COB-RGB

 

 

 

 

Policy and Legislation Committee Agenda

 

 

 

24 February 2021

 

 

 

 

 


ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE IN VARIOUS FORMATS ON REQUEST

city@busselton.wa.gov.au

 

 


CITY OF BUSSELTON

MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA – 24 February 2021

 

 

 

TO:                  THE MAYOR AND COUNCILLORS

 

 

NOTICE is given that a meeting of the Policy and Legislation Committee will be held in the Committee Room, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton on Wednesday, 24 February 2021, commencing at 10.00am.

 

The attendance of Committee Members is respectfully requested.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Statements or decisions made at Committee meetings should not be relied on (or acted upon) by an applicant or any other person or entity until subsequent written notification has been given by or received from the City of Busselton. Without derogating from the generality of the above, approval of planning applications and building permits and acceptance of tenders and quotations will only become effective once written notice to that effect has been given to relevant parties. The City of Busselton expressly disclaims any liability for any loss arising from any person or body relying on any statement or decision made during a Committee meeting.

 

 

 

Mike Archer

 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

19 February 2021


CITY OF BUSSELTON

Agenda FOR THE Policy and Legislation Committee MEETING TO BE HELD ON 24 February 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors. 2

2....... Attendance. 2

3....... Public Question Time. 2

4....... Disclosure Of Interests. 2

5....... Confirmation and receipt of Minutes. 2

5.1          Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 January 2021. 2

6....... Reports. 2

6.1          REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICIES: BUSHFIRE POLICIES. 2

6.2          REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICY: AASB 124 RELATED PARTY DISCLOSURES. 2

7....... General Discussion Items. 2

8....... Next Meeting Date. 2

9....... Closure. 2

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  4                                                                24 February 2021

1.               Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors

 

2.               Attendance 

Apologies

 

3.               Public Question Time

 

4.               Disclosure Of Interests

 

5.               Confirmation and receipt of Minutes

5.1             Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 January 2021

Recommendation

That the Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 January 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  5                                                                24 February 2021

6.               Reports

6.1             REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICIES: BUSHFIRE POLICIES

STRATEGIC GOAL

6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

6.1 Governance systems, process and practices are responsible, ethical and transparent.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Environmental Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Manager Environmental Services - Tanya Gillett

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director, Planning and Development Services - Paul Needham

NATURE OF DECISION

Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Proposed Council Policy - Bush Fire Brigades

Attachment b    Current Council Policy 32 - Bush Fire Brigade Grievance Process and Disciplinary Action

Attachment c    Current Council Policy 33 - Meetings of Bush Fire Brigades

Attachment d   Current Council Policy 34 - Membership of Bush Fire Brigades

Attachment e    Current Council Policy 35 - Qualifications of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

Attachment f    Current Council Policy 36 - Roles of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

Attachment g   Current Council Policy 40 - Bush Fire Brigade Accounting

Attachment h   Current Council Policy 41 - Code of Conduct, Bush Fire Brigade Objectives and Values  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council:

1.              Acknowledge the proposal to adopt the proposed Council Policy – Bush Fire Brigades (Attachment A) and rescind the Council polices listed below and attached (Attachments B-H):

a.             32 – Bush Fire Brigade Grievance Process and Disciplinary Action;

b.             33 – Meetings of Bush Fire Brigades;

c.              34 – Membership of Bush Fire Brigades;

d.             35 – Qualifications of Bush Fire Brigade Officers;

e.             36 – Roles of Bush Fire Brigade Officers;

f.              40 – Bush Fire Brigade Accounting; and

g.             41 – Code of Conduct, Bush Fire Brigade Objectives and Values.

2.              Acknowledge the Policy and Legislation Committee support of the proposal contained in recommendation 1.

3.              Refers the proposal contained in recommendation 1 to the Bush Fire Advisory Committee, with the Bush Fire Advisory Committee to provide a recommendation to Council.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report proposes the adoption of a new Council Policy – Bush Fire Brigades, and the rescission of the following current Council policies pertaining to Bush Fire Brigades:

a.          32 – Bush Fire Brigade Grievance Process and Disciplinary Action

b.         33 – Meetings of Bush Fire Brigades

c.          34 – Membership of Bush Fire Brigades

d.         35 – Qualifications of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

e.         36 – Roles of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

f.          40 – Bush Fire Brigade Accounting

g.          41 – Code of Conduct, Bush Fire Brigade Objectives and Values

 

It is considered that the proposal should be considered by two Committees of Council, the Policy and Legislation Committee and the Bushfire Advisory Committee; and as such this report recommends that Council acknowledges the Policy and Legislation Committee review of the Policy and proposal to rescind the current policies, and further refer the proposal to the Bushfire Advisory Committee before the Council makes a final decision.

 

BACKGROUND

In 2015, the current Bush Fire Brigade Council Policies were adopted with the aim of providing governance and operational direction across a variety of matters pertaining to the City’s Bush Fire Brigades.  The policies have not been reviewed since that time. 

