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Late Items

 

Council  Agenda

 

 

 

24 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN VARIOUS FORMATS ON REQUEST

 

 

 


CITY OF BUSSELTON

Late Items FOR THE Council  MEETING TO BE HELD ON 24 June 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

15..... Chief Executive Officer's Report. 3

15.2        OUTCOMES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF ELECTORS REQUESTING THAT A REFERENDUM BE HELD ON THE FUTURE OF THE NAUTICAL LADY. 3

 


Council                                                                                      3                                                                         24 June 2015

15.             Chief Executive Officer's Report

15.2           OUTCOMES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF ELECTORS REQUESTING THAT A REFERENDUM BE HELD ON THE FUTURE OF THE NAUTICAL LADY

SUBJECT INDEX:

Busselton Foreshore Redevelopment: Commercial Sites

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE:

Governance systems that deliver responsible, ethical and accountable decision-making.

BUSINESS UNIT:

Governance Services

ACTIVITY UNIT:

Governance Support

REPORTING OFFICER:

Manager, Governance Services - Lynley Rich

AUTHORISING OFFICER:

Chief Executive Officer - Mike Archer

VOTING REQUIREMENT:

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS:

Attachment a   Minutes of a Special Meeting of Electors held on 22 June 2015  

  

 

This report is presented for consideration for acceptance as a late item of business for the Council meeting on 24 June 2015.

 

PRÉCIS

 

A request for a Special Meeting of Electors signed by more than 100 people was received at the City of Busselton on 2 June, 2015.  In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1995 the City was required to convene the requested electors’ meeting, which was held on Monday, 22 June, 2015.  The meeting was convened on the basis that the signatories wanted a motion considered that “No work to demolish the Nautical Lady tower be undertaken until such time as a referendum is carried out on the future of the Nautical Lady”.

 

At that meeting the motion moved was carried by a majority of those in attendance and therefore the Council is required to consider the outcomes of the meeting and to give reasons for any decisions it makes in response.  The Council is requested to consider whether or not to hold a referendum on the future of the Nautical Lady.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

A decision made to remove the Nautical Lady to allow for the continued development of the Busselton Foreshore in accordance with the Master Plan and Development Guide Plan was reaffirmed by the Council at its meeting on 28 January, 2015 after considering a petition to retain it.  The Council resolved that the tower does not reflect the character and amenity that the City is endeavouring to achieve with the redevelopment of the Busselton Foreshore in accordance with the adopted Busselton Foreshore Master Plan and the subsequent Development Guide Plan approved by the Western Australian Planning Commission.

 

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

 

In accordance with Section 5.28 of the Local Government Act 1995 a Special Meeting of the Electors of the district is to be held on the request of not less than 100 electors.  Having received such a request, the Council had 35 days within which it was required to convene that meeting after giving the minimum 14 days’ notice required.   The meeting was held on Monday, 22 June, 2015.

 

Having conducted the meeting, the Council is now required to observe the provisions of Section 5.33 of the Act relating to decisions made at Electors’ meetings.  All decisions made at an Electors’ meeting are to be considered at the next ordinary Council meeting, or if that is not practicable, the first meeting after that or a Special meeting.  Attendees at the Electors’ meeting were advised that the matter would be considered for acceptance as a late item at the next ordinary Council meeting on 24 June, 2015.

 

Further, Section 5.33 of the Act requires that if at a meeting of the Council the local government makes a decision in response to a decision made at an Electors’ meeting, the reasons for the decision are to be recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting.

 

In accordance with Local Government (Elections) Regulation 89 a local government can conduct a poll or referendum in such manner as it considers appropriate if the poll or referendum is not held in conjunction with an election and voting at the poll or referendum is not confined to electors.

 

RELEVANT PLANS AND POLICIES

 

The Busselton Foreshore Concept Plan, Master Plan and Development Guide Plan.

 

The Council originally endorsed the Busselton Foreshore Concept Plan at its meeting on 8 September 2010 which did not depict the Nautical Lady, but noted it may be retained subject to acquisition of the lease site and significant remodelling.  The retention or otherwise would be determined by the Council after negotiation with the lessee.

