Group (PARG) Annual Report

Council received the 2020/21 Annual Report of the Public Art Reference Group. The group acts as an Advisory Committee to the City of Newcastle on public art and met six times in 2021, with a focus on public art associated with development applications and community mural and artwork in the private domain.

Adoption of Code of Meeting Practice

Council voted to adopt the Code of Meeting Practice, noting the submissions received in response to its public exhibition. Cr McCabe will lead engagement and consultation with all interested parties regarding proposed changes to the preamble and prayer, and report back to the Community and Culture Advisory Committee.

Asset Advisory Committee Charter

Council voted to adopt the Asset Advisory Committee Charter, which had been revised to better reflect the intent and objectives of the Committee, as well as revisions for current organisational structure and terminology. The Committee was established to investigate, consider, and provide advice on strategic property asset issues.

Interest on overdue rates and charges for 2022/23

Council voted to adopt the rate of 6.0% per annum on interest on overdue rates and charges for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.

Making of the rate – Hunter Catchment Contribution and commission for 2022/23

Council voted to continue the making, levying and collection of the Hunter Catchment Contribution on behalf of Hunter Local Land Services, and adopt the rate of commission payable to CN as 5% of the Hunter Catchment Contributions collected, as determined by Hunter Local Land Services.

Adoption of Delivering Newcastle 2040 and Resourcing Newcastle 2040

Council voted to adopt the 2022-2023 Delivering Newcastle 2040, 2022-2023 Fees and Charges, and Resourcing Newcastle 2040.

Making of the Rate and Charges for 2022/23

Council voted to make the Rates and Charges for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 in accordance with the provisions of sections 532 – 535 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Executive monthly performance report

Council received the executive monthly performance report for May 2022.

Notices of Motion

25 years' anniversary of NSW apology to the Stolen Generation

Council supported a notice of motion that acknowledged the 25th anniversary of Premier Bob Carr MP’s apology to the Stolen Generation and apologised for the intergenerational trauma, hurt, abuse and injustices suffered by Aboriginal children and their families, because of those government policies. The motion also recognised the hard work and dedication of the Guraki Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and the contribution by the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to the City of Newcastle, and reaffirmed City of Newcastle’s commitment to truth-telling and reconciliation, noting the City’s unanimous support for the campaign for a referendum for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition through a Voice to Parliament.

Playground replacement program 2022/23

Council unanimously supported an amended notice of motion that noted the ongoing success of CN's Playground Replacement Program, and confirmed the following five playgrounds would be upgraded in 2022/23 - Waratah Park, Waratah, Harold Myers Park, Birmingham Gardens, Vera Wilson Park, Beresfield, Highland County, Fletcher and Avon Street Reserve at Mayfield. CN will also continue to work collaboratively with the users of Stevenson Park, Mayfield, to deliver the improvements detailed in the Stevenson Park Masterplan.

Curbing illegal dumping driven by insecure housing

Council supported a notice of motion that notes that insecure housing can be a significant driver of illegal dumping, and advocate to the NSW State Government to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to address housing insecurity and ensure that the cost of eviction is not borne by those who can least afford it. Council will also request that City of Newcastle’s Affordable Housing Working Party consider Council’s response to the issue of illegal dumping resulting from insecure housing, including in multi-unit dwellings.

15 years since Wallsend flooding event

Council unanimously supported an amended notice of motion that acknowledged the 15-year anniversary of the 2007 flood event that inundated the CBD of Wallsend, noted the steps taken by City of Newcastle to prepare for and mitigate future flood events and reaffirmed Council's commitment to delivering flood mitigation works and work with key stakeholders to take appropriate actions to help reduce the impact of future flood events. CN will write to NSW Government and Opposition seeking funding for Hunter Water Corporation to widen the Ironbark Creek stormwater channel in Wallsend.

Mega-watt scale battery installation

Council unanimously supported a notice to motion to consider and investigate opportunities for a mega-watt scale energy storage system in the development of the City of Newcastle Fleet Transition Plan and City of Newcastle Waste Strategy.

International campaign to abolish nuclear weapons

Council supported an amended notice to motion to write to the Prime Minister and relevant Minister to urge them to urgently progress the signing and ratification on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Council will also write to Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Industry to express City of Newcastle’s opposition to a nuclear submarine base in the Port of Newcastle.

Update on city-wide climate action pathway

Council supported a notice to motion to request a briefing from the SDG Hunter Region Taskforce on progress to date on developing a city-wide pathway and timetable to carbon neutrality by no later than 2040 in line with Newcastle Climate Action Plan 2021-25 and in conjunction with business, the public sector and the community. The briefing should also recommend measures to progress economic diversification as fossil fuel industries become less reliable within the LGA and more broadly across the Hunter.