 

During 2017, the City engaged Mr John Woodhouse who produced a report entitled ‘Promoting Confidence: A Review of the City of Busselton Governance Systems And Processes.’  Within this report, Mr Woodhouse recommended the following (bold text in original):  

 

17.4 Local laws – Bush Fires – Recommendations

 

(1)       The Bush Fires Act 1954 not only empowers a local government to make local laws for certain matters but also requires that certain matters are to be dealt with by way of local laws.

 

(2)       An example of a power to make local laws is section 41(1) which provides:

“For the purpose of carrying out normal brigade activities a local government may, in accordance with its local laws made for the purpose, establish and maintain one or more bush fire brigades and may, in accordance with those local laws, equip each bush fire brigade so established with appliances, equipment and apparatus.”

 

(3)       An example of a requirement to make a local law is section 43 which provides:

“A local government which establishes a bush fire brigade shall by its local laws provide for the appointment or election of a captain, a first lieutenant, a second lieutenant, and such additional lieutenants as may be necessary as officers of the bush fire brigade, and prescribe their respective duties.” [Emphasis added]

 

(4)       Despite this, the City has no local laws made under the Act.

 

(5)       There is a Council Policy but no local law.

 

(6)       Consideration should be given, therefore, to the preparation of suitable local laws under the Bush Fires Act 1954.

The use of a Bush Fire Brigades Local Law would most certainly streamline governance structures for the Brigades and reduce the need for comprehensive Council Policies and Operational Practices to be developed and implemented. At this stage, though, adoption of a local law is not recommended – for reasons set out in ‘Officer Comment’ below.

Further, Mr Woodhouse, in relation to the City’s policy framework also recommended:

(7)       There should be a review of the Council Policies with the intent that a Council Policy:

a.        Should deal with higher level objectives and strategies;

b.        Should not deal with operational matters, employee matters, or other matters which are the responsibility if the CEO; and

c.         Should, where appropriate provide sufficient direction to the CEO to develop OPPs which deal with the implementation of the Council Policy or other detailed matters.

(8)       As part of that review, any existing Council Policy should be deleted where it could, more sensibly, be dealt with by an OPP adopted by the CEO.

Accordingly, review of the current policies has been undertaken.

OFFICER COMMENT

Currently within local government, Bush Fire Brigades are either governed by Council policies, as per the City’s current governance model, or local governments have adopted a version of a ‘Model Local Law’ developed some years ago.

In October 2019, WALGA advised that the Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Francis Logan MLA announced the commencement of a review of the emergency management legislation, including the Fire Brigades Act 1942, Bush Fires Act 1954 and Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998. It is envisaged that the legislation will be consolidated under a single Act. The existing legislation is, in substantial part, quite dated, and it is fair to say that in many ways, it is no longer ‘fit-for-purpose’.

While it is acknowledged that the drafting of new legislation is rarely a quick process, the development of a local law under the current legislation is unlikely to be a swift process either.  With the announcement by the Minister that the legislation review is imminent, and the need to review the City’s policies with reasonable frequency (and also align them with the City’s overall governance framework), it is at this stage recommended that the Council adopt a new, higher level, integrated ‘Bush Fire Brigades’ Council Policy, and that more detailed and / or operational elements of the existing policies are incorporated instead into Operational Practices.

 

Council has established a Policy and Legislation Committee and a Bush Fire Advisory Committee, with both committees asked to review and provide recommendations to Council in relation to the above proposal.

 

It should also be noted that officers do not envisage that there will be any significant change in terms of how Brigade governance functions at an operational level. There may, at times in the future, be a need to update and refine operational governance, and it is envisaged that consultation with the Bush Fire Advisory Committee would occur as required.

Statutory Environment

In accordance with section 2.7(2(b) of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act), it is the role of the Council to determine the local government policies. The Council does this on recommendation of a Committee it has established in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act.

 

The Bush Fires Act 1954 provides the City of Busselton the power to establish and maintain Bush Fire Brigades. 

 

The Council has, in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act established a Bush Fire Advisory Committee, its role being to provide advice to Council in regard to all matters relating to bush fire control, prevention and management.

Relevant Plans and Policies

In response to the Governance Services Review, the City developed a policy framework to clearly establish the strategic nature and intent of Council policies, as opposed to operational documents.   

 

The proposed Council Policy – Bush Fire Brigades, will replace the seven current Council Policies and a series of Operational Practices will be drafted to provide for the operational requirements to effect this Policy.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

Stakeholder Consultation

As per the officer recommendation, consultation is recommended with the Bush Fire Advisory Committee before Council makes a final decision in relation to this matter.

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.

 

The governance measures currently applied to the Bush Fire Brigades will not change in an operational sense but will administratively align to the City’s requirements with respect to policy and procedural documentation.