 

While some iterations of the Master Plan depicted the Nautical Lady for this reason, the modified Busselton Foreshore Master Plan was adopted by the Council on 9 July 2014 after the City had completed negotiations with the previous lessee and had exhausted avenues for a commercial tenant.  The modified plan depicts a rationalised open space area on the foreshore with cafe space setback from the foreshore and consolidated at the corner of Stanley Street and the proposed east-west spine road.  

 

The Busselton Foreshore Development Guide Plan (DGP) provides the statutory framework for development on the foreshore.  It was adopted by the City of Busselton on 9 July 2014 and endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission on 11 November 2014. 

 

The DGP depicts the site of the Nautical Lady as undeveloped space within the Busselton Jetty Precinct. The purpose of the site is to facilitate the provision of high quality open space and amenities to complement activities on the foreshore. 

 

As stated in the Busselton Foreshore Development Guide Plan, “the Busselton Jetty precinct is a key movement corridor to Marine Terrace and an extension of the original railway line along Stanley Street into the town centre. It will contain interpretive and restaurant functions including ‘Railway House’, an interpretive centre for the Busselton Jetty, the local historic rail network and the south west timber industry. This precinct will provide a pedestrian focused environment, maximum activation of spaces, and retain views of the foreshore and jetty.”

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

This report presents a range of options which all have varying financial implications.  A preliminary financial assessment of the various options is therefore provided.

 

Proceed with a poll/referendum conducted by the City of Busselton (with an independent returning officer)

 

This City is still proceeding to ascertain the costs associated with this option.  However, it is believed that it can be undertaken below the cost quoted by the Electoral Commission for a stand-alone referendum (not in conjunction with the Ordinary Election) of $55,000.  However, it is likely to still cost at least $40,000 to $45,000 inclusive of developing for and against arguments and staff time.  There is no current provision on the draft budget for this to occur.

 

Proceed with a referendum conducted by the Electoral Commission in conjunction with the Ordinary Election in October 

 

The direct costs of the Electoral Commission conducting the referendum in conjunction with the Ordinary Election would be $7,000.  However, there would also be approximately $5,000 required for an independent development of the required for and against arguments and approximately $2,000 for additional staff preparation and the counting of votes on Election evening.  There is no current provision on the draft budget for this to occur.

 

Do not proceed with a referendum

 

There are no direct financial implications arising from this course of action, noting that the demolition of the Nautical Lady is already budgeted for.  Whether or not a referendum is held, this sum may still ultimately be required.

 

Long-term Financial Plan Implications

 

Should the Council decision be to hold a referendum and subsequently the Council resolves to retain the Nautical Lady, it must be noted that there has not been any consideration in the City’s long-term financial plan for the provision of the lift that would need to be installed due to statutory Universal Access requirements, nor the ongoing maintenance of the tower.  This would need to be addressed by reassessing other priorities identified through the City’s Strategic Community Plan and Corporate Business Plan, or by increasing rates.

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

 

-        Governance systems that deliver responsible, ethical and accountable decision-making.

 

RISK ASSESSMENT

 

Risk

Controls

Consequence

Likelihood

Risk Level

Community perception that the Council has not heard the request put forward at the meeting if the referendum does not proceed

Use various communication  mediums to explain the Council’s decision

Minor

Likely

Medium

Community perception that the Council is not committed to the vision that has been articulated through the master plan and DGP following significant consultation if the referendum proceeds

Use various communication  mediums to explain the Council’s decision

Minor

Likely

Medium

 

CONSULTATION

 

This report has been presented as a result of a decision that was made at a Special Meeting of Electors attended by approximately 430 people.  Approximately 225 people voted in favour of a referendum being held and approximately 200 people voted against this course of action.  Therefore, the decision of the meeting of electors, which must be considered by the Council, was:

”No work to demolish the Nautical Lady tower be undertaken until such time as a referendum is carried out on the future of the Nautical Lady”.

 

Additionally, since the receipt of the request for the Electors’ meeting and prior to the meeting being conducted on Monday, 22 June, 2015, 49 submissions were received by the City, many of which identified an inability to attend the meeting but all putting forward views on whether or not a referendum should be undertaken.  An assessment of the submissions received prior to the meeting indicates there were 9 people in favour of a referendum being undertaken and 40 people against this course of action.