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation the Council could:

1.         Retain the seven Council Policies as listed above;

2.         Make changes to the proposed Council Policy – Bush Fire Brigades; or

3.         Commence preparation of a Local Law where it is applicable to the City’s requirements; and

4.         Rescind the current 7 Council Policies as listed when the Local Law has been Gazetted.

CONCLUSION

Following a review of the current Bush Fire Brigade policies, officers have determined that they are not strategic in nature, and propose that a single Council Policy replace them.  In addition, Operational Practices will then be developed to administer the more operational requirements of the brigades.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

Should the Officer Recommendation be endorsed by the Council, the proposals contained within this report will be referred to the next Bush Fire Advisory Committee meeting, with a further recommendation presented by that Committee to Council.

 


Policy and Legislation Committee

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6.1

Attachment a

Proposed Council Policy - Bush Fire Brigades

 



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6.1

Attachment b

Current Council Policy 32 - Bush Fire Brigade Grievance Process and Disciplinary Action

 




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6.1

Attachment c

Current Council Policy 33 - Meetings of Bush Fire Brigades

 







Policy and Legislation Committee

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6.1

Attachment d

Current Council Policy 34 - Membership of Bush Fire Brigades

 





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6.1

Attachment e

Current Council Policy 35 - Qualifications of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

 





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6.1

Attachment f

Current Council Policy 36 - Roles of Bush Fire Brigade Officers

 






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6.1

Attachment g

Current Council Policy 40 - Bush Fire Brigade Accounting

 




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6.1

Attachment h

Current Council Policy 41 - Code of Conduct, Bush Fire Brigade Objectives and Values

 



Policy and Legislation Committee                                  40                                                             24 February 2021

6.2             REVIEW OF COUNCIL POLICY: AASB 124 RELATED PARTY DISCLOSURES

STRATEGIC GOAL

6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE

6.1 Governance systems, process and practices are responsible, ethical and transparent.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Financial Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Manager Financial Services - Paul Sheridan

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Director Finance and Corporate Services - Tony Nottle

NATURE OF DECISION

Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures - Proposed Draft Policy

Attachment b    AASB 124 Related Party Disclosure - Current Policy

Attachment c    AASB 124 Standard - Related Party Disclosures  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council endorse the revised Council policy ‘AASB 124 – Related Party Disclosures’ (Attachment A), to replace the current policy as per Attachment B.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents Council policy AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures (the Policy), which has been transferred into the City’s updated policy template (Attachment A) and amended to provide for a simple statement of compliance. The Policy is recommended for endorsement by Council. The current policy is included at Attachment B for reference.

 

The Policy relates to the disclosure of related party transactions, which all local governments are required to disclose in annual financial reports, in accordance with AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures (the Standard) as published by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (Attachment C).

 

Changes to the Standard in 2016 required that certain transactions of Key Management Personnel – Council Members, the Chief Executive Officer and senior management – must be detailed separately in the annual financial reports.

 

The Policy has been reviewed and officers are recommending that the Policy be retained to support a culture of compliance in line with Departmental and industry advice. In addition to the Policy having being transferred into the updated Council policy template, changes include the removal of content which is contained within the Standard (and is best referred to there) and an overall refinement of the policy back to a simple statement of the need to comply with the accounting standard.

OFFICER COMMENT

Under the Local Government Act 1995 and the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996, all local governments in Western Australia must produce annual financial statements that comply with Australian Accounting Standards.

 


 

The Australian Accounting Standards Board determined that from 1 July 2016, AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures applied to government entities, including local governments. The City is required to disclose Related Party Relationships and Key Management Personnel compensation in its Annual Financial Statements.

 

The purpose of the Policy is to stipulate compliance with the Australian Accounting Standard AASB 124 – Related Party Disclosures.

Statutory Environment

In accordance with section 2.7(2(b) of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act) it is the role of the Council to determine the local government policies. The Council does this on recommendation of a Committee it has established in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act.

 

The Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 requires all local governments to produce annual financial statements that comply with the Australian Accounting Standards.

 

Australian Accounting Standard AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures applies to all government entities.

Relevant Plans and Policies

The City has a policy framework which was developed and endorsed by Council in response to the recommendations of the 2017 Governance Service. The framework sets out the intent of Council policies, as opposed to operational documents such as Operational Practices.

 

AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures sets out the definitions and requirements of disclosures all local governments are required to make.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation the Council could:

1.         Propose amendments to the Policy; or

2.         Propose that the Policy be rescinded, noting that the requirements to comply with the Standard exist and are outlined in regulation.

CONCLUSION

Council endorsement of the AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures policy is being sought, with the Policy having been reduced to a statement of the need to comply, and being transferred into the City’s updated policy template (Attachment A).

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The Policy will be placed on the City’s website within one week of adoption.  


Policy and Legislation Committee

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6.2

Attachment a

AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures - Proposed Draft Policy

 



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6.2

Attachment b

AASB 124 Related Party Disclosure - Current Policy

 








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6.2

Attachment c

AASB 124 Standard - Related Party Disclosures

 































 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  81                                                             24 February 2021

7.               General Discussion Items

 

8.               Next Meeting Date

 

9.               Closure