 

OFFICER COMMENT

 

Officers have identified three potential courses of action in response to the decision made at the Electors’ meeting that no work to demolish the Nautical Lady tower be undertaken until such time as a referendum is carried out on the future of the Nautical Lady.  The three options are presented with some of the pros and cons for each course of action that the Council may consider in reaching a decision on whether or not to proceed to a referendum.

 

Proceed with a poll/referendum conducted by the City of Busselton (with an independent returning officer)

 

The City of Busselton, with an independent returning officer, could conduct a poll or referendum itself in any manner it considers appropriate, as long as it is not held in conjunction with an election and is not confined to electors.  Advice from the Department of Local Government has confirmed that the City could meet the requirement to not confine the poll or referendum to electors by not preventing residents who are not on the electoral roll, for example those that for some reason are not enrolled to vote or are not Australian Citizens, from participating.

 

Pros

Cons

If a referendum is desired, it is the quicker option

Community perception that the Council is not committed to the vision that has been articulated through the master plan and DGP following significant consultation

Community perception that the Council has not heard the request put forward at the meeting is removed

While the foreshore is, the tower itself is not a significant strategic initiative for the Council and is not a topic on which a referendum would ordinarily be conducted


The ordinary election can be conducted after the decision on the Nautical Lady has been made

 

May provide a clearer picture as to whether there is more support for retention or demolition

 

 

If this course of action is adopted, the decision on whether or not the Nautical Lady is demolished would be made by the Council after the outcomes of the referendum are known.

 

Proceed with a referendum conducted by the Electoral Commission in conjunction with the Ordinary Election in October

 

The additional costs incurred by the City to have the Electoral Commission conduct the referendum in conjunction with the Ordinary Election would be $7,000.  This does not however take into account the costs associated with developing the required balanced for and against arguments or the staff costs associated with the additional preparations and conducting the count.

 

Pros

Cons

If a referendum is desired, it is the cheaper option

Community perception that the Council is not committed to the vision that has been articulated through the master plan and DGP following significant consultation

Community perception that the Council has not heard the request put forward at the meeting is removed

Potential for single issue electioneering dominating the campaign and for significant impact on the voting patterns

May provide a clearer picture as to whether there is more support for retention or demolition

Several months of prolonged uncertainty for the community

 

While the foreshore is, the tower itself is not a significant strategic initiative for the Council and is not a topic on which a referendum would ordinarily be conducted

 

Potential for the views of newly elected Councillors and the outcomes of the referendum to be at odds with each other

 

If this course of action is adopted, the decision on whether or not the Nautical Lady is demolished would be made by the Council after the outcomes of the referendum are known.

 

Do not proceed with a referendum

 

Pros

Cons

Community perception that the Council is not committed to the vision that has been articulated through the master plan and DGP following significant consultation is removed

Community perception that the Council has not heard the request put forward at the meeting

Uncertainty is removed

There may be more support in the community for the Nautical Lady’s retention than is perceived 

The Council can demonstrate decisive leadership and immediately proceed to deliver the vision in the master plan

 

While the foreshore is, the tower itself is not a significant strategic initiative for the Council and is not a topic on which a referendum would ordinarily be conducted.  The elected members would be exercising their responsibility to make a decision on the community’s behalf after considering all aspects of the decision, not just the outcomes of a single consultative process

 

 

If this course of action is adopted the status quo would remain and the planned demolition of the tower would proceed in accordance with Council’s previous decisions.

 

While a fourth option may have been to proceed to a referendum conducted by the Electoral Commission immediately, it is considered that this course of action has many of the same cons as waiting until the October election for the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum, but at a substantially higher cost.  This is due to the statutory notice requirements for a referendum conducted by the Commission meaning that it would need to be conducted in the lead up to the opening of nominations for the October election.  It has therefore not been considered as an option at this time given that the City could conduct the same referendum in a shorter timeframe due to the exemptions in Regulation 89 of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997. 

 

It is noted that there is potential for the time and financial investment in a referendum to result in a similarly unclear outcome as to the community’s preference in relation to this matter and therefore there would continue to be no clear mandate.  It is however also noted that if a referendum is desired, it would be preferable from the perspective of ensuring good governance that it is undertaken separately from the election.  Where single issues have the potential of dominating election campaigns, it is considered that there is a risk of some candidates becoming disenfranchised with local government process and higher potential for extraordinary elections to be required in the future.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The Council is requested to consider the motion that was carried at the Electors’ meeting ”No work to demolish the Nautical Lady tower be undertaken until such time as a referendum is carried out on the future of the Nautical Lady”, and to determine the appropriate course of action from the options provided.  Any decision made by the Council will need to be accompanied by its reasons for the decision for recording in the minutes, in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1995.

 

OPTIONS

 

1.      Proceed with a poll/referendum conducted by the City of Busselton.

2.      Proceed with a referendum conducted by the Electoral Commission in conjunction with the Ordinary Election.

3.      Do not proceed with a referendum.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

Not applicable.

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

1.    That the Council receives the minutes and notes the outcomes of the Special Meeting of Electors conducted on 22 June, 2015 and makes a decision as to whether it wishes to (select one):

a.    proceed to a referendum conducted by the local government; or

b.    proceed to a referendum conducted by the Electoral Commission in conjunction with the Ordinary Election in October; or

c.     not proceed to referendum.

 

2.    That the Council provides its reasons for that decision.

 

 


Council

9

24 June 2015

15.2

Attachment a

Minutes of a Special Meeting of Electors held on 22 June 2015

 

Please note:  These minutes are yet to be confirmed as a true record of proceedings
 

 


CITY OF BUSSELTON

 

MINUTES OF A special MEETING OF ELECTORS HELD ON 22 june 2015

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

ITEM NO.                                                            SUBJECT                                                                                         PAGE NO.

                                                 

1.               ATTENDANCE, APOLOGIES & LEAVE OF ABSENCE                                                                   1

2.               BUSINESS OF THE MEETING                                                                                                2

2.1                   MEETING OPENING AND INTRODUCTION BY THE ACTING MAYOR                            2

2.2                   PROPOSED REFERENDUM RELATING TO THE NAUTICAL LADY TOWER                       2

3.               CLOSURE                                                                                                                          2

 

 


Council

11

24 June 2015

15.2

Attachment a

Minutes of a Special Meeting of Electors held on 22 June 2015

 

CITY OF BUSSELTON

 

MINUTES OF A SPECIAL Meeting of Electors HELD at CHURCHILL PARK HALL, ADELAIDE ST, Busselton, ON monDAY, 22 june, 2015 AT 5.30PM.

 

 

The Presiding Member declared the meeting open at 6.00pm.

1.                      ATTENDANCE, APOLOGIES & LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Presiding Member:

Cr Grant Henley

Acting Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

Members:

Cr Gordon Bleechmore

 

 

 

Cr Rob Bennett

 

 

 

Cr Coralie Tarbotton

 

 

Cr Jenny Green

Cr John McCallum

Cr Tom Tuffin

Cr Terry Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

Mr Mike Archer

Chief Executive Officer

 

Mrs Naomi Searle

Director, Community & Commercial Services

 

Mr Paul Crewe

Manager, Major Projects

 

Miss Lynley Rich

Manager, Governance Services

 

Mr Jon Berry

Coordinator, Economic and Business Development

 

 

Mr Rocco Guzzomi

Coordinator, Building Services

 

 

Mrs Katie Banks

Executive Assistant

 

 

Mrs Corinne Carrington

Administration Officer – Governance

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies:

Nil

 

 

 

 

Leave of Absence:

Cr Ian Stubbs

Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

Media:

Busselton-Dunsborough Times

 

 

Busselton-Dunsborough Mail

 

 

 

 

Public:

Approx 430

 

 

 


2.                      BUSINESS OF THE MEETING

2.1                   MEETING OPENING AND INTRODUCTION BY THE ACTING MAYOR

 

The Acting Mayor welcomed all in attendance to the special meeting of electors and informed the attendees of why the meeting was required and how the meeting would be run.

 

 

2.2                   PROPOSED REFERENDUM RELATING TO THE NAUTICAL LADY TOWER

 

MOTION

 

Moved Mr Bill Gillbard, seconded Mr Michael Gent:

 

No work to demolish the Nautical Lady tower be undertaken until such time as a referendum is carried out on the future of the Nautical Lady.

 

CARRIED

 

 

 

 

3.                      CLOSURE

The meeting was closed at 7.10pm.

 

 

 

 

 

THESE MINUTES CONSISTING OF PAGES 1 TO 6 WERE CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD ON                                                                                    ________________________________________

 

 

DATE:             ___________________               CHAIRMAN: ______